“If a disaster strikes in Attleboro or Greater New Bedford, high school students are trained and ready to help their community.
Students at Attleboro High School and GNB Voc-Tech recently completed the Community Emergency Response Team program taught by Col. David Gavigan and Capt. William Camara of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. CERT trains students in basic medical, search and rescue, communication, and emergency response skills.
“It makes a big difference when people in our community with these skills come into our school,” Attleboro High School Principal Kate Campbell said during a graduation ceremony for AHS students on Tuesday morning. “They help our students build these skills to take back with them to the community. You’ve made a big difference here.”
Pictured with Bristol County Sheriff’s Office Col. David Gavigan, Capt. William Camara, and Attleboro High School Criminal Justice Teacher Toby Reed and the graduates of the Community Emergency Response Team program: Presley Biller, Abigail Churchill, Taylor DeCristoforo, Logan DeSimone, Madyson Diflaminies, Luzmaria Echavarria, Jilliam Ferrara, Tyson Forte, Makenzie Grenier, Siobhan Landers, Sophia Lincks, Charlotte McKenzie, Abigail Navedo, Caleb Plass, Neveah Rose, Ava Roy, Alexandra Sawyer, Heather Sees, and Alyxandria Valencia. Not pictured is Janeliz Rivera. Bristol County Sheriff’s Office photo.
The AHS graduates, juniors who are just about to wrap up the school year and enter summer vacation, received certificates and were congratulated by Col. Gavigan, Capt. Camara, Principal Campbell and Jeremy Guay, the AHS director of career and technical education.
The recent graduations at AHS and GNB Voc-Tech also marked the last CERT programs for Capt. Camara and Col. Gavigan, who are retiring from the BCSO this summer. They have been with the BCSO for about 45 years combined.
“I want to thank the Colonel and the Captain,” AHS criminal justice teacher Toby Reed told his students during the graduation. “These are guys who have given everything they had to their communities. We appreciate all you’ve done for us over the years.”
Capt. Camara, a Marine Corps. veteran, was a longtime corrections officer and head of the BCSO Special Response Team before joining Col. Gavigan on the Homeland Security team. Col. Gavigan began his journey in security, law enforcement and intelligence in 1956 with the Army National Guard. He has led trainings, classes and security assessments for schools and other facilities from coast to coast over the years, but his favorite work was always with students in schools across Bristol County.
“You keep us young,” he told the graduates Tuesday morning.”