FORT KNOX, Ky. – Six different departments participated in a firefighting training event April 27 that hasn’t happened at Fort Knox in the better part of a decade.
The training exercise is known as an “acquired structure burn.” According to Fort Knox Assistant Chief Todd Vinton, it’s been nine years since they have conducted this type of training at the installation. He said the reason structure burns are rare is because of how much goes into one.
“There’s so much to do to prep one and get it ready,” said Vinton. “There’s so many [departments] you have to get involved: Environmental, Safety, Air Quality Control, and even the state has to give approval.”
The participating departments included Fort Knox, Central Hardin County, Glendale, Nichols, Radcliff and Lebanon Junction. Vinton said participants were divided up into teams comprised of firefighters from departments other than their own.
“It brings the departments together,” said Vinton. “This gives our mutual aid partners a chance to come out and work with us and see how we work, and lets us see how they work. It gives us continuity so we know what to do, and we have that rapport with each other.”
Vinton said the training involved setting fires within the different rooms of the structure that the participating teams had to go into and put out successfully. He said the purpose was to give the firefighters experience in both fire control and visibility training.
Although the training itself helped all the firefighters better hone their skills, Vinton said having all the different departments able to practice with each other in preparation for the event they’re called to support one another during a true emergency was invaluable.