At a recent club evening, one of our members – a young, apparently healthy, regular runner – collapsed and almost died. Thanks to the valiant efforts of several club members and the quick arrival of an ambulance, he’s thankfully making a speedy recovery but this shocking event has caused many of us to re-evaluate our approach to running safety.
Had our club member collapsed on a solitary run, he would most likely not be here – it was only speedy intervention and prolonged CPR by a team of people that saved his life. Also, he had made several other members of the club aware that he’d been experiencing worrying symptoms and so they were able to inform the paramedics of his medical history. Some of the club knew his family and, when they were unable to contact them via phone, Facebook and other means, they jumped in the car and went and fetched them.
Thankfully, in this instance, the emergency had a happy outcome but it made us all stop and think: what would happen if it was me that collapsed? Do the club have an up-to-date contact for my husband/wife? If they are likely to be working or looking after young children, is there a second emergency contact who could be called? Do I have a medical condition the club should be aware of?
In this era of GDPR and data protection, it can be tricky for a club to know how much information is too much to ask for but please… if you think your emergency contact details might be out of date, want to add a second contact that we could use in an emergency or want to let us know (in confidence) of any medical issues that may potentially affect your running/safety, please just let us know. And please, please – when you’re in a race, fill in those pesky emergency contact details on the back of the race number. And then just hope no-one ever needs to read them.