New Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility receives another critical training tool
SALISBURY, N.C. — Even in the 21st century, fire safety and protection is still a critical component of keeping the public safe.
Training these first responders is a critical part of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College mission and the City of Salisbury just made that easier. Salisbury Fire Department recently donated a fire truck to the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation for use in its fire training programs.
“The donation of this fire truck is significant. It’ll put us in a much better place, enhancing our program dramatically,” said Roger McDaniel, director of emergency services for Rowan-Cabarrus.
When Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell was training at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College from 1979-1981, they used a fire engine that had been donated back in 1975.
“We utilized the engine often in our studies and our experience-based education,” said Parnell.
While the College’s curriculum, or credit, fire training program at the College dissolved for a period of time, the program has now been resurrected. The continuing education portion of the training has been robust and ongoing.
“The training hours have grown exponentially over the last several years,” said Parnell. Over 7,000 certifications were awarded to fire, emergency medical services (EMS), and law enforcement personnel during the past year. “The College now has a world class fire training center. Between the burn building and the props – it has a ton of potential and will be used a great deal.”
“Students need access to a fire engine for training purposes. They need to pump the water and simulate a response to a fire or a hazardous material emergency,” said McDaniel. The College will no longer need the local stations to bring an in-service fire truck to the College for training.
The engine being donated was a surplus truck that the city had replaced last year. Instead of selling it, Chief Parnell offered it to the College for training.
“I really want to thank the Salisbury Fire Department and the City of Salisbury for their donation. This is a great example of community partnership,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “One of the College’s biggest challenges is keeping our programs equipped with industry-recognized, state-of-the-art equipment that is used in the workplace. This donation will help us in achieving that goal.”
The Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility was the first project to be completed in a series of Rowan County-bond funded construction projects that will take place over the next few years.
“It is our goal to be responsive, flexible, innovative and efficient, as we work together to create a safer and more secure environment,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “The Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility will afford our public safety providers with real life training scenarios that will ensure that our law, fire, and emergency personnel are prepared to protect our community in the event of fires, hazardous materials emergencies, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents and train derailments.”
The new Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility will serve an important role for training local public safety providers who protect citizens every day. The facility includes a 3,500 square foot burn building, training pads for various props, and a future driving course for fire and emergency vehicles will be included in the project.
“Industry-recognized, high-tech equipment is critical to the success of our programs and our graduates,” said Dr. Rod Townley, vice president of academic programs. “If students can’t leave here knowing how to use the equipment that an employer uses, they won’t be as successful as the jobs require.”
Unfortunately, the College’s funding does not include an abundance of resources for equipment investments.
“Our resources from the state have continued to decline year after year,” said Spalding. “Like many public organizations, we are looking at other options and developing a case for support to seek private and philanthropic donations.”
Strengthening the “fundraising muscle” of the College’s foundation is not only important for the immediate future, but also for the long term vitality of the College, and the tens of thousands of students it serves each year.
The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Foundation provides financial assistance to the students and programs of Rowan-Cabarrus. The Foundation furthers the mission of the College Read More