MULLINS, SC (WBTW) – Marion County Emergency Medical staff joined athletic training staff, student-athletes, and even a medivac helicopter from Mcleod Health to make sure everyone was clear on the plan for responding to major injuries.
Athletic trainers from Mullins High School led EMS step by step through how they planned to handle an injury to the head or neck.
Joey Price with Marion County EMS said while recent upgrades in helmet technology have certainly made the game safer, they have to train yearly to prepare to take off a helmet–to safely treat a neck injury.
“This year’s flowing smoother and it works in transition to get pads off a whole lot easier,” Price said.
Several scenarios were played out during the session ranging from methods of strapping an injured player to a backboard for transport, to a major spine injury that may require an athlete be airlifted to a hospital.
Mullins head football coach John Williams said his players are lucky they get to prepare for the worst.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to handle the situation better because of going through this,” Williams said. “Seeing how to handle everything, hopefully they’ll be able to handle it better.”
Auctioneers Jr. receiver Jaylon Ritter played the victim in one of the scenarios. He got to experience first-hand what it might be like to start a game on the field, but end it in a medical transport chopper.
“When I went down they came and asked me what the problem was,” he recalled. “I felt kinda safe with them.”
Jessica Lowe, an athletic trainer with the school said above all, practicing will make sure everyone stays calm with the time comes to act.
“We have to be the ones who are calm, cool, and collected,” said Lowe. When everything else is going crazy, we’re the calm ones.”