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Albany Tech dedicates the Charles B. Gillespie, M.D. Center for Emergency Responders


cbg2.jpgNovember 18, 2008 – Dr. Charles Gillespie paused for a moment, tears swelling in his eyes. His voiced cracked as he tried to hold in a flood of emotion. A voice in the crowd said respectfully, “That’s alright Charlie.” Today, Albany Technical College dedicated the new Center for Emergency Responders to Charles B. Gillespie, M.D – a man who dedicated his entire career to saving lives and creating a safer community.  As Dr. Gillespie stood in front of a crowd of more than 300 people to be recognized for his accomplishments as the initiator of Georgia’s Emergency Medical Services and Albany Tech’s EMT program, his smile was warmer than the late autumn sun.


“All of us have cause to celebrate as this wonderful place of study and field training is placed into service,” said Dr. Gillespie. “It is also, with much humility and gratefulness, that I express my appreciation to the Administration of Albany Technical College for electing to associate my name with this worthy project.”



Gillespie began his orthopedic practice in Albany in 1966 and practiced medicine until his retirement in 1997. In the early 1970’s, then Governor Jimmy Carter requested Dr. Gillespie chair the committee that formed Georgia’s Emergency Medical Services.  He also established the Albany Tech E.M.T. training program in 1972, where he taught the first course. His leadership, talent and continuous support allowed Albany Tech to develop one of Georgia’s premier Emergency Medical Technology programs.


The Charles B.Gillespie, M.D. Center for Emergency Responders is a 10,000 square foot expansion and renovation project. The project, which took just more than a year to complete, was funded by a private, one-million dollar donation.


The City of Albany and Dougherty County gave Albany Tech the previous fire station on the corner of Newton and Lowe Roads. The college renovated the facility and expanded it by approximately 7,000 square feet. The training center now houses the Fire Science, EMT, Paramedic and Law Enforcement Technology programs. The City of Albany also donated a fire truck, and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Dougherty County donated ambulances to use for training.


“Beginning winter quarter, more than 350 students will begin classes in the new facility,” said Albany Tech President Dr. Anthony Parker. “They will be trained in well-equipped labs on the latest technologies to better prepare them as first responders to keep our communities safe.”


The Chairman of the Technical College System of Georgia’s Board of Directors, Carl Swearingen, spoke about visiting Albany during the Flood of 1994 and recalled first responders leaving their own families and homes to help others during the disaster.


“Communities depend on emergency responders for safety and protection,” said Swearingen. “This facility will allow for continued excellence in training and education.”



Read Albany Herald story HERE!

WALB news story HERE!

View pictures of the event HERE!

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