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CORBIN — The Southeastern Kentucky Firefighters Association annual Fall Fire School kicked off Friday at the Corbin Arena.

The three-day conference for firefighters and EMTs brought hundreds from across the state to Corbin Friday afternoon.

Battalion Chief Jack Partin with the Corbin Fire Department said attendance for the conference is always high as continued training for both volunteer and paid firefighters is a must.

The school, which started on Friday and wraps up Sunday evening, offered classes to help firefighters keep their certifications. There were classes for firefighters of any skill level with courses varying from water rescue, EMT refresher, basic firefighting, Hazmat awareness and firefighter survival.

Partin said one of the new classes offered this year that would benefit the Corbin Fire Department is the drone usage class.

This class will introduce the students to drones and how they can be integrated into the fire service. It will include an overview of FFA regulations, introduction to the licensed pilot examination, safety precautions in using drones and risk management with drones.

At this time the Corbin Fire Department doesn’t have a drone, but Partin said they are looking into one.

“We’d like to have one,” said Partin. “Especially with our special rescue teams. In a situation where you’ve got a fire, you can fly the drone above and around the house a lot quicker and safer than one of us can get around the house.”

In Kentucky, volunteer firefighters have to maintain 20 hours of training a year and paid firefighters have to maintain 100 hours a year, and the hours are even higher for certified firefighters, said Partin. While classes are offered in-house, fire school provides a good opportunity for firefighters to get to choose from a wide variety of classes.

The fire school has been held in Corbin for several years now and Partin said it’s a benefit to the city and restaurants and hotels stay busy with guests visiting from out of town.

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