Local firefighters and emergency personnel are preparing for the 30th Annual Pike County Regional Fire and Rescue School set to begin Sept. 6.
The Pike County Firefighters Association is getting ready to host the school, which will take place at Pike Central High School beginning Sept. 6 and run through Sept. 8. The three-day school will give local firefighters, as well as others from surrounding areas, the chance to take part in what Association President Randy Courtney said is “classes you don’t normally get.”
“We started having this annual fire school back in 1989 when we first formed the association,” Courtney said. “We try to bring different classes that you don’t normally get at your local station during the year.”
According to Courtney, it can sometimes be difficult to get required class hours completed during the year and by hosting the three-day school, Courtney and the association hope to ease some of that difficulty.
The school will be bringing in a lot of props that Courtney said are sometimes not brought into a local station because, according to him, “on any given training night at a local station, you may have 10 to 15 people.”
“Having this three-day training and by hosting it at a bigger location, we can bring in double that size,” Courtney said. “The people that come seem to enjoy the numbers and it seems to go really well by being able to have more people participate.”
According to Courtney, this year’s school currently has 17 classes scheduled and will be hosting a “live burn”, which he said will consist of a helicopter and a car prop. The props will be on fire and firefighters will be informed how to properly approach the fires, as well as how to properly extinguish the flames.
“We’re going to also have the state fire rescue training people come in,” he said. “They bring in quality instructors from within our county, but also from surrounding areas so you really get a feel for how other stations do things.”
Courtney said Friday will consist of mostly in-class training, but that both Saturday and Sunday will be “a lot of the fun stuff.”
This year, the school will feature two classes, which he said will be open for area police departments and sheriff’s departments. The first will be a chaplaincy class, which will allow those to become certified chaplains for their respective organization. The second class, the “ultimate honor” class, will be offered by the Supporting Heroes organization.
“If you have a line-of-duty death (police, fire, EMS, etc.) they will come in and help you plan an ‘ultimate funeral’ for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “They really show you how to get resources and how to pull people in.”
According to Courtney, the three-day school won’t just be about “business,” as it will also feature some fun. There will be a free BBQ on Saturday for class participants. Courtney said lunch will be provided for those in attendance Saturday and Sunday. The weekend will also feature live music and inflatables for children. There will also be a truck show that will judge fire trucks and award winners for different categories.
“It really costs nothing to come and get this quality training,” Courtney said. “Last year we has people from Lexington, Winchester, London, Ashland, we had them from all over and we’re hoping to do the same this year.”
Preregistration will be going on this week, according to Courtney and, as of right now, he said numbers are “looking strong”.
If anyone is interested in attending the 30th annual Pike County Regional fire and rescue school, contact Charles Maynard at, (606) 432-0210 or contact Courtney at, (606) 899-3473.