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Largo mother questions lack of EMTs at high school football games

12:08 AM, Aug 25, 2013   |    comments
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LARGO, Florida -- The mother of a Largo High School football player is still in shock after her son was accidentally knocked unconscious during a game on Friday night.

"I didn't know if I was walking on the field to a paralyzed child or to a dead child. Just walking out there was just the worst feeling any parent can feel at the moment," said Melissa Bonacci.

It happened as the Largo Packers squared off with the Falcons at Dunedin High School.

"I can't really remember it fully, but I remember the play and how I went in, I was just too low and his knee just hit right on my temple and that's all I can remember," said Taj Taylor, Bonacci's son.

Among Bonacci concerns are the lack of EMTs stationed at high school football games that can attend to an injured player.

"At least can we have a paramedic on site? At least just have them there that they could be the first responders," she said.

I took those concerns to Pinellas County School Athletic director Nick Grasso, who told me the district did away with EMTs years ago and that they do have health care professionals at all games.

"There were two certified trainers, one from Largo Med, one from Morton Plant, and there was also a medical doctor, a physician on site," said Grasso.

Bonacci said there were people there helping her son, but they did not have the proper equipment that EMTs have to look after Taj.

Grasso told 10 News by phone, "We ask that our schools also have a safety security medical plan as well as a safety security plan in place."

Bonacci said it took the ambulance 20 minutes to arrive at the field to take her son to the hospital.

Grasso said, according to reports that he received, it only took them about five minutes to get there.

Still, the concerned mother said she plans to push to have EMTs stationed at high school football games.

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