State Camp Safety Advisory Council, October 30, 2013, Meeting Minutes

Roll Call

Members Present

  • Jordan Dale
  • George G. Coleman
  • Eric Bacon
  • Dawn Ewing
  • Gordon Felt
  • Meir Frischman
  • Douglas Pierce

Members Absent

  • Robert Scheinfeld participated by phone

Department of Health Staff Present

  • Michael Cambridge
  • Timothy Shay
  • James Maurer

Call to Order

Chairperson Jordan Dale called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m., at the University of Albany, School of Public Health, George Education Center, Room 110A, Rensselaer, New York. Mr. Shay called the roll. Rob Scheinfeld participated by phone and there was one vacant position. A quorum was present.

Council Administrative Business

Mr. Shay updated the Council about membership appointments and reappointments. Eric Bacon and Rob Scheinfeld terms have recently expired, and there remains one vacant position on the Council representing Children's Interests. Dr. Thomas Welch is being considered for the vacant position, but has not yet been confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Bacon and Mr. Scheinfeld have gone through the vetting process and are awaiting confirmation. They will continue to serve on the Council in their current positions until they are reappointed, replaced or resign.

The Council reviewed the changes to the Council Bylaws that amend the Chairperson's and Vice-Chairperson's terms from one-year to two-years. Ms. Ewing made a motion to accept the revisions. The motion was seconded by Mr. Dale and passed unanimously. Mr. Shay noted that the new terms will be effective for the next Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson elections in the spring.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Dale brought the April 24, 2013 SCSAC meeting minutes forward for approval. The minutes were unanimously approved.

Old Business

Wahooo Swim Monitor System

Paul Newcomb from Wahooo Swim Monitor Systems was introduced to the Council. He was invited to the meeting for an informational presentation on new technology available to assist in the prevention of drownings. The Council discussed technology-assisted aquatic safety, its benefits, and possible requirements for such technology in the future.

2013 Significant Incidents

Mr. Shay stated that the Department is currently working to process and tabulate incident data for the 2013 season. Once finalized, the Department will summarize the data in charts, graphs and a narrative report similar to previous years. He discussed the one camper fatality that occurred during the 2013 season, which was associated with a horseback riding activity, and a fire that occurred at an overnight camp destroying one building and damaging two others. Mr. Dale asked about the status of the 2011 and 2012 injury and illness reports. Mr. Shay stated that the reports have not yet been finalized. The reports will be distributed to Council members when finalized.

Justice Center/Status of Amendments to Subpart 7-2

Mr. Shay reviewed amendments to Subpart 7-2 of the State Sanitary Code that were developed as a result of the Justice Center legislation. Emergency regulations for these amendments were approved by the Public Health and Health Planning Council and became effective on June 30, 2013 when the Justice Center legislation became effective. The amendments only apply to those camps with enrollment of 20% or more developmentally disabled campers and include requirements for staff screening, training, and incident reporting/management.

During the 2013 camp season, there were eighteen incidents reported to the Justice Center Vulnerable Persons Central Register. Of these incidents 2 were categorized as allegations of abuse or neglect, 7 significant incidents, 4 non-reportable, and 5 involved adults and were reassigned to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

As a follow-up to last meeting, the Council inquired if the Justice Center Staff Exclusion List (SEL) for individuals who have been found guilty of abusing or neglecting people with special needs would be accessible to all camps. Mr. Shay responded that he had posed the question to Justice Center staff and was told that the Justice Center legislation specifies which entities can access the SEL, so for now it is restricted to those entities. Mr. Shay noted however, that others have made a similar inquiry about access to the SEL and the Justice Center is evaluating the legislation and may make amendments to allow more access to the SEL. Mr. Coleman made a motion that t he Council recommends that the Justice Center Staff Exclusion List is made accessible to all children's camps in New York State to be protective for all campers. The motion was seconded and unanimously passed. Mr. Shay said he would make Justice Center staff aware of the Council's recommendation.

Mr. Shay highlighted that for the 2014 season modifications to the current emergency regulations to Subpart 7-2 are anticipated. Proposed amendments may include a clarification to the definition of "significant incidents" which require reporting to the Justice Center and less specific requirements for local health department investigations. Permanent regulations will be proposed in the near future.

Immunization Records Legislation

Mr. Shay provided information on recently passed legislation that amended Public Health Law to allow children's camps access the New York Statewide Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) and the New York Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR). NYSIIS and CIR are confidential, web-based systems that collect and consolidate vaccination information from healthcare providers. NYSIIS collects records of individuals immunized outside of New York City and CIR contains records of individuals immunized within New York City. Physicians are required to enter vaccination records for children within the appropriate system. Camps must register with each of the systems to gain access to them. The Department is currently preparing information to notify camps of the new legislation and how to gain access to each of the systems. Camps are not required to utilize these systems.

This legislation does not alleviate the requirement for camps to maintain vaccination records for campers, but is a tool camp operators can utilize to obtain vaccination records for children vaccinated in New York State.

Sunscreen Use at Camps Legislation

Mr. Shay reported that legislation has recently passed to amend State Education Department (SED) law to allow campers, with written parental or guardian consent, to carry and utilize sunscreen without a physician's order. This legislation is consistent with and replaces guidance provided in 2012 for the use of sunscreen at camps. The Department has notified LHDs of the legislation and advised that prior to the start of the 2014 season camp operators should review their policies and procedures, and update their written camp plans and health history forms regarding the use of sunscreen in order to collect the necessary parental or guardian authorization.

AEDs at Camps

At the last meeting, the Council requested that the Department check with the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (BEMS) to determine the number of camps that have registered to participate in the Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) program, which allows camps and others to voluntarily have an AED on-site. Mr. Shay reported that the BEMS database does not have a mechanism to distinguish facilities that are a children's camps from those that are not. The BEMS provided the Department a list of enrollees in a PAD program and the Department identified 147 facilities as camps based on matching names to the Department's database and having the word "camp" in the listed name. The Council discussed the low number of camps identified as having an AED on-site and the need/benefits of AEDs. It was discussed if a survey could be done to determine a more exact number of camps with an AED available to them on-site. Mr. Dale described a recent incident in which a camper aged child's life was saved by an AED during a volleyball match at a high school. The Council asked if the Department has/would reconsider its position on requiring AEDs at camps. Mr. Cambridge commented that as previously discussed the requirement for AEDs is legislatively set and not a regulatory issue. Audience member Doug Volan commented on the Council's past support for requiring epinephrine auto-injectors at camps and suggested that the Council may want to pursue that prior to the requirement for AEDs. The Department agreed to follow-up internally on past discussion about mandatory requirements at camps for epinephrine auto-injectors and AEDs, and explore ways to survey camps regarding the availability of an on-site AED. Mr. Scheinfeld asked for a timeline. The Department said a timeline was difficult to set because of others involved, but committed to reporting back at the spring meeting.

Boating Activities Oversight

At the last Council meeting the Department was asked to survey camps to determine what protocols are being implemented for staff of boating activities. Mr. Shay reported that a survey was not able to be done, but outreach was done to some State District Offices to get their sense of what was occurring in the field. The general sense was that older, more mature, and experienced staff were being utilized for the oversight of boating activities. There was no major oversight issue identified as occurring with boating activities. Mr. Dale asked what the next step is for this issue. Ms. Ewing stated that she would reconvene the Boating Activities Oversight Committee to develop written best practice protocols for discussion at the next Council meeting.

Amusement Devices at Children's Camps

Mr. Shay reported that the Department of Health and the Department of Labor (DOL) have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to eliminate overlapping oversight of certain amusement devices used at camps. The MOU is generally consistent with procedures currently being implemented for amusement devices at camps. The Department is developing information for distribution regarding the MOU, local health department's role and what devices are covered.

Other Business

American Red Cross (ARC) Lifeguard Management Course

Mr. Shay noted the American Red Cross (ARC) Lifeguard Management course will now only be offered on-line. In order for the certification to be accepted at camps students will need to take an in-person test with an ARC Lifeguard Instructor or at an ARC Training Center. Upon successfully passing the exam the student will be issued a separate certification.

Central New York Recreation and Parks Society Letter

Mr. Bacon discussed a letter that was sent to him from representatives of the Central New York Recreation and Parks Society regarding possible regulatory changes for camp trip swimming, immunization records, staff background checks, pre-season inspections, fire drills, and CPR certifications. Each item was discussed and the Department provided clarification and/or justification of current regulations. The Council did not make any recommendations for regulatory or policy amendments as a result of the discussion.

Pesticide Legislation

Mr. Dale asked if there was any update on the law to restrict pesticide use at camps. Mr. Scheinfeld stated the legislation got very close to passing this spring. It was approved by the Assembly, but did not pass in the Senate. He will continue to pursue and monitor the legislation and report back to the Council on any progress.

Council Meeting Minutes

Mr. Dale brought up the Council draft meeting minutes and the timeliness they are provided to the Council for review. The last meeting minutes were not distributed until the day before this meeting, which is not enough time to thoroughly review the minutes. Mr. Dale was looking for creative ways that the minutes could be distributed earlier. Mr. Scheinfeld commented that getting the minutes early would allow more time to get Action Items accomplished. Mr. Shay commented that the Department puts together an internal action item list after each meeting to track progress. The Council asked if the action item list could be shared with the Council. Mr. Shay agreed to share with the Council. Mr. Cambridge committed to getting the Council draft minutes out to the Council in a timelier manner. Mr. Dale said he would table the issue for now and take up again if it is an issue in the future.

Next Meeting/Adjournment

Proposed Topics

No new items were proposed as agenda topics for the next Council meeting .


The Council adjourned after tentatively scheduling the next Council meeting for Wednesday, April 30 , 2014.