friendships, loyalty and camaraderie are legendary within fire
departments and rescue squads. Working long, and often emotionally
draining shifts, makes you appreciate the men and women who do this
work. They care about this business a great deal or else they wouldn't
be there. Since none of these people are getting paid, you have to
figure they are doing it because they want to and it's important to
them. So when your peers give you an award, it really means something.
Larry Trader has been a member of the Leonardtown Volunteer Rescue Squad
and the Advanced Life Support Unit for more than 20 years. On May 5 he
was awarded the first LaVerne Stewart Memorial Award (named in honor of
Stewart for all she did for the rescue squad).
A nursing technician in the emergency room at St. Mary's Hospital,
Stewart was an energetic, selfless, upbeat member of the squad. She was
the glue that held the squad together and just a "wonderful lady who was
always there and always giving. She was the epitome of why we all do
this and how we should be when we do it," said Trader.
After graduating from St. Mary's Ryken High School, Trader started
working with the rescue squad. He knew that was what he wanted to do
even before graduating from high school. Bob Lindsey of St. Mary's Ryken
introduced him to the world of emergency services by letting him ride
with him on calls during high school.
Trader attended the University of Maryland in Baltimore for a while,
earning his first EMT (emergency medical technician) training in
Baltimore City. Continuing his education after moving back to
Leonardtown, Trader became certified through Para Medic. He has served
as chief and president of the Leonardtown Rescue Squad and is currently
the training officer.
To encourage volunteerism, Trader and other squad members, mentor new
volunteers through a junior membership program. These volunteers may be
as young as 16 and must have the permission of their parents and their
homework and grades are the number one priority. Being a junior
volunteer gives a teen the opportunity to work at the rescue squad, to
meet the older, more seasoned squad members, to get a feel for what goes
on, and to participate in the effort. Mirroring that program is the Tech
Center Program for Firefighting and Emergency Medical Technicians for
11th and 12th graders at Leonardtown High School, which upon completion
provides certification in firefighting and emergency medical services
One highlight of Trader's career was the establishment of the EMS Week
Expo five years ago in Leonardtown, which Trader envisioned to teach the
community about EMS and advanced life support (ALS) and reach out to
potential volunteers and auxiliary members.
The Leonardtown Volunteer Rescue Squad began in 1975. Now, highly
sophisticated command and control platforms have enhanced the capability
of all emergency services. Medical techniques in the field are now
cutting edge. And, the population of St. Mary's County has grown
measurably. But the one variable that hasn't changed is the need for
volunteers. Trader and his squad mates would like to see another new
program enlisting cadet members that would help bring along a new
generation of EMS and ALS volunteers.
Larry Trader lives and breathes the rescue squad, but he also has a
personal life. He has worked on the base at the Naval Air Station,
Patuxent River, since 1989. He and his wife Valerie have two children, a
son Jamie (14) and a daughter Lexie (10).
Both the world of family and the world of rescue are important and both
involve commitment. With the nurturing and encouragement of Valerie,
Jamie and Lexie, and the great squad at "19," Larry Trader has been a
profound and energetic proponent of EMS/Rescue Services in Leonardtown.