Ground is broken, medical pioneer honored at Albany Tech - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ground is broken, medical pioneer honored at Albany Tech

October 2, 2007

Albany -- The legacy of a pioneer in the field of emergency response will live on at Albany Technical College.

In 1972, Albany doctor Charles Gillespie taught the first EMT course at Albany Tech. In fact, he founded Emergency Medical Services statewide.

Today, the school broke ground on a new building, the Charles B. Gillespie Center for Emergency Response.

With one foot on a shovel and a toss of dirt, Albany Tech's Emergency Response Program entered a new phase as ground was broken for the 10,000 square foot expansion and renovation project.

"It's a very exciting day. This is an opportunity to break ground a new, long awaited facility," Albany Tech President Anthony Parker. 

Thanks to a one million dollar donation from an anonymous donor, Albany Tech will renovate its current facility on campus and expand it by 7,000 feet. It will house the school's Fire Science, EMT/Paramedic Technology and Law Enforcement classes.

"It gives us an opportunity to blend the curriculum, but also gives us the opportunity to have our instructors teach different students from different programs," said Parker.

Marcus Jackson, a freshman at Albany Tech, enrolled in the law enforcement program.

"My parents have been in law enforcement for a couple of years. It's something I've been wanting to do ever since," he said.

Next fall, Jackson and 174 other law enforcement students in his program, will have new classrooms to learn skills, that according to Dougherty County Police Chief Don Cheek, are essential to any police force.

"Education is one of the major thrusts in law enforcement right now. So the program here at Albany Technical College has yielded benefits," said Cheek.

With more than one hundred students in the fire science program alone, Albany Fire Chief James Carswell recognizes the programs value not only to the school, but to the entire region.

He said, "This facility is used throughout the region, not only for the fire side, but for the EMS and police. It's great asset to the community and I look for positive things in the future."

As for the father of Georgia Emergency Medical Services, Dr. Charles Gillespie says, "Having a facility that's well equipped and well designed will make all the difference in the world."

A facility that will carry on his dream, while making the dreams come true, for others.

The facility is scheduled to be completed and open when Fall Classes begin in 2008.

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