Emergency Action Planning in Kansas High Schools


  • Riley Hedberg University of Kansas School of Medicine
  • William Messamore, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Tanner Poppe
  • Armin Tarakemeh
  • Jordan Baker
  • Rick Burkholder, M.S., ATC
  • Luis Salazar, M.D.
  • Bryan G. Vopat, M.D.
  • Jean-Philippe Darche, M.D.




Introduction. Current evidence shows a variable rate of emergency action plan (EAP) implementation and a low rate of compliance to EAP guidelines in United States secondary schools. Compliance to emergency action plan recommendations in Kansas high schools is not known. The purpose of this study was to identify the emergency preparedness of public high school athletics in the state of Kansas and identify prevailing characteristics of schools that correlate with decreased compliance of an EAP.

Methods. Athletic directors for public high schools in the state of Kansas were asked to participate in a web-based questionnaire that was emailed to each athletic director. The questionnaire identified demographics of the study population, EAP implementation rates, compliance to national EAP guidelines, access to certified medical personnel, and training received by athletics personnel. Descriptive statistics were then compiled and reported.

Results. The response rate for the survey was 96% (341/355). A total of 94.1% (320/340) of schools have an EAP, 81.4% (276/339) of schools have an automated external defibrillator (AED) at all athletic venues, and 51.8% (176/340) of schools had an athletic trainer (AT) on staff. Urban schools were significantly more likely than rural schools to have an AT on staff (OR=11.10, 95% CI=[6.42, 19.18], p<0.0001), have an EAP (OR=3.69, 95% CI=[1.05, 13.02], p=0.0303), require additional training for coaches (OR=2.69, 95% CI=[1.42, 5.08], p =0.0017), and have an AED on-site for some events (OR=2.18, 95% CI=[1.24, 3.81], p=0.0057).

Conclusions. Most Kansas high schools have an EAP in place and have at least 1 AED. Emergency planning should be improved through venue specific EAPs, access to early defibrillation, and additional training. Rural and low division schools have lower AT staffing and consequently are more significantly impacted by these factors. Rural and low division schools are more significantly impacted than urban and high division schools and this should be taken into account in future improvement strategies.


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Original Research

How to Cite

Hedberg, R., Messamore, W., Poppe, T., Tarakemeh, A., Baker, J., Burkholder, R. ., Salazar, L., Vopat, B., & Darche, J. (2022). Emergency Action Planning in Kansas High Schools. Kansas Journal of Medicine, 15(3), 360-364. https://doi.org/10.17161/kjm.vol15.18217