WEST COLUMBIA, SC -- West Columbia City Council recognized Lexington Two Innovation Center teacher David Crossland and his students for their efforts in training future firefighters.
The city is supporting the center’s innovative firefighting program with a donation of 20 West Columbia Fire Department air packs complete with the cylinders (book value $30,175) to Lexington School District Two.
“I am so proud of the students in our district who are learning the real-life skills that are needed to serve and protect our community,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Tem Miles. “I am thankful that our city is able to contribute to the education of tomorrow’s heroes.”
The West Columbia Fire Department is working with Lexington School District Two Innovation Center’s new firefighter program being offered this year. The program is designed to allow high school students the opportunity to learn the skills required to be in the fire service. The students receive basic firefighter training such as the use of personal protective equipment, hose loading and deployment, as well as the use of fire suppression equipment throughout the course.
“This is a new program, and they were in need of some equipment,” said Fire Chief Chris Smith. “The students have an old fire truck to load hose on, as well as personal protective clothing like the helmet, coat, boots, and pants to learn to wear, but really needed some breathing apparatus to add to the training and experience.
“To comply with new industry standards, the West Columbia Fire Department had just replaced our Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus with new ones,” Smith said. “We were in a position to donate 20 of our out-of-date SCBA equipment, giving the students the opportunity to practice with actual equipment. We are excited to be a part of this program and to help these students fulfill the dream of being a firefighter.”
Such support from the community is important to the Innovation Center.
“We are extremely grateful to the City of West Columbia Fire Department for their generous donation of the SCBAs for our firefighting students,” said Director of Career and Technology Education Joni Coleman. “This allows our students to train on the same equipment they will use on the job. We value our partnership with West Columbia and look forward to working together in the future.”