Aug. 24—Students enrolled in the Fire Leadership Academy at Flagler Palm Coast High School now have a fire truck to explore during their training, thanks to the donation of a surplus fire truck by the Palm Coast Fire Department.
The Palm Coast City Council on Aug. 21 approved the donation of the 2004 Kenworth T-300 through an interlocal agreement with the Flagler County School District, according to a news release from the city.
Palm Coast Deputy Fire Chief Jerry Forte said in the release that the donated fire truck will be used mainly as a training prop providing students with an opportunity for hands-on learning with the apparatus, fire hand tools, hoses, nozzles, an EKG machine and EMT/Paramedic supplies.
Exactly how the truck will be used is still being determined by Flagler County Fire Rescue and Flagler Schools. The truck will mainly be a stationary training device, although it may also occasionally roll in parades, a school district spokesperson said Friday.
The city's fire department previously donated surplus air packs to the FPC academy, the release states.
The truck is branded with a graphic featuring the FPC Bulldog mascot and an outline of the state of Florida and three words using "FPC"—Focus, Purpose, Commitment.
City fire officials deemed the truck surplus as part of the department's vehicle replacement program. As fire engines reach the end of their life cycles, they are used as backup apparatus prior to being deemed surplus, the release states.
The FPC flagship program was developed with the hope of providing job opportunities for local students and keeping them in Flagler County.
"Our goal is to keep them local," Forte said. "We want employees who want to work here because their family lives here and they've established their roots here in Palm Coast."
In addition to the Fire Leadership Academy, fire officials started a comprehensive internship program in January as a way to recruit full-time, career firefighters as the department grows. Once interns have fulfilled the program's requirements, they are given hiring priority for the department's vacancies for entry-level, career-firefighter positions.
The city has hired five of its volunteer interns to become career firefighters so far, and expects to hire two more this fall, according to the release.
The internship program received a regional award for excellence in public safety from the Northeast Florida Regional Council last December, the release states.