Good Morning Aquatics,


My facility is currently investigating the topic of "EAP for missing persons". We're having a hard time finding anything on the internet, so I thought I'd ask you all.


What are your procedures for a Missing person search for an indoor facility?


We are very clear on procedures from ARC and Ellis about waterfront lifeguarding missing persons procedures. We also have been researching into CODE ADAM (a walmart driven title, which is mainly used for none aquatic facilities).


Does anyone have any other protocols, outside of ARC or Ellis?  


Thank you for all of your time and advice, in advance.


Chandra Thornburg

Senior Guard

City of Lynnwood Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department

Ph: 425-670-5528 l Fax: 425-771-1363 l l

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Thank you! I will be in contact with him. ~ Chandra
I can put you in contact with our head of security who developed a ERP (emergency response plan) for that as well as a other situations (shooters, plane crash, robbing, etc).....

Just let him know i sent him your way


You may want to check with Redwoods. They may have examples they can give you.
Thank you!
I applaud your department for being proactive in pre-planning for this type of incident.

Within our training curriculums, we define an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) as a pre-plan to prevent an incident from escalating; whereas, we define an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) as the pre-plan to deply equipment and personnel in response to an emergency. As an example, if you see fire or smell smoke, the EAP should be to sound the fire alarm, evacuate the building, maintain accountability of the personnel within the building, and call 911. The Fire Rescue department would then investigate the report and suppress the fire by implementing their Emergency Response Plans.

When developing plans for a Missing Person, a distinction must be made between a "missing person" and a "missing bather". Whoever is taking the report, it must be determined whether or not the reporting person is a "credible witness" and must determine immediately, "where was the last place this person was seen?" If the last reported location was in the water, then an immediate evacuation of the water must be ordered, immediately followed by an effective in-water search for the reported missing bather. In an open water environment, lifeguard personnel must be trained and equipped for search and rescue operations, which means they have been trained in search patterns, and in the use of mask, fins and snorkels. And, 911 must be called in order to get the First Responders activated as soon as possible, to include Fire, Rescue, EMS, and Law Enforcement personnel.

If the report, however, is for a missing person, and there is little expectation that the person would be in the water, then a thorough search of the facility must be initiated. While searching, however, efforts must be made to confine the incident to the park. The parking lot should be secured and no vehicles should be allowed to leave the park or enter the park, other than official First Response vehicles and personnel.

Lifesaving Resources Inc. ( advocates the need for the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to conduct a Threat Assessment of his/her facility in order to determine the level of operational capability required by personnel. And, they must then PLAN for the incident; they must TRAIN for the incident; and they must acquire the RESOURCES required to effectively MANAGE the incident.

Again, we applaud your agency for having the forethought to develop an Emergency Action Plan or Emergency Response Plan for missing persons.

Gerald M. Dworkin
Consultant, Aquatics Safety & Water Rescue
P.O. Box 905 (71 Main St.)
Harrisville, NH 03450
603.827.4139 (
Thank you! Your reply is very helpful!
We have an indoor facility. If its outside of the aquatics department we typically do not handle it. However, as soon as a mother comes up and says "I can't find my son" the pool closes. We rule out them being in the pool, search our area, lock the doors (so the missing kid can not wander back in and drown) and assist in helping search the rest of the facility.


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