Firefighters and emergency responders from West Virginia and nearby states will gather at West Virginia University July 1824 for WVU Fire Service Extensions 74th annual State Fire School.

A budding tradition�€Instructors College�€will initiate its second year of classes July 16-17. The popularity of the State Fire School sessions led WVU Fire Service Extension (WVU-FSE) to introduce the train-the-trainer program last year.

The annual classes provide the latest training for firefighters and other emergency responders. Firefighters serve as the first line of defense in emergencies well beyond fire and rescue operations. Chemical spills and terrorist threats are among the dangers firefighters, police and other emergency responders face.

The 2005 West Virginia State Fire School offers more than 30 classes, including weeklong courses that meet National Fire Protection Association certification standards and shorter sessions for West Virginia and National Fire Academy certification.

WVU -FSE held its first State Fire School in 1931 during the Great Depression. More than 150 firefighters registered for that initial fire school. It has been held ever since.

A leader in providing critical, high-quality training to emergency responders, WVU -FSE works with federal, state and local organizations to meet national consensus standards. Fire Service Extension is coordinated by the WVU Extension Service, which offers 4-H youth development, health education, agricultural development, and other educational initiatives in each of the states 55 counties.

The pre-registration deadline is June 30. For information about the State Fire School or Instructors College, check WVU -FSEs Web site (, or call Fire Service Extension at 1-866-WVU-FIRE.