WEST CHESTER (July 19, 2018) –  State Senator Andy Dinniman was recently honored by the Octorara Area Homeland Security and Protective Services Academy.

Dinniman and Beau Crowding, Deputy Director of Fire Services for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services, were both recognized for their support of Octorara School District program with official academy shields.

“The academy a shining example of what can be accomplished when young people are given an opportunity early on to channel their skills and passions in preparing for careers in public service and emergency response,” Dinniman, who serves as both Minority Chair of the Senate Education Committee and on the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, said. “I want to thank all of those who make this incredible program possible, not to mention the students and cadets for answering to keep our communities safe.”

The innovative and groundbreaking program allows high school students to get a head start on careers in firefighting, emergency response, and law enforcement. In fact, it is the only way a young person (under the age of 18) in Pennsylvania can earn firefighter certification in preparation for joining a fire department on their 18th birthday.

Earlier this year, Dinniman secured $50,000 in state grant funding for the academy to purchase specialty training equipment and professional gear.

The Octorara Area Homeland Security and Protective Services Academy is a three-year Career and Technical Education Program offered to students in tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade. The academy has partnered with the Chester County Public Safety Training Campus (CCPSTC) to offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students interested in careers in firefighting, law enforcement, and emergency medical services.  

The academy consists of two half-day programs at the CCPSTC and student academic instruction at their sending district’s high school.  

It is housed at the CCPSTC to provide students with the latest technology and equipment available while offering them the opportunity to interact with firefighters, law enforcement and emergency management professionals on a daily basis. 

Cadets in the academy also join their local fire department or emergency service department upon entering the program. 

Students who complete three years of the Octorara Area Homeland Security and Protective Services Academy program can earn up to 60 State and National Certifications as well as up to 54 college credits. Internships and co-op work opportunities are available for select students. 


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