Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2016

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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Page 28 of 83

FALL 2016 \ PIERCE 27 truck full of students," says Desautels. "They are cool with that. They know we know what we're doing." Because FPFC is part of RFD, the bunker gear, equipment, and training are identical. The only dif- ference is the shield on the helmet that says Franklin Pierce Fire Company. "We serve 30 residential buildings and 1,500 people on campus," says Desautels with pride. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are only three other institutions that use student firefight- ers: the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont, and the University of Maryland. "I came to the University from the outside, and thought it was pretty cool that the campus had its own fire company," says Maureen Sturgis, Director of Campus Safety. She has line responsibility for the fire company, and collaborates closely with FPFC's up- perclass officers as well as with Rick Donovan, Rindge fire chief. There are usually three or four students on duty per shift: a captain or lieutenant, a driver (officially called an engineer or operator, but affectionately known in most fire services as chauffer), and one or two other firefighters. The students go out of service for summer vacation and school breaks, but because the company is part of RFD, the equipment can be used by town firefighters if needed. AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE CAMPUS IDENTITY T he fire company fits in well at Franklin Pierce," says Sturgis. "Traditionally, we are a liberal arts school, but there is an increasing focus on education and health science. There is a strong resonance to taking care of yourself and others." Sturgis recalls one vivid example several years ago. "The EMS vehicle was housed in a bay in a residence hall and the vehicle caught fire. Any vehicle fire is dangerous, but the EMS unit had tanks of oxygen and gasoline. It could have been a major issue. But because the fire company was on campus, their quick response confined the fire essentially to the vehicle bay. The vehicle was destroyed, and there was some heat and smoke damage to the floor above, but that was it. No one was hurt. They did a great job." She emphasizes that the students are volunteers. "They don't get paid for their time in service or in train- ing. They are only issued gear. Their level of dedication is unbelievable. They are so dependable." According to Rick Donovan, Rindge fire chief, the University's private department operated until 1999 when the fire marshal ruled that the Town of Rindge actually had responsibility because the University is a 'resident' of the town. So the brigade on campus became a company of the RFD. It had the same state certifica- tions as all other departments in the New Hampshire, Previous spread, left to right: Caitlin Perry '18, Allison Klipp '16, Alexia DaSilva '18 Facing page, top: Three consecutive years of FPU fire dept officers: former Captain Chris Har- rington '15, former 1st Lieutenant Joseph Beauregard '16, and current Lieutenant Tyler Desautels at a live-burn training Middle top: MVA demonstration Middle bottom: Annual September 11th ceremony Right: Tyler Desautels at a live- burn training. This page: Allie Klipp's dog, Hudson, on the scene; Allie Klipp at the overhaul process of a 4th-alarm structure

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