Pushing for increased concussion training

Posted at 12:46 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 14:21:54-04

Sixteen-year-old Joey Fisher hasn't played football in years and he may never play again.

In 2013 he suffered a severe concussion playing youth football. When he was first injured no one at the game knew exactly what to do.

"When my son was laying there, you know, I didn't know whether to call an ambulance [or if] he should be escorted off on a stretcher. It was sort of unknown and I'm hoping with more education we'll have more answers," Joey's dad Matt said.

Since the concussion, the Fishers have made it their goal to pass new legislation making it a requirement for coaches and volunteers to learn the basics about concussions.

Dr. John Leddy from the University at Buffalo has researched concussions for years and supports the idea. "In high schools and colleges and in pro sports there are often doctors on the sidelines that can help with this... but in youth sport it's usually a parent or a coach."

The proposal was discussed Thursday in the Erie County Legislature and although at one point there were some questions the bill now has bipartisan support.

"I think it's an easy thing to support," Democratic lawmaker Patrick Burke said. "It's not very controversial to try to protect children from traumatic brain injury."

Republican Majority Leader Joe Lorigo agreed. "I had some reservations with the original version of the law and then I spoke with Legislator Burke and we addressed some of the issues... I think we're ready to move forward."

Burke says the next step for the law will be a public hearing and it will then be voted on in the legislature.

Joey Fisher is now playing non-contact sports and his dad says he's doing great with very few setbacks.