Security and Safety
McCormick Place Security personnel patrol and monitor facility public areas, parking lots and perimeters. Security staff is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Personnel respond to all incidents outside of the exhibit hall and, when requested, will assist persons with disabilities. In general, McCormick Place Security focuses on the following:
• Patrol of facility grounds and parking lots
• Closed-circuit television surveillance of selected public and exterior areas
• Limited surveillance of show floor, loading docks and shipping activities
• Photo identification badges for McCormick Place personnel
• Meeting room security using alarms and locking systems
• A safe environment for event attendees and exhibitors
The event organizer is responsible for the safety and security of attendees and exhibitors in licensed space, i.e., exhibit halls and meeting rooms. To fulfill this responsibility, an independent security company is hired by the organizer to focus on the following:
• Control access into licensed exhibit halls and meeting rooms
• Security for booths
• Security for show materials being moved in or moved out of McCormick Place
• Compliance with the regulations and policies of McCormick Place, City of Chicago, State of Illinois and the federal government
Weapons are not allowed on McCormick Place Property
If Fire, Medical or Police assistance is needed:
• DIAL Extension 6060 from a house or exhibit booth telephone.
• DIAL 312-791-6060 from an outside phone line.
(including the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel)
Please refrain from calling 911. If you do call 911, also call Security at numbers above.
Stay on the line, calls are recorded. An officer will answer immediately. Be prepared to the location of the emergency by building, level and either hall, meeting room or corridor.
McCormick Place provides wheelchair-accessible first aid stations in each building. Specific stations are opened based on the event location. These stations are fully equipped and include automated external defibrillators for reviving heart attack victims.
All medical care is provided under the guidance of the McCormick Place Medical Director who is Board Certified in emergency medicine. Stations are staffed by Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers, most of whom serve as full-time paramedics for the Chicago or suburban fire departments.
In addition, two hospitals are situated within minutes of McCormick Place. City ambulances will be called to transport patients when needed.
Ninety-two (92) Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) have been strategically placed throughout the McCormick Place complex. The AEDs are mounted in highly-visible cabinets placed throughout McCormick Place and in each security vehicle. When needed anyone who has taken a CPR/AED course can utilize them, as can our own certified personnel. More than 150 security and fire-safety officers and managers have been certified in CPR and are trained to use AEDs.
The entire McCormick Place Complex has been built using the highest standards of safety and fire-resistant construction. The complex is equipped with sophisticated fire detection and protection systems as well as computerized alarms. The Hyatt Hotel and the Conference Center are both equipped with comparable emergency systems. When an alarm is activated, the system will automatically transmit a signal to Chicago’s 9-1-1 Center, the City’s emergency communications center. This will initiate an immediate response from the Chicago Fire Department.
At McCormick Place the safety of our visitors has always been of paramount importance. The following information outlines steps we have taken to increase the safety of all visitors and employees at McCormick Place:
• Regular communications occur with the Chicago Fire Department, the Chicago Police Department and the FBI. McCormick Place has provided the Chicago 911 Center with a CD-ROM of the facility to allow for immediate viewing of the emergency exits for each building.
• Meetings with the IC Railroad and Metra occur periodically to discuss schedules and emergency response plans because of the trains that run underneath the facility.
• McCormick Place is a member of Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the Greater Chicago Hotel Loss Prevention Association. Security meetings with downtown hotels to exchange information, as well as regular faxes result in excellent communication.
• McCormick Place revised and reissued an Emergency Evacuation Plan for the facility (which follows this Manual section).
• McCormick Place conducts training for security and fire safety officers throughout the year. Many personnel are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and have received training in responding to hazardous materials situations and bio-chemical problems.
• The Security and Safety Department conducts annual disaster drills involving hundreds of participating volunteers. The Chicago Fire Department and our Medical Advisor critique the drill performance and outline any improvements, which are reviewed at the next drill.
• An additional shift of security officers has been established including increased mobile patrols.
• Increases to our fire safety officer crew have made it possible for additional safety inspections and patrols.
• Additional traffic aides have been assigned to monitor all traffic in roadways, tunnels, etc.
• Vehicles are no longer allowed to park on roadways, tunnels, etc. Illegally parked vehicles are towed immediately.
• Ramps leading to docks are secured. Security officers and traffic aides are posted at all ramps to insure that each vehicle has been processed through truck marshalling and has been given approval to enter the ramps. General Contractors, trades and EAC officials cooperate with this procedure.
• McCormick Place has identified 20 locations (including ramps) where swing gates have been permanently installed to increase control of ramps and other roadways during off-hours.
• Security Department Management meet with local show security agencies on a quarterly basis.
In certain circumstances, as with any facility, an emergency requiring evacuation may occur. McCormick Place has a highly trained Security and Safety staff, which includes many active or former members of the Chicago Police and Fire Departments. Should an emergency occur, we would consult with the organizer of each event to determine appropriate actions.
If the emergency is minor, such as a small fire, the Security and Safety staff may insist that visitors in the immediate area move to a safer location within the same building. If the emergency is greater, we will advise guests in the facilities using the public announcement system or by other means, and most likely have guests move to another hall or building, until the emergency is resolved.
A detailed evacuation reference sheet can be provided by your Event Manager or download our Evacuation Guide.
We conduct an annual mass-casualty disaster drill, and semi-annual evacuation/fire drills. All of our Security and Safety personnel have taken special training in disaster response, as well as CPR and the use of AEDs. In addition, all are licensed as City of Chicago fireguards. Since all of our Fire Safety Officers, and several of our Security personnel are EMTs, we offer monthly continuing education classes to keep their skills and knowledge current. Our staff Medical Advisor who oversees our EMS Program, works closely with the Center for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health, as well as our local hospitals.