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PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION FOR LIFE-SAVING HEAT ILLNESS POLICIES FOR HIGH SCHOOLS
Please read the updates for the latest information
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On the morning of June 29, 2017, Zach had just finished running sprints with his high school football team when he collapsed. His coaches and teammates tried to revive him to no avail. Zach was taken to Golisano Children's Hospital where they diagnosed him with a core temperature of 107 degrees and heat stroke, devastating internal injuries, and coma. He was moved to Holtz Children's Hospital in Miami July 6, 2017, for more specialized care. Zach's condition continued to worsen, and he was removed from life support on July 10, 2017.
Zach's death, and other Exhertional Heat Illness (EHI) injuries and deaths, are an unnecessary result of a lack of awareness of the signs & symptoms of EHI, and little knowledge on the topic of treatments.
According to Dr. Doug Casa of the University of Connecticut and national leader in heat stroke prevention, "If you cool someone right away, on site, they don't die - period."
This is the reason for starting the Zach Martin Memorial Foundation & Heat Stroke Prevention. No one should ever lose a loved one to Exhertional Heat Stroke - period.
Providing education and awareness to athletes, coaches, and parents about Exhertional Heat Illnesses (EHI). Exhertional Heat Stroke (EHS) is 100% survivable if recognized and treated within the first 10-15 minutes.
6/13/2018 Policy 41 was approved with only a mandatory heat illness education video which is available on the NFHS website; strongly recommended Heat stress monitoring; strongly recommended cooling stations with cold water immersion tubs; no regulation by FHSAA for summer workouts. Sen. Passidomo called me to express her disappointment with the FHSAA vote today. She is drafting a bill for a Florida law addressing heat illness. This is a long process & we are here for the fight!
6/5/2018 Laurie will be attending the FHSAA Board of Directors meeting on June 12th for the vote on WBGT and CWI tubs, as well as regulations for Summer conditioning.
The meeting agenda has been published at FHSAA.org. The policies included in the agenda for approval have had no changes since the May meeting. This is disappointing for a number of reasons. We have continued our Change.org petition online, and have linked it to our Foundation Facebook page as well, in an effort to reach as many people as possible who will stand with us and support MANDATORY policies for high schools to use WBGT's and the standard guidelines for practice modifications that go along with it, to have CWI tubs accessible for treating heat stroke within 5-10 minutes, and to regulate Summer conditioning, which currently is NOT REGULATED by the FHSAA. The constant emails, phone calls, and media attention is making an impact. During a conversation with Justin Harrison, Executive Director FHSAA, he stated that the policies recommended by the Advisory Committee WOULD be open for discussion, and could be moved to a vote by the Board. YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! Please continue in your efforts to contact the FHSAA Board via emails and phone calls. We are looking at a victory on the horizon!
5/2/2018 Laurie attended the FHSAA Board of Directors meeting Monday the 30th for the planned discussion of the Heat Illness policies and the Board's vote.
The FHSAA Board DID vote to pass a requirement for coaches, parents, and athletes education. Specifically making it a requirement for them to take the NFHS Heat Illness online course. This is a FREE, 30-minute educational course, and is the same one we referenced in earlier petitions. Coaches, parents & student-athletes must certify they have completed the course, and the goal is to have this policy in place before the end of this school year. We are so encouraged by this action, as education is the best foundation for change.
The Board did not vote on the WBGT's and CWI tub policies, ultimately concluding they needed more data on what schools currently have regarding personnel, including Certified Athletic Trainers, as well as which schools currently have WBGT’s & CWI tubs. They will review this data and these two items will be on the June Board meeting agenda again for discussion.
FHSAA's legal counsel reiterated his position that legislation is the only way mandatory policies like these can be policed and enforced, and that the inability to actively monitor if all schools were complying with these requirements would create liability.
We disagree. We believe, as the governing body for high school athletics, it is ABSOLUTELY the FHSAA’s responsibility to take the lead and create safety policies regarding athletic activities on school property. I do not believe that safety guidelines for our kids, on school property, with school employees should be a legislative issue.
There was still NO mention of including summer conditioning or practices in the FHSAA policies and guidelines. This issue was addressed in my comments to them, as well as in an Advisory Committee member's comments. This is a MAJOR problem, with summer just around the corner, and no regulations in place.
However, the Board members ARE listening. They are educated people who have a responsibility to hundreds of thousands of high school students, and many, if not all, are parents themselves. They NEED to hear from you on THESE THREE POLICIES. Contact information for the FHSAA Board can be found at: http://www.fhsaa.org/gov/board/2017-18
Tell them specifically that you want Wet Bulb Globe Thermometers to be a REQUIREMENT, Cold Water Immersion tubs to be a REQUIREMENT, and Summer Conditioning/Training to be INCLUDED with the same FHSAA policies and guidelines & that it is THEIR responsibility to protect our children.
Emails, phone calls, re-sharing this petition and talking about the changes that need to happen to protect our kids is making this happen. Have your high school students sign this petition, the cheerleading team, the lacrosse team, baseball, cross-country and football teams and any other club or sport that practices outside in the heat. Students standing with us will also make a huge impact! Changes in Florida WILL influence changes in other states!
We have one victory! Lives have already been saved because of your actions! The FHSAA STILL has left too much to chance, so we need to press on! Will you make your voice heard?
Please click the link to go to Change.org and sign our petition https://www.change.org/p/fhsaa-get-lifesaving-heat-illness-policies-approved-for-florida-high-schools?recruiter=416965542&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition
4/15/2018 The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Board of Directors are currently reviewing items for the agenda for the April 29th meeting. They MUST hear from YOU on the lifesaving Exertional Heat Stroke safety policies we have worked so hard for. Please click the link to go to Change.org and sign our petition https://www.change.org/p/fhsaa-get-lifesaving-heat-illness-policies-approved-for-florida-high-schools?recruiter=416965542&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition
3/30/2018 SPONSOR SHOUTOUT:
GRAPHIX BY FRAN
3/15/2018 - SPONSOR SHOUTOUT:
FLOOD PROS OF SWFL
3/10/2018 - SPONSOR SHOUTOUT:
FRANK & SUZANNE C.
DENISE & JERRY M.
Thank you for your support!
3/6/2018 - Our inaugural Benefit will be April 7th! Keep checking here or follow us on Facebook @zachmartinfoundation and on Twitter @zachmfoundation
RIVERDALE HIGH SCHOOL
3/1/2018 - We are so excited to share with you the following updates from the FASMed Conference. Laurie and Ed were invited to attend the January conference to provide personal insight on the devastating impact of Zach's death, and to contribute to new policies for the FHSAA, regarding Cold Water Immersion and the use of Wet Bulb Globe Thermometers (WBGT), to ensure student-athlete safety. We joined sports medicine physicians, certified athletic trainers, and school administrators and coaches to discuss the current policies, avenues of improvement, and got to work writing policies that were actionable by all institutions and persons responsible for athlete safety.
January 29 & 30, 2018 FASMed Conference UPDATE:
Immediately following the FASMED meeting. The FHSAA SMAC met to further discuss the items of the event and took the following actions:
1. moved forward a recommendation to the FHSAA Board to require WBGT
2. moved forward a recommendation to the FHSAA Board to require cold water immersion
3. moved forward a recommendation to the FHSAA Board to add language to preseason conditioning in the summer to include WBGT and CWI
4. moved forward a recommendation to the FHSAA Board to require school administrators to comply with concussion and sudden cardiac arrest educational videos
5. moved forward a recommendation to the FHSAA Board to update the FHSAA AT 18 form to reflect updates from the Berlin Conference
6. moved forward a recommendation to the FHSAA Board to engage in discussions with school superintendents to require mandatory coaches safety education
*Underlining and italics added by ZMMF
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals:
~ scholarship fund for Florida Certified Athletic Trainers
~ providing mandatory safety tools to under-financed schools
~ travel and attendance at athlete safety conferences
~ awareness campaign costs
~ merchandise & education printing costs
We love our supporters, so feel free to email us!
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: By appointment