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Brownwood Guardian EMS offers free service to help athletes

By Betty Nguyen, bnguyen@ktxs.com
Published On: Aug 14 2013 07:37:03 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2013 07:37:11 PM CDT
Brownwood High School football players get free EKG screenings
BROWNWOOD, Texas -

It is important for athletes to be healthy, which is what Brownwood Guardian EMS is trying to ensure.

EMS staff members are providing free EKG screenings for high school athlete. The goal is to detect any heart abnormalities early on so action can be taken to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.

They started with Brownwood High School's football team early Wednesday morning.

"I think it's a wise decision to take every precaution necessary," BHS head football coach Chuck Howard said. "As a coach, we have a responsibility and accountability for our kids."

Howard said he has never had a player fall due to heart problems but he knows others who have.

Guardian EMS Chief Operations Officer Ross Bradley said there aren't a lot of obvious symptoms for sudden cardiac arrest, aside from dizziness or passing out.

"Right now we're targeting athletes because that seems to be the biggest majority of where the problems are just because of the stress that they put on their bodies," Bradley said.

Bradley said he hopes to expand this project to other sports athletes and other areas in Texas. 

Guardian EMS decided to partner with the Cody Stephens Foundation, which is an organization aimed to provide EKG screenings to young, seemingly-healthy athletes. For more on his story and how you can donate, visit http://www.codystephensfoundation.org/.