JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Changes to football helmet face masks are helping first responders with how quickly they can help an injured student athlete on the field.

West Metro Fire Rescue crews teamed up with St. Anthony’s Hospital to practice treating head and spinal injuries. This time of year students are heading back to school and players are hitting the field for practice.

(credit: CBS)

The emergency responders also learned about changes to helmets that will help them react quickly in an emergency. The face masks can be easily detached.

“Previously, we’d almost need to use bolt cutters to try and take face masks off. This is the least impactful for the patient, probably not nearly as scary. We’re able to quickly assess the airway, assess for neurological damage and get the patient where they need to go,” said West Metro Fire spokesman Mike Binney.

(credit: CBS)

Athletic trainers from Jeffco Schools also participated in the training.

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