The Vinal Tech Emergency Operations Center has once again proven that high school students are capable of providing real assistance to our Nation in times of disaster. The Vinal Tech EOC was activated for the third time in shop history for Hurricane Ian and provided focused, open-source intelligence reports daily to Mr. Cruickshank as he was deployed to Ft. Myers, Florida. In addition to these intelligence briefings, which included everything from news reports to profiles of dangerous local sexual predators, the team did much more. Students monitored local radio frequencies and kept teams up-to-date with what was happening around them and even monitored local air traffic to notify the teams of any inbound medical helicopters. The students work was absolutely incredible and what we were able to build upon from previous activations is building a model that others will be able to use immediately. This is not school, this is real life and these students answered the call. More will be posted this Spring when we present the school with its third activation plaque showing that Vinal students MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Disaster Preparedness Month!
September is disaster preparedness month and know one is more familiar with that than the CJPS shop's Emergency Operations Center. This year, sophomores competed for "best disaster preparedness kit" with a ficticious $650 budget for a family of 4 in a "Connecticut October" for a week. The kits were pretty amazing with everything from 10lbs of beef jerky to Ryan Reynolds fleece blankets but the winner was Abby who the judges felt had the most practical and highest rated kit. Thanks to a generous donation by Mr.C's parents,
the winner this year HAD THEIR BAG ACTUALLY BOUGHT FOR THEM!!!!
So cool! As a reminder for yourself and your family, disaster preparedness bags are easy to make these days and every family should have one. If you don't have a bag, at least have a PLAN! For instance, if all coomunications are lost during the middle of the day, where will you meet? School? Home? A family member's house? Have a plan and be prepared!
Summer of Cool Volunteer Work
Proud to say we have dozens of students volunteering time this summer to help agencies train and just have some fun. Who says volunteer work can't be fun?! CJPS students were victim actors for a variety of scenarios. Not every day you have professional make-up artists giving you zombie injuries in an abandoned prison or have the FBI rescue you from a flipped over train car! Summer of fun and for a good cause, helping responders get better!
After over a YEAR of planning, CJPS and Staff Sergeant Brown of the CT National Guard were finally able to make the 3-DAY, 2-NIGHT, 1-SHOP FAMILY disaster deployment experience a reality. This EPIC camping trip was a chance to show students they could do things they didn't think they were capable of. For many, this was a first experience without power, running water, or quality sleep yet the whole group came together to solve problems and put others first.
We cannot tell you how proud we all are of the sophomores and juniors and the whole CJPS family. This was the best experience we have had as teachers since we started and we all became a closer shop family.
Thank you to everyone that made this happen; All the members of the CT National Guard that donated their time, Mr. Noonan driving the bus on his own time, the cafeteria staff at the school, the Westbrook Dunkin Donuts, and all the parents who supported us. We Could NOT have done this without you all.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO STAFF SERGEANT BROWN WHO WORKED FOR MONTHS MAKING THIS ENTIRE EXPERIENCE A REALITY!!!
A few months ago, our shop linked up with the Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation to help clean up the National Memorial and help remember the veterans of the battle. The students were so moved by meeting the veterans and seeing the memorial that they decided they wanted to help several times a year going forward; quite a noble gesture for a group of teenagers. Today, the National Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation, represented by President Raymond Carrier, presented the classes with a Certificate of Appreciation. It was an unexpected surprise and a special thanks to Ray's wife Elaine for her famous cookies :)
A good friend and an always-available resource for the shop, Officer Bloom and K9 Koda stopped by today for an introduction on tracking, recovery, safety, and some laughs. Although the students tried to sacrifice us for an attack demonstration, the questions were great and Koda enjoyed meeting the students. It was also a great opportunity for the students to learn about the Middletown Police Explorer program and other opportunities available to them outside of shop. Thank you Officer Bloom!!
CJPS Rocks Out at Prom
CJPS Seniors had one of their most memorable classes thanks to Vinal Alum Aidan Neely. Aidan reached out to our program and invited the students in for a federally-sponsored Traffic Incident Management course for responders. Students learned all about highway and road safety and how responders can be doing better. The course was a springboard dive into a world that was just eye opening. The statistics on secondary crashes is staggering and the State's DOT Operations Center is specifically designed to make the roadways safer and help clear accidents quicker, reducing injuries/fatalities and improving commerce. Aidan and his team were amazing and the students were happy to see many of the things they have learned such as national incident management and even drones, had practical applications to making the roadways safer. The students were even able to control the traffic cameras around the state and watch the Vice Presidential motorcade live! Excellent few days that now seniors will be able to experience annually!