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School athlete safety gets attention

Injured Dino player Marcus Santi gets an assist off the field on Aug. 23.

Sun Advocate reporter

With recent events taking place involving school athlete injuries, principals, athletic directors and other administrators from around Region 12 discussed safety issues among other topics at their monthly meeting on Monday.

The meeting, held in Nephi, brought together representatives from schools including Carbon High, North Sanpete, Juab, Richfield and Payson.

A portion of the meeting focused on a few safety issues with athletes that have affected region schools including Carbon High and North Sanpete. Carbon High Principal Bruce Bean said that a part of the meeting was dedicated to looking into what the region schools can do to have emergency plans in place and what can be done to improve those already in place at schools.

The discussion also focused on an event that took place during a football game between Carbon High and North Sanpete on Sept. 13. During the second quarter of the game, Carbon High linebacker Garrett Blanc was knocked out during a play and was down on the field for several minutes as medical personnel evaluated him. North Sanpete High did not have an ambulance present at the field during the game nor did they have one at the field for the past two seasons, according to North Sanpete Principal Nan Ault.

Ault told the Sun Advocate during a phone interview on Tuesday, Sept. 24 that the school was unable to have an ambulance at the field during games due to the local ambulance association charging high rates that the school district was unable to pay for.

"The cost of having the emergency personnel from our area, who work as volunteers, be at the games was too costly for the district," said Ault.

At the meeting, Bean said Ault and North Sanpete officials said the response time for the ambulance was about 10 minutes from the time it was called to get to the field. Blanc was checked out on the field by a medical doctor, a certified trainer and an EMT from the crowd for a period of time before the decision was then made to call for the ambulance.

The game was delayed while the event, from Blanc being knocked out during the play to him being transported to the hospital by the ambulance, took around 25 minutes total, Bean explained.

Since the game between Carbon and North Sanpete, Ault said the district was able to come to terms with the local ambulance association that will provide an ambulance to be on site for games throughout the rest of the season.

Blanc is doing okay, Bean said, but the event provided an opportunity for school officials around the region to ensure that emergency plans are in place and ready to be put into action if a situation arises.

"It's always good to take a step back and evaluate things, especially the emergency plans," said Bean. "We just want to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to things like this."

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