Care During Chaos

January 9, 2017

While on a training trip, the University of Vermont women’s swimming and diving team was at the Fort Lauderdale airport when a shooter opened fire in an adjacent terminal. The team didn’t see or hear the shooting, but an emergency evacuation took place.

“We hear screams from the other end of our terminal down by security, and we hear ‘get down, get down, get down,’ and we see a mad stampede,” Head Coach Gerry Cournoyer told the Burlington Free Press.

Although everything happened fast—Cournoyer estimates less than two minutes—the team acted with clarity. In the evacuation, everyone was rushed out to the tarmac.

“If someone fell, they’d pick them up. If there was a child that was running by themselves, the girls grabbed them, pulled them into us, making sure that child was not alone,” Cournoyer told NBC5. “Obviously they were scared. I mean we saw a lot of that stuff. My women were truly amazing. I could not have been more thankful to have them with us, especially because my own two kids were with us as well.”  

Three of the student-athletes were injured in the rush. One was treated at the hospital for a broken foot and the other two were treated by a UVM athletic trainer who was accompanying the team. 

UVM Athletic Director Jeff Schulman praised the leadership of Cournoyer and the rest of the staff during the ordeal. He issued the following statement on Saturday:

"On behalf of the UVM athletic department, I'd like to thank everyone for their concern and support of our swimming & diving team that was in the Fort Lauderdale airport yesterday at the time of the shooting incident. 

While our students, coaches and staff were not in the terminal where the shooting occurred, the scene in their terminal became quite unsettled and resulted in a hurried and chaotic evacuation. During the evacuation, three of our athletes were injured. One was treated at the hospital for a broken foot and the other two were treated by a UVM athletic trainer who is accompanying the team. 
After being evacuated from their terminal, the team was moved to several different holding areas around the airport grounds. They were finally "released" around 8 p.m. and made it to their hotel at about 9 p.m. 
The team is booked on a flight for early Sunday morning through the New York area and will then bus to Burlington. This was the first available flight out of Florida for this size group and it is very important to us that they not be split up on various itineraries. 
I've been in regular contact with our head coach, Gerry Cournoyer, who along with his three assistant coaches and our athletic trainer have done an amazing job of leading and caring for our students through a very traumatic experience. We have staff from Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS) on call and are prepared to support the team and individual students in whatever ways are needed.
Thank you again for all of your concern"

SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

A Rebounder With Versatility

Medicine ball exercises are a staple of many workout routines. Whether the goal is performance enhancement by strengthening the core or helping an athlete rehab from an injury, medicine balls are versatile piece of equipment that can get the job done. But most strength coaches and athletic trainers don’t have enough time available to catch … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Author and Strength Coach Mike Mejia Praises VersaClimber

“Over the course of the past twenty years I’ve trained hundreds of clients that run the gamut from average Joe’s to professional athletes and in all that time, I’ve never come across a cardio piece that comes anywhere near the Versa Climber!” says Mike Mejia M.S., CSCS, author of The Men’s Heath Better Body Blueprint, … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Indoor Pool Surface Solution

Mateflex has indoor pool surfacing that is safer and more enjoyable to walk on than concrete. Mateflex offers perforated tiles to allow water to drain through that can cover up old, unsightly concrete or just spruce up a new area with a colorful design. The interlocking tiles dry quickly while keeping your feet out of … CLICK TO READ MORE...

The Evolution of the Lifting Platform

The days of the above ground weightlifting platform may be a thing of the past. More and more high schools, colleges, and professional strength and conditioning facilities who are either building a new facility or renovating an existing facility are going away from the traditional above ground lifting platform and choosing the inlaid platform, which … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Teaching Principles: Neck Rotation

Coach Bill ‘Jake’ Jacobs goes back to the basic teaching principles with Neck Rotation. View his demonstration.  CLICK TO READ MORE...