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News 2022

Belmont College Foundation Receives $10,000 Gift from AEP in Support of Live Burn Training Facility


St. Clairsville, OH (February 1, 2022) – The Belmont College Foundation has received a $10,000 donation from AEP (American Electric Power). This gift will go directly towards the College’s charitable giving drive to raise funds for a live burn training facility. 


The purpose of this facility will be to provide local first responders with live fire training for structure fires, flammable gas, and flammable liquids, as well as confined space instruction, search and rescue operations and rope rescue education.


“We are very appreciative to AEP for this donation,” said Mrs. Melissa Rataiczak, Director of Workforce & Advancement. “With this gift, AEP is directly supporting not just the College, but our first responders and our community. We thank them for their support and generosity.”


According to Dr. Paul Gasparro, Belmont College President, “Recent Ohio rule changes requiring NFPA safety regulated and inspected burn buildings have left a void for this type of training in our region. Currently, there are no approved burn building structures within a nine-county radius of Belmont County, which places an undue burden of travel time and expenses on area first responders.” 


He continued, “Belmont College has been a chartered fire school for nearly three decades. Through building this facility, we hope to ensure that those who answer the call when tragedy strikes are well prepared with the training they need to respond in a safe and confident manner.”


Once built, the live burn training facility will be located on the 54 acres of property that Belmont College owns between Hammond Road and State Route 331 in St. Clairsville. 


If you would like more information about Belmont’s Fire Science program or how to donate to the Belmont College Foundation’s charitable giving drive, raising funds for the live burn training facility, please contact 740.695.9500. 


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