DALLAS -- Right now, there are only a handful of licensed athletic trainers in the Dallas Independent School District, but that could be changing soon.
A proposal to add 22 trainers to 22 of the district’s high school campuses is being included in the 2012-2103 budget. Thursday, during a budget workshop, trustees got their first look at the proposal submitted by athletics director Jeff Johnson.
Whether it’s on the hardwood or on the gridiron, when a student goes down with an injury it’s crucial that they get medical attention as soon as possible and proper rehabilitation, if necessary. Scott Galloway, the chairman of the Texas State Athletic Trainer’s association, said having an on-site trainer at every campus is a best practice that is being adopted across the country.
“With concussion being in the media and the attention to sudden athlete death, what we know is we really need qualified people taking care of these kids,” Galloway said.
Right now, DISD has a sports medicine clinic located at five stadiums throughout the district and just 10 trainers on staff. It sometimes contracts out for additional trainers, when necessary.
“The importance of having qualified athletic trainers at every campus to care for athlete safety, athletic injury, doing education -- there’s really no substitute for that at every campus," Galloway said, “and it’s been a long time coming at Dallas ISD.”
It’s estimated hiring 22 certified and licensed trainers would cost about $100,000 per campus. The total cost is estimated at $2.2 million. A first-year athletic trainer would command a salary of $52,414, including benefits. The proposed costs include supplies and equipment.
“What we’re trying to do with this proposal is really try to catch us up with what’s going on nationwide, and particularly in the suburbs around Dallas County,” said district spokesperson Jon Dahlander.
Dahlander said it would also allow those trainers to teach classes and mentor students who may be interested in the field of sports medicine.
The proposal, like the budget, could undergo a number of changes before the board votes at its June 27 meeting.