Rowan-Cabarrus Community College receives donated fire engine

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

SALISBURY — Even in the 21st century, fire safety and protection is a critical component of keeping the public safe.

Training the first responders responsible for this protection is a critical part of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College mission.

The city of Salisbury has just made this easier: The Salisbury Fire Department has donated a firetruck to the college for use in its fire training programs.

“The donation of this firetruck is significant. It’ll put us in a much better place, enhancing our program dramatically,” said Roger McDaniel, director of fire and emergency services for Rowan-Cabarrus.

Division manager David Morris presented the donation on behalf of Salisbury Fire Chief Bob Parnell at a recent board of trustees meeting.

“This is a small token of our appreciation for all of the support Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has provided us over the years,” said Morris.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has the largest fire and rescue training program in the state.

“Students need access to a fire engine for training purposes. They need to pump the water and simulate a response to a fire or a hazardous material emergency,” said McDaniel.

Rowan-Cabarrus will no longer need local stations to bring an in-service firetruck to the college for training.

The donated engine was a surplus truck the city replaced last year. Instead of selling it, Parnell offered it to the college.

“I really want to thank the Salisbury Fire Department and the city of Salisbury for their donation. This is a great example of community partnership,” said RCCC President Carol S. Spalding. “One of the college’s biggest challenges is keeping our programs equipped with industry-recognized, state-of-the-art equipment that is used in the workplace. This donation will help us in achieving that goal.”

The fire and emergency services facility serves an important role in training local public safety providers who protect people every day. It includes a 3,500-square-foot burn building and training pads for various props. A driving course for fire and emergency vehicles is planned.

“It is our goal to be responsive, flexible, innovative and efficient as we work together to create a safer and more secure environment,” said Spalding. “The fire and emergency services training facility presents our public safety providers with real life training scenarios that help ensure that our law, fire and emergency personnel are prepared to protect our community in the event of fires, hazardous materials emergencies, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents and train derailments.”

The college also had the opportunity to expand its public safety training in Cabarrus County. With the county’s support, it purchased the former Angelo’s Restaurant adjacent to the south campus. This purchase will allow the college to set up a training facility for law enforcement and other public safety officials.

“The college now has a world-class fire training center that is used 250 to 350 days a year,” said Craig Lamb, vice president of corporate and continuing education at Rowan-Cabarrus. “Having a firetruck is really an important asset for us in our training.”

Unfortunately, the college’s funding does not include an abundance of resources for equipment investments.

“Our resources from the state have continued to decline year after year,” said Spalding. “Like many public organizations, we are looking at other options and developing a case for support to seek private and philanthropic donations.”

Rowan-Cabarrus welcomes in-kind donations that help the college keep pace with changing technology and equipment needs and meet the demands of increased enrollment.

Gifts in kind must fulfill a stated need of one or more college departments and be approved by facilities or IT personnel to ensure compliance with existing infrastructure.

For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).