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For immediate release

Sunday, December 12, 2010


HARRISBURG – Two athletic trainers at East Stroudsburg University (ESU) made the news last week when they came to the aid of a 22-year-old ESU student that had collapsed while playing basketball on campus.

That student is alive today thanks to the efforts of Wendy Dietrich and Colleen Shotwell – two certified athletic trainers at ESU. Dietrich and Shotwell used an automated external defibrillator, or AED, to re-start the student’s heart, which had suddenly stopped. Shotwell, the head of ESU’s athletic training department, and Dietrich also worked as a team administering CPR until medical personnel arrived at the scene.

If ESU managers have their way, Dietrich, Shotwell and a third athletic trainer at the school may not be available to respond to a similar situation in the future. The three certified professionals have received retrenchment letters from the university – meaning their current positions are being eliminated as of June 3, 2011.

No formal contracts have been offered to date to the athletic trainers, but they have been told that new contracts – for nine months instead of the current 12 months – will be offered. Valuable coverage provided by the athletic trainers to the university’s vast collection of summer sports camps would be suspended under the move, with limitations on working hours during the regular academic year possibly included as well.

“Thankfully, we were there to help our ESU student last week, and we were quite happy to do so,” Dietrich said. “We are very concerned that with a possible reduction in our work hours in the future, we may not be on duty when such a serious event occurs.”

“It’s not a big stretch to think the student would not have survived without the aid of those athletic trainers,” State APSCUF President Steve Hicks said.

The athletic trainers work weekends holidays, evenings, summer camps, and over 200 hours during the fall athletic preseason, and the outstanding quality of their work is a critical component of the university’s athletic program.

“The service our athletic trainers provide to students, athletes, and visitors to our universities is absolutely amazing,” Hicks observed. “Thank goodness the athletic trainers were available to help in that critical time. One of our students is alive today thanks to those athletic trainers, and all of us at APSCUF are very proud of them,” Hicks said.