You only notice them when you need them. They are not extremely noticeable. They are generally quiet and unassuming. But very recently additional positive evidence was recorded which strongly points out the tremendous value and the importance of the athletic trainers of the respective Clermont County high school athletic departments.
On Jan. 12, at Glen Este High School, the Trojan boys basketball teams were competing against Winton Woods’ Warriors.
Ken Rushford is the athletic trainer at Glen Este High School. He is a member of the staff of Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine. His office is located in the Eastgate area. He is currently serving his third year as the athletic trainer at Glen Este.
He recalls, “I was in the gym doing rehab with the basketball players when I was told one of the wrestlers was down. I got there and gave it my initial evaluation. He had a heartbeat, but wasn’t breathing. I performed rescue breathing. His heart stopped and I had to get out the defibrillator and I had to deliver a shock. Then the emergency medical people arrived.”
He got into his work and saved the life of a young man who had suddenly stopped running through his workout in the high school hallways and said he was having trouble breathing. He soon after fell to the floor.
The current report on the student-athlete is good and you could see in his facial expressions and the way he spoke that Rushford was very pleased and proud.
"He's not out of the woods yet, but he is making progress. His speech is improving and his diet is back and his strength is coming back," he said.
"He is our superman. He protects our kids. He cares about our kids so much. He cares about keeping them healthy and he cares about them athletically," said Dan Simmons, Glen Este High School athletic director. "This was a situation where a bunch of good people came together. Ken told everybody what they should do and he kept everybody calm. He is a hero."
Glen Este head wrestling coach Nate Lynch was a witness to the entire event. He said, "It was a crazy situation. Emotions were running very high. We got Ken immediately and he settled everyone down. Ken remained calm and that kept everyone else calm. Because of his efforts the young man is still alive."
Athletic trainers throughout the United States are going to be recognized and honored during the month of March when, once again, it will be designated as National Athletic Trainers Month.
In addition to Ken Rushford, additional Clermont County high schools are blessed with other talented and dedicated athletic trainers.
The county's high school athletic trainers are Karen Simms at Batavia, Mike Spillman at Goshen, Mike Thalner at Milford, Neil Weiss at Amelia, and Todd Wells at New Richmond.
Thalner and Wells are both pleased to be working at their respective alma maters where they were student-athletes during their prep days.