Longview ISD addresses student athlete safety through their emergency action plan

Longview ISD addresses student athlete safety through their emergency action plan
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 10:40 PM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - After Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin’s injury at Monday night’s game against the Bengals, the topic of safety is surfacing among school aged athletes.

Every school that is a member of the University Interscholastic League, or UIL, is required to develop its own emergency action plan.

It’s a plan that will aid a student athlete when a traumatic event takes place, like cardiac arrest or a heat-related injury. Those schools must follow all UIL rules.

One of those measures include having an automated external defibrillator, or AED, at all facilities.

Shawn Salter is the Administrative Officer for CHRISTUS EMS and says, “An AED is used whenever someone goes unconscious. And if they lose a pulse, it can detect certain cardiac arrhythmias and it’s used to shock someone’s heart to return it back to a normal pulsating rhythm.”

Another requirement is for every coach to be CPR and AED trained each year, which is afforded to them by the school.

“We make sure that everyone is up to date and certified on the CPR and AED training.” says Johnny Hamilton, Longview ISD Assistant Athletic Director.

Hamilton goes over the school’s emergency action plan.

“We do have ambulances here at our football games. We have them on site, on stand by just in case we have any emergencies, but we do have four full-time trainers licensed to go.”

The school’s plan requires trainers to be present at all their sporting events. And following those UIL rules, AEDs are placed throughout the school for easy accessibility when necessary.

But having EMS present at games is not required by UIL. Salter says, it’s up to the school’s action plan.

“So as they’re developing their emergency action plans or re-working them, we are happy to provide our consultative services and let them know of our capabilities and limitations so that we can be a partner in the care and response to that patient .” said Salter.

If a school would like to add EMS to their action plan, Salter says to reach out to it’s local 911 provider.