Safe Community Project


Emergency Management at Universal Studios

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This week, the MySafe:LA Division of the Safe Community Project participated in a day-long symposium on collaborative public safety at Universal Studios. Large public entertainment centers like Universal Studios take public safety very seriously, particularly given the high volume of visitors and the complex environments involved. Collaborating with first responders is a crucial part of ensuring safety and preparedness. Here are several ways in which a venue like Universal Studios might collaborate with first responders to enhance public safety:

Men and women sitting around tables in a conference hall watching a presentation on emergency management presented by MySafe:LA.
  1. Joint Planning and Risk Assessment
    • Emergency Planning: Universal Studios and first responders work together to develop comprehensive emergency response plans tailored to specific types of incidents, including natural disasters, medical emergencies, and security threats.
    • Risk Assessment: Regular risk assessments help identify potential hazards and the necessary precautions to mitigate them. These assessments are often conducted with the input of local police, fire departments, and emergency medical services (EMS).
  2. Training and Drills
    • Joint Drills: Regularly scheduled drills involving both Universal Studios staff and first responders ensure that everyone is familiar with their roles during various emergency scenarios. These drills can include simulations of evacuations, active shooter incidents, and natural disaster responses.
    • Training Sessions: Staff at Universal Studios often receive training directly from first responders on topics such as fire, EMS, active shooter, crisis management, and emergency communication.
  3. Communication Systems
    • Integrated Communication Channels: Effective communication is key during any emergency. Universal Studios may have dedicated communication channels that link directly to local law enforcement, fire departments, and medical teams.
    • Real-Time Information Sharing: The use of advanced technology allows for real-time information sharing between the park and first responders. This can include video feeds, security alerts, and other critical information during an incident.
  4. On-Site Presence
    • Permanent On-Site Presence: For large parks like Universal Studios, it’s common to have an on-site presence of emergency personnel, including police officers or private security teams trained in tactical response. At Universal, Los Angeles County Fire Station 51 is on the property – Fire Station 51 being the featured station in the TV series, “Emergency.” 
    • EMS Facilities: The park may have its own first aid stations or small clinics with direct links to local hospitals and EMS teams.
  5. Special Events Coordination
    • Event-Specific Planning: For special events that draw large crowds or involve high-profile guests, Universal Studios and first responders collaborate closely to develop specific security and safety protocols.
    • Temporary Staffing: Additional police, fire, and EMS personnel might be temporarily stationed at the park during major events to ensure rapid response times and adequate coverage.
  6. Technology and Infrastructure
    • Surveillance and Monitoring: Collaborative efforts often involve enhancing surveillance systems that can be monitored by both Universal Studios security staff and local police.
    • Infrastructure Design: The design of the park itself can facilitate emergency response, with input from first responders to optimize road access, emergency exits, and crowd control measures.
  7. Community Engagement
    • Public Safety Announcements: Collaborative public safety announcements, possibly involving first responders, can educate visitors on what to do in an emergency, enhancing overall safety awareness.
    • Community Safety Programs: Programs designed to educate the local community on safety procedures at the park can help integrate the park’s safety protocols with broader community safety efforts.
Members of MySafe:LA walking outside on a sunny day.
A LAFD fire engine parked outside a city building.

By implementing these collaborative strategies, Universal Studios ensures that it is prepared to handle emergencies effectively, protecting both guests and staff through a well-coordinated response with first responders. MySafe:LA likewise enjoys strategic relationships with many of the entities who respond to Universal Studios. This partnership is essential for maintaining a safe and secure environment in a complex and highly trafficked public space.

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