Preparing First Responders Through a Wide Range of Opportunities
The hottest careers today are any job in or related to homeland security. Adults can take advantage of programs at community colleges to become a first responder.
For adults who are considering entering a career as a first responder or in homeland security, attending a community college is the best option. Community education programs offered by community colleges are more responsive to a community’s needs, along with their primary task of workforce development. In fact, part of community college funding comes from local sources.
The fastest growing sector of adult education is in preparing first responders by community colleges in support of home land security initiatives. Communities owe a large part of their security to adult graduates of first responder programs offered by community colleges. The responsive advantage of community colleges have over other higher education institutions is their close connection with local communities and community leaders.
First Responder Careers
The vast majority of adult first responders within a community have completed programs in homeland security offered at community colleges since the terrorist attacks on 9/11. For example:
Almost 50 % of new nurses graduate from community colleges
Nearly 85 % of all law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs graduate from community colleges.
Other homeland security career programs offered at community colleges include:
- Environmental Safety – learning how to prevent unlawful and unsafe activities which circumvent applicable laws regarding sensitive facilities.
- Cyber Safety – preventing exploitation of technological resources of sensitive facilities.
- Energy Security – providing security for power grids, pipe lines, and other sensitive facilities.
- Emergency Response Management – coordinating first and second responder efforts in emergency situations.
- Food Safety – preventing exploitation of food supplies by those who wish to harm the food industry.
- Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) – responding to or controlling HAZMAT situations.
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Advantages of Community College Education
Community colleges are thoroughly entrenched in community efforts for homeland security. This provides adults a unique opportunity for adults enrolled in community college programs, they have the advantage to train using community resources in which they live. For example:
- Law Enforcement education involves opportunities to work with local law enforcement.
- Firefighter Education involves the use of some of the same training facilities local firefighters use in their continuing education programs.
- Nurse Education programs provide internships in local hospitals and medical facilities.
- These are three examples of community college education. Typically all first responder education in community colleges relies heavily on the use of jointly operated facilities and regional facilities. This provides adults enrolled in homeland security programs to study and train in their own community, a great advantage for a community and students.
The advantage for students includes:
- Access to the newest information, equipment, and educational facilities due to national, state, and local funding.
- First responder programs learn the latest strategies and techniques for handling emergency situations, such as: mass casualty, weapons of mass destruction, natural disasters, and more.
- Graduates have a community based resource for their required continuing education credits needed to remain current and move up the promotion ladder.
For those considering a career in homeland security, now is the time to enroll. Careers for homeland security first responders are the hottest today. Federal, state, and local governments have a shortage of people to fill these jobs. There is an extreme shortage of nurses and large growth is expected between now and 2016 in all homeland security careers.
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After years teaching a range of courses in Georgia public schools, from Drama to AP English, I pulled the plug on my tenure and took a leap back into university instruction. Why? Sometimes we need to make decisions based on what works. For now, I am eager for motivated students, a professional environment that offers opportunities for growth, research, and challenge, and a location that mixes elements of "Wow!" and "Ahhhh!" So, when offered the position, I jumped at the chance to revisit Morocco and to teach ESL at a university located, somewhat more coolly, in the Mid-Atlas mountains.