nat prepare 300MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (4/29/13) – Friday, April 26th's ribbon cutting ceremony for the Bryant Stiles National Responder Preparedness Center brought out firefighters, local and state officials, members of the Kentucky National Guard and the Kentucky Fire Commission.
 
The new million dollar building, the first step in a unique first responders' training project, is located directly across from the entrance to the Wendell H. Ford National Guard Regional Training Center.
 
The facility is just the first step in what several speakers noted will eventually become a multi-million dollar training facility for first responders from across the nation.
 
Kentucky Fire Commission Executive Director Ronnie Day stressed that point by telling the crowd that "We knew some years ago, that this was going to be a big thing. We just didn't know how big. And we still don't know how big it's going to be. After talking with Major General Tonini, it's already progressed from what we had envisioned just a couple of months ago."
 
Day recognized the hard work of many, including the late Bryant Stiles, a native of McLean County, whose family was on hand for the ribbon cutting and unveiling of a plague in his honor. Stiles worked for more than 20 years on the Kentucky Fire Commission. Sadly, he passed away this past September. Day noted that if not for the hard work of Stiles and many others the training center would not be a reality today. We anticipate putting fulltime people here real quick, because I don't think with what we have here now we are going to be able to handle all of that we have planned." Day added.
 
Tiger Robinson, Chairman of the Kentucky Fire Commission Volunteer Firefighters, noted that "The training facility creates a new and unique partnership between the military, our educational system and first responders. We're all on the front lines together."
 
Doctor Jay Box, Chancellor of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, told the crowd he was proud of the partnerships that have been nurtured between the military, the forestry service, and the Kentucky Fire Commission to develop a training facility that will offer tailored programs to Kentucky's first responders, including firefighters, EMS, the military and law enforcement. It is definitely a win-win for all involved. In our ever changing world, our first responders have to be prepared for whatever comes their way. This new facility does just that." Box said.
 
Major General Edward W. Tonini, Commanding General of the Kentucky Army and Air National Guard, noted that there is a huge similarity between those who wear the military uniform and those who wear a fire fighter's uniform. "The integrity, the work ethic, the willingness to go out and risk your life to save other people…I salute every one of you in uniform here today."
 
Tonini also reminded the crowd of the amazing history of the Wendell H. Ford National Guard Regional Training Center.

"The center has a long history with the National Guard. When we first came here in 1969 we had a trailer up on the hill and 25 acres of land. In the subsequent years, I believe it's developed into the crown jewel of the Kentucky National Guard. We have 54 facilities throughout the state, but this is my pride and joy. This new building represents just the tip of the iceberg. The Kentucky National Guard and the Kentucky Fire Commission see this as expanding into something much much larger." Tonini told the crowd.
 
With future plans that include a $10 million 25 acre training site, complete with an aircraft simulator, rail cars for hazardous materials training and a burn tower for rappelling, and close quarter fire training, plus talk of training fire fighters and others from across the country, the Bryant Stiles National Responder Preparedness Center appears to be just the beginning of a new chapter for Western Kentucky's contribution to training first responders.
 
Paul McRee
SurfKY News
Photos provided by Paul McRee

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Miners Drop Home Game to Dubois County

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (6/1/15) — Visiting Dubois County scored first and never trailed in an Ohio Valley League matchup… Read More

YMCA Summer Food Service Program

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (5/31/15) — The current list of summer food service sites in Hopkins County is below: Read More

Most Read This Week

May 27, 2015 7348

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 6654

Study of Virus Attack on Cancer Sees Success

by Julie Heflin
May 28, 2015 6450

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 4197

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 3997

Mandarin House Gearing Up to Open Soon

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11265

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 9035

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 31, 2015 1323

Hot Button Item Draws Hanson Crowd to Zoning,…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 1234

Rods for Relay Raises Funds for ACS Relay for Life

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 1184

YMCA Summer Food Service Program

by Kelly Forbes
May 31, 2015 1024

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 973

Survivors, Caregivers, Supporters Gather for…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 931

Authorities Discover Meth Lab While Assisting…

by SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 759

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 732

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by Keith Todd
May 30, 2015 704

Whitfield Announces Congressional Art Contest…

by Ed Whitfield
May 31, 2015 631

LG&E and KU Unveil New Outage Texting Option…

by LG&E and KU News