With high school football practices beginning shortly, Abilene High School athletic trainer Justin Clark will be conducting a clinic for AMS and AHS football coaches, school administrators and Dickinson County EMS personnel Saturday afternoon at the high school auditorium.

Clark, a certified athletic trainer that works with Memorial Health Systems and Abilene public schools, will instruct the attendees on the current care management techniques for the spine injured football player. Clark will present new information on the proper care for the spine injured football player as well as current information on concussion management and proper heat illness prevention and treatment.

His Saturday clinic will also cover the review of venue specific emergency action plans and updates on Kansas State High School Activities Association guidelines. One area of focus will be the proper removal of the football helmet and shoulder pads using several different techniques for possible head and neck injured football players.

A member of the Kansas Athletic Trainers Society, Clark currently serves the organization as treasurer.

Clark has also invited Memorial Health System doctors and mid level clinic emergency care providers to attend if possible. He stated anybody working with emergency medical care is invited to attend.

“Basically this year if the helmet comes off, the shoulders pads have to come off too on head, neck and spine injuries,” Clark said. “The purpose is to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to care and treatment.”

“We will also go into heat illness modification and what we are doing for practices, cooling first and transporting second,” he said. “We have some new equipment to monitor these different situations and we want everyone up to speed. My hope is to get the EMTs there so that they will be better prepared upon their arrival at the scene.

“Abilene coaches and activity sponsors have to be CPR certified and that was just recently completed,” Clark said.

KSHSAA regulations and guidelines allow for middle school and high school activity practices to begin August 19.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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