Athletic Trainer Honored for Saving Man's Life

by: Staff (video)

Posted: Feb 4, 2020 / 10:39 PM EST / Updated: Feb 4, 2020 / 10:39 PM EST


NEW LEBANON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dixie High School honored Premier Health Athletic Trainer Keenan Kidd during Tuesday night’s basketball game.

Back in December, Kidd used an AED to save a Waynesville man’s life after he went into cardiac arrest.

“I was told if it happened anywhere else, it could have been a lot worse. So I was just blessed to be in a position to have everything I needed to do it correctly and in time for him,” Kidd said.

The man he saved was also in attendance for the moment. He says he’s on the road to recovery thanks to Keenan

Athletes at Risk? Many schools failing to meet "gold standard" for athletic trainers

CHICAGO (WKRC) – OHSAA Commissioner Jerry Snodgrass is a problem solver.

Of all the titles that a commissioner play, “problem solver” is one of Snodgrass’ main jobs. He’s in charge of the athletes in Ohio’s 816 secondary schools.

“I’m a former science teacher,” Snodgrass said. “Number one, in order to solve a problem, you have to identify it first.”

And there’s one problem the most powerful man in Ohio high school sports can’t solve: the lack of athletic trainers.

“It’s not something that we can mandate. We’re a voluntary-member organization,” Snodgrass said. “We recommend, give guidelines, everything of the sort, but we cannot demand and require personnel to be hired by a school district.”

It’s a problem Tory Lindley has also identified. Lindley, a collegiate athletic trainer, serves as the president of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA). Its membership includes more than 44,000 athletic trainers in pro leagues, colleges and high schools across the country.

“NATA is an advocate for health care as the gold standard in every high school,” Lindley said.

Since 1994, the so-called “gold standard” set by the NATA has been one trainer per high school. This was after a study found only 35 percent of public high schools had athletic training services.

More than 10 years later, a current study shows that number improved to 38 percent of schools with a full-time athletic trainer.

“It was identified as a starting point to help increase awareness of what health care should look like in secondary schools,” Lindley said.

In more than a decade, schools nationally have still failed to meet the “standard.”

Increased awareness of the issues has helped slowly bridge the gap. That includes organizations like the NATA and administrators like Snodgrass doing their part in making sure events they can control are properly staffed by medical professionals.

The NATA created a website called “At Your Own Risk,” which shows the percentage of schools in every state that don’t have an athletic trainer.

In Ohio, it’s 19%.

In Kentucky? 34%.

In Indiana? 15%.

While professionals continue to search for an answer to meet the “gold standard,” the question remains: Who is in charge of a student athlete's health after the bell rings?

“One athletic trainer is not enough,” Lindley said. “But one athletic is the start for many, many different high schools that currently don’t have an athletic trainer.”