The City of Grapevine is enhancing the training of cadets in Tarrant County College’s Fire Service Training Centerdonating an aerial apparatus truck for use in live firefighting, simulated rescues and physical exercises.
The fire truck—a 1999 E-ONE 75-foot Quint—passed its serviceable life with the City of Grapevine. Used trucks often go to auction, but Grapevine Fire Department Chief Darrell Brown proposed giving the vehicle to the Fire Service Training Center, located on Tarrant County College’s Northwest Campus. The City Council unanimously approved the donation.
“Thanks to the City of Grapevine and Chief Brown, we can continue growing our program to meet the needs of the community,” said Steve Keller, director of TCC’s Fire Service Training Center. “This truck is a game-changer for us. We will be able to simultaneously run multiple courses that involve truck operations, and students will have more opportunities to gain experience on this critical piece of firefighting equipment.”
The Grapevine Fire Department has had a long, successful partnership with Tarrant County College. In the 1970s, many Grapevine firefighters studied under Jim Nichols, who pioneered TCC’s fire service education program. When the Grapevine Fire Department launched the use of Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulances the following decade, more than 40 firefighters obtained paramedic certification through the College.
Since the 1990s, TCC has worked with the Grapevine Fire Department to provide professional development classes in hazardous materials, specialized rescues, and other topics. Many past and present leaders of the department, including Deputy Chief Mark Ashmead, are TCC alumni.
“My hope is that other fire departments will think of Tarrant County College as we have,” said Chief Brown.“We are all searching for quality men and women to join our team as firefighters. This is just one more way of working together to serve our communities.”
The donated vehicle becomes TCC’s second ladder truck and third fire truck overall. Prior to use by students, the truck was refurbished and underwent inspection and certification of the ladder.
“The City of Grapevine is an important partner for the Fire Service Training Center and the entire College,” said Elva LeBlanc, Ph.D., president of Northwest Campus. “We are grateful for the city’s contribution, as well as for the work of TCC Board of Trustees Vice President Conrad Heede, who helped facilitate the donation. Their combined commitment to our students will pay dividends in Grapevine and throughout the region.”
TCC is the area’s primary trainer for firefighters and other first responders. Fire Service Training Center courses combine classroom instruction with hands-on skills training. Facility features include a simulated city for live firefighting—with streets, residences, businesses, an apartment-hotel complex and high-rise buildings—along with a swift-water rescue site, trench rescue training area, confined-space rescue maze and simulated train derailment with hazardous materials scenario.
Tarrant County College holds three 14-week cadet classes each year, and the Fire Academy is certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which makes graduates eligible to take the state certification exam for basic firefighting. TCC consistently has a pass rate of or near 100 percent.
The deadline to submit an application for the Fire Academy’s summer 2017 cadet class is Friday, April 14. Veterans are encouraged to apply. In addition to the Fire Academy, the Fire Service Training Center offers an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Protection Technology and continuing education for professional and volunteer firefighters.
The deadline to submit an application for the 2017 Fire Academy cadet class is Friday, April 14. Veterans are encouraged to apply.