Vidalia High School girl’s basketball coach Fred Marsalis, left, and Monterey High School basketball and baseball coach Eric Richard, right, practice CPR compressions while other coaches and members of the CPR certification class watch Saturday morning at the Concordia Parish School Board office. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

Archived Story

Concordia coaches get CPR, first aid training

Published 12:14am Sunday, September 16, 2012

VIDALIA —Vidalia High School head coach Gary Parnham Jr. would probably prefer to just call plays.

But if he’s ever required to administer first aid to one of his players, parents can rest assured that Parnham knows what he’s doing.

Parnham, along with several other coaches and faculty employed by Concordia Parish schools, attended a CPR and first aid training course at the Concordia Parish School Board offices Saturday morning.

“I’ve had CPR training before, but it’s been a while, and things change,” Parnham said. “You learn new procedures, and this is beneficial to everyone, especially when it comes to injury prevention and treatment. It’s good to learn and get a refresher.”

Course instructor Bernie Cooley said it was advantageous for school faculty, especially coaches, to learn the ins and outs of first aid and CPR training.

“A lot of times, they’re out there on the field and not close to a phone,” Cooley said. “Injuries are likely to occur, like broken bones, and this allows (the coaches) to deal with them until medical personnel arrive.”

As someone who’s on the front lines during a game, Parnham said he takes first aid training seriously.

“It’s very serious, as far as us knowing what to do to treat a particular injury,” Parnham said. “We have everything from muscle pulls to tears to broken bones. We need to know what to do so we don’t hurt them worse.”

Vidalia girls basketball coach Fred Marsalis said it’s important for coaches to give their players the best possible care in the event of an injury.

“Recognition is of ultimate importance,” Marsalis said. “We have these children with us, so technically we’re responsible for them. We want to give them the best attention they can get.”

There’s also a level of comfort for players and parents knowing coaches are familiar with first aid procedures, Marsalis said.

“It’s a comfort with the parents to know we did the best we could to care for the child when they entrusted their child to us,” Marsalis said.