As athletic trainers for Bloomington High School North, SPH students Loriann Mathews and Heather Mickelsen aren’t unaccustomed to making quick, sometimes split second decisions, to provide support for the athletes they serve. On October 18, 2013 though, they were asked to use the knowledge and instincts typically reserved for the field or gym in a less familiar environment.
While traveling with the Bloomington High School North football team and athletic trainer Orlin Watson to a game at Terre Haute South they came across an accident involving two cars, one of which was overturned in a ditch. With the team bus stopped and coaches running to assist, Watson, Mathews, and Mickelsen also exited their vehicle to provide support. “When we came to a stop and saw the two car accident there was no question about it, we were going to get out and help,” Mickelsen said.
As Watson and Mickelsen attended to the victims in the overturned car, Mathews assisted with the assessment of those in the other vehicle. With one victim lacking any response or vital signs, CPR was begun while others received treatment for their injuries. Mathews and Mickelsen continued to assess the needs of other victims on the scene and provide support until emergency personnel arrived.
“Without the education I have received through the School of Public Health, I would not have been able to assist in any way. I have taken many classes through the Athletic Training curriculum that allowed me to gain the skills and knowledge needed for a situation such as this,” Mathews noted.
Both Mathews and Micklesen were recently honored for their service by the MCCSC school district for their leadership and assistance during the crisis.
“It was a hard situation and everybody showed great character in their response,” Mathews said.