Planning for Critical Incidents Abroad

A Critical Incident is defined as an event that necessitates emergency medical care, challenges the travel itinerary, or poses a threat of harm to an individual or the group traveling. This guide must remain flexible, as a response will be situation specific.

In the case of a Critical Incident, a Travel Coordinator’s priorities must be to:

  • Provide safety
  • Work with program operators to contain the extent of injury or damage.
  • Provide appropriate response and management
  • Ensure notification of appropriate persons
  • Protect the privacy of participants
  • Monitor the situation through its being resolved
  • Support people involved with incident
  • Evaluate response and alter plan accordingly
  • Conduct debriefing and evaluation meetings and make adjustments to the plan based upon what was learned

Notice of a Critical Incident must be made by the faculty or staff member leading the travel experience whenever possible, and otherwise by any individual receiving information regarding a Critical Incident. 

What To Do

The reporter must call Campus Safety at +1-610-526-7911 (or 001-610-526-7911) and ask to speak with the Director of Campus Safety.

If the Director is not available, the reporter must convey the critical nature of the call, and ask to speak with the highest ranking member of the Campus Safety Department who is immediately available.  Campus Safety will notify the Dean on Call, who will coordinate the response. 

When contacting Campus Safety, anyone reporting a Critical Incident must attempt to answer the following questions as completely and as accurately as possible.

  • What is the name of the caller?
  • What is the location of the caller?
  • What happened/what is being reported?
  • What students/faculty/staff members are involved?
  • What action steps have already taken place, including all contacts made already?
  • Is immediate support needed and what form would the support take?
  • What is the current plan of action?
  • Is there further information that would be helpful?