Emergency Response

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Emergency volunteers and rescue teams at BDSM events ensure public safety and health by addressing different emergencies. Some of these individuals exist solely for addressing certain types of emergencies whilst others deal with ad hoc emergencies as part of their normal responsibilities.

Typical Members of emergency teams include DMs and EMTs, though when qualified personnel are lacking, anyone willing to take charge in an emergency situation is better than no one taking charge in an emergency situation.

Below are some suggested techniques for emergency responses for typical BDSM events, please feel free to take these procedures in part or whole and adapt to your event or local law.

Suggested DM Protocol for Medical Emergencies

  • Assess the situation, be aware of endorphin shock.
    • Direct the removal of victim from scene (i.e. suspension/bondage)
    • Use a spineboard to help assist in the removal of a suspension to take pressure off of the bottom.
  • DM activates the EMT staff, if a serious emergency, through use of a whistle
  • DM acquires info from scene Top/bottom/witnesses and passes that information to EMT staff
    • What happened?
    • Is this a "normal" reaction?
    • Any known medical issues (pacemaker, seizures, etc)
    • Age?
    • Real name (if available)?
  • DM starts crowd control and clears path to the emergency medical area
  • Assistant EMT takes emergency bags to med room
  • DM offers assistance to EMT's if necessary/move injured to medical area
  • DM escorts scene Top to medical area
  • DM secures medical area and crowd control of medical area
  • DM follows EMT's guidance/direction
  • If outside medical response is needed, the Head DM informs Facility owner. Head DM anounces all play suspended and to prepare for arrival of emergency services.

Suggested Expectations of house EMTs and Medical Staff

All personnel who have been identified as EMT’s and volunteer their time shall:

  • Be trained and evaluated in issues involving over stimulation of the Parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Be trained in other problems and injuries with regards to injuries regarding the BDSM lifestyle.
  • Be responsible for understanding Endorphin Shock.

In the event of a medical emergency reported by a DM the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) shall:

  • Respond to the DM’s direction and evaluate the patient in the following manner;
    • Immediately observe the patient as for the level of consciousness, utilizing the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).
    • Evaluate the patient’s skin color temperature and moisture, pulse rate and respiratory rate. If skin condition is observed as diaphoretic, pale, a GCS less than 11 a respiratory rate less than 8 or greater than 24 the EMT will begin assisting ventilation via Bag Valve Mask.
    • If this evaluation is found that the pulse, respirations and skin color is found within normal limits however with the patient’s mental status is less A&O x 3 (Alert and Orientated to Person, Place Time and Event) and a GCS less 13 (EO 3; VR 4; MR 6) the patient shall be placed on a Non-Rebreathing mask with 12 to 15 LPM of Oxygen.
    • If the patient mental status does not improve within 90 seconds from the time O2 is placed on the patient; 911 shall be contacted by the Head DM and ambulance requested for a patient with an Altered Mental Status. The patient shall then be removed from the play area for further evaluation.
  • If the first evaluation results in a GCS of greater than 11 skin color, pulse and respirations found to be with in normal limits the EMT shall continue to evaluate the patient’s condition. If within 45 seconds the patient’s has not changed the patient shall be removed from the play area for further observation and evaluation.
  • Within 45 seconds from the first evaluation the EMT shall re-evaluate the patient for GCS, Skin condition pulse and respiratory rate. If all vital signs that have found to return to normal and the patient’s mental status has returned to A&O x 4 (Alert and Orientated to Person, Place Time and Event) the patient shall be released from further treatment of the EMT however restricted from further play for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Any other injury reported to the EMT shall be evaluated and treated as detailed in Local Area Department of Heath Bureau of EMS BLS Protocols.
  • If an ambulance is requested the EMT in charge of patient care shall coordinate all treatment provided and report all information to the responding ambulance crew.
  • Both the DM and EMT in charge shall generate a report as to the nature of the incident. This report shall include all actions taken by the DM, EMT treatment provided and other people who were involved with the incident. This report shall remain strictly confidential and contain the following data:
    • Reporting Staff
    • Accident Location
    • Victim/Person of Interest
    • Age
    • Date/Time
    • Witness(es)
    • Detailed description of events (include times and locations)
    • Describe Injuries and effects in detail
    • Name and address of Physician
    • Name and address of Hospital
    • Comments of staff/witnesses
  • All EMT’s and DM’s shall be bound by the laws and policies as detailed in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA/USA) or other applicable local law.

Suggested DM Protocol for encountering Law Enforcement

The DM on site shall...

  • Inform the Head DM, Event Staff, Venue Owners and attendees that Law Enforcement is en route/present and play is suspended.
  • Law Enforcement Entry is by Warrant or Event Board/Owner approval only.
  • Be professional when encountering Law Enforcement Agents.
  • Get Board member, do not allow Law Enforcement inside or unattended within the limits of your authority, do not invite them in or allow sight into the venue.
  • Cooperate, but do not volunteer information.
  • Do not use language that assumes any liability.
  • Do not lie to Law Enforcement.

Suggested DM Protocol for reported consent violations

In the event of a reported consent violation the DM uses the following base script:

We are sorry for this situation. (do not accept liability, listen respectfully, do not interrupt, assure them you care about their feelings and take the report very seriously, take notes as needed, do not assume guilt or innocence of any party, you are there to protect all of the members, which is to include consent violations as well as to prevent unwarranted character attacks).

Is it OK if we talk about this in a private area? I would prefer not to air this business widely to protect everyone involved.

Was the behavior in the context of a negotiated scene?

Is this is a negotiated hard limit violation? Was the house safeword ignored?

Are there any witnesses to the negotiation? To the scene? To the Interaction?

Did you tell the person that they violated your consent? If not, why not?

Would you like the opportunity to discuss this with a third party present with the accused? If not, why not?

What would you like to see done to help ensure this doesn't happen again?

Is there anything we can do to make you feel more comfortable?

Conflict Investigation

Be aware that people lie and remember things differently without realizing it, they don't even mean to, memory is faulty and is strongly affected by ego (both pain and pride), especially concerning emotionally charged issues like consent violations that challenge reputation.

Be aware that any investigation you do can corrupt an actual legal criminal investigation and potentially end with unfavorable and unjust outcomes. For serious crimes, consider contacting law enforcement.

Interview witnesses separately, minimize contact between witnesses, accused and accuser whenever possible, the more they talk the more the story will change from what actually occurred.

Collect hard evidence whenever possible, avoid hearsay whenever possible.

Do not seek to establish guilt or innocence, avoid leading questions. Focus on facts not generalizations and feelings.

Watch body language but be aware emotions may run high; being upset does not indicate guilt or innocence. It is normal to be upset when such an accusation comes to light.

Watch for inconsistencies with stories and be aware confusion and poor communication is often a factor.

Investigate sooner rather than later, this allows more time for parties to communicate and for story rehearsal which can provide a poor resolution.

Address the situation promptly, the longer it sits, the worse the potential for an ethical outcome based on facts.

Conflict Resolution

Ensure a neutral third party mediator is present.

Do not record the mediation.

Let the accuser state their beliefs and feelings uninterrupted.

Allow the accused to respond to and address the accusations.

Assess the information.

Whenever reasonably possible a mutually beneficial outcome for the accused and the accuser should be sought after.

In the event of a clear consent violation of a negotiated hard limit or ignoring of a safeword without any sort of remorse or alternatively, delusional denial of events that are well documented by supporting objective evidence, the accused becomes banned from the venue for a grievous violation of house rules.

In the event of a positive resolution with or without a minor violation of the accused or accuser where satisfaction is met on both sides the event is documented for future reference but no additional penalty is applied. It is appropriate for apologies to be given when warranted.

In the event of an unsatisfactory situation on the parts of the accused and the accuser the owners will be notified and left to make an executive determination. Situations such as repeat and frequency of violations, severity of violations, remorse, intent and other such factors should be considered in this decision.

In the event the owners are not available to make an executive decision and there is an emergency situation the staff and security on hand will respond to the situation appropriately.

In the event that a party refuses mediation they are left to deal with the consequences of that choice.