GASTONIA, NC -- A Gaston County high school received a major donation as it prepares students to become the next generation of firefighters.

Crowders Mountain Fire & Rescue donated its old fire engine to Hunter Huss High School's Firefighter Academy.

In between their required high school classes, students learn the basics of firefighting.

Instructor Jerry Swift said this is the first time the academy is able to utilize a real fire engine.

"It's great," Swift said. "It's real-time when we're on this apparatus."

Swift said dozens of his former students now work for local fire departments or the military's fire service.

Sophomore Latoya Ashley is taking the class this semester.

"It's pretty cool," Ashley said.

In addition to the fire engine, all the turnout gear the students wear and the equipment they use are donated from local fire departments.

To learn more about the program, click here.