News and Tribune

Floyd County

April 15, 2012

Prosser offers new fire program and expands criminal justice

NEW ALBANY — Controlling fires, investigating crime scenes and saving lives in emergencies are just part of the day’s studies in new programs at the Prosser Career Education Center.

Prosser’s public safety career cluster didn’t exist until this year, but its criminal justice program will expand next fall and the addition of a fire and rescue program are also slated for next year’s course offerings.

Alan Taylor, director of career and technical education, said the expansion of their public safety programs shows some of the momentum the school is trying to gain.

“Those two programs are just evidence to me that we’re actually moving forward,” Taylor said. “We’re not who we were, we’re who we are.”

Fire and rescue

Mac Spainhour, criminal justice instructor, said he’s glad to see fire and rescue enter the public safety cluster because of the work fire departments, police agencies and medical experts need to do together.

“Adding fire and [emergency medical services] is good because when you’re in the real world, law enforcement, fire and EMS have to work together,” Spainhour said. “If they don’t, you can botch up an investigation.”

Taylor said there’s already been enough interest in the program to fill a class for next fall. He said so far, about 30 students are signed up.

The newest addition to Prosser’s programs will teach students about how to put out a blaze, but also incorporates a basic EMT certification.

Taylor said the first year of the fire and rescue program focuses on learning the equipment firefighters use, as well as how to deal with hazardous materials.

He said Prosser has worked with the New Albany Fire Department to put together an advisory board of professionals to help decide on the curriculum for the program.

Which, he said, is why they decided to make the EMT certification part of the program. With rescue operations as a standard part of firefighting, he said they wanted to give students that knowledge, as well.

“Most fire programs want you to have some EMT experience,” Taylor said. “We just think that EMT portion is going to be the key to open a lot of doors.”

Taylor said Prosser is partnering with Ivy Tech on the EMT program. Students who complete it at Prosser will qualify for some college credits at Ivy Tech.

Though the second year is focused on the EMT certification, Taylor said seniors who are 18 years old can still earn the certification if they want to take the course.

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