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Office of Central Facilities and Public Safety

Crowd Management


Meetings, seminars, cultural performances, and other assemblies occur on all campuses with regularity. Protecting the safety of all participants must be an integral part of the planning, preparation for, and conduct of these gatherings. In the wake of several deadly fires around the country, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) made numerous changes to the codes and standards governing safety in assembly occupancies, including tough new code provisions for fire sprinklers and crowd management in assembly venues. Assemblies are ANY occupancy where 50 or more people gather.  The Uniform Fire Code NFPA 1 now requires the presence of one or more trained Crowd Managers during such events.

Scope and Application

As part of the College’s commitment to providing a safe and secure environment in all campus facilities, both certain key College personnel are encouraged to get training as a Crowd Manager. A Crowd Manager is one or more persons assigned responsibility for maintaining the safety of the occupants during a gathering and implementing the evacuation plan in the event of an emergency. The number of Crowd Managers required is dependent on the number of persons assembled.

  • 50-250 Persons: 1 Crowd Manager
  • 251-500 Persons: 2 Crowd Managers
  • Every 250 Additional Persons: 1 More Crowd Manager

Primary College Event Venues That May Require Crowd Manager(s) (capacity)

Based on permitted occupancy limits, assemblies in the following College facilities may require a Crowd Manager:

Germantown Campus

  • PG 108 – Gymnasium ( Occupancy sign: 1637 chairs; 240 bleachers; 764 chairs w/ tables (Nov07)
  • HS 009 – Cafeteria
  • HT 113 – Globe Hall (525 fixed seats)

Rockville Campus

  • CC 150 – Cafeteria (seating 240 with tables/chairs)
  • MU 126 – Recital Hall (118 fixed seats)
  • PA 102 – House Theatre (500 fixed seats)
  • PE 119 – Large Gymnasium (1200 seated with bleachers)
  • PG 137A – Small Gymnasium (700 seated with folding chairs)
  • TA 156 – Arena (400)
  • Commencement Tent (3000+)

Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus

  • CU 146 – Main Theater (348 house, 120 balcony; all fixed seats; 579 on placard)
  • CU 208 – Studio Theater (116 fixed seats; 159 on placard)
  • FH 200 – Gymnasium
  • ST 106 – Student Dining (124)
  • ST 203 – Student Dining (184)

Roles & Responsibilities

Event Sponsor

  • Estimate attendance and secure appropriate venue for the event.
  • Designate Crowd Manager(s) to be on duty during entire time the venue is open to public for the event.

Crowd Manager

  • Maintain current certification.
  • Verify compliance with all requirements listed on the Crowd Manager Event Checklist.
  • In the event of a fire or other emergency, implement emergency response procedures in accordance with established policies and procedures at the College.


Certification as a Crowd Manager is quick and easy. Simply take the Crowd Manager On-Line Training Program available from the Maryland State Police, Office of the State Fire Marshal. All Crowd Managers are required to complete the course and a very short multiple choice test. Once you complete the test, you can print a Certificate of Completion which is good for three years. The entire process can be completed within 30 minutes.

Key Personnel

It is recommended that employees in the following positions become certified as a Crowd Manger. This will provide a pool of Crowd Managers who may be available to serve at any given function.

Special Events Staff

  • Special Events Director
  • Events Specialist
  • Commencement Coordinators - Main Tent, ITV, VIP Room, Reception, Facilities, Cart

Theatre Staff 


  • Theatre Manager
  • Program Assistant
  • Theater Production Technicians

Takoma Park/Silver Spring

  • Theatre Production Manager
  • Theatre Front of House Manager
  • Theatre Production Technicians

Student Life Staff 


  • Director of Student Life
  • Club Specialist
  • Event Planner


  • Director of Student Life
  • Student Life Specialist
  • Events Coordinator

Takoma Park/Silver Spring

  • Director of Student Life
  • Student Life Specialist


  • Athletic Director
  • Men and Women’s Basketball Coaches
  • Basketball Team Managers

Swimming Pools

  • Swimming Pool Manager
  • Swimming Pool Operators

It is also recommended that employees in the following positions become certified as a Crowd Manager to increase the level of safety awareness for assemblies.

Facilities Department

  • Associate VP for College Facilities
  • Director of Facilities
  • Environmental Safety Coordinator
  • Director of Emergency Planning
  • Security Supervisor
  • Security Officer
  • Plant Maintenance & Operations Supervisor
  • Building Services Manager
  • Building & Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
  • Building and Grounds Maintenance Manager


The duties of a Crowd Manager are summarized by The Crowd Manager Event Checklist developed for use before and during an assembly requiring crowd management coverage. The Checklist is shown below. A printable copy is available on our Forms page.

Crowd Manager Event Checklist 

A. Checklist to be completed before an event (perform or confirm all items have been completed)

  • All exits are clearly marked with illuminated EXIT signs
  • All exit doors are tested to ensure panic hardware is operational
  • All exits are unobstructed and the doors operate freely
  • All exits are accessible with clear aisles and egress paths
  • Room capacity placard is properly displayed (for venues without fixed seating)
  • Confirm locations of all fire alarm pull stations and ensure they are visible and accessible
  • Complete building exterior perimeter walk to ensure:
    • All exits and walkways are clear of obstructions or tripping hazards
    • Adequate illumination where all exits discharge
    • All fire lanes (yellow curbs) are clear and accessible
  • Confirm with Facilities:
    • Fire alarm panel is powered up and there are no Troubles on the system
    • Sprinkler valves are open and there is pressure in the system
    • Emergency lighting will operate if power is lost to the building

B. Checklist to be completed during an event (perform or confirm all items have been completed)

  • Announce locations of exits at start of the event
  • Confirm all exit paths are accessible and free of obstructions
  • Educate employees and guests, as necessary, as to the importance of maintaining exits clear of obstructions
  • Monitor occupant load to ensure room capacity (occupant load) is never exceeded
  • Look for situations that could lead to challenges in the event of an emergency
  • Develop emergency notification plan to get everyone’s attention. Plan will include:
    • Person designated to quickly implement plan
    • Location identified where the entire room can be seen
  • Select a notification method(s)
    • Turn the lights on
    • Turn the music off
    • Public address system
    • Bullhorn
    • Other ________________________________

For More Information

For more information about this safety program, call Shawn Harrison, the Director of Public Safety and Emergency Planning, at 240-567-4292.

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


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