KSFFA Regional Fire School – Great Bend – November

KSFFA Regional Fire School
hosted by Great Bend Fire Department
November 3-4, 2018
Location: Great Bend Convention & Visitor Bureau, 3007 10th St


Saturday Morning – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Midwest Energy – 4 hrs. – morning
  2. Farm Extrication – 12 hrs.
  3. KSFFA Skills Trailer – 8 hrs.
  4. Grain Elevator – 8 hrs.

Saturday Afternoon – 1:00 p.m.

  1. Farm Extrication, cont.
  2. KSFFA Skills Trailer, cont.
  3. Grain Elevator, cont.
  4. Eagle Med Landing Zone – 4 hrs.

Sunday Morning – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Thermal Imaging
  2. Firefighter Rehab
  3. Oil Tank Battery Fires
  4. Farm Extrication, cont.

Sunday Noon

  1. Fire Grounds – KSFFA Burn Trailer

Contact Info – Justin Couse, KSFFA NW Trustee, 785-420-0465, justincouse1973@hotmail.com

Eugene Perkins, gbfd439@greatbendks.net

  • 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.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook


Lawrence “Todd” Desch

Lawrence “Todd” Desch, 48, Topeka, passed away Thursday, October 11, 2018.

He was born August 22, 1970, in Topeka, Kansas, the son of Larry and Theresa (Dechand) Desch. He graduated from Seaman High School in 1988 and attended Topeka Technical College.

Todd held various positions throughout Topeka from volunteering at Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department and firefighting at Soldier Township Fire Department to working at Prairie Band Casino and Herman’s Smokehouse.

On June 25, 1994, he married Jonna L. Hawn in Vegas. She survives. Other survivors include their children: Cody and Alexis Desch; his mother, four brothers: Terry (Laurie) Desch, Tony (Kathy) Desch, Tom (Lynda) Desch and TJ Desch and numerous extended family.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Todd enjoyed K-State football, fishing, BBQ and was a history buff. He also enjoyed spending time with each of his dogs; Tubby and Jake; and cats; Godzilla, Snoopy, and Mamba.

Visitation will begin at 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at Parker-Price Cremations, Funerals & Receptions with memorial service to follow at 1:00 p.m.

To honor Todd’s wishes, please wear your favorite K-State or purple and white attire.

Memorial contributions may be made to Soldier Township Fire Department or Midland Care in care of the funeral home, 245 N.W. Independence Avenue, Topeka.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Vehicle accident kills Derby resident

By David Dinell
Derby Informer – October 17, 2018

A single-vehicle rollover accident killed a Derby man Tuesday evening. The accident was near the intersection of East Madison and Willow Creek and is under investigation.

Fire crews received the alarm at 6:43 p.m. and then updated information that the occupant was trapped inside the vehicle and not breathing. Both Derby and Sedgwick County fire departments responded.

Crews arrived on scene and found one male occupant trapped inside.

A hydraulic powered extrication tool, the Jaws of Life, was used to remove the driver’s side door and gain access to the man.

Resuscitative efforts were started, but stopped after the patient died at the scene.

No name has been released, but the police confirmed that the person is a local resident.

It’s the second fatal accident in the city this year.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Firefighters wear pink ribbon hats

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – October 17, 2018

Leavenworth firefighter Spencer Blew and Capt. Tyler Ewert. Photo by John Richmeier

While they put on helmets when responding to fires, members of the Leavenworth Fire Department often wear baseball caps with their uniforms. And many of them are sporting special caps this month in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Battalion Chief Bill McKeel said firefighters were given the opportunity to purchase the special Leavenworth Fire Department hats.

They are similar to ones Leavenworth firefighters wear throughout the year, but they feature pink lettering and the image of a pink ribbon.

About 40 of the special hats were purchased. McKeel said the supplier charged $16 per hat. But firefighters paid $20 for each hat.

McKeel said the additional money collected from the hat sales will be donated to a cancer charity.

“So this is kind of a way just to help out,” he said.

McKeel said he is still collecting money and does not yet know how much has been raised for charity.

“It’s probably not going to be a whole lot this year, but it’s something,” he said.

McKeel, who is in charge of ordering uniforms for the Fire Department, said he came up with idea for the hats because he wanted to do something special for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

McKeel said he would like to expand on the idea for next year, possibly offering T-shirts or other items.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Russell City Fire Chief Shane Preston Accepts Job with Hays Fire Department

By David Elliott
KRSL – October 17, 2018

Russell City Fire Department Chief Shane Preston has been selected to become the City of Hays’ next Deputy Fire Chief. His last day with the City of Russell is November 9, 2018.

According to a press release from Russell City Manager Jon Quinday, Preston’s service to the City of Russell began in 2000 as a firefighter. He worked his way through the ranks of lieutenant and captain before becoming the department’s chief in May of 2013.

Preston has led the department for five years, improving the condition of the department’s fire trucks, implementing several major preventative maintenance programs, and worked closely with the Public Works and 911 Communications Departments to receive an upgraded ISO Public Protection Classification of 3. This ISO rating puts the city in the top 10 percent in the nation in terms of fire protection systems and capabilities.

Chief Preston also spent many hours presenting fire prevention programs with local schools and civic groups. It’s not uncommon to see elementary students at the firehouse being taught fire prevention.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Jenkins family receives support following house fire

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – October 17, 2018

Photo by Paola Fire Department

The Paola community is rallying around a local police officer and his family after they lost their home in an early-morning fire Oct. 9.

Paola firefighters responded to reports of a structure fire at 711 Redbud Drive in the Indian Hills subdivision at about 5:45 a.m. Oct. 9.

Paola Police Capt. Eric Jenkins and his family members were able to make it out of the house safely, but the fire was beginning to spread when firefighters first arrived.

Capt. Joe Flake of the Paola Fire Department said there was heavy rainfall while firefighters were working to extinguish the flames, but contrary to popular belief, rain doesn’t do much to help put out house fires.

“It makes very little difference,” Flake said.

Firefighters entered the home, and Flake said they had some difficulty reaching the fire due to the home’s setup, but they soon were hitting the flames with water flow from the inside, as well as water from hoses and an aerial truck on the outside.

Flake said it appears the fire started in the back of the home, near the deck, and then spread up the wall and into the ceiling and attic.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but an investigation is ongoing. Flake said he believes he can rule out a lightning strike.

The flames didn’t reach the bedroom areas, but Flake said he believes the home will be a complete loss due to smoke and water damage.

Flake said the timing of the fire actually helped the family members escape as they were awakened by their morning alarm before the smoke alarms went off.

“They were fortunate,” Flake said.

About 20 Paola firefighters were assisted on the scene by firefighters from Louisburg and Johnson County Fire District No. 2.

Several Paola police officers also visited the scene to show their support for Jenkins and his family. Eric and his wife, Leslie, said they will be renting a residence in Paola this week, and they are thankful for all of the support they have received from the community since the fire.

“We both want to express our gratitude to everyone in the community who has reached out to help us,” Eric and Leslie said in a written statement. “We are extremely fortunate for the support, which has made dealing with this situation much easier. This has been a great reminder as to why Paola is such a great place to live.”


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Bobb L. Rice

Bobb L. Rice, age 82, of Topeka, passed away Thursday, October 11, 2018 at Topeka. Bobb was born September 1, 1936 in Topeka the son of Charles and Ora Cook Rice. Bobb graduated from Highland Park High School in 1955. He married Lucille E. Prichard December 28, 1958 in Topeka. She preceded him in death January 29, 2015. Bobb worked for the City of Topeka Fire Department for 33 years where he served as District Chief for District #103. Before that, he owned and operated Bobb’s Air Conditioning and Heating for 20 years. He enjoyed cooking, woodworking, fishing for crappie at Pomona, gardening, especially tomatoes and he enjoyed working on cars. Bobb served as the 1955 Highland Park High School alumni organizer. He was preceded in death by Betty Sorenson, his later companion. He is survived by two daughters, Rebecca Louise “Becky” (Albert) Rice-Petrusky of Ponder, Texas and Sandra Sue “Sandy” (Joe) Prchal of Topeka; three grandchildren, Nichole Petrusky Miller, Brandy Petrusky Kitchen and Albert Anthony Layton Petrusky; great grandchildren, Conner Miller and AnnaBeth Kitchen.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Highland Heights Christian Church. He will lie in state Tuesday from 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. with visitation from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Davidson Funeral Home. Interment will be at the Prairie Home Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the American Red Cross and sent in care of the Davidson Funeral Home. davidsonfuneral.com. A Potluck dinner will follow the services back at the church. All are invited.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Crews called to garage fire in southwest Topeka

By Savanna Maue
Topeka Capital Journal – October 17, 2018

No injuries were reported after a small fire Tuesday night in a garage attached to a home near Washburn University.

The blaze was reported at about 7:45 p.m. at 1821 S.W. Mission. Damage to the garage and a truck inside it appeared to be minor.

Residents had evacuated the home by the time fire personnel arrived, Capt. Craig McClane said, and no injures were reported.

McClane said the exact cause of the fire isn’t yet known and that flames were quickly contained.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Salina City Commission updated on fire station need

By Eric Wiley
Salina Journal – October 17, 2018

Salina Fire Station No. 4 needs a new home, according to a needs assessment study.

On Monday, Salina City Commissioners were given a tour and presentation at the station, 669 Briarcliff.

Fire station No. 4 relocation has been on the city’s capital improvement plan since 2013 as an unfunded project, or lacking funds. In April, a third party performed a needs assessment study for the fire station to address future needs for a new fire station.

Issues found included the age of the facility, workspace limitations, security, meeting federal compliance regulations and living arrangements.

Kevin Royse, Salina fire chief, said the useful life expectancy of a fire station is approximately 40 to 50 years. Station No. 4 is 49-years-old.

“Our apparatus are getting larger, so spacing is at a premium,” he said. “The fire services have changed and different types of work is done now compared to when the building was built in the 60s. The services have grown since the addition of an EMS unit at the station.”

Royse said the current facility needs a male and female bathroom, a better living arrangement for firefighters and more because “we really need more space, we’ve outgrown the station.”

The current facility is 9,300 square feet.

“Remodeling is just not going to be possible,” he said. “There’s an adjacent lot just south of there, and even both of them combined would not be big enough. Our guys sleep in the basement. It’s very inefficient. They get an alarm and have to run up the stairs. The layout is not conducive to what we need.”

Royse, who applauded the location of the current station, recommended a lot just south of the current facility at the East Crawford Street and Markley Road intersection.

The lot, he said, has all of the needed space and utilities and is city owned, preventing any acquisition issues, and was one of the few useful areas on the east side of town for the station.

No timeline has been set as to when a new station may be built or how it would be funded.

Royse said the change in location would not affect the station’s current response time of being on scene within four minutes 90 percent of the time.

“The location actually places us directly across the street from one of our largest target hazards (Presbyterian Manor),” he said. “As the city grows, the fire station must grow. Fire stations are a part of the infrastructure of any city, especially where public safety is a priority.”


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Body Found in River Near Fort Scott, KS

By Stacie Strader
KOAM – October 17, 2018

The Fort Scott Police Department has found a body believed to be that of 74-year-old Edith Hawkins.

Police say they were called to S. Clark Street around 1:05 this afternoon (Oct. 16, 2018) in reference to a missing person. Authorities were told that Hawkins left her home earlier in the day around 10:00 a.m. and had not been seen since. Family members told police that she suffered from Alzheimer’s.

The Fort Scott Police and Fire Departments, Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, Mercy EMS and District 3 Rural Fire began searching for Hawkins in and around the City of Fort Scott.

Around 3:00 p.m. authorities found a deceased body believed to be Edith Hawkins in the water of the Marmaton River between Second Street Bridge and the North National Bridge.

Authorities say the body is being sent to Frontier Forensics in Kansas City. The investigation is ongoing.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Fire at courthouse elevator

By Joey May
Hiawatha World – October 17, 2018

Photo by Joey May

The Hiawatha Fire Department and other emergency personnel were called to the Brown County Courthouse for a report of a fire in the elevator shaft about 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Before the fire department could respond, it was reported over the scanner that the fire was out. However, HFD quickly responded and were on the scene for some time evaluating the situation.

Jordanne Shockley, public information officer for the HFD, said the initial page came at 2:02 p.m. and upon arrival, all courthouse personnel were outside of the building.

She said the fire was located and confined to the motor of the elevator, pending further investigation per Fire Chief Ryan Shockley. The courthouse was closed for the remainder of the day.

Robinson Fire Department, Rescue Squad 48, Town & Country EMS, Hiawatha Police Department and Brown County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Wichita man killed in Reno County accident

KAKE – October 16, 2018

A Wichita man has been killed in a one-vehicle accident in Reno County.

The crash happened Tuesday morning on Haven Road, south of the Arkansas River Bridge. The sheriff’s office said deputies arrived to find a 2003 Ford Mustang with major damage.

The driver, 38-year-old Robert Dale Beatty II, was found nearby. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies believe Beatty’s car was northbound when he lost control. The car struck a levy and went airborne before rolling several times.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

New Ottawa fire truck dedicated Sunday

Ottawa Herald – October 16, 2018

Photo by John Jared Hawks

Ottawa Fire Department Chief Tim Matthias talks with the over 60 attendees of Sunday new fire engine dedication and open house at the Ottawa Fire Station. The afternoon featured a blessing and “watering” of the truck during which water from the fire engine being replaced was transported via bucket brigade to the new truck and tours of the station.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Wichita firefighters’ union aims to keep fire engine after city plans to move it to reserve

By Krystle Sherrell
KSN – October 16, 2018


The International Association of Firefighters will soon pass out flyers urging residents to contact city leaders in hopes of saving  fire engine 6, while the city said it’s just a transfer of resources and won’t impact the safety of residents.

Engine 6 is located at the joint fire station on the east side of Wichita at N. 143rd Street and operated by both Sedgwick County and Wichita Fire Departments.

When the city approved its budget for 2019, it decided engine 6 would be put in reserve for the department due to an expiring grant.

“Engine six has been there for some time, but by grant money and that grant money expires at the end of the year,” said Stuart Bevis, fire marshal at the Wichita Fire Department.

The decision prompted the union to create flyers to urge residents to voice their opinions to city officials.

“Engine six way out east would go away and be replaced with a squad,” said Matt Schulte, president of the International Association of Firefighters.

The union worries that taking away the engine would impact the safety and property of nearby residents.

“Those are some very large homes and schools out there,” Schulte said. “There’s been talk that it only makes a few alarms a day, but if it’s your house on fire or your loved one that’s in cardiac arrest, you’ll want us to be there as quickly as possible and that’s why that engine is out there.”

The fire department said station 6 is the only city fire station that has more than one engine.

KSN took a look at the number of calls the station receives for its primary response area compared to other stations in the city with only one engine.

From October 15, 2017 to now, Station 6 has received 676 calls for both the county and city combined.

Station 21 received 542 called, one of the lowest in the city and Station 1 received 4,764 calls, one of the highest in the city.

Bevis said there are other stations just miles away that are adjacent to the coverage area and can respond to a major call, if needed.

“That’s what we look at as a department and as a city, how are we best able to move our resources around to serve the citizens,” Bevis said.

The firefighters’ union maintains that the decision could impact residents and plans to give out the flyers to residents living in neighborhoods within station 6’s coverage area in the coming weeks.

The flyers are also posted on the Wichita Firefighters Facebook page.

For a full map of fire station locations in Wichita, visit the Wichita Fire Department website.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Junction City Firefighter battles fires on duty, a foster parent at home

By Ann Olamiju
WIBW – October 16, 2018


Junction City firefighter Kyle Bergman wanted to battle fire since was a little boy. Now that he’s living his dream he continues to give back to his community as a foster parent.

“I wanted to become a fireman because I enjoy helping people even as a kid. I always wanted and had a drive to help somebody who was in need or be there for somebody who needed help. My father is Greg Bergman he inspired me a lot to be who I am today,” explained Bergman.

Battling fires and saving lives is what Bergman does for a living, but his passion is his family and helping kids in need as a foster parent.

“In my career as a fireman and EMS, helping people it relates to my family as in we want to help,” said Bergman. “We just want to help kids get them out of whatever situation they’re in maybe give them a better situation and give them something they may not have had before.”

In May Bergman and his wife got licensed through DCF to foster children and welcomed two young boys into their home — now they’ve made them a permanent part of their family.

Bergman said, “They came in and were meant to be a part of the family they fit in perfectly. There was no doubt about it that they were supposed to be with us and we were supposed to adopt them.”

Junction City Fire Chief Terry Johnson said Bergman is a dedicated and reliable member of the team.

“Kyle is a motivated professional that provides excellent service to the community. I call him the quite hero. He’s the one that’s always there, always a part of the team,” explained Johnson.

Bergman plans to be a firefighter until he retires and continue to open his home to as many children in need as he can.

“Our home holds plenty of people, there’s more than enough room so we are going to continue down that path of helping other children and being foster parents,” said Bergman.

Bergman said there are thousands of children in foster care in the state of Kansas, he encourages anyone who can to open their home to a child in need.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent go to adoptuskids.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Natural gas explosion injures Garden City man

By Amber Friend
Garden City Telegram – October 16, 2018

The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office, Garden City Fire Department, Garden City Police Department and Black Hills Energy are investigating a natural gas explosion at a Garden City home that injured a man and extensively damaged the house.

At approximately 11:29 a.m. Monday, firefighters responded to an explosion in the garage of 703 N. Third St., a home owned by Gary Whitehurst of Wichita and occupied by Steven Olivarez, said Garden City Fire Chief Allen Shelton.

Though the GCFD had the resulting fire under control by about 11:38 a.m., firefighters remained on scene until 12:10 p.m. to ensure the structure was entirely extinguished, Shelton said. Shelton said the firefighters shut off the house’s gas and electricity, as it does for all structure fires, and called Black Hills Energy to investigate the scene, as it does whenever natural gas is involved in a fire. The department has not yet determined the cause of the explosion, he said.

Nalen Rincones, of Garden City, who Shelton said was in the garage at the time of the explosion, was injured during the incident and taken to St. Catherine Hospital, said Garden City police Sgt. Lana Urteaga. Shelton said Rincones does not live at the residence.

The explosion blew the garage door across the driveway and into an adjacent parking lot, damaging the windshield of one nearby car. The GCFD did not have a damage estimate on Monday.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Man hurt in Atchison truck fire

By Marcus Clem
Atchison Globe – October 16, 2018

Photo by Marcus Clem

A man has been taken to an Atchison, Kansas, hospital for evaluation after his pickup truck burst into flames Monday with him at the wheel.

The man’s Ford F-150 was traveling west across the Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge on U.S. Highway 59 with a flat tire. The man, who hasn’t been identified, appears to have driven on the flat tire for an unknown length of time, causing the ruined tire to ignite. This set fire to the rear of the vehicle, Atchison Fire Chief Ted Graf said.

Graf said it appears the man remained inside the truck while it burned for a brief period of time. During this time, he turned off the highway onto South Fourth Street. Graf said the man managed to get out before authorities arrived.

Atchison County EMS units took the man to the hospital.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Lenexa fire leaves 1 person dead, 6 others homeless

FOX 4 News – October 16, 2018


A man is dead and six others are homeless following a fire in Lenexa.

The fire started early Sunday morning at a home on Redbird Street. All seven people inside the burning home escaped, but a man suffered severe burns. He later died at an area hospital from his injuries.

Friends of the homeowners are stepping up to help.

“It`s nice to see that other people are stepping up to help,” family friend Joe Procter said. “We’ve got friends of friends donating, and fantasy football league members are donating, soccer team members are donating and it`s been the one only positive thing about this, is seeing how people really care and it`s heartwarming to see how much everyone is doing.”

The fire remains under investigation, but a division chief in Lenexa’s Fire Department said he believes it started in the fireplace and then spread.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

House fire

Great Bend Tribune – October 16, 2018

Photo by Dale Hogg

Great Bend Fire Department responded to a fire at 2310 11th St. at 4:50 p.m. Friday. Chief Luke McCormack said the cause of the fire is undetermined but was mostly contained to a second-story bedroom and its contents. Damage was estimated at $2,000. The occupant of the duplex was not home at the time; an acquaintance was walking by, saw smoke and called the fire department. No one was injured. Firefighters were on scene until 7:30 p.m.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Fire heavily damages Wichita home

KAKE – October 15, 2018

Fire caused extensive damage to a Wichita home Monday morning. A person who lived in the home in the 400 block of West 12th reported the fire to 911.

The first fire crews on the scene saw flames and heavy smoke coming from the first and second floors.

Everyone who lived in the home was able to get out safely. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Manhattan Fire Department embraces community for fire education

By Kelly Saberi
KSNT – October 15, 2018


Although the fun had to stay inside, there was still plenty to learn for National Fire Prevention Week.

But the firefighters say it was more of a way for them to give back.

“There would be no fire department without the community,” said Gregg De Creek.

Kids got a taste for what it’s like to take a step in firefighters boots by testing their strength with a firefighter rescue.

The Junction City Fire Department lent this fire safety house to teach kids what to do if they’re ever caught in a fire.

There’s one truck that may catch your eye, and it’s not just because of it’s bright green color.This truck holds more water than a typical firetruck, along with special foam and a dry chemical agent.

And a family favorite, the department’s mascot, Frankie the Fireman was there for all the fun as well.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Topeka Fire Departments holds Fallen Firefighters Memorial

By Kelly Saberi
KSNT – October 15, 2018


The Topeka Fire Department held their annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony today.

The event was part of Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters.

Historically the bell sound calls members to the station. The bells are used in the ceremony to remember each fallen firefighter.

“I love doing the memorial ceremony every year just because I think a lot of people forget the past and there area lot of people who have given their lives for this community,” said Topeka Fire Marshall Michael Martin. “I think it’s very good for us to once a year look back on those people and pay them some tribute.

Right after the ceremony the fire department invited people to stay and learn more about what it’s like to be a firefighter.

The open house had a CPR training, demonstrations on fire safety, and more.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Eugene “Gene” D. Schwemmer

Eugene “Gene” D. Schwemmer, 85, passed away in Salina, Friday, October 12, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was born June 6, 1933 in Hunter to David and Mae (Donley) Schwemmer.

Gene married Carol Sheridan in Ellsworth on June 9, 1957. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict and was a member of the Ellsworth VFW Post 6485.

Gene worked as a shift supervisor at Enron for many years. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, a volunteer firefighter on the Ellsworth Volunteer Fire Department, and a member of Kiwanis.

Gene is survived by his wife, Carol of Ellsworth; daughters, Debbie Rojas (Genaro) of Ellsworth and Sherri Shippy (Merlin) of Assaria; grandchildren, Lindsey Hlad (Kyle), Marissa Karp (Weston), Mo Rojas, and Brandon Shippy (Rashae); great grandchildren, Kenley Rojas, Sawyer Karp, Everly Rojas, Shiana Shippy, and Delilah Shippy; and sister, Karen Horner (Maury) of Chattanooga, TN. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Duane Schwemmer.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church, Ellsworth. An inurnment with military honors will follow at Carneiro Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to First Presbyterian Church or the Ellsworth Volunteer Fire Department, c/o, Parsons Funeral Home, Box 45, Ellsworth, KS 67439


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

House fire in central Topeka causes neighbors to evacuate

By Erika Hall
WIBW – October 15, 2018


Fire officials are investigating a house fire in central Topeka Saturday.

The fire broke out on the second floor of 1200 SW Taylor at 9 a.m. then spread to 1204 SW Taylor, the neighboring house to the south.

No one was in the home where the fire broke out, but three people had to be evacuated in the house next door.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Fire officials say the house where the fire originated has $25,000 worth of structural damage and the neighboring house has $20,000.

No content loss is reported.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

There were no smoke detectors sounding in the structure.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Commissioners get volunteer fire fighters’ input on ambulance service

By Tammy Helm
Fort Scott Tribune – October 15, 2018

Bourbon County Fire District 3 Chief Delwin Mumbower and Hiattville Fire Chief Lou Howard talk to commissioners about their concerns with the future of ambulance service after Mercy Hospital Fort Scott closes on Dec. 31. Also pictured at back is BCFD 3 firefighter Shawn Wyatt.

As Bourbon County Commissioners continue to work on a solution to bring an ambulance service after Mercy Hospital closes its doors Dec. 31, on Tuesday, they heard from officials from the Bourbon County Fire District 3.

District 3 Chief Delwin Mumbower, Hiattville Fire Chief Lou Howard and volunteer firefighter Shawn Wyatt attended the meeting to share their concerns on the future of ambulance services in Bourbon County.

“We’re not an ambulance service by no means, but I think we provide a valuable service out there in first response,” Mumbower said. “You know, we spend a lot of time with a patient out there waiting on an ambulance. We have a lot invested in it.”

He said recently, the district spent $2,000 to make sure volunteers are “protected with immunizations.”

“I think my concern, personally – and a lot of those in our department – is when it comes to private services, you don’t have a say,” Mumbower said. “And some of them don’t necessarily involve a first responder.”

He said he understands the commissioners’ job and the need to explore all options. During a special meeting on Oct. 3, commissioners voted to advertise for bids for an ambulance service, but at the same time, agreed to explore the idea of a county-owned service.

“I would also like to see that somehow we are involved – that we stay involved with medical response out in the county,” Mumbower said.

Mumbower said currently the district has five EMTs, two medical responders and six are currently training to become EMTs.

“We are very fortunate to have those people to volunteer to do that,” Mumbower said. “It means a lot.”

Commission Chairman Lynne Oharah said the county and city are working together to create a task force that includes a representation of “every entity that touches emergency services.”

Oharah also said at this time, the commissioners don’t have information they need in order to make a decision.

“If we lose the Mercy aspect of it at the end of the year, we lose our ability to run the calls,” Mumbower said. “Because we operate under the Mercy program. At some point, we’re going to need direction. If we’re not operating with medical direction from Mercy, we’ve got to go elsewhere because we have to have protocol signed by a physician.”

“We’re working on the issues as hard as we can because we are on a short time frame,” Oharah said.

He said anyone who looks at the call sheets from dispatch can see any time an ambulance is called, volunteer first responders are also involved. Mumbower said he keeps a record how many times the district’s volunteers arrive on a scene prior to an ambulance.

“We log those incidents separately,” Mumbower said, adding that he does not have that data on hand.

Commissioner Jeff Fischer said he knows contracting with an outside vendor means “you don’t have that personal touch anymore.”

“There’s a lot of unknowns, but hopefully we can navigate through this and have a local provided ambulance service that all the stakeholders are happy with,” Fischer said.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Farewell event to be held Saturday at Lawrence-Dumont

By Greg Miller
KAKE – October 12, 2018

Lawrence-Dumont Stadium will host one more baseball game before it’s torn down. A ceremonial baseball game will be held Saturday afternoon, where the gates will open and the stands will house fans one final time.

There will be two celebrity softball games beginning at 3 p.m., the first one featuring Wichita Fire Department verses the Sedgwick County Fire Department, the second featuring other personalities from across the city.

Saturday’s event starts at 9 a.m. with a stadium chair sale. It’s cash only and there’s another catch, according to the city’s mayor.

“We’re asking that you bring some wrenches and a screwdriver so you can be able to take the seat with you,” said Mayor Jeff Longwell.

At 2:30 p.m., the south side doors to the complex will open for the afternoon festivities. The Wichita Collegiate High School marching band will perform, along with food trucks which will be nearby.

The band, “The Astronauts” will perform, along with a fireworks display, weather permitting.

After that, the stadium will likely be torn down within the next thirty days, and with it – will come the end of an era.

“It’s sad to see such a venerable stadium meet the wrecking ball,” said Paul Savage, President of the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame. “The history, I can’t help myself… that’s what will be on my mind one last time.”


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Kansas man dead, 3 hospitalized after 5-vehicle head-on crash

Hays Post – October 12, 2018

One person died in an accident just before 7:30a.m. Friday in Montgomery County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 1993 Ford pickup driven by Jalen Kristopher Bush, 17, Coffeyville, was westbound on U.S. 166 one mile east of Caney. The pickup traveled left of center and struck a 2008 Toyota Camry driven by Linda M. Coots, 76, Caney, head-on.

An eastbound 2014 Chevy Malibu driven by Geraldine Wilson Jay, 81, Copan, OK., then struck the Ford pickup that was still in the roadway.

A 2006 Cadillac SRX driven by Gaige Ethan Beam, 17, Caney, made an evasive maneuver to avoid hitting the Chevy and collided with the Ford pickup and then struck a 2011 Honda Odyssey driven by Amanda Clair Wade, 37, Caney, that was stopped on the westbound shoulder.

A passenger in the Toyota Edgar E. Coots, 79, Caney, was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to the mortuary in Coffeyville. His wife Linda Coots was transported to the hospital in Coffeyville. Bush was airlifted to a hospital in Tulsa. Jay was transported to the hospital in Bartlesville.

Beam, Wade and two children in the Honda were not injured. All were properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Norton Rural Fire Department

Norton Telegram – October 9, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – October 12, 2018


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Two injured in accident at McShares, Inc.

By Leslie Eikleberry
Salina Post – October 12, 2018

Two people were injured Friday morning in an accident at McShares, Inc.

Fire Marshal Troy Long said this afternoon that the Salina Fire Department responded to a report of a fire in the mixing building at McShares, 1835 E. North Street at 7:10 a.m. Friday.

When firefighters arrived, they found no fire, but the sprinkler system had been activated, Long said.

Two persons in the building were injured. Long said one person had minor injuries and the other had second-degree chemical burns on his neck and hands. Both persons were transported to Salina Regional Health Center, he added.

Long said firefighters put water on the chemical to change the pH level so it would cause no further injuries.

The accident was attributed to equipment failure, Long said.

No one at McShares was available this afternoon to speak to Salina Post about the incident.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Lenora Fire Department

Norton Telegram – October 9, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – October 12, 2018


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Missing Paola woman found deceased in submerged vehicle

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – October 12, 2018

A 78-year-old Paola woman who had been missing since the morning of Oct. 10, was found Friday, Oct. 12, deceased in her vehicle that had been submerged in floodwaters.

Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched Friday morning to Hospital Drive south of 327th Street for a vehicle in the water. The floodwaters had receded, showing the roof of a silver passenger car, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu owned by Hazel Phillips, was removed from the water, and her body was found with the vehicle, according to the release.

The cause of the death is still under investigation.

Miami County was inundated with heavy rainfall Oct. 6-8, causing widespread flooding throughout the region.

Local law enforcement officers and community members had been searching for Phillips since she went missing the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 10.

When Phillips last spoke with family members in the evening hours of Tuesday, Oct. 9, she reportedly told them she would be going to Drexel, Mo., in the morning hours of Wednesday, Oct. 10. She was last seen headed that way around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Capt. Matt Kelly said investigators tried to ping Phillips’ cell phone, but it was dead.

Kelly said other local law enforcement agencies joined in the search, and drone footage of the local area was reviewed for possible clues that could lead to her whereabouts.

The search had extended far beyond the borders of Miami County. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide Silver Alert for Phillips on Thursday, Oct. 11.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Norton City Fire Department

Norton Telegram – October 9, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – October 12, 2018


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Almena Fire Department

Norton Telegram – October 9, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – October 12, 2018


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Closing your bedroom door at night could save your life, fire safety experts say

By Amy Anderson
KCTV 5 – October 12, 2018


We all know stop, drop and roll. We all know about smoke detectors, and we all know to have a plan in case of a fire.

But did you know the one simple act of closing your door could mean the difference between life and death?

Overland Park Fire Department officials say it could save your life.

“Our safety message we want to get out to the public is that at night, when you’re sleeping, close that bedroom door. That way if there is a fire, there’s more time to get out of your home before that smoke and heat enters your bedroom,” said Mike Morgan, a fire training officer with the Overland Park Fire Department.

The department created an experiment for KCTV5 News.

“We’re going to light a fire, and we’re going to watch and see what happens in our model,” Morgan said. “Down here to start it off, I just have some kindling and sawdust, and I’ll add some foam. That foam represents some of the material that’s in modern day furnishings.” he said.

That foam, found in so many furnishings these days, creates more smoke and gives off even more toxic chemicals.

It didn’t take long for the tiny embers to grow, sending black smoke right up what would be the staircase.

“What we have here is a fire – on the bottom floor or the first floor – and it will travel through the stairwell. As you can see we have two simulated bedrooms. One the door is shut. One the door is open … that smoke is going to travel through the path of least resistance,” Morgan said.

And that’s exactly what it did.

After a few minutes, you could barely see inside one room, and the windows of the center area, where the staircase is, were incredibly hot to the touch.

In the other room, there were cool windows and little to no smoke.

“It doesn’t surprise me that we’re getting a little bit in here, but you can definitely see the difference between having a door open versus having a door closed,” Morgan said.

Tricia Roberts agrees. She’s a public education specialist for the Overland Park Fire Department. She says in schools, they’ve been teaching kids about closing the doors for a while now.

“It’ll buy you extra time if there was a fire … every second counts. It really is a race against time,” she said.

Roberts says fire can double in size in only 30 seconds, and closing the door can often buy you precious minutes you’d need to figure out how to get out or wait for firefighters to arrive.

And it’s not just the fire you’re trying to steer clear of. It’s the smoke.

“We’re worried about the smoke, absolutely. Smoke can move through a building quickly and it’s full of toxic chemicals,” she said.

Roberts says be sure to do maintenance on your smoke alarms. Don’t just install them and forget it.

“You want to hit the button at least once a month, change at least twice a year … every ten years, get a new one,” she said.

And make sure your children are familiar with the sound of a smoke alarm, and that they know it means they need to get out of the house.

Roberts advice for parents who may not feel comfortable closing the bedroom door on a child and then closing their own door? Invest in a baby monitor and make sure you have a plan. Your little ones will be safer with the door closed.

“I would encourage people to have an escape plan and practice it. You don’t want the night of a fire to be a surprise, you want to know exactly what everyone will do,” Roberts said.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Hutch Fire makes good use of water rescue training

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – October 12, 2018


KWCH Video

The two-team setup for water rescues paid off on Thursday morning when the Hutchinson Fire Department had each team respond to back-to-back calls.

HFD water rescue captain Aaron Walton was involved in two of the rescues.

Around 7 a.m., Walton was part of a three-person crew that used a 14-foot Inmar rescue boat to reach a man trapped in his car while trying to drive across a washed out road at 82nd and Sunrise streets in Buhler.

Walton estimated it took an extra 10 minutes to reach the man because of road closures, which forced the HFD to drive up to Inman, then backtrack.

From there, they went to rescue three adults, a child and two dogs at 3505 N. Pennington Road.

The rescue boat with a 30 horsepower outboard motor was purchased with a Firehouse Subs grant within the last year. The boat held up to its 2,495-pound capacity as it brought the family and firefighters back across the flooded area.

Walton estimated the deepest areas to be nearly six-feet. Walton said at times the firefighters waded through chest-high water in drysuits.

He could feel the cold water even through the drysuit and clothing underneath it.

The other team used a 16-foot, 6-inch aluminum boat purchased earlier this year with Department of Homeland Security money to make rescues on the 3500 block of North Pennington and the 5100 block of North Pennington.

The money also paid for training, a trailer and drysuits.

Before that, the fire department only had an inflatable raft that someone donated after seeing a news report about the HFD’s lack of water rescue equipment.

HFD water rescue captain Jason Hawks said the inflatable boat worked for two rescues last year on the Arkansas River. On one of those rescues, the HFD used a rope stretched across the river to guide the boat to three stranded men.

A rope and boat without a motor wouldn’t have been sufficient for Thursday.

“We’re set up for it now,” Walton said. “We weren’t years ago.”

Hawks and Walton both received their boat operator certification last fall at Oklahoma City Riversport.

HFD shifted around personnel to put the 11 firefighters certified as boat operators and three certified as swift water technicians on rotating shifts out at Fire Station No. 5 on Hendricks Street.

Being at the location on Hendricks Street put firefighters closer to where first responders foresee more rescues — west of town.

The 12.79-foot water level observed at Cow Creek on Thursday night is a record. It’s expected to rise to 13.2 feet on Friday.

Light rain is expected on Friday, and there are chances of rain over the weekend. Even at its current level, a National Weather Service hydrologist didn’t expect water level to drop until next Thursday.

“We’re coming back here on Saturday,” Hawks said, adding he’s usually at Fire Station No. 3, Avenue E and Walnut streets.

At station five, the rescue boats were on trailers and hooked up to trucks. The drysuits were laid out while firefighters ate dinner around 6 p.m.

Around 7:15 p.m., they were called to the east of 82nd and Yaggy roads in Nickerson at least one person trapped inside a vehicle.

Since Tuesday evening, there have been at least seven water rescues.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Artifact returned to historic Station Two

Story and photo by Will Ravenstein
– October 11, 2018

A leather fire fighter’s helmet and badge dating back to the 1950s were returned by the 1st Infantry Division Museum to the Fort Riley Fire Department’s Station Two Oct. 4.

A helmet and badge, circa 1950, was returned to the firefighters of Fort Riley’s historic Station 2 Oct. 4.
The two items had been in the artifacts collection at the Fort Riley Museums, having been cataloged and stored for years, according to Debbie Clark, museum specialist, 1st Infantry Division Museum.
“So when we’ve been going through all our stuff, with the move,” she said, “instead of getting it off our database and sending it somewhere else … I said, ‘Hey the fire department.’”
Robert Smith, supervisory curator, Fort Riley Museum Complex, said, Clark confirmed via records the items belonged to Fort Riley, though they were not worn by the same person.
Battalion Chief Wes Hill emphasized the importance of the items.
“Anytime you can bring a historical piece — a tool, helmet even fire trucks — and bring it back to an agency where it originated from is rewarding,” he said. “It’s a piece of our history. It’s where we came from and where we are now. It’s just a great honor to have that back in our possession.”
The small assembly of firefighters and museum personnel talked about the design of the leather helmet and badge and how the equipment used today looks different.
“Obviously, it was a nice, old leather helmet manufactured by Cairns, which has a strong, historical tradition with fire agencies,” Hill said. “Cairns fire helmets have been around for a very long time. They make a very durable leather helmet. Anytime you can find a leather helmet with some age, that you can associate to your department — that’s quite an honor.”
Smith revealed that the museum is in the process of assembling a firefighting exhibit in the remodeled museum.
“I’m not sure that you are aware, but we are putting a firefighting exhibit in the 1st ID museum because in the early 90’s they sent the 1st Engineers up to the Piute National (Park) forest fire to help up there,” he said. “We’ve got some Nomex clothing that was given to us, firefighting tools. We are actually putting an exhibit in. The division not only did peace keeping in the 90’s, trained here on Fort Riley but also were sent out on civil (matters).”
Hill said it will be up to the crews where they would like to display the items, which were placed in a clear plastic case together.
“Any spot is a good spot because the station is, as a whole, very historical,” he said. “I imagine the crews will pick a nice spot in the open public.”
Hill said the fire department enjoys sharing old photographs on Facebook and especially enjoys it when someone recognizes a person in those photos.
“We do publish a lot of old photos through our Facebook site, we do get people reaching out to us saying, ‘hey my grandfather or great-grandfather was a firefighter on Fort Riley at one point,’” he said “They share their stories and even share their old pictures of their loved ones, when they were working with us.”
Though finding the story of this helmet and badge will be tough, Hill said he relishes the chance to find the connection.
“This one is going to be tougher, I’ve never seen a unique helmet shield like that one has on it,” he said. “In all the pictures I’ve looked through, I’ve never seen one with that. It would be intriguing to go back and see if I can discover a photo with that (helmet) even.”


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Firefighters present check to MDA

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – October 11, 2018

Photo by John Richmeier

Leavenworth firefighters turned over a check Wednesday to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The $2,819.40 donated to MDA was collected by firefighters over Labor Day weekend as part of the annual Fill the Boot campaign. Members of the Leavenworth Fire Department collected donations for MDA in front of two local stores.

Jeff Porter, a Leavenworth firefighter who serves as a liaison for the campaign, said he is appreciative of the generosity of members of the community.

“They are always good about filling the boot,” he said.

Tara Vandermillion, a development coordinator for MDA, was on hand Wednesday to accept the check from the Leavenworth firefighters.

She said the donated funds will help families with members suffering from muscle diseases. She said there are 21 registered patients in the Leavenworth area.

“All the money does stay local to help local families,” she said.

During the recent collection effort, Leavenworth firefighters were thanked by two families with members who are suffering from muscle diseases, Porter said.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Home and pets lost

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – October 11, 2018

An early morning fire Oct. 10 destroyed a Pratt home and killed several family pets.

Three Pratt residents escaped injury following an early morning house fire on Oct. 10 in Pratt. Pratt fire crews were called to Country Club Estates, Lot C3, at 3 a.m. and found smoke coming out every window and door.

Home owner Lei Fowler said she had gotten up to use the bathroom and discovered smoke coming from a floor vent in the bathroom. She quickly stepped out of the bathroom and saw smoke everywhere in the house. She immediately woke her son, Mark McClane, and house guest, Brian Hagen and got everyone out of the house, Fowler said.

Fowler uses an oxygen supply machine but shut it off before she went to the bathroom.

Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer said they were able to get the fire knocked down fairly quickly but the center of the house, including the kitchen and a bedroom, suffered extensive fire damage.

“There was a lot of fire damage,” Kramer said.

The rest of the house suffered heavy smoke and water damage. Everything in the house was a total loss. Only a couple of pieces of furniture were salvaged.

Kramer said there was a two-inch hole in the furnace fire box and that is where the fire started. It completely burned the walls on both sides of the furnace, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom, and those rooms suffered the worst damage. There was no electrical outlet in the area where the fire started.

Fowler said they did have a smoke detector in the house but had removed the batteries with plans to get new ones on Wednesday because the detector was beeping from the old batteries. No one, including the firefighters, were injured in the fire.

Kramer said they did not find a detector but the entire ceiling area where it would have been located was completely burned out.

The family lost everything in the fire. Anyone wanting to assist the family can contact the Hope Center at 620-933-2166. The Hope Center is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Clothing, furniture, appliances, house goods are all needed. Cigarette Outlet in Pratt is also a designated donation site to help the fire victims, and a GoFundMe account has been set up.

Several pets in the house did not survive including four cats, one dog and four birds. Two pets, a dog and cat did survive. The cat had to be resuscitated. Veterinarian Luann Bergner assisted with the animals, Fowler said.

Kramer said firefighters were on site from 3 to 5 a.m. to make sure all the hot spots were out.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Victim in south Wichita fatal head-on crash identified

KSN – October 11, 2018

A victim in a south Wichita fatal crash has been identified. It happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said Chevy Cavalier was traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-135.

The Cavalier hit a semi head-on. It left the roadway and entered the median and rolled.

The victim, identified as 24-year-old Luke A. Hoskins of Wichita, died. The driver of the semi wasn’t injured.


The son of Wabaunsee County Sheriff Rob Hoskins has died in a south Wichita crash.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the it happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday on I-135 near Hydraulic.

Luke Hoskins, 24, was headed southbound in the northbound lanes of I-135 when he drove head-on into a semi-truck.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Graduation held for students in Cowley’s paramedic program

Wellington News – October 11, 2018

Graduation for six students in Cowley College’s 2017-2018 online paramedic program was held October 9th in the Earle N. Wright Community Room at the main campus in Arkansas City. The program that finished on September 13th completed the AAS degree requirements for these graduates.

The following are the graduating members of the class: Stephen Beemer (Americus, KS), Damian Berry (Wichita), Quentin Cox (Derby), Alyssa Davidson (Ogden, KS), Jacqueline Grubb (Hoisington, KS), and Roy Tannehill (Udall).

The evening began when Chris Cannon, EMS program director, issued the welcome and discussed the education the graduates received while in Cowley’s program. Cannon thanked the graduates for their extensive work during the program, and thanked the graduates’ families for supporting them during a difficult year.

Michael Clark, EMS director for Caldwell EMS and firefighter/paramedic for Wellington Fire/EMS delivered the keynote address to the graduating class. Clark emphasized that caring for people is the most important aspect of EMS, and urged the graduates to take the time and have meaningful conversations with their patients.

Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, Cowley president, and Jeremy Goerzen, lead paramedic instructor, conferred the certificates to the graduates. Goerzen and Cannon then presented the honor awards for the class. Stephen Beemer was the program honor graduate, Damian Berry was the Lyle Eckhart award winner and Alyssa Davidson was the Patrick J. McAtee award recipient.

Chris Cannon presented an appreciation award to Cheryl Shepherd for her outstanding work and dedication to the EMS program. Cannon then presented the class of 2017-2018 to the gathering of family and friends who came to honor the graduates.

The national job outlook for paramedics continues to be much higher than average, and the local job outlook remains extremely positive.

Cowley currently has three paramedic programs– a full-time program and part-time online program in Winfield at the Allied Health Education Center and a program in Andover through a partnership with Butler Community College.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Firefighters rescue Reno County residents stuck in high water

KWCH – October 11, 2018

Photo by Hutchinson Fire Department

One person is safe after a water rescue in Hutchinson Wednesday afternoon.

The Hutchison Fire Department tweeted out a photo of the rescue near 85th and Mayfield after high water swept a vehicle into a ditch.

“Do attempt to drive through any standing water,” said the fire department in its tweet.

Earlier in the day, Reno County Emergency Management held a media briefing in which they said there had been at least two other water rescues since Tuesday.

Reno County Commissioners signed a disaster declaration for the county on Tuesday due to heavy flooding. Gov. Jeff Colyer issued a disaster declaration for a statewide response Wednesday afternoon.

The emergency management said while the run-off is expected to recede, Cow Creek, the Little Arkansas River, Arkansas River and the Ninnescah River will continue to rise.

A major concern is Cow Creek due to rainfall, the amount of the water in the creek now, and the water coming down from Rice County. Cow Creek is forecasted to crest at 12.4 feet on Saturday. The emergency management said if the water reaches this level, roadways could flood and residents could be significantly impacted.

Because this is not a flash flood event, residents are encouraged to have a plan and evacuate if need be.

“If you choose not to evacuate, the first responders will not risk their safety to come unless there is a life-safety concern,” the emergency management said in a release.

During the disaster declaration, it is illegal to drive around or enter a body of navigable water for recreational purposes.

The emergency management says it only takes two feet of water to wash a vehicle away. They say driving around barricades is illegal and strictly enforced.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Stop, drop and roll

By Russell Edem
Great Bend Tribune – October 11, 2018

Photo by Russell Edem

It was all about fire safety on Wednesday as the Great Bend Fire Department put on a skit for the students of Lincoln Elementary School. This was part of Fire Prevention Week, where firefighters visit schools in Great Bend.

“It changes every three years on what type of event we put on for the children. This year is the skit,” Battalion Chief Eugene Perkins said. “It is a lot of fun and the children learn a lot about fire safety. We really enjoy teaching the children about fire safety.”

This year’s skit is about a villain, a grandpa and a grandma. The couple takes a nap and the villain enters the home and throws away the battery to the smoke detector. Then he stages areas in the house by overloading an electrical outlet and by putting paper towels across the stove in hopes to spark a fire. A fire starts and he escapes. The fire department is called to put out the fire, and luckily Sparky catches the villain for a happy ending.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Crews battle fire at Big Brothers Big Sisters

KFDI – October 10, 2018

Wichita firefighters were called to the Big Brothers Big Sisters building in downtown Wichita when an alarm went off during the noon hour Wednesday.

Smoke was coming up from the basement, and fire trucks set up along 2nd Street, east of Broadway as crews responded to the scene. Smoke was also coming from a manhole outside the building. Wichita fire battalion chief Doug Winter said it turned out to be an electrical problem in the basement that was causing the smoke.

The building was evacuated and workers were not allowed back inside for the rest of the day because of the smoke, which affected at least two floors of the building. No injuries were reported.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

One dead, two hurt after head-on crash in Cowley County

KWCH – October 10, 2018

A woman died and two others were hospitalized early Wednesday after a head-on crash in Cowley County.

The Cowley County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened shortly after 7 a.m. on US Highway 160 near Winfield.

Deputies say one of the victims was flown to a Wichita hospital and the other was taken to one nearby.

The name of the woman killed has not been released pending family notification.

The crash remains under investigation.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Richard Alan Smith

Richard Alan Smith, age 67, a resident of Redfield, Kansas, passed way Saturday, October 6, 2018, at his home in Redfield. With his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation, he has joined his beloved parents in paradise. Richard was born July 18, 1951, in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Glenn McKinnis Smith and Ethel Berry Smith. He graduated from the Uniontown High School with the Class of 1969. He later served with the United States Army. During his military service, he married Nola Pitts on March 27, 1971, at the United Methodist Church in Uniontown. In earlier years, he had worked as a diesel mechanic for B & D Motors and then Burlington Motor Carrier. Later, he was employed by Bourbon County where he served as supervisor of the county rock quarry and later the count asphalt plant. Richard had served on the Redfield City Council, the volunteer fire department and the Redfield Ruritan. He enjoyed spending time outdoors gardening, hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed times spent with family and friends and especially enjoyed the Fourth of July fireworks. He was a member of the Uniontown United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Nola, of the home; a son, Chris Smith (Darla) of Wamego, Kansas; a daughter, Kimberly Smith (Allen Beerbower) of Redfield, Kansas and two grandchildren, Glenn Arron Smith of Wamego and Hailey Beerbower of Redfield. Also surviving are a brother, Charles Smith (Peggy), of Middletown, New Jersey and a sister, Glenda Miller (Bob) of Hiattville, Kansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Ethel Smith.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. Thursday, October 11th at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will follow in the Uniontown Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 P.M. Wednesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to Care to Share and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Rumbling Open — Decade of Wheels to open with a bang Friday

By Keesha Hervey
Salina Journal – October 10, 2018

When some businesses open they do so with a small ceremony and maybe some snacks.

That’s not quite how Decades of Wheels in Baxter Springs is going about it.

No, they plan on opening with a full three day rocking concert with internationally known bands. One of which, Steppenwolf, will play their last show ever. It’s a huge event for a town so small, and a huge museum.

The Decades of Wheels complex, located at 1143 Military Avenue, takes up a full block downtown. When it’s completed at the end of 2018, it will house a car museum, bed and breakfast, restaurant, bistro/dessert bar, and family funhouse. The party this weekend celebrates the opening of the museum and restaurant, and will be followed by another bash when the rest of the complex opens.

The museum boasts over 300 different cars and motorcycles which will be kept on a rotating display. Many of which are rare with a selection that spans the history of the automobile.

“We have something from every era, from the model T to the batmobile,” said marketing director David Hickmott.

Hickmott stressed that the history of not only the cars, but of Route 66, is important to their museum. In fact it was the location on historic Route 66 that played a factor in choosing Baxter for the museum.

The website for the museum said it also features hellcat chargers, vintage corvettes, and a 1971 Husqvarna owned by the legendary Steve McQueen.

The unique thing about Decades of Wheels is that they consider their vehicles part of a “living collection.”

“We don’t want a bunch of big paperweights,” Hickmott said. “Cars should be driven, they have a soul when they are in use.”

Hickmott said while some of the racecars can’t be legally on the street most of the collection can and will be out and about in the community and at events.

That collection is impressive in its variety, and the team at Decades of Wheels will be bringing out the heavy hitters for this weekend’s event. Many of the cars shown one the first weekend will be custom made for the museum including two cars from Petty’s Garage, as well as builds from Nickey Performance, Dave “Daddy Dave” Comstock and Mad Max Cars among others. Some of the builders will be at the opening.

The big guns don’t stop at the cars and bikes though. Decades of Wheels has invited bands from across the eras as well.

The events kick off Friday, October 12 with Grand Funk Railroad best known for their hits American Band, and Some Kind of Wonderful. The band is in it’s 49th year of touring. Drummer and vocalist Don Brewer said the best part of these concerts is seeing all the generations come together.

“I love seeing all the parents and grandparents along with their grandkids,” Brewer said. “The best thing is watching all those generations singing “some kind of wonderful” together.”

The event swings toward new age country on Saturday, October 13 when Granger Smith takes the stage. Smith is known for his songs It Happens Like That and Backroad Song. Opening for Smith is the high energy rock band The Band of Heathens. The country rock band Reckless Kelly will also be performing Saturday. Reckless Kelly is known for their songs Seven NIghts in Eire and Wicked Twisted Road.

On Sunday, October 14 the legendary late 60s rock band Steppenwolf takes the stage for their last concert before retirement. Steppenwolf appeared on the Easy Rider soundtrack with their performance of Born To Be Wild. They are also known for the hits Magic Carpet Ride, Sookie Sookie, and It’s Never Too Late.

The shows will be located in a venue set up just for the concerts in a field north of the Baxter Police Station.

The weekend will also boast a car show on Saturday judged by celebrity judge Dave “Daddy Dave” Comstock. Comstock is on The Discovery Channel’s show Street Outlaws. The show benefits the Baxter Volunteer Fire Department and starts at 10 a.m. with entrants being able to arrive starting at 8:30 a.m.

Sunday morning there will be a motorcycle show benefiting the Baxter Auxiliary Police Department. Entrants may arrive starting at 8:30 a.m. with the show beginning at 10 a.m.

The car and motorcycle shows will be on Lincoln Street, starting at 8th and Lincoln.

Entry of a car or motorcycle into the show is $10 on the Decades of Wheels website. Entry to view the car show, motorcycle show, or museum is free throughout opening weekend. Following opening weekend the museum entry fee is $5 per person.

Concert times, ticket sales, car/motorcycle registration and additional information on the museum are available on the Decades of Wheels website, www.decadesofwheels.com


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

City, county fire crews ready to respond for water rescues

By John Asebes
KSN – October 10, 2018


Both the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County Fire Department have pulled together their best rescue teams to respond if needed for water rescue.

“We took some steps today to make sure our technical rescue team is fully staffed,” says Wichita Fire Department Deputy Chief Stuart Bevis.

They may be firefighters, but they’re ready to hit the water.

“We were just talking that they were a little concerned with Cowskin Creek and how that might crest and what might happen from that,” says Bevis.

Both the Wichita Fire Department and Sedgwick County Fire Department have their boats out and gear ready.

“They have extra apparatus’s ready… And two small teams if they needed to, to go in two sides in the body of water if they needed to,” says Bevis.

“We are prepared to do really all types of swift water, moving water, static water rescues,” adds Sedgwick County Fire Captain Don Boone

Station 4 in Wichita has two boats a jet ski ad eight guys ready to suit up in scuba gear. Sedgwick County has 15 water technicians, five per shift, They also have two boats. Both departments share the same concerns.

“People think, ‘The rain has stopped. I can go down by the big ditch or down by the river.” Bevis adds, “We would caution people to be very careful.”

“My biggest concern is someone trying to cross the roadway. The vehicle gets pushed off, and now they are out in the ditch or on the field, and it is very easy for the car to get rolled over at that point,” Boone says.

Both teams are ready to respond now. They say the water will be a concern for the next few days,

“It is a recipe for disaster,” Bevis says.

They’re asking you to use caution while out on the roads.

“It is impossible to tell how deep the road is,” says Boone.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Donald L. ‘Don’ Morris

Donald L. “Don” Morris, 72, of Parsons passed away at 10:26 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas.

He was born July 13, 1946, in Parsons to Ralph L. and Anna K. (Mills) Morris. As a young boy, Don grew up in Parsons. In 1964, he graduated from Labette County Community High School in Altamont and later attended Parsons Junior College.

He proudly served in the United States Navy from 1966 until his honorable discharge in 1970. Following his discharge, he returned to Parsons, working at Dayton Superior and the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant. He then began his 30-year career at Parsons Glass, where he worked until retiring in 2005.

He was a life member of Brown-Bishop Post No. 704, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Don was a volunteer firefighter for 30 years for Walton Township, now called Labette No. 9 Fire District, where he served as vice president and treasurer from 1982-2003. From 1992-2002, he also served on the Labette County Zoning Appeals Board. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, trapping and gardening.

On Nov. 19, 1971, he married Vicki Westhoff at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Parsons. She survives of the home.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Christopher L. Morris of Pittsburg; and a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Anna Morris.

The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Parsons. Burial will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Parsons. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons.

Memorials are suggested to Brown-Bishop Post No. 704, Veterans of Foreign Wars. These may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, KS 67357.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Kansas Forest Service, fire officials say state’s wildfire suppression capabilities inadequate

KTIC – October 10, 2018

An audit of state agency responses to two recent wildfires in Kansas showed that the state’s wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs do not sufficiently prepare the state for wildfire response, according to Kansas State Forester, Larry Biles and Fire Management Officer, Mark Neely. They spoke before the state’s legislative budget committee on Oct. 3 in Topeka.

“We are encouraged to see the legislature focus on what is the state’s most rapidly growing hazards – wildfires,” said Biles.

Biles and Neely provided a review of the opinion from the Kansas Forest Service and KFS Advisory Council on the Legislative Post Audit on wildfire suppression in the state.

The LPA was conducted in response to the Anderson Creek and Starbuck wildfires – the two largest fires in the last 50 years which caused significant damage in several counties.

The LPA sought to answer one central question: “Is Kansas’ wildfire suppression system adequately designed and resourced to effectively suppress wildfires?” The finding of the LPA was no, Kansas wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs do not sufficiently prepare the state for wildfire response.

“We believe the audit describes the inadequacies of a wildfire suppression system at the state level,” said Neely.

State agencies are deployed to wildfires when the fire has exceeded the ability and resources at a local fire response level.

“KFS believes it is important to point out that the LPA is not a judgement on the ability of locals to suppress wildfires, it is an evaluation on the state level response, once a wildfire has exceeded the ability and resources at the local level,” Neely said.

“Local fire authorities possess the skills and knowledge to effectively handle the majority of fires in our state. We can provide additional support and training for the instances when a wildfire surpasses the response ability at a local level,” he added.

One recommendation of the LPA was to amend state law to designate a single entity to lead the state’s wildfire suppression system. The LPA stated that the state should ensure the entity has sufficient firefighting equipment, certified firefighters and wildfire management personnel, and state funding to effectively and independently lead the state’s wildfire suppression system.

In response to the LPA, Biles said that, “KFS has the expertise, qualifications, and experience to provide assistance and high-quality training to firefighters, emergency managers and local authorities. Additionally, it is our goal to continue fuel reduction projects and promote prescribed burning benefits.”

In his address to the legislative budget committee, Biles proposed that KFS should be designated as the lead agency of wildfire suppression in the state.

“We recognize that many stakeholders will continue to be involved with wildland fire management and KFS looks forward to working alongside those agencies to provide an effective and efficient wildland fire suppression system in Kansas,” Biles said.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Rescue crews in Butler County save dog from rushing floodwater

KWCH – October 9, 2018

More Pics

Emergency crews in Butler County worked together Friday to save a dog’s life. Butler County Emergency Communications says Andover Fire-Rescue, the Augusta Department of Public Safety, Butler County Rescue Squad, Butler County Fire District 7 and Butler County EMS rescued a dog that was stuck on a small rock in fast-moving floodwater.

This happened Tuesday afternoon in a small/lake or large pond in the Briarcliff Lakes Estates housing development near Benton. With the proper equipment and plenty of teamwork, the dog was brought to shore safely.

Butler County Emergency Communications says the dog reunited with its owner.

“This was a very challenging rescue that could have a very different outcome if attempted by untrained and unequipped people,” Butler County Emergency Communications says.



Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Notice of Vacancy – Accountant – Requisition #191015 – Vacancy Closes 10/23/2018

Requisition #191015 – Applications Accepted Through 10/23/2018

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has an opening for a full-time Unclassified Accountant.  This is advanced professional accounting work.  Work involves the responsibility for directing an accounting sub-system or fiscal activity; assisting in the management of an extensive accounting or fiscal management program; or performing specialized accounting tasks.  Duties at this level require a high degree of concentration due to the many factors that must be considered and weighed before a decision can be reached.  Errors may cause major program failure or a high degree of confusion.  Employee researches financial problem areas, identify significant trends, prepare a variety of specialized financial management reports, schedules and analyses.  May work with users to identify reporting needs and anticipate need and benefit of information and formulate reporting techniques to comply with statewide fiscal policy and special requirements of other funding sources.

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

  • Interprets and directs the application of statutes, regulations, Department of Administration policies and internal policy to resolve operational problems related to fiscal and purchasing; serves as liaison with other governmental entities concerning fiscal matters.
  • Resolves accounting problems/issues within the agency.
  • Directs the preparation and processing of all accounts payable, accounts receivable and financial management reports.
  • Serves as the agency Grant Manager.  Maintains all financial files in support of all grant funds.
  • Plans, establishes and executes internal audit procedures for the agency’s fee funds of services rendered.
  • Budget preparation, submission, legislative process and implementation.
  • Serves as the agency’s approver, primary contact, help desk contact, training and security administrator for SMART.
  • Works with the State Fire Marshal and Division Chiefs regarding interpretation and compliance with contracts awarded to outside vendors.  Coordinates the processing of RFP’s requested by the agency, possesses state purchasing certification and serves as the agency purchasing card program coordinator.

Pay Rate:  $20.00 – $23.00 per hour commensurate with experience and qualifications


  • Three years of experience in professional accounting work.
  • Education may be substituted for experience as determined relevant by the agency.

Preferred Skills:

  • Working knowledge of SMART
  • Working knowledge of IBARS
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Professional products especially Excel, Word and Access
  • Must be proficient with the office equipment and software used by this position
  • Must have effective interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Must have a valid Kansas driver’s license.

Performance Standards:  To be successful, the expectation is that a candidate will be able to competently perform the routine tasks of the position with limited supervision within six (6) months of hire date.

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.gov.  Include the job requisition number and your last name in the subject line.

Additional Required Documents:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume
  • College Transcripts (if applicable)
  • Valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate

Failure to follow the instructions and submit all required documentation before the closing date 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.

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 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.

Recruiter Contact Information:
Name:  Brenda L. Schuette
Phone: 785-296-0654
Fax:   785-296-8155
Email: brenda.schuette@ks.gov

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact the agency recruiter if reasonable accommodations are needed for any part of the application or hiring process.

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


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

%d bloggers like this: