Blackburn Rovers FC
Keeping Spectators Safe and Supporting Stewards
Crowd and steward safety is paramount in all football clubs. Since the introduction of all-seater stadia the number of serious incidents at football matches has significantly declined but clubs cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to safety issues.
Premiership club Blackburn Rovers is responsible for the safety and security of an average of 25,000 spectators per match in its Ewood Park stadium. Last season the club started using Call System Technology’s StewardCall in the Jack Walker Stand to streamline its safety and security operation.
In the past if there was an incident, the steward had to leave his post and summon a supervisor via an emergency telephone. However with StewardCall, each steward carries a two-button pendant that connects directly to a supervisor or the medical team. To summon help the steward simply pushes a button on the pendant.
“We tried the system out first in the Jack Walker Stand as this provides seated accommodation principally for corporate and more mature spectators and historically had fewer incidents that required a response.” explains Dave Beresford, Deputy Safety Officer. “We could see the advantages of StewardCall over our old system straightaway: our response times improved dramatically.
“It’s very simple to use and that was one of the obvious benefits of the system. It requires very little staff training and running costs are minimal.”
Call Systems Technology’s StewardCall UHF transmitters offer 2Watts of power to provide complete stadium wide coverage. The two or four button pendants can be programmed for user specific messages and each pendant can call a single person, or a group of people, with the touch of a key.
At the heart of the system is CST’s Genesis software package. This logs all calls and gives the control room instant knowledge of every situation before, during and after the game. It also allows staff to access the system, via PC terminals, to send messages to anyone with a pager.
Initially Ewood Park had twelve pendants and two pagers operating in the Jack Walker Stand but now they have expanded the operation to 36 pendants and twelve pagers in three of the four stands.
“I have no doubt that we will roll it out to the remaining stand, soon,” says Mr Beresford. “It works so well and means stewards can remain at an incident secure in the knowledge that the appropriate help is on the way.”
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