BCCC installs lighting, begins construction on new classrooms

Published 5:07 pm Friday, April 17, 2020

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Beaufort County Community College installed lighting on its new Emergency Vehicle Driving Pad on April 4. On April 13, the college will begin construction on a new classroom building for first responders that will be sited next to the driving pad. This building is funded under the Connect NC Bond.

BCCC installed four 95-foot light poles on its new Emergency Vehicle Driving Pad. The poles stand on top 20-foot buried steel supports to ensure that they can withstand hurricane-force winds. These 585-watt LED fixtures are at least 40 percent more efficient than older lighting technologies.

The driving pad–one of the largest in the state– is already in use by BCCC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program, as well as Pitt Community College’s BLET program. The new lighting will enable extended training hours on the driving pad. A Motorcycle Safety course that is open to the public had been schedule for this spring, but has been postponed until the fall. B.E. Singleton and Sons constructed the driving pad.

On Monday, April 13, the college will begin the final phase of its Emergency Training and Workforce Complex–a two-classroom building for first responders. Farrior & Sons, of Farmville, was awarded the $1.8 million project by the BCCC Board of Trustees. The building will also include two vehicle bays for storing emergency vehicles and a state-of-the-art EMS simulation lab for hands-on training on a full-body trauma patient simulator. The college anticipates completing construction on the building by January 2021.

“We are excited to partner with one of the premier construction companies in Eastern North Carolina to provide this new asset to our first responders,” said Dr. David Loope, BCCC President.

When complete, the Emergency Training and Workforce Complex will bring together all aspects of training for first responders and law enforcement, including the 500’ x 600’ driving pad, the new building, and the existing Fire Training Tower, where fire training students can learn rappelling, train in dark, smoke-filled rooms, and even work with live fire. Law enforcement students will use the driving pad to learn evasive and pursuit maneuvers. EMT and paramedic students will not only learn to drive ambulances, but to perform medical procedures while the vehicle is moving.

“BCCC is honored to offer this state-of-the-art training complex to the dedicated and talented first responders that serve and protect our communities,” said Stacey Gerard, VP of Continuing Education, the division that oversees first responder training. “The complex offers opportunities for our public safety responders to learn new skills and enhance existing skills in a controlled and safe environment, using technologically advanced tools and equipment.”

BCCC serves a four-county region that contains only one staffed fire and rescue department within the City of Washington. Annual training by firefighters and first responders is key to the safety of area residents, and assets like the driving pad are not available anywhere else in the region.

Registration is now ongoing for summer and fall classes, including law enforcement training and first responder training. Interested students should visit www.beaufortccc.edu for more information.