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What Should I Do If…

Sometimes sticky situations arise when working with volunteers, and the appropriate course of action is not always clear. Please review the hypothetical situations below to learn the approach recommended by the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and Chicago Event Management (CEM). What should I do if…

Inappropriate Behavior

I suspect another volunteer of inappropriate behavior such as stealing
If this is the first incident, do not take immediate action, but keep a close eye on the volunteer. Ask a fellow Key Volunteer to keep an eye on the person as well if one is working nearby. If suspicious behavior continues, alert the CEM staff person in charge. We do not want you to feel responsible for confronting the volunteer yourself, especially if you are not certain that inappropriate conduct has occurred.

I actually witness another volunteer engaging in inappropriate behavior such as drinking or stealing
Immediately alert the CEM staff person in charge, or if not available contact security in your area. Again, we do not want you to feel that it is your responsibility to confront a volunteer or administer any disciplinary action.


A volunteer is not following my instructions or respecting my authority
Be kind and respectful to the volunteer. Keep in mind to always ask for their help rather than demand it. Emphasize teamwork and if needed, gather a small group of volunteers to speak to about their task rather than singling out a specific person. If they do not follow your lead, then make the CEM staff person in charge aware of the situation.

A volunteer is not treating other volunteers with respect
Always try a non-confrontational approach. Try to remedy the situation without being accusatory. Consider asking the volunteer to help in another area where they work alone. If the problem persists, go to the CEM staff person.

Volunteer or Supply Needs

My area does not have enough volunteers/has too many volunteers
Contact the CEM staff person immediately and let them know about the situation. That person can coordinate to get you additional volunteers or re-assign the extra people in your area. Too many volunteers will cause them to feel less valuable and not enough volunteers will hamper event operations.

I do not have necessary or ample supplies needed for my area
Event Staff will work with you beforehand to ensure that your area is fully stocked with the supplies you will need. If you are missing something critical to your job during the event, or if you anticipate new supply needs, please contact the CEM staff person as soon as possible.

Medical Emergency and Media

I encounter a medical emergency with a fellow volunteer, participant or spectator
Call the emergency number on the back of your credential. If you have a radio, also call over the radio for medical assistance. Please note your exact location, using street pole identification numbers if applicable, in both of these situations.

I am approached by a member of the media to comment on the event
Please refer the person to the media contact phone number on the back of your credential or to your CEM staff person. It is not your responsibility to speak on behalf of the event.

New in 2013

There will be enhanced security and bag screening upon entering the Health & Fitness Expo, Grant Park and Course prior to accessing the Expo Volunteer Check-In, Harrison Volunteer Compound and Course locations; please allot extra time to access the expo, park and course on the day you are volunteering.

I see an unattended bag.
Inquire with the people in your area to identify the bag’s proper owner. If the owner is unclear or unknown and the bag/item appears suspicious, contact your area leader or CEM staff member for further instructions.

An unregistered person wants to volunteer. In 2013, all event volunteers must be registered online for the event prior to the communicated deadline of October 7, 2013. If a volunteer arrives on site and has not registered in advance, that person will not be permitted to volunteer. No walk ups or race day volunteers will be assigned to the event.

A volunteer refuses to gear check personal items before volunteering. 
In the volunteer registration, volunteers identified consent to gear check all personal items. While we have discouraged all volunteers from bringing bags or large items, if someone brings a bag, that person will be required to go through additional access screening and will then be required to gear check the bag in the volunteer compound. Unless assigned by the event, all volunteer bags must be checked in at the volunteer gear check. If a volunteer does not follow this process, that person may not be permitted to volunteer.

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