Kentucky National Guard, Laurel County joint rescue training

London-Laurel Rescue Squad/Facebook

LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Approximately 100 Kentucky National Guard members along with several dozen members of the London-Laurel Rescue Squad and Laurel County Emergency Management spent four days cross training rope rescue techniques to improve search and rescue operations.

The simulated real world situations took place in mountainous and wooded areas near the Rockcastle and Cumberland River on March 27-30, 2021.

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Members of the Kentucky National Guard CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) along with members of the Laurel County units trained on advanced use of rope systems, in boats and used off-road vehicles to try to reach lost or injured people.

Organizers say the purpose of the training is to allow the Kentucky National Guard and local emergency response agencies in the state to better work together, becoming more familiar with each other’s types and styles of operations.

London-Laurel County Rescue Squad Lieutenant Wes Walker was given an award by Brigadier General Robert Larkin for excellence.  Lt. Walker planned the joint rescue training event for three months and oversaw the training as incident commander.

The Kentucky National Guard is composed of nearly 8,000 Soldiers and Airmen in the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, which are components of the United States Army and the United States Air Force, respectively.

The London-Laurel Rescue Squad is comprised of 50 members that respond to auto accidents, search and rescue operations (including canine operations), drowning / near drowning, high / low angle rope operations, water rescue / recovery (including surface and subsurface operations), swift water rescue, trench rescue, building collapse, farm related rescues, confined space incidents, off-road incidents.

London-Laurel Rescue Squad/Facebook
London-Laurel Rescue Squad/Facebook


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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at You can also follow Tom on Facebook and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.