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Eastside Tech Accepts Keys to Donated Fire Engine

The city of Lexington and its fire department officially handed over the engine keys to Eastside Technical Center in an outdoor ceremony featuring Mayor Linda Gorton, Fire Chief Jason Wells, Eastside Principal Tracy Parks, and Fire Service instructor Kyle Branham. Station 5 on Woodland Avenue across from Maxwell Elementary had housed the 1986 Pierce Arrow engine until it was retired to Eastside about six years ago. The firetruck was originally on loan but was signed over to the tech center at the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

“We are excited to grow this partnership and contribute to the development of future firefighters,” Wells said. “The best part of our job is being able to share what we do with others in the community. We hope this will eventually come full circle, and we’ll have students who graduated from Eastside join our ranks.” 

In Eastside’s Fire Service Pathway, nearly 80 students are exploring career options as first responders and learning valuable skills with hands-on practice. Those who complete the two-year program earn certifications in Basic Life Support, Bleeding Control, CPR, and AED, as well as multiple FEMA certifications. 

“This fire engine is the cornerstone here, and having access to such a meaningful resource is a game-changer for our students. Not only is it a fundamental component that much of our training and simulations center around, but it is also a significant source of authenticity and brings a seriousness that infuses motivation and pride in all our students,” Branham said, noting how their eyes light up when they enter the bay. “The impact this fire engine will continue to have in sparking the desire to pursue a career in Fire Service is a gift that we cannot put a value on.”  

The donation is an excellent example of how thoughtful and innovative partnerships can enhance learning opportunities for FCPS students. Our career and technical centers like Eastside are a critical component because they expose our students to the world they will enter after graduation.

“Every child who enters the Fayette County Public Schools has unique strengths and talents. Our job as a school district is to provide each student with the experiences needed to fulfill their ultimate potential,” said Superintendent Demetrus Liggins.

In our district’s Strategic Plan, we promise families that when they choose FCPS for their students, we will ensure they receive a relevant, rigorous, and well-rounded education that prepares them for whatever future they can imagine.

Did you know?  Eastside Tech serves students from Fayette, Woodford, Jessamine, and Scott counties.

(Photo credit: Amy Wallot with LFUCG)

Posted Sept. 9, 2022