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Safety 101 by Dawn Lindsey

The escalation of social and political unrest, coupled with the growing frequency of natural disasters, underscores the criticality of implementing robust safety protocols during in-person Empowerment Self Defense (ESD) training and instructional sessions. It is imperative for trainers to:

1. Recognize the paramount importance of safety throughout all stages of the training process.

2. Identify and mitigate safety risks, including physical hazards such as third-party involvement, interpersonal conflicts among students, and instances of violence directed towards instructors.

3. Integrate safety considerations into rescue planning and briefing sessions, encompassing scenarios like hurricanes, tornadoes, bombings, active shooter incidents, among others.

It is crucial to acknowledge that safety is contingent upon situational factors and is cultivated through a proactive mindset and approach.

Before commencing teaching sessions or classes, utilize the following checklist to assess potential risks and hazards:

1. Evaluate unfamiliar surroundings and review crime statistics for the area.

2. Inspect for damaged infrastructure and equipment.

3. Identify and address concerns related to unstable structures and confined spaces.

4. Mitigate risks associated with falling or tripping hazards.

5. Implement measures to prevent injuries from falling materials or airborne objects.

6. Minimize exposure to hazardous materials.

7. Address risks posed by smoke, dust, or oxygen-deficient spaces.

8. Manage excessive noise levels.

9. Ensure water and food sources are uncontaminated.

10.Mitigate stressors such as adverse weather conditions, political or social unrest, fatigue, and mental health concerns.

11.Evaluate security measures, availability of safety equipment, access to escape routes, identification of safety zones, and considerations for personal hygiene and medication management.

Lastly, adopt and implement the "LCES" framework, comprising Lookouts, Communications, Escape routes, and Safe zones:

  • Lookouts: Designate individuals as lookouts to monitor surroundings.

  • Communications: Establish communication protocols, including contact information for relevant authorities, and ensure participants are equipped with essential personal information and medical details.

  • Escape routes: Preplan escape routes and verify accessibility prior to sessions.

  • Safe zones: Identify and designate safe zones within the facility or create temporary safe zones as necessary, ensuring participants are informed of their locations beforehand.

By adhering to these comprehensive safety measures and adopting a proactive approach to risk assessment and management, trainers can significantly enhance the safety and security of ESD training sessions.

Ensuring the safety and security of everyone involved, particularly the trainer, is of utmost importance. Please always remain vigilant and alert.

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