Coaches are prepared to respond to medical emergencies

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- A Dale County sophomore is doing well at a Birmingham hospital.

15-year-old Adaveion Jackson collapsed during an early morning football practice on Tuesday. His coaches rushed to his aid and saved his life.

Wiregrass coaches say they hope a situation like this will never happen, but if it does they are prepared to handle it.

“It's a scary thing you think it never will so it's commendable to Dale County coaches because something happened and they were ready and acted on it,” says Slocomb’s head football coach Richard Tisdale.

Being prepared for the unexpected is a team effort starting with coaches.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association requires training before coaches can be certified.

“We have to be trained with an AED and CPR certified, and we also take an online course for heat illness and cardiac arrest symptoms,” says Smitty Grider the head football coach at Dothan High School.

Knowing the emergency game plan is essential.

“It's so important to have a plan and be able to execute that plan, and we practice our emergency plan with our staff with our coaches around so they see it happening and they can be a part of it,” says Allyson Gramley the director of athletic training at Troy University.

Coaches have to be on the lookout for red flags.

“The coaches have to be aware of their situation and pay attention to the condition of their players. We just have to be on high alert this time of year,” says Grider.

One of the biggest warnings involves knowing the players.

“We know them. We understand their personalities. So if we see them just acting funny acting different, their personality kind of changing, they're disorientated, they looked kind of dazed confused a little bit that's a sign,” says Matthew Rugger a Dothan High School athletic trainer.

With the hot weather, staying hydrated is vital.

"There's really nothing you can do to be ready for those 108-degree indexes but we provide plenty of water plenty of opportunities to take breaks," says Grider.

“The one water breaks for five minutes those days are gone. Our kids can drink all throughout practice,” says Tisdale.

Players can help prevent illnesses by eating, drinking, and sleeping healthy.

“We try to educate our kids on how much the injury rate goes up if you don't get enough sleep if you're not eating right and drinking,” says Tisdale.

Parents have a role to play off the field.

“The parents are the ones at home that are going to buy the groceries for the kids and making sure they're supplying them they're keeping an eye on them at home. Making sure they're drinking stuff when they make it back home at night,” says Tisdale.

The AHSAA requires all students to complete a physical before ever trying out. That's the first step to catch issues that may be worsened if a student participates in sports.