By Raquel Castrataro
CCC Journalism Program
TURNERSVILLE – Camden County College announced Thursday it had taken over the administration of the Regional Emergency Training Center.
This merger is intended not only to be cost-effective for taxpayers but also a one-stop shopping experience for students beyond high school.
The RETC provides an effective learning facility as well as a training facility for students looking to become police officers, firefighters or emergency personnel. The amenities that are offered to students at this facility include a burn building, smoke house, self-contained breathing apparatus maze, and on-site classrooms along with a 160-seat auditorium. A long list of classes is offered on this specialized campus, all pertaining to police, fire or medical studies and all of which are specific to the major.
As to cuts for taxpayers, Bill Thompson, the vice president of institutional advancement for the college, stated “there is no documentation to show the cut in taxes for our taxpayers.” However, Thompson explained because the RETC was once run by three different entities and is now being run by Camden County College, it will prove cost effective because employees of the college will be the ones stepping in to take over.
Michael Castrataro, a freshman at Camden County College, attended the fire academy program offered at the RETC before starting college in 2009 with his local fire department. Castrataro, who was mostly apprehensive about CCC administration taking over, stated “now you can receive college credits for the courses offered in the fire academy without having to be officially enrolled.” This will not only promote student growth to those who may feel college is out of reach to them but also create more exposure to the programs offered at the RETC. With a portion of the school tuition going toward building funds and the tools needed to teach these programs, it will give the students more exposure to a specialized hands-on learning experience.