Guidelines for Special Needs Department Gulf Wars
The purpose of the Special Needs Dept (SN) is to assist those members of the SCA and populace in general with any special needs; mainly transport assistance and, if available, medical device recharge. However, these are not the sole purposes of the department and, wherever there is a question, the focus of the actions of the department should always fall toward a “customer service” approach.
Disclaimer and “Hold Harmless” policy
The SN Department is a volunteer department and operates solely on that basis. At no time will service in or by the Special Needs Department be compulsory or mandatory. All individuals engaging the services of the Special Needs Department do so willingly and at their own risk. Any individual who engages the SN Dept. to handle, transport, and charge their medical devices do so assuming any and all risk for loss or damage of said equipment.
Scope of practice
Scope of practice for staff and volunteers of SN are basic in nature, e.g., transport of individuals to their places of destination, assistance with individuals gear or belongings, and the transport and charging of medical assistance devices ( if this service is offered ) where feasible and practical. The assistance of individuals to and from golf carts will not be the in the scope of practice save should the volunteer wish to assist the individual of their own volition. The same goes for luggage, books, boxes, gifts, food, or any other “cargo” that the rider brings along with them.
The Special Needs Department will not run in inclement weather. This policy can be voided by the SN Coordinator or Deputy on duty. As “odd” weather patterns can be a semi-frequent occurrence at Gulf Wars, it may cause some issues. However, for reasons of Golf Cart maintenance and for the safety of the individual and populace, the SN Cart will go “offline” during heavy rainstorms and maintain an offline status until the weather clears. Any volunteer on duty at the time should park the cart at The Watch and wait there until relieved or the end of their shift.
Whereas we recognize an individual’s right and willingness to volunteer, it must be acknowledged that there is the likely chance of physical exertion, lifting, and carrying of moderately heavy loads. Volunteering individuals must be able to ambulate, lift 30 lbs, bend 90 degrees, and have natural or corrected eyesight of 20/20 with no night vision deficits.
These physical requirements are established for the safety of the volunteer and the populace in general. There is a provision for exemptions and any exemptions must be cleared through the SN coordinator.
Duties of SN Coordinator and Deputy (Deputies)
It will be the duty of the SN coordinator to liaison with the Autocrat, Watch Commander prior to Gulf Wars for the purpose of coordinating department response and cooperation. There will be times where there are multiple SN requests at one time and inter-departmental assistance is vital.
The SN Coordinator will solicit a deputy or deputies and assign them duties as he or she sees fit.
The SN Coordinator will develop and implement a plan of action prior to war, to be reviewed as the need arises and review the plan with the Deputies.
The SN Coordinator will continue to review and define operating guidelines as the needs of the War and the Populace change.
Golf Cart Usage
The SN volunteer on duty has the responsibility of acting in a compassionate and responsible manner. The individual operating the Golf Cart must do so in a careful, meticulous, and thoughtful manner being vigilant of pedestrians, other vehicles, and your own speed. Quick, jerky movements can have a deleterious effect on passengers, equipment, and pedestrians. Also, the on-duty volunteer must comply with requests from the Wagon Master. Any departmental, scheduling, or inter-personal conflicts will be handled through the SN coordinator.
There may be instances where the golf cart must be in use after dark. It will be equipped with a light and the operator must take additional precautions and care while operating in low-light or darkness.
Unless prior authorization by the SN Coordinator, the SN golf cart must be turned in at night. Exceptions may include early-morning pick-ups or earlier shift assignments. This must be cleared through the SN Coordinator.
All of the site golf cart rules and regulations should be followed. The obvious exception is that the SN cart is equipped to carry more than two people at once. It is HIGHLY recommended that the number of individuals on the cart at one time be restricted to three. Four individuals will be allowed in rare cases. Children may ride with a parent or guardian as long as the children can be in a seated position. Carrying an infant or sitting a child in a parent’s lap is strictly prohibited for safety purposes.