Pleasant Hill Donates Ladder Truck to DMACC's Growing Fire Science Program

Posted August 9, 2022


DMACC President Rob Denson thanks the city of Pleasant Hill for donating a 20-year-old, 73,000-pound ladder truck to DMACC's Fire Science program.  The 50-foot long fire truck will give DMACC Fire Science students training on ladder trucks. 


Pleasant Hill Fire Chief and former DMACC student Jamie Xayavong said she is pleased that when her community purchased a new ladder truck the city council unanimously endorsed donating the vehicle to DMACC.


Dustyn Dickhaut, Coordinator of DMACC's EMS and Fire Science programs, said the ladder truck is a great addition to DMACC's Fire Science program.


DMACC's new Health and Public Services Dean Dr. Jeanie McCarville Kerber spoke at the news conference held in Bldg. #20 on the Ankeny Campus, thanking the Pleasant Hill city council and Fire Chief Xayavong for their generous gift to the College.


​Newest addition to DMACC's “Fire Department. 

  • Pleasant Hill City Council unanimously approves donation 

  • Ladder truck and other fire apparatus present a unique training opportunity for DMACC students 

  • A new ladder truck today costs around $1.6 million 

  • ​DMACC Fire Science graduates are in great demand 

DMACC Fire Science students now have a fully-functional fire department ladder truck to use in their training program thanks to a generous donation from the City of Pleasant Hill.

DMACC President Rob Denson personally test drove the 73,000-pound ladder truck. “All of us at DMACC are appreciative and thrilled with this donation," said Denson. “I want to personally thank Mayor Sara Kurovski, (pronounced Kur-ow-skee), all of the members of the Pleasant Hill city council and Fire Chief Jamie Xayavong for this generous gift to our fire science program. This announcement is proof of the many great partnerships that we enjoy with companies and organizations that hire our students," added Denson.

The Pleasant Hill ladder truck joins an ambulance and pumper truck that DMACC purchased a few years ago. Pleasant Hill's Fire Chief and former DMACC student, Jamie Xayavong (pronounced zy-oh-vong) said her community recently purchased a new ladder truck and rather than selling it to another community, the city council unanimously endorsed donating it to the College.

“This is good for everyone involved," said Chief Xayavong. “DMACC fire science students will train on a unique piece of equipment while all of the metro fire departments will interview graduates with a more well-rounded training experience."

She said its rare for new fire recruits to have training on ladder trucks. Most receive that experience only after they are hired by a fire department.

Brent Conklin, chair of the DMACC Fire Science program, said they are fortunate to receive this important donation. “This is an amazing addition to our fire science program," said Conklin. “While we have in-class instruction, hands on learning is a crucial part of our program.

Our students will learn every aspect of this ladder truck including operations and capabilities," stressed Conklin.

Chief Xayavong said that while the ladder truck is 20 years old it was recently recertified

by the state of Iowa and is completely operational. “The students will find that new ladder trucks are very similar to this one," she said. It's assessed value is $100,000.

The fire truck was manufactured by Toyne in Breda, Iowa. The nearly 50 ft long truck has a 220" wheelbase and is powered by a 450 horsepower Cummins diesel engine. It sells new for $1.6 million. Chief Xayavong said this truck's engine will also be a nice training tool for DMACC Diesel Technology students.

Conklin said there many opportunities for DMACC fire science graduates these days as many metro fire departments continue to expand and some rural departments are moving from a part-time volunteer staff to full-time professionals. He said starting pay for a firefighter in Central Iowa is around $65,000 and can earn more with overtime. DMACC fire science graduates are working for departments all over central Iowa.

He also noted these graduates will likely go to the top of a department's hiring list because of their certifications.

Chief Xayavong is the first full-time female fire chief in the metro. She encouraged women of all ages to explore fire science as a career. “It's not an easy profession for men or women, but its very rewarding," she said. Pleasant Hill currently has 13 female firefighters on its staff of 39 in the department. DMACC Fire Science classes start on the Ankeny Campus on August 24.


Central Iowa Youngsters Enjoy Fred Jackson Football Camp at DMACC

Posted August 9, 2022


Former Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson speaks at his recent football camp held on Sat., Aug. 6th on the DMACC Ankeny Campus.  The day-long camp was for youth ages 5 to 12 in the morning and 13 to 17 in the afternoon.  The camp featured Jackson, who now lives in Ankeny, and his guests, who served as “celebrity coaches," teaching both boys and girls on using proper technique.  They also shared advice and tips for success. (Photos courtesy of Susan Metheny)


Former Southeast Polk High School, Purdue University and Chicago Bears quarterback Kyle Orton (left) visits with Jackson at the football camp.


Former Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Spencer Johnson was another of the “celebrity coaches" at the Fred Jackson Football Camp.


Kinnick Schomer of Ankeny goes through some stretching exercises at the camp.


Orton gives some personal instruction to Reed Anderson.


Orton demonstrates to another camp attendee proper foot work when setting up for a pass.

Ten-year-old Emmett Nelson, son of Andrew and Staci Nelson of Ankeny, takes part in a drill during the football camp.


Former University of Iowa tight end and NFL veteran Scott Chandler watches as a football camp participant catches a pass under the morning session of the camp.


​Former Buffalo Bills defensive back Aaron Williams shows how to run backwards while keeping the offensive player in front of him.

Aug. 11th: What's the Scoop at the DMACC Carroll Campus

Posted August 5, 2022

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Receive a free ice cream sundae from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Thur., Aug. 11th at the DMACC Carroll Campus and get the scoop about being a college student on the DMACC Carroll Campus. 

Blake Sandquist Named DMACC Men’s Basketball Coach

Posted August 2, 2022


Sandquist succeeds Brett Putz, who joined the Indiana State University staff​

  • Sandquist becomes the 14th head coach in the program's history.

  • Sandquist has been the associate head coach for the William Penn University men's basketball program for the past 11 seasons.

  • Sandquist plans to put an emphasis on player development at DMACC.​​​

DMACC Athletics Director B.J. McGinn has announced the hiring of Blake Sandquist as the ​new Head Coach of DMACC Men's Basketball​.

Sandquist, who becomes the 14th head coach in the program’s history, succeeds Brett Putz, who resigned to accept an assistant coaching position with the Indiana State University men’s basketball program. Putz guided the Bears for two seasons, leading them to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II men’s basketball championship in 2021 and a third-place finish in 2022.

“We are very excited to welcome Blake and his family to the DMACC community,” McGinn said. “After a very extensive search, Blake rose to the top and we can’t wait for him to get started.”

Sandquist, who is a native of Pleasant Hill, Iowa, and a graduate of Southeast Polk High School, has spent the past 11 seasons as associate head coach for the William Penn University men’s basketball program.

“It’s a great honor and privilege to be named the head men’s basketball coach at DMACC," Sandquist said. “I want to personally thank Athletics Director B.J. McGinn and the DMACC administration for this opportunity. Our family is excited to be Bears.”

Sandquist began his coaching career as an undergraduate student assistant for John Henry at William Penn University (WPU). He spent one season coaching the junior varsity program before moving into the varsity assistant role.

While an assistant coach for WPU, Sandquist’s overall career record is 295-74. During this time, WPU qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national tournament 10 of 11 seasons including one national runner-up, two Fab Four finishes and two Elite Eight finishes.

Since joining the Heart of America Conference in 2015, WPU’s overall record in the league is 127-26. The Statesmen have claimed six regular season conference championships and five conference tournament championships. Sandquist was named the inaugural Heart of America “Assistant Coach of the Year” in 2022.

Sandquist said he plans to bring a playing style that consistently led the NAIA in scoring and rebounding.

“We will play a very exciting brand of basketball,” Sandquist said. “We will play fast and unselfish on the offensive end, but our disciplined and solid defense will be what wins us championships.”

Sandquist said he plans to put an emphasis on player development at DMACC. During his time at WPU, 17 players earned All-American honors and 22 players went on to play professional basketball.

“Our ultimate goal is to help these young men not only become better basketball players, but better students and people when they leave DMACC,” Sandquist said.

Sandquist earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration and Business Management from WPU in 2011 and a master’s degree in Business Leadership in 2013.

Sandquist and his wife, Kayla, are the parents of three children, Grayson (7), Hudson (4) and Briar (2).​​

Update Regarding Mail Deliveries

Posted August 1, 2022

​Due to a combination of renewed activity post-COVID restrictions and a change of mailroom staff from two employees to one, we will be returning to the USPS/intra-campus mail delivery process using the brown mail envelopes. This means mail will be delivered in a brown mail envelope to each building or department to be dispersed individually by someone within your building/department, and a brown mail envelope with all outgoing mail will be picked up. Due to time restrictions, our mail dispatch employee will no longer be sorting mail into individuals' slots.

Using the brown mail envelopes in/out system will ensure that all USPS/intra-campus mail that comes into your building/department will be seen by someone in your building/department and will not be laying on a counter being overlooked. Should a mail piece be addressed incorrectly, the issue can be rectified and the piece be redelivered in a timelier manner.

This system will reduce inconvenient delays in your USPS mail and intra-campus deliveries.  

Please feel free to contact Supervisor Brandon Kadner at (515) 965-7008 or, or Mail Dispatcher Kayla Goeden at 515-964-6458 or kmgoeden@d​ with any questions.​​

DMACC Students, Faculty & Staff Can Enjoy A Fun-Filled Day at Adventureland at a Discounted Rate

Posted August 1, 2022


As the sun begins to set on the summer months, Adventureland​ is offering an "End-of-Summer/Back-to-School" Ticket Sale for DMACC students, faculty and staff.

The promotional code "AugustPromo" will allow you to purchase an any-day ticket to Adventureland for $39.99, which is a $30 savings per ticket!

How to redeem:

  1. Visit

  2. Enter the "AugustPromo" promotional code and you will see your special rate (note: Do not first add items to your cart).

  3. Select the number of tickets you'd like to purchase at this special rate, and follow the prompts to checkout.​

New 2022-23 DART Bus Passes

Posted August 1, 2022

DART has loaded all new 2022-23 free bus passes for DMACC students and employees.

Clic​k here for directions on how to access your FREE​​ mobile pass.​​

Testing of Fire Alarms

Posted August 1, 2022

​The DMACC Mechanical/Electrical Department will be testing fire alarm systems at the Ankeny, Newton and West campuses over the August Break.  

If you have any concerns or questions, please email Bob Frisk at​.​​​

DMACC Bear Clips Salon Now Scheduling Dog Grooming Appointments for Fall

Posted July 27, 2022

​The DMACC Bear Clips Salon is gearing up for fall grooming appointments!

The DMACC Bear Clips Salon is run by students in the DMACC Dog Grooming Program, and provides an opportunity for students to gain hands-on training and experience. The Salon is located at the DMACC Southridge Center in Des Moines.

This fall, grooming appointments will be offered Monday-Thursday. Bathing appointments will be offered starting on Wed., Aug. 24th, and haircuts will be available starting Wed., Sept. 14th. Updated prices are listed below.

To schedule an appointment, please call (515) 256-4994 or email

Grooming appointment procedures:

  • Dogs must be current on their Rabies, Distemper Parvo and Bordetella vaccinations with documentation.

  • Dogs must be dropped off and picked up at the DMACC Southridge South Entrance (next to the tall, overheard door); a student will greet you at the door.

  • When the appointment is complete, a grooming program student will contact you and you will be asked to pick up your dog promptly.

  • Credit/debit card payments only​.

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Aug. 11th: UNI@DMACC Virtual Information Session

Posted July 25, 2022


UNI@DMACC Summer Informational Sessions: Learn more about earning your bachelor's degree online through UNI 

As part of the UNI@DMACC partnership​, information sessions will be held throughout the summer via Zoom for DMACC students who are interested in learning more about completing their four-year degree online from UNI. Sessions are led by representatives from UNI Office of Admissions and UNI Office of Online & Distance Education, and will last 45 minutes, with time set aside for questions at the end. All sessions are FREE and open to everyone! 

The next session is coming up onThur., Aug. 11th, 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.​

Programs covered during the informational sessions include:

Topics covered include an overview of each program, including course content, delivery methods, program features, available scholarships, and admission requirements. 

How to attend:

Register at by clicking 'yes' on the 'attend info session' question. 

Plus, visit us on-campus!

UNI@DMACC advisors and staff are available in-person to answer your questions and help you get started. We're located in the new Student Life and STEM Center (Building 7) on DMACC's Urban Campus; find us on the first floor, beyond the Student Services welcome desk. Stop in and say hello!

Oct. 4th: DMACC Urban Campus Hosts Fall Transfer Fair

Posted July 25, 2022

SAVE THE DATE: Representatives from four-year colleges will visit the DMACC Urban Campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tues., Oct 4th, to speak with students about transfer planning and what their colleges and universities have to offer.​​