This year marks the 10th anniversary of Pacific Rim Institute of Safety Management training facility.
It was a great foresight by the city of Kenai to build such a facility that provides courses in aircraft and industrial fire training, health and safety management and maritime firefighting. It meant anyone needing or wanting training in these areas finally had a place to go that wasn't out of state.
Over the years, the facility has added equipment, instructors, changed hands and now will change hands again.
The contract between Kenai and the Alaska Division of Fire Prevention will be null and void by May.
What a shame.
It appears finances are the reason the state has changed its mind. It's difficult to argue when it's all about money or a lack of it but certainly there's an organization out there that can make a go of it.
Kenai City Manager Rick Koch says a couple of firms have expressed an interest in keeping it going. We hope that's a doable plan. With between 1,600 and 2,000 people a year training at the facility, many are from out of town, and that's a boon for area businesses and our economy.
According to Koch, Beacon Occupational Health and Safety Services in Anchorage, which has trained clients at PRISM in the past, has indicated it would like to continue to be involved with the facility possibly in management.
It would be a shame to allow such an investment to slip away. But we know someone will step up to the plate. We also know the city of Kenai will do everything it can to keep the fires burning.
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