Safety First

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Everybody loves Hoopfest. Whether it’s crafting your team name or seeing your buddies for the first time since last summer or watching the faces of the littlest ballers observing the dunk contest, there’s just nothing like it.

One of the reasons why we are able to continue to put on this great event year after year is because of the commitment of volunteers like Jim Dibble and his team. Dibble is the Site Operations Manager on the Hoopfest Operating Committee (OC) and for 21 years now has been fully committed to the safety and security of Hoopfest weekend.

“[Hoopfest] is a uniquely Spokane event,” Dibble said. “I think Spokane is one of the best kept secrets in the US. To host an event of this size with this impact is amazing and we want to make sure that is safe by proactively preventing security issues that may materialize.”

Jim Dibble
Jim Dibble

Dibble’s career as a special agent with the Washington State Gambling Commission has given him a heart and the skill set for justice and security. When a friend asked him to help Hoopfest out with some of their safety measures over two decades ago, Dibble’s answer was an easy yes.

In essence, Dibble gathers volunteers from all over the area, most of who are professionally trained in law enforcement, medical care or both. He then divvies them into two-person Rapid Response teams, who are each in charge of particular areas over the weekend. These teams respond to any injuries that may occur during Hoopfest play and can help with basic triage before ensuring the injured person is seen by First Aid. They also monitor behavioral situations that may be suspicious or threatening to sportsmanlike competition.

Dibble collaborates closely with the Spokane Police and Fire Departments to make sure that all forces are on board to make sure Hoopfest is the safest event possible.

Dibble encourages each attendee to help out the Site Operations team by being attentive all weekend. At any large event there are irresponsible people who want to participate in disruptive behavior. The hope is that Hoopfest will be a place that is ultimately unattractive to people looking to do so, but in case you do see suspicious activity this weekend or feel that your security has been threatened in some way, be sure to contact Site Operations immediately at (509) 999-7133, (509) 999-8282 or (509) 999-9482.

If something is urgent, call 911.

The team has done a phenomenal job of implementing their safety plan and precautions, so we have no reason to think that this won’t be the safest Hoopfest yet. So please, keep your eyes and ears open so that together we can all enjoy the beauty of Hoopfest weekend!

See you on the streets!

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