Limestone Coaching Staff and Trainer Save Football Player's Life

Published 08/19 2014 06:25PM

Updated 08/19 2014 06:27PM

LIMESTONE - "I don't know what I'd do without a full-time trainer," Limestone’s head football coach Darin Driscoll said.

Athletic trainer Angela Vollmer and the rest of the Limestone Athletic Department meet before every school year to create an emergency action plan, and on Saturday, it came in handy.

"I was doing a facility sweep, as we call it, to make sure that no one was in the building at the time. And I just so happen to go in, and Dalton was on the ground at the time," running back coach Kenneth Burns said.

Dalton Heathcoat was unresponsive in the restroom. Burns instantly called in the trainer, and from there on, their plan was put into action.

"I actually didn't even think about it. It just happened. It just took place, and everybody did what they had to do. Looking back on it, if we all tried to second guess, I don't think we made a mistake," Driscoll said.

Thanks to that quick reaction, Heathcoat is going to recover. However, they did not say just what happened to the linebacker.

"He's okay. That's the most important thing, that he's going to be okay, overall. And that's what the emergency plans are for," Burns said.

All of this happened on a Saturday. But luckily, Vollmer is a six-day-a-week trainer.

"A lot of high schools that don't have a full time athletic trainer would not have had someone here. And it would have been up to the coaching staff to handle the situation," Vollmer said.

Having a full-time trainer also makes a difference in several other ways.

"We can see the athletes every day. We get to know their personalities,” she said. “We know when there's something wrong or if they need to see us. It makes everyone's job a little bit easier being here more consistently."

Vollmer said Limestone was one of the first schools in central Illinois to have a full-time trainer, but many are starting to hire them.

District 150 high schools also have their own full-time trainers.

East Peoria Community High School just hired one for every sport.

And as for Heathcoat, Driscoll said he may not be able to play the rest of the year but he will be a part of the team in some way.

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