On Monday, September 24, 2018, Averett University hosted Danville Life Saving Crew at their North Campus for "Friday Night Lights" training. This annual training exercise helps prepare Crew members for the on-site medical standbys that DLSC performs at football games.
During the training, Averett athletic trainers shared how they continuously prepare for all types of incidents so that students are always taken care of properly. The athletic trainers work with students during practice and games to ensure that no one is overheated, playing with a concussion or pushing through an injury.
"During practice, we have a trough and coolers full of ice in case we need to cool players down," Thomas Underwood, Averett's head athletic trainer, said, "We also have Powerade and Pedialyte to start pumping in those electrolytes."
If Underwood or his staff suspect that a player suffers from a concussion, they are pulled from playing until they pass certain tests, such as answering a series of questions and balancing in different positions.
Assistant Athletic Trainer Brian Benitez showed Crew members the different types of helmets that are worn by football players. All three helmets (Riddell Speedflex Precisiou, Xenith Epic+ and Riddell Speed) are categorized in the top-performing group and have safety features to better protect players when tackled.
"The pads on the inside are not attached so they move around with the player," Benitez said when holding up a helmet, "and it has a sensor that records how many times a player is hit during a season."
Underwood and Averett's assistant athletic trainers are certified to handle different types of sports injuries on the field. They are trained to handle things like concussions, heat exhaustion and stabilizing broken bones or fractures with inflatable stints.
During practice, they call for EMS personnel if a player is severally injured. However, DLSC EMTs attend every home football game to ensure that any injured player receives immediate care and transportation to the hospital.
"We thank Averett for having us back again this year," Robbie Woodall, DLSC crew chief, said. "This is a great learning opportunity for our members to understand Averett's protocol and how we can assist their athletic trainers."
Top Right: Three types of helmets worn by Averett students; Middle Right: Brian Benitez shares information with the Crew; Bottom: Crew members fill the stands for "Friday Night Lights" training