Troopers hospitalized after assault training

September 07, 2001|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

Three state troopers have been hospitalized for kidney dysfunctions - possibly caused by muscle breakdown - while undergoing strenuous physical training exercises for assignment to the police agency's tactical assault team, a spokesman said last night.

The troopers - all males, and ages 27, 28 and 29 - were in their third day of training Tuesday at Camp Fretterd, a Maryland National Guard facility in Reisterstown, when they were taken ill, said Maj. Greg Shipley, a state police spokesman. Five other troopers training at the same time showed no sign of illness, he added.

After the three were examined by state police medical personnel, one was taken to University of Maryland Medical Center and the others to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where they remained last night. Shipley said that their condition was "nonlife-threatening" and that names were being withheld under state medical confidentiality laws.

The men were candidates for the Special Tactical Assault Team Element program headed by Capt. James Ballard, who said they were undergoing "very vigorous" outdoor training. The first two days included calisthenics, running and rappelling from an eight-story tower, said Ballard, commander of the department's Special Operations Division.

"In the 21 years we've been training men for high-risk tactical situations, this is the first time the program has had to deal with trainees becoming ill," Ballard said.

Training was suspended pending an investigation, Shipley said.

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