Firefighter and Rescue Team Training in Hazard

By: Samantha Saracino Email
By: Samantha Saracino Email

More than 12 hundred firefighters and rescue teams from all over the state were in Perry County this weekend for the Mountain Firefighters Association Annual Fire School.

They were here practicing old techniques and learning some new ones at three locations in Hazard.

Rope rescue techniques were the main objective for firefighters and rescue teams at the Hazard training center. The course was designed to teach them how to make safe rescues in steep situations.

"We have a lot of rough terrain and typically the roadways have large embankments over the side and the angle of those inclines are difficult to perform certain rescues and do it safely," said Bart Powell, a state fire rescue instructor.

Some trainees were not used to the conditions.

"This was the first time I repelled. It was a little bit scary the first time I walked up," said Tina King from the Jackson Fire Department.

Others were practicing what they already knew, like this rescue team from the Red River Gorge area.

"We have a lot of incidents down there where hikers, campers fall and they're over a cliff and we have to get that person back up to the top of the cliff and you have to be able to do mechanical advantage to get back up quickly and safely," said John May from the Wolfe County Search and Rescue team.

Firefighters also congregated at Perry County park to learn a little bit more about ATV safety.

"The better trained they are on how to properly go in and do the rescue and treat the injuries makes them better rescuers, more safer and the number one thing is to get them back home to their families," said Dale Dobson, a safety administrator.

Officials hope practicing these rescues will decrease the number of deaths from ATV accidents.

"That allows us to increase the riding, the safety and just have more fun with them," Dobson said.

The Hazard Fire Chief says this is the only free fire training school left in Kentucky. The trainees did spend some of their time in a classroom setting during the two-day training period, but the main focus was on the hands on activities.

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