CFCC hosts Public Safety Training Expo as emergency crews search for staff

CFCC hosts Public Safety Training Expo as emergency crews search for staff
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 10:19 PM EST
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CASTLE HAYNE, N.C. (WECT) - Emergency personnel is one of several groups that has faced staffing shortages over the course of the pandemic. Thursday night at Cape Fear Community College, EMS, fire, and police departments from across the region had the opportunity to meet with potential employees.

“Anytime is a great opportunity to get in the field of public safety,” said Chris Nelson, director of CFCC’s fire rescue programs. “But especially now because there are shortages in EMS, fire, and law enforcement agencies.”

Nelson served as a firefighter for 44 years. He says one reason for current staffing shortages may be due to a lack of volunteers.

“I think the era of volunteerism isn’t gone but I think it’s waned a little,” Nelson said. “A lot of times it’s still in your smaller communities where volunteers are really going well but it’s not the same everywhere.”

CFCC staff say working with local emergency response agencies is a chance to fill open positions, both among emergency staff and in the school’s classrooms.

“It’s encouraging. We’re getting a lot of questions, a lot of information is going out, and then we’re really focusing on rebuilding the profession,” said Donny Brown, a CFCC EMS training assistant.

Another goal of Thursday’s Public Safety Training Expo is to give students and members of the community a chance to learn more about each aspect of public safety from fighting fires to telecommunications.

Alan Brook, CFCC’s director of EMS programs, hopes that people can get to work as soon as possible.

“We actually have a couple classes that are ending now and some of them already have interviews with the local hospital here before they even get certified so that’s one of the good things — that everybody’s wanting to hire,” Brook said.

Still educators and emergency personnel know there is more work to be done to find enough staff to keep up with the growth of the Cape Fear region.

“It’s going to take several years to get the numbers where they need to be but that starts one person at a time,” said Brown.

You can click here to learn more about CFCC’s fire, rescue, and emergency management programs.

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