While you are likely to find an athletic trainer on the sidelines of a football field on a Friday or Saturday, some Indiana athletic trainers are lending their expertise to help local police, fire, and EMT workers keep moving.
It’s a program that’s growing throughout central Indiana, keeping first responders healthy and saving taxpayers money, too.
A recent story from WTHR.com highlighted how local Indiana athletic trainers are helping first responders stay healthy and upright on the job.
Below is an excerpt from the WTHR.com story.
White River Township Fire in Johnson County is one of six local departments to partner with Forte Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.
Tactical athletic trainers now work at the firehouse or police station full-time, focused specifically on first responders.
Dr. Maura Shea, who everyone knows as “Mo,” leads the team for Forte Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.
“We’re not returning them to football. We’re not returning them to a desk job. Picking up patients, putting out fires, that’s a completely different realm and different body movements so we have people that specialize in exactly that to be sure they get back safely,” Shea explained.
Firefighter Matt Whalbring got treatment for tendinitis, which developed while working out. It’s something he may not have taken care of right away if trainers weren’t onsite.
“With these little injuries that we get, they can sometimes build into really big injuries because as firefighters, EMS, police, we tend to ignore them because we don’t want to be off work,” Whalbring said. “For me, it’s made a difference.”
Injury prevention is a big part of the program.
The Greenwood Fire Department, for example, partnered with Forte and started working with athletic trainers in the late spring.
All of the firefighters had initial assessments, then got an individualized plan to work on weekly – sometimes in groups, often at work, and then at home, too.
“That way we can locate any asymmetries that they have, things that aren’t hurt yet and we can prevent them from becoming a larger issue,” Shea explained.
To read the full story from WTHR.com, click here.