BAR HARBOR — An anonymous donation of $20,000 for next year and $10,000 the year after that has helped persuade the Mount Desert Island High School board to approve the hiring of a full-time athletic trainer.
Athletic director Bunky Dow, who recommended the staff addition, said the starting salary would be $32,000.
The high school has been budgeting $12,000 a year to contract with Mount Desert Island Hospital to provide medical coverage for home games in football and several other sports. The high school pays $50 an hour for a physician or registered nurse to be on the sidelines and take care of injured players.
The athletic trainer’s responsibilities will include attending all home games and meets, all football practices and away games and, as the schedule permits, away games in other sports. The trainer will tape up athletes prior to games, provide immediate care for athletes injured during play, administer ImPACT (computerized brain injury assessment) tests to all athletes, follow up with injured athletes and determine when it is safe for them to return to competition.
The trainer also will be responsible for all medical and sports permission forms, for educating students and coaches about injury prevention and other health issues, and for making sure all relevant certifications such as first aid and CPR are up to date.
The school board voted unanimously Jan. 8 vote to approve the athletic trainer’s position.
Dow said that, because of the $20,000 donation, the new position would not cost the school any more in the first year than the $12,000 it is already budgeting for medical coverage at athletic events. The school would need to budget an additional $10,000 the following year and then cover the entire cost after that.