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Teacher Retirements
June 3, 2024

In case of emergency


Taking a leap of faith toward the ball, an athlete grabs it and comes down back to Earth— a little too hard. Hobbling out of practice in pain, they head to the athletic trainers room for some ice, and find a locked door with no sign of help. Bearcat athletes are facing a new obstacle besides the opponents: no athletic trainer.

Athletic trainers are most commonly faced with emergencies such as concussions and different sprain variations, they are trained to treat broken limbs, dislocations, seizures, head and spinal injuries, and many more life threatening injuries. Without an athletic trainer during these emergencies, students are exposed to potentially permanent damage and a false sense of safety. This can result in untrained professionals making decisions that could make or break the rest of an athlete’s sports career and their overall wellbeing.

In most cases, athletic trainers can also act as a free rehabilitation service. Instead of parents spending hundreds of dollars at various rehabilitation clinics, injured athletes are offered the chance to receive free rehab through the school. 

Principal Anthony Overton mentioned that the school is on the lookout for an athletic trainer but unfortunately “there’s a super high demand, with super low resources”. Overton said. Even though PRHS is  currently without a trainer, the school is doing what they can to help take the stress off of bearcat athletes and their loved ones by providing an emergency action plan for the “what if” situations. The emergency plan in place currently, is to call emergency services when needed and make sure all coaches have been CPR and First Aid certified. 

Shane Vaughn (12) being rushed into an ambulance after facing a potential life threatening injury versus Mission football.
Shane Vaughn (12) being rushed into an ambulance after facing a potential life threatening injury versus Mission football.

“All of our coaches are first aid and CPR certified and they know the things to look for,” Overton said. 

The school also plans on having an administrator at every game to relieve any stress in the event of an emergency situation. 

The Paso Robles HS athletic department has already set up emergency services to cover home football games, and are still currently looking into different options for the remaining sports. 

“We’ve started doing a lot more research into outside organizations that could provide medical services, particularly emergency services. All of our home football games will have secured ambulances at them…we’re also looking at organizations that provide EMT services to help cover sports like basketball, volleyball, and soccer. But it turns out that those organizations are also short on people as well,” Overton said.

“The last time I looked, there were 65 openings for Athletic Trainers in California. Just to give you an idea of how few there are. That’s just the unfortunate status we’re at.”
Anthony Overton
Anthony OvertonPrincipal
“It’s really hard for us to drive to another facility, especially when you’re playing sports or involved in other activities. Having an athletic trainer at school makes it so much easier because you’re already on the same campus.”
Hannah Freygang
Hannah Freygang(11)
“We are feeling a big loss this year in education opportunities for our students, as well as just the connection that they gain within the school and athletics.”
Shelby Lamendola
Shelby LamendolaCTE Healthcare teacher

CTE healthcare teacher Shelby Lamendola,
showing past practicum student, Sydney Fox, how to find the different internal sounds of the body.

The school currently has a Healthcare CTE program based on doing internships with our athletic trainer, but without the guidance of this profession, it’s leaving students completely stranded. During this course, third year healthcare students are able to use the skills they have developed under certified supervision. By having a healthcare site on campus, it opens numerous opportunities for students wanting to fulfill a healthcare career. As the CTE Healthcare teacher, Shelby Lamendola has seen the immense impact that its had in the classroom.

 “I think the biggest impact that it’s had on the third year CTE Health Science and Medical Terminology students, is that it’s taken away a really big opportunity for an internship…we are giving them the ability with a site on campus to continue their education in health care. Whereas out in our community that becomes more and more challenging, so a lot of opportunity is lost,” Lamendola said.

After two years of coursework, students are excited for the opportunity to have hands-on experience, but without the help of a certified athletic trainer, these students are left without the internship experiences they dreamt of. This affected healthcare practicum student Hannah Freygang. 

“I think it’s especially hard for this class because a lot of our students rely on having an athletic trainer to get their hours in. Having an athletic trainer at our school makes it so much easier because you’re already on the same campus. It’s hard to get hands-on experience outside of the school, but with an athletic trainer, you can easily help assist with athletes especially when you can’t really do that outside of a school setting.” Freygang said.

In the time being, athletes and students are hoping the athletic trainers room will unlock their doors and be ready to take on the rest of the school year.

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