SOUTH COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — To help prepare for the new athletic season, South Colonie Central High School hosted an Emergency Action Plan Practice. Minutes matter when an athlete falls from cardiac arrest; five minutes can determine life…or death.

Aimee Brunelle is the school’s Athletic Trainer and says that many cases continue to happen across the state.

“Especially with Damar Hamlin with the Buffalo Bills, it shows how important it is to have that comprehensive team together where everybody knows their role, and it’s directed at patient care,” Brunelle said.

That means increasing the amount of emergency training for coaches and staff and also including all student-athletes.

“I think it’s extremely important for our community to understand the importance of how to administer CPR and deal with a situation that does emerge because you never know,” Tom Geddes, Assistant Varsity Football Coach, said. “It could be a small isolated group of people or a crowd of people. And you just want to know how to handle that situation.”

The training included reviewing emergency supplies, removing equipment during an emergency, and effectively communicating and coordinating with local first responders.

When attending a sporting event, Bill Roemer, Athletic Director, said it’s important for spectators to stay aware of their surroundings and listen for any instructions in case of an emergency.

“Following directions and staying calm are two of the most important things to do,” Roemer said. “And making sure that we’re able to work on the injury and keep the area safe.”

Tom Kachadurian, Executive Principal, mentioned wanting students to be aware and conscientious – no matter where they are.

“Preparing them to be citizens in any environment is only going to be advantageous for their health and safety,” he said.

The school will also encourage the entire student body to learn an important life skill….and get certified in CPR.