BFD Fire Dept Computer Center Grand Opening Sunday, Oct 17th

Durbin, WV – The Bartow-Frank-Durbin fire department is opening the doors to new era of internet access for residents of northern Pocahontas County. One and all are invited to come to the Grand Opening of the BFD Computer center Sunday, October 17th from 3 to 7pm. Jenn Whiteis, the mentor for the new center, explains how the project came about.

“The BFD [fire dept] wrote a grant to get a computer center to open and it’s through Future Generations which is a program that is opening computer centers in fire departments all across West Virginia” says Whiteis. “They’re targeting rural areas.”

The project is sponsored by Future Generations Graduate School, an organization specializing in community based approaches to social challenges. Twenty-four fire depts in 12 counities have committed to participate in this project bringing internet access to underserved areas of the state. Whiteis says the new center will have multiple computers available.

“What we have is 10 work stations, a printer, a scanner; we have a digital camera, and we have a web cam” she says “pretty much anything that anybody wants to learn about the digital age I think we can accommodate them. We’ll teach basic computer skills classes and also have classes about doing photography on the computer and graphic editing.”

Whiteis says the initial classes will be geared towards those who’ve never used a computer. Later on, other classes in Microsoft applications such as Word and Excel will be added. She says the center is not limited to residents in Bartow, Frank and Durbin.

“It’s open to anybody who wants to come in” she says “we’re just assuming that mostly local people will be using it. There’s another one that’s going to open in Pocahontas County and that is at the Cass Fire Dept. They put in for the grant at the same time we did; it’s just that we got our computers delivered first and have had a chance to get up and going.”

The center will be in addition to the four computers already in place in the Durbin library. Whiteis will oversee the center and be one of the initial instructors.

“I kinda see my role as meeting the needs of the people who are going to use our lab” says Whiteis. “For instance, to at some point teach a class on Quickbooks; so even though I’m not really a whiz at Quickbooks, I will try to find a way to make that happen who can teach it for us.”

The computer center will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 8pm, and Saturdays from 10 to noon starting next week. The grand opening celebration is Sunday, October 17th from 3 to 7pm with refreshments and music by Barry Sharp and Trista Rexrode & Friends.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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