Monday, July 2, 2012

Dodging the Derecho -- A Look at Safety

You may think the top priority of the Maryland Stadium Authority is to maintain our Camden Yards facilities to the highest standards in professional sports.

Actually, it isn't. 

Our number one concern, to which we've applied a great many resources, is ensuring the safety and security of the millions of people who visit and work here throughout the year.  And that covers everything from traffic calming on game days to structural inspections after an earthquake.  There is no aspect about safety that isn't the first consideration in all our operations.

Which is why, on June 29th, when nearly 25,000 fans were watching a slugfest against the Indians, our security and facilities personnel were tuned into a Doppler version of Mother Nature's power hitting.

On that steamy Friday as temperatures hovered around 100 degree, the game lasted 3 1/2 hours.  It was followed by fireworks, which kept people in the stands until nearly 11:00 PM.

By the time the REAL fireworks began, the stadium had been safely cleared and the lots were emptying. 

Eutaw Street was deserted -- a good thing because the wind propelled the tables and stands into a demolition derby.  Limbs were torn from trees, and shattered glass blew from broken windows.  But no one was injured because the area had been cleared.

We were lucky, very lucky, that the crowds dispersed before this unprecedented weather event wreaked havoc on Maryland.  But the important message to take is that because safety and security are paramount, we prepare for the unexpected.  We have systems in place to anticipate and respond.  Our personnel undergo regular training to keep them abreast of best practices and latest information in countering threats.  And we have a close working relationship with other law enforcement and public safety agencies who cover our area. 

We'll take a look at these in future postings.  But keep in mind -- with us, it is always safety first.

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