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First responder to head emergency training centre

Someone who has spent two decades as a first responder in municipal fire services is now heading the Emergency Training Centre at Lakeland College.

Lakeland alumnus Shawn McKerry who graduated in 2006 from the emergency services program is now dean of the centre. One of his postings was as fire chief with Fort Saskatchewan.

McKerry has been on the job at the Vermilion campus since July 4th. He has a master’s degree in emergency management from Charles Sturt University, and is working on an executive MBA through the University of Fredericton.

“We are very excited to have Shawn McKerry return to Lakeland College and join our Emergency Training Centre team,” says Tanya McDonald, interim vice president of academic and research. “Shawn knows our programs well and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this position.”

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McKerry says the training centre is his second home even though many of the faces have changed since he was there as a student.

“I look forward to ensuring Lakeland continues to offer top-notch and in-demand programming. With our EST and firefighter training programs sporting waitlists, it’s clear that the demand for these essential programs is high.”

Since the ETC training field officially opened for the 2022 season on April 25th, EST students and firefighter training students – including the blended (E1) and fully on-site platoons – have been building life-saving skills.

College officials note that Lakeland offers a range of corporate training opportunities, including emergency preparedness, safety codes and more, to a variety of clients. Seventeen corporate clients are booked for the 2022 season and municipal training is also offered throughout the year.

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