If the Kenai City Council approves, the state fire marshal may soon be the new manager of the Pacific Rim Institute of Safety and Management on Marathon Road.
City Manager Rick Koch has placed a tentative agreement with the Alaska Division of Fire Prevention on the council’s agenda for consideration Wednesday night.
AAI Services Inc., a subsidiary of United Industries, which has operated the fire training center since it opened eight years ago, informed the city in June it does not intend to renew its contract at the end of this year.
The PRISM center provides vocational courses in aircraft and industrial fire training, health and safety management and maritime firefighting. Between 1,600 and 2,000 people are trained there each year.
In addition to training firefighters in aircraft and structural firefighting, the center offers training to oil platform workers, airline employees and emergency medical responders.
Among their clients, PRISM has trained people from the Kenai, Homer and Seward fire departments, the Department of Transportation, a number of area airports as well as from private industry including Unocal (now Chevron), Marathon, Tesoro, Agrium and Peak Oilfield Services.
As part of the proposed contract between the city and the state fire marshal, the training center will have a technical advisory committee consisting of city and state officials as well as representatives from oil and gas, mining and marine industries, fire and police chiefs associations and airport officials.
The advisory committee will review PRISM’s annual operations plan and oversee curriculum decisions.
If approved, the tentative contract calls for the Alaska Division of Fire Prevention to schedule training at the center on a year-round basis, including firefighting, hazardous materials, emergency response, public safety and law enforcement.
The division would provide training to city airport and public safety employees and to third parties, and revenues generated by training would be paid to the city after deducting direct costs for management and operations.
Koch said the center has cost the city between $50,000 and $60,000 a year, and “between the Homer Electric lease upstairs and this agreement, we will be expecting revenues of at least $50,000 a year in net income.”
He said the fire marshal would like to be in Kenai in October and November recruiting and training staff and take over management Dec. 1.
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