A New Benchmark in Fire Training

Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming six statewide agencies representing airport fire and first responder operations, military personnel, and fire departments to the Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) Training Center as the first group of trainees to use this new facility. In partnership with the Appleton International Airport (ATW), the ARFF Center will serve regional, national, and international markets.

Supported by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the training facility sets the stage for rather intense emergency response drills thanks to a number of real-life aircraft settings and props. These include the only Boeing 777 simulated aircraft fire trainer in the United States, as well as a state-of-the-art wet/fire deck with nearly 100 individual fire zones to simulate a variety of aircraft firefighting situations, and more.

In addition to the FAA and ATW, this project required the support and collaboration of several other organizations, including the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics, as well as Oshkosh Corporation and their Oshkosh Airport Products division. All of us are delighted to provide yet another staple attraction in the region as a means to draw visitors from essentially around the world. This latest ARFF facility is in elite company—it’s one of only a handful in the United States.

Given the pandemic conditions, we look forward to celebrating with a more formal grand opening of the ARFF Center sometime soon, perhaps this fall, if possible.

New Partnership Reminds Us to Look Ahead

FVTCGrads

During the past several weeks we’ve all had to make life-changing adjustments. Our staff and faculty have worked tirelessly to develop innovative approaches and new resources to guide our students through the end of the spring semester and beyond. While we’re all working hard to keep up with daily challenges, I’d like to share a new collaboration that serves as a reminder to look to better days ahead.

The College is honored to engage in a new partnership program with WHBY called “Focus on Careers.” This weekly segment will launch on May 20 and air during Hayley Tenpas’ afternoon program, Focus Fox Valley, each Wednesday through August 5. The segment is designed to highlight careers of promise and what makes a positive college experience as ways to bring renewed optimism to the region.

Thanks to WHBY for joining us in building futures through education and training.

A Regional Vision with Life – Changing Impact

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Stara Gleash with instructors Kory Anderson (left) and Rob Behnke

Great anticipation came with the opening of our new Wautoma Regional Center in 2018. Located adjacent to Wautoma High School, the relocated and expanded facility offers several dual credit options for high school students and other programs unique to the needs of that region, including manufacturing, business, construction, and health care.

After meeting with local officials to discuss ways to tackle unemployment in the region, the transportation sector came into play. In 2019, we brought our truck driver training to the greater Wautoma area as a way to offer opportunities for a rewarding career in just 10 weeks to more people. That investment and vision have helped several students hit the road with a new direction, including Stara Gleash—the only woman to complete the program in Wautoma thus far. This single mother was able to take her classes locally while working full-time.

Stara recently visited the College’s Appleton campus with her son, Isaac, to thank instructors and share her passion for driving around the country and getting paid for doing so. Her pathway is a reminder that listening to the distinct needs of our communities often changes a life or two along the way.

Learn more about Stara’s story HERE>>>.