LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The Lexington Fire Department is trying to lock down money for some new training.

The training will specifically cover how first responders will handle situations where a house or building collapses. It’s called the FEMA Structural Collapse Specialist course.

The course itself would cost a little less than $55,000 with 20 or so members of LFD’s special operations team would complete the two-week course.

The department is waiting on approval from Lexington’s City Council to authorize them to submit applications and accept if awards are offered, for the grant to the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

In New York Tuesday, a parking garage collapsed. In 2021, part of a garage near downtown Lexington on High St. collapsed. Should something like this happen again, or even a smaller structure collapse, LFD wants to be ready.

The course trains responders to search for people who are trapped, remove objects and obstacles, and learn how to cut through rebar and concrete, doing so safely. 18 firefighters went through the course last year.

But the $55,000 is just part of the full grant LFD is applying for. In all, the department is applying for a little more than $330,000 in funding from KY Homeland Security Investigations.

The rest of those funds will go to new portable radios, roughly 30 or so all-hazard, all-band radios that can be used anytime, anywhere.

Why are these so critical you ask?

The special ops team with Lexington Fire responds to both Fayette County and out-of-county emergencies.


Captain Derek Roberts said recently the team responded to the Mayfair tornadoes, eastern Kentucky floods, and fires in Estill County, assisting first responders on the ground. During some of these disasters, LFD says communications proved to be a significant issue, as every county and agency uses different frequencies and bands with their local towers.

These radios would allow the department to link up with minimal issues and get to work on disaster relief. If approved by the council, and awarded by Homeland Security Investigations, the department would receive the award in a few months.

It is important to note if LFD is awarded this funding, it won’t be coming from Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton’s recently proposed half-a-billion-dollar budget.