Indiana State University Newsroom

Athletic trainers, emergency medical providers conduct joint training

August 5, 2011

When three Indiana State University student athletes were injured, emergency responders and a Lifeline helicopter crew were already at Memorial Stadium to help athletic trainers assess the injuries and determine appropriate treatment.

With the Wabash Valley under a seemingly endless heat advisory, they were able to make those assessments in the air conditioned comfort of the Norman and Linda Pellegrini Locker Room.

Different responses were required depending on whether the athletes were experiencing a heart attack, heat illnesses, broken bones, head injuries or spinal cord injuries.

The health care providers went by the book - literally.

It was a drill - the second annual Emergency Management Collaborative involving athletic trainers from Indiana State, DePauw University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Vigo County schools as well as undergraduate and graduate athletic training students from Indiana State. Paramedics and emergency medical technicians from the Terre Haute Fire Department and Trans-Care Ambulance Service were also on hand along with paramedic students from Ivy Tech Community College.

"What we really try to focus on here are emergent conditions where we're transitioning patients from the care of an athletic trainer to emergency medical services and then on to emergency rooms," said Lindsey Eberman, assistant professor and director of ISU's undergraduate athletic training program.

The approach is consistent with the ISU College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services' emphasis on inter-professional education.

"We try to make sure we are all on the same page creating one clear plan for all the providers to follow so that when we transition a patient from the care of an athletic trainer to EMS, that we know what to anticipate from one step to the next," Eberman said. "We're creating a clear set of guidelines."

Participants in the event talked through several potential real-life scenarios, then practiced proper procedures for handling various injuries, including proper transportation procedures for persons with suspected head or spinal injuries. They also learned from ISU athletic trainers that, while it is almost always necessary to completely remove an injured football player's face mask, it is generally better to leave the player's helmet and pads in place.

Holly Schumacher, a graduate student in Indiana State's athletic training program, said the experience was valuable for a variety of reasons.

"There are times when athletic trainers and EMS are going to collaborate. We need to know what the EMS standard of care is and then let them know what our standard of care is and how we're going to transition the athlete from our care into their care," Schumacher said. "Hopefully, we never have to use the LifeLine helicopter, but if that unfortunate event does happen we now know the procedures. We're also able to put a face with the company and the helicopter and will be more at ease working with them."

Photos: - Brad Yeargin, Indiana State University athletic trainer, removes a facemask from an "injured" football player during the second annual Emergency Management Collaborative at ISU's Memorial Stadium (ISU/Holley Myers-Hiett) - Students practice the proper procedure for placing an injured person on a spineboard during the second annual Emergency Management Collaborative at Indiana State University's Memorial Stadium.

Contact: Michelle "Shelli" Landis, co-head athletic trainer, department of applied medicine and rehabilitation, Indiana State University, 812-237-4062 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or



Story Highlights

ISU hosted the second annual Emergency Management Collaborative in which athletic trainers, emergency responders and students trained with one another to practice proper procedures for initial treatment and transport of injured athletes.

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