LPS high school athletic staff receive specialized training

Emergencies can strike at any moment. That’s why Lincoln Public Schools athletic staff teamed up with surrounding schools' athletic trainers, local health professionals and first responders for special training on Aug. 5, at Seacrest Field.

Organizers said this professional development took place at the perfect time, right before the start of fall activities. The training focused on managing heat illness and possible spinal injuries.

“Those individuals work very closely with respective roles and schools competing against other schools. If there is some type of injury, illness, or catastrophic event, those individuals become the first responders and initial people in charge of that situation,” LPS Athletics and Activities Director J.J. Toczek said. 

Athletic staff got to practice skills like identifying when to use a spine board or managing heat illness by monitoring the athlete’s temperature and cold water immersions. 

“Practice is prevention and getting us ready so that we can act. Often, the time is of the essence with our athletes,” Lincoln Southwest High School Head Athletic Trainer Crystal Kjar said.

“We don’t want to sit there and think of decisions on the fly. If we already have the protocols in place and practice those, that speeds up our response time and gets the proper care to the injured student-athlete in a timely manner,” Lincoln North Star High School Head Athletic Trainer Justin Eggleston. 

Kjar also helped coordinate the training with Bryan Health and Nebraska Orthopedic Center. Participants said the collaboration was helpful in getting them ready to best serve and keep students and families safe this year. 

This is the first year the school district has done this collaborative athletic emergency training. Toczek hopes to continue the partnership and conduct this event annually. 

Take a look at the highlights from the inaugural training in the slideshow below.

Published: August 10, 2022, Updated: August 11, 2022

Lincoln Public Schools Athletic staff trained for emergencies before the school year at Seacrest Field.