Several LaRue County firefighters attended the 49th annual Dixie Fire School in Elizabethtown this weekend.
The fire school held at the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College campus, had 805 people pre-registered for 2012 classes – a far cry from the 60 who attended the few classes offered in 1963.
“Today, there are over 800 students, 27 classes and fire/rescue personnel representing at least 150 departments across the state,” said Area 5 State Fire/Rescue Training Coordinator Casey Hall in an email. “Dixie has grown to become one of the largest regional fire schools, if not the largest hands-on fire school in the state.”
According to Hall some of the classes offered are part of the Fire Rescue Science Associate’s degree. Participates of these “FRS” degree classes receive college credit through ECTC. The other classes are offered for non-degree credit.
“A wide variety of classes are offered at the fire school, from live burns to vehicle extrication, giving firefighters an opportunity to use those hours toward certification and for those already certified, a chance to polish their skills,” added Hall. “One of the great things about fire schools is the choice of classes participants have.”
Planning for the two-day event is a year-round effort conducted by the Dixie Firefighters Association committee. Beginning in July or August the committee plans what classes will be offered and fine-tunes the details through monthly meetings.
“Well trained first responders allow the community to be better defended during emergency incidents,” said Hall of the importance of training for emergency responders.
The Dixie Firefighters Association is comprised of LaRue, Hardin, Breckinridge, Grayson, Meade, Nelson, Washington and Marion counties.
Firefighters across the state competed in a physically demanding course aimed to simulate the challenges firefighters face in their careers including a dummy drag, hose pull and tower climb.
A total of 10 teams, including three all junior firefighter teams, competed for the best time to obtain bragging rights and the first place title.
Buffalo Fire Department brought home the first place trophy, completing the course in just 1:58.
Upton Junior firefighters were the winners of the junior teams with a time of 2:23. The team received $100 from an anonymous donor.
LaRue County Fire Department and Buffalo junior firefighters also competed.