Service Careers Students Build Cabinetry for County Communications Unit

Service Careers students at Canadian Valley Technology Center's Chickasha Campus recently helped with upgrades to the county’s heavy communications unit by building cabinetry to hold an array of radios and other equipment. Students provided the labor at no cost.

March 23, 2017

CHICKASHA – Dale Thompson believes public officials should seek ways to save taxpayer dollars.

That’s why the Grady County Emergency Management director recently turned to his alma mater at Canadian Valley Technology Center.

Taxpayers saved thousands of dollars, Thompson said.

That’s because CV Tech’s Service Careers instructor Chad Bailey worked carpentry skills into class curriculum in order to upgrade the county’s heavy communications emergency response vehicle. 

Students constructed cabinets inside an old Blue Bird school bus that had been acquired by the county.

The vehicle has the capability of providing all on-site communications for police, fire, emergency EMS, jail officials, hospital staff and public works, Thompson said.

Multiple forms of communications equipment placed within the new cabinets will permit an incident commander to manage an incident from inside the bus.

Thompson received a quote from an area carpenter, which was $4,000. Total cost of materials was roughly $700, and students donated their labor as a service project to the county.

“I’ve watched Mr. Bailey work with his students,” Thompson said. “He got with me and made some suggestions. I got to see the kids working on it. They did a really good job. They got it done way quicker than I anticipated, and I’m 110% satisfied.

“This bus is a real asset for the southwest part of the state with Oklahoma Homeland Security and the Department of Emergency Management.”

Thompson is a product of CV Tech’s Welding program in the 1980s.

Bailey said 10 students were involved at some level in the project.

The work took eight school days, Bailey said. Four-by-four-inch posts were used for corners, and mostly 2-by-4s were used for construction, along with ¾-inch plywood and ¾-inch melamine for the tops. Lots of quarter-round material was used for edging.

“This relates to a component of the class,” Bailey said. “Because of that, we were able to fit the live work in. And it certainly meets a safety need in the area.”