Butler Tech seal

Butler Tech Adult Education Fire Rescue Academy Scaling New Heights in Training


In a recent training exercise, the Butler Tech Adult Education Fire Rescue Academy pushed the boundaries of their rope rescue skills by utilizing King’s Island’s Flight of Fear roller coaster stair tower. This hands-on training spanned two full days on-site, involving various scenarios and challenges, including a Stokes basket vertical rescue, lifting the “victim” up two stories to safety.

“The fire service is a very diverse profession. It’s not just about extinguishing fires,” explained Fire Rescue Instructor Brett Hicks, emphasizing the importance of real-world training. “Firefighters are called upon to handle a wide variety of situations, and when a fire department hires a new firefighter, they often lack the hours and resources to train them comprehensively.”

Students used the real-world environment to grasp and apply the principles of the physics involved in constructing rope rescue systems, selecting, building, and using rope-based mechanical advantage haul systems at various angles, and working as a team to execute the rescue safely and efficiently.

Hicks proudly highlighted that these real-world scenarios are where Butler Tech’s training excels. “Butler Tech goes above and beyond the required hours and topics of the State-required Firefighter Training Certification. The Butler Tech Fire Academy provides additional hours and topics that contribute to better students in our trade.”

“Being able to utilize the Flight of Fear coaster was invaluable,” shared Jackson Hanover, Fire Rescue Academy student. “The most valuable lesson we learned was the importance of knowing your system and knowing how to set it up correctly. At heights like that, it is an uneasy feeling being out over the edge, but by having the instructors guiding us, we were all confident that we were taught well enough to have a good system in place to make sure there wasn’t any failure possible.”

Hicks explained that conducting on-site training allows them to bring the textbook material to life. This not only involves auditory and visual instruction but also allows students to experience the topics through kinesthetic methods, leading to better understanding and knowledge retention.

“The first three days of training were held at Butler Tech’s Public Safety Education Center,” shared Hicks. “Taking the students to a new environment sparks a higher interest. Kings Island Flight of Fear provides us with a change in an environment that the public doesn’t typically see. This ride offers a wide variety of rescue scenario options, whether on the coaster tracks or the five-story staircase. This setup enables the instructors to closely oversee each phase of the rescue for the best possible outcome.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the Butler Tech Adult Education Fire Rescue Academy, please visit www.butlertech.org/adult-education. Enrollment is now open for Spring 2024.