CINCINNATI (WKRC) - On Thursday, Ethan Trejo collapsed during soccer conditioning at Princeton High School and died.
Just 374 days earlier, Matt Mangine Jr. collapsed during soccer conditioning at St. Henry High School and died.
That's two Tri-State athletes in two years -- two separate communities feeling the same pain.
Mike Gordon, the president of the Greater Cincinnati Athletic Trainers Association, understands that pain.
“Everyone is heartbroken in this situation,” Gordon said. “The EMS that shows up that does CPR and transports someone to the hospital, the athletic trainer, the coaches, the kids that witnessed it, the parents, the community at large. It’s heartbreaking.”
Since November 2019, Local 12 has pushed for answers. What will it take to keep high school athletes safe on the sidelines?
Here are three questions Gordon said anyone should ask when they show up to a field or court:
1. Where is the closest automated external defibrillator?
“The AED is going to restart the heart,” Gordon said.
Medical experts say one should be on site and easily accessible.
2. Is there an athletic trainer on site?
“And if there isn’t, why isn’t one?” Gordon said.
3. What is your plan if an emergency happens?
“What plan do you have in place?” Gordon said. “Do you just all look at each other and hope somebody calls 911? Or is that coach calling 911 and that coach is going to meet the ambulance?”
Last Thursday, an athletic trainer was on site, an AED was readily available and an ambulance arrived almost four minutes after it was dispatched, according to incident reports.
“Sometimes, it’s just not enough,” Gordon said, looking at his own son. “And I think it hits me harder now that I’m a father, but I can’t imagine the pain that a family would go through in that situation.”
Local 12 will continue to highlight precautions and increase awareness toward a future with safer sidelines.