A Lightning Dilemma

As many Athletic Trainers do, we work a variety of camps or events as providers. Hopefully we request a fair payment for our services, have proper liability insurance, dress professionally, practice professionally as well as prepare just like we would working with our own teams or employers. Recently, I worked a two day, half day camp here in Florida which leads the nation in lightning strikes. Day one was fine but cloudy and in conversation I asked what was our plan for In climate weather. I was told there was a “plan B”, that at most venues they’d go indoors but at this remote site they’d be moving to the picnic pavilion under the tall pine trees. Not necessarily the answer I wanted to hear and suggested they at least move to enclosed vehicles, a much safer alternative. The second day, while in the middle of treating a critical patient, lightning struck nearby and the camp was discontinued and moved to the picnic pavilion and under the trees for the camp awards close out session.

Fortunately, though the storm was in the surrounding area, there were no further strikes noticed. Regardless it, points out the seriousness of prior preparation and planning by all parties concerned. The 2013 NATA Position Statement (JAT 2013) regarding lightning is an excellent resource and should be shared with other groups as well as reviewed and implemented.

Protect yourself first as well as the lives of others. Promote National Weather Service slogans such as “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors” or “Half and hour since thunder roars, now it’s safe to go outdoors.” It is certainly not something to be taken lightly

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