In just two years, Trooper John “Jack” Wildman has already distinguished himself in the way he conducts himself during rescues and law and traffic enforcement.
The 24-year-old has been named Trooper of the Year by the Maryland State Police Aviation Command. Wildman is part of the team that operates the Trooper 3 helicopter out of Frederick.
“Wildman received the honor due to his outstanding performance, leadership and a personal desire to help others in the community through his position in Maryland State Police Aviation Command,” according to a state police news release. “Wildman is an active trooper who successfully blends his experience as a paramedic with his passion for law enforcement.”
Wildman was humble about the honor and emphasized that his role is only one of many important jobs involved in state police operations.
“At the end of the day, I’m a very small member of a very big team,” Wildman said at the hangar Wednesday night. “I’m lucky to be recognized for the rescues that I’ve done, but the only reason I’m able to do them is because we’ve got crews all over the state, who are there 24/7 ... who are ready to go.”
Wildman, who is originally from Cincinnati, joined the Maryland State Police and specifically the Frederick Barrack because the organization’s mission was exciting to him.
“I wanted a job where I could help somebody, and I wanted a job where every day is different,” Wildman said. “Maryland State Police offered me that opportunity. I’m really grateful.”
In August 2017, Wildman was with the crew that rescued a person from drowning near Prettyboy Dam in Baltimore County. Wildman was lowered from the aircraft with a stretcher and a mechanical CPR device to treat the person, who had been resuscitated by the Baltimore County Fire Department.
The team rescued the person while the device supplied continuous mechanical compressions during the hoisting operation. It was the first extraction of its kind in the state, according to Maryland State Police.
Wildman was able to contribute “critical post-mission evaluations to improve the system and service provided in this area,” according to the agency statement.
“One great thing about aviation is there are a lot of opportunities to find a niche and work really hard at improving,” Wildman said Wednesday. “I’m particularly interested in our aerial rescue and our aerial law enforcement. ... It’s typically high-risk, and I’ve found it really engaging to work through those.”
Wildman has also been involved in the state police’s community service initiatives. He participated in Badges and Bookbags, a pilot community outreach program that paired Wildman and two other troopers with eight fifth-graders at a school in Harford County.
“We’re able to reach out to students on a weekly basis and read with them, discuss positive leadership characteristics and also provide a positive interaction with law enforcement, which is really important. I’m lucky to be part of it,” Wildman said.
Wildman lives in Baltimore, but he said he is happy to work in Frederick County.
“I love Frederick,” Wildman said. “I intentionally came to the Frederick section because I like the work we do out here. I like the people we interact with. The community in general is very supportive of our mission.”