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Public safety school grows in Crystal River

Public Safety Training, a privately operated school, can teach students everything from animal CPR to tow-truck driving.

Founded by two former Citrus County firefighters, the school has been running for nearly a year from a plain storefront next to the Kwik King store on Fort Island Trail. Its course catalog continues to grow, as does its enrollment.

In addition to animal CPR, other medical courses include "foundations for caregiving," an intensive course that prepares students to become certified nursing assistants and home health aides.

The school is seeking state certification to become a post-secondary educational facility.

The school offers fire-safety classes, driving courses and seminars about federal workplace safety standards.

Ed Richards and partner John Reeves teach many of the classes. For the others, they bring in outside instructors.

"We have an extensive contractors' list," Richards said.

The school tries to remain flexible, offering night classes and teaching some classes at businesses so that employees need not travel.

"We can go to them," Richards said.

Fees vary, from $15 for a class on preventing disease transmission to $750 for a 30-hour course on federal safety standards.

Richards also works at Florida Power Corp., and Reeves does private investigations. They wanted to start the school because they saw a need for a place where employees, firefighters from other counties and other workers could come and receive full training, instead of going to one place for one course and another place for another course.

Doctor joins group

Tenet Physician Services, which is affiliated with Seven Rivers Community Hospital, has added a new doctor.

Dr. Alexander Ong Liu Jr. is a specialist in internal medicine and practices at the Beverly Hills Family Care Center, 2 W Lemon St. He started working with the group during the summer.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. owns Seven Rivers and many hospitals nationwide. With the physician group, Tenet handles administration of the practice while the doctor concentrates on medicine.

Liu, who lives in Hernando, received his medical degree from Cebu Institute of Medicine in the Philippines and finished residencies at Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, N.J., and McKeesport Hospital in McKeesport, Pa.

Dr. Stephan Bart of Inverness has left Tenet Physician Services and is in private practice in Inverness.