A local training center in Pike County has earned national recognition. The Pike County Training Center was recently nationally certified as a training ground for all fire and emergency personnel.

EMA officials say only 27 counties in the state have a facility that is nationally certified. With the recent national certification, emergency responders don't need to travel a long distance for training purposes. Instead, they can stay close to home and not be away from their families.

In addition to providing localized training, the national certification also opens the door for more state and federal grant money.

The number of volunteer firefighters has been dramatically declining for decades, but EMA officials are optimistic the national certification will attract more volunteers to sign up and help out.