Trainers, responders prepare to treat football head injuries

Football season is here, the games are about to start and trainers say so are the injuries.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says concussions are up 200 percent among teens in the past decade. That’s one of the reasons Mercy Regional EMS hosted a seminar for trainers and first responders on removing helmets and shoulder pads from players with head injuries. Responders say it could make the difference between recovery and being bound to a wheel chair.

Paducah Tilghman High School trainer Jason Crivello says he knows his student athletes. But, he says, he never knows how they’ll need his time or attention. That’s why Crivello says he needs to know the best way to work with emergency responders if one of the players falls on the field with a head injury.

“You’re with these kids every day, and that’s the difference between athletic trainers at the school every day versus the paramedics," Crivello says. 

Mercy Regional EMS Capt. Wes Rhodes says he knows how badly a player can get hurt even with helmets and pads. If the equipment isn’t handled correctly, Rhodes says a player can walk away with worse injuries.

“When I see a bad hit on the field, the first thing that comes to my mind is being in EMS," Rhodes says. 

Every accident calls for its own protocol. Sometimes emergency responders will remove pads and helmets, other times they won’t.

Crivello says they do their best to keep their student athletes safe and healthy, but they also prepare for the worst.

Gridiron Glory coverage starts this Friday on Local 6.

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