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WCSO makes donation to NWFSC’s Walton Works Public Safety Training Program

Special to Gannett
Jeffrey McGill, NWFSC public safety director; Mike Erny, NWFSC's dean of career education; Cristie Kedroski, NWFSC's senior vice president; Jason Cotton, public safety training coordinator– alton Works; Deidre Price, NWFSC's vice president of academic affairs; NWFSC President Devin Stephenson; Walton County Sheriff Mike Anderson; Walton County Fire Chief Tracey Vause; Maj. Audie Rowell, WCSO's director of emergency services; WCSO Maj. Donald Clark, director of law enforcement operations; and WCSO Maj. Tom Ring, director of professional standards (from left) attended the donation.

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS— On a sunny November afternoon, members of the Northwest Florida State College (NWFSC) leadership team and Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) leaders celebrated the donation of a firetruck, an ambulance and 40 SCBA packs (self-contained breathing apparatus) from the WCSO’s Fire Rescue Division to NWFSC’s Walton Works Public Safety Program.

The 16-year old firetruck and ambulance are in mint condition and will be used for student training opportunities at the Walton Works Fire Tower site adjacent to the WCSO complex.

“With this donation, we are equipping NWFSC students with practical, hands-on training aids,” Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson said. “We are committed to excellence and Northwest Florida State College trains the best, making this the perfect partnership.”

The college's Walton Works project expands career education programs in public safety (law enforcement, fire, emergency medical technician), as well as cybersecurity, drone technology and building trades such as plumbing, electrical, welding, millwright and construction. All courses will be taught in Walton County at either NWFSC’s Chautauqua Center Walton Works Training Center of Excellence or at the joint Fire Training Facility at the Sheriff’s Office complex.

“With a shared vision for excellence, we are creating a pre-eminent training facility that will transform the career opportunities available for the citizens of Walton County and the entire Northwest Florida region,” said NWFSC President Devin Stephenson. “I am grateful for Sheriff Adkinson and his team for their selfless service to our community and commitment to training future generations to make a difference.”