ISSA's Small implores safety ahead of kick-off
The Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) recently acquired more than 30 defibrillators (AED) ahead of the new season of Manning and daCosta Cup football, which kicks off on September 9.
An AED is a portable device used to treat sudden cardiac arrest. It checks the heart rhythm and is able to send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm.
Last September, St George's College's captain Dominic James died during a Manning Cup game. Spot Valley High's Saymar Ramsey died after a basketball game in November.
ISSA's president, Dr Walton Small told STAR Sports his association has been encouraging schools to get defibrillators.
"We are fortunate to have gotten some from Team Jamaica Bickle. They have donated a significant amount so far and this is something that will go a far way in helping us to prevent the loss of lives," Small said.
"We are extremely grateful for that because, right now, I know that we have in the excess of 30. This is second year that Team Jamaica Bickle and old students' associations from the diaspora, have given to individual schools.
"Maybe one of the things that we will have to do is to place them in different zones so that the other schools can get a chance to use them until all schools are equipped," he added.
Dr Small further pointed out that his association has put strict rules in place, stipulating that teams participating in ISSA competitions must have medical personnel on its bench this season.
"That has always been ISSA's instruct, that you must have a medical person on your bench or, at minimum, a school nurse and, better yet, a medical doctor, but you must have a medical personnel.
"The important thing is that we must remind our schools that there must be a designated route and a designated vehicle, whether or not it is an ambulance," said Dr Small. "There must be a designated stretcher in case of any emergency."
Dr Small also stated that he has instructed schools that, where possible, they must have oxygen nearby to take care of an emergency.
The Manning and daCosta Cup competitions get under way with a double-header at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex on September 9.