Athletic Training Alumni Save A Life
Aug. 20, 2009
CARY, N.C. - If not for the quick thinking and swift action of Eric Hall, Brent Dorenkamp and Mark Mooney, Cary High School football player Michael White may not be around to enjoy his sophomore season of football.
In a recent scrimmage held at Wakefield High School, the three East Carolina athletic training alumni and current employees of Wakefield, Cary and East Wake High Schools saw White collapse on the sidelines and sprung into action. The trio cut off his pads and facemask, utilized a defibrillator and provided CPR in order to revive him. White was listed in critical condition that evening but was upgraded the next day.
ECU owns a strong tradition in the athletic training field, as its students consistently earn full-time positions and internships in the collegiate and professional ranks. This past summer alone, ECU undergraduates garnered intern opportunities with the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Shock (WNBA) and Kinston Indians. Additionally, Assistant Athletics Director for Medical Services Mike Hanley was named the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) 2009 College/University Head Athletic Trainer of the Year after earning the NATA North Carolina College/University Athletic Trainer-of-the-Year accolade in 2005.
"We are so very proud of our graduates," East Carolina Athletic Training Program Director Katie Walsh said. "It is a great feeling to know high school athletes are provided with the excellent medical care that we teach all of our students." Like Hanley, Walsh is also a recipient of the NATA North Carolina College/University Athletic Trainer-of-the-Year, winning the award in 2000 and 2006.
Hall credits him and his colleagues' response time to the training he received and his yearly recertification in CPR and first aid. "I guess you're so trained for it, then when it happens, you just kick in and do what you're supposed to do," the ECU Class of 1998 alumnus explained.
The incident underscores the dire need for athletic training professionals in all North Carolina High Schools. While nearly every institution in Wake County employs at least one full-time trainer, only two of the six high schools in Pitt County has a certified athletic trainer due to lack of funding.
"Anytime you have to make a decision that is based solely on money, that is a major concern," Que Tucker, with the N.C. High School Athletic Association, said. "But the reality of this however, is that you cannot act differently because you don't have the resources."