February 20, 2014 - Over 21,000 Trained Crowd Managers Legacy of Station Nightclub Fire in MA
STOW – February 20, 2014 is the 11th anniversary of the tragic fire at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island where 100 people died and 200 were injured. Massachusetts implemented many changes after this fire including requiring sprinklers in nightclubs and similar establishments that accommodate 100 people or more. Another major change was requiring these facilities to have one trained crowd manager on site for every 250 people on the premises.
State Fire Marshal Coan said, “One of the major things we learned from this tragedy is that staff reaction in places of public assembly impacts the safety and survival of patrons. It is staff who understand the seriousness of an emergency, the need for rapid evacuation and the location of the exits.” A trained crowd manager will not only conduct the daily safety inspection and complete the checklist, but be able to stop the music and raise the lights showing patrons that an event is serious and then guide them to the nearest exits.
Over 21,000 Certified Crowd Managers
The Department of Fire Services provides a free, online training and testing program for crowd managers. Since March 2011, over 21,000 crowd managers have been certified in Massachusetts. A crowd manager must be trained and tested every three years and the first certifications issued in March 2011 are now expiring. A new training program is available and completion is required as part of the recertification process. Trainees can access the materials online twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at www.mass.gov/dfs (click on Crowd Manager in upper right hand column.)
Facility Owners and Managers: Check Expiration Dates of Trained Crowd Managers Facility owners and managers should ask their trained crowd managers to check their certificate expiration date. The online training system sends e-mail reminders 30 days prior to the expiration date, but if people have changed their e-mail addresses, they might not receive the notice.