Special Response Team loses three vehicles in Somerset fire

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 4:46 PM EDT
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SOMERSET, Ky. (WYMT) - Crisis Events, a special response team in Pulaski County, is in need of help after a fire swept through the Special Response Team’s headquarters.

Chief Doug Baker says the fire broke out just after 5 p.m. Monday.

“We could see smoke showing from a couple of miles away,” Chief Baker said. “When I showed up, I’ve been in the fire service for 30 years, I thought we lost everything.”

The SRT serves 12 counties responding to anything from accidents to chemical spills and is even prepared for major terrorist events and weapons of mass destruction.

The team lost several trucks, including their communications truck which was equipped with a brand new satellite system for emergency communications.

“If 911 went down in the county, we could give them the ability to run 911. It generates power. We can merge frequencies together,” said Chief Doug Baker.

Still, they say the damage could have been much worse were it not for the Somerset Fire Department’s quick response.

In spite of the damage, other systems remain in operation. They also say other agencies are offering help.

“You know, we can operate, thank God the instrumentations we use to do chemical, bio, is still OK,” said Baker. “We lost no actual instrumentation. So, as far as a team, we are functional.”

Two birds, a pair of macaws described as “mascots” for the SRT, were saved from the fire.

“We did get both out alive,” Baker said.

While the smoke damage is extensive, they believe the building can be salvaged. The total monetary loss remains unclear, but at least $100,000 worth of equipment was lost in one truck alone.

The chief says it could take months to replace everything that was lost.

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