Heroes of Hong Kong: A study of Fiji sevens

first_img TAGS: Fiji LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Whatever, it is vital to inform the legions of rugby sevens supporters who were converted thanks to the country’s heroics in Rio – according to World Rugby the Olympics generated almost 17 million new fans – that Fiji’s passion for the sport was sparked in Hong Kong over 40 years ago.For the latest Rugby World subscription offers, click here. And to download the digital edition, click here. Together as one: The Fiji stars come together to give thanks By Oliver PickupFiji men’s sensational success at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, in last summer’s inaugural rugby sevens competition, was undoubtedly one of the most absorbing sporting narratives of 2016. And the jubilant supporters of the impoverished, tiny Pacific island nation have Hong Kong to thank for inspiring their country to become giants in the discipline and earning a maiden Games podium finish.For exactly 40 years before the Rio 2016 triumph the first Hong Kong Sevens took place, and that 1976 edition, which Fiji participated in, triggered an unparalleled passion for the game which is evident on and off the pitch.In Rio, Fiji’s golden journey climaxed in a 43-7 demolition of Team GB and the manner of their final victory at the Deodoro Stadium in mid-August – which the side’s London-born coach Ben Ryan posits was the most-watched game of rugby in history – underlined their superiority, and increased their universal appeal. In full-on attack mode, Fiji breathtakingly bamboozled the British defence with telepathic offloads and unpredictable, unstoppable running angles, scoring sevens tries – including five in the dizzying 10-minute first half – to one.Heading for glory: Semi Kunatani attacks during the Olympic finalTom Mitchell, the defeated Team GB captain, calls it “the best performance I’ve ever seen on a sevens field, from any team”, and adds: “Sometimes you have to accept the opposition has played better, and on that day Fiji were sublime. We were gutted, but to lose to them, on top form, somehow lessened the blow. When Fiji perform like that, as they have done so often in the past, it makes sevens so exciting.”While their success generated thousands of new admirers – according to Ryan ‘Fiji’ was the most-searched term on Google for an hour after the final – few familiar with the country’s proud and glittering sevens heritage were surprised. After all, they were strong favourites going in to the tournament, having secured back-to-back HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series titles, and have hitherto amassed a record 16 Hong Kong Sevens titles. But how exactly did humble Fiji rise to become the dominant force in sevens?Firstly, it is hard to overstate how popular, and important, rugby sevens is in Fiji. The sport dominates both front and back pages of the two main newspapers, Fiji Sun and The Fiji Times. “For the Olympics, they published a daily, 20-page pull out about the sevens,” says Chris Cracknell, Ryan’s deputy and coach of the women’s side for Rio. “And there was a 72-page collector’s edition produced after the final.”Representing the country is not just a source of pride; it provides a gilt-edged opportunity to lift individual players, and their nearest and dearest, out of poverty. Young players dream of playing for Fiji, and the promise of relative wealth only serves to further motivate them. On the 40-minute drive from Suva to Pacific Harbour, where Cracknell and Ryan lived, the pair would count over 50 games of sevens being played by youths attempting to emulating their heroes.Mastermind: Ben Ryan speaks publiclyRegardless of whether players make the top grade or not, sevens remains a vital part of Fijian life, particularly in village communities; the daily games extend for hours, after sunset. Ryan, who stepped down after the Olympics and is now helping HSBC spread rugby sevens around the globe, reveals that he would often catch his players flinging the ball about in such matches when they were supposed to be resting after a tournament. “You can only admire that pure love of the game,” he says. “They can’t stop playing, they love it and it is a central part of the culture in the villages. You’ll see sevens everywhere, most of the time being played on uneven surfaces, and very rarely with an actual rugby ball.”Despite a perennial lack of investment and structured coaching – or perhaps because of it – Fijians are blessed with the key attributes for sevens: physique; speed; and jaw-dropping skill. Fiji’s love affair with rugby began in the early 1900s, though the sport was not introduced by the British – the Pacific nation’s colonial masters from 1874 until independence in 1970 – as one might assume, but a plumber from New Zealand named Paddy Sheehan.While working at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, the former Otago player, who would go on to be voted Fiji Rugby Union’s first chairman, established the Escott Shield, which is still played today. Indeed, it is 15-a-side rugby which is played in Fijian schools rather than sevens, a simpler, more expressive game reserved for playtimes, after lessons, and back home with friends and relatives.However, it was not until the Hong Kong Sevens began, in 1976, that Fijians truly fell head over heels for rugby – and specifically the abridged version of the game. Suddenly, and for the first time, their sportsmen had a rare chance to travel overseas, and showcase their sporting talent on a global stage. Following that inaugural edition, which Fiji participated in, the team’s manager, George Reade, saw the sport’s potential and, once home, immediately organised the country’s first sevens tournament, the Marist Sevens. With 16 titles, Olympic gold medallists Fiji have more Hong Kong wins than anyone else. Here is a look at what makes them so special. Fans favourite: Fiji are popular with spectators wherever they go“Before then, rugby sevens was not played in Fiji,” says local historian Culden Kamea. “What drove public interest was the Marist Sevens. Not only did it offer the biggest prize money domestically, it was also the tournament from which Fiji’s team to play in Hong Kong that particular year would be determined. And, truth be known, our local club sevens circuit was probably much tougher than Hong Kong.”In the early editions of the Hong Kong Sevens, which remains the pinnacle of the Sevens Series circuit, Fiji’s romantic reputation for swashbuckling rugby was formed. Theirs was a style which broke the mould and replaced it with a thrilling alternative, fuelled by attacking ambition, verve, and smiling mischief. Such an expansive approach came with risks attached, though. No matter to the neutral: entertainment was guaranteed when Fiji took to the pitch.After a modest showing in the first edition of the Hong Kong Sevens, a much-improved Fiji won three of the next four tournaments (1977, 1978 and 1980). They were champions again in 1984, though it wasn’t until 20-year-old Waisale Serevi was selected for the 1989 campaign that the Fijians entered their next golden period, which happily coincided with the birth of the country’s national television service.The king: Waisale Serevi evading tackles in his primeThe 5ft 7in playmaker, whose off-field humility belies the flamboyance he displayed on it, would become a giant of sevens. Moreover, he was Fiji’s first globally revered sports star; he is regarded as the game’s best-ever player and known universally as ‘The King’. “Without Hong Kong, there is no Serevi, no Fiji sevens,” he says. “Sevens suits Fijians so perfectly; we have the skills, the speed and the physique,” Serevi, whose country has now accrued five more titles than second-placed New Zealand, continues. “And rugby is the only way we can express ourselves. For the youth players, it is a great opportunity to make a name for yourself, and more importantly make a living, and help your family.”In his first Hong Kong outing, the impish, jinking Serevi was awarded the Leslie Williams Trophy, handed to the competition’s best performer, even though Fiji didn’t make the final. With him pulling the strings, Fiji won five more crowns in the next 11 editions. And he was twice named the player of the tournament when Fiji won the World Cup, at the same venue in 1997 and also in 2005 – the latter achieved a couple of months before his 37th birthday.For almost a decade, up until Ryan took a punt on Fiji four years ago – after his record-breaking tenure as England coach ended acrimoniously – the country had failed, for the most part, to perform to their usual high standards, though they still turned it on to win in Hong Kong in 2009, 2012 and 2013.The 45-year-old, now working with HSBC to promote Rugby Sevens having stepped away from Fiji following the Olympics, has been rightly lauded for maximising the team’s potential, with Rio the zenith. By dramatically improving the team’s discipline, game knowledge, fitness and diet, the Cambridge University graduate contrived to stud a velvet glove with deadly spikes. And winning the last two Hong Kong Sevens competitions propelled Fiji to Olympic gold.Celebration: Joeli Lutumailagi holds his hands aloft in Las VegasWith Welshman Gareth Baber taking charge in January as Ryan’s successor, the link and bond with Hong Kong remains strong; the 44-year-old former Bristol scrum-half has spent the last three seasons coaching the national team.“The key thing now is to maintain what Ben has done,” adds Serevi. “It should be an exciting year because of Gareth taking over. But 90 per cent of the things that made Fiji win the back-to-back World Series and the Olympics are still there.”On the eve of this year’s Hong Kong Sevens, the seventh round of the 10-stop season, the Fijians – yet to win a tournament this term, despite reaching three cup finals – sit third in the rankings. However, another victory at the sport’s mecca would be typical.last_img read more

SightSavers event integrates Web with print adverts

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 15 September 1999 | News SightSavers event integrates Web with print adverts Tagged with: Digital  27 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis SightSavers International are attempting to use the Web to track responses to newspaper adverts for their Mount Kilimanjaro Challenge. Advertisement About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. read more

Nepali community gives surprise thank you to fundraising runner

first_img[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ako1C1_xGTg[/youtube] Tagged with: DEC Events thank you Nepali community gives surprise thank you to fundraising runner AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis  75 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Julius Billones plans to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal by running 100 km in two days. He got a very unexpected thank you even before his run, while he was out training.Julius thought that the DEC was making a documentary about his fundraising. But the charity was really there to record this thank you for being a ‘fundraising hero’. To say thank you for his effort, members of the UK Nepali community came out to greet him as he ran through the countryside.DEC presented us first with a teaser about the surprise thank you:[youtube height=”450″ width=”800″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs1ghnAkSTU[/youtube]center_img Howard Lake | 11 July 2015 | News You can donate to Julius’ appeal on JustGiving. In the full video, watch Julius’ reaction as the value of what he is undertaking for the appeal is brought home. About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving.last_img read more

Three new entrants in YouGov 2015 CharityIndex

first_img Tagged with: Research / statistics About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. Advertisement AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis2 Three new entrants in YouGov 2015 CharityIndex Macmillan Cancer Support is the UK’s top charity brand for the third year running, while three charities entered YouGov’s 2015 CharityIndex top ten for the first time.The top three positions are retained by the same charities as in 2014, with Cancer Research UK in second place, followed by Help for Heroes in third. RNLI holds fourth position (improving from eighth in 2014) while the British Heart Foundation is fifth, dropping one place.The three new entrants are Alzheimer’s Research UK (pictured), Alzheimer’s Society, and Battersea Cats and Dogs Home.The rankings were compiled using YouGov Buzz scores from across the year, which measure whether people have heard anything good or bad about a charity in the previous two weeks.YouGov’s 2015 end of year charity brand Buzz rankings (2014 rank in brackets):1 (1) Macmillan Cancer Support – 13.72 (2) Cancer Research UK – 9.43 (3) Help for Heroes – 7.14 (8) RNLI – 5.35 (4) British Heart Foundation – 5.26 (9) Dogs Trust – 4.97 (N/A) Alzheimer’s Research UK – 4.8= (5) Royal British Legion – 4.89 (N/A) Alzheimer’s Society – 4.710 (10) Marie Curie – 4.6= (N/A) Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – 4.6= (7) British Red Cross – 4.6= (13) National Trust – 4.6Briony Gunstone, associate director in public services and not-for-profit at YouGov said:“There are a couple of areas of this year’s list that are worth drawing attention to. In a year dominated by global crises only one internationally focused charity – the British Red Cross – makes the list. This hints at how difficult it can be for aid charities to create a constant noise about the vital work they are doing.“The second is the continuing decline of scores across the sector. For the second year in a row the average Buzz score for the sector as a whole has decreased. This could be for a number of reasons but it is evident that the rolling series of negative headlines in the sector over the past year has been noticed by the public.” Melanie May | 1 February 2016 | News  53 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis2  52 total views,  1 views todaylast_img read more

Thugs attack offices of Radio Méditerranée

first_img June 2, 2021 Find out more Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU FranceEurope – Central Asia Organisation News December 6, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Thugs attack offices of Radio Méditerranée RSF denounces Total’s retaliation against Le Monde for Myanmar story Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts to go further Follow the news on Francecenter_img June 4, 2021 Find out more News Reporters Without Borders condemned an attack today on the Paris offices of the community station Radio Méditerranée by apparently pro-Israeli thugs who smashed windows and the entrance door in the early hours of the morning.Four large stones and three iron bars that appear to have been used in the attack were found amid the debris. A Star of David and the words “Long live Israel” were daubed on the building.Reporters Without Borders called for an enquiry into the incident and the punishment of those responsible. It also deplored the regular threats to the station’s journalists, especially since the start of the second Palestinian Intifada, and deaths threats made to its director, Taoufiq Mathlouti. The front of the offices was daubed during the night of 21-22 March this year with slogans such as “Radio Méditerrané = nazi.” News RSF_en May 10, 2021 Find out more “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says FranceEurope – Central Asia Newslast_img read more

Donegal Census coordinators hoping for 100% return rate on forms

first_img Google+ Google+ Facebook Pinterest Twitter Twitter By admin – April 23, 2016 WhatsApp Tomorrow is Census Night, when every person in the country is asked to fill out their census form.During the last census in 2011, Donegal saw just over 99% of forms filled in and returned, this year, the census coordinators in the county are hoping to get closer to a 100% success rate.The census provides up-to-date information at local, regional and national levels.Population statistics are necessary for planning the provision of health care, education and employment while regional data informs government policy.Deirdre Cullen of the CSO says people will be counted in the place where they are, and marked as absent if they are not in their homes…………..Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/census10.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Donegal Census coordinators hoping for 100% return rate on forms Facebook Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH center_img Nine Til Noon Show – Listen back to Wednesday’s Programme WhatsApp GAA decision not sitting well with Donegal – Mick McGrath Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published NPHET ‘positive’ on easing restrictions – Donnelly Pinterest Three factors driving Donegal housing market – Robinson Homepage BannerNews Previous articleIFA says any inter-party deal on Irish Water must also recognise group water schemesNext articleWarning signs placed on Bád Eddie admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

Brundidge to hold Independence Day Parade Saturday

first_img You Might Like Court cost increases to be added on in August Pike County residents can expect to pay an additional $35 in court costs beginning in April. The increase is a… read more The 2017 Independence Day celebration in Brundidge this weekend will feature the annual “Salute to Veterans” at 6 p.m. Friday at the Fort Wendell K. Taylor National Guard Armory and continue at 9 a.m. Saturday with the Independence Day Parade in downtown Brundidge.Randy Ross, Pike County Veterans Affairs officer, said the annual “Salute to Veterans” will honor all veterans with a special salute to the 900th Maintenance Company of the Alabama National Guard in Brundidge.“The 900th is being deactivated and we wanted to take this time to honor the members of the unit, past and present, for their service and for what this unit has meant to Brundidge since 1953,” Ross said. The “Salute to Veterans” will open with a reception for all veterans and their families. The community is invited to attend and show its appreciation to all veterans.   Entertainment for the “Salute” will be by Lenny Trawick, Amanda Trawick and Gary Garrett. Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson By Jaine Treadwell The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… Published 3:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2017 Skip Latest Stories Book Nook to reopen Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day A short program will include remarks by Col. Lawrence Bowden, Ret. and Freddie Turner, Quartermaster of VFW Post 7055 in Brundidge.“We will close the ‘Salute’ with a candlelight service honoring the memory and service of our veterans,” Ross said. Delatha Mobley, parade coordinator for the sponsoring Brundidge Business Association, said the 2017 Independence Day Parade will begin at 9 a.m. and follow a Main Street route through downtown Brundidge.“Max Thrash, a veteran of World War II, will be our Grand Marshal,” Mobley said. “Betsy Ross will be a featured entry in the parade as we celebrate our country’s Independence. Of course, we’ll honor our veterans with a variety of entries including military jeeps and different military vehicles representing the 900th Maintenance Company.”center_img Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Mobley said the parade will feature Red Hat Ladies, firefighters, law enforcement officers, first responders, clubs, organizations, businesses, wagons, antique vehicles, area queens and much more.“We invite everyone to join us in celebrating our country’s independence and the men and women, past and present, that have fought for and preserved the freedoms we enjoy today,” Mobley said.The parade lineup is at 8 a.m. Saturday at the National Guard Armory for riding units. Walking entries may join the parade at the former BB&T building on North Main Street. Sponsored Content Email the author Print Article By The Penny Hoarder Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits Brundidge to hold Independence Day Parade Saturday Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthGet Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Video of Penn State pledge chugging alcohol from night he suffered fatal frat house fall shown in court

first_imgCourtesy The Piazza Family (STATE COLLEGE, Penn.) — Video of Penn State fraternity pledge Tim Piazza chugging vodka, beer and wine at a pledge ceremony inside the Beta Theta Pi house the night he fatally fell down the frat’s stairs was shown in court today.The court hearing will determine if there’s enough evidence to send the case to court for trial in connection with Piazza’s death. The defendants are several of the 26 young men who belonged to the fraternity. Piazza’s parents left the room before the video was played.The men are facing various charges, including involuntary manslaughter, hazing and conspiracy, though aggravated assault charges were recently withdrawn.On the night of Feb. 2, 2017, Piazza, a 19-year-old sophomore, participated in an alcohol-fueled hazing ritual at the frat house.In the video shown in court today, pledges, as part of the ritual, are brought into a basement room and instructed to sit on a bench. They pass around a bottle of vodka which travels up and down the line of 14 pledges three times. Piazza is identified as the 9th pledge in line in a suit and tie. Pledges are seen on video playing beer pong, and every time a pledge misses a shot, he is handed a beer to chug.Piazza at one point is seen stumbling and staggering.After the ritual, a heavily intoxicated Piazza was heard falling down the stairs, and later found lying face down at the bottom. What happened next is described in horrific detail in a grand jury report citing evidence including surveillance video, witness testimony and phone records.Members of the fraternity carried Piazza up the steps and put him on the couch. They dumped water on his face and slapped him in an apparent attempt to wake him, to no avail. When one pledge tried to intervene, insisting they get Tim Piazza some help, he was shoved into a wall and told the brothers had it under control, the grand jury report says.As the night went on, Tim Piazza tried over and over to stand on his own, falling each time and eventually going still. By the next morning, he was breathing heavily, with blood on his face. When a fraternity member finally called 911 for help, Tim Piazza’s skin had turned gray, the report says.He died a day later of traumatic brain injuries.Prosecutors claim the frat brothers then tried to cover up the alleged hazing and underage drinking.One former fraternity member allegedly texted his girlfriend “drink hazing can send me to jail,” and “I don’t want to go to jail for this,” prosecutors said. “I think we are f—–,” he added.Another text read, “Make sure the pledges keep quiet about last night and this situation.”Beta Theta Pi has since been barred from Penn State.Last week Piazza’s parents joined with a local state politician in announcing a new anti-hazing bill in the hopes to “change the landscape” in Pennsylvania and become a model for the nation.Jim Piazza said he thinks the state bill — the Timothy J. Piazza Law — could make Greek life safer, hold those who commit hazing accountable and save lives. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Stage Whispers: The Exec

first_imgThe first time I played a careers “game” in year eleven, I got policeman. Last week the Careers Service asked whether I’d considered something in human resources or financial management. I reckon producing is somewhere between the two: a constant struggle to keep everyone happy (or at least, to keep everyone talking), to quieten down directors with over-zealous ideas for Shakespeare festivals or re-writing Pirandello, to con the techies into thinking we really could not survive without them, to convince cast that putting up a poster in the bar really will make the show sell out. It’s a curious old muddle of jobs that comes our way, and often the most crucial are in the mix somewhere: Will Young will have already witnessed the strings attached to staging anything at the Union (and appears to be succeeding where Matt Trueman failed), and already Ben Monks and Chris Wooton appear to have been screwed over by the North Wall (what an idea for a student venue that was). Finally Hilary’s Playhouse producers are rumoured to have talked the management out of the patently preposterous idea of a student show at the Playhouse in 1st week.That said, we have surprisingly little to moan about at times. The job alleged to be the loneliest and most stressful in the whole of this thespy world is as undersubscribed as ever, but that’s not to say that new blood isn’t coming through – Luke Who co-producing the Alice project? A Matt, a Dan and a David also feature on this term’s Producers list it seems… Perhaps it has something to do with the (self-awarded?) perks of the job. There’s no thrill quite like seeing it all come together under your watch, with a wry smile in the knowledge of what’s really happened backstage: the cast going to bed or coming to blows, the techie tendencies to constant binging and black-out, and everybody to facebooking their way into future shows (Oh! the number of people who want to be Alice…) And all that’s aside from when you get a trip to Edinburgh or even New York to boot — was Razzmataz anything but Will Young’s swipe-card to C Venues? Is an Oxford Revue tour to the US any more than a holiday? Probably not, in both cases — but we’ve got to make our grip on the purse strings count for something.last_img read more

Hudson County is one of the most diverse and densely populated…

first_imgEDWARD FLOODChief of DepartmentNorth Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue (Ret) To the Editor: Responding to “Hudson’s own police academy,” Hudson County is one of the most diverse and densely populated counties in the United States. Hudson County most definitely needs a police academy. However, it is also in need of a fire academy and training facilities for emergency medical providers. There are three legs in the public safety, life and property protection triangle; Police, Fire, and EMS. Each of these first responder organizations require access to and deserve a modern, high tech, cutting edge, professionally staffed and properly supported training facility.Building an academy for law enforcement agencies is a good thing, actually a great thing. However building an academy that serves only one leg of the public safety triangle may not be the wisest or most cost effective way to go.What is really needed is a Hudson County Police/Fire & EMS Academy. After 9/11 there was a push by some county, municipal and port authority entities to build a fire academy. My recommendation at that time was the same as the recommendation outlined in this letter.The recommendation was/is to build a top flight facility that can serve the training and education needs of all 3 emergency response providers. To provide the highest level of emergency response every branch of the Hudson County public safety sector needs training, retraining, education, advanced education and the appropriate facilities to hone and enhance the response, rescue and emergency mitigation capabilities required to serve the residents of Hudson County along with the tens of thousands of people that transit through and visit.Besides providing the highest and most professional levels of “routine” emergency response the police, fire and EMS operators of Hudson County have responded to every form of emergency from the 9/11 tragedy to the “Miracle on the Hudson.” The breadth and type of emergencies encountered by today’s first responders continues to expand exponentially and the public safety sector is always working to stay ahead of the curve. Let me describe a common “routine” emergency situation and follow up with a “crazy” question. When a vehicle accident occurs the police will be first on the scene, size up the situation, secure the scene, gather info, etc. If there is an injured party EMS will respond for triage, treatment and transport. If the accident resulted in the occupants being trapped, the fire department will respond to extricate the trapped victims.Crazy question:Which of the first responder organizations would the victims of this incident want to be the best trained and supported? Crazy question, right? I applaud the “crazy” idea put forth by Mr. Vanieri and Mr. Romano but I guess I’m challenging them to take a look at an even crazier idea; to build a first rate, 21st century, consolidated academy and training facility that serve all Hudson County Public Safety providers.last_img read more