By Leeann Akers - Managing Editor
Oct. 3, 2012 — The new training facility for the Olive Hill Fire Department held their open house last Wednesday.
In a formal dedication at a later date, Fire Chief Wes Gilliam said the building will be officially christined the Allen Stapleton Fire Training Facility.
Stapleton, who is currently a City Council member, spent many years volunteering with the department and served for a time as its chief.
“He has done a lot for our department and we want to show him how much he is appreciated,” Gilliam said. “We should always keep in mond how much he has done, and how we are benifitting now from the work he did before.”
Stapleton, who was visibly touched by the dedication, said he was honored.
“I really don't know what to say,” Stapleton said. “This facility is a long time coming and I hope to see you all get some great use out of it.”
It took nearly two years of planning, applying for grants, getting city and zoning board approval, and building for the facility to be ready to train firemen from all over the state.
“It takes 180 hours to become a certified fireman in the state of Kentucky,” Gilliam said. “This building has all the different safety skill tests that are required to become certified.”
Each fireman carries about 90 pounds of equiptment into a fire, and must be able to rescue his or her self, and assist in the rescue of other firemen, in addition to any people who may be in trouble.
The building is tricked out with every possible scenario, from floor collapse to being trapped in a tight space, allowing each fireman to know exactly what to do, no matter what happens.
The Olive Hill Fire Department will host to more than 150 fireman from all over the state Oct. 13 and 14. Gilliam said some of the training, which usually costs each man or woman more than $200, will be offered free of charge.
“These people are mostly all volunteers, and this is one way that the other instuctorsand I can give back,” Gilliam said. “Plus it gives us the opportunity to show off this great facility.”
Gilliam said he hopes to build a three story tower in the future, which will help firemen train for even more possible sceneraios.
Leeann Akers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 474-5101.