Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Deputy Sheriff remembers being first graduating class in old CVTC building
New Emergency Service building tours, open house set
Mark Engevold (inset) was one of the first to take classes at the old Emergency Service Education Center in the late 1990s. He's excited for students to experience the new building and technology.
Mark Engevold was born to work in emergency services.
The 52-year-old rural Osseo man is the kind of person who puts people first. In his younger years after high school, he worked in health care and firefighting, but entering law enforcement soon became his dream.
He made that dream happen as a member of the first class to walk through the doors of the Emergency Service Education Center – a Chippewa Valley Technical College campus – just after it was built in 1998.
Engevold, now deputy sheriff of the Trempealeau Sheriff’s Office, remembers his time fondly as a law enforcement recruit just before the turn of the century.
Today he looks on fondly as CVTC’s newly renovated and expanded Emergency Service Education Center is set to open.
Like Engevold, students in FireMedic, Paramedic and Criminal Justice programs, as well as the Law Enforcement Academy, will walk through the doors in a few days as the first class in their programs to learn in the new facility.
Eric Anderson, CVTC Associate Dean of Emergency Services, said the modern educational space offers state-of-the-art training labs that will mirror much of what officers will experience in the field.
“The new and improved Emergency Service Education Center now offers space that is designed for our community and collaboration among students, staff and faculty,” Anderson said.
The updated building was made possible through an approved referendum with a cost of $9.5 million for this facility. The entire referendum, which will take care of construction projects throughout many CVTC campuses, will not exceed $48.8 million in total.
“The programs at the facility are critical to the safety and well-being of our communities as we educate and train students in emergency medical services, firefighting and criminal justice,” Anderson said.
The enhanced training spaces will provide not only physical and mental skills to perform the duties, but also touch on collaborative skills to work with the community. A portion of that is learning how to talk to community members.
Engevold said one of the most important things he learned during the Law Enforcement Academy was communication.
“The best weapon we have is verbal judo,” he said. “You have to talk with people, not at them. If I can get through to one or two people, I've done my job well.”
Engevold has many stories of using communication, not physical force, to solve problems on a call. One night he had been called to an acquaintance’s house for an unruly daughter.
“I talked to her. The next day, her demeanor did a 180 turn, and she has her doctorate now,” Engevold said. “It was nothing special – nothing above and beyond – but it was hearing it from someone else, and really listening and communicating.”
Engevold thinks back fondly on his time at CVTC, and he will continue to train at the College in the new facility.
For new students looking to be recruits, he reminds them to follow their dreams and treat people like they would like to be treated.
“With CVTC, they have multiple options, and the staff is wonderful,” Engevold said. “Follow your dreams, work hard play hard, and don’t forget where you came from.”
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