Donation from Hoosier Fire Equipment will aid in Fire Science training
FRANKFORT, Ind. — Fire Science education at Ivy Tech Community College got a big boost today with the donation of a retired fire engine to the College’s Homeland Security/Public Safety program based at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus.
The fire engine, a 1987 Pierce Arrow, had been retired when the City of Frankfort took delivery of a new Marion rescue pumper last fall. The donation was supported by Hoosier Fire Equipment Inc., an Indiana-based dealer who sold the new truck to the City of Frankfort, and was officially presented to College officials during a ceremony at Ivy Tech’s Frankfort Campus today.
“Our old fire engine served as a trade-in for the new one,” Frankfort Fire Chief John Kirby said. “We were very happy to work with Hoosier Fire Equipment to see that the old truck has a new – and extremely worthwhile – home at the extensive public safety training lab being developed at Ivy Tech Kokomo.”
The donation was the result of a collaboration involving Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes; Hoosier Fire Equipment Vice President Tim Swartz; and Jeff Hayes, program chair of Homeland Security/Public Safety for Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Region.
“On behalf of Hoosier Fire Equipment, in business in Indiana for 58 years, I am very proud we were able to work with Jeff Hayes and Mayor McBarnes to make this happen for Ivy Tech’s great program,” Swartz said. “As the City of Frankfort traded in its old truck, we had the opportunity to make this contribution. It’s a way for us to give back to the community and to support the students in Ivy Tech’s Fire Science program.”
McBarnes noted the important partnership the city has with Ivy Tech. “Empowering the youth of Clinton County is vitally important to our future success,” the mayor said. “We are proud to accomplish this task with the help and partnership of Ivy Tech. This gift will not only provide a unique opportunity for our students but will also aid in the training of the next great generation of public safety officials.”
David Bathe, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s combined Lafayette and Kokomo regions, accepted the donation on behalf of the College.
“Ivy Tech is grateful for this generous gift from Hoosier Fire Equipment and for the continuing support our programs receive from the City of Frankfort,” Bathe said. “This is a great example of government/industry/education collaboration that will benefit not only our students but first responders from around our region seeking to sharpen their fire-fighting skills.”
Hayes, who took over leadership of the Homeland Security/Public Safety program last summer, spent more than 40 years in emergency services – as an EMT-paramedic, a firefighter, an arson investigator, and a hazardous materials specialist. His many connections with emergency officials all over the state of Indiana are opening doors to new ideas and new equipment for the outdoor public safety training lab to be built in Kokomo.
“We are excited to be able to add this updated technology to our equipment list,” Hayes said. “The Pierce Arrow replaces a 1977 Pierce cabover fire engine that has seen better days. Instead of working with a manual system to shift the drive train to the fire pump, our students now will be able to work with a modern electronic system. The ‘new’ truck, with a large monitor nozzle, can pump 1,250 gallons of water per minute and its on-board generator and quartz lighting system will allow night training that hasn’t been possible before.”
Kirby said, “To me, I think it’s all about relationships. The Frankfort Fire Department has built a relationship with Jeff Hayes and we’re very interested in how we can work together. When the training ground is completed, we will be very interested in using it. I see it as a big asset to this region and we are proud to be part of the contribution of an important piece of equipment.”
Another person very excited about the project is Jeff Wellman, a 38-year veteran of the Frankfort Fire Department. About four years ago, he completed an associate degree in Fire Science at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus and he’s now putting his experience and his Ivy Tech education to work as Frankfort’s fire inspector.
Wellman also is putting his credentials to work in expanding firefighter training in the Frankfort area. This year a new fire cadet post through the Explorer program has attracted about a dozen members interested in exploring firefighting as a career. If enough students from around Clinton County are interested, the Frankfort Fire Department hopes to start a Firefighter 1 and 2 class this fall through the Wildcat Career Cooperative. Students from that program would be able to continue their education at Ivy Tech.
Hayes noted the retired Frankfort fire engine will be used at the new outdoor fire science laboratory being planned in Kokomo. Plans include a structure that will allow simulations of basement fires, second-story fires, and high-rise fires, with options of both smoke and fire emergencies and a wide range of rescue scenarios. Also being planned is a car fire simulator; a flashover chamber; propane, LP and anhydrous ammonia tank leak and fire simulations; a small ditch to demonstrate handling of hazardous fluids; and wrecked cars to practice extrication of passengers. A tanker truck has been donated to allow for simulating tanker incidents; Hayes is working to acquire salvaged rail and airplane components for additional simulations.
“Our goal is to provide a comprehensive center to offer students and professional emergency personnel alike a place where they can master skills necessary to deal with extremely hazardous situations in a safe environment,” Hayes said. “More information on this project will be announced soon. We hope to have much of the lab in place when students arrive for classes this fall.”For more information about ivy Tech’s Homeland Security/Public Safety program and the outdoor fire science lab, contact Hayes at 765-459-0561, ext. 746, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .