Conestoga news

August 14, 2009 4:08 PM

Conestoga Receives Fire Truck Donation

The City of Cambridge today officially presented a 1989 pumper truck to Conestoga to support learning opportunities for students in the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program. Cambridge Council approved the donation in late May following the recommendation of the Cambridge Fire Department to help support local training.

Left to right: Cambridge Deputy Fire Chief Bill Chesney, Conestoga President John Tibbits and Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig

"We have a strong relationship with Conestoga, and this donation directly supports the training of firefighters for this community and the surrounding area," says Cambridge Fire Chief Terry Allen.

President John Tibbits, who officially accepted the vehicle on behalf of Conestoga, adds, "Conestoga always aims to combine quality instruction with practical skills development in a way that meets community needs. One of the keys is building mutually beneficial relationships with businesses, industries and organizations. These kinds of partnerships are vital to running the 200 programs the College offers. This truck will really enhance the firefighter program."

Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training prepares students with entry-level knowledge and skills in preparation for seeking employment as firefighters.

The donation of this pumper truck provides a number of benefits.

There will be an increased opportunity for truck and equipment inspection practice. Circle checks, air brake tests, equipment inspection and maintenance are things that require hands-on time with the equipment. Having the pumper will enable students to become more proficient in these areas.

Also, scenario-based training is most effective when reality is introduced into training. Having a fire truck to use in connection with such training will help to approximate reality and thus add value to the effectiveness of the experience.

Furthermore, there are cost benefits. Training can take place on campus using the new pumper as opposed to traveling to remote training locations, and Conestoga will not have to incur expenses associated with leasing a pumper from an area fire department in order to conduct learning exercises.

Doug Richard, Coordinator of the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program, feels strongly that having this equipment will also encourage a sense of professionalism among students.

"The pride and passion for firefighting that firefighters have is most observable in the manner in which they maintain their equipment and their work environment," he says. "Our students will feel an ownership in this vehicle as a symbol of their program and chosen career. Taking care of it will help to foster that feeling of pride that is so important to becoming a firefighter."

Cambridge Fire Department recently took delivery of two new pumper trucks to add to the fleet. Purchased for over $635,000 per vehicle, the equipment was supplied by Darch Fire of nearby Ayr and manufactured by American LaFrance.

CONTACT: Doug Richard, 519-748-5220, ext. 3933; Wayne Morris, Chair, Community Safety and Human Services, 519-748-5220, ext. 3421