Lexington High School students get potential career boost with donation of surplus fire truck

The students at Lexington Senior High School just got a very big donation from the City of Lexington. One that weighs several thousand pounds and it bright red, as well. Earlier this month, the Lexington Fire Department donated a surplus 1985 Hendrickson Pumper Fire Truck to Lexington City Schools to assist in its Fire Tech and Public Safety classes.

Want to know more about what is happening in Lexington? Support local journalism, subscribe to The Dispatch. The Fire Tech and Public Safety classes are part of several career and technical education programs, which offer industry certification to students.

Meaning by the time they graduate from high school most of these students have the requirements needed to apply for jobs in these fields. Phil Hartley, the former chief of the Lexington Fire Department, teaches fire tech and public safety courses at the high school. He said the donation of the equipment will greatly enhance the students’ ability through hands-on experience.

More: Lexington Fire Department reopening station on Cotton Grove Road after Davidson County Rescue Squad ends lease “We are calling it our mobile training lab,” said Hartley. “It will be an immense help when we do our skills testing. Some of these certifications require using a fire apparatus so this is going to be a huge benefit.

We appreciate the City of Lexington for donating it to us.” Some of the skills which will be enhanced include how to operate a truck on a scene, prepping equipment, packing hoses, attaching lines, and other functions used by firefighters. Lexington Senior High School student Jada Shaw who is taking the Fire Tech I class said she thinks the new truck will help students learn better.

“It will definitely help us get hands-on experience,” said Shaw. “It’s very nice (the city) donated it to us and it’s cool to be able to learn to work on it.” Lexington Fire Chief Paul Jarrett said the department wanted to gift the truck, which had been listed as surplus equipment after the purchase of two new pumper trucks, to support the efforts of the school system with its CTE curriculum. Similar story: A new purpose: Lexington firetruck donated after over 60 years in service

“They have a really good program going on out there and we wanted to be able to help the school in any way that we can,” said Jarrett. “We felt that the donation of the truck would be a huge advancement for the program. We are also trying to help get young folks interested in a career in firefighting or see if they have any interest in emergency services as a career.” This is the second time the Lexington Fire Department has donated a surplus truck to a good cause.

Last year, the department donated a classic 1958 aerial ladder truck to the Fallen Firefighters Foundation to be used in ceremonies for firefighters who’ve passed away.  Jarret said surplus equipment, such as old trucks, would normally be put on a government website and sold for a minimal amount. Donating the trucks not only helps others, but it also extends the usefulness of equipment that still has life in it.

“It is a win-win for everyone concerned,” said Jarrett.

General news reporter Sharon Myers can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @LexDispatchSM.