SALISBURY, N.C. — Even in the 21st century, fire safety and protection is still a critical component of keeping the public safe.

Training these first responders is a critical part of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College mission and the City of Salisbury just made that easier. Salisbury Fire Department recently donated a fire truck to the College for use in its fire training programs.

“The donation of this fire truck is significant. It’ll put us in a much better place, enhancing our program dramatically,” said Roger McDaniel, director of fire & emergency services for Rowan-Cabarrus.

Division manager David Morris presented the donation on behalf of Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell at a recent Board of Trustees meeting.

“This is a small token of our appreciation for all of the support Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has provided us over the years,” said Morris.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has the largest fire and rescue training program in the state of North Carolina.

Salisbury Fire Chief, Dr. Spalding and others at Board meeting“Students need access to a fire engine for training purposes. They need to pump the water and simulate a response to a fire or a hazardous material emergency,” said McDaniel. Rowan-Cabarrus will no longer need the local stations to bring an in-service fire truck to the College for training.

The engine that was donated was a surplus truck that the city had replaced last year. Instead of selling it, Chief Parnell offered it to the College for training.

“I really want to thank the Salisbury Fire Department and the City of Salisbury for their donation. This is a great example of community partnership,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus. “One of the College’s biggest challenges is keeping our programs equipped with industry-recognized, state-of-the-art equipment that is used in the workplace. This donation will help us in achieving that goal.”

The Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility serves an important role in the training of local public safety providers who protect citizens every day. The facility includes a 3,500 square foot burn building, training pads for various props, and a future driving course for fire and emergency vehicles will be included in the project.

“It is our goal to be responsive, flexible, innovative and efficient, as we work together to create a safer and more secure environment,” said Spalding. “The Fire & Emergency Services Training Facility presents our public safety providers with real life training scenarios that help ensure that our law, fire, and emergency personnel are prepared to protect our community in the event of fires, hazardous materials emergencies, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents and train derailments.”

The College has also had the opportunity to expand its public safety training in Cabarrus County with the county’s support in purchasing the former Angelo’s Restaurant adjacent to the College’s South Campus. This purchase will allow the College to set up a training facility for law enforcement and other public safety officials.

“The College now has a world-class fire training center that is used 250-350 days a year,” said Craig Lamb, vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rowan-Cabarrus. “Having a fire truck is really an important asset for us in our training.”

Unfortunately, the College’s funding does not include an abundance of resources for equipment investments.

“Our resources from the state have continued to decline year after year,” said Spalding. “Like many public organizations, we are looking at other options and developing a case for support to seek private and philanthropic donations.”

Rowan-Cabarrus welcomes in-kind donations, which help the College keep pace with changing technology and equipment needs and meet the demands of increased enrollment.

Gifts in kind must:
• fulfill a stated need of one or more college departments, and
• be approved by facilities or IT personnel to ensure compliance with existing infrastructure.