Secretary of the Department of Safety and Professional Services, Dawn Crim, visits Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to learn about fire safety training needs and workforce opportunities within the district.
Sec. Crim, joined by local fire chiefs, began their day at NWTC by touring the fire safety training facilities at the Green Bay campuses’ Public Safety building. Together with College leadership, they discussed topics around high-impact training practices, recruitment needs, as well as providing training access to rural communities.
“I am always impressed with the partnerships our technical colleges have with area fire departments,” Secretary Crim said. “I believe in teams, and these collaborations show how much we all benefit when we work together and share knowledge and resources. That is why we structured our new grant program on partnerships and, I believe, why we were successful in securing funding. Together we can do so much more than any one institution can do alone.”
“We are honored to host Secretary Crim and legislative partners on our campus to discuss challenges and opportunities facing our local fire departments,” said Dr. Rafn, NWTC president. “Keeping our communities safe and trained to respond is one of our top priorities, that’s why opportunities like this are important to maintain partnerships within our district.”
Later in the day, the College hosted a round panel discussion with local fire department representatives to discuss topical areas like mental health, PFAS strategies and workforce or volunteer opportunities within our area. Attendees represented districts from throughout Northeast Wisconsin.
During the visit, Sec. Crim met with representatives from Oconto Fire Rescue Department to present $17,982 for the New Youth Fire Fighter Training Grant; an initiative to help fire departments develop or expand recruitment programs. The Oconto Fire Rescue Department has partnered with NWTC and Oconto High School to offer a successful dual-credit program for junior and senior students to earn Fire 1 Certification.
“There are many teenagers who are eager to do meaningful work to support their communities, and this project is a great way to offer a hands-on learning experience and expose students to opportunities they may not have considered before,” said Josh Bostetd, Oconto Fire Chief.
“Over the past year, we have invested in mobile burn trailers that allow firefighters to experience flash fire training in their communities. As the only burn trailers within the district, these are an essential tool for training students as well as our region's firefighters. We will continue to bring the trailers out to rural districts to support their training needs,” said Dr. Kathryn Rogalski, NWTC vice president of student learning.
Check out NWTC's Public Safety as well as Corporate Training and Economic Development programs to learn more about year-round training and other offerings.