Although we cannot prevent these horrible events from happening, there is one thing coaches can do to help them from ending in tragedy: develop your Emergency Play.
Orange, CA (PRWEB) December 16, 2013
Long-term effects of sports injuries as reported in recent nightly TV news has served both to increase parental concerns for their children's sports safety - but also to emphasize the importance of an "Emergency Preparedness Play," says Zack Zarrilli of SureFire CPR, a Newport Beach-based CPR and first aid instruction company.
"Coaches - whether they coach for a local Pop Warner team, high school baseball, college wrestling, or even pro teams - have plays for every game time situation, but many do not have a play that covers emergency aid," Zarrilli warned. "In the world of sports, seconds matter. And in emergency medicine, seconds and minutes are just as crucial when one of your players is seriously injured in practice or a game."
As founder of SureFire CPR, Zarrilli's team of professional firefighters, paramedics, lifeguards, and EMTs trains thousands of people every year. As a veteran firefighter, he has seen too many high school football players die on the field during a Friday night game. Serious sports injuries occur on a regular basis, and a coach's preparedness can mean the difference between a life and death situation, he said. Yet many coaches, particularly volunteers, have no training - even basic training - for medical emergencies.
"Although we cannot prevent these horrible events from happening, there is one thing coaches can do to help them from ending in tragedy: develop your Emergency Play," Zarrilli said.
He recommends that coaches develop an Emergency Play before the first practice, and it should be a drill run on the first day of practice.
"In a life threatening emergency everyone needs to know their position, so that care can be provided as quickly as possible," he explained. "The head coach should act as Patient Care Leader and assign the other duties to assistant coaches, team captains, and veteran players." These are the positions that need to be filled, Zarrilli said:
1. Patient Care Leader– This person will be in charge of patient care and should be CPR, AED (automated external defibrillator), and First Aid Certified.
2. 911 Notification – This person will call 911 and must be able to give concise directions to team's location. Most likely the call will be made from a cell phone, so EMS will not be able to accurately track the location. This person will also relay first aid care instructions from the 911 dispatcher to the Patient Care Leader and must remain next to the patient.
3. 911 Flagger (or Flaggers) – Schools and fields can offer difficult access for firefighters and paramedics. These players will go to the main entrance of the school or sports complex and help direct EMS personnel to the scene.
4. AED and First Aid Supply Runner – This player will retrieve the first aid gear and AED (automated external defibrillator) and bring it to the Patient Care Leader.
5. Patient Care Support – One or 2 players that have been trained in CPR, AED, and First Aid will be needed to assist if the player is unconscious, seriously injured or not breathing.
6. Traffic Cop – People always crowd around an injured person adding extra stress and tension to those trying to provide care. This player will keep away those without a role in the Emergency Play.
"Last of all, remember: you play like you practice. This is the oldest saying in all sports," he said. "All coaches know the importance of practice, so practice your Emergency Play. Critical sports injuries happen every day at schools around the country.
"This is the most important play in your playbook," he summed up. "In the heat of the game, the other plays in your book may seem like a matter of life and death - but this one actually is."
About SureFire CPR
SureFire CPR is an industry-leading CPR and first aid instruction company serving Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Corona, Riverside, San Bernardino and the greater Southern California area. SureFire CPR uses the most realistic training equipment on the market. Their elite staff's first-hand knowledge and daily experience with 911 emergencies sets them apart from other CPR training companies. SureFire's team is comprised of professional firefighters, paramedics, lifeguards, ER nurses and EMTs -- all of whose skills are of the highest caliber because they have dedicated their lives to serving the public.
The company specializes in on-site training and consistently provides CPR certification, BLS certification, AED training and other First Aid classes for high profile clients. Regularly scheduled classes are also available at their two Orange County offices in Laguna Hills and Orange. For more information or class schedules, visit http://www.surefirecpr.com/ or call 888-277-3143.