Shawnee Mission students get donated fire truck to help prepare them for future

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – After receiving a rather large donation, students in the Shawnee Mission School District now have another tool to use when it comes to hands-on learning.

For two years, students have been learning more than just math, science and history.

“These are all kids who want to become that in the future,” said Skyler Rhoads, a senior at Shawnee Mission South High School.

Rhoads may be a high school senior, but he spends most of his time at the Broadmoor Technical Center, learning how to become a firefighter through the district's Blue Eagle Program. It focuses on exposing students to four career paths: law enforcement, fire, EMS and law.

“We’ll be ahead of the curve and we’ll be well prepared,” Rhoads said.

On Friday, the fire program received a big surprise: a new fire truck.

“We purchased the fire truck 27 years ago for $204,000. We’re purchasing a new replacement and the trade in value was currently $5,000,” said Lenexa Deputy Fire Chief Travis Vaughn.

Instead of trading in the truck, the Lenexa Fire Department donated it to the Blue Eagle Program. The truck will now give students the opportunity to learn things they couldn’t previously with their old truck from the 1970s.

“You know, I think it’s going to provide them with the resources to be able to pump water and pull hose lines and throw ladders and everything else they would as if they were working in the fire department,” Vaughn said.

Rhoads and his classmates said they couldn’t be more excited about their newest addition.

In the first year of the Blue Eagle Program, the Lenexa Police Department donated a patrol car to the students as well.

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