Survive Crowds! - Become a Crowd Manager

Learn how to manage a crowd during normal and emergency times at your employers next event!
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Instructed by Dale Justice Business / Operations
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  • Lectures 24
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 11/2014 English

Course Description

The role of the Crowd Manager is simple: Prevent a sudden crowd surge that may cause injury or death.

The Crowd Manager Course satisfies the requirement from NFPA in a “place of assembly” that hold 50 or more people. We choose to come together or “assemble” in this way for recreational, business and worship reasons.

This class prepares you and/or your event staff with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to fulfill these roles and responsibilities:

  • Assess the venue for hazards
  • Create a facility plan
  • Evaluate all hazards including severe weather and violence
  • Safely manage and direct a group of 50 or more people that assemble for business, recreation, worship or business reasons.

Class time is expected to be 3-4 hours with case study and case study quizzes. These types of assembly are all around us in every size community every day (and night) and may include:


Assembly Halls


Bowling Lanes

Club Rooms

College classrooms


Dance Halls

Drinking Establishments

Exhibition Halls



Mortuary chapels

Motion picture theaters


Passenger stations

Places of religious worship

Pool rooms

Recreation piers


Skating rinks

Special amusement buildings (i.e.: haunted houses)


Fundraiser events

Non-profit events

During an emergency, event patrons often have to make decisions about where the best exit is located, when to exit and how to remain safe. The crowd manager plans for emergencies at each venue to keep people safe. They can manage and direct the audience to a safe exit before injury or death occurs.

You will study crowd psychology and learn the FIST method of management:

F -The Crowd Force (or energy)

I -The Information upon which the crowd acts

S -The physical Space involved both in terms of individual density and larger scale architectural features

T- Time the duration of the incident.

Terms you will know at the end of the class are:

Critical occupancy-Critical occupancy is the gradual accumulation and overloading of a pedestrian space, beginning at levels below 3 ft2/person (0.28 m2/person) until it reaches the plan view area of the human body of about 1.3 to 1.5 ft2 (0.12 to 0.14 m2).

Flight Response-The flight response occurs where people are fleeing either from a real threat, such as a fire or explosion, or from a perceived, but otherwise nonthreatening, event. Flight responses may be labeled as panics and stampedes, but closer examination shows that rapid group movement away from the threat was a reasonable reaction.

Craze-A craze is a competitive rush to obtain some highly valued objective. Crazes may happen when spectators attempt to get closer to celebrities, gain entry into a popular event, or, more unfortunately, where food is being distributed to starving victims of a disaster.

Crowd Surge-A crowd surge occurs when the energy of a crowd increases to the point the crowd surges forward in a wave. In this class you will study the effects of a crowd surge and see a crowd surge in action.

Crowd Manager Supervisor-A crowd manager supervisor receives additional training in incident management, planning and directing their team. Crowd Managers have a higher level of training and may fulfill duties in the event command room or command post along with public safety, event management, venue management, ambulance services and other partners. If you have questions: Instructor Accessibility is guaranteed through the online class messaging system and email.

What are the requirements?

  • Students new to Incident Management should take this free FEMA class prior to class:

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Describe crowd manager roles and responsibilities
  • Identify crowd manager supervisor roles and responsibilities
  • Describe crowd management techniques
  • Explain safety and security hazards that can endanger public assembly
  • Describe the paths of travel and exits, facility evacuation and emergency response procedures and, where provided, facility shelter-in-place procedures.
  • Explain crowd management emergency response procedures
  • List methods of evacuation and movement
  • Explain procedures for reporting emergencies
  • Identify the duties crowd managers are to perform in case of fire, panic, or other emergency to effect orderly exiting.
  • Explain elements of a facility evacuation plan
  • Explain elements of a facility command structure
  • Identify incident management procedures from study of an appropriate scenario
  • Choose appropriate fire safety and fire safety equipment
  • List steps in the proper use of portable fire extinguishers and other manual fire suppression equipment where provided
  • Identify elements of familiarization with the venue and guest services training

Who is the target audience?

  • Employees or volunteers charged with the responsibility of acting in the role of a crowd manager
  • Employees or volunteers of a business or organization classified as a "place of assembly" with 50 people or more attending any event.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Read this first

Important information about how to use this course, course navigation, course objectives, course quiz requirements and your certificate.

Section 2: Introduction


  • Describe crowd manager roles and responsibilities

Looking back at recent events where simply being in a crowd shows the dangers that we sometimes face. From sales crowds after thanksgiving to the Super Bowl, crowds are people that assemble for recreation, pleasure, shopping or protesting. Once crowds are emotionally charged and in an unfamiliar place with limited exits, injury and death may occur.

As a result of these large disasters fire codes were created for a special classification of a building or area occupancy called a place of assembly.

  • What is a “place of assembly?” NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code ) defines a “place of assembly” as “An occupancy used for a gathering of 50 people or more persons for deliberation, worship, entertainment, eating, drinking, amusement, awaiting transportation, or similar uses or used as a special amusement building, regardless of occupant load.

This course will teach you the definition of a crowd manager, to analyze the event and venue and mitigate hazards and to direct a crowd. This class is based on the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code - a national consensus standard.

Recent crowd surge disasters
6 questions
Section 3: What is a Crowd Manager?


  • Identify crowd manager supervisor roles and responsibilities
  • Describe crowd manager roles and responsibilities

The definition of a crowd manager is more than simply "directs crowds" Learn how the crowd manager is part of a complex life safety system made up of fire codes, building features and limitations, event staff, venue characteristics, crowd psychology and common sense.

6 questions

Several resources were used in this overview definition of a crowd manager.


Explain the purpose of NFPA and the legal requirement for a crowd manager.

5 questions

Basic information check on the role NFPA plays in crowd/fire safety.


Discuss local fire code requirements and enforcement policies.

5 questions


  • Describe crowd manager roles and responsibilities
  • Describe the paths of travel and exits, facility evacuation and emergency response procedures and, where provided, facility shelter-in-place procedures.
5 questions

Objectives: Roles and responsibilities of a crowd manager


There are two videos in this clip. The first is a series of simulations from researchers that describe crowds in motion. The second is taken at a large outdoor concert and includes a "crowd surge" wave at 4:02 into the second video.

Section 4: Recent Disasters: Would a crowd manager help?


  • Explain safety and security hazards that can endanger public assembly
  • Describe crowd management techniques
  • List methods of evacuation and movement
  • Identify crowd manager supervisor roles and responsibilities
  • Identify elements of familiarization with the venue and guest services training
5 questions

Considered an old taboo, and once against the law. This case is purportedly about misheard word "fight" as "fire" and the ensuing panic.



  • Explain safety and security hazards that can endanger public assembly

"The inquiry into the disaster, led by Lord Justice Taylor, established the main cause as a failure of police crowd control."

Crowd control mistakes caused this disaster - have we learned from it? Unfortunately the answer is no.

The link will provide you with the BBC report issued in 2012, once you read the report we will apply your knowledge of what a crowd manager could do to help this type of scenario.

Once you finish, take a short quiz to reinforce the information you have already learned.

4 questions

Lessons learned scenario quiz




  • Identify the duties crowd managers are to perform in case of fire, panic, or other emergency to effect orderly exiting.
    In 2003, pyrotechnics on stage at a nightclub called "The Station" lit sound deadening foam behind the performing band. Video taken by an escaping patron shows heavy smoke two minutes after the fire, a lack of understanding the seriousness of the fire by staff and patrons and ultimately killed 100 people and injured another 187.

    Sadly, just three days before, a crowd surge and crush at a concert in Chicago had killed 21 people.

6 questions

The following scenario questions refer to the "Station" night club fire from the crowd manager perspective.

8 questions

Consider these questions as you watch the short video, answer them when ready. Now you are in the shoes of a crowd manager at the air races. You know the emergency plan, are trained and have 30 other trained crowd managers. If you have questions, email us at


(Open source video) What would you do? Case Study with questions for you in the next section. Again, there are some graphic scenes. You will find that sound will increase the level of stress at the event as well as for you the listener. If this bothers you turn OFF your speakers!

Section 5: Roles and responsibilities of the Crowd Manager.


  • Describe crowd manager roles and responsibilities
  • Identify the duties crowd managers are to perform in case of fire, panic, or other emergency to effect orderly exiting.

What exactly is the role of a crowd manager? Are you a coach, a cop or a hall monitor? Find out in this lecture.

Roles of a Crowd Manager
5 questions


  • Describe crowd manager roles and responsibilities

View and listen to the video, read through this page to reinforce the objectives and prepare for the next section and final case study.

We have discussed the "role" of a crowd manager, now what are the responsibilities? To prevent a sudden mass movement.

Crowd management involves the systematic assessment of all aspects of venue occupancy prior to use. It can be considered an adjunct to the life safety evaluation process, with greater concentration on the possibilities for extreme crowding and its' potentially fatal consequences. Crowd management planning includes determination of expected number of occupants of a space, anticipated group behavior, assessment of the adequacy of assembly areas, means of both ingress and egress, processing procedures such as ticket collection and security screening, staffing requirements, and means of communication. (Source: 2008 NFPA Fire Protection handbook)

The responsibilities of the crowd manager are in the attached document "Crowd Manager Objectives" found below and will be discussed throughout this course. Download the document and use it for reference and study for the final exam.

Identification of Crowd Managers
2 pages


  • Describe crowd management techniques
  • Describe the paths of travel and exits, facility evacuation and emergency response procedures and, where provided, facility shelter-in-place procedures.
  • List methods of evacuation and movement
  • Explain procedures for reporting emergencies
  • Explain crowd management emergency response procedures
  • Identify the duties crowd managers are to perform in case of fire, panic, or other emergency to effect orderly exiting.
  • List steps in the proper use of portable fire extinguishers and other manual fire suppression equipment where provided
  • Identify elements of familiarization with the venue and guest services training

The video illustrates some of the crowd management techniques. Two other resources are provided and you should read them. The first is the FIST and crowd management techniques endorsed by the 2008 NFPA Fire Protection handbook. The second resource is a planning tool that lists common elements of a comprehensive crowd management plan feel free to download and change the document to fit your organization and venue. Just going through the list and checking off the items that are relevant will help you remember many important items.

Crowd Management Techniques
5 questions
Section 6: Crowd Manager Supervisor

The review information in this video on Crowd Manager Supervisor is from the online class. See the website for more information. on how you can take this class. If you are to be a designated crowd manager supervisor you should take this class. A separate certificate will be issued. the ratio of supervisors to managers is generally one supervisor for every 7 managers. If you are the only manager then you are also expected to be trained as the crowd manager supervisor.

Section 7: Applying what you have learned.

There are two scenarios that you need to read through to answer the questions. Make sure you answer the correct questions for each quiz.

Germania-Love Parade
6 questions
Section 8: Use of portable fire extinguishers and other manual fire equipment

The best way to learn how to use fire extinguishers is in a Fire Extinguisher course. Ten-18 offers a face to face fire extinguisher class with hands on use. Or contact your local fire department.


You will want to open these two documents that have important additional information.

The short ABC News video, "Fire Safety, How to use a fire extinguisher" is an excellent example of how ordinary people react to a fire and using a fire extinguisher.

Selecting and using fire extinguishers
5 questions
Section 9: Ordinary people use Fire Extinguishers
Ordinary People

Public domain video. Watch how ordinary people with no initial training react to using a fire extinguisher for the first time! ABC News Diane Sawyer segment.

Section 10: Final thoughts.

For comprehensive event planning review the IS15A resource below. You can always contact Ten-18 Consulting for additional assistance.

What to do when someone becomes sick or injured:

Unless you are trained to assess an injured person, do not hesitate to call 911. Most venues now have an ambulance onsite staffed with paramedics. When a 911 call is made, dispatchers receive the call then contact the ambulance by radio. UNLESS PREARRANGED CALL 911! It would be more efficient if an EMS supervisor was present in the command post to get a radio call from the crowd manager team or staff but this MUST be arranged in advanced and tested prior to opening the event. After help is on the way, contact your manager by radio, face to face or cell phone.

What to do when public safety arrives: Alway offer a quick - briefing but don't get offended if they skip it. They are looking for clues to the incident and may need to move fast.

Emergency Medical Services: Once on-scene, the ambulance paramedics will need to gain access to the patient. Alert STAFF and Security so the EMS crew will be quickly directed or led to the patient. DO NOT MOVE THE PATIENT unless immediately threatened by fire, violence, building collapse, etc.

Law Enforcement: Police Officers and Sheriff Deputies will be concerned with crime, violence and security of the scene. Your best way to assist is to meet them before they are called. Introduce yourself and ask them how you can help. Most likely they will want you to help access the patient and keep crowds back.

If you encounter an emotional situation help is available:

All law enforcement agencies offer a "victims assistance" service that can offer compassionate and helpful resources. And contact your local mental health office for additional assistance especially if you have sustained a traumatic event yourself. It's OK to get help!



  • Choose appropriate fire safety and fire safety equipment

While extensive information on manual fire equipment is beyond the scope of this class, the information in the text will cover two of the most common types. For an extensive course contact Ten-18 Consulting.

Other manual fire equipment
5 questions
13 questions

This final examination covers all areas outlined in NFPA and in the sections above. Make sure and read the handout or text material.

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Instructor Biography

Dale Justice, Certified Emergency Manager

As Assistant Fire Chief of a 200+ person department, I amassed an extensive and well balanced background in planning, education, management and operations. Beginning my career as a firefighter and paramedic, I have worked in operations, fire prevention, training and emergency management for over 30 years with additional experience in planning, emergency services and emergency management. I have been deployed as part of an incident management team for three of the five major 2004 hurricanes for recovery operations and part of the local Emergency Operations Center activation every year. I hold certifications in Florida certified hazardous material technician and Intelligence Liaison Officer for the Central Florida Fusion Center. I have worked at Indian River State college as an adjunct instructor teaching fire science degree level courses and an A.S. degree in Fire Science and a B.A. degree in organizational management. My experience includes response to four major hurricanes and rostered as Operations Chief for the State of Florida Incident Management "Gold Team." I created, taught and managed our local community training for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and served as county Fire Marshal and as a Florida Certified Fire Inspector. I served as Fire Department Training Officer for 10 years. During that time I created and implemented several programs including: Writing a grant for ambulance powered patient stretchers to prevent back injury and reduce workmen compensation claims, grant for fire extinguisher simulator obtained, created a professional officer development program, increased the use of Incident Command and Accountability Systems to prevent firefighter injury. I worked with the governors and senate office to insure damage claims from Hurricane Sandy were documented and reported. Served as liaison to the Department of Defense and Sheriff during a mapping program in the Atlantic ocean resulting in the discovery and safe disposal of two 200 pound bombs used during the 1940’s in WWII assault training.

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