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Friends and Partners Award

U.S. Forest Service Blackwell Job Corps honored with 2017 Nicolet College Foundation Friends and Partners Award

Friends and Partners Award

The Nicolet College Foundation recently presented its 2017 Friends and Partners Award to the U.S. Forest Service Blackwell Job Corps. The career-training organization received the honor for its work with the college to build a first-of-its-kind partnership to teach firefighting skills to Blackwell students.

The pilot program last year resulted in 17 individuals completing the 120 hours of structural firefighter and hazardous materials training at Nicolet, each earning official Firefighter 1 status.

The program included classroom instruction, which covered firefighting theory, along with plenty of hands-on training, said Jason Goeldner, associate dean and director of Public Safety at Nicolet, who nominated Blackwell for the honor.

“It’s a demanding program, no question about it,” Goeldner said. “But that’s what firefighting is. It’s hard work attacking a structure fire and you have to know what you are doing. There are times when lives are on the line, and now these young men have the skills to provide aid in a time of great need.”

Lee Jensen, U.S. Forest Service assistant fire management officer for the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest, was instrumental in working with Nicolet to build the partnership.

He said he’s excited to continue the program with Nicolet next fall and potentially expand instruction to other career fields in the future.

“This is the first time in the country that a partnership like this has been created,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of interest nationally with what we have established here at Blackwell with Nicolet. People are looking at it and it’s very possible that the model for the program will be used in other parts of the country.”

The Nicolet Foundation has given the Friends and Partners Award every year since 1995 to an area business, group, or individual who was instrumental in helping the college achieve its mission.

In the photo above: Nicolet College Foundation Board President Bob Martini, third from right, presents the Friends and Partners Award to Richard Lassiter, director of the U.S. Forest Service Blackwell Job Corps. Others at the ceremony included, left to right, Richard Nelson, Nicolet College president, Lee Jensen, U.S. Forest Service assistant fire management officer for the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest, Heather Schallock, Nicolet College Foundation executive director, and Jason Goeldner, associate dean and director of Public Safety at Nicolet College.