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Hundreds of Forestry Agents Will Learn, Train at Tenn.-Ken. Wildland Fire Academy

Friday, January 09, 2015 | 05:18am

NASHVILLE – Starting Jan. 12, the Tennessee Fire Service and Code Enforcement Academy will host the award-winning 13th annual Tennessee-Kentucky Wildland Fire Academy – a weeklong training event drawing more than 400 new and seasoned forestry agents from across the United States.  

The academy is a nonprofit organization comprised of five agencies that include the U.S. Forest Service, the Tennessee Division of Forestry, the Kentucky Division of Forestry, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. The academy’s 65 instructors are drawn from the ranks of all five agencies. 

“The academy is made possible through the support of the five agencies who generously allow their staff to serve as instructors for the courses,” said Deanna Arthur, academy public information officer. “The agencies should be commended for their hard work, which has helped build the academy into a valuable training resource for wildland firefighting.”

Courses are designed to teach wildland firefighting techniques, reduce risk and improve overall efficiency and knowledge. The academy’s 21 courses range from basic wildland firefighting skills such as chainsaw operation and wildland fire behavior calculations to air operations, which include serving in a helicopter.

The Tennessee Division of Forestry, which is part of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, will have 20 employees participating in the event and five employees serving as instructors.

“The Tennessee-Kentucky Wildland Fire Academy serves as an extremely valuable training platform for our wildland firefighters by providing those men and women the skills they need to safely suppress an average of 1,600 wildfires that burn about 20,000 acres each year across the state,” said Jere Jeter, State Forester and Assistant Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry. “The academy’s facilities and instructors are top-notch, and, in addition to training our employees, it brings in wildland firefighters from other state agencies as well as from all over the United States.”

The event, which ends Jan. 17, was recently recognized by the U.S. Forest Service with its 2014 Regional Forester Honor Award.

“We’re proud to help continue the tradition of helping forestry agents get the best wildland firefighting training available today,” said Roger Hawks, Executive Director for the Tennessee Fire Service and Code Enforcement Academy. “We look forward to working with the Tennessee-Kentucky Wildland Fire Academy to continue providing excellent training in the years ahead.”

The Tennessee Fire Service and Code Enforcement Academy is located in Bell Buckle, Tenn.

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