Appendix - Reporting Deaths or Serious Injury


Reporting Deaths or Serious Injury

The following procedures apply to adult leadership at the scene of a serious injury or fatality.

Most important, first care for the injured and prevent further injuries. Call 911 for help and begin providing first aid. If the accident occurs at camp, immediately notify the Camp Director or Camp Ranger. If the accident occurs at a location other than a council camp, notify the unit leader or other adult leadership. If the injury is life-threatening, call 911 first.

Adult leaders are responsible for informing their council Scout executive or designee of a death or serious injury or illness as soon as possible. A serious injury or illness is defined as:

  1. Any period of unconsciousness;
  2. Any hospital inpatient admission; or
  3. Any surgical intervention beyond suturing skin or setting simple fractures.

Leaders should be prepared to give specific facts regarding:

Who? Name and age of subject, age, and name and complete address of parent(s) or next of kin
When? Date, time of day
Where? Location and community
What? Nature of illness or accident
How? Illness/accident details, if known (e.g., swimming, boating, hiking)

Prompt and accurate reporting to the news media is most important. The local council has a crisis communications plan, and the Scout executive will designate one spokesperson in order to avoid conflicting reports. Parents or next of kin will be informed by personal contact before any release is made to the public.

Once proper authorities, parents and Scouting officials have been notified, the adult leadership should gather factual information at the scene, including statements of witnesses, leaders and members of the group. These reports can be supported by photographs and/or diagrams.

Nonserious injuries need not be reported to the council office. However, it is recommended that reports of such incidents be prepared and maintained by the unit for future reference.