Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2016

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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26 PIERCE / FALL 2016 F ranklin Pierce is one of very few univer- sities in the country to have its own stu- dent-staffed volunteer fire company. It gives undergraduates a strong sense of capability and service. It also provides a strong collaborative bond between the school and the surrounding communi- ties, and graduates say the experience stays with them for their whole lives. Tyler Desautels '17, wants to be a police officer and is studying Criminal Justice. The senior is a lieutenant in the Franklin Pierce Fire Company (FPFC) and a fire- fighter with Rindge Fire Department (RFD). He is now leaning toward combining the two passions, possibly in a career in arson investigation. "The training has been extensive, not just fighting fires and rescue, but CPR, hazardous materials, and wildlands," says Desautels. "The academic require- ments are no less important. Members have to maintain a GPA of 2.0; for officers it's 2.5. Officers are upperclass students who get extra training in how to drive and op- erate the engine, also administration." As a paying job, he works on the campus grounds crew. Oral tradition is a big part of firefighting, and the campus company is no different. "We heard all about the pickup truck that was the original unit in the early '70s," says Desautels, "and after that the 1937 America LaFrance engine they had until the '80s, I think. Now we have a 1995 Freightliner with a 1,250-gallon-per- minute pump, a 1,000-gallon booster tank, all the tools, ladders up to 32 feet, and a deck gun. Everyone loves the deck gun." It does not get used very often. Going into his fourth year, Desautels says he has yet to fight a real structure fire. But he has trained for them. "The training starts the moment you sign-up. You get your gear and you are in. The first training is how to dress. Then schedul- ing, then a walk-through and orientation on all the equipment." COLLABORATING WITH THE COMMUNITY T he campus company works closely with cam- pus EMTs and police, and as part of RFD, has responsibilities with the surrounding com- munities. People in the area know that when they call Rindge for mutual aid they could be getting a The training has been extensive, not just fighting fires and rescue, but CPR, hazardous materials, and wildlands. PREVIOUS SPREAD: SHUTTERSTOCK (LEFT); KATHLEEN DOOHER (RIGHT)

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