GCC program adds fire engines, ambulance

GLENDALE — Two fire engines and an ambulance will soon be stationed at Glendale Community College to help train fire cadets and emergency medical technician students.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the donation from the Glendale Fire Department to the college's emergency medical technician program and Verdugo Fire Academy, which trains men and women to become firefighters.

Students and instructors at the college's fire academy currently use the department's reserve engines to train, but they can't always depend on the engines being available when they need them, said Vahe Peroomian, the college's Board of Trustees president.

The reserve engines are often called into duty when a brush fire ignites or additional assistance is needed on other blazes, so the college loses access to the trucks, he said.

“One of the main ways it's going to help is that it is going to make us independent of the Glendale Fire Department [schedule],” Peroomian said.

Having direct access to a college-owned fire truck gives instructors a chance to train cadets on campus rather than going to the Fire Training Center in south Glendale, he said.

“It will boost morale because our cadets will see that we have our own equipment, [and] that we are training on our own fire trucks,” Peroomian said. “There'll be a sense of belonging.”

During the academy, students take fire technology classes, California State Fire Training and Education System courses, get certified in fire technology and earn an associate's degree.

The academy is offered Thursdays and weekends as an extended program.

After students complete the academy, many of them go onto be cadets at local fire departments, he said.

The Fire Department's relationship with the college is critical in order to build strong young firefighters, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

“Over the years, we have hired recruits out of that academy into our academy,” he said. “And we believe this academy really helps train the future firefighters that will be in tomorrow's Fire Department.”

The ambulance will go to the college's emergency medical technician program, also a first for the college.

“We do have a very vibrant EMT program,” Peroomian said. “Now they are going to have their own ambulance to train with.”

A formal presentation is scheduled for Aug. 24 at the college.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World