Lifesaver: The Value of Safety and Emergency Preparedness Training for Hotel Staff

By John Welty Practice Leader, SUITELIFE, Venture Insurance Programs | September 02, 2018

The hotel industry is no stranger to emergency situations. From active shooters and terrorist attacks, to weather events like hurricanes and tornadoes, hotels often play host to a variety of unwelcome events that can endanger guests and employees and wreak havoc on operations, facilities and reputations. Though these events occur without warning, that doesn't necessarily mean hotel owners and their staff have to face these situations unprepared.

Proper training and a good emergency preparedness plan can be literally a lifesaver in navigating a crisis situation. Too often, when there is an emergency, fear takes over and people don't know how to react or forget how to respond appropriately. Having well-trained employees and a plan in place for before, during and after an emergency, and testing that plan frequently can ensure that employees are better prepared when faced with such an event.

Whether its removing potential projectiles from the hotel's pool decks before a hurricane's high winds or performing CPR on a guest immediately after a pool accident, regular appropriate staff training can influence positive outcomes. However, key to that phrase is the word "appropriate." Staff training must be done right and in many cases, the best way to make sure individuals are trained correctly in emergency preparedness is to work with outside vendors with specific areas of expertise when it comes to safety.

Consider the horrific event that happened at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas last year. Tragically, 57 people were killed and 500 injured by an active shooter, but employees who had emergency training stayed on task and helped bring the situation to an end before gunman Stephen Paddock could do even more damage. In this case, it was an unarmed security guard, Jesus Campos, who was able to think on his feet during the crisis. He traced the sounds of gunfire to Paddock's floor and provided police with key passes to enter doorways, according to the Huffington Post.

Although this is an extreme situation, this story demonstrates the importance of an employee being able to navigate an emergency situation and respond appropriately. Hotels need to have safety preparedness plans in place whether they are designed to address an extreme event like an active shooter or on a smaller scale, a guest accident. Risk management experts and leaders in emergency preparedness like the American Red Cross can help hoteliers get their staffs prepared to handle a variety of emergency situations.

Training for the Unthinkable

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Cary Tyler Schirmer
Marco Albarran
S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
Mike Stacy
Paolo Boni
Didi Lutz
Eduardo Fernandez
Tara K. Gorman
Dana Kravetz
Jeff Catlin
Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.