Fire school features fires, farm rescues

Dozens of firefighters from across the state will be in Iola Friday through Sunday as part of the Kansas State Firefighters Association Regional Fire School.
The school provides ongoing training for firefighters to retain their certification and is held at various venues across the state every other month.
Iola last hosted the school in 1997, said Gary Kimball of the Iola Fire Department.
In addition to plenty of classroom work all three days, the school will include on-site training Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday’s on-site training includes a rural/urban water supply demonstration, in which tanker trucks will load with water at a hydrant set up on Marshmallow Lane. The water will be deposited in another tank in the parking lot at Orscheln Farm and Home, Kimball said.
Also Saturday will be farm rescue and extrication training at the old Comstock Lumber property on the 1400 block of East Street.
Instructors will bring in an old combine, grain truck and an overturned tractor, Kimball said.
On Sunday morning, training wil be offered on battling vehicle blazes, again at the Comstock Lumber site, while a burn trailer will be set up at Orscheln.
The burn trailer exposes firefighters to heat and smoky environments similar to those found in the interior of a burning structure.
Kimball said the public is welcome to watch the on-site training exercises.
“It would be fun for us and interesting to spectators,” Kimball said.
Kimball said similar fire schools have drawn more than 50 firefighters from across the area.
“You can never tell how many will show up,” he said. “We are competing with the opening weekend of deer season, after all.”
The Kansas State Firefighters Association funds its training programs through a portion of fire insurance premiums paid by property owners across the state. The premiums also help fund the State Fire Marshal’s office.