Career Center hosts future 1st Responders


PIQUA — Current students and area sophomores looking to attend the Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC) next year had the opportunity to learn what the school has to offer during Explore Careers Day at the school on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Among the featured career paths were those of First Responders. The program is gearing up for its second year at UVCC and is growing in student interest.

Program instructor Braxton Donaldson enlisted the help of a number of Miami and Shelby County First Responders in advising students about the life of law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, communications/dispatchers, and corrections.

Among the agencies participating were Premier Health/CareFlight, Piqua Fire Department, Sidney Fire Department, Miami County Sheriff’s Office, and the Miami County 911 Communications Center.

“We want to start working this generation of kids (who are interested in becoming First Responders),” said Donaldson, “and who better to talk to than the First Responders today”

Donaldson said the program is currently at its maximum capacity of 25 students as it looks to begin its second year.

The First Responders Program launches with a look into Communications as it encompasses all aspects of being a First Responder, then branches off in to sections on fire service and law enforcement careers.

The program includes learning about careers in Homeland Security, an area in which Donaldson is very familiar as he spent six years working in that roll as a member of the United States Coast Guard.

Donaldson’s goal is to have all of his students FEMA certified before graduating high school. “The more certifications they have when they leave here the better.”

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