A recent news report about a “Ghostbusters” movie sequel, soon to begin production, caused me to remember the wildly infectious jingle from the mid-1980s, “Who you gonna call?” The Ghostbusters were the answer to eradicating every ethereal being plaguing New York City. They, in a sense, became the go-to organization.
Over the years, Johnston Community College has become the go-to organization for so many of public servants throughout the county and state. For more than 30 years, the college has been the training ground for thousands of law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical responders, among others. From the young cadet enrolled in basic law enforcement training to the veteran volunteer committed to a lifetime of fire service, JCC has taught public-safety personnel how to protect and defend our community.
The institution’s desire is to remain the training organization for public-safety personnel in our region. However, because of use and lack of resources, many of our facilities for law enforcement and emergency-response students are no longer adequate. Further, recent changes in state regulations require we update facilitates at JCC in order to train, test and certify public safety students.
A major effort to answer this call to action includes the construction of two state-of-the-art training facilities. The first is a small-arms, indoor shooting range, or shoot house, for training law enforcement officers in close-quarter encounters. The facility will enable area tactical teams, local and regional patrol officers and basic law enforcement students to practice in a realistic environment that reflects situations most likely to arise on the job.
The second is a multi-story emergency services training tower. This facility will enable local and regional firefighters and rescue personnel to practice fire attack, hose positioning, ladder deployment, victim search, evacuation and other firefighting techniques. Fire, criminal justice and emergency medical students will use the tower to learn fire investigation, criminal investigation and medical-responder skills.
With the continued growth of Johnston County expected well into the next decade, our public-safety personnel become all the more important to us. And if JCC is not prepared to serve the training needs of those personnel, “who you gonna call?”
Think about it. Should you have an issue at your home necessitating emergency response, by end of day, you will have come in contact with JCC-trained public safety responders at every stage. You will find emergency medical response teams, firefighters, police officers, nurses, sonography/MRI technicians, other medical assistants, insurance coding specialists, office staff, equipment technicians, interpreters, paralegals, pharmacy technicians, transportation/logistics professionals – all with education and training support from JCC.
With that kind of comprehensive reach into your life, JCC takes seriously its commitment to providing quality learning experiences so your quality of life is enhanced.
As planning continues at JCC and related projects are unveiled, please be among the first to advocate on our behalf. The security and well-being of our county depends on JCC serving as the one you call.
David N. Johnson is president of Johnston Community College.