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BGSU State Fire School destroys Ford prototypes in rescue training

Firefighters from across the state of Ohio are taking part in the Falcon’s week-long fire training program in Sylvania.
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 10:51 AM EDT
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - A 2020 Ford Shelby Mustang GT-500 has a starting price tag of over $70,000 dollars. Thursday in Sylvania, firefighter’s destroyed one right off the assembly line. It was all part of a plan to get students with Bowling Green State University’s State Fire School to trade the classroom for the junkyard.

Firefighters from across the state of Ohio are taking part in the Falcon’s week-long fire training program in Sylvania. Instructors leading BGSU’s State Fire School heavy rescue program explain that the course offers student’s hands-on experience to ultimately save lives.

“A rescue situation is basically two things, it’s got to be fast and it’s got to be safe," said instructor J.D. Vasbinder. “Our overall goal for everything is for them to go home to their family be able to pick their kids up, their wives, husbands, whatever it is.”

Instructors with the fire school are teaming up with a local towing company to provide real-world scenarios for students to learn from. Firefighter’s demonstrated water rescues, vehicle extractions, and how to use life-saving tools and rescue equipment.

Students work hand and hand with Pat and Son's tow truck operators, learning how to safely...
Students work hand and hand with Pat and Son's tow truck operators, learning how to safely remove vehicles pinned in wreckage.(Jack Bassett)

“The advantage to them is that they are seeing a lot of different events that they very much could see in their job and they understand that they can manage it," said instructor Grant Light.

Thanks to a donation from the Ford Motor Company students had access to train on a fleet of brand new vehicles, including a 2020 Shelby Mustang Shelby GT 500. Ford’s donation comes as part of a way to give back to local communities while also destroying its prototype creations.

“As a firefighter paramedic, it affords us the opportunity to see this new vehicle technology, different body systems, how the vehicles are constructed," said student Brandon Westerman.

Firefighter students took turns using rescue equipment on donated Ford vehicles.
Firefighter students took turns using rescue equipment on donated Ford vehicles. (Jack Bassett)

Westerman with Bowling Green Fire Division explains BGSU’s State Fire School provides firefighters of all ages and levels of experience the opportunity to improve their rescue skills. BGSU’s State Fire School offers year-round courses for firefighter’s to gain certifications and degrees.

“It’s training that’s very rare anywhere in the country," said Westerman. "To be able to have this right in our own backyard it’s a huge benefit for all the firefighters here in NW Ohio.”

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