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Thanks to the generosity of one of Utah's largest employers, Salt Lake County fire-fighters now have a place to practice what they've been learning in books.

Kennecott Copper Corp. donated about 15 acres of property worth $275,000 at about 3800 S. 8000 West to the county. A deed for the property will be given to county officials at the Copper Days celebration in Magna Saturday at 5 p.m. by Kennecott president Robert Dimock.Salt Lake County fire chief Don Berry said the relationship between Kennecott and the county fire department goes back many years.

"We're the ones that respond out there if they have an accident," he said. "We've always had good cooperation over the years."

Berry said seeds for the donation were planted when county fire officials and Kennecott administrators began discussing training issues. Those involved in the discussions discovered the issues both agencies faced were very similar.

"Just one thing led to another," Berry said. In return for the free property, the county will offer training to Kennecott employees.

Louie Cononelos, director of government and public affairs, said the training will also be open to other fire departments and other businesses. It's a deal, he said, that benefits both parties.

Berry agreed and added, "This will be of great benefit to county fire, and ultimately, to the citizens of the county."

The ability to "have hands-on training" at their fingertips is something the county has never had.

"We've never had, in the history of this department, a dedicated area set aside for emergency training," Berry said, adding that he's not surprised at Kennecott's generosity.

"We weren't really surprised because Kennecott's been such a good neighbor, but we are very grateful," Berry said.