After a year of thinking and planning, local businesses came together to successfully donate a concrete mixer from an old construction truck to the Dickinson Fire Dept. for training purposes. The new addition to the training unit will allow for firefighters to work in confined space scenarios.

Dickinson Fire Chief Jeremy Presnell said the new item helps bring a major boost to firefighters being acquainted with construction based scenarios that could happen in the real world. Especially during construction seasons.

"Throughout the city there is construction going on and confined space happening at the refinery and stuff like that," Presnell said. "It gives us a controlled environment where we can conduct training in a confined space. It’s a good feeling just knowing that we’re going to be able to train on all the different facets and discipline that we respond to within the fire service."

Contributors Travis Winn, Jared Rhode, Scott Olin, the general manager of Dickinson Ready Mix, Mike Odegaard of Highlands Engineering and Surveying and Rick Kleinwaescter of East End Auto, all contributed to bringing the concrete mixer to the department.

"We appreciate the job that the fire department does and we look to support them any way we can," Olin said. "We had a truck that was no longer in service, we thought that it might be a training prop for horizontal confined space entries and turns out they could use it and we were happy that we were able to donate it. We appreciate that they can use it. "

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Despite the mixer coming from Dickinson Ready Mix, the new prop would not have been able to be used by the DFD if not for the help of the other contributors.

"These other collaborators were highly instrumental in the donations," Olin said. "(Odegaard) designed the prop, Winn Construction provided the pad and Rick (Kleinwaescter) took the mixture off the truck and delivered it out here so it was truly a team effort."

Deb Barros, assistant fire cheif, added that members of the DFD helped contribute to the addition of the concrete mixer.

"We have a firefighter that’s a welder and he was instrumental in assembling it," she said. "Mark Selle, whose our fire marshall, made a lot of phone calls to get it coordinated to get everybody here on the right time when we needed them and they were more than willing to oblige us."

All-in-all Presnell was very appreciative for the new equipment, but was even more humbled by the showing of teamwork that the construction community proved to have in their support for the local fire department.

"This community really gets behind the fire department and we just really love the support and that’s what drives us to get better training a well-oiled machine in terms of the responding to this kind of stuff," Presnell said. "Without these collaborations and these partnerships within the community, this wouldn’t have happened. Everybody here really contributed to making this possible, and a success."

Odegaard added to what the first responders mean to the community and how much of an honor it is to support the DFD.

"I think it just goes to the point that this is a community effort and the community supports our front line people such as firefighters," he said. "If we can help them in any way to give them training tools so that they can be safe and come home safe after that call comes in, and likewise take care of our community in the fashion that they have and we’ll continue to take care of. We’re all really happy and appreciative."

The donors added they will continue to support the Dickinson Fire Department any way they can, knowing that their contributions helps make the department and Dickinson an even better and stronger community that works together and looks out for each other.

"I think we all have peace of mind knowing that we have a well trained fire team, protecting this community," Olin said.