Midland Fire Department ignites hands-on learning
May 31, 2012

Georgian College’s newest classroom literally has all the bells and whistles. The Town of Midland donated one of its fire trucks to the college for students from the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program to practise real-life firefighting scenarios.

The Midland Fire Department lights up the Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training program with a generous donation.

“It’s a great opportunity to support the program and give students the opportunity to learn concepts and tasks they will then be required to utilize when they start their careers,” says Midland Fire Chief Kevin Foster.

While equipment goes through replacement cycles, older models still provide valuable learning experience for students. The college now has two donated fire trucks housed at its Emergency Services Training Centre in Springwater. Students have weekly classes at the centre where they practise drills such as pulling the hose on and off the truck, flowing water to handle the water pressure and more.

“Our students learn the basics on the equipment at the centre which they can then easily apply to newer equipment and trucks when they join fire services across the county and province,” says Bob Pollard, co-ordinator of Georgian’s program.

Midland Fire Department and Georgian College have partnered several times to enhance learning opportunities for members of both organizations. Chief Foster sits on Georgian’s Pre-Service Firefighter program advisory committee, and firefighter and Georgian alumnus Doug Ward is a technician for the program, ensuring the latest industry practices are part of Georgian’s curriculum.

In addition, Pre-service Firefighter and Paramedic students have assisted with various training and recruitment exercises such as acting as patients during drills run in Midland Harbour by the Canadian Coast Guard. Georgian has also supplied equipment to assist with ice water rescue training which included other fire departments in the Midland area.

“As a college we are very grateful for the support provided by the Midland Fire Department. This community partnership really enhances the student experience, as well as the success that our graduates achieve,” says Mary O’Farrell-Bowers, Dean, School of Public Safety and Emergency Services.