Lewis and Clark Community College and the Alton Fire Department have teamed up to earn an Assistance for Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to purchase a mobile firefighter training unit.
According to Alton Fire Chief and LCC CFire Science Coordinator Bernie Sebold, two previous grant applications were denied.
“The third time was the charm,” Sebold said. “With regard to firefighter training, this is the best thing that has happened in years.”
The grant, which is for $227,273, will be used to pay for 90 percent of the mobile firefighter trainer. The L&C Foundation will cover the 10-percent match ($22,727) and the college will use the unit in its Fire Science program. The trainer will be acquired at no cost to the city.
Since the grant application was not open to educational institutions, LCCC and the Alton Fire Department worked together for the award.
LCCC President Dale Chapman credited Sebold in securing the grant.
“It’s people taking initiative that keep our programs on top,” Chapman said. “With this unit, firefighters will be able to keep their certifications and skill levels high and smaller fire departments will benefit from conducting their training locally, using the most advanced technology available.”
Students in the LCCC Truck Driver Training program will transport the trainer to various sites in the region, which will enhance their on the road experience as well as save the Alton Fire Department time and money.
Sebold hopes to have the mobile firefighter trainer delivered and in use by March 2019.
Lewis and Clark’s Fire Science program offers an Associate in Applied Science in Fire Science, as well as a Certificate of Proficiency in Fire Science and Certificates of Completion in Firefighter – Basic, Firefighter – Advanced, Fire Prevention Specialist, Company Officer, Fire Instructor, Fire Apparatus Operator, Roadway Rescue Specialist and Hazardous Materials Operations.
The program helps students develop the skills to save a person’s property or life. They learn how to respond to different types of fires, what it takes to minimize property damage, and how to help someone who is a victim of a fire, accident or health problem. Training includes the examination of fire prevention techniques, building inspection procedures, and the role public education can play in helping to prevent fires.