By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
The Richmond Fire Department hopes a $250,000 state grant will aid not just the city but also several area fire departments.
News that the RFD was receiving a grant to build a training tower arrived last week, according to Chief Buzzy Campbell.
“I applied for the grant about three months ago,” Campbell said.
The money comes from the training division of the Kentucky Fire Commission. Part of the criteria for receiving the money involved allowing other fire departments to train at the tower, Campbell said.
Also, it had been more than five years since RFD has received any assistance from the state fire commission, he added. The training facility on Four Mile Road was built using grants from the agency, but that was about 12 years ago, he said.
The fire tower, which will be four stories tall, will help firefighters learn how to rappel and improve rope-rescue skills for situations such as falls down manholes or in high, rocky elevations.
One room of the tower will allow firefighters to set a controlled fire to better simulate the heat and smoky atmosphere of a real emergency, Campbell said.
Previously, Richmond firefighters practiced their high-rise rescue skills at an Eastern Kentucky University building, but they were unable to set any sort of controlled fire, Campbell said.
The grant will be awarded in July, and the fire department will then begin a bid process for the construction work.
The tower should be built in “hopefully 12 months,” Campbell said.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.