Describe your setting: I work as a volunteer Athletic Trainer and tactical EMT with the City of Laurel Police Emergency Response / SWAT Team.
How long have you worked in this setting? 5 years
Describe your typical day:
My “real” job is the Assistant Athletic Director- Sports Medicine with the University of Maryland- College Park where I oversee all aspects of the Sports Medicine Department including overseeing a staff of 16 BOC Certified Athletic Trainers, 2 physical therapists, and 9 Team Physicians working with the University’s 28 intercollegiate sports teams and 700 student-athletes. Clinically, I work with the football team on a daily basis.
Because I am a volunteer and not a sworn officer, I only work with the SWAT team during their training sessions 2 times per month, and during callouts, typically 2-3 high risk search warrants per month & 1-2 hostage barricades per year. I am on-call 24 hours per day and respond when paged. My job is to serve as the “Team Medic” and responsible for all aspects of the officers health & well-being, as well as operational planning, and responsibility for the health and well-being of any hostages, subjects, bystanders, etc. as well. For every mission, an operational pre-plan is developed for any medical conditions/issues. On missions, I also serve as the “mule,” carrying equipment and doing other tasks that are essential to the operation, as well as serve as another set of eyes for the team. Missions can range in time from 45 minutes to several hours depending on the type of mission, and missions are conducted rain or shine, hot or cold. Training takes place 2-3 times per month in various venues and typically lasts 5 – 8 hours in length.
What do you like about your position?
- The adrenaline rush and intensity
- Helping people succeed at times of need & serving the public.
What do you dislike about your position?
Being outside in all types of weather; being away from my family; the disrespect shown to police officers and other public safety personnel
What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer?
There are many similarities as to being an Athletic Trainer in a traditional setting. Work hard, develop the trust of the officers, enjoy yourself and be safe.
Read more about Darryl in his interview in the November 2011 edition of Training and Conditioning Magazine.