July 26, 2004

Contact: Glenn Pribbenow, Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute, KU Continuing Education, (785) 864-9199.

St. Marys fire chief, Garden City paramedic to lead training commission

LAWRENCE -- The commission that oversees the University of Kansas' Fire and Rescue Training Institute has selected new leaders for the next year from St. Marys and Garden City.

Jim Keating, chief of the St. Marys Fire Department, is the new chair of the Kansas Fire Service Training Commission. He serves on the commission as president of the Kansas State Fire Fighters Association. The new vice chair is James "J.R." Behan, shift supervisor with Finney County Emergency Medical Service and chief flight paramedic for the Garden City base of EagleMed, an air ambulance service. Behan represents the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services on the commission.  

"Jim Keating brings an extensive background, depth of knowledge and strong leadership skills to his new position," said Glenn Pribbenow, institute director. "And J.R. Behan brings an excellent emergency service background, broadening the scope of expertise available to the Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute in formulating state-of-the-art training for the Kansas fire service. This partnership with the Fire Service Training Commission is an important alliance for KU in its mission of serving Kansans."

Members of the Kansas Fire Service Training Commission, created in 2002 to oversee the Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute, are appointed by the governor and serve two-year terms. The institute, a program within KU's Continuing Education, trains firefighters and emergency response personnel in all 105 Kansas counties.  

Last year the institute provided more than 500 training classes and national certification examinations for Kansas firefighters. Most institute training uses a "mobile fire academy" concept, in which training is conducted in local communities throughout the state with a combination of full-time staff, part-time instructors and in-house fire department instructors.

For more information about the Fire Training Commission and the Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute call toll-free (866) 804-8841 or visit www.kuce.org/fst.

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