In the wake of the recent deaths due to crowd crushes at night clubs in Chicago and West Warwick, RI, Dateline NBC recently aired
its “Get Out Alive” series that was filmed with the help of the
International Association of Assembly Managers. In the segment that
aired on February 23, patrons at public assembly facilities were given
tips on how to “get out alive” when caught in a crowd rush or surge.
Included in this list of best practices is the need for patrons to identify
alternate exits when arriving at a venue.
“In fact,” said Larry Perkins,
IAAM member and crowd management specialist, “many public assembly
facilities have made it a practice to announce exit locations prior to a
concert or sporting event, rather than leaving it to the patron.”
Dateline NBC contacted IAAM for help in developing the segment because of
the association’s leadership in providing training for crowd management
practices. As an organization that represents managers of public assembly
facilities such as arenas, amphitheaters, stadiums, convention centers and
performing arts venues, IAAM’s educational programs in crowd management,
safety and security, management practices and facility-specific operational
issues have provided the industry with best practices for more than 77
“The types of facilities that IAAM represents are usually municipally owned
and/or operated and are subject to strict local and state laws and
regulations, including adherence to national codes such as those of the
National Fire Protection Association which in addition to setting fire
prevention codes, also recommends occupancy limits at venues,” said Dexter
King, executive director of IAAM. “It is rare for a major fire to occur in
any of our member facilities. Our buildings are constructed
according to rigorous fire and safety measures.”
IAAM initiated its efforts in crowd management training and dissemination of
information shortly after the crowd crush at the Who concert in Cincinnati
in 1979 where eleven rock fans were crushed to death and scores injured.
IAAM took the lead in addressing issues of crowd safety by inaugurating its
International Crowd Management Conference in 1982.