New Okla. law requires EMS plan for school athletic events

The Riley Boatwright Act is named after a middle school football player who died from injuries during a game last year


Cameron Jourdan
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt signed the Riley Boatwright Act into law Thursday.

Named in memory of a Lexington middle school football player who died because of injuries suffered during a game in 2019, Senate Bill 1198 directs all Oklahoma school district boards of education to coordinate with emergency medical service providers to develop a plan to provide emergency medical services at athletic events or activities held at school facilities.

Sherrie Conley (R-Newcastle) was the House author of the bill. It will go into effect July 1.

“Working with Riley’s family to craft this legislation that will hopefully save the lives of other young people was some of the hardest work I’ve had to do since my time in the legislature,” Conley said in a release. “The legislation itself sailed smoothly through the process, and I’m thankful for the support it received from my fellow lawmakers and the governor. But knowing the family’s grief at losing their precious son made this an emotional issue that will long live in my memory.”

School boards must form their emergency plan prior to the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

The measure requires the plan to be reviewed and updated annually and placed on file with the school district and emergency medical services provider.

“Requiring an emergency medical plan for school athletic events and activities could be the difference between life and death in a serious injury situation,” Senate author Rob Standridge (R-Norman) said in a release. “There should never be a question if an ambulance or doctor will make it in time to tend to an injury. This is a commonsense law that has the ability to save lives.”

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©2020 The Oklahoman

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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