9/14/2015 - Lincoln car test drive Oct. 10 to benefit fire training center

Duncan Ford|Lincoln|Mazda will host a “Driven to Give” fund raiser on Saturday, Oct. 10,  to help build the new County Fire and Rescue Training Center on Merrimac Road. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the dealership at 125 Jennelle Road, Christiansburg.

“Our immediate goal is to build a fire simulator, what they call a ‘burn building,’ ” said Emergency Services Coordinator Neal Turner. “We’re just asking people to come out and drive a car to help support our local first responders.”

The County received a $480,000 grant from the Department of Fire Programs for construction of the burn building, which allows firefighters to train in realistic, but controlled situations. The event will raise additional funding to complete the building and purchase a flashover simulator that teaches firefighters to deal with this dangerous situation. The center also wants to convert an existing structure into training classrooms. The training center currently provides ladder and jaws-of-life training for five fire departments, six rescue squads and more than 340 volunteer first responders.

During “Driven to Give,” Lincoln Motor Company will donate $20 for each registered and verified test drive of a Lincoln vehicle.  Drivers who take a second test drive in a Lincoln Navigator will earn a bonus $20 donation to the fundraiser. Non-drivers are also welcome to come out and make a donation to the training center.

Fire and rescue volunteers will demonstrate ladder trucks and other fire trucks, as well as emergency equipment throughout the day. In addition, a child car seat check will be available from 10 a.m. to noon so parents can make sure their children’s seats are properly secured.

County fire and rescue agencies are predominantly all volunteers. "It’s important to have training available locally to keep the volunteers response-ready," Turner said. "This avoids having to send them across the state for training which is expensive and makes them unavailable to respond to emergencies."

For more information, contact Suzanne Barnette at suzanne@uncork-it.com or (540) 953-0073.

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