The school was hosted by Hazard Community and Technical College, while further training was conducted at the regional fire training center in Gorman Hollow and in the Perry County Park. Hazard Fire Chief Sam Stacy said this event was one of the best attended since he’s been involved and included trainees from several different departments around Kentucky.
“We’ve had some schools that were at one time larger, but this is probably one of the largest schools we’ve ever had,” Stacy said, noting that the parking lots at HCTC were completely full on Saturday.
Several different classes were offered during the event on Saturday and Sunday, including new ones such as large animal rescue and the standards like ATV search and rescue and basic fire fighting. But ultimately, Stacy noted, the free-of-charge school presents an opportunity for smaller or volunteer departments to obtain important and necessary training hours without having to expend department funds.
“This [school] is the largest in the state this year, and it’s the only one that we know of in Kentucky, and it gives volunteers a chance to get the best training in the state and get it for free,” he said. “It helps them on their budget, too. All they have to pay for is transportation here.”
Other classes offered at the school included Hazardous material as it relates to being hauled on railroads and mine site safety, both of which were taught by out-of-state instructors. Trainees could also learn skills in automobile extraction, rappelling and others.
A picnic was also held, which was provided by the fiscal court, tourism office and Air Methods, formerly known as Lifenet.