CJPS has been waiting for the right opportunity to test out the potential of our drone response team which is still in development. After receiving word of a garage fire, we decided it was the right opportunity and sprang into action. In the video below and in crisp 4K video, CJPS senior pilot Connor took off from Vinal Tech and flew to a safe altitude of 350 feet before responding to the fire. We remained a half mile away from the scene and were able to capture this clear video, arriving soon after the first on scene units. Although this video cuts short (we learned the memory card needs to be in the drone, not the controller), we remained onscene for about 15 minutes and watched operations until the flames were fully extinguished before returning to school. Nice job Middlefield FD knocking it down so quickly!
In the future, we hope to be able to assist the surrounding communities with calls such as missing persons, lost hikers, water rescues, and extended calls.
The Vinal Tech CJPS sophomore class recently held a fire prevention poster contest as part of their lesson on residential fire response and safety. The contest was judged by Lt. Sean Delaney of the Water Witch Hose Company #2 of New Milford. Lt. Delaney spoke to the students about the importance of community outreach in public safety and how the New Milford Fire Department has numerous community outreach programs to promote fire safety and fire prevention. He was so impressed by the student's work and their ability to capture their audience, that he requested permission to use some of the posters as part of their community outreach program! He selected several posters to use in his campaign but the winning poster in the contest was created by Bernie and will be featured on the New Milford Fire Department's social media! Congratulations Bern!
Today we had sophomores actually pull fingerprints from the INSIDE of a discarded, normal nitrile medical glove. We were certainly impressed. Nice job.
Sophomores starting basic CSI (Scene processing) and juniors progressing through intermediate CSI (Lab work and chemicals)! We forgot music today.. doh!
After spending a few days discussing safety, hazards, risks, and precautions we randomly picked up 4 bags of trash from a Connecticut apartment building dumpster. What do you throw away? This might make you think twice about your trash! In these four bags we were able to find out the following without any further research:
Cohorting of students for COVID actually works out in our favor for forensics! With smaller in-person class sizes, we are able to get more hands-on practice and demonstration with forensic chemical processing techniques. Students are spending this cycle and next cycle learning and practicing techniques in preparation for creating their forensic game plan for processing their real evidence samples. Already the results are lab-quality impressive and forensically sound!
The CJPS Patch Wall received a MAJOR boost from senior carpentry student Nate Botting and his dad Larry. Larry is currently an officer with Eastern Connecticut State University and has been collecting patches for over 40 years! He has VERY graciously decided to share a portion of his collection with out shop for our patch wall. The patch wall is an important part of our shop and reminds students when they are coming and going that they are never alone and that there is always someone that they can call for help even if it is just on a school projects. One of our shop seniors has taken on the project of cataloguing all of the patches we currently have and we will add a page for that soon. We are continuing to wrap the patch wall around the shop! If you have a donation, we'd be happy to add it!
Twenty-five years later, a pair of childhood friends have found themselves working together again; This time to assist current high schoolers in developing their own futures. David Cruickshank, now the department head of the Criminal Justice and Protective Services at Vinal Technical High School in Middletown and his old buddy Dan Clemente, now the Human Resources Director of Emergency Resource Management have paired up to address the shortage of EMS providers across Connecticut and equally as important, the shortage of future EMS leaders. The two EMS-Instructors, along with their teams, have created a Junior EMS Leadership Program at Vinal Tech High School. This new and paid internship opportunity is for high school students in their Junior and Senior years.
The program, designed to familiarize young leaders with the various elements that form a strong and dynamic team, will also help students develop leadership skills of their own. The Junior Leadership Program consists of an orientation, completing personal assessments, a series of 24 weekday work-based learning sessions working in the field with real EMS leaders, and a variety of supplemental reading and research to empower the student.
The custom-made curriculum was based off of the Federal EMS Agenda 2050 and the NEMSMA Seven Pillars of the National EMS Officer Competencies. Two students who have demonstrated leadership skills will be selected each year and will work side by side a variety of different EMS leaders to develop their abilities. They will deal with community needs, opportunities, challenges and resources. Th hope is that it gives them the opportunity to develop leadership, communication, and team building skills and take this back to their classroom peers as well.
“For years we have been working with small, volunteer departments to meet their staffing needs. Our employees have almost 1,000,000 hours of time working side by side within our volunteer partner agencies. During that time, we have seen many leadership changes. One common issue is under-training on business and leadership skills many newly appointment managers or chiefs have. We have to remember, the main reason most people start volunteering at a service is to give back to the community, not necessarily to process payroll or handle discipline for a staff member. So, although we continue to support those currently in command, we wanted to go to the next generation to begin to tackle the problem. So, high school it is. We hope that when these kids enter into the public safety field of their choice, that they bring additional knowledge with them. These kids may be my boss one day.” - Dan Clemente
The Junior EMS Leadership Program is set up to be a continuous, endless program. Each year there will be one Junior and one Senior student in order to facilitate a peer mentor-ship opportunity from year to year while handing off knowledge between students easily during transition years. The student will keep a perpetual journal so they can aid future students and peer-to-peer knowledge is retained.
Lila Cartwright, a senior, was one of the first students selected for the program and has played a significant role in getting the program off the ground. “I’ve been planning on going into the medical field since I was little, this is an amazing opportunity to learn more about EMS and prepare me for the future. I hope to learn more about the ins and outs of EMS leadership and the ambulance.” - Lila Cartwright
About Emergency Resource Management: ERM, founded in 2003 and located in Portland, CT, has been a driving force in EMS staffing and consulting across the tri-state area. ERM has been voted a Hartford Courant ‘Top Workplaces’ for the past eight years in a row.
About Vinal Technical High School: Vinal Technical High School, part of the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System, offers 14 career and technical education programs, such as Criminal Justice and Protective Services, HVAC, Carpentry, Information Technology, Electrical, and more. Approximately 500 students attend from 27 nearby sending towns. The school boasts many accomplishments, such as their Emergency Operation Center, which had its ribbon cutting in December of 2019. Vinal Tech’s unique educational program prepares graduates for immediate employment, entry into apprenticeship programs or admission into a two- or four-year college. Learn more: vinal.cttech.org.
Our public safety drone has finally arrived! The future of the trade relies heavily on technology and our students will be at the forefront. As part of the program, students will be trained and have the opportunity to test for their FAA Remote Pilot license. Drone technology has gotten a bad reputation due to military use and privacy concerns but they can help us with so much more! A common call we receive is missing Alzheimers patients who have wandered away from home. Driving around neighborhoods is slow and inefficient. A drone can cover miles in minutes and locate missing elderly or children much faster. Drones can respond to everything from lost hikers to assisting with brush fires. CJPS is building a drone response team to help our communities with these things. See the "DRT" tab up top!