If any of your New Year’s resolutions involve reaching out, understanding others or walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, I have an inspiring project for you.
The Alexander City Police Department, (Tallapoosa County) Sheriff’s Department, Fire and Rescue Department and the Animal Control Division offer a course starting March 5 for you to be allowed the opportunity to become familiar with the inner workings of these important first-responder departments. We participated as a team from Wayside Animal Hospital in this fascinating class last year.
The course lasts 10-12 weeks, two hours a week with a couple optional weekend events. Well worth the time commitment! Our course from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday nights, meeting at city hall, the police department or Fire Station 2 included presentations from Animal Control, the SWAT team and the sheriff’s department. Events included officer ride-alongs which put you in the car with an on-call officer, fire extinguishing, rappelling from a four-story tower, jaws of life use, actual time at their firing range, 911 dispatching sit-in, as well as being able to drive a police vehicle through a training course and many other informative sessions on the work of the various law enforcement groups within the county. We were awarded patches from the police and fire departments, a certificate of participation at the end of the session and we were all given a nice golf shirt to boot! My most memorable participation of the year and probably the most out of the box thing I have ever tried. If I weren’t so completely obsessed with my current job as a veterinarian, I would have to consider a career change. This should somehow be an optional class in high school!
Give it a whirl! Call Captain Orr at 256-329-6772 and sign up for this course today. We also have applications available at our clinic. You will not regret it. Spots are limited for each class, so don’t procrastinate too long. Remember you are going to do less procrastinating this year!
If possible, “do it all,” for the most complete experience. Meet new people in the community. Understand why our police officers really are our friends in blue. Appreciate (and) experience the bravery and professionalism of our first responders first hand. Although their current location is historic to Alexander City, see why they need and deserve a significant upgrade in their headquarters.
Do yourself a favor! Do not bemoan of the time commitment. Before you know it, the course will be over and you will be wishing it lasted longer!
Dr. Susan Martin
Wayside Animal Hospital