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Seminole State College of Florida’s Center for Public Safety celebrated the completion of $2 million in fire academy upgrades and equipment purchases including the arrival of two new training fire trucks with a traditional “Wet Down” and “Push Back” ceremony, Thursday, Aug.29.

A “Wet-Down” ceremony is a long-standing fire service tradition where firefighters wet down the new truck with a hose line from the truck being replaced. Dating back to the late 1800’s when fire companies used horse drawn equipment, a “Push Back” ceremony pays tribute to the time when firefighters had to push the pumpers back into the firehouse because the horses weren’t able to back the rigs in.

Florida State Senate Senator David Simmons secured the $2 million grant, managed through the State Fire Marshal’s office, to fund facility improvements and equipment purchases.

“All of this would not have been possible without Senator David Simmons who worked very hard to secure the $2 million grant, managed through the State Fire Marshal’s office, that made all this possible. Thank you for all that you do for both Seminole State and the residents of Central Florida,” said Seminole State President Dr. Georgia L. Lorenz.

“It happened through teamwork. It happened through the fact that there are people who are dedicated to this school, this College,” said Simmons. “You know we have the number one college system in America, there is a reason why, it is not only because of the people who make up this system but it is the dedication that each of you has to making sure we are the best.”

Florida College System Chancellor Kathy Hebda, who oversees the Florida College System’s 28 institutions, attended the celebration.

“On behalf of Governor DeSantis and Commissioner Corcoran who have challenged our great college system to stay number one in the nation and even get better, I would like to congratulate all of you on this wonderful day and this great program,” said Hebda. “The program itself is such a shining example of the relationships between our colleges and our communities and that is what makes them so special.”

Each year, 1,600 students attend classes at the College’s Center for Public Safety. The facility improvements and equipment purchased from the grant will allow the College to continue offering state-of-the-art classroom and training space for the Criminal Justice, Emergency Medical Services and Fire Science programs.

Following the ceremony, guests toured the Center for Public Safety facilities including the fire tower, fire smoke simulation room, and interactive classrooms.

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