First Responders Train with Averett Athletic Training Students

Posted on September 1st, 2017 by Danielle Staub

The Averett University Athletic Training Department recently held a “Friday Night Lights” training with the Danville Life Saving Crew (DLSC) at the University’s North Campus. Since DLSC is always on stand-by at Averett football games, and to provide the best possible response and care if and when there is an injury on the field, Averett and DLSC decided a training beforehand would help get everyone familiar with the field, stadium and each other.

“The partnership with DLSC is so important because it teaches our students the importance of working with other healthcare providers to provide the best medical services to not only our athletes, but also other patients. Also, in times like these, it says a lot to the community when you have different organizations that can come together to work together to make people better,” said Dr. Melanie Lewis, program director of Athletic Training & assistant professor of Physical Education, Wellness & Sports Science. “The hands-on training with DLSC was important to help solidify the action plan for anyone who may be involved in patient care, whether they are from Averett or DLSC. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Practicing and doing the hands-on training with all parties involved helps ensure that we don’t fail at providing the best care for our athletes.”

The evening kicked off with a social hour and then the group headed into the E. Stuart James Grant Center for a classroom session.

“We were able to share our knowledge on concussions, splinting and spine boarding. These topics may not be familiar or done in another manner by these EMT’s, but this event allowed us to train and get familiar with each other’s methods to help the student-athletes’ wellbeing,” said Brian Benitez, assistant athletic trainer.

Then out at the football stadium, Thomas Underwood, head athletic trainer for Averett, organized a mock injury and took the group through, step-by-step, what he and his athletic training students and assistants would do if an athlete went down on the field.

“In the event that a real emergency situation occurs, we have practiced several times ourselves, but adding in the EMS crew helps ensure the best care possible and that the students know exactly what’s going on. Practice makes perfect,” said Underwood.

The DLSC Chief Robbie Woodall says his crew now feels more prepared to assist at Averett sports games.

“When an emergency happens we are taught to run in. But now we know when we are here at Averett assisting, we need to wait for the athletic trainers to do their job first. If someone goes down, we need get our equipment ready for the next step,” said Woodall. “We are not only here for football but the people in the stadium. You never know what’s going to happen. It’s all about situational awareness and this training has helped us achieve that.”

“It was a good opportunity for the community to get together with us and see what we do. Just so everyone knows the proper technique for helmet and shoulder pad removal,” said Sean Dunbar, junior Athletic Training student. “And we were able to show them [DLSC] our facilities firsthand and what the procedures would be if we do need to transport an athlete.”

“It’s great to get to know members of the DLSC not only for the learning experience and hands-on practice, but to make those connections with others within the Danville community and the medical field. You never know how a positive interaction between a student and a professional within the community could benefit their career down the road,” Underwood said.