Iowa Central hosts recognition ceremony

Donors made fire training center, equipment a reality

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Brandon Nelson, an Iowa Central Community College fire science student, adjusts his gear before squeezing through a 14.5-inch gap at the the regional fire training center located at 1521 Ave. O Friday afternoon. A recognition ceremony was held prior to this demonstration thanking all of the donors who have contributed to the training tower and props used by area students and firefighters.

Iowa Central Community College fire science students Weston Johnson, of Spencer, and Brandon Nelson, of Logan, each put on full turnout gear and demonstrated their skills inside the college’s regional fire training center, located at 1521 Ave. O, on Friday afternoon.

That demonstration would not have been possible if not for multiple contributions to the fire science program and training grounds.

Everything from the gear the students wear to the tower they train inside of has been made a reality because of collaboration and generosity from the college, fire departments and multiple companies.

On Friday, Iowa Central held a thank you recognition ceremony for that generosity.

Fort Dodge firefighters, Iowa Central students, representatives from the college, Mark Allen from Canadian National Railway and Webster County Emergency Management, were in attendance.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Iowa Central Community College fire science students place several self-contained breathing apparatuses on a bench at the regional fire training center, located at 1521 Ave. O, on Friday. The equipment was donated by Iowa Falls Fire Chief Scott Eisentrager. Including six spare cylinders, this donation totals about $25,000 in value. In the background is a 1998 American LaFrance Eagle fire engine. The fire engine was donated by Toyne, Inc. Its value is estimated at about $40,000.

“The resources you see at this facility helps keep our emergency responders up to date on the latest tactics and gives the ability for our responders to build the competence that can only come from running the plays over and over again, without someone having to have an emergency in order to do so,” said Lenny Sanders, Iowa Central fire science coordinator. “Hands-on experiences are built into our programs, which serve to enrich the learning experience and develop skills and expertise. Students work tirelessly, both in and outside of the classroom, to reach their full potential.”

Sanders along with Fort Dodge Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter; Iowa Central President Dan Kinney; Jim Kersten, vice president of external relations and government affairs for Iowa Central; and Amy Pingel, Iowa Central community education assistant director, each offered their thank yous for the donations.

The training grounds are also used by the Iowa Central Criminal Justice program, the Fort Dodge Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Iowa State Patrol and the Iowa Department of Corrections.

Here is a breakdown of donations to the regional fire training center:

Canadian National Railway, Fort Dodge

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Iowa Central Community College fire science students Weston Johnson, of Spencer, left, and Brandon Nelson, of Logan, both sophomores, gear up for a demonstration at the regional fire training center, located at 1521 Ave. O.

The CN Railway donated the tanker car, valued at more than $100,000.

McGough Construction, Fort Dodge

McGough donated the use of one of their cranes and trucks to haul the rail tanker car from the Des Moines riverfront railroad yard to the training site.

Doors, Inc., Fort Dodge

Doors, Inc. donated a steel door valued at approximately $1,000 to replace a door on the second-floor burn room at the Regional Emergency Response Training Center.

Industrial Scientific Corp., Hollandale, Michigan

Deb Majeske, senior district sales manager of Industrial Scientific Corp., donated a Ventis Mx4 four-gas detector.

MidAmerican Energy Co.

MidAmerican Energy has donated a three-phase electricity drop at the Regional Emergency Response Training Center.

Fort Dodge Fire Department

Fort Dodge Fire Rescue has been a great partner with the Regional Emergency Response Training Center. They have donated surplus protective equipment and other outdated items that they can no longer use, but serves us well at the training center. In addition, the firefighters have been very helpful in providing hands to help with some of the projects such as replacing the Padgenite panels in the tower’s burn rooms, performing repairs to the facility, and helping keep the facility clean and tidy.

Toyne, Inc., Breda

Toyne has provided a very large donation in the form of a 1998 American LaFrance Eagle fire engine. This engine served as a front-line pumper in Des Moines for many years, and was received back by Toyne when it was traded in on a new apparatus.

Iowa Falls Fire Department

Chief Scott Eisentrager of Iowa Falls Fire Department is donating 11 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) with six spare cylinders and a Rapid Intervention Team pack to our program. The estimated value of this donation, if purchased from a refurbisher, is $25,000.

Cargill, Land O’ Lakes, West Central Co-Op, NEW Co-Op, POET Biorefining, and Rasch Construction have donated cash and in-kind services to help improve the training center


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