Vital Preparations: Investigating the Need for an Incident Action Plan at the Circleville Pumpkin Festival [open pdf - 142KB]
"The City of Circleville is a small rural community of 13,485 residents in south central Ohio. On the third Wednesday of every October, the community goes through a transformation from its everyday activities to the largest festival in the state attracting up to 400,000 visitors over a four day period. The event lines the downtown streets with craft booths, food vendors, merchant tents, carnival rides, multiple stages, an assortment of pumpkin displays and various activities of all shapes and sizes. Each day in the afternoon and evening, a parade commences that can last up to two hours making the area extremely difficult to navigate by foot not to mention impossible for any motorized apparatus to gain access. The problem is the CFD [Circleville Division of Fire] has no formal response plan to deal with emergency incidents at the Circleville Pumpkin Festival. The purpose of this research was to investigate the need for an incident action plan (IAP) for the CFD to address emergencies at the Circleville Pumpkin Festival. The descriptive method of research was used to answer the following questions: (a) What potential emergency incidents need to be addressed and what methodology should be used for managing an incident at the festival; (b) What steps are taken by other organizations to plan and prepare for large scale events; and (c) What motivation(s) determines the need for an IAP? The procedures used to seek out a solution to the stated questions consisted of a literature review, three separate surveys and an interview. The results clearly demonstrated the advantages of having a clear and concise plan specific to the festival. The IAP should be designed as a tool to be used by all agencies that have a stake in providing a productive festival and the safety of the community and those visiting. The research identified the need for a more extensive hazard risk analysis to be conducted with the intention of generating an IAP for the Circleville Pumpkin Festival."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/