LEXINGTON, Ky. (6/10/13) –The University of Kentucky's Boyd Hall, no longer used as a residence hall, became a primary training ground for firefighters from across Kentucky this past weekend. The UK Fire Marshal's Office hosted the Lexington Fire Department during the 84th Annual Kentucky State Fire School & Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Conference June 6-9.
This conference is the largest fire training for the state of Kentucky and has a tradition of excellence for classroom and hands-on training and certification for emergency responders. The Lexington Fire Department hosts this annually, and firefighters and emergency responders from across the state and even other states attend to gain educational credit for those attending college and certification hours to complete nationally certified programs.
"This was an outstanding opportunity for the University of Kentucky to assist those who respond to help us in times of crisis," said UK Fire Marshal Greg Williamson.
Boyd Hall, a former a residence hall located on the north end of campus, has been off-line for the past few years and was offered to the conference to give firefighters an opportunity to receive training utilizing full gear in a building large enough to accommodate the many conference attendees. Training included smoking up the building, search and rescue, bailout of windows and collapse for firefighter survival and rescue, fire ground communication and tactics, and forcibly opening doors and locks with hand tools.
"Classroom and scenario-based applications are valuable resources for training, but it is a rare opportunity for firefighters to literally utilize a true building and train in real life conditions," said UK Assistant Fire Marshal Jason Ellis. "This type is training is rare due to the absence of structures available to firefighters to use."
The UK Fire Marshal’s Office is committed to the overall goal of a fire-safe campus, Ellis said, so providing emergency responders resources like Boyd Hall for training is essentially a benefit to the university as well as to the cities whose firefighters attended the conference.
The UK Fire Marshal's Office reminds members of the UK campus to help prevent fire situations by keeping exit doors and corridors clear at all times, never ignoring a smoke or fire alarm and not hesitating to call 911 or pulling a fire alarm in the event of a fire emergency.
Information and photos provided by Jason Ellis
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