Four Delaware Area Career Center programs have collaborated this semester to fabricate, build, weld, and auger a variety of projects for the firefighting students at the school.
Students in the welding, landscaping, and construction programs at the DACC have been working with instructors from the firefighting program to build a new search building, a ventilator prop, and a metal rack for inside the burn building.
The new search building will replace a trailer at the North Campus that teaches students to navigate a smoke-filled building while wearing all of their protective equipment. The ventilator prop is a roof structure that students will cut holes in to practice ventilating a burning building, and the metal rack will allow instructors to raise up accelerates and combustible materials inside the burning building, while also prolonging the life of the structure.
Tim Stainer, the instructor for the fire service training program, said Monday that he was excited to have the equipment made to exactly meet their needs.
“The ventilation prop is going to be outstanding,” he said. “This is just the beginning of the project. It’ll be added on every year.”
Stainer said he was glad to collaborate with the other labs.
“The whole career tech collaboration is great,” he said. “There’s no reason to go out and pay someone to do a trade that we’re training people to do here. They are doing things to order. The more our trades can collaborate, the better. As a taxpayer, I would be excited that the money is staying in-house.”
Brad DeMent, the welding instructor at the DACC, said he’s always happy to give his students “real world applications” when creating their projects.
“Problem solving and communication are key,” he said, adding his students were given instructions to build a 4-by-4 box for the project. After completing the project, they discovered the box had to fit through a regular door, so they had to saw the project in half and re-weld it inside the building. “That’s real world. Next time you need to ask more questions. It was a neat lesson to learn. They have to make sure they think of everything and pre-plan.”
DeMent and Gary Kessler, landscape architecture and construction instructor, said the project also teaches students to build to customer specifications and demands. Kessler said his students will be responsible for digging the posts for the the new structures
“They need to learn proper layouts and codes,” Kessler said. “(I like) anytime we can get real world projects.”
Gene Scott, the construction instructor at the DACC, said he’s excited to give his seniors the search building project as a warmup to the house they’ll build next semester.
“It gives them good work,” he said. “It gets them to own it a little bit better. They know how well it’s got to be built because teachers and other students will see it. The seniors are practicing on it, getting it back to being carpenters after having the summer off, so when we start the house project, they are back in that mode.”
Scott said his students will need to be precise and by the book, because the search building will be inspected by the Delaware County inspector to make sure it’s up to code.
“We’re going to do it like we are selling it,” Scott said. “It has to pass code. That way the seniors see that part.”
Scott added the structure will be open to changes on the fly to teach his students how to adapt to change in designs or customer plans.
Director of Adult Education Chad Williams said Monday that since the firefighting program was moved to the Consolidated Campus, they’ve made a list of materials and equipment that need to be replaced.
“We were very fortunate at North Campus. We had 40-plus years of building the firegrounds,” Williams said. “When you have a lot of those bigger items to come up with in a short time, funding becomes an issue. We thought we’d see what we could do in-house. I know how much they value real-world experience. At the end of the day, the kids are going to drive by that every day and see what they built. It brings kids together a little bit.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.