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Kentucky Needs Statewide Team to Respond to Disasters, Fire Officials Say

Kentucky needs a statewide search and rescue team that can respond more quickly to natural and other disasters, fire officials from Louisville and Lexington told state lawmakers.Doug Recktenwald, an assistant chief for Louisville Fire & Rescue, and Greg Bayer, a battalion chief for the Lexington Fire Department, testified this week before the interim joint committee on public protection. Recktenwald said being able to launch rescue operations more quickly from anywhere in the state would save lives and better protect property. Kentucky is susceptible to tornadoes, earthquakes and flooding, Bayer said. Bayer and Recktenwald said a state program would provide quicker response and better training for search and rescue personnel. Their plan is backed by the Kentucky department of homeland security.