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Safety Practices at the Big Game

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- When Dubuque Fighting Saint Dylan Chanter hit his head on the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena ice this weekend, there was no ambulance on site to get him to a hospital. CBS 2 news found out that its not always standard to have an ambulance on site, even for a contact sport like hockey.

"It really depends on the resources, availability as well as the general 'ask," said the Manager of St. Luke's Sports Medicine Chris Pickering.

The "ask" is the list of staff and equipment that a team or its league requests be at an arena where it plays. It covers things like doctors, trainers and ambulances when requested.

"They look at different situations such as your distance from a hospital, how far you are and that sort of standpoint," said the Marketing Director at VenueWorks Sarah Madalinski.

VenueWorks staffs the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, where the injury happened. She says an ambulance wasn't part of the planning.

"For this particular hockey league, having that on site is not a requirement but they did have a medical doctor on staff as well as police on staff who were first responders for this situation," said Madalinski.

Both the Cedar Rapids Titans and Kernals say they have ambulances at all their games, along with team trainers and doctors to treat anyone who is injured. But those are professional sports teams. The RoughRiders is a Junior League Hockey team with most of the roster around 18 years old. They say it has not been their policy to have an ambulance at their games, just the team doctor and trainers who responded when Chanter started going into convultions. But Pickering says not having an ambulance didn't affect the level of treatment he received.

"It would be the same because what would happen is the medical professional that's there would assess the situation and determine whether transport is needed," said Pickering.

The players on the RoughRiders are about the same age as many high school athletes around Cedar Rapids. Some of those high schools say it is their policy to have ambulances on site only for varsity and junior varsity football games. For all other sports, school trainers and volunteer doctors take care of injured athletes.

The league released a statement saying that they were thankful for the medical care that Chanter received. It continued to say, "the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders organization was in full compliance with USHL medical care address situations such as this one."

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