MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – December 9, 2019 – On Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, Vinal Technical High School’s Criminal Justice and Protective Services Program, part of the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS), unveiled the program’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), a first-of-its-kind nationwide in the high school setting. The EOC will provide students with hands-on, career development experience as they provide support to federal resources deployed around the United States in times of disaster.
CTECS and Vinal Tech leadership and students were joined by Connecticut State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams, State Senator Norm Needleman, Middletown Mayor Benjamin Florsheim, State Representative Quentin Phipps, Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Western New England Region Dennis Mathew, Eversource Emergency Management Director Dick Tobin, among others, to celebrate the new facility.
“We are proud to partner with Vinal Tech to enable our technology to provide the support needed for this first-of-its-kind Emergency Operations Center,” said Dennis Mathew, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Western New England region, which is headquartered in Berlin. “Comcast is committed to supporting youth development projects like this that give students the hand-on experience needed to develop into tomorrow’s leaders.”
Comcast and the Eversource Foundation provided critical support in the development of the EOC.
Comcast constructed a dedicated line to the EOC that provides courtesy 1 Gigabit Internet service, along with Xfinity WiFi, and Xfinity X1 video service. Comcast’s Gigabit Internet service enables the EOC to have a secure, reliable and high-performance internet network, along with a WiFi service that provides greater performance and range with 24/7 active security monitoring and content filtering to keep the network safe, along with the ability to create private and guest WiFi networks.
The Eversource Foundation provided a grant, donated needed IT equipment, and access to Eversource emergency management leaders for training and mentoring.
“We know how important it is to be prepared for an emergency and having the right tools and equipment is the key to being successful in emergency response,” said Eversource Director of Emergency Preparedness Dick Tobin. “We’re proud to support the students at Vinal Tech and help them create their new Emergency Operations Center which will be an invaluable learning tool.”
“The Connecticut Technical Education and Career System is grateful for the generous support provided by Comcast and Eversource,” said Jeff Wihbey, Superintendent of CTECS. “The industry expertise they offer is invaluable to our students. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration and strengthening our Criminal Justice and Protective Services program.”
Monday’s ceremony marks a significant milestone in Vinal Tech’s Criminal Justice and Protective Services (CJPS) program. Utilizing their extensive Federal Emergency Management training, the state-of-the-art EOC, and field-experienced mentors, students will monitor internet resources and news outlets in real-time, and compile critical updates for field personnel during rescue and recovery operations.
CJPS prepares students with the techniques that help improve safety and security of lives and communities. Throughout this program, students can earn certifications that will prepare them for a number of jobs in the trade. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to obtain an entry-level position in such fields as police, fire, EMS, dispatch, corrections, and the armed forces. In their junior year, students are eligible to test for State emergency medicine licensure.
“These students are going to go on to fill desperate shortages in some of our state’s most critical career fields,” said David Cruickshank, Criminal Justice and Protective Services Teacher at Vinal Technical High School. “They are going to volunteer their expertise to help our nation’s disaster responders. They are going to provide countless hours of internships to agencies around Connecticut. Most importantly, they are going to make a difference.”
For more information about the Vinal Technical High School Emergency Operations Center, please visit www.vinalcjps.com/eoc.