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February 10, 2016 9:49 AM

Donation supports fire training program

A generous donation to Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Service means students in the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program have access to an essential piece of equipment.

Darch Firetruck.jpg
Students in Conestoga’s Pre-Service Firefighter and Education Training program stand before the firetruck recently donated by Darch Fire. The truck features modern design and construction, along with a 19 metre aerial ladder.

Darch Fire, owned and operated by John Darch and Susan Miller, recently donated a firetruck to the program. Based in Ayr, Ontario, the company is a supplier of fire and emergency vehicles, equipment and service, and has been a long-time supporter of Conestoga. The company sponsors an annual student leadership award and has loaned equipment to the program when needed.

“Darch Fire has been a proud supporter of the Pre-Fire Service programs for many years. After attending our first graduation banquet we actually met some the students and could see their achievements through the presentations and stories at the banquet. We knew the support was appreciated and we were committed,” said Darch. “The donation of the truck was perfect timing for all and so we’re happy we could give the college a piece of equipment that would really help them now and in the future.”

Brad Kueneman, program coordinator, agrees the donation came at just the right time. The vehicle features modern design and construction, including a 19 metre aerial ladder, and will enhance the learning opportunities available to students who were previously working on a 25-year-old truck. “The students absolutely love it -- especially those in the senior term who spent more time with the older truck,” said Kueneman.

Students use the vehicle for skills training in five courses and rely on it to perform daily truck and equipment inspections and checks. The truck is also needed for exercises that involve mock emergency situations. “The truck is the heart of the operation and we couldn’t run the program without it,” said Kueneman. “It’s integral to our students’ success.”

Students practice their skills at the Waterloo Regional Emergency Service Training and Research Complex, where the firetruck resides.

Conestoga’s updated Pre-Service Firefighter program provides the knowledge, skills and professional development for success as a fire services recruit and the foundation for career progression in the area of public safety. Visit the program page for more information.

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