Grad students prep for fall sports season with hands-on EMS training

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Some master’s students at Youngstown State got hands-on experience with pre-hospital care Friday afternoon. It was the training of a lifetime, learning how to handle sports emergencies.

Checking vitals, emergency evaluations, coordinating with 911 — that’s what 17 YSU students did with the help of the Canfield Fire Department, EMS, and two helicopters. With the fall sports season underway, they spent the afternoon simulating an on-field athletic emergency.

Rachel Affagato, who is in the Master of Athletic Training program, said she was nervous.

“My heart was beating fast and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, if this was real.'”

That’s exactly how trainers wanted the grad students to feel, helping prepare them for real situations down the road.

“It’s good for them to get this exposure now in the simulated setting than it would be if, you know, on the actual football field, soccer field, on the actual emergency scene,” said Capt. Conner O’Halloran, with the Cardinal Joint Fire District.

This training is timely because these students will take to athletic fields across the county in mere days as high school sports pick back up for the fall season.

“Not only are we working in high schools, we are working in hospitals, sports medicine clinics, with YSU Athletics. So really, they have to be prepared for an emergency in any type of situation,” said Associate Professor Dr. Jessica Wallace.

Thanks to this training, the students say they’re ready for anything.

“If I had to do this in real life, I would feel a lot better knowing that this went so smoothly today,” Affagato said.

This is the first joint simulation between Canfield and YSU. Both parties said this experience was invaluable to the students and they’re hoping to partner again in the future.