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Ambulances not required at NFL practices

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Reports that the Eagles had to wait 15 minutes (one account pegged it at 20) for the ambulance that took defensive tackle Mike Patterson raised concerns for some with knowledge of the league’s procedures, since ambulances routinely are present at the practices of multiple NFL teams.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that ambulances are required to be present for games, but not for practices.

That said, an Eagles spokesman tells PFT that an ambulance was already on site at practice, and that the paramedics assisted team doctors and trainers (along with rookie guard Danny Watkins, a former firefighter) in tending to Patterson.  The spokesman explained that a different ambulance was called because the crew on the scene doesn’t service the hospital to which the doctors believed Patterson should go.  The spokesman emphasized that Patterson received excellent care from the team of professionals who quickly stabilized Patterson.

Either way, no team is required to have an ambulance at practice.

And that’s something that needs to change.

Maybe it will in 10 years. . . .

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44 Responses to “Ambulances not required at NFL practices”
  1. johnnyjagfan says: Aug 4, 2011 5:43 PM

    You gotta understand how much medical transportation costs before writing such an assumptive piece that implies that it should be at all practices. To have a full advanced life support (ALS) vehicle available, you have about $2-3k an hour ready every day to pay. Unless football players are more important to save than, say a construction worker or some other guy that works outside in the heat in a dangerous place, then this is a hit piece on teams.

  2. Umar says: Aug 4, 2011 5:47 PM

    It’s funny. The NFL makes such a big deal about player safety and keeps changing all these rules for player safety yet there isn’t a rule to require an ambulance at practice. Ridiculous

  3. randysavage4ever says: Aug 4, 2011 5:48 PM

    yeah they are gonna wait until someone dies first

    then they’ll take some action

    owners are proactive again

    way to treat your players like horses

    if it was the owners son out there playing they would have a hospital built right next to the practice facility.

  4. mataug says: Aug 4, 2011 5:48 PM

    The NFL is literally begging for a lawsuit here…

  5. xxxfixxxerxxx says: Aug 4, 2011 5:54 PM

    They should be required at all times.

  6. melonnhead says: Aug 4, 2011 5:56 PM

    Oh so they had an ambulance, but that ambulance doesn’t serve the Lehigh Valley Health Network, which has three hospitals. That changes everything! Must be a union thing.

  7. norcaleagles says: Aug 4, 2011 5:58 PM

    Yeah, having an ambulance on sight during practice seems like it should be mandatory. Anybody know if Patterson will hit IR or if he still has a chance to play this season?

  8. ribsribs says: Aug 4, 2011 6:02 PM

    “a different ambulance was called because the crew on the scene doesn’t service the hospital to which the doctors believed Patterson should go”

    Now that sounds absurd to me. Hold on playa, the guy just had a seizure and could have died.

  9. profootballwalk says: Aug 4, 2011 6:02 PM

    They already have medical staff on hand – what do they need ambulances when they are very very rarely needed? Paying to have ambulances at every team’s facilities would be a ridiculous waste of resources.

  10. macjacmccoy says: Aug 4, 2011 6:04 PM

    ok every single person who has any integrity that called out the Eagles for not having an ambulance on sight needs post a comment about how they were wrong like PFT did.

  11. whoknowsnothing says: Aug 4, 2011 6:06 PM

    Talk about taking every safety measure.

    Hey, Mr. Goodell we have an issue!

  12. prosb4hos says: Aug 4, 2011 6:06 PM

    Guess ambulances should be required at every single football practice going on from pee-wee league to NFL then lol.

  13. Pat says: Aug 4, 2011 6:07 PM

    breaking news: Ambulances are also not required at retirement homes….and people are far more likely to die there.

  14. rickycubane says: Aug 4, 2011 6:08 PM

    at least D Watkins was in camp to help out

  15. melonnhead says: Aug 4, 2011 6:14 PM

    You gotta understand how much medical transportation costs before writing such an assumptive piece that implies that it should be at all practices. To have a full advanced life support (ALS) vehicle available, you have about $2-3k an hour ready every day to pay. Unless football players are more important to save than, say a construction worker or some other guy that works outside in the heat in a dangerous place, then this is a hit piece on teams.

    ————————————————————-

    I wouldn’t say “more important” but I would say that big guys pounding on each other in the heat are more likely to need an ambulance than someone who just “works outside”.

  16. mike83ri says: Aug 4, 2011 6:18 PM

    johnnyjagfan says:
    Aug 4, 2011 5:43 PM
    You gotta understand how much medical transportation costs before writing such an assumptive piece that implies that it should be at all practices. To have a full advanced life support (ALS) vehicle available, you have about $2-3k an hour ready every day to pay. Unless football players are more important to save than, say a construction worker or some other guy that works outside in the heat in a dangerous place, then this is a hit piece on teams.

    ———-

    I’m sorry, is there an ambulance shortage in America? You realize that the more ambulances commisioned, the more ambulances a fleet would have and paramedics would be hired, right?

    We used to have an ambulance at every game I played in High School.

    And what paramedics are making $2-3k an hour? I want that job.

    Even if it was $2-3k an hour, with the new rules in place for pratice limitations, having that safety measure is cheaper for the team than the cost of one player on the minimum salary.

    And the fact that most teams have an ambulance at every practice anyway makes your point about this truly idiotic.

  17. johnnyjagfan says: Aug 4, 2011 6:19 PM

    Mataug, is a developer with guys 94 floors high walking across beams beggin for a lawsuit without an ambulance on site?

  18. doublec42788 says: Aug 4, 2011 6:19 PM

    Isnt that how Kory Stringer died?

  19. halo81 says: Aug 4, 2011 6:22 PM

    Wait, someone just talked about cost, but it is MANDATORY that an ambulance be present at every high school football game in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York and in the District of Columbia and I’m sure more…

    I hope that post was sarcastic. Money? High school kids are protected and they’re a bunch of 165-pound kids hitting each other at slow speeds.

    Some of you really are NFL apologists to think of money in these situations.

    People need to be protected. It’s a brutally violent sport.

  20. halo81 says: Aug 4, 2011 6:24 PM

    And it’s not just about heat (nice way to make it about the “common man”), it’s about a 330-pound guy cracking your skull open at Mach 2.

    I’ve never seen that on an HVAC job happening every single second.

  21. melonnhead says: Aug 4, 2011 6:25 PM

    you have about $2-3k an hour ready every day to pay

    ————————————————————

    OK so let’s say $3K per hour, 4 hours per day for 28 days X 32 teams = roughly $11 million to ensure that ~2500 players have timely medical care if they need it. About $340,000 per team.

    The NFL is a $9 billion per year cash cow. ~$281 million per team, per year.

    Pretty cheap if you ask me (and nobody did but do I care? no)

  22. squakmaster says: Aug 4, 2011 6:26 PM

    believe me …. from first hand experience i am positive that they were immediately thinking that they were going to lehigh valley hospital. they are an incredible trauma and head injury hospital. i had a 60 foot cherry tree try to crush the life out of me and when i showed up at my local hospital they spit me out on silicone rails , straight for LVH . they didnt even flinch … luckily i made it through thanks to the GREAT people and doctors there. so mike patterson was more than lucky to “wait” for the ride to the hospital that he was going to end up at either way. it would have taken longer for them to show up at the /other/ hospital and just be shipped out the very second they entered the emergency room

  23. thetechnocrat says: Aug 4, 2011 6:26 PM

    I’m not footing the taxpayer bill to pay paramedics to stand around and watch practice period. They are just like everyone else in a workplace.

  24. ajmffl says: Aug 4, 2011 6:30 PM

    You are OUT of your MIND if you think, viably, an ambulance should be at every NFL PRACTICE? Are you kidding me? First, it takes an ambulance out of circulation for the general population, which is exponentially greater than those at an NFL practice actually getting involved in contact. Frankly, its greater than anyone in a 15 mile radius of an NFL practice

    Regardless, these guys have SIGNED A CONTRACT knowing the RISKS. If they need an ambulance, they need to provide their own private ambulatory care. Otherwise, I’d rather the vehicle and staff be available to the population at whole.

    With every job there are risks and rewards. Sorry, but the NFL Players are not on the top of the watch and care list.

  25. dudeustupid says: Aug 4, 2011 6:32 PM

    This is ridiculous…how often does something like this happen at a practice? not very often. It would be a waste of an ambulance and paramedics just to sit there and watch a football practice waiting for something to happen as opposed to being out helping people. Maybe we should require an ambulance at every school now, and every resturaunt waiting for someone to choke, at every construction site for every workplace mishap. It takes probably 15 minutes for an ambulance to get anywhere. It happens.

  26. qoojo says: Aug 4, 2011 6:33 PM

    Sounds like a lame excuse to me, and like unions are involved. “Doesn’t service that hospital” Someone should smack them upside the head.

  27. melonnhead says: Aug 4, 2011 6:37 PM

    ok every single person who has any integrity that called out the Eagles for not having an ambulance on sight needs post a comment about how they were wrong like PFT did.

    —————————————————————-

    It’s sort of even more retarded that they’d have an ambulance that won’t take players to a hospital that team medical staff want him taken to.

  28. melonnhead says: Aug 4, 2011 6:39 PM

    I’m not footing the taxpayer bill to pay paramedics to stand around and watch practice period.

    ————————————————————-

    Right, the teams should pay.

  29. melonnhead says: Aug 4, 2011 6:42 PM

    You are OUT of your MIND if you think, viably, an ambulance should be at every NFL PRACTICE? Are you kidding me? First, it takes an ambulance out of circulation for the general population

    —————————————————————–

    Oh yeah I forgot, the country is experiencing a huuuge ambulance shortage.

  30. melonnhead says: Aug 4, 2011 6:47 PM

    “Dream Team” apologists are out in full force today!

  31. 305fan says: Aug 4, 2011 7:05 PM

    If teams can afford a team Doctor, then they can afford to flip the bill for a fully stocked team owned rescue truck with a minimum of 2 paramedics. As a paramedic I can tell you that I’ve seen some injuries occur on the football feild, and these team trainers are clueless. They do more harm than good. A player with a concussion should never be allowed to walk off the feild. That is just plain neglegent.

  32. amusingponderings says: Aug 4, 2011 7:06 PM

    Sounds like something the Bengals would do….

    I attended a practice about 15 years ago and they did have ambulances there but that doesn’t mean they still do it.

  33. melonnhead says: Aug 4, 2011 7:09 PM

    breaking news: Ambulances are also not required at retirement homes….and people are far more likely to die there.

    ————————————————————-

    I guess I’m going to have to be the one to tell you that most people that die in retirement homes are dying because they’re really old. Not because some 6’4″ 300 pound guy that runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds is beating them in the head in the hot sun.

  34. davikes says: Aug 4, 2011 7:12 PM

    The problem is that the ambulance they had “didn’t service” the hospital they needed to go to. If the Eagles are paying for the ambulance, shouldn’t it take their employee wherever the Eagles want them to? I’ve never heard a hospital rejecting an ambulance, so why would the ambulance company reject going to that particular hospital?

    Of course, the reporter could have screwed up the facts, it wouldn’t be the first time. Then we’re all wasting our typed breath on the wrong facts.

  35. fedxnavy says: Aug 4, 2011 7:26 PM

    Half of you are IDOTS! If your gonna post an ambulance out for NFL practices then what about all the colleges and high schools as well. I think most cities have had to already cut back on public
    services as such. It’s up to coaching staffs to use a little common sense, and not send your guys out there in the heat of the day if possible. When necessary to have someone monitoring the players.
    Posting ambulances for practices is just plain stupid!

  36. seabreezes51 says: Aug 4, 2011 7:37 PM

    When Mike Patterson went down it wasn’t yet 80 degrees.
    The first person that responded to this story has it dead on.
    Unless you want to put a medical team next to every group of people with paddles at the ready, this “outrage” makes no sense.
    And that isn’t free

  37. seabreezes51 says: Aug 4, 2011 7:43 PM

    BTW, I had an brain tumor rupture and didn’t deal with it for three days as I suffered through some nasty headaches, then I couldn’t talk. Mt wife drove me to the ER and the hospital fixed me up over two days.
    Patterson’s problem was not an injury, or the heat. It was a physical problem that ANY one of you could have lurking in your head. Do you expect a team of Doctors to follow you around throughout your days and nights?

  38. macker1283 says: Aug 4, 2011 8:05 PM

    Unless ambulances are required to be at every school sporting event in the country first, no they shouldn’t be required to be at NFL practices. As for the “15 to 20 minute wait”…thats just long in general. It has nothing to do with the fact that it was at an NFL practice.

  39. firedude7160 says: Aug 4, 2011 8:42 PM

    With the extent of the medical staffs that teams have on site, the need for an ambulance to be standing by is all but zero. The ambulance that the team has on site was, most likely, a non-emergency ambulance that is used to transport players, who have non-life threatening injuries, for further tests (x-rays, MRI’s, ect.). Those ambulances are not typically staffed with Paramedics, which would have been needed in Patterson’s situation, but instead with EMTs.

    As for the presence of ambulances at High School games- While they are required at all games, they are not required at all practices. Each level of football (NFL, College, High School, Peewee) requires an ambulance at games, but not practices. That’s because, while a serious injury can happen at any time, an injury is more likely to happen while players are going all out during a game.

  40. potviking says: Aug 4, 2011 8:56 PM

    It’s practice. How often are players really hurt bad enough at practice to require the services an ambulance might provide? Just have the injured player get in the Lamborghini and speed on over to the hospital if it’s that bad..

  41. ibangrocks4fun says: Aug 4, 2011 9:01 PM

    People need to stop freaking out. There was an ER Doc, trainers, etc. on location. I don’t wanna knock an EMT but what more expertise can they provide over a Doc and trainer??? And this Danny Watkins’ story is so overblown. His intentions were good but what did he do “give him space”……

  42. 305fan says: Aug 4, 2011 10:02 PM

    ibangrocks4fun says:
    Aug 4, 2011 9:01 PM
    People need to stop freaking out. There was an ER Doc, trainers, etc. on location. I don’t wanna knock an EMT but what more expertise can they provide over a Doc and trainer???

    You would be surprised. Alot of doctors get their Advanced Cardiac Life Support certification from paramedics. You would be surprised to see how many of them fail the practical portion of the test. I have witnessed this myself. Including the death of a paitient due to giving the wrong treatment.

  43. macjacmccoy says: Aug 5, 2011 1:04 AM

    melonnhead says:
    Aug 4, 2011 6:37 PM
    ok every single person who has any integrity that called out the Eagles for not having an ambulance on sight needs post a comment about how they were wrong like PFT did.

    —————————————————————-

    It’s sort of even more retarded that they’d have an ambulance that won’t take players to a hospital that team medical staff want him taken to.

    43

    ______________________________

    Um no its not if you took to time to know what your talking about before you spoke you would know that the ambulance they had their was for a local hospital that can handle normal football injuries just as well as Lehigh Valley Hospital and is closer. But when the guy had a seizure they made a decision to the send him to the further LHV hospital bc they have a top notch neurological staff.

    The situation that occured with Patterson is probably 1 of the only things that could have happened that would make the Eagles send him to LHV and not the other hospital. 9/10 they just would have went with the original ambulance.

    I understand though people without any integrity usually try to find excuse why they right even when they clearly were wrong. You clearly are one of those people.

  44. jennstergersburnedretinas says: Aug 5, 2011 3:00 AM

    Melonhead…. uhhh I mean Vox. So nice to have you back. I guess your mom gave you back internet access? The basements T1 cable needed fixed. Loser.

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