<strong>ABOVE: </strong>Firefighters prepare for a training session off Arc Loop Road on Thursday as part of the Alaska Fire Conference.                                 <strong>BELOW: </strong>Firefighters respond to a controlled fire in a group of conexes off of Arc Loop Road in Soldotna. The area was set up to resemble a home and a fire was set in different sections of the building to test the firefighters. The training on Thursday was part of the Alaska Fire Conference which is being held in Kenai this week. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

ABOVE: Firefighters prepare for a training session off Arc Loop Road on Thursday as part of the Alaska Fire Conference. BELOW: Firefighters respond to a controlled fire in a group of conexes off of Arc Loop Road in Soldotna. The area was set up to resemble a home and a fire was set in different sections of the building to test the firefighters. The training on Thursday was part of the Alaska Fire Conference which is being held in Kenai this week. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Conference brings Alaska firefighters to Kenai

By KAT SORENSEN

Peninsula Clarion

According to Jason Buist, a lieutenant with the Fort Wainwright Fire Department in Fairbanks, the best way to learn how to run into a burning building and put out fires is to run into a burning building and put out fires. So, that’s what firefighters from across the state did Thursday during a live burn training at the CES Arc Loop Road Training Facility in Soldotna.

The training was one of many offerings at this year’s Alaska Fire Conference, which is being held in Kenai. The conference, which started on Sept. 24 and ends on Sept. 28, brings together firefighters from throughout Alaska to participate in different trainings, from live burns like the one led by Buist to lessons in leadership.

This year’s conference brought 225 firefighters, 47 different vendors and instructors to Kenai.

“There are probably 350 people or so in the area,” said Chief Jeff Tucker of the Kenai Fire Department, who spearheaded this year’s events. “The conference moves around each year to different host communities. It’s Alaska’s biggest conference for the fire service.”

The conference ends tonight with a closing banquet.

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