MGCCC students answer call for help from Gulfport firefighters - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

MGCCC students answer call for help from Gulfport firefighters

This week, the students who are studying heating and air conditioning at the Jeff Davis campus are installing an HVAC unit at fire station number 8 on Old Highway 49. (Photo source: WLOX) This week, the students who are studying heating and air conditioning at the Jeff Davis campus are installing an HVAC unit at fire station number 8 on Old Highway 49. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The Gulfport Fire Department needed a new heating and air conditioning system for an old, rundown fire station. Some instructors at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) heard about the need and came up with a pretty 'cool' idea. They answered the firefighters' call for help.

It didn't look like typical college classroom. This week, 16-students in the heating and air conditioning program at the Jeff Davis campus of MGCCC are honing their skills on a real work site.

"Going up on the top of the rafters, working all around the structure, it's a lot more physically demanding than what most people think," said HVAC Student Jarrod Doody.

"Out here, we run into structural problems, wiring problems, lighting problems that might be in the way of what we're wanting to do. So we have to work around them and make it work," said MGCCC HVAC Instructor Chris Crocker.

The men are putting a lot of hard work and heart into the project. When they heard the Gulfport Fire Department was rebuilding fire station number 8 on Old Highway 49 and needed a new HVAC unit, the students wanted to offer their services.

"It feels good to give back to the community, having something to do and say that we were the ones that put this in this fire station," said HVAC Student Terrence Horne.

"It's neat to see that they care. And you can tell they do care by the quality of their work. It's top notch work. They're learning life skills that are going to help them get a job. So it's a win-win situation," said Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt.

The fire department provided the supplies, while the students provided the free labor. It was picture-perfect partnership that will help the firefighters feel more comfortable.

"This job will be done and they'll have good, cool air when it's hot, and in the winter time, they'll stay nice and toasty," said Doody.

"It feels great to get out here and help them out, to work with the city and be able to do a real project for them. We feel we've done something real useful for the community," said Crocker.

The fire station restoration should be finished by the end of August. The chief said both groups are talking about ways to work together on future projects.

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