No alarm bells were ringing but there was excitement in the air when the Fire and Life Safety Systems Technician (FLSST) program at Durham College (DC) received a donation of equipment valued at more than $20,000. The state-of-the-art equipment, donated by fire alarm manufacturer, Notifier by Honeywell will be used to enhance the learning experience of students enrolled in the program which trains students in fire suppression systems, fire alarms and life safety plans, according to regional sales manager for Notifier by Honeywell, David Secord.
Secord is a member of the FLSST program advisory committee (PAC) and said DC is the first school to receive this hi-tech equipment.
“Honeywell is making this donation to the program so that the students are getting taught on the latest technologies. So, when they come to school they are well-versed to head right into the marketplace,” said Secord.
The donation consists of a “First Vision” fire alarm control panel, “Swift” wireless smoke detection devices and a “FAAST” aspiration unit which is a smoke detector which draws air into a patented, high-sensitivity smoke-sensing chamber. This device is effective in facilities where downtime from smoke or fires can be costly.
The new equipment will be incorporated into what has already been installed in the program lab by program coordinator, Randy Panesar, to build a complete network system which will be able to communicate with each other as one.
DC’s Dean of the School of Justice and Emergency Services (SJES) at DC, Stephanie Ball, is excited about the donation.
“We’ve always prided ourselves with this program on providing current information so our students are workforce-ready as soon as they graduate, and this will help them even more to be a step ahead of the game,” said Ball. “It is also a nice fit with our pre-service firefighter students as well, giving them the opportunity to see how this works when they arrive on site.”
Ball stressed the importance of having experts like Secord on the PAC because they tell the college what is current in the industry and what may be missing in a certain program which may enhance the students’ education.
“We really appreciate it and the students appreciate it as well, because they’re very tuned-in to what’s out there in the market and what they need. They’ll be very happy to get it here,” said Ball.
Secord said the advantage of the new equipment is that it is wireless, so there is no need to damage existing sub-structures when installing in historic buildings for example, or do remediation work where there may be the risk of asbestos.
Secord said the control panel is also a great new tool for first responders to help them track a fire in a building which is not completely engulfed in flames.
“It would have a full graphic of all the floors, all the rooms. They [firefighters] can touch it and see if there was any hazardous material in these rooms,” said Secord.
Also at the presentation were Panesar and Michael Stoica, from the FLSST program and Rick Bowler, lead instructor in the pre-service firefighter program. The new equipment will be installed in the lab next semester.
“I can’t tell you how exciting it is,” said Ball. “I don’t understand the lingo but I can tell you by the excitement of our faculty that this is a really big deal. We really appreciate it.”