Future firefighters have new tools to help with their training, thanks to two big donations from the Honolulu Fire Department.
Students in Honolulu Community College’s Fire and Environmental Emergency Response program received a retired fire truck from HFD Thursday morning. The donation included firefighting equipment, such as a 10-foot ladder, multiple nozzles, adapters, lights, a tool for forcible entry and chain saws.
The truck will be used by fire science students to practice deploying hose lines for water supply and fire attacks. It will also transport student firefighters and their equipment for search and rescue operations. Students will learn to extinguish fires, carry and raise ladders to second stories and haul up tools and equipment using ropes and knots.
The program previously had a fire truck that could carry only two people. This new one can carry four, which is the size of a normal crew.
“This is kind of cool considering last semester, we had the really old apparatus and it wasn’t really, I don’t know if it was fully functional,” said fire science student Lenna Morita.
“They can step out of here and go to a job tomorrow familiar with the same type of truck, same type of equipment and same type of training, so that’s the best part of having that truck here with us,” said assistant professor Richard Scott Rhode.
Fire science is one of the school’s most popular majors, with 187 students last year. The program averages roughly 200 students a year.
Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel Neves told the students that he received his fire science degree from Honolulu CC in 1984. Neves said, “So you can see where this program can lead to a position as a fire chief of the Honolulu Fire Department, the 16th largest fire department in the country. So possibly in this group that we see here, the next fire chief or the future fire chief may be standing with their hands at ease right now.”
HFD also donated a surplus fire engine and equipment to Hawaii Community College on Hawaii Island. Interim Chancellor Joni Onishi thanked Young Brothers for shipping the fire engine there for free.
Fire science has also become one of the most popular programs at Hawaii CC, with 102 current majors.
Diesel mechanics students at both campuses will provide upkeep and maintenance of the two fire engines.