General Park Safety

Park Safety at Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument has a comprehensive safety plan for numerous types of potential incidents. An introduction to safety at Cabrillo and in the National Park Service is included in this document. A few of the more likely incidents are also included in this document, but for others, please see the Emergency Operations Manual, located in each division office and also on the network’s T: Drive at T:/EMERGENCYOPERATIONSPLAN/CABREOP.docx – cover
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EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN

EOPS Plan

INTRODUCTION

(Excerpt from the Emergency Operations Manual)

NPS Management Policies (2001) 8.2.5.2 “Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Operations” requires each park to develop an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) “to ensure an effective response to all types of emergencies that can be reasonably anticipated.” This plan is designed to enable park staff to appropriately respond to an emergency.

Cabrillo National Monument has a form of legal authority on monument lands that is termed exclusive jurisdiction. Law enforcement activities and investigations must be conducted by federal law enforcement officers. The State has no legal obligation or authority to enforce criminal law in the park. Commissioned employees can enforce Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) offenses inside park boundaries.

Furthermore, all uniformed NPS employees are trained in basic first aid, CPR, and AED use. Some may have higher levels of training including Emergency Responder or Emergency Medical Technician.

INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM

Emergency operations at Cabrillo National Monument will be organized under the Incident Command System (ICS). This inter-agency system is commonly used on fires as well as search and rescue (SAR) incidents because it provides a clear organizational structure, terminology, and individual roles when working with multiple agencies and resources.

Due to the limited emergency resources of Cabrillo National Monument, emergencies may require outside assistance. All LE Rangers are trained in ICS, and other NPS employees should be familiar with the basic ICS concepts. For example, the Incident Commander (IC) is responsible for the emergency. The first employee on scene would be considered the IC until
relieved by a LE Ranger.

HIGH PRIORITY INCIDENTS

NPS has designated certain incidents as high priority incidents. These incidents, typically larger in scope, will likely attract media attention and present further considerations. These incidents have been divided up into Level 1 and Level 2 events, and each has specific, defined reporting procedures. Please see APPENDIX D: Incident Reporting Procedures.

USE OF THE EOP

This Emergency Operations Plan does not supersede any federal or regional NPS guidelines, but is intended primarily as a guide for non-law enforcement personnel at Cabrillo National Monument. LE Rangers have significant advanced training for each of these situations, though they may find this manual helpful as a general procedural guide.

The following incidents are an excerpt from the EOP. Please see the EOP for a complete list of potential incidents and response plans.

EARTHQUAKES

Every year approximately 500 earthquakes occur in the state of California that are large enough to be felt. San Diego County, in comparison to other southern California areas, has sparse seismicity. However, since 1984, earthquake activity in San Diego County has doubled over that of the preceding 50 years.

Ongoing field and laboratory studies suggest the largest credible earthquake predicted for the coastal and metropolitan areas is a magnitude 7.2 on the Rose Canyon Fault, though other faults in San Diego County are active. Several known fault lines exist on Point Loma, though these are thought to present less of a threat than others.

Earthquakes are large events that will have impacts, perhaps much greater impacts, beyond the borders of the park. Many visitors will naturally try to return home in the aftermath of a major earthquake. Cabrillo National Monument does not have the capability to house or care for evacuees, so the park should be closed following a major earthquake.

The National Park Service is currently enrolled in Send Word Now, an emergency notification service provider. This system enables NPS to quickly send out information in the event of an emergency requiring immediate notification or response to groups of employees within the Region. LE Rangers may be notified of major events via this service.

In the event a large earthquake is felt, the Chief Ranger or other LE Ranger will assume the role of Incident Commander and may personally or direct staff to:

  1. Ascertain any visitor or personnel injuries.
  2. Assess buildings onsite for any visible structural damage. Close off as necessary, maintaining a secure perimeter. Staff should be instructed not to enter hazardous areas.
  3. In the event of significant damage or other catastrophe, the Chief Ranger, in consultation with the Superintendent, may order an evacuation of the park.
FIRE (STRUCTURAL)

Park buildings present the primary local source for structural fires. Fighting a structural fire requires extensive specialized training and should not be attempted by anyone without this training. These training and personnel requirements make it unlikely that aggressive measures to extinguish a well advanced structural fire could be taken. However, time is of the essence, and quickly taking whatever steps are possible to minimize losses from the fire is paramount. After ensuring personal safety and visitor safety, the main goal for park personnel should be containment of the fire to the involved structure and the protection of any nearby buildings, property, and resources from damage. Leave dangerous rescue attempts to trained firefighters.

Keep in mind that there could be a crime associated with the fire, which can expand the extent and type of information that should be gathered by the park employee taking the initial report.

The park employee who is contacted by the reporting party should:

  1. Obtain the following detailed information:
    1. The location of the fire.
    2. Structure(s) involved.
    3. Extent of the fire (just started, full engulf).
    4. Time first sighted.
    5. Any injuries (severity and number).
    6. Information on other possible witnesses. DO NOT LET THE REPORTING PARTY LEAVE UNTIL A LE RANGER ARRIVES AND SPEAKS TO THEM.
  2. Contact a LE Ranger, the Chief Ranger, or in their absence, the Superintendent.
  3. If unable to contact any of the above NPS employees, immediately dial 9-911.
  4. To the extent that your training allows, begin measures to evacuate the area, contain the fire, and protect any nearby resources that may be in jeopardy.
FIRES (WILDLAND)

The dry climate, frequent high winds, and fire-prone coastal sage scrub habitat make Cabrillo National Monument susceptible to wildfire. Whether started by a carelessly dropped cigarette, lightning, a spreading structural fire, or arson, a wildland fire has the potential to spread quickly and jeopardize public safety and park facilities.

Cabrillo National Monument does not have its own in-house firefighting capacity, but Federal Fire, potentially with support from San Diego Fire-Rescue, will respond.

The park employee who is contacted by the reporting party should:

  1. Obtain the following detailed information:
    1. The location of the fire, as exactly as possible.
    2. Time first sighted.
    3. Fire behavior (smoldering, blazing, rate of spread, etc.).
    4. Any injuries (severity and number) DO NOT LET THE REPORTING PARTY LEAVE UNTIL A LE RANGER ARRIVES AND SPEAKS TO THEM.
  2. Contact a LE Ranger, the Chief Ranger, or in their absence, the Superintendent.
  3. If unable to contact any of the above NPS employees, immediately dial 9-911.
  4. To the extent that your training allows, begin measures to evacuate the area and protect any nearby resources that may be in jeopardy.
  5. Wildland fires, once they reach 100 acres in size or are likely to require an Incident Management Team, must be reported to the Regional Fire Management Officer by the Chief Ranger.
LANDSLIDES

Landslides are not uncommon in Southern California. In a landslide, masses of rock, earth, or debris move down a slope. Landslides may be small or large, slow or rapid. They can be activated by storms, earthquakes, fires, or the steepening of slopes by erosion or human modification.

Debris and mud flows are rivers of rock, earth, and other debris saturated with water. They develop when water rapidly accumulates in the ground, during heavy rainfall or rapid snowmelt, changing the earth into a flowing river of mud or “slurry.” They can flow rapidly, striking with little or no warning at avalanche speeds. They also can travel great distances from their source, growing in size as they pick up trees, boulders, cars, and other materials.

The park employee who is contacted by the reporting party should:

  1. Obtain the following detailed information:
    1. Location of the slide.
    2. Any injuries (severity and number)?
    3. Resources impacted.
  2. Contact a LE Ranger, the Chief Ranger, or in their absence, the Superintendent.
  3. If unable to contact any of the above NPS employees, immediately dial 9-911 if injuries are suspected or facilities were impacted.
  4. Stay away from the slide area. There may be danger of additional slides.
  5. Check for injured and trapped persons near the slide, without entering the direct slide area. Direct rescuers to their locations.
  6. Look for and report broken utility lines and damaged roadways and report to LE Rangers.
  7. Check the building foundations and surrounding land for damage.
MEDICAL EMERGENCIES

The National Park Service recognizes that the preservation of human life takes precedence over all other park management activities. All NPS employees have an obligation to render assistance commensurate with their skill, experience, and training to ill or injured persons. This duty to act applies to NPS employees only while on duty, though Good Samaritan laws offer some protection to employees who chose to render aid off duty.

Cabrillo’s primary medical backup comes from Federal Fire, which operates ambulances out of the Submarine Base. In case of a medical emergency at Cabrillo National Monument, Federal Fire ambulances would most likely respond. Rural-Metro Corporation, the City of San Diego’s ambulance contractor, may provide service if Federal Fire’s ambulances are unavailable.

Fully oriented patients may designate which hospital they would like to go to. Trauma patients, unconscious patients, or patients otherwise unable to designate a hospital will most likely be routed to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. UCSD Medical Center is considered the Base Hospital for all of Point Loma; Cabrillo National Monument is located in their catchment area.

Please see Appendix F for a listing of all San Diego County Hospitals. Multiple similar medical emergencies could be indicative of a public health emergency.

The park employee who is contacted by the reporting party should:

  1. Obtain the following basic information for an initial radio report (SAILS):
    1. Sex
    2. Age
    3. Injury/ Chief Complaint
    4. Location
    5. Status (Mild, Moderate, Acute)
      1. Mild patients are stable and not in an immediately life-threatening state
      2. Moderate patients are either unstable or their status is uncertain
      3. Acute patients have immediately life-threatening issues
      4. DO NOT LET THE REPORTING PARTY LEAVE UNTIL A LE RANGER/EMS PROVIDER ARRIVES AND
        SPEAKS TO THEM
  2. Contact a LE Ranger, the Chief Ranger, or other EMS qualified staff person at Cabrillo.
  3. If none of the above is available, dial 9-911.
  4. Provide assistance and care appropriate to your current, certified level of training (your scope of practice).

AGAIN – FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ADDITIONAL EMERGENCIES – SEE THE EOP – Located in every division office or on the T Drive.

Last revised 05-Aug-14

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