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FOUR OAKS — The Bentonville Fire Department donated one of its fire trucks Nov. 19 for Johnston County Public Schools students to use as a mobile learning lab.
The donation directly benefits students who are enrolled in the district’s fire science program by giving them hands-on experience working with an actual fire truck.
After seeing how successful the school system’s fire science program was, the Bentonville Fire Department decided to support it by donating a fire truck that would otherwise be out of service.
“The fire truck will serve as a mobile lab for those students enrolled in our Fire Science Academy program,” said Superintendent Ross Renfrow. “We’re really, really excited about this inter-agency collaboration.”
“Our goal is to put this truck in the program so that the students get the hands on experience,” said Bentonville firefighter John Beasley. “Most of these kids will volunteer at a fire department after they graduate and get a job. This puts volunteers back into the county, and that’s what we are really after.”
The fire science program allows students to earn the certifications and a degree to be employable and promotable within fire service ranks.
“This truck is going to make a big difference to students in the fire program,” said Smithfield-Selma High student Nick Barbour. “We’ll get to put our hands on it, get experience, get to know it, and later on down the line understand what someone’s life could be like on this truck.”
The fire science program is a partnership between Johnston County Public Schools, Johnston Community College, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and Johnston County firefighters.