MANCHESTER, N.H. – Its days of putting out fires are long gone, but a donated fire truck could help train the next generation of firefighters and mechanics maintaining fire department vehicles.
On Wednesday, the Manchester Board of School Committee (BOSC) Finance and Facilities Committee recommended the acceptance a 1991 E-One pumper fire truck offered by Covenant Fire Protection LLC.
The fire truck will be used as a prop for Manchester School of Technology’s (MST) Fire Science and EMT training program, teaching students how to deploy tools, hose and ladders in a life-life manner without having to drive an hour to the New Hampshire Fire Academy.
While the vehicle itself is valued at approximately $20,000; it would not cost the Manchester School District anything beyond the approximately $1,000 a year for routine maintenance, which MST Principal Karen Machado says can be obtained from grant funding.
“My firefighter program has been looking like this for quite awhile. How are you going to learn about a fire engine unless you can operate one?” said Machado.
BOSC Member William Shea (Ward 7) said the immediate access to training with the vehicle now at MST could help students skip ahead to more advanced firefighting pay grades and Machado added that it could also be used to help train students in the school’s automotive program learning about larger vehicles and diesel engines.
“This is the coolest thing I’ve heard on the school board, someone donating a fire truck,” said BOSC Member Jeremy Dobson (Ward 5).
Although City of Manchester Risk Manager Kevin O’Neil advised not to obtain an insurance policy for the vehicle, insurance was obtained. If approved by the full BOSC, it will be placed in a covered outside area at the school and will be driven off school grounds occasionally to the Sununu Youth Corrections Center on River Road for specific classes regarding second-floor rescues.