Department of Public Protection
Annual Fire School Stresses Prevention

Press Release Date:  Monday, June 04, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jim Carroll, 502-564-7760, ext. 239  

     The Homeland Security Conference and 78th annual Kentucky State Fire School, scheduled for June 6-10 at the Lexington Convention Center, will be an opportunity for State Fire Marshal Rodney Raby and his staff to stress fire prevention to both firefighters and the public.


     The conference comes on the heels of the 30th anniversary of Kentucky’s worst fire. On May 28, 1977, 165 people died and 200 people were injured in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in Southgate.


    Raby noted that a new generation of firefighters may not be aware of the impact of the tragedy. Within a year of the fire, sweeping reforms had led to a unified Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction in charge of enforcing the state’s building code and fire safety standards.


    Former Gov. Julian Carroll, who served as governor at the time of the fire and championed the state reforms, will deliver brief remarks in a presentation at Heritage Hall scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, June 8. Also appearing will be Wayne Dammert, who will give a first-person account of the Beverly Hills fire.


     “We believe it’s important for firefighters to learn first hand how the nightmare of May 28, 1977, forever changed how we view the importance of fire safety in Kentucky,” Raby said. “We in Kentucky can be proud of our record in protecting the public over the past three decades.” 


     The fire school exhibit area will be free and open to the public.  From noon to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, the State Fire Marshal’s staff will distribute brochures on a variety of home fire safety topics, from how to plan a home fire escape route to tips on electrical safety.                                               


     The event is organized by the Kentucky Fire Commission, which is affiliated with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. More information is available at


     The Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction is part of the Department of Public Protection in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.