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Fire Sprinkler Valve Prop Donation Provides Leaning Opportunity for PSC Fire Academy Students

  • Written by Gary Kopycinski

psc-fire-science-dept-donated-01-2013Photo, left to right: Tom Augustyn, Thomas Lia, Eric Radtke, Dean Townsend, Paul Rosenthal, Jerry Kennedy, Chad Vlietstra, Patty Zuccarello, Bill Brei, Marie Hansel, and Rich Atwood. (SUPPLIED)

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Students in the Prairie State College (PSC) fire science program now will have the opportunity to actually see how a fire sprinkler system works before encountering one at a fire. The hands-on learning opportunity is thanks to a fire sprinkler valve prop donation from the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) to PSC’s Fire Academy. It was a group effort to make the donation to PSC with Reliable Fire Sprinkler providing the valve and Fire Sprinkler Fitters Local #281 building the pedestal and assembling it.

“It will be so valuable for our students to see how a fire sprinkler system actually works and to do so in class. This donation will help the instructors better explain fire sprinkling and detection,” said Chad Vlietstra, PSC fire science coordinator. The fire sprinkler valve prop is valued at $3,000, a significant donation for the fire science program.

The donation was made at the PSC main campus on Friday, Jan. 11, by members of the NIFSAB advisory board. Thomas Lia, NIFSAB executive director, explained the NIFSAB offers assistance and donations to programs dedicated to teaching fire science. “We understand the value of students having equipment they can actually handle and manipulate,” Lia said. The NIFSAB is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting progressive legislation, raising public awareness, educating code officials and governmental policy makers by demonstrating the proven performance of fire sprinklers in saving both lives and property.

“Donations of equipment or material provide valuable learning opportunities which are beyond the college’s budget. We are grateful for this wonderful generosity, and we encourage other local individuals, businesses, and organizations to consider donating in this special way. Such donations are tax deductible, too,” according to Cathy Killian Kloss, executive director of the PSC Foundation.

PSC’s Fire Science program prepares individuals for a career in fire science with a combination of classroom learning and simulated fire situations where students practice the skills they have been taught. This fire sprinkler valve prop fits in to the curriculum by offering a chance to handle the equipment in a classroom situation. PSC offers an Associate Degree in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Fire Science Technology, Fire Science Technology certificate, Firefighter II certificate, and Firefighter/EMT certificate. For more information about PSC’s Fire Science program, visit or call (708) 709-3500.

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