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Operations Strategy for Emergency Medical Technician Business

Info: 9247 words (37 pages) Dissertation
Published: 9th Dec 2019

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Tagged: HealthBusiness Strategy

The operations strategy looks at the different factors required for the business and its operating, such as the organisations management structure and staff requirements, the equipment and vehicles required and the schedule for the classes and how they will operate.

2.1 Management structure

Jemma, the entrepreneur, will be the manager for the business, as she does not wish to be in an office every day. She wants to be on-site at the events with her team, as she is fully qualified and wants to be hands on with her staff and clients. Her duties will include being a presence both on-site at events and at the office, dealing with human resource relationships, such as customer complaints and maintaining the reputation of the business. She will also prepare the schedule for the course for when they are on.

She will appoint an Assistant Manager, who will manage the business on a day-to-day basis and will be mostly based in the office. The Assistant Manager, will also be a qualified EMT, but it will be a requirement that they have a business background also.  The assistant managers’ responsibilities will include customer care, scheduling the appropriate people for the appropriate classes in the course schedule. Some general administrative and clerical work will also be included in this role.

Table 2.1 – Management Structure

2.2 Staffing

The other staff that will be required are trainers, EMTs, ambulance drivers and general office staff.

There will be a training specialist who will be above the other trainers. The business will work its way up to have three trainers. There will be multiple EMTs trained up and hired with the company. There will also be three ambulance drivers required as the business phases in their three ambulances.

The office staff required will be one full time office administrator and a part time administrator for busier periods. They will be in charge of office administration and clerical work required for the business and also in charge of public relations as they will be required to interact with customers that either come into the office or phone the office.

2.3 Location

The company’s office will be in Limerick, and they will grow to serve the southern part of Ireland, which includes, Cork, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Clare and Kerry. It has been stated that Limerick commercial property prices are 30% more competitive than its EU rivals (Limerick, 2017).

The proposed location for the office is Unit 7 Stone Bridge Business Park (Image 1). It is an ideal location as it is on the outskirts of Limerick city, just before the beginning of the industrial and business parks, as you can see in the image of the map. This provides easy access for both individuals and businesses to visit the office. There is also parking out the front of the office space. The rent for the premises is €10,000 annually (Agents, 2018).

Image 2.1 – Front of proposed premise  (Agents, 2018)

Image 2.2 – Map of location of proposed premises (Agents, 2018)

2.4 Class training system

The classes that will be on offer are Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training and Paramedic training. For the EMT course, there is a requirement of 160 hours of training followed by 40 hours of placement. The EMT course will run on a quarterly frequency and requires the individual to sign a 6-month contract with the business, thus providing the training for free. If an individual does not wish to sign a contract with EMS Eire, the course fee is €2,000. In relation to the paramedic course, training will be free as per contract. It will be a 4-year minimum contract with the company. The paramedic course will be run twice a year.

2.5 Equipment and vehicles

Uniforms will need to be purchased for each staff member, which consists of florescent jackets, steel toecap boots and a personal kit bag. These purchases are inclusive in the materials and supplies section in the cash flow in section 7.2.

Image 2.3 – Example of personal kit bag and supplies (Google Images, 2018)

Two branded response cars will be purchased, which the manager and assistant manager will be driving. A response car only carries certain items and certain drugs, not full EMT standard kits. Driver must have an emergency driving standard course done which contains a C category on their license. Warning labels must also be visible on the backs of the vehicles. E.g. contains compressed gas warning sign.

There will need to be three ambulances, which will be fully kitted to paramedic standard. These will need to be phased in as the business grows over time, due to the expense. This phasing in is shown in the cash flow in section 7.4.

Pictures of the cars and ambulances

1.    Industry Analysis


The PESTLE analysis enabled me to determine the macroeconomic variables to take into consideration for business development (Marmol, 2015)

  • Government Stability

The minority Government has emerged intact from the most serious crisis since it was put together 18 months ago, but the confidence and supply agreement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, which underpins it, has been stretched to breaking point. (Leahy, 2017) The government led by Leo Varadkar lacks the cohesion to address mounting challenges, such as Brexit. We expect an early election in the first half of 2018. (Economist, 2017)

A change in government could mean a change in policies, taxes and legal requirements for businesses, which EMS Eire would have to adapt to.

  • Unemployment at all-time low

Irish seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 6 percent in October of 2017 from 6.1 percent in the previous two months, reaching a new low since June of 2008. (Anon., 2017)

Low unemployment rates would mean big companies have lots of employees, therefore, if they are holding a corporate event, such as a conference, a Christmas party or family fun day, then they will need extra health and safety personnel present for the event.

  • Disposable income is rising (Anon., 2017)

By having more disposable income, it means people will be more likely to attend the public events, thus a requirement for more medical professionals to be at these events.

  • Aging Population

Irelands’ population has been getting older since the 1980’s. In census 2016, 37.2% were aged 45+, compared to 34.4% in 2011 and 27.6% in 1986. (Central Statistics Office, 2017)

An aging population would make first aid and medical care more of a priority at events and as their is the possibility of more injuries occurring.

  • Education levels are rising

Education levels have greatly improved in Ireland since 1991. Of those aged 15 and over in April 2016, 42% had a third-level qualification, compared with 13.6% in 1991. (Central Statistics Office, 2017)

People’s education levels rising shows people want to learn more and means they may wish to learn about first aid, where EMS Eire can provide training for people.

  • Limerick is a very attractive location for events

Limerick attracts more than 50,000 visitors to Riverfest alone, its May Bank Holiday festival. Other popular Limerick festivals include: the Pig ‘n Porter Tag Rugby Festival, The Foynes Airshow, Eigse Michael Hartnett Poetry, Limerick Choral Festival, The Fresh Film Festival, and The Richard Harris International Film Festival to name but a few. (Limerick.ie, 2017).

The more events that are held in limerick will provide ample opportunities for EMS Eire.

  • Well known for sporting activities

Limerick is very much recognised as a capital of sport. The city is nationally acknowledged as having excellent sporting infrastructure and conferencing facilities. Limerick also has the 50,000 capacity Gaelic Grounds, which is home to the county’s other great sporting passions, hurling and Gaelic football. (Limerick.ie, 2017).

Multiple matches are held throughout the year in all of the above locations, so to partner with even one of them would provide EMS Eire with ample opportunities.

  • New monitor and defibrillator design

The military-grade Tempus ALS comprises a 3.2 Kg advanced vital signs monitor and 2Kg professional defibrillator that slots in to the paramedic’s fully-equipped grab bag. It is the lightest and most ergonomic solution on the market, minimising the load carried by already overburdened paramedics. (Tesser, 2017)

The lighter weight will be better for the paramedics.

  • Recognition by Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC)

A fee of €3,000 must be paid in order for the PHECC to recognise your institution (Council, 2016)

Table 3.1 – PESTLE

The PESTLE analysis enabled me to see both potential opportunities and risks associated with this industry by examining the various environmental factors (Johnson, et al., 2014). The economic factors show that there is an increase in disposable income for people, this is also derived from the social factor of the education levels in the country rising, thus people getting higher paying jobs, and as mentioned, having more disposable income. This then influences people in that they attend more events and spend more money at them. The other social factors indicate that with the aging population, medical care will be even more of a priority at events.

Overall, the PESTLE analysis enables the entrepreneur to have a clear insight into the industry activities as a whole. The analysis shows that the industry is predominantly influenced by social factors and these various social factors outweigh the other factors. The technological factors will only improve over time, which shows promise for future developments in that area.

3.2 Porters 5 forces

Porter’s five forces framework helps identify the attractiveness of an industry in terms of five competitive forces. These forces together describe an industry’s structure. Of this, an attractive industry is one that offers good profit potential.

3.2.1 Event medical care

Rivalry among existing competitors: Medium

  • There are a limited number of organisations providing event medical care, thus not much choice to choose from. The industry does not have an overcapacity at the moment. There are standardised products and procedures among the competitors. Customers would not incur costs for switching. (Johnson, et al., 2014)

Threat of new entrants: Low

  • Need to have highly trained employees which takes years to accomplish. Existing organisations have cost advantages in the industry along with established brand identities. There is also a lot of capital required for entering this industry. (Johnson, et al., 2014)

Bargaining power of buyers: Low

  • The product is a medical service that the customer may urgently need and thus they would not have much time to make a decision regarding choices. The choices would also be limited as there would not be a large number of different first aid providers at the event for the person to choose between (Johnson, et al., 2014).

Threat of substitution: High

  • The availability of the cheaper volunteer organisations is a threat to the business. There is also no cost for the customer in switching to those substitutes (Johnson, et al., 2014).

Bargaining power of suppliers: Medium

  • Not many suppliers for medical equipment. Material and services in this industry are standardised rather than differentiated, however there are not many suppliers for the business. Firms can easily switch between the suppliers however (Johnson, et al., 2014).

Image 3.1. – Event medical care Porters 5 Forces illustration

3.2.2 First aid training provider

Rivalry among existing competitors: Low

  • The industry has a limited number of organisations providing event medical training, thus there is not overcapacity in the industry. If a student were to change organisation during a course, they would incur high costs for the switching of firms. The courses on offer are complex and require significant interaction between student and instructor (Johnson, et al., 2014).

Threat of new entrants: Low

  • Need to have highly trained employees which takes years to accomplish. There are already established organisations within the industry. Due to the nature of the courses that would be on offer, switching suppliers can be costly for the student. Experience in this industry is highly regarded and can help with the performance and reputation of the organisation (Johnson, et al., 2014).

Bargaining power of buyers: Low

  • Not many organisations offer the first aid courses, so the customer does not have much choice, unless they wish to join the volunteer organisations. There are a large number of buyers relative to the number of organisations in the industry. The customers, i.e. the students, need a lot of information, which they are unable to practice on their own; they must be with an organisation to do so (Johnson, et al., 2014).

Threat of substitution: Low

  • There is significant time and monetary values to get the qualifications and experience necessary to be able to partake in the industry, thus significantly diminishes the threat of new entrants to the industry (Johnson, et al., 2014).

Bargaining power of suppliers: Low

  • Many places offer courses to become an instructor in first aid practices, provided you, yourself are fully qualified with the knowledge and experience in which area you wish to teach. The labour and services in this industry are standardised rather than differentiated (Johnson, et al., 2014).

Image 3.2 – First aid training provider porters 5 forces illustration

The Porter’s Five Forces framework is used for examining competition in the industry. The timing for entering the market is a key concept of the framework. From the analysis above, it is the perfect time for the company to get into the market. There is only one factor to monitor which is the substitute threat, however when you take into the consideration the amount of events taking place in the Limerick region alone, which is discussed further in section 4.1, there is still ample opportunities for the business. The events are also increasing in attendance year on year, which will mean a requirement for more medical professionals in attendance for them.

The training provider environment is showing it is at the optimal time to get into this market. Each factor that was taken into consideration has resulted in a positive outcome and shows that it is a great time to get into the market and should be done as soon as possible.

2.    Market analysis

4.1 Size and potential of market

Almost a hundred and fifty events take place in the Limerick region throughout the year, that EMS Eire could operate at, which provides multiple opportunities. There are also ample big companies who host events and would require medical aid professionals to be present, depending on the size and location of the event.

  • Limerick events over the next twelve months:
    • There will be twenty festivals, plus almost sixty events around the Christmas period alone
    • There are around thirty sports events.
    • Fifty food & drink events will be taking place, includes the famous weekly Saturday Milk Market (Limerick.ie, 2017

For the purpose of this business plan, I will examine the following events:


Riverfest:               Image 4.1 – Riverfest Logo (Limerick.ie, 2017)

Riverfest is a 5-day festival held on the May bank holiday weekend along the banks of the River Shannon in Limerick City. There are many events held throughout the weekend, such as a fashion show, fireworks show, a BBQ competition and there is a village set up in Arthurs Quay Park for the entirety of Riverfest. Riverfest 2017 brought in a crowd of over 40,000 people (Limerick.ie, 2017) across the weekend. This amount of people required many health and safety personnel, which the volunteer organisations using all of their resources catered for; Civil Defence, Order of Malta, Irish Red Cross and St. Johns Ambulance attended for the massive event.


Great Limerick Run:  Image 4.2 – Great Limerick Run Logo (Limerick.ie, 2017)

The Great Limerick Run is a marathon which takes place on the May bank holiday weekend, usually on the Sunday and has a route which covers all of Limerick city centre and into its suburbs. In 2017, the marathon welcomed 14,000 participants around Limerick, and had an estimated 40,000 spectators along its route. Due to the area covered by the marathon, all of the volunteer organisations were out in full force to provide their services along the route.


St. Patricks Day Parade:     Image 4.3 – St. Patricks Festival Logo(Limerick.ie, 2018)

The St. Patricks day parade takes place on March 17th every year. It usually will start at Sarsfield Barracks and finish by Arthurs Quay Park. In 2017, there was 4,000 people marching in the parade and there was a turnout of over 50,000 people (Lynch, 2017), despite the wet and rainy weather that the day experienced. The volunteer organisations, Civil Defence, Irish Red Cross, Order of Malta and St. Johns Ambulance was once again out in their full force will all of their resources and personnel to cater to the event. This year it is estimated that there will be around 80,000 in attendance along the streets of O’ Connell St. Limerick (Limerick.ie, 2018).


Gaelic Grounds:      Image 4.4 – Limerick GAA Logo(Limerick GAA, 2017)

The Gaelic Grounds is the principal GAA stadium in Limerick, home to both hurling and football teams of Limerick. The current capacity of the Gaelic Grounds is just under 50,000; however, an average match would have around 16,000 people. The Irish Red Cross are the primary providers of medical care for the Gaelic grounds. (Limerick GAA, 2017)

All the above information has been summarised into the below table.

Event H&S organisation/s present No. people at event
  • Civil Defence
  • Order of Malta
  • Irish Red Cross
  • St. Johns Ambulance Service
Great Limerick Run
  • Civil Defence
  • Order of Malta
  • Irish Red Cross
  • St. Johns Ambulance Service
St. Patricks day parade
  • Civil Defence
  • Order of Malta
  • Red cross
  • St. Johns Ambulance Service
Matches in Gaelic grounds
  • Irish Red Cross

Table 4.1 – Table of events

There is also the potential to offer training to individuals, who wish to get qualified as an EMT or paramedic could be trained with EMS Eire and gain some experience simultaneously, as there is a requirement of a certain amount of hours of training followed by a number of hours of placement.

From the market analysis, it is clear that there is a bit of competition from the volunteer organisations, however there are so many events around the Limerick region, and further into the Munster area that will provide many opportunities for EMS Eire to operate at.

4.2 Competitive analysis

4.2.1 Event First Aid competition

There are a number of similar companies in the Dublin region. Event Medical Services and Medicore operate in the Dublin region only. There is also Medilink, who operates from Meath.

There are also some volunteer organisations who attend events as First Aid Responders (FAR), Emergency First Responders (EFR), etc. who are based in Limerick and operate in the Limerick region, e.g. Civil Defence, Irish Red Cross, Order of Malta and St. Johns Ambulance. These will be the main competitors to EMS Eire.

For the purpose of this business plan, I will compare the following event first aid organisations. This will provide a base line for EMS Eire to operate and plan from.

Event Medical Services:

Image 4.5 – Event Medical Services Logo (services, 2012)

Event Medical Services is a business based in Dublin. (services, 2012)They employ medical professionals up to and including Doctors, so have excellent expertise in the industry. They cater for all types and sizes of events, offering a single first aider to a fully operational field hospital for the event. They have catered for events at Croke Park, the 3 Arena, the Aviva Stadium, Red Bull events and the Irish Open, among many others. They cater for an annual of thirty-nine events, among other private corporate events. (Services, 2012)


Image 4.6 – Medilink Logo (Medilink, 2017)

Medilink is a Meath based company who provide medical professionals for events (Medilink, 2017). They provide medics up to and including Doctors. They have catered for eight events around the Dublin region annually and are the primary supplier for five companies, for their events throughout the year. (Anon., 2017)

Civil Defence:

Image 4.7 – Civil Defence Logo (Civil Defence, 2018)

Civil defence is a national organisation run by the government. They are a volunteer organisation, who can train people up to an EMT standard. They cater for public events around their region primarily, but occasionally will help in other regions. The Limerick branch of Civil Defence cater for about sixty public events throughout the Limerick city and county region, including a couple of out-of-region events. (Executive, 2017)

Irish Red Cross:

Image 4.8 – Irish Red Cross Logo (Irish Red Cross, 2018)

Irish Red Cross is a national charity organisation. They work with volunteers. They provide first aid cover at numerous events throughout the year, ranging from concerts, to sports events, to community festivals. They also participate in services such as search and rescue and community services. Their volunteer members are trained to the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) standards (Irish Red Cross, 2018). The IRC would attend a number of events, most weekends throughout the year.

The above information has been summarised into the table below.

Organisation Location Ave no. of events/ year
Event Medical Services Dublin 39 public events
Medilink Meath 8 events and 5 companies year-long
Civil Defence Limerick 60 public events
Irish Red Cross Limerick

Table 4.2 – Table of competition

4.2.2 First-Aid Training Competitors

There are a number of companies in the Limerick region, who offer first aid training courses for a fee, i.e. STAC, Ambicare and Optimal Training. The volunteer organisations mentioned above also offer training courses, however you must join the organisation as a volunteer yourself and they will then provide you with the training for free.

For the purpose of this business plan, I will compare the following first aid training organisations. This will provide a base line for EMS Eire to analyse and operate from.

Sinnott Training and Certification (STAC):

Image 4.9 – STAC Logo (STAC, 2018)

STAC, Sinnott Training & Certification Ltd, is a leading training company focused on First Class First Aid Training. Their goal is to ‘spread the lifesaving skills of First Aid to as many people as possible’. STAC delivers First Aid training to both public & private groups. They are the main dedicated First Aid Training Centre in the mid-west, where they run their courses on a regular basis. Public courses vary from half-day CPR & AED courses, full day Basic First Aid and three day Occupational First Aid QQI certified. They cater to private group courses to wide variety of groups, crèche staff, sports clubs, school staff, manufacturing facilities, chemical plants, amongst others. Their instructors are full time professional instructors, highly trained in adult education. (STAC, 2018)

Courses Fees
Basic First Aid € 100
Basic First Aid for parents and childcare € 100
Cardiac First Responder – community level € 85
First Aid Responder / refresher € 290/ € 210
IHF Heartsaver CPR & AED (defibrillator) € 75
Occupational first aid refresher € 120

Table 4.3 – STAC Courses


Ambicare:                 Image 4.10 – Ambicare Logo (Ambicare, 2018)

Ambicare Group Limited is a family run business specialising in mobility products for independent living, Stair lifts, Home and Bathroom Adaptations. They also offer a wide range of first aid courses, including Practical First Aid, PHECC First Aid Responder, Cardiac First Responder, Manual Handling courses and they are an approved training site for the Irish Heart Foundation, carrying out their Heartsaver AED/CPR courses. They cater for all types of commercial business, public offices, industry and the general public. All their courses conform to the latest guidelines. (Ambicare, 2018)

Courses Fees
Manual Handling € 50
AED (Defibrillator) € 60
Basic First Aid € 60
CPR € 60
First Aid Responder € 300
Occupational First Aid Responder/ Fresher € 190
Paediatric First Aid € 100

Table 4.4 – Ambicare course


Optima Training:               

Image 4.11 – Optima Training Logo(Optima Training, 2017)

Optima Training & Consulting is a Training, Developing & Consulting partner to many of the leading Manufacturing, Pharma, Medical Device, Healthcare, Semi State and Service Organisations and operate in Ireland, UK and Europe.

They deliver a diverse and industry focused range of training programmes in areas such as Leadership, Health & Safety, Environmental, Quality, Process Improvement, Healthcare, Project Management, Facilities, Logistics, Energy & Microsoft Office / SharePoint (Optima Training, 2017).

Courses Fees
Cardiac First Responder – Community level € 90
First Aid Responder € 395
First Aid Responder Refresher € 295
Heartsaver CPR & AED (Defibrillator) € 90

Table 4.5 – Optima Training courses

Below is a comparison side-by-side of the above business’ training programmes and prices.

Course STAC Ambicare Optima EMS Eire
Basic First Aid €100 €60
Basic First Aid for parents & childcare €100 €100*
Cardiac First Responder – community €85 €90
First Aid Responder €290 €300 €395
First Aid Responder refresher €210 €190 €295
Heartsaver CPR & AED €75 €120 ** €90
Occupational First Aid Refresher €120 €190
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) €2,000
Paramedic €13,000

Table 4.6 – Table summary of first aid training provider’s courses

*Titled ‘Paediatric First Aid’ with Ambicare

**Done as two separate courses – each for €60

4.3 Market Analysis conclusion

The analysis of the market shows that there is an abundance of events throughout the Limerick region. This means that while there is the competition from the volunteer organisations, there is still ample opportunities available for the company to operate at. There is also the fact, mentioned in section 3.1, that the size of the events around limerick is growing in numbers year on year. This also provides space in the market for EMS Eire to operate in since more people around will mean more medical cover required.

In relation to the event first aid competition, it is limited. The major organisations of concern are the volunteer groups. They offer low cost cover for events, however their volunteers training takes longer thus not performing as well as the staff that EMS Eire will have.

In relation to the training organisations above, they offer basic courses for people and they will not be in competition with EMS Eire as the courses that will be on offer are Paramedic and EMT courses.

3.    Primary research

To begin the primary research process, I needed to determine the research type, which was followed by identifying the information types and sources. I decided to use exploratory research methods, consisting of a number of depth interviews. The interview results were then analysed and a conclusion was drawn.

Exploratory research is typically appropriate for when there is little known about the situation by anyone and provides insights into, and comprehension of, an issue or situation. It is structured and formal. I chose to do exploratory research as I concluded that, while there is information about event medical services available, I wanted a more focused understanding from specific business’ and about specific events and their operations around health and safety.

Originally, I had planned to do a focus group with five or six event planners, but due to logistical scheduling factors, I was unable to proceed with the focus group. For that reason, I decided to do interviews with three people involved in the events industry. these consisted of an events management lecturer, a hotel manager and a Civil Defence representative.

I did the interview with the lecturer first, as it is a purposive interview and thus could provide insight that can help me with the other interviews.

5.1 Event Specialist Interview:

I interviewed Marie Mitchell who is a lecturer in LIT for the past 8 years. She is a lecturer for the events management course and regularly helps with events run in LIT. Previous to working for LIT she was working in the event industry, specifically in hotels. I met with Marie one evening in LIT for the interview.

Firstly, I told Marie about my business plan and the idea behind it and she was very interested in it and wanted to help me as much as she could.

We talked about the events in LIT and the health and safety around them. She informed me that LIT use in-house health and safety staff for their events, however once an events capacity is expected to go above what the in-house team can handle, they get a third party to assist with the health and safety for the event. The third party they primarily use is Civil Defence, due to the cost.

This led us to our next topic, which was event budgets and the cost of health and safety for events. I was informed that for events, they would typically have a tight budget for the event and because of this they use the volunteer organisations, specifically Civil Defence. The cost to have Civil Defence at the events is decided by the planner, as all that is required is a donation to Civil Defence.

I then asked Marie her advice on if there was something specific that I should ask the Event Planners, that could be beneficial to my research. She informed me that I should ask about their ‘Event Profiles’, which is a brief summary of the kind of event, the people who will be attending, the risks associated with that demographic and how to minimise or prevent those risks. She said that this will give me an idea of the background work they must do and how they plan for the events.

I concluded that it would be of great benefit to recommend that EMS Eire should draft a number of different event profiles examples. They can then use these sample event profiles to show event planners, as this would display the types of events and conditions they are capable of working and help with the costings for the various event types.

Below is a template of an event profile for Riverfest, which I prepared to display what an Event Profile would look like, when completed. It can be used as a guide for EMS Eire to draft other event profiles. They can then use them as mentioned above, during tendering for events.

Name of event Riverfest (as mentioned in section 4.1)
Date of event Friday 4th May ‘18 – Monday 7th May ‘18
Time of event Weekend long: Fri                12pm – 10 pm

Sat & Sun    10 am – 8 pm

Mon             10 am – 3 pm

Location of event Various locations around Limerick city centre
Event coordinator Jane Smith
Target audience The people of Limerick
Message The city’s premier summer festival


 Fashion Friday highlights the latest trends and fashions Limerick’s retailers has to offer.

 The Riverfestival Village will be a treat for all the family with food, craft and retail stalls and stunning vintage amusements

 The Riverfest BBQ Competition – Ireland’s largest barbecue cook-off – will be a feast for the senses

 Riverfest on the Shannon will feature action packed water based activities and events

 A highlight of the Riverfest weekend, the spectacular fireworks display

Description of event Limerick becomes a mecca for families, foodies, fun runners and water sport enthusiasts each May Bank Holiday for the city’s premier summer festival, Riverfest!

The festival’s activities include Riverfest on the Shannon, the Riverfest BBQ Competition, the Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park, the Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run and a spectacular fireworks display.

Risk assessment


 Ensure walkways are clear of trash, electric cords, booth supports, etc.

 Ensure wheelchair access is available and not blocked by anything.

 Make sure kids attractions are spread out to avoid overcrowding



  • Dates of events determined
  • Locations booked
  • Vendors booked
  • Security/Crowd Control determined
  • Local Authorities informed
  • Risk Assessment completed
  • Communications plan determined

Table5.1 – Example of Event Profile document

See Appendix for full Event Profile document template. (N/A, 2018)

5.2 Hotel Manager Interview:

I met the manager of one of Limericks central hotels. We talked about their health and safety for any events held on the premises.

I was informed that they have in house health and safety people. They typically hire the people through FAS, currently SOLAS, and train them up in house so they know the business and its culture and follow the procedures from their training, rather than doing things a different way and possibly not fitting in with the business.

In relation to events and the health and safety planning for them, the manager will typically inform the health and safety manager of the event and the event profile and the health and safety manager will organise those aspects for the event.

In the event that the capacity for the event exceeds what the in-house staff can handle a doctor and ambulance are put on call for the event.

Following the interview, I researched the courses available on the SOLAS website and found a number of relevant courses to the industry. Three courses specifically stood out to me as the most relevant for the job that the manager mentioned: Advanced Tourism and Hospitality, Hospitality Operations and Tourism with Event Management.

These are the modules outlined by course. Each course also has a work experience module.

Course Modules
Advanced Tourism and Hospitality Business Management

Customer Service

Hospitality Business Systems

Producing a culinary event

Tourism policy and practice

Event management

Hotel front office supervision

Hospitality operations Food preparation

Restaurant skills

Accommodation techniques

Safety and health at work


Tourism with event management Customer service

Safety and health at work

Business administration

Digital marketing

Event production

Tourism information and administration

Word processing

Tourism principles and practice

Table 5.2 – Solas courses

I would recommend that it would be of interest for EMS Eire to be associated with these courses and to provide the students with the opportunity to do their work experience with them to give them a better understanding of the health and safety side of the hotel and events industry. This would also act as advertising for when the students organise their own events, they will have the connection with EMS Eire and will choose them for the events.

5.3 Civil Defence Representative Interview:

I called the Civil Defence local branch in Limerick city and conducted a quick interview over the phone, as they were busy.

I enquired as to their budget for the training of the volunteers and for their equipment needs. I was informed that there is indeed a budget for the equipment and that as soon as anything goes out of date, regardless of how much it cost or its actual shelf life, it had to be thrown away. This means that should a lot of equipment go out of date together it will cut into their budget for the year.

Concerning the training budget, there is not necessarily a set budget, it depends more so on how many volunteers join in that year as they have in-house instructors, and they must just pay a fee to be recognised by the FETAC level and the PHECC. They must also pay to get the new volunteers their uniforms.

Following my conversation with the representative, I researched the registration process for becoming a provider of the FETAC awards.  My search brought me to the Quality and Qualification Ireland (QQI) website. Here I learnt about the ‘Initial Validation’ that the company must go through, as it will be the first time the provider, EMS Eire, will be forming a relationship with the QQI. A two-stage process must be completed. See diagram below for the process outline (Quality and Qualifications Ireland, 2013).

Image 5.1 – QQI Application process (Quality and Qualifications Ireland, 2013)

The interview showed me that while there is an extensive process to become the provider for the FETAC awards, it is well laid out. This makes applying easier and makes it more obtainable.

Overall, the interviews have shown me that event profiles will prove to be an important part of the business for planning and acquiring customers. Providing the opportunity to students to do their work experience with the business will also be beneficial in the long run, due to a familiarity relationship with the business and finally, that the process to become a FETAC provider is obtainable through the QQI’s website.

4.    Marketing Strategy

This section will outline the proposed marketing plan for EMS Eire. The plan will detail how they will communicate with their target market and future customers. The marketing mix framework will help to determine the marketing for the business; the marketing mix is defined by Kotler as “the mixture of controllable marketing variables that the firm uses to pursue the sought level of sales in the target market”. EMS Eire aims to communicate with the market with the aim of customer acquisition firstly, as well as building brand awareness in the market since it is a new firm to the market.

6.1 Product

EMS Eire provides a team of first aid professionals to be on hand at the customers’ public or private event. These can consist of events such as local community festivals, concerts, marathons, sporting events large or small, business conferences, etc. EMS Eire will provide expert medical care cover to deal with any and all first aid and medical requirements during the event, during the pre-planning stage and at the post-event stage. The medical team that will be on hand at the events will vary with the size and needs of the individual event. The team will consist of EMTs, Paramedics and ambulance drivers. Some events will have trainee paramedics or trainee EMTs present as part of their training.

EMS Eire also offers training to individuals. The courses that will be on offer are to become fully qualified Paramedics and EMTs. These courses will be run in conjunction with the events as the trainees must complete the required amount of placement time as well as their training in-class. These requirements vary dependent on which course.

6.2 Price

EMS Eire will be catering to various different types of events, in both size and nature. Due to this nature, EMS Eire will operate on an hourly rate basis. They must also take into consideration the amount of staff, and their rank, that will be needed for each individual event. There will be a guideline hourly fee determined and the full quote for the event will be discussed with the client on enquiry to EMS Eire.

For a small local event of around 1,500 people, the hourly fee would be €100. This rate is for two EMTs, two Paramedics, an ambulance and a response car to be at the event. Medium sized events of a crowd larger than 1,500 people but less than 2,500 people will have an hourly rate of €130 for the event. This cost covers two EMTs, three Paramedics, an ambulance and two response cars at the event. Large events of crowds larger than 2,500 will have a starting hourly rate of €185. This price would be fully determined with the client once EMS Eire has the expected amount of people for the event, they can then determine how much staff will be required for it and thus reach the appropriate fee for the event.

Event size Equipment Included Staff Required Hourly Rate Total Hours Total Rate
<1,500 people 1 Ambulance

1 Response car

2 EMTs

2 Paramedics

€100 6 hours €600
1,500 – 2,500 people 1 Ambulance

2 Response cars

2 EMTs

3 Paramedics

€130 8 hours €1,040
>2,500 people 3 Ambulances

2 Response cars

6 EMTs

6 Paramedics

€200 12 hours €2,400

Table 6.1 – Price Point

In relation to the training courses available with EMS Eire, the price is set at €2,000 for the EMT training and placement hours. The EMT course will also be offered with a six-month contract with EMS Eire, with training free as per contract in that instance. To avail of the paramedic course with EMS Eire, a four-year contract must be signed and the training will be free as per contract then.

6.3 Place

The company’s office will be in Limerick, and they will grow to serve the southern part of Ireland, which includes, Cork, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Clare and Kerry. It has been stated that Limerick commercial property prices are 30% more competitive than its EU rivals (Limerick, 2017).

The proposed location for the office is Unit 7 Stone Bridge Business Park, as mentioned from Section 2.3. It is an ideal location as it is on the outskirts of Limerick city, as it is just before the beginning of the industrial and business parks, which you can see from the map from section 2.3. This provides easy access for both individuals and businesses to visit the office. There is also parking out the front of the office space for the clients.

6.4 Promotion

A factor that was considered with establishing the marketing plan was that EMS Eire is a start-up venture. Thus, they cannot utilize all mediums of marketing, such as television and radio adverts. This is due to the business not having the finances or resources available to pursue those more expensive, traditional marketing channels.

The main marketing channels being used will be those of digital marketing, being supported by some traditional marketing mediums.

6.4.1 Digital marketing – Social Media

EMS Eire plans to utilise social media for marketing in an attempt to acquire customers from the market, as well as increase brand awareness. This will involve the creation of social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The social media accounts will be directly linked with the company’s main website. This will be achieved with the use of embedded posting, which is a form of web-widget. A web-widget is a small program that can be easily put into a website homepage, and helps to provide an interactive experience for the customer (Nations, 2017). These web widgets will have a certain space on the website where social media posts can be seen. This is utilised by way of when EMS Eire uploads or posts new information, such as event attendance and class updates, the content will then be viewable from the social media pages and the website. There will also be social media buttons featured on the bottom of the websites homepage, thus providing easy access to those platforms. Social media advertising will have no cost for EMS Eire, as Jemma herself will carry it out.

6.4.2 Digital Marketing – Website with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

EMS Eire will also have a website to promote its business. The domain name will be www.emseire.ie, and will be at a cost of €24.95 per year. The domain name as the company name helps the customers to link the business with the website much easier. Jemma herself will design the website also, thus incurring no charge for the website creation.

It will use SEO to increase the visibility of EMS Eire in the search engine results. This will be achieved through metatags which are keywords used in the website. The words will identify with the needs and wants of the customer, examples include “event first aid” “first aid training”. Geo specific keywords will also be included, such as Limerick, Cork, Munster, etc. Images will be included also of different aspects of the business. All these factors combined will contribute in its search rating and thus an increase in traffic to the website.

6.4.3 Traditional Marketing

Print marketing will be in the form of leaflets, and business cards. This will be used in the traditional aspect of the marketing for EMS Eire.

The business cards will be used as the business to business marketing tool. The cards can be given to potential customers, such as the event planners, hotel managers and big companies whom hold corporate events. The cards will be used to outline the benefits of the service as well as the contact details necessary to get in contact with the business. The business cards will also reflect a level of professionalism for the EMS Eire brand, and will aid in establishing a professional network. Business cards can be purchased from €36.74 for 500 of them (VistaPrint, 2018). Below is a proposed design for the business cards.

Image 6.1 – Business card

5.    Financial Planning

7.1 Funding and support

The local enterprise offices (LEOs) is for people interested in starting up a new business or already in business including entrepreneurs, early stage promoters, start-ups and small business looking to expand. The LEO should be the first stop through which all information on state supports can be accessed and where companies with clear high growth potential can be sent to the next level of support by way of progression to Enterprise Ireland (Local Enterprise, 2017)

Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in the world markets. Enterprise Ireland works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow and innovate in this way supporting sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment (Enterprise Ireland, 2015).

Microfinance Ireland provides support in the form of loans for up to €25,000, available to start-up, newly established or growing microenterprises employing less than 10 employees, with viable business propositions, that do not exceed conventional risk criteria applied by banks (Microfinance Ireland , 2016).

Supporting SMEs provides a guide to help small businesses and entrepreneurs find out what government supports are available to help with the establishing and growth of their business. It provides information on and relevant links to over 170 different Government supports for Irish start-ups and small businesses (Supporting SMEs , 2018).

For the purpose of this business plan I have used a business loan from the bank for funding. This can be replaced with any grants or support funds from the establishments mentioned above.

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Business strategy is a set of guidelines that sets out how a business should operate and how decisions should be made with regards to achieving its goals. A business strategy should help to guide management and employees in their decision making.

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