MOCC students receive fire engine donation

Mecosta-Osceola Career Center students studying firefighting explore their new truck, donated by the Morton Township Fire Department. This new engine will replace an older truck at the career center. (Pioneer photo/Meghan Gunther-Haas)

BIG RAPIDS — While a blast from a fire engine’s horn is normally heard with the blare of sirens, the sound was accompanied by students’ excited chatter on Thursday.

Mecosta-Osceola Career Center students studying firefighting spent Thursday afternoon testing the horn and checking out the features of their new truck, which they will use in their studies. The new engine was donated by the Morton Township Fire Department.

“The old truck is from 1982 and is in pretty rough shape,” said Mike Miller, MOCC principal and Career and Technical Education director. “This truck is from ’92 and was kept up quite well. We’re really happy Morton Township Fire Department is giving this to us. This would be a huge cost we can’t really afford.”

According to Fire Chief Allen Sutherby, the older vehicle was being replaced and members of the MOCC expressed interest in obtaining the truck. After approaching the township board on the matter, the fire department was able to donate the engine to the school.

“This truck gives the students an opportunity for hands-in learning. The more hands-on, the better the students are going to be if they decide to pursue a career in firefighting,” he said.

MOCC Public Safety Instructor Joy Paquette said the donation will replace the school’s current engine, originally from the Chicago Fire Department.

“We are very excited about the newer truck,” she said. “The hands-on learning from this new truck is going to be invaluable for training.”


Posted by Meghan Gunther-Haas

Meghan is the education reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review. She can be reached at (231) 592-8382 or by email at

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