The Fire Emergency Television Network and American Heat Video will once again resurface after being acquired by the Critical Information Network (CiNet). As a result, the 20-year old FETN, the Law Enforcement Television Network and the Public Safety Television Network, will again offer e-learning content to public-safety agencies.
According to CiNet CEO Norm Willox, he and other former executives from LexisNexis Special Services, looked at the growth and technology potential for training personnel in the government, healthcare and energy sectors.
Willox stated that CiNet will continue to house its operations in the former Primedia Workplace Learning facility in Carrolton, Texas.
"If we move, we're not moving from Dallas. The business is on a high growth path and there is lots of interest from state, federal and Congress in seeing us grow the business in Dallas," Willox said.
The American Recovery Reinvestment Act has allocated $53 billion in funding for education and training initiatives, recognizing that the U.S. work force needs to stay competitive in the global economy.
Wescott Communications, founded in 1986, purchased American Heat Video and created FETN and other industry-focused television networks. Wescott sold the company to Primedia in 2000, which later sold it to TWL Corp.
Questioned about the inability of other companies to successfully reach fire and emergency response departments with FETN's training programs, Willox said the technology and bandwidth needed to deliver such content at a reasonable cost both are available today. He added that previous management erred by failing to target the decision-makers.
"We're going to stay current. One of the problems with previous owners, they worked with the end users, but they didn't work with the decision makers, managing risk and information," Willox said. "We're going to stay connected to what the community needs and decide how to deliver it faster, more efficiently and more effectively."
Capt. Jeff Tokar is FETN's director of education. Tokar has more than 25 years of experience as a firefighter and first responder and has worked with FETN for more than 15 years.
"We have a passion we haven't had in a long time," Tokar said, adding that former PWPL employees John Linstrom and Randy Corbin both are working on projects for the new FETN.
CiNet partnered with The ComVest Group, a private investment firm, to acquire FETN and LETN, as well as the Professional Security Training Network and the Health & Science Training Network from TWL Corp.