Fire school warms up local economy

Palmyra firefighter Devin Nelson goes down a ladder during “head-first ladder bail” training at the Jefferson City Fire School on Sunday.

Palmyra firefighter Devin Nelson goes down a ladder during “head-first ladder bail” training at the Jefferson City Fire School on Sunday. Photo by Gerry Tritz.

Jefferson City’s Summer Fire School only brought around half the 1,000-plus firefighters it used to draw, but organizers still say it still gave a half-million-dollar boost to the economy.

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Organizers and firefighters blamed the still-sluggish economy for declining participation in the annual event.

Still, organizer Tracy Gray said the school drew students from a dozen states, including Alaska. He said it pumped more than $500,000 into the Jefferson City economy through hotel stays, meals and other spending.

Gray coordinated the event as an employee of University of Missouri Fire Rescue Training, which holds both summer and winter fire schools.

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