Cumberland Notebook: County celebrates student achievements

Published 6:21 pm Saturday, February 25, 2023

During the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Feb. 14, local organizations spoke during their time slot to update the county on what they have been up to in the past month. Even though the Cumberland Public Library wasn’t present, the schools and fire and emergency medical services gave an update. 

CuCPS celebrates student accomplishments

Superintendent Dr. Chip Jones gave a quick update on the happenings at Cumberland County Public Schools (CuCPS). This past month, the students and staff were busy, especially with the success of some of the sports teams. 

The Cumberland High School had two high school sports teams named James River District Champions. The Lady Dukes currently have a 20-1 record, won the regular season James River District Champions as well and their coach, John Trent was named James River District Coach of the Year. They will play in regionals on Thursday, Feb. 23. The Cumberland High School Dukes wrestling team also won the James River District Championship and was runner-up during regionals with four placing fourth, three placing second and two placing first.

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The high school teams weren’t the only CuCPS teams to do well this year as the Cumberland Middle School Lady Dukes basketball team participated in the Southside Middle School Basketball Tournament in Mecklenburg. 

“Cumberland County Public Schools hosted the Southside Middle School Basketball Tournament last weekend before last and each game which was a Saturday and then a Monday, 300-plus people attended that,” said Jones. “So it brought a lot of people to Cumberland County.”

Individual students also held notable accomplishments, including the 15 middle schoolers that were inducted into the National Honor Society.

Other accomplishments include a high school student who successfully completed a small unmanned aircraft system pilot certification. This means she can fly drones and missiles which is a first for CuCPS. A fourth-grade student was named the CuCPS spelling bee winner and her father serving overseas was able to watch via FaceTime. 

Cumberland Fire and EMS aim to better serve the county

Cumberland County Fire Chief Andy Aigner gave an update on the fire department and emergency medical services as they are working on the future and how to improve operations. 

The department is looking to the future as it is finishing up the fiscal year budget for 2024 as well as the 2024-2048 Capital Improvement Plan. According to Aigner, the first two chapters are finished for the standards of procedure manual, but the third chapter will take some time as it requires some collaboration and will cover the process for daily operations.

Aigner is still focusing on response times as discussed in the last meeting. He hopes to increase times that the response units are available in the high-call volume areas and work with dispatch and the sheriff to make sure they have better collaboration for all parts to work more effectively. 

“One of the things we are trying to do is decrease on-scene times, which means the patient gets better care quicker because we can get them to the hospital faster and also keeps our units in service,” he told the board.

For January, the response times were 12 minutes on average with an average of 22 minutes on the scene. They responded to 69 calls in January bringing transports up 71% from December. Broken down by zip code, 23040 had the largest number of calls with 37 making up 53.62% of all calls. Aigner plans to meet with the volunteer chiefs about how to better serve the area, which will reflect in chapter three of the standards of operation manual. 

Aigner also reported that the Randolph Fire Station is around 95% complete. The public meeting space has been increased from 1,200 sq. ft. to 2,100 sq. ft. along with improved electrical capacity, lighting and storage. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 for the new section.