Now DeSoto Parish School has also stepped in with plans to purchase more AEDs for their school district.
“It really puts things in perspective,” said Superintendent Clay Corley. “It makes you really do some soul searching to really determine are we doing everything we can possible to ensure the safety of our athletes.”
Rusheon Middle School was playing North DeSoto Middle School in Stonewall on Oct. 1. Corley says he was at the game that night when that football player collapsed.
“You see a kid collapse and you know something’s not right, but you just assume like okay maybe it’s a concussion or something,” he said. “But then immediately when you see the reaction of the coaches, and those folks that came to his first aid you know it’s something greater.”
Corley says he went to visit that student in the hospital after he collapsed. Later on that night he began texting his staff with more questions about AEDs for his district.
The district then decided to purchase more than 10 AEDs that will go in places like gyms and field houses for their schools.
“You can’t put a price tag on health and the livelihood of our students,” Corley said. “So whatever it takes for us to move to a better place, we’re willing to do that.”
Corley says they already have AEDs in schools across the district, but wants more in those locations so they’ll be easily accessible when the school is locked after hours.
The district also has plans to train more staff on how to use AEDs.
“We want to make sure that our crisis response team at our schools are all trained and ready to utilize our AEDs, and are trained and certified in first aid CPR,” said Corley. “But then also all of our coaches, (and) those adults that will be on the field or on the courts with our student-athletes.”
Corley says in November they will begin EKG screenings for their student-athletes as well.
“We had already identified this as a desired initiative,” he said. “I know that’s kind of a growing practice across the nation, but it just gives us a deeper look into the heart of an athlete.”
The district will partner with local EMS and non-profits to provide those screenings for students. They will also look at increasing the EMS coverage for all athletic events.
On Friday, Oct. 25, the district plans to hold a special ceremony at North DeSoto Middle School for that football player and those that were involved in saving his life.