Education center opens with tribute to 9/11 victims

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Twenty years later, to remember the day when 2,977 civilians and emergency workers lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, first responder students and members of the San Diego Fire Department Honor Guard held a 9/11 tribute in tandem with the grand opening of the new Public Safety Training Center at the Southwestern College Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa on Sept. 10.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Sanchez said California community colleges train eight in 10 of the states police officers and EMTs.

“Our paramedic program has a 100% pass rate in the national licensing exams in the past 15 years and it also has 100% employment rates,” he said. “This facility also opens the doors in opportunities for our fire science students. We are now fully accredited by state fire training, and we will now be able to graduate fire science students with their state Fire Fighter 1 certifications. Our firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, police academy students are entering a whole new level of training.”

The $29.1 million complex includes a multi-bay apparatus building for emergency vehicles for all programs, a multi-purpose instructional building for police, fire and EMT/paramedic students, the only single story scenario apartment simulator at a community college in the region, and a renovated track and fitness training center.

Education center opens with tribute to 9/11 victims