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Fire trucks to be donated

Hart district fire technology students to learn on a pair of retired fire trucks

Posted: September 9, 2009 10:15 p.m.
Updated: September 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

Up until this year, nearly 30 cadets in the Hart district's fire technology academy had to pretend a pickup truck with hoses in the back was a fire truck.

But in about two weeks, their training will rely less on imagination - the Los Angeles County Fire Department has donated a pair of retired fire trucks to the program.

"It changes our whole outlook on how we teach," said Kelly Chulick, master chief in charge of instruction.

The trucks, a 1981 Crown Engine and a 1979 Crown Engine, will be used in teaching the Regional Occupational Program's two fire technology classes, which prepare students for careers in firefighting. Each of the trucks is worth an estimated $15,000 to $20,000.

High school-aged cadets will learn all the features on the engines, along with how to pull hoses and hook them up to hydrants.

"They will be positioned on engines like regular firefighters," Chulick said Wednesday.

The fire technology academy serves as a training ground for high school students interested in becoming firefighters, Chulick said.

"They work on developing the skills that firefighters need to have," said David LeBarron, director of curriculum and assessment for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

Once they finish studying through the ROP program, students often move into training academies to further their education.

"We really want to give back to the community good, strong, trained students that are ready to go out there and do the job we want," Chulick said.

The program has a strong interest among students as anywhere from 30 to 50 students will sign up for the classes every semester, Chulick said.

Classes, held twice a week throughout the semester, are offered at the training center off Centre Pointe Parkway.

While the district has offered a beginning course for nearly a decade, this semester is the first time students can sign up for the advanced course, Chulick said.

Chulick anticipates the program will grow with the donation.

"It's going to really, really impact this program where we may have to have two separate fire academies," he said.

But before any lessons can be taught, the district has to perform maintenance and replace any parts to make it safe for the cadets.

Local residents interested in donating money or parts for the fire truck are able to send a check care of the Regional Occupational Program to the William S. Hart Union High School District office, located at 21515 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita 91350.

Donors are asked to write fire academy in the memo portion of the check. For more information about how to help, call Kelly Chulick at (661) 313-1322.

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