Fire Science and Diesel Mechanics students benefit from fire truck donation

Hawai'i Community College Fire Science students and instructors from the Fire Science and Diesel Mechanics programs stand with the fire engine donated recently by the Honolulu Fire Department. Back row: Matthew Winters, left, and Jacob Smith. Front row, left to right: Fire Science Instructor Jack Minassian, Kawai Ronia, Jayce Ah Heong, Michael Rangasan, and Diesel Mechanics Instructor Mitchell Soares.

Hawai’i Community College Fire Science students and instructors from the Fire Science and Diesel Mechanics programs stand with the fire engine donated recently by the Honolulu Fire Department. Back row: Matthew Winters, left, and Jacob Smith. Front row, left to right: Fire Science Instructor Jack Minassian, Kawai Ronia, Jayce Ah Heong, Michael Rangasan, and Diesel Mechanics Instructor Mitchell Soares.

Students in the Fire Science and Diesel Mechanics programs at Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai‘i CC) will have new opportunities for hands-on learning thanks to the generosity of the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) and Young Brothers, Limited.

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HFD has donated a surplus Type I fire engine that previously served the Pearl City community on O‘ahu. Now the engine will serve Hawai‘i Community College students, who will be able to use it during their coursework.

“We are very grateful to the Honolulu Fire Department for donating the engine and to Young Brothers for shipping the engine to Hawai‘i Island for free,” said Hawai‘i CC Interim Chancellor Joni Onishi. “This will provide new learning opportunities for our students as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

Hawai‘i CC began offering Fire Science classes in 2005, and the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents granted the program permanent status in 2013. Since then Fire Science has become one of the most popular programs at the college. There are 102 students currently majoring in Fire Science.

“This fire engine will be a great teaching tool,” said Fire Science Instructor ­Jack Minassian. “For example, students in the fire hydraulics class will be able to practice providing proper water pressure and proper gallons per minute on a fire while using real equipment.”

Hawai‘i CC Fire Science graduates have found employment with federal, state and local fire service agencies, said Minassian. In addition, the college has a transfer agreement with Colorado State University (CSU) that allows Hawai‘i CC Fire Science graduates to easily enter CSU’s online Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services Administration program. Students can complete the online Bachelor of Science program while living on Hawai‘i Island. Two Hawai‘i CC graduates have obtained their Bachelor of Science degrees through this program, and six are currently enrolled, said Minassian.

Diesel Mechanics students will provide upkeep and maintenance of the fire engine.

HFD also donated a similar engine to Honolulu Community College.

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