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Report offers details on trooper's death

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Posted on October 1, 2015 |
By Elizabeth Hewitt VTDigger.org



YoungService2054.jpg
MANY MEMBERS OF the Addison County first responders community gathered at the Eagles Club in Vergennes Sunday for a memorial service for Vermont State Police Trooper Kyle Young of Monkton, who died during training on Sept. 17. Bristol Fire Chief Brett LaRose, president of the Addison County Firefighters Association; association chaplain Bill Elwell; and VSP Lt. Michael Manley gave brief remarks. A large flag was hung between two firetruck ladders extended heavenward, and the flashing lights on many of fire and police vehicles were lit in memoriam. Photos courtesy of the Valley Voice

VERMONT — The Vermont State Police this week issued a report on the circumstances of a trooper’s death during a training exercise this month.

Trooper Kyle Young, 28, of Monkton died suddenly of heatstroke during a Sept. 17 tryout exercise at a firing range in Jericho.

A three-page report released Tuesday by Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn says that Young received CPR after his collapse, and an automated external defibrillator was on-site but did not administer a shock.

Young was reportedly one of six candidates going for two openings on the state’s tactical services unit, similar to a SWAT team, and had undergone an interview and firearms test.

He was in the third phase of the tryout — a 14-point physical fitness test that candidates need to complete while wearing a military-style battle dress uniform complete with body armor and boots.

The trial includes a one-mile run, lunging while carrying a door ram and dragging another trooper for 30 feet.

The officer administering the test, Trooper Matthew Johnson, briefed all six candidates about the details of the physical trial before they began, and discussed injuries, medical conditions, preparation and hydration with them. Young did not report any health concerns at that time, the report says.

Four candidates finished the physical fitness test before Young began the trial. At the time Young began his test, the temperature was 82 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Young stopped moving while in the penultimate phase of the test — a climb up a sand hill. Johnson went up the hill, lay down beside Young and spoke with him, the report says.

Young was alert and said he did not want to quit. Johnson asked Young if he was OK, and Young responded, “I’m fine, I’m good.” He later told Johnson, “I’m tired,” the report said.

However, Young became unresponsive shortly thereafter. The officers on site responded with a gel pack, used to treat low blood sugar. When it appeared that Young was not breathing, police began CPR and called 911.

According to the report, the defibrillator was brought out, but it did not administer a shock because it could not detect a treatable heart rate.

At the time he collapsed, Young’s time was approximately 10 minutes faster than the four other candidates.

Flynn ordered a review of all training practices and procedures for special teams in the department following Young’s death.

The department will work with the experts who direct the medical team for the Vermont City Marathon in the review process, along with the Kory Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut.

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