A private ambulance company in Nebraska was scheduled to work a game in which a Papillion-La Vista High School football player suffered a serious head injury, but did not arrive until the third quarter.
Creighton Prep officials told the Omaha World-Herald they had contracted with Midwest Medical Transport Co. to provide an ambulance during the entire game Friday night. On Monday, the company issued a statement blaming a scheduling error.
Shortly before halftime of Friday night’s game at Creighton Prep (Omaha), Papillion-La Vista football player Brandon Steburg suffered an apparent concussion when he tackled the opposing quarterback. With no ambulance at the field, an assistant coach called 911, and a City of Omaha ambulance responded to transport him to the Nebraska Medical Center
When the ambulance wasn’t there around kickoff, officials say they alerted the company.
“Two contacts were made with dispatch: one by Prep and one by a member of a standby ambulance at another site,” Creighton Prep officials say. “Both were told that an ambulance would be sent. Midwest Medical Transport failed to deliver an ambulance in a timely fashion, and it arrived late in the third quarter of the game, after the injury occurred.”
According to the Omaha World-Herald, Steburg was rushed to the hospital after running off the field and falling unconscious. Per Omaha’s KETV, doctors put the teen in a medically-induced coma to reduce brain swelling. He underwent surgery to alleviate pressure on his brain. On Monday, a hospital spokesman said Steburg remained in critical condition.
In a statement attributed to CEO Jeff Shullaw, Midwest Medical Transport told the Omaha World-Herald it has contracts to provide standby ambulance services at all varsity home games. For Friday’s game, though, “unfortunately we made a scheduling error, and our personnel and ambulance were not on site when the injury occurred.”
This incident comes the year after a policy change issued by the Omaha Police Department now requires school districts in the area to pay for their own ambulances.
A gofundme.com page in Steburg’s name had already raised nearly $13,000 by Monday afternoon. Steburg’s family released a statement on Sunday.
“We are overwhelmed by the amount of support, well wishes and prayers coming from friends and so many others in the Papillion and Omaha communities, as well as other surrounding areas and across the state,” the family said in a statement sent out on its behalf by a Nebraska Medical Center Spokesman. “We can’t express how much this means to our family during such a difficult time. Brandon is making progress in his recovery, but we would appreciate privacy as he continues to take the next steps in the healing process.”