Dec 26, 2005

Kentucky Ranks 5th In The Nation For Firefighter Deaths.

Training is one of the most important parts of being a fire fighter and some eastern Kentucky fire departments say additional funding would help them meet the training standards and feel safer on the job.

Fire fighters respond to calls twenty four hours a day, three hundred sixty five days a year.

"We run a lot of emergency medical calls first response calls, we do a lot of car accidents, even some hazardous materials accidents, people stuck in elevators we get lot's of wide range calls," Derrick Hall said.

While responding to calls, six fire fighters died in Kentucky in 2005 making this the fifth ranking state in the nation for fire fighter deaths.

That statistic concerned volunteer and paid fire fighters around the state and prompted officials from the Kentucky Fire Commission to ask the state legislature for three million dollars to use for training.

"You've got a lot of departments they only meet the minimum standards and that's all they can afford to do because of the funding restraints but definitely I think the funding will help as far as the fire fighter deaths," Robert Moore said.

Those departments here in eastern Kentucky who have lost co-workers say the funding is desperately needed.

While grants help, they aren't enough for some departments to catch up with other larger departments. With the cost of gear and other equipment the training is something fire fighters say is very important and not always affordable.

They also say three million dollars would help but not solve the problem entirely, more funding is always needed and appreciated.

There are 768 volunteer fire departments throughout Kentucky.