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RCCC fire and emergency services program recognized

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s fire and emergency services training program was honored at a recent board meeting.

The recognition came from the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs, which wanted to honor Roger McDaniel, director of fire and emergency services programs, and his team. They were provided a plaque of appreciation from the association at their monthly board of directors meeting.

“We are very proud of Roger. He is an asset to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. His dedication to the training of our public safety professionals is unparalleled,” said Rowan-Cabarrus President Carol S. Spalding.

Rowan-Cabarrus has participated in the Association of Fire Chiefs midwinter conference for many years.

“I wish I could have given them all Rolex watches, instead of just a plaque,” said Jake Whisnant, executive director of association. “The support from our community colleges is vital to our conference initiatives, and we know we can always count on the support of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.”

In 2017 alone, there were more than 1,100 fire and emergency services courses taught at Rowan-Cabarrus.

“Everyone is so busy these days and stressed for time, but it is still important that quality is a priority. That is where Rowan-Cabarrus helps us the most, by providing quality instructors and valued educational experiences,” said Whisnant.

The public safety programs at Rowan-Cabarrus have always been popular, but investments in recent years have helped the programs continue to grow and serve the training needs of Rowan and Cabarrus counties. In 2014, the training facility was the first project to be completed in a series of Rowan County bond-funded construction projects.

“We have the largest fire and rescue program in the state thanks to Roger McDaniel. He sees opportunity everywhere,” said Craig Lamb, vice president for corporate and continuing education. “For instance, over the last five years when the annual fire chiefs have come to Concord for their conference, Roger and his team put on 26 different courses over three days, enrolling 1,029 individuals in the courses.”

The new training facility includes a 3,500-square-foot burn building, training pads for props, driver training services, a flashover chamber, two rail props, fire extinguisher station, retention pond, and extrication props.

“Every year on our evaluations, we hear about how the workshops run. They tell us, you have too many good workshops.” said Whisnant. “I’m a product of community colleges. My two sons are firefighters and received their education at community colleges. What you do for the fire service is tremendous. There is no one who is a firefighter who hasn’t gotten a good start thanks to community colleges.”

The college also partnered with local law enforcement, fire and rescue, and emergency medical services to bring a new interactive, mobile driving simulator to Rowan and Cabarrus counties in 2017.

“Police cars, firetrucks and ambulances often travel at higher speeds in emergency situations, so the accidents frequently result in severe injury or death to either those in the emergency vehicle or the civilian vehicle involved,” said McDaniel.

The N.C. Association of Fire Chiefs midwinter conference was held in Concord and attended by more than 1,000 people, including the Rowan-Cabarrus fire and emergency services staff. The conference included a combination of guest speakers, education resources, workshops, and vendors. The Rowan-Cabarrus fire and emergency services staff conducted several of those workshops.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit www.rccc.edu/apply or call 704-216-7222.

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