Donated fire truck pumps up city school program - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Donated fire truck pumps up city school program

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

High school senior Donovan Gee definitely wants to be a fire fighter due in large part to the wide array of day-to-day responsibilities one may encounter while on the job.

"You never know what you're going to run into..an adrenaline rush," he said with laughs.

Gee is one of several students who jumped into the 'public safety and law' program at the  Tuscaloosa Center for Technology.  School and city leaders had been developing the program for three years. This was the first year it was offered. And now its got students fired up.

Instructor Chad Burton tells ABC 33/40, "I was hired two days before school started. I had one kid last semester. I had 20 second semester. And we have 113 that are enrolled right now for the fall semester."

The program has become attractive to students like Gee because it teaches them basic fire fighting and  rescue skills that will make it easier to go into the field after high school.. "You mess with ladders...how to put them up...CPR...cause its more than just fighting fires," Gee added.

Until now, students have had all the gear but have been missing only one thing -- a fire truck -- until Friday when the city donated one to the program. 

Junior, Keith Spencer still can't believe it. 

"When I first heard it, I could believe it." Spencer said. "But, after I saw our own fire building at the new school I said oh my God, we're going to get a real fire truck."

The fire truck is a 1991 E-one Pumper with everything from hoses to nozzles and it is pumping up the program. 

"This program is growing and we spent a lot of money, sweat and tears to make it better but that one piece of equipment is what the fire service is about. You don't go to the fire station and not see the fire trucks." Burton said.

Unfortunately for Gee, as a senior, he won't get to train on the newly donated truck. He plans to go on to fire college and after graduation Gee wants to help keep the program growing. 

"I'll probably come back. Mr. Burton will let me come back and talk to the other kids. And if they see it can actually happen, they'll be like 'wow, this is something I'll actually be interested in.'"

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