By Bethany Narvaez/nw news editor
NW Campus’ Fire Academy students have been given the opportunity to broaden their learning experience through a donated fire truck.
The City of Grapevine Fire Department donated the 1999 E-1 Quint with a 75-foot ladder to TCC to provide future firefighters with higher-level training tools.
TCC’s board of trustees vice president Conrad Heede heard the city had a truck being sent to auction and intervened to explore the possibilities of it being donated to TCC instead, said fire service training director Steve Keller.
“We worked with Chief Darrell Brown of the Grapevine Fire Department and coordinated all the logistics to get it transferred over and donated,” he said.
As soon as the truck passed safety inspection, it was made available for student use, Keller said.
“Students who just recently graduated used the vehicle in their training,” Keller said. “They’re not very common in training centers. Here, they now get experience on the aerial ladder before going out to a department, and it won’t be the first time they’ve seen that type of equipment.”
After the truck was donated, it received inspection, cleanup and labels with TCC Fire Academy logos.
“It [the truck] is certified so that it could respond to a fire — it won’t, but we have to maintain it to that standard,” Keller said.
Proper maintenance of the truck is important not only for the safety of the students but for properly re-creating live fire rescue situations, he said.
The Fire Academy can use the truck for multiple classes that serve a wide range of students.
“It benefits our basic school, but it also benefits the advance firefighter that is coming here for something like driver-pump certification training,” Keller said.
The truck can also be used to teach two different classes at the same time. For example, one class can work with the pump procedures while another class uses the ladder.
Physical abilities tests can be performed on NW through the donated truck. The tests assess a student’s ability to complete the physical task of fighting fires such as maneuvering through dark tunnels, riding up on the 75-foot ladder, dragging hoses and carrying equipment.
“In the past, we’d have to borrow a truck to make it happen, but now we can do our own physical abilities test without having to borrow one,” Keller said.