KSFFA Regional School Requests for 2019

Time is running out—

KSFFA Regional Fire School requests are now being accepted until July 31, 2018. If your department would like to host one of our regional fire schools, please fill out the below information. We are requesting that the application be filled out by either the current fire chief or with his acknowledgement. Selection is decided in August. The KSFFA holds 12 regional fire schools a year in various parts of the state. These courses are offered free of charge. If you have any question about what your responsibility will be to host a KSFFA Regional Fire School, please contact any KSFFA Executive Board Officer.

School Request Application Form


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KSFFA Regional Fire School – Atchison

KSFFA Regional Fire School
Hosted by Atchison Fire Department
August 4-5, 2018
Location: Atchison Event Center, 710 S. 9th


Saturday Morning – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Reading Smoke – 4 hrs
  2. Vehicle extrication – 12 hrs.
  3. Engine Company Operations – 8 hrs.
  4. Pump Operations – 8 hrs.
  5. Skills Trailer – 8 hrs.
  6. Wildland Class – 8 hrs.
  7. Honoring Your Own – 8 hrs.
  8. Incident Safety Officer – 8 hrs.
  9. FRA Mini-Clinic

Saturday Afternoon – 1:00 p.m.

  1. Vehicle extrication, cont.
  2. Engine Company Operation, cont.
  3. Pump Operations, cont.
  4. Skills Trailer, cont.
  5. Wildland Class, cont.
  6. Honoring Your Own, cont.
  7. Incident Safety Officer, cont.
  8. Car Fires – 4 hrs.

Sunday Morning – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Vehicle Extrication, cont.
  2. Lessons Learned – 4 hrs.
  3. Fire Rehab for Small Departments (CEU) – 4 hrs.
  4. Active Shooter Class – 4 hrs.

Sunday Afternoon – 12:00 p.m.

  1. KSFFA Burn Trailer


Contact Laramie McPherson, KSFFA NE Trustee at ksff255@gmail.com for any questions.

  • These courses are offered at no charge.
  • These schools are open to all firefighters/EMS
  • The KSFFA furnishes medical insurance for all participants.
  • The KSFFA is not responsible for lost or damaged clothing or equipment.
  • If you desire to have Firefighter One or Two testing, this must be pre-registered through Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute.
  • The KSFFA offers fit testing with its porta-count machine at all regional fire school.


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McPherson firefighters win grain bin tube, training for rescue experience

By Sara Berlinger
KSN – July 23, 2018


Valuable training, that’s what firefighters in McPherson are calling an experience they had this week thanks to Nationwide Insurance.

It’s part of a program that provides fire departments rescue equipment and training for an emergency.

This year McPherson firefighters are just one of 29 teams across the country to experience bin rescue training, and they say they feel more prepared than ever for this type of emergency.

The McPherson Fire Department responds to large and small fire emergencies, but they also get other calls for help.

“We had a grain bin rescue a couple years ago, and they repeatedly happen across the state of Kansas,” said Chief Jeff Deal, McPherson Fire Department.

That’s why Chief Deal says they’re thankful for the grant they received from Nationwide Insurance for grain bin rescue training and equipment. Wednesday the team used it with a simulated grain bin led by an agriculture safety trainer.

“We lowered them into the grain, lowered them to about waist deep in a controlled environment,” said Deal.

And used their new $3,000 dollar tool.

“Once we’ve evacuated enough grain out from around him, no more grain is going to come in on this side and we can hook onto him and pull him up out of the grain,” said Deal.

The firefighters played different roles with the exercise, some experiencing what it’s like to be trapped.

“Strange knowing that when you get so far down, into the grain, you can’t get out of it, it’s a scary feeling.” said Captain Kelly Pauls, McPherson Fire Department.

A hands-on activity that the team says, has prepared them for the call.


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2018 KSFFA Conference Minutes

Below are the 2018 KSFFA Conference Minutes

2018 KSFFA convention


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A Joplin Officer and Wife Killed in Crash

By Stacie Strader
KOAM – July 20, 2018

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, the two-vehicle crash happened at NW 100th and Highway 160 west of Columbus, Kansas around 9:59 a.m. Friday morning, July 20th, 2018.

Authorities say the preliminary investigation indicates a 2014 Harley Davidson motorcycle was heading west on Highway 160 when a 2007 Pontiac passenger car pulled onto the highway and the two vehicles collided.

42-year-old David Brewer was driving the motorcycle. His wife, 41-year-old Stacey Brewer, was his passenger. Both are Riverton, Kansas residents. The Sheriff’s Office says both were wearing their helmets, but died due to injuries sustained in the crash.

The driver of the Pontiac was not injured.

David Brewer was an officer with the Joplin Police Department. He was assigned as a traffic police officer who regularly rode a motorcycle on the job.


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2 hurt when small plane crashes in southwest Kansas

KAKE – July 20, 2018

Photos by Will Rosson

A small, single engine plane crash occurred in Comanche County Friday afternoon.

Crews responded to the crash at approximately 1:11 p.m. The plane went down near the Coldwater municipal airport.

According to a witness, the pilot told him he was landing at the Coldwater municipal airport when a wind gust caused him to lose control of the plane, sending it into a field near the runway. Both the pilot and his passenger were able to get out of the plane before it caught fire.

The pilot suffered first and second degree burns on his legs and arms. His passenger was covered in cuts. Both were taken to the Comanche County hospital for treatment. Kansas highway patrol is helping in the investigation.


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One person found dead after fire in Halstead

KAKE – July 20, 2018

Authorities say one person has found dead after they responded to a fire in Halstead.

Harvey County Emergency Management said on Facebook at around 11:30 a.m. Friday that the structure fire was reported in the 1200 block of South Spring Lake Road.

“Unfortunately, we can confirm one person was found dead,” the Facebook post says. “Our immediate concern is containing the fire and notifying family of the individual. Our condolences go out to those impacted.”

Additional information was not immediately available. KAKE News has a crew heading to the scene to gather details.


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Fire breaks out in southeast Wichita fourplex

By Ryan Newton
KSN – July 20, 2018

Wichita fire crews were busy trying to save a fourplex Friday morning in the 2600 block of East Grail.

A resident of one of the apartments called 911 to report the blaze. She got out safely.

When crews arrived, they worked fast and kept the fire from spreading to the other apartments.

There is some smoke and water damage in those areas.

Damage is estimated at $30,000. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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House explosion rocks 1300 block of S.W. High in Topeka

By Samantha Foster
Topeka Capital Journal – July 20, 2018

Photo by Samantha Foster

Three people are safe after being away late Thursday when an explosion obliterated their home in west-central Topeka, where the smell of natural gas was present afterward.

Topeka Fire Marshal Michael Martin said firefighters arrived to find the home “pretty much destroyed” by the explosion and accompanying fire, reported about 10:25 p.m. at 1331 S.W. High Ave.

Shawnee County appraisal records indicated the destroyed house was owned by Ashley A. Nadeau, director of marketing and development for the Topeka Performing Arts Center. Nadeau posted at 11:30 p.m. Thursday to her Facebook page, “I’m alive.”

Martin said four people from a neighboring house were taken to a local hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. Their names weren’t immediately available. Martin said he wasn’t able to discuss the nature of their injuries, and he wasn’t certain which house they had been inside.

Two cats that lived at the exploded house hadn’t been found as of midnight, Martin said.

Circumstances of the blast were under investigation.

Nadeau’s house appeared to be leveled, with much of the roof remaining intact.

Dylan McManis, who lives across the street and to the north of the destroyed house, said he was taking a nap before his third-shift job when the explosion woke him. He checked his trees first, then looked out front.

“Oh my God, the house across from me has been obliterated,” he said.

Neighbor Brandy McGranahan said she felt and heard the explosion. At first, she thought a tree outside her home had fallen, as a thunderstorm with strong winds that moved through the city Friday afternoon had already downed large tree limbs in the neighborhood.

Instead, when she looked outside, she saw flames and a flattened house on the west side of the street.

“The whole house was gone,” she said.

Martin said fire crews initially believed three people were missing inside the house.

“They weren’t home at the time, but we didn’t know that when we arrived at the scene,” he said.

Martin said investigators ultimately managed to confirm no one was home at the time of the blast.

Residents of other houses in the 1300 block of S.W. High were at first asked to move down to S.W. 13th and High while Kansas Gas Service employees worked to shut off the gas. The smell of gas was present for some time after the explosion before dissipating.

Glass and other debris from the house covered the street in front of it, as well as the car outside a house to the north. Martin said most of the damage from the explosion appeared to have been contained to 1331 S.W. High, with some damage to neighboring houses.

“Right now, we’re just happy that nobody’s hurt and everybody’s accounted for,” he said.

Police and firefighters told residents about 11:20 p.m. that they could return to their houses. The fire department then asked them to move to the end of the block.

Martin said that was done “out of an abundance of caution” and to give Kansas Gas Service an opportunity to take time to monitor the area, as there was concern about ground infiltration of gas.

Residents were later allowed back into most of the block’s homes, though apparently not into the houses directly adjacent to the destroyed building on the north and south.


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USPS to Release First Responder Stamp

EMS World – July 20, 2018

A new stamp being premiered by the U.S. Postal Service in September will honor first responders, with a dedication ceremony being planned for Montana.

The new “forever” stamp depicts a firefighter, EMS provider, and police officer. It is due for release September 13. The USPS will hold a dedication ceremony that day at the Montana Aerial Fire Depot and Smokejumper Center in Missoula, with hopes that responders can celebrate across the country.

“Emergencies of various types occur in our communities every day, from crimes and medical incidents to accidents and fires,” the USPS noted in its release about the stamp’s debut. “These critical situations require men and women who possess the training and knowledge to rescue the endangered, treat the injured, and restore safety and order. With this stamp, the Postal Service recognizes all first responders for their skill, dedication and uncommon bravery.”

Artist Brian Stauffer worked with art director and designer Antonio Alcalá and designer Ricky Altizer to create this stamp. Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell will lead the ceremony.


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Firefighter, deputy extinguish bedroom blaze in Osage City

By Wayne White
Osage County News – July 20, 2018

Local fire crews were called to a structure fire at 1421 Laing St. Osage City, Kan., Wednesday, extinguishing a blaze in a bedroom.

At approximately 4:42 p.m., July 18, 2018, Osage County fire districts No. 2, Osage City, No. 5, Lyndon Vassar, and No. 6, Burlingame, were dispatched to the location. An Osage County Sheriff’s deputy and an OCFD No. 2 firefighter arrived on scene approximately five minutes later, and extinguished the electrical fire with a dry chemical fire extinguisher before apparatus arrived. The fire was contained to a bedroom in the residence.

Damage estimates are not available at the time of this release, but the Osage County Appraiser’s Office appraised the residential structure at $58,070. According to county land records, the property is owned by Ernest and Michelle Ehrhart Jr. and Sharon Kinsley.

Other agencies on scene or assisting included the Osage City Police Department and Osage County EMS. OCFD No. 2 members were at the scene for approximately 35 minutes, with no injuries reported.

Information thanks to OCFD No. 2, Osage City.


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No injuries in rooftop fire at Via Christi St. Joseph Hospital

KSN – July 20, 2018

A spokesperson for Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph said a small rooftop fire was caused due to construction at the hospital Thursday.

No evacuations of the building were ordered, and no one sustained any injuries, according to the spokesperson.

The fire was first reported around 6 p.m. Flames on the roof were visible and smoke could be seen on multiple floors of the building.

A hospital spokesperson said the fire happened in an unoccupied part of the building.


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Lenexa teen killed in multi-vehicle crash on WB K-10 in Lenexa

By Daniel Barnett
KCTV – July 20, 2018

An 18-year-old Lenexa man was killed Thursday after a multi-vehicle crash on westbound Kansas Highway 10.

The crash happened about 10 a.m. just past Renner Boulevard.

The victim has been identified as Landon M. Daniel.

Troopers say Daniel was headed west on K-10 when traffic came to a halt. He was unable to stop in time and re-ended another vehicle that then struck another vehicle in front of it.

Westbound K-10 was closed at Renner for nearly an hour. All lanes have since reopened.


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Firefighters get hands-on in Sterling

By Sara Waite
Journal Advocate – July 19, 2018

Over 100 firefighters are expected to gather in Sterling this weekend for a three-day, hands-on training event known as “Fire on the Plains.”

According to Sterling Fire Chief Lavon Ritter, Sterling is an ideal location for the second annual event, with the facilities available through Northeastern Junior College and the Sterling Fire Department’s training grounds. The first event was held last year in Lamar, but Ritter said Matt Branch, the regional fire management officer, was interested in bringing the event to Sterling and worked closely with the state to make it happen.

The event, which kicks off Friday evening, already has about 75 registered, and Ritter expects that there will be more who sign up in person. According to Ritter, participants are coming from Kansas, Nebraska and all over Colorado. NJC has made its dorms available for those who opt not to get a hotel room for the weekend.

The goal, according to the Fire on the Plains brochure, is “to bring cost effective, high quality, hands-on training to the first responders of the eastern plains of Colorado.” Ritter noted that many departments, particularly smaller, volunteer departments, do not have access to the kinds of training facilities needed to conduct live fire exercises. With Sterling’s facilities and a simulator being provided by the state for the event, Fire on the Plains is “a training opportunity a lot of folks don’t get all of the time,” Ritter said.

The event is organized into five blocks, starting Friday evening and running through noon Sunday. Participants can sign up for a variety of two- and four-hour sessions, or a two-day class, with topics ranging from basics such as sizing up a structure fire when arriving on scene and grass fire safety to the chemistry of fire and mental health resources for first responders. Instructors, coordinated by the Division of Fire Safety, are coming from all over the state, and Sterling Regional MedCenter will provide assistance with the EMS course.

Ritter said the focus of the event is on training, meaning the firefighters won’t have a lot of downtime. However, he hopes to bring everyone together for a briefing during dinner Saturday night.

In just its second year, the program is still changing and adapting to the needs of participants, but Ritter said he hopes that Sterling will become at least a bi-annual host for the event.

For more information about Fire on the Plains, visit www.CWFIMA.com


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Woman killed in Marion County crash

KAKE – July 19, 2018

Authorities say a 73-year-old woman was killed when she crashed her vehicle into a culvert in Marion County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol responded to the crash just after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, but the exact time of the accident is unknown. The investigation revealed that Martha Jean Biggs was heading north on K-15 near 140th Road when her Chevy HHR drifted left of center.

The vehicle then went into a ditch and hit a culvert before going over the entrance and coming to rest on its wheels.

Biggs, of Moundridge, was pronounced dead at the scene. The patrol’s online crash log states she was not wearing a seat belt.


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Toothaches, headaches, foot pain, are these calls for firefighters?

By John Asebes
KSN – July 19, 2018


If there’s a fire you know who you can count on.

The fire department.

Without them fires could turn deadly but according to a Wichita Fire Marshal firefighters are asked to do even more every day.

So what do the do exactly?

“I have been to the fire station and they put out fires,” says Harper Percival.

She and her sister are very young but they get it.

“They take kitties out of trees,” says her sister Hazel.

Actually, that might just be a myth.

“I believe Hazel,” says Harper. “Hazel is right.”

Either way, whether it’s a car accident or a fire, you can count on firefighters from the Wichita Fire Department to show up.

Kamber Berger from Wichita adds, “They make sure people be safe.”

“Somebody is having a day. they are having a bad day where they are asking for assistance.”

But Chief Stuart Bevis says almost a third of their calls are not for real emergencies.

Deputy Fire Chief Stuart Bevis “In our society it seems like when people have an issue they call 911.”

He says the calls go by priority and if EMS or police have no specific reason to believe they are needed then the call falls on the fire department. Some of them are out pretty out there.

Toothaches, headaches, and hurt toes.

Do these sound like calls a firefighter should be responding to?

Wichitan Serene Sims says, “That is just unbelievable.”

“Our numbers with these types of calls keep creeping up and creeping up. In some instances they are not creeping they are shooting,” says Bevis.

Bevis says 15,000 times a year firefighters are responding to calls just like these. Thats why they are trying to create some CRT’s, Community Response Teams to mitigate the right resources and make sure the right people are handling these calls.

Bevis says the fire department is trying to kick off these new CRT’s by the time the next budget cycle comes around. He says it is not only to make sure people get help but also to make sure they are where they need to be at all times.

“When they are there dealing with that situation or that person they are not available to go to a building fire,” says Bevis.

Bevis says what the department is proposing in the 2019 budget is two vehicles with two certified EMT’s that can immediately respond and see what resources are needed.


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NOTICE OF VACANCY – Fire Protection Specialist – Requisition #190267 – Closes 8/8/2018

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has an opening for an Unclassified, benefits eligible Fire Protection Specialist position that covers the counties of Atchison, Brown, Chase, Clay, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Lyon, Marshall, Morris, Osage, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee and Washington.  This position will be located in Topeka.  Some travel, including overnight is required of this positionThis vacancy closes 8/8/2018.

Duties will include, but are not limited to the following: 

  • Reviews design drawings, code footprints and architectural/engineering renderings of new and existing construction for occupancies, flammable and combustible liquids and LP Gas facilities regulation by the Kansas Fire Prevention Code and any other applicable adopted codes.
  • Notifies facility owners, contractors and architects of deficiencies and/or other issues of concerns.
  • Within the limited scope of fire and life safety ensures that all new and existing construction meets the intent of the code.
  • Conducts on-site technical inspections of new construction and existing construction when appropriate.
  • Conducts on-site technical inspections of complex and/or problem facilities to determine appropriate course of action.
  • Works with facility owners, administrators, architects and other construction personnel to ensure fire and life safety issues are considered.
  • Completion of certification as a Fire Protection Specialist and Certified Plans Examiner within twelve (12) months of hire date.

Duties of this position will entail climbing in and out of attics, crawling in small areas, climbing stairs, extensive walking, driving, oral and written communication, independent thinking, using a computer, etc.

Pay Rate:  $21.13 per hour.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Four years’ experience in fire protection systems, building construction, life safety features and building and fire codes.
  • Kansas Certification as a Fire Inspector 1 through NFPA and Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services
  • College courses in fire science may be substituted for the require experience.
  • Must have a current valid driver’s license.

Preferred Skills:

  • Knowledge of the Kansas Fire Prevention Code
  • 2012 National Fire Life Safety Code
  • 2012 International Building Code
  • 2012 International Fire Code.
  • Extensive field experience as well as code and mechanical aptitude background.
  • Exceptional skills in oral and written communication.
  • Strong computer skills.

HOW TO APPLY:  The application process has 3 STEPS:

STEP 1:  Register by completing the online Personal Data Form (Skip this step if you already have an Applicant ID or Employee ID number.)

STEP 2:  Complete the official State of Kansas application form and submit to the Fire Marshal.

STEP 3:  Email the additional required documents to brenda.schuette@ks.govInclude the job requisition number and your last name in the subject line.

Additional Required Documents:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume
  • College Transcripts
  • Copy of all Training Certificates
  • Valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate

Failure to follow the instructions and submit all required documentation by the closing date of the vacancy announcement may affect your consideration for this position.


Each applicant applying for a State of Kansas job vacancy must obtain a valid Kansas Certificate of Tax Clearance by accessing the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website at http://www.ksrevenue.org/taxclearance.html.

A Tax Clearance is a comprehensive tax account review to determine and ensure that an individual’s account is compliant with all primary Kansas Tax Laws.  A Tax Clearance expires every 90 days.  All applicants, including current State employees, are responsible for submitting a valid and up to date certificate with all other application materials to the hiring agency.  This is in accordance with Executive Order 2004-03.  If you need assistance with the tax clearance, please contact 785-296-3199.

Contact Information:

Brenda L. Schuette
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS   66612-1216
Email: brenda.schuette@ks.gov
Phone: 785-296-0654
Fax:  785-296-8155

How Your Application Will Be Evaluated:  Once you complete and submit your application and required materials they will be reviewed to ensure that you meet the minimum and any necessary special requirements.  Please indicate all relevant prior experiences and training on your application.  Next, your application will be evaluated and rated based on preferred skills and selection criteria for the position.

What to Expect Next:  After your application is evaluated, you may be contacted for a possible interview.  You will be notified of the outcome after the selection process is complete.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:  The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ensures you the right to reasonable accommodations.  A request for an accommodation will not affect your opportunities for employment with the State of Kansas.  Arrangements will be made if you have a disability that requires an accommodation for completing an application form, interviewing or any other part of the employment process.  It is your responsibility to make your needs know to the OSFM Recruitment Office at 785-296-0654.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an Equal Opportunity Employer


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Fire damages garage in Smolan

By Leslie Eikleberry
Salina Post – July 18, 2018

Saline County Sheriff’s Office

A fire Tuesday morning caused extensive damage to a garage in Smolan.

Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan said this morning that firefighters from Rural Fire Districts 2 and 6 were called to the 100 block of South Third in Smolan at 9:13 a.m. Tuesday. The firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze by 9:50 a.m.

Soldan said there was extensive damage to the garage, however none of the surrounding buildings were damaged. There was no loss of human life. A number of cats died in the blaze. A total damage estimate was not available.

The owner was not home at the time of the fire.


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5 Transported to Salina Hospital After Fire

KSAL – July 18, 2018

Salina Fire officials are investigating a blaze that destroyed an upstairs apartment in the 400 block of West Elm Street Tuesday late Tuesday night.

According to Fire Prevention Officer Joe Kvacik, over 20 firefighters responded to the triplex apartment around 11:30pm where two adults and three children were staying. The fire was on the second story of a building at 408 West Elm.

Authorities say all five were transported to Salina Regional Health Center for treatment or observation.

According to one of the victims she and three children had to jump from a second story window to escape. The flames where getting too close, and they were having trouble breathing when they jumped.

The victim indicated that one person had a broken arm, and one person had 2nd and 3rd degree burns along with smoke inhalation.


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Woodland fire burns 80 acres and threatens home

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – July 18, 2018

Photo by Paola Fire Department

Paola and Osawatomie firefighters worked together Friday to get control of a woodland fire that burned 80 acres and threatened a home in rural Miami County southeast of Paola.

Paola Fire Chief Andy Martin said Paola crews were called to the area of 319th Street and Oak Grove Road at about 4:20 p.m. Friday afternoon in response to a report of a woodland fire.

Martin said the landscape was full of cedar trees, which fueled the fire and made it difficult to contain.

“Cedar trees go up like a ball of fire,” Martin said.

Paola firefighters brought multiple vehicles and pieces of equipment to the scene, including three brush units, an engine, tender, UTV and rescue unit. Osawatomie sent two brush units to assist, Martin said.

The firefighters attacked the sides of the fire, and Martin said they were careful to not get in front if it. The occupants of one nearby home were evacuated, but Martin said the fire was contained just as it got to their driveway.

The firefighters also did some preventative back burning to slow the woodland fire down and ensure it did not reach a large nearby field with hay bales.

Martin said the fire started when workers from a construction company left the area where they had been burning brush piles, and the fire spread into the woodland area.

The fire was under control at 7:41 p.m. Friday, Martin said.


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Three teens recovered from Overland Park storm drain after botched rafting outing

KSHB – July 18, 2018


A raft trip down a storm drain in the rain Tuesday night came to an unexpected end for three teens.

The trio put their raft in a creek about 6:50 p.m. in a storm drain near 119th and Grant.

A fourth boy stood watch on the bank.

That boy saw the raft pop out of the water, but the teens were not with the raft.

The teen called 911 and emergency crews arrived to search the drain.

The three boys managed to walk down part of the rain-swollen drain and rescuers helped them from the water.

The boys suffered cuts and bruises and were released to their guardians.


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Horton, Kansas Woman Dies From Injuries in Sunday Accident

By Doug Kennedy
KWBE – July 18, 2018

A Horton, Kansas woman died at a Topeka hospital, following a one-vehicle accident in Brown County, Kansas.

30-year-old Chenenia Johnson was the fatality victim of the accident, seven miles north and two miles east of Netawaka.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says Johnson’s 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer was traveling east when her car went off the right side of the road, down an embankment and struck a tree near the driveway to a residence.

Johnson was taken to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka, where she died. A passenger in her car, 30-year-old Diaz Sheridan of Tama, Iowa…was taken to a hospital in St. Joseph, Missouri, for treatment of injuries.

The KHP says the driver and passenger were not using safety restraints. The accident happened Sunday, at around 3:10 a.m.


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Local firefighters raise thousands for kids and adults with muscular dystrophy

By Natalie Dattilio
WIBW – July 18, 2018


Local firefighters added up their efforts from hitting the streets to raise money for kids and adults with muscular dystrophy.

The Topeka Fire Department announced they raised $34,000 on just two days in May as part of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s ‘Fill The Boot’ campaign. The money helps children and adults living with neuromuscular diseases like ALS and Duchenne.

Many kids enjoy an ADA accessible camp, thanks to fundraising efforts.

“The opportunity for these kids to go to that camp and get to do kid stuff like horseback riding, fishing, doing all kinds of stuff, it’s really important,” said Derek Christain, the MDA Coordinator for Local 83.

The Topeka Fire Dept. has raised more than $250,000 in the past 8 years alone. The money also funds MDA research into treatments and potential cures.


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Firefighters put out 8 fires in under an hour in central Topeka

By Shawn Wheat
WIBW – July 18, 2018

Multiple blazes overnight kept Topeka Fire Department crews hopping in an area of west-central Topeka, and authorities were looking for three youngsters who they believe may have been responsible.

Six fires were reported between at 11:48 p.m. Tuesday and 12:23 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

Fires were reported in the 1100 block of S.W. Clay, the 1100 block of S.W. Fillmore, the 1000 block of S.W. Munson, the 900 block of S.W. Buchanan, the 800 block of S.W. Jewell and near S.W. 8th and Summit.

A trash can fire, a couple of grass fire and a fire at a house were reported during the overnight hours.

Several hours later, a detached garage was damaged in a fire in the 900 block of S.W. Lindenwood, which was the last blaze that was reported around 3:30 a.m. Crews remained on the scene as of 4:45 a.m.

It wasn’t known if the garage blaze was related to the other fires, though it was in the same vicinity.

There was no immediate damage estimates and no reports of injuries.

Topeka Fire Department investigators were looking into the blazes.

Additional details weren’t immediately available.


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2018 Kansas Rescue Conference

Registration is now open for the 2018 Kansas Rescue Conference.  You can find more information and register at www.firemarshal.ks.gov/ksar/kansas-rescue-conference


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Kansas Firefighter Recruitment and Safety Grant Application Period Now Open

For Immediate Release

July 16, 2018

2018 Kansas Firefighter Recruitment and Safety Grant Application Period Now Open

Topeka, KS. – The application period for the 2018 Kansas Firefighter Recruitment and Safety Grant (KFRSG) is now open until the grant deadline of October 1, 2018. The grant is made possible with the State of Kansas budget passed by the State Legislature and signed by Governor Jeff Colyer. This year, the previous grant budget of $200,000 has been doubled to $400,000, to assist volunteer and part-time fire departments across the state with firefighter safety and recruitment.

Grants issued through the KFRSG program will cover the costs of safety gear for firefighters and physical examinations for firefighters whose physicals are not covered by their departments. It will also provide funds for the purchase of new washer-extractor machines used to clean bunker gear following a fire, with further funds available for the creation of Explorer programs to attract youth volunteers into the fire service.

Volunteer and part-time fire departments face recruitment and retention challenges because they do not have the funding to provide safety equipment. Without new equipment provided by the recruiting fire department, potential volunteers are faced with not only donating their time but also providing their own safety gear, sharing gear with others, or doing without.

Safety gear which can be purchased through this grant program based on a proven and demonstrated need, includes bunker or wildland gear, to include: coat, pants, helmet, gloves, hood and boots; and new masks for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units for new department members.

This grant program not only addresses safety of firefighters, but their health as well. The OSFM provides grants to local firefighters to assist in paying for physical examinations not otherwise covered by their departments. A physical examination by a doctor could identify underlying health issues and, hopefully, decrease the number of health-related deaths.

The OSFM also uses grant funds to purchase and strategically place washer-extractor machines throughout the state. It is vital to the health of firefighters to properly clean bunker gear following a fire to prevent the transfer of carcinogens, particulates and biohazards to firefighters, and those they serve. Further, as more and more particles attach to protective gear and chemicals remain on clothing, the gear gradually loses its effectiveness – putting firefighters at increased risk.

A key goal for the KFRSG program is firefighter recruitment, which provides funding for the start of Explorer programs. These programs offer a great way for local fire departments to give the youth of their area an opportunity to explore both career and voluntary opportunities in the fire service.  All fire departments will be able to apply for funding to cover the Explorer program or the National Volunteer Fire Council National Junior Firefighter Program initiation fees up to $500, plus a $100 start-up fund.

Grant applicants must be established and recognized volunteer or part-time Kansas fire departments in good standing with OSFM (must be current with NFIRS reporting) or a firefighter in good standing with their local fire department. All safety gear purchased through the program would become the property of the requesting department and not of the individual for whom it was requested.

Applications are available at www.firemarshal.ks.gov/KFRSG. The deadline for submission to receive funds through the KFRSG is Oct. 1, 2018. Grant funding will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.



Media Contact:

Jill Bronaugh
Public Information Officer
Office of the State Fire Marshal
785-221-0379 (cell)


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Job Opening – Extra Board Firefighter – Lawrence Fire Department



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Flames engulf trailer hauling fireworks in Kinsley

KWCH – July 17, 2018

A trailer fire lit up part of a quiet street in the Edwards County town of Kinsley Saturday night, following a fireworks show and festival in Spearville.

Troy Sidebottom, the owner of an auto body shop in Kinsley caught footage of the fire on his business’ surveillance camera.

The video Sidebottom shared accompanied the following explanation for what happened:

When Saturday night’s show ended, workers loaded spent fireworks into a trailer along with some live fireworks. It appears hot embers ignited the unused fireworks. The approximate three minute, 10 second video shows smoke billowing from the trailer, followed by visible flames.

By about two minutes into the video, the trailer is engulfed in flames. Men in the pickup pulling the trailer unhitched it from the truck before this point. The fire did not spread to any vehicles nor structures and no one was injured.


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Home security video captures man setting Lawrence house on fire

By Sara Shepherd
Lawrence Journal World – July 17, 2018


Some Lawrence residents’ home surveillance video captured footage of a man setting fire to the outside of their house this weekend.

After the residents shared that video with authorities, a suspect was arrested the following day on suspicion of aggravated arson, jail records show.

The garage door was set afire about 2:15 a.m. Saturday at 3009 Steven Drive; the residents saw it from inside and ran outside and extinguished it with a garden hose, said Paul Schneider, fire investigator with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical.

The residents reviewed their home security video and saw that it showed a man approach the house and apparently pour liquid from a small bottle onto the house and ignite it, Schneider said. Schneider said the residents called authorities, and fire investigators worked with the Lawrence Police Department to identify the man and make an arrest.

Clips from that surveillance video, obtained by the Journal-World, show a man wearing a backpack walk up to the house. After he leans down to apparently place something on the ground in front of the garage, flames erupt and he runs back down the driveway.

Video footage from another angle shows him hopping on a bicycle and taking off down the sidewalk.

“The video footage was pretty good; we had identifying tattoos and a clear view of the person’s body and face,” Schneider said.

The residents told investigators they didn’t know or recognize the man in the video, Schneider said. He said investigators didn’t know what the suspect’s motive may have been.

Andrew S. Hiesberger, 30, of Lawrence, was arrested Sunday at his home, according to jail records. Charges against him had not been filed in Douglas County District Court as of Monday morning.


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Hazmat crews on scene of injury accident at 175th and Lackman

KMBC – July 17, 2018

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and other first-responders spent Monday afternoon on the scene of an injury accident at 175th Street and Lackman Road in south Overland Park, Kansas, that required hazmat cleanup.

The Sheriff’s Office said it first received the call at 11:26 a.m., and when they arrived they found a pickup truck and a semi-dump truck had collided.

One driver was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries, and the other driver was not injured.

Hazmat crews spent most of the afternoon working on cleaning up pool chemicals that leaked during the collision.


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John A. Eakins

John A. Eakins, age 89, entered into rest on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at the Park Villa Nursing Home in Clyde, Kansas. He was born on December 12, 1928 in Concordia, Kansas to Hamilton L. and Mabel A. (Burch) Eakins.

John married Joyce Shrader on July 1, 1950 in Wolf Point, Montana, having recently celebrated 68 years of marriage together.

John served in the United States Air Force during the Berlin Airlift as an Airplane Mechanic.

He was a lifetime member of the VFW Post #588, where he served as commander, and also a member of the American Legion Post #76 both of Concordia. John also called bingo for many years at the VFW # 588.

John was a farmer in the Clyde community. He owned and operated Eakins Bros. Excavating with his brother Art. John was the operator for the Cloud County rural water District #1 and also a volunteer Fire Fighter for rural Hollis community for many years. He enjoyed woodworking, dancing and most of all spending time with his family especially his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife Joyce of the home rural Clyde, 2 sons, Jack Eakins (Wenxia), Concordia, KS.; Jay Eakins, Bentonville, AR.; 2 daughters, Cheryl Tira (Tom), Columbus, NE.; Dawn Steinman (Albert), Chester, NE.; 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter, LeAnn Bridges, grandson, Bryan Runyan, 2 brothers, Thomas and Art Eakins, 2 sisters, Adelia Hay Falk, Bessie M. Payton.

Visitation will be from 1-9 pm, Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at the Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, Concordia.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, Concordia, Kansas with Pastor Jonathan Peppers officiating. Burial will follow in the Hollis Cemetery, Hollis, Kansas.

Military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Post #76, Concordia, Kansas at the graveside.

Memorial contributions may be given to American Legion Post #76 c/o Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, Concordia.


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Salina man killed when semi hits vehicle on highway

Salina Journal – July 16, 2018

A Salina man was killed late Friday afternoon when his car was struck by an out-of-control semitrailer on Interstate Highway 70, three miles east of Salina.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol report, a semi towing two trailers driven by Shane Edward Hale, 38, of Lenexa, was eastbound on I-70 at about 5:15 p.m. Friday when a strong gust of wind caused Hale to lose control. The semi jackknifed into the westbound lanes and struck a Subaru Legacy driven by Harry A. Taylor, 60, of Salina. Both vehicles came to rest on the north shoulder of the highway.

Taylor was pronounced dead at the crash site, according to the report. Hale and a passenger in the semi, Renita M. Hale, 37, also of Lenexa, were not injured.

Taylor and Shane Hale were wearing seat belts, while Renita Hale was not, according to the report.


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Firefighters try and beat the heat, stay hydrated

By John Asebes
KSN – July 16, 2018


The summer sizzle is on.

Temperatures are inching closer to the century mark but add in the humidity and it already feels like triple digits out there.

While most of us can enjoy the air conditioning, some can’t.

Whether it’s the heat of the sun, the heat of an engine, or the heat of the moment, firefighters feel the burn.

“There are many times unfortunately when we will work ourselves to where we almost drop,” says Deputy Fire Chief Stuart Bevis.

Squad one knows what to do after a long hot day. Hit up the hydration station and pound that h20.

“Once you start on a call there is usually a downhill road on your dehydration, your overheating and things like that and only preparation before hand can try to protect us,” says Bevis.

Before hand means before the each shift.

“Most crews start hydrating before they even come to work,” says Bevis.

Because once the call goes out they are locked in.

“Not until a situation is under control usually are we able to stop and rehydrate,” explains Bevis.

On three calls within an hour and a half Squad One was busy running around assessing damage, calming patients and just baking on the hot asphalt.

“They look like they been doused by a fire hose,” says Bevis. “We just build up a lot of heat. We tend to sweat quite and bit and lose a lot of fluids during our activities.”

One firefighter this week suffered from heat exhaustion after a house fire. Chief Bevis says he probably wasn’t hydrated. That fire was at night. He says they do even more to keep firefighters hydrated all times of the day.

“On all of our structure fires we do have our rehab unit out of Station 7 that comes out to try and assist on rehab,” explains Bevis.


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Inman’s Fire Chief: Home deemed total loss after fire

McPherson Sentinel – July 16, 2018

Photos by Mindy Kepfield

A home at 348 Arrowhead Drive in Inman was deemed a total loss after it was leveled by a fire on Friday afternoon, Inman’s Fire Chief Neal Schierling said.

The four-bedroom, three bathroom house was owned by Denise Bromwell and Bea Hutson. No one was home at 1:47 p.m. when firefighters were dispatched after a call by a neighbor.

McPherson and Reno County EMS also were called to the site, but no injuries were reported. Two dogs that were inside the house are thought to be dead, Schierling said.

Nearly 22 firefighters with crews from McPherson, Inman, Windom and Canton arrived to find that the blaze had spread through the house.

“It was pretty involved by the time we got there,” he said.

The fire, which started in the home’s southeast corner, took 30 minutes to contain, he said. Siding melted off another building 20 feet north of the home, but that blaze was contained. It and a barn were left standing.

Richard Bromwell, brother of Denise Bromwell, said she and Hutson had put a lot of work into the home — including the addition of a new roof.

“They put their whole life and soul into this house,” he said. “It was a dump when they bought it but they made it into something special.”

Schierling said the house was fully insured and its owners were receiving help from the Red Cross and other agencies.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.


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Interim Fire Chief Kevin Shirley retires

By Mary Rupert
Wyandotte Daily – July 13, 2018

Photo by Mary Rupert

Thursday was the last day of Kansas City, Kansas, interim Fire Chief Kevin Shirley’s six-month contract as the fire chief for Kansas City, Kansas. Shirley came out of retirement to serve as interim fire chief, and said he will go back into retirement. Shirley received applause at the UG Commission meeting Thursday evening. UG Administrator Doug Bach on Thursday evening named Jack Andrade, senior assistant chief of logistics for the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department, as acting fire chief until the UG makes a decision on the next fire chief.


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Fire damages Lawrence trailer home

By Sara Shepherd
Lawrence Journal World – July 13, 2018

Firefighters put out a fire inside a trailer home Friday in Lawrence.

Smoke coming from the mobile home was reported shortly before 11:30 a.m. in the trailer community at 100 Arkansas Street, said Division Chief and Fire Marshal James King of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical. When firefighters arrived they found a fire inside the home.

King said the fire was under control by about 11:45 a.m.

The trailer was occupied but no one was home when the fire broke out, King said. No one was hurt.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Friday afternoon, as did the amount of damage it caused, King said.

The property was “in poor condition” to start with, making it difficult to estimate damages at a glance, King said. He said the fire was confined to the trailer’s interior.


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Gorham fire district gets clothes washer

By Albert Lin
Russell County News – June 28, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – July 13, 2018

The Gorham Fire District No. 1’s station in Gorham recently received a heavy-duty washing machine which is capable of cleaning the district’s bunker gear (the protective coats, trousers, and gloves) which the department’s members wear when responding to fires.

The Gorham fire district has 20 sets of bunker gear, and the new machine can wash two such sets at a time.

To dry the wet clothing, the fire department has its existing warm-air dryer cabinet which is used to dry fire hoses after they are used.

Fire Chief Glen Blundon, discussing the washing machine, said, “It’s actually called a ‘washer extractor,’ because it spins so much faster than an ordinary washing machine that it extracts a whole lot more water from the clothing.”

A special heavy-duty clothing detergent is used with the machine.

The washer extractor enables the fire department to clean its protective clothing after every fire to which the department’s members respond.

Blundon, explaining the reason why it was necessary to acquire a washer extractor, said modern homes and cars contain a lot of man-made materials which, when burned, can turn into cancer-causing substances. The washing machine enables those chemicals to be cleaned off of the bunker gear.

Each of the department’s firefighters is being trained in how to use the washer extractor and is responsible for getting his bunker gear washed after each fire and recording each time the cleaning process is performed.

The washer extractor was supplied by Commercial Laundry Sales & Service of Wichita.

Gorham Fire District No. 1 was able to pay the $3,649 cost of the washer extractor by applying for and receiving a grant from the Russell County Area Community Foundation. The fire district applied for that grant this past March, and the washing machine was delivered May 25.


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Firefighters could get new tanker

By Dayna Mannebach
Oberlin Herald – July 4, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – July 13, 2018

Fire Chief Bill Cathcart told Decatur County commissioners last Tuesday he was looking into the possibility of buying a used military tanker suggested by Red Willow Western Rural Fire Chief Bill Elliot.

Mr. Cathcart said Mr. Elliot told him they have three of the “heavy expanded mobility Tactical Truck A4” fuel serving trucks from Oshkosh Defense with 2,500-gallon tanks. The trucks are 35 feet long, eight-wheel drive and cost from $4,000 to $8,000, he said.

“The problem is how to park it at the barn,” Mr. Cathcart said, “and another drawback is the remote nozzles, which is one of the things we have to put on once we convert it to water instead of fuel.”

The commissioners said it would be fine with them to get one.

Mr. Cathcart also reported that he had talked to Director Sharleen Wurm at the Last Indian Raid Museum about putting up a building some day to simulate an old-time fire station to store the 1928 fire truck, the first motorized fire engine purchase in Oberlin, and a 1957 fire truck. He said they’re ready to be put away.


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Fireworks cause house fire

Columbus News Report – July 6, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – July 13, 2018

Fireworks were blamed for the fire that destroyed a Columbus home Tuesday night as firefighters fought the blaze until early Wednesday morning.

The Phillip Moore family had a evening of fireworks before gathering up the remnants and putting them at the side of the garage.

The family was awakened just after 11 p.m. to the house at 1121 West Oak.

Firefighters arrived to find the structure completely involved, the house and vehicle were thought to be a total loss.

Firefighters from Columbus and Lola Township were at the scene.


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Selden gets ‘new’ fire truck

By Judy Rogers
Colby Free Press – July 6, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – July 13, 2018

The Sheridan County Fire Department initiated a new-to-them fire truck during its regular monthly meeting in June. The truck, which was purchased from Norton County, replaces an older truck in service at Selden.

Firefighters spent the evening switching supplies and equipment from the old truck to the new truck, then pushed the truck into the firehouse.

Selden fireman Micah Goscha, said it is a tradition to push new fire trucks into the firehouse the first time. “As most of us know, early hand drawn fire engines, ladder wagons, hose carts, and so on had to be pushed back into the station by hand,” said Goscha. “The horse drawn steam engines that followed could be backed up by the engineers, but it was difficult to align the steam connections on the engine with those in the station, so the horses were disconnected and the steamers were also often pushed back into the station by hand.”

“All of this backing in by hand became moot when the self-propelled motorized engines went into service; but the fire service is deep into tradition, and some companies make every effort to honor and pay homage to past and the old time members that had to push their engines into the station by hand and pushing the new ones into the station at all wet downs,” continued Goscha. “While doing this honors the old and former members–it is also intended to display unity among the current members.”

“We appreciate the efforts of training officer Steve Hirsch in obtaining this truck for us,” said Selden Fire Chief Steve Rogers. “We also appreciate the help of all the volunteers who assisted in the transition.”


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Topeka Fire Department investigates south Topeka house fire

By Molly Patt
KSNT – July 13, 2018

Fire crews responded to a house fire in south Topeka early Friday morning.

When crews arrived to the house on 29th and Burlingame Rd. they found the porch on fire.

Officials tell us after firefighters completed their initial search of the home they did not find anyone inside.

The fire stayed primarily on the porch, but crews tell KSNT News the house has significant smoke damage.

Fire investigators are on the scene right now.


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Fire Department wins Battle of the Badges

Concordia Blade – July 13, 2018

The Concordia Fire Department squeezed out a 6-5 win over the Cloud County Department of Corrections in the Second Annual Battle of the Badges played at the Concordia Sports Complex.

It was the second straight year winning the battle for the Concordia Fire Department.

The Republic County Highway Department beat the Concordia Fire Department 20-2 and the Cloud County Department of Corrections 10-9 to capture the tournament title.

The Battle of the Badges was played in honor of Concordia Police Officer Marc Henry who was killed in a motorcycle accident in June.

Proceeds from the tournament will go to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.


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Home catches fire in East Wichita

By Matt Kalish
July 13, 2018


A fire consumed a east Wichita home late Thursday night.

The fire started in the 800 block of South Crestway around 11:30 p.m.

When crews arrived on scene, smoke and flames were visible from the home.

No one was inside at the time.

Fire officials say the damage is estimated between $30,000 and $40,000. They are working to determine a cause.
Wichita Firefighters responded to a house fire late Thursday night.

Sedgwick County dispatchers said crews saw fire coming from a home in the 800 block of South Crestway when they arrived on scene at about 11:30pm.


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Kan. teen dead, 1 in critical condition after rollover crash

Salina Post – July 13, 2018

A Kansas teen died and another remains hospitalized in critical condition after a fatal crash just after 1p.m. Wednesday in Washington County.

A 2003 Jeep Liberty driven by Nathalia Gonzalez-Sanchez, 16, Linn, was northbound on Kansas 9 just south of 9th Road, according to Washington County Sheriff Justin Cordry.

The vehicle left the road and the driver lost control when she overcorrected. The Jeep crossed the highway, traveled into a ditch and rolled.

The driver and a passenger Maddison Mills, 17, Washington, were ejected from the Jeep.

EMS transported both to the Washington County Hospital and then they were flown to KU Medical Center where Gonzalez-Sanchez died.
They were not wearing seat belts, according to the sheriff’s department.


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Fire crews battle blaze at Affordable Storage unit in McPherson

McPherson Sentinel – July 12, 2018

Photo by Mindy Kepfield

Around 10 a.m. Thursday morning, fire broke out in a metal storage unit at Affordable Storage, 819 W. Kansas St.

Isaiah Williams, an employee at Affordable Storage who lives near the storage units, was one of the first to notice the clouds of smoke.

“I went outside and I just smelled smoke, so I ran over there,” Williams said.

Williams saw another passerby had already called 911, and McPherson Fire Department responded within minutes to the fire.

“They were here, like, super quick,” Williams said.

At least two units were damaged in the fire. Fire crews are still on scene.


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Firefighters become mudders to rescue dog

By Rowena Plett
Marion County Record – July 12, 2018

A fire hose usually is used to put out fires, but one day last week it was used to wash mud off two firefighters, who crawled along planks to rescue a dog stuck in a country pond.

A trip the dog might have taken many times before turned disastrous the evening of July 4. Walking into a pond to get a drink, the animal found nothing but soggy ground. Like many other ponds in the area, the pond was dry because of lack of sufficient rainfall to fill it.

The dog managed to turn around, but became stuck, unable to move.

The dog’s owner, Tom Ash, reportedly tried to reach him to pull him out but realized halfway there that he, too, would be stuck, so he retreated and called 911.

Marion firefighters Chris Killough, Jim Davis, Landon Pedersen, and Christian Pedersen responded to a call from sheriff’s deputy Larry Starkey, who was on the scene.

Davis said the dog was about 30 feet from the edge of the pond. Davis and Killough walked into the mud and laid down two 10½-inch-wide planks to get to the dog. They crawled on their hands and knees to reach him.

“It took two of us to pull him out,” Davis said. “The dog’s four legs and lower body were in the mud, and we got muddy from the waist down.”

When they had the dog safely to dry ground, the Pedersens used a fire hose to clean the mud off the dog as well as Davis and Killough.

Ash could not be reached for comment, but a loud barking from inside his house in response to a knock on his door Tuesday revealed that the dog was safely ensconced indoors, where he most likely had plenty of water to drink.


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Townships get used pumper

By Rowena Plett
Marion County Record – July 12, 2018

For the first time in its history, Marion Fire Department will have a four-door pumper to use in fighting country fires.

Paid for by four rural townships – Centre, Grant, Wilson, and Gale – the 1995 diesel automatic Freightliner was purchased from Plano, Illinois, about 40 miles south of Chicago.

It features a 1,000-gallon water tank, an on-board generator for night lighting, and air packs installed on four of the five seats for quick fitting while riding.

“It should be a good fire truck for the next 20 years,” captain Jim Davis said.

The pumper will replace a 1985 country pumper, which will be sold.


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Fort Riley and local emergency responders trained for chemical IED attack

By Ann Olamijiu
WIBW – July 12, 2018


Imagine Fort Riley getting hit with an IED chemical attack — how would emergency responders perform under pressure?

Fort Riley’s emergency responders were put to the test Wednesday, with a chemical IED exercise–the annual training ensures responders are ready to respond to any scenario.

This exercise was designed to show if they’d make the grade by putting the FBI, Manhattan and Junction City Fire and Police departments to the test.

Emergency Management Specialist Chris Hallenbeck said it’s necessary for different agencies to understand each others resources and capabilities.

“This year it’s a terroristic type of event, attack at our gate which is a chemical attack and that requires as you see behind me all the response elements to respond with mainly our hazmat,” said Hallenbeck.

Agencies respond as if it were the real thing, setting up a hazmat site to ensure responders and victims could be cleaned of the harmful chemicals.

The last thing you want to do is in an incident is everybody showing up to respond to that and really not have made those connections, you don’t understand everybody’s capabilities,” Hallenbeck explained. “So, that’s why we always include our partners when we’re doing these exercises.”

This type of exercise is done every year to ensure standards are met across all agencies and keep channels of communication open.

“The biggest takeaway here is for our community to know that we do this just to make sure that we can protect and keep our community safe and that’s why we do this annually to bring everybody together,” Hallenbeck said.

Real life training prepares for more accurate action when the worse possible situation hits home.

Fort Riley had several training scenarios happening all around the Installation Wednesday causing several road closures.


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Deputies search for suspect after burglary report, fire in Sumner County

KWCH – July 11, 2018

Officers in Sumner County are searching for a suspect accused of burglarizing a home while he was armed.

At about 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sumner County deputies responded to a burglary call in the 400 block of South Mayfield Road near Wellington. Information relayed to dispatch was that a subject was inside the house with a gun.

A man at the home was able to leave and run to a neighbor’s house from which he reported seeing smoke coming from the burglarized home.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found a vehicle on fire behind a shed and smoke coming from the house. Fire crews were able to extinguish the blaze and deputies, with assistance from the Kansas Highway Patrol, searched the area, but did not find the suspected burglar.

The suspect is described as a 35 to 40-year-old man standing about six feet tall and weighing 230 to 250 pounds. The suspect is described as having short, sandy brown hair and was last seen wearing a plaid shirt, tan pants and black boots. He also has a tattoo on his right arm, the suspect description says.


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Deputy fire chief: Johns Manville millions in fire damages, cleanup extensive

McPherson Sentinel – July 11, 2018

Photo by Mindy Kepfield

The McPherson Fire Department and the Kansas State Fire Marshall’s Office are conducting an investigation into two fires reported Sunday and Monday at Johns Manville in McPherson that led to millions in estimated damages, said T.J. Wyssmann, deputy chief with the McPherson Fire Department, in a statement.

Two Johns Manville employees at the plant at 1465 17th Ave., were treated for smoke inhalation, but no fire service personnel were injured fighting either fire.

“We expect Johns Manville to have extensive cleanup operations for several days and damages ranging in the
millions of dollars. However, we would direct all questions related to Johns Manville operational status to the JM Public
Information Officer. We also would like to say thank you to all Johns Manville personnel for closely working with
Emergency Services to safely and effectively mitigate these incidents,” Wyssmann said. Public information officers with the company had not responded by press time.

The fire department was dispatched for the first time at about 8 a.m. on Sunday. Crews reported heavy smoke and fire on the south side of the warehouse. Crews quickly deployed large attack lines into the structure and extinguished the fire. Because of the large volume of product involvement, overhaul operations were lengthy and extensive, he said.

The department received a second call about a structure fire at 7:02 p.m. on Monday. The first arriving engine company at Johns Manville reported heavy smoke and fire within the east side of the warehouse near the loading docks. Search- and-rescue crews were deployed, but both primary and secondary searches for victims were negative. However, two Johns Manville personnel were treated for smoke inhalation.

Because of the location of the fire, crews had longer hose deployments, but Wyssmann said they brought the fire under control quickly.

“The amount of material once again involved was considerable…It took crews approximately six-and-half hours to overhaul and salvage the fire areas,” he said.


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Cops 1; firefighters 0

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – July 11, 2018


The Twitter battle between the Hutchinson Fire Department and the Reno County Sheriff’s Office took a turn for the worst on Tuesday, the HFD stated.

The sheriff’s office won and they wasted no time heckling each other outside of the Law Enforcement Center for the promised high-five to the winner. The underdog sheriff’s office was down nearly 200 followers when they issued the challenge via Twitter on Friday to see who could make it to 1,000 followers first.

“There’s great speculation that there is probably some foul play,” HFD deputy chief Doug Hanen said.

Detective David Post said Capt. Darrian Campbell returned from the FBI National Academy in June eager to improve the sheriff’s office Twitter account. Campbell had taken a media class while at the national academy in Virginia.

However, Post had been the mastermind behind the challenge and the mudslinging, which included a tweet with a K-9 exercising on a treadmill alongside a dalmatian (depicted as a fire dog) just using a back leg to turn the treadmill belt.

“The whole idea was to grow both pages and both pages grew so it did what it was supposed to do. We didn’t have to say we lost to any firefighters,” Post said. “We did not cheat. We did not buy followers.”

Shortly after making the challenge on Friday, the sheriff’s office had 480-something followers to the HFD’s 670-plus followers.

Post said the tweet about winning a challenge coin had over 26,000 views. He thought the Tweet propelled them toward the win.

He was out in the grassy area in front of the LEC when a firefighter in a blown-up outfit of a firefighter named Lloyd jumped out to give a high-five. But first Lloyd did a little dance.

“You guys gonna squirt us with your water truck,” Post said just before Lloyd arrived in a fire truck.

Fire Investigator Tony Arpin responded: “You allergic to water?”

During the competition, HFD tweeted a picture of a firefighter putting out a fire at a Dunkin Donuts with the caption: “PD was thankful.”

Hanen said they were planning to initiate a lip-sync battle on Tuesday, but it was too late.

“It was the fourth quarter and we were down,” he said. “It was a Hail Mary.”

Hanen said they had other ideas. Post said the same, but wouldn’t divulge what the ideas were.

They both plan to save the ideas for the next competition.

First responders said the additional Twitter followers would help them to communicate messages faster.

The sheriff’s office Twitter account is @RenoCoSheriff (They get to go first since they won) and the HFD account is @Hutchinson_Fire.

The sheriff’s office now set its sights on overtaking the Hutchinson Police Department which has over 4,000 followers.


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El Dorado firefighters deal with ‘sticky situation’

By Gordon Bassham
KSN – July 11, 2018

Photos by El Dorado Fire Department

Firefighters in El Dorado responded to a call of a truck leaking a substance Tuesday afternoon. What they found turned out to be a “sticky situation.”

The fire crews were dispatched to a parking lot in the 300 block of S. Village Rd. after someone spotted an unknown substance leaking from a semi-tractor trailer.

When they arrived on the scene, they found a puddle of the substance on the ground leaking from the enclosed trailer.

Officials reported after they conducted a test of the substance, they determined it was non-hazardous. When they opened the back of the truck, they discovered that substance was raw honey.

Crews were able to wash down the area to dilute the honey.


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