Football coach complains after ambulance stopped from driving on field

The coach of a minor football team is upset at the City of Edmonton after an ambulance was stopped from crossing a field to help an injured player.

Coach upset by City of Edmonton policy governing artificial turf

The Parkland Predators were playing on a city-owned artificial turf field like this when one of the players was hurt. When an ambulance was called, a field attendant prevented it from driving across the turn to where the player lay. (Capital District Minor Football Association/Facebook)

The coach of a minor football team is upset at the City of Edmonton after an ambulance was stopped from crossing a field to help an injured player.

Parkland Predator linebacker Troy Potter took a hard hit about midway through the third quarter of Saturday's game at Clarke Field, says coach Brad Dayman.

 Potter stayed down on one knee after he was hit, and Dayman ran out to him.

"When I got about halfway to him, he tried to stand up and collapsed back down," he said. "When I did get to him, he mentioned that he had pain in his neck."

Dayman, who has been trained to take neck injuries seriously, laid Pottery down carefully and called an ambulance — but when it arrived 10 minutes later, a field attendant stopped the driver from crossing the field to where Potter lay.

"He told them that they couldn't drive out onto the field," Dayman said.

The reason: the city only allows modified vehicles to drive on any of its fields with artificial turf.

"The city's practice is that vehicles should not drive onto the artificial turf, because it's not a driveable surface," said Dale Shekooley with the city. "The advice that we have from EMS is that they are fully equipped to access patients in all kinds of conditions."

The ambulance driver was forced to back off the field entirely before the EMTs were allowed to unload a backboard and stretcher, which they ran out to Potter.

"By the time they actually got to Troy, I'd say they'd been at the field for four or five minutes," Dayman said.

Frustrated by the delay in an already-stressful situation, Dayman asked the league to back him in asking the city to review its policy, which he wasn't aware of.

"I've been around football specifically for about 10 or 12 years now, and I've never had an issue with an ambulance trying to get on the field," Dayman said. "I've never seen one stopped before."

The Capital District Minor Football Association (CDMFA) said it has no plans at this time to make a formal complaint.

Susan Morgan of the football association said the league has a good relationship with city staff who manage Clarke Field. She said the league's board plans to discuss the issue at its regular meeting next week.

Potter was checked out at hospital and released with a clean bill of health.


  • An earlier version of this story said the Capital District Minor Football Association would file a formal complaint to the city about the turf policy, based on information given by coach Brad Dayman. The league has since stated it will not be filing a complaint.
    May 06, 2015 5:59 AM MT


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.