HAZARD— The 37th annual Hazard Fire School sponsored by Mountain Firefighters Association (MFA) and held at the Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) campus took place last weekend. Firefighters and EMT’s from all over the state took part in the weekend long training.
Chance McPeek, the Regional Fire Coordinator who works out of Hazard, spoke in an interview about the number of classes and the types of training that was involved over the weekend.
“This year we offered 24 and about half of those are what we call, hot classes, or hands on training. We got 24 going this year, and half of them will be outside, actually spraying water on fire or doing drills where they are trying to rescue people out of windows, and out of evolution’s that they would have in a real life scenario.” he said.
Some of the fire training classes that was offered during the weekend was Wildland Awareness, Flashover Awareness, Hazmat Awareness, Hazmat Operations, Basic Firefighting, Water Shuttle, and Arson 1.
The fire school also held several rescue classes such as Firefighter Survival, Firefighter Rescue, Intermediate Rope Rescue, and Vehicle Extrication.
McPeek pointed out during the interview that people came from all across the state to receive and take part in the training.
“The fire school is regional, the MFA, which is Perry and the surrounding counties, they host it, but it is a free school so it is open to people from all over the state, they’re welcome to attend. We will have people from as far away as Mayfield, that I know of, and as north as Newport and Covington. We got people from all over the state that is attending.” he said.
McPeek noted during the interview that several schools around the state have registration fees that the firefighters or EMT’s have to pay to take part in the training.
“Some of the school’s around the state have a registration fee, anywhere from $25 to $50, this one is absolutely free of charge from the MFA, they support the school and they put forth the free admission. One of the big things that draws everyone to this because there is no admission fee and they just come and take the training, and get the training hours they need” McPeek said.
He also pointed out that some firefighters and EMT’s who have already completed their required training come to the fire school to sharpen their skills.
“The fire commission is the agency I work for, and they set forth standards that firefighters have to meet, both volunteer and career. Those levels, each category has to have certain amount of hours, so they may be working towards one of those certifications here and getting those hours for that or we got guys that have been certified for years that want to sharpen their skills. We also got EMT training going on, which is for people on the ambulances and we are teaching them some methods of which they can go out and do different things, and maybe an EMT that has been certified for 10 years, but its the continuing education aspect that we are pushing here. They got to have a certain number of hours in that to maintain their EMT certification or paramedic license.” McPeek said.
Some of the EMS classes that were held was EMS Continuing Education, CPR AED, and Landing Zone.
A free picnic took place Saturday evening at 6 p.m. at the Perry County Park. The picnic was sponsored by Perry County Tourism and Air Methods of Kentucky.
McPeek believes that while there is a lot to fire and EMS training, he hopes the skills they received this weekend will save a person’s life the next time firefighters/EMT’s go out on a call.
“There is a lot too it. There is no clear cut way to teach someone any certain skill in this business, but hopefully the skills and the methods we teach them will help save someone’s life, but most importantly make sure they protect their own and they get home to their families each evening.” he said.
TJ Caudill can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.