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Two courses for school resource officers and fire and rescue personnel will further elevate Wilson Community College’s offerings in public safety and health and emergency services.
Kim Gamlin, executive dean of continuing education, detailed the courses at Monday’s meeting of the Wilson Community College Board of Trustees.
Training for school resource officers, who are positioned in area schools, is now mandatory.
“We just received word last week that school resource officer training, or SRO training, it is now going to mandated for all school resource officers to come in and have 40 hours of training,” Gamlin said. “It is very detailed training on the responsibility of the SRO, legalities, what they can and cannot do in an SRO role and public speaking.”
The course will be offered June 4-28, but all 50 seats have been taken.
“We are the only community college right now that has been granted the ability to offer this SRO school,” Gamlin said. “Everyone else will go to the Justice Academy in Salemburg, so we were very pleased to get this opportunity to offer this training and we are going to hopefully have this at our Lee Technology Center because we already have seats taken for this course.”
Gamlin said there are 1,800 SROs in the state, and 1,500 need training.
Wilson County has 18 SROs and all of them are enrolled in the WCC course.
“This is a requirement by the state and they have to have this training by Jan. 1, 2020,” Gamlin said. “The 50 that are going through now will have theirs by June 28.”
Alice Freeman, chairwoman of the WCC Board of Trustees, asked how often the SRO training program could be held.
“We got approval this time because we were already planning on offering an SRO type of class,” Gamlin said. “When the state changes, they wanted to run it through the justice academy, but we were given word last week that we could go ahead and offer this training here, so certainly after we figure out what the legalities of what the change is if we get a chance to offer it again, we will certainly offer it again.”
Gamlin credited Darlene Hall, director of law enforcement training at WCC, for being proactive.
“She already had something on the books, so we fought to keep that one,” Gamlin said.
Board member Tom Fyle said it would be nice to have an ongoing program.
“We would like to,” Gamlin said.
College President Tim Wright said WCC is well known across the state for its training of fire and law enforcement personnel.
“We have as strong, if not the strongest, reputation of any community college for our first responder training,” Wright said. “The proof is in the pudding on that.”
Board member Will Farris said WCC should be very proud of its efforts.
“Out of 58 schools, we are the only one of those schools that is offering school resource officer training. That is a big accomplishment,” Farris said. “We don’t often have the single course that we offer throughout the state and everybody has to come to us or Salemburg. That is a wonderful job.”
Gamlin detailed the college’s inaugural fire and rescue training pump school from the WCC health and emergency services school.
The pump school will begin April 11 and will run the second and fourth week of every month through September. Courses run from 7 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
“It is 225 contact hours,” Gamlin said. “A volunteer firefighter or a paid firefighter can sign up for all of these courses or select the courses that he or she needs. As a result of the completion of this, we are hoping to have our firefighters fully trained in this particular area. This is going to be 11 certificates.”
Fire courses to be offered as part of the fire and rescue training pump school include emergency vehicle driver, April 11-1; pumps introduction, April 26-28; pumps basic operation, May 8-12; pumps maintenance and testing, May 22-26; pumps, sprinklers and standpipes, June 14-16; pumps hydraulics, June 28-30; pumps water supply, July 12-14; aerial introduction, July 26-28; aerial basic operations, Aug. 9-11; aerial maintenance and testing, Aug. 19-25; and mobile water supply, Sept. 12-15.
Gamlin said the pump school is something the community college would like to duplicate each year.
“This is going to be a free course if you are a firefighter, volunteer or paid firefighter,” Gamlin said.
Gamlin said all area fire departments have been sent fliers about the school.
For more information on the courses, contact J.R. Griffin II, WCC director of health and emergency services, at 252-246-1372, 252-508-5468 or email@example.com.