Ky. county changes policy to have ambulances at high school athletic events

When football player Tyler Browning broke his leg in a home game, there was not an ambulance on site as recommended by the state

By Valarie Honeycutt Spears
Lexington Herald-Leader

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. — Fayette County Public school officials said this week that they are changing their practice regarding ambulances at high school athletic events.

Now they will have an ambulance at all high school home games, instead of just games involving two Fayette teams.

When Paul Laurence Dunbar High football player Tyler Browning sustained a serious break to his leg in October in the school’s home game against Scott County, there was not an ambulance on site as recommended by Kentucky High School Athletic Association rules.

Fayette County Public School officials had a contract with a private company to have an ambulance on site at all games where two Fayette County schools were playing each other, but not when one of the teams was from another district, the Herald-Leader reported in October. It took 11 minutes for a Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government ambulance to arrive at Dunbar to take Browning to the hospital, records showed.


Fayette Schools budget director Julane Mullins mentioned at a recent board meeting that district staff thought that having ambulances at games was among the necessary expenditures.

For 2018, the district intends to have an ambulance on site for every home football game played in Fayette County. The projected budget for that is $17,280, said district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall.

"Fayette County has been a leader in the area of sports safety, providing certified athletic trainers in our high schools from more than two decades and expanding the athletic trainer program to our middle schools in 2017, "Deffendall said in a statement Sunday night.

"The district has been recognized nationally for acting 'on all recommended and required elements of the Safe Sports School checklist' and going 'above and beyond to help ensure the safety of their student athletes,'" Deffendall said. "As part of our ongoing commitment to ensure the safety of our student athletes we have been phasing in the practice of contracting for ambulance services for several years."

In 2016, Fayette County Public Schools contracted with AMR Standby Services to provide two ambulances each Friday night. The ambulances would rotate being on site among the high schools that were hosting a game. The contract was $6,035, Deffendall said.

In 2017, the contract was changed to have an ambulance on site for the entire game when two Fayette County schools played each other. The contract was $8,640, she said.

Scott County is one Kentucky school district that last season had an ambulance on site for every home varsity football game, an official said in October.

Copyright 2018 Lexington Herald-Leader

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