BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — After Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on the football field during Monday Night Football, many Colorado families are wondering if their schools and venues would be prepared if something like that happened here.
The Colorado High School Activities Association requires all of its schools to have a venue-specific emergency action plan in place, and there are requirements for automated external defibrillators.
“Anybody who competes under the CHSAA umbrella should have an AED within three minutes of their venue,” said Kevin Clark, the chair of the Sports Medicine Committee for CHSAA.
He says certified athletic trainers are not required, but he would like for every school to have one.
“All of our coaches in the state of Colorado are CPR and AED certified every two years, so they are equipped with those skills, but having somebody that it’s their full-time job to care for the wellbeing of our student-athletes, I think that’s the most important thing,” Clark said.
Shannon Aberton agrees. She is the head athletic trainer at Boulder High School.
“We are at every practice and game. We travel with varsity football,” Aberton said.
Trainers can do everything from tape up a student-athlete, to administering CPR, to using an AED.
“It’s super easy. You turn it on and it tells you exactly what to do,” she said.
Aberton wishes that all the high schools in the state had athletic trainers.
“I don’t want schools to find out the hard way that they need an athletic trainer. It’s an invaluable service and I wish it was state law in Colorado,” she said.
All of the traditional high schools in the Boulder Valley School District have athletic trainers and AEDs.