Archive for May, 2014

Fire training seminar in Parsons, KS focuses on the basics

By Jordan Aubey
KOAM – May 30, 2014


parsons fire 5302014

More than one hundred firefighters are in Parsons, Kansas today and tomorrow for a refresher course in safety and efficiency. Many of the lessons focus on simple concepts that are often overlooked during stressful times.

One instructor says some of the basics may not come so “basic” anymore.

“Because of smoke detectors and fire prevention, it’s kept fires down. Which is good! So there’s less occurrence than say, back in the ’70’s, of house fires. So we have to be ready for it, because it doesn’t happen as often,” says Chad Cox, an instructor at the Parsons event and a firefighter in Wichita, Kansas.

Jordan McClinpick has been a firefighter in Mulberry, Kansas for three months.

“Last week, we had two different structure fires. But other than that, we get a call once a month. Sometimes twice a month,” says McClinpick.

“They’re not afforded the luxury of they pull up and all they have to do is pull the hose line and they’re done. A lot of these smaller departments, they have to drive the engine there, they have to pull the hose line, they have to get the door forced, they have to throw ladders,” says Cox.

Firefighters have many tasks, and some of them may look basic, at first. McClinpick practiced the right way to carry and extend a ladder. Any firefighter can do it alone, but McClinpick was told by an instructor to face another firefighter who was carrying the same ladder.

“It’s all teamwork. You count on each other. Communication and teamwork,” says McClinpick.

One teamwork goes down…

“It’s not good,” says McClinpick.

Firefighters also learned about the power of collaboration.

“Things that have worked well for us in Wichita, we share that, and it’s up to the student to take the things that we’re showing them and apply it to their own department,” says Cox.

There’s a technique for removing a lock from a door for an emergency, instead of breaking the door down. Sometimes it’s safer for firefighters. It Also means less property damage. But not all firefighters have proper training for this. And without being open to new ideas…

“It can hinder your operations and hurt your team, as well,” says Pittsburg firefighter Cody Hobbs.

So instead…

“We have to work smarter, not harder,” says Cox.

It’s a notion with a powerful spark.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Man dies in Old Town elevator accident

KAKE – May 30, 2014

A man is dead following a service elevator accident Friday morning in Old Town.

Emergency crews were called to the 100 block of North Rock Island shortly before 10:30 a.m. That’s where Key Construction is in the process of renovating a building in the area, converting it into apartments.

According to Wichita Police, two workers were riding in an open-door, pulley-style service elevator. A construction worker was pulling the rope, lifting the elevator. While it was going up, one of the men fell inside the elevator and suffered a head injury.

The man in his 40s was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was hurt.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

No one injured in morning residence fire

By Richard Gwin
Lawrence Journal World – May 30, 2014

Photo by Richard Gwin.

Photo by Richard Gwin.

No one was injured in a two-alarm home fire at 2545 Ousdahl Road this morning, according to Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief Eve Tolefree.

Firefighters responded to an 8:25 a.m. call of a garage fire and saw heavy black smoke from several blocks away from the home, Tolefree said. A second alarm was requested. Firefighters had the fire, in a split-level, wood-frame residence, under control by 8:54 a.m., Tolefree said.

The Douglas County Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the displaced occupants of the home.

The cause of the fire and estimate of damages is under investigation, Tolefree said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Annual Firefighters Run/Walk to raise money for MDA

Great Bend Tribune – May 30, 2014

The 12th annual Firefighters for MDA Run and Fun Walk will take place Saturday, June 7, at Great Bend Fire Station No. 1, 1205 Williams St. Registration opens at 7 a.m.; 5K and 10K runs are at 8 a.m. and the 1.8-mile Fun Walk starts at 8:15 a.m.
This annual event raises money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. One hundred percent of the proceeds with go to the MDA Ark Valley Chapter, Firefighter Mark Orth said.
Early registration has closed, but entries are still being accepted and people can enter at the event. Cost is $20 for the runs and $15 for the walk.
Awards will be given to the first-place overall male and female in each run. Awards will also be given to the top three male and female runners in each age group for the 5K and 10K. Age groups will be in 10-year increments.
Entrants will receive a T-shirt if available.
Email questions to or, or call 620-793-4140.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

County contracts for new warning system

By Jason E. Silvers
Fort Scott Tribune – May 30, 2014

County emergency officials have been working recently to put the finishing touches on an agreement with CodeRED, which will provide the new warning system to the county.

Bourbon County Emergency Manager Will Wallis said the project to implement the new system is in the “very, very early stages.”

“It’s a 14-day give or take process on their (CodeRED) end once the contract is signed,” Wallis said. “The contract was signed last Friday. We still have a portion they’re going to sign tomorrow (Friday).”

Wallis said Deputy Emergency Manager Shane Walker and Fort Scott Fire Chief Paul Ballou conducted most of the research on a new notification system prior to Wallis coming on board with the county earlier this year.

“It’s a 24/7, 365-day-a-year system,” Wallis said. “We have the ability to implement an unlimited amount of texting, use of social media and voice messages. It will be provided to every person with a phone system, even someone who is traveling through the county.”

Ballou said “anything or anyone with an IP (internet protocol) address can receive notifications” through the new system. He also talked about the new system’s potential benefits.

“It’s a mass notification,” he said. “People get concerned during severe weather. For example, if we were to lose dispatch, if for some reason it went down, we would still be able to utilize this and get notifications out to people and let them know what’s going on.”

Another advantage, Ballou said, is that the new system should draw more people than use the county’s current notification system, called IRIS.

“There’s not a tenth of the population in the county on the current system; this will hopefully allow more people to access it,” Ballou said.

Ballou said the “emergency side” of the new system will run out of the current dispatch center. There is also a “non-emergency side” to the new system that can be used for such communications as contacting employees of various departments.

Wallis said the new system could also result in saving taxpayer money. For example, during a snow storm in the county, the alert system could be used to notify county crews by cell phone to not show up for work if the storm is not as bad as anticipated and only one or two workers are needed.

“You can do a lot with it, or very little,” he said. “The sky’s the limit on all the notifications this thing can be used for.”

Ballou said Walker manages the county’s current system, which Ballou said is “not a real user-friendly type system.”

“You have to go in and type the names and numbers sent out and delete information if you want to take it out,” he said. “With CodeRED, everything is already loaded in there.”

Wallis agreed, saying the current system “doesn’t have the speed or user-friendly capability.”

“We want to get the most bang for our buck,” he said.

Wallis said CodeRED will work “similar to but not the same as an Amber Alert system.” The system can be used to warn of approaching storms, or a lost child – even if the child hasn’t been abducted.

“Any cell phones, land lines — there’s a lot of capabilities,” he said. “There’s a 24/7 technical support. We’ll have the capability to do weather warnings. It will be segmented and categorized by area in the county.”

Wallis said the county has signed a three-year contract for the system at a cost of $10,000 per year. Money to fund the new system will come from a combination of grant money received through the Kansas Department of Emergency Management, and portions of various county department budgets, including emergency management, IT, and roads and bridges.

“Which is basically nothing if it saves one person’s life,” he said. “We’re signed up for three years locked in. We do have a clause that the county attorney said should be in the contract, which means if the grant were to disappear tomorrow, we could walk away from the contract.”

Wallis added, “The price will stay the same forever. It will be re-upped every three years, which negotiations can be conducted at that time. It will be the same price, same contract, same services. We have command and control over what’s sent and who is able to send what. It’s for the benefit of the entire community and county.”

Wallis said he thinks other local entities will get on board with the system once they see it in action. Plus the cost could be divided up between more entities that get involved, bringing the cost for each entity down.

“The city is involved currently and I’m sure will buy in as time goes on, once they see the benefit to this program and see the working components,” he said. “I think they’ll buy into it. The same with schools. The schools have a program they currently use. And the more people involved, the less it will cost to have a better system.”

Another benefit, Wallis said, is the new system will allow farmers with cell phones who are out in the field plowing or planting to receive notifications of incoming severe weather – something that can’t be done with the current system. It will also provide a series of updates on power outages and other emergencies.

“A farmer who is out in his tractor will get the message that a tornado has been sighted or a funnel cloud has touched down,” he said. “The current situation is limited all the way around. A lot of things will be transmitted quickly.”

Set up and training on the new notification system will take place once the company providing the service has established a timeline. Experts on the system will give a presentation first and then county officials will be walked through use of the new system, Wallis said.

“If there’s ever been a smart way to spend money to help the general population of Bourbon County, this is it,” he said. “It keeps people in the loop. There is nothing in my eye that is negative about this.”

Ballou also said there will be a period of testing of the new system and “everyone will be notified before the test.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Kenny St.Clair



Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Woman airlifted from car accident in south Lawrence

By Elliot Hughes
Lawrence Journal World – May 29, 2014

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Emergency crews airlifted a woman with serious injuries to a Kansas City-area hospital Thursday evening following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of West 27th Street and Sawgrass Drive.

The scene of a car accident at W. 27th Street and Sawgrass Drive.

Lyle Schwartz, a Lawrence-Douglas County fire-medical division chief, said the woman was taken to Kansas University Medical Center. He said four other individuals were transported by ground to Lawrence Memorial Hospital with non-serious injuries.

Exactly what time the accident occurred is unclear, although it happened sometime before 5:45 p.m. A narrative of how the crash unfolded was not immediately available.

Sgt. Laurie Powell, a Lawrence Police Department spokesperson, said the airlifted victim is in her 40s. A helicopter picked up the victim on the front lawn of Sunflower Elementary School on Inverness Drive.

Sawgrass and West 27th form a three-way intersection. Both vehicles involved rested in the westbound lane of West 27th after the accident. The two front wheels of a white Toyota Corrolla, facing south, were up over the curb.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Judge denies reimbursement to fire department

Clay Center Dispatch – May 29, 2014

District Judge John Bosch sentenced Steven Mildfelt, 61, Clay Center, on May 15 to 90 days in jail, deferred and placed him on 12 months of supervised probation for failure to notify prior to a controlled burn.
Bosch ordered restitution in the total amount of $7,389 ordered to four landowners; with reimbursement to Longford Rural Fire Department denied. Magistrate Judge Bill Malcolm had ordered restitution in the amount of $,9989 for Longford Rural Fire, but Bosch found it inappropriate due to finding Mildfelt indigent and that paying the fire district would work a hardship on Mildfelt because of his dire financial circumstances.
Entire sentence stayed pending appeal.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Crews battle vacant house and mobile home fire in Hutchinson

KSN – May 29, 2014

Photo by Hutchinson Fire Department.

Photo by Hutchinson Fire Department.

The Hutchinson Fire Department responded to K-61 and Lorraine early Thursday for a brush fire.

Once crews arrived, they found a home and a mobile home fully involved.

The fire department says both homes were vacant for some time.

Crews were able to get the flames under control in the home in about 30 minutes.

They left the mobile home burn because access to it was difficult.

The fires are considered suspicious and are currently under investigation by the fire department and Reno County Sheriff’s Office

Both homes are considered a total loss.

No one was injured in either fire.

Seven units responded to the fire.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Firefighters extinguish vehicle fire at 27th and Vine

Hays Post – May 29, 2014

Traffic was snarled Wednesday evening at the busy intersection of 27th and Vine due to a vehicle fire.

According to the Hays Fire Department, firefighters and police officers were dispatched to the intersection at 7:57 p.m. to reports of the fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found the vehicle fully engulfed, but it was quickly extinguished.

The fire occurred in the northbound lane of Vine.

The HFD said the most probable cause of the fire was accidental, but the exact cause was not determined. There were no injuries.

Off-duty career and volunteer firefighters were recalled to duty to staff other fire trucks to protect the city while the on-duty firefighters controlled the fire.

The last fire crews left the scene at 8:43 p.m.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Wrecks plague county last week

Madison News – May 1, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 29, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Several vehicle wrecks kept Greenwood County deputies, EMS and Kansas Highway Patrol troopers busy last week.

On Tuesday, April 22, Greenwood County Sheriff’s deputies, Greenwood County EMS, and Eureka Fire/Rescue responded to a two vehicle injury accident at 130th street and K-99. Michael Huey, 35, of Rural Eureka was westbound in his 1989 Chevrolet pickup on 130th street and failed to stop at the stop sign at K-99. Driving south on K-99 was a 2012 Buick Enclave driven by Katherine Guidry, 52, of Carencro, Louisiana, who struck Huey in the passenger door at highway speeds. One of the passengers suffered a compound fracture to her right thumb and was transported to the Greenwood County Hospital. All others were checked on scene and later refused treatment.

The next day, Wednesday, April 23, an accident involving a pickup and a semi occurred on US-400, west of the Needle in a Haystack, near Severy. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Randy Light, 45, of Howard, was eastbound when for an unknown reason, he drifted left of center. John Moore, 53, of Valley Center was driving a 2007 International semi truck westbound. Light struck the wheels on the trailer being pulled by the semi. He was not wearing a seatbelt. He was transported to Greenwood County Hospital in Eureka.

Later in the week, on Saturday, deputies from the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office responded to a one vehicle versus bridge accident on K-99 just north of the city of Hamilton, about mile marker 76. The driver of the vehicle, Charlene Gibbs, 55, of Ottawa, was driving a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero northbound on K-99 when she claims to have fallen asleep, striking the bridge. Gibbs was checked by Greenwood County EMS but refused medical treatment, stating she was not injured.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Suspicious fire under investigation

Ottawa Herald – May 28, 2014

Fire and police officials are investigating a suspicious fire Tuesday night that damaged a home in north Ottawa.

Ottawa firefighters responded 7:58 p.m. Tuesday to a reported structure fire at 903 North Oak St., according to an Ottawa Fire Department report. The fire was contained to a single room, with damage estimated at $10,000 for the property and $10,000 for contents, the report said.

The Ottawa Fire Department, the Ottawa Police Department and the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the blaze as a possible arson fire, the fire department report said.

Upon executing a search warrant of the property after the fire, authorities discovered components of fireworks that had been dismantled and appeared to be being re-assembled into larger fireworks, Capt. Adam Weingartner, with the Ottawa Police Department, said.

The investigation was ongoing late Wednesday afternoon, Weingartner said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

CO found in Lansing building

Leavenworth Times – May 28, 2014

The use of gas-powered equipment led to a buildup of carbon monoxide inside a commercial building Tuesday in Lansing, a fire department spokesman said.
A few people reported feeling ill and were checked at the scene by Leavenworth County EMS, but no one was transported to the hospital, said Rick Huhn, Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 chief.
The incident was reported around 5:30 p.m. at 100 E. Kansas Ave. The building houses several businesses.
Huhn said a crew had been pouring a concrete in an unfinished office area. The crew used a piece of equipment with a gas motor for leveling the concrete.
He said CO detectors in the building began sounding alarms.
“They had carbon monoxide through the whole building,” he said.
Huhn said firefighters spent about 1.5 hours airing out the building.
“We had to get into all the businesses and open everything up,” he said.
Fans were used to air out the building.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Family remembers Salina man who drowned at Milford Lake

By Erin Mathews
Salina Journal – May 28, 2014

Steve Edwards spent hours and hours floating on the waters of Milford Lake, always expecting to catch the big one. Fishing was a pastime his father had taught him to love, and now that Edwards was a grandfather, he was teaching a new generation of boys in his family to float quietly on a pontoon boat, holding a rod and reel, waiting and hoping for something big.

“He never got excited about anything except the big fish or the 10-point buck,” said Steve’s wife, Glenda Edwards.

The 65-year-old Salina man apparently did encounter that mythical big catch while casting lines early Sunday with one of his grandsons.

“He had just said, ‘Time to catch the big one,’ and his pole shot off the boat,” the grandson told family members.

It wasn’t just any pole, although it may have looked like so many others he had back home in the garage, family members say.

“That pole his dad had given him when he was 14,” Glenda said.

Glenda said she thinks Steve’s next move was an instinct, like if a person saw his or her wedding ring fall into the drink. He jumped into the cold water after it. He never resurfaced.

Family members said they believe an underlying heart condition might have contributed to his death.

After three days of searching, officials with the Geary County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Geary County Emergency Management, and the Shawnee Mission Township dive team hadn’t located Edwards’ body.

On Wednesday evening, after the searchers had gone home, Edwards’ grandsons asked a family out fishing in the West Rolling Hills area of the lake if they would make one more pass through Edwards’ favorite fishing spot. Ten minutes into the drift, they found him, Glenda said.

Jill Alter said everyone involved in the search and the chaplains who have visited with the family have been “incredible in their efforts throughout the search and in support of the family.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

First to Carry the Torch

Minneapolis Messenger – May 28, 2014

On Saturday, June 21 from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. the Special Olympics Flame of Hope will be escorted through Ottawa County by athletes, officers from the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Minneapolis Police Department and Kansas Highway Patrol, as well as members of Bennington Fire and EMS and the Minneapolis Fire Department. Everyone is invited to cheer on the runners and enjoy a celebratory BBQ starting at 12:30.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics raising over $42.6 million in 2012. Since its inception in 1981, it has grown extensively worldwide with over 97,000 volunteers spanning 46 countries, and raising more than $461 million for the Special Olympics. Fundraising is only part of what the officers involved with the initiative give to the movement. Law enforcement officers are truly supportive of the cause – extending friendship, acceptance and encouragement to the athletes.
This year’s run will start at 170th and Ottawa Road (near the Ottawa-Saline county line) at 7:00 a.m., travel through Bennington and wind through the southern half of Ottawa County before arriving at the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office around 11:30. If you would like to participate or get additional information about this year’s run, you can contact Russell Thornton at or (785) 392-7532 or visit

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Former kickboxing champion drowns at Hillsdale Lake

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – May 28, 2014

Mark Selbee is pictured with his wife, Amy, and their three children, Easton, Ellie Brooke and Hudson.

Mark Selbee is pictured with his wife, Amy, and their three children, Easton, Ellie Brooke and Hudson.

More details have been released regarding the death of 45-year-old former champion kickboxer Mark Selbee of Leawood, who drowned May 24 at Hillsdale Lake.
According to a Miami County Sheriff’s Office news release, Selbee and two of his young children were on a 21-foot Crownline boat near the Hillsdale Pointe Boat Ramp area about 400 yards from the shoreline when he disappeared beneath the water’s surface. Emergency units first were called to the lake at 3:32 p.m. May 24, and Selbee’s two young children were found alone on the boat wearing life jackets.
The children told first responders that their dad dove into the water to retrieve part of a water gun they were playing with. Selbee reportedly swam a short distance and turned around to come back to the boat, after which his head went under water and he didn’t resurface. He was not wearing a life jacket, according to the news release.
An extensive search for Selbee began immediately and turned into a recovery operation as emergency officials worked late into the evening May 24 and headed back out to the lake early May 25. The search involved units from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Hillsdale Lake Corps of Engineers, Osawatomie Fire Department Water Rescue, Johnson County Fire District No. 2, Overland Park Police Department Dive Unit, Miami County Emergency Medical Services, Franklin County Fire Department Dive Unit, Anderson County Fire Department Dive Unit and the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, according to the release.
Battalion Chief Rodger Larison of Johnson County Fire District No. 2 said sonar was used to identify a target, and divers found Selbee’s body in about 25 feet of water at 6:35 p.m. May 25. Autopsy results confirmed that Selbee died from drowning.
Selbee was a former International Kickboxing Federation Pro World Champion. He retired from the sport in 2006.
Selbee was one of two people who drowned at a Kansas state reservoir during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. A 65-year-old man drowned May 25 when he went overboard while fishing at the Milford Reservoir, according to a news release from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
Last July, 29-year-old Khai Pu of Kansas City, Kan., also drowned while swimming at Hillsdale Lake.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Man dies in crash on U.S. 77

Marysville Advocate – May 28, 2014

A Marysville man died in a single-vehicle accident south of Marysville Friday morning on U.S. Highway 77.

Jacob A. White-Beckman, 23, died in the wreck, according to funeral information from Terry-Christie Funeral Home, Waterville.

The southbound pickup crashed near Osage Road and U.S. 77. Part of the vehicle burned in the accident, which happened between 5 and 7:06 a.m., according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Marysville Fire Department responded to the accident and used the Jaws of Life to get the man out of the vehicle.

White-Beckman was a machinist at Titan Trailer in Waterville.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

No one hurt in semi fire on Kansas interstate

KAKE – May 28, 2014

Photo by Trooper Ben Gardner / Kansas Highway Patrol. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Trooper Ben Gardner / Kansas Highway Patrol. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Part of I-135 was shut down early Wednesday after a semi truck caught fire.

The fire broke out in a semi shortly after 7 a.m. on northbound I-135 near mile post 41. That’s southeast of McPherson in McPherson County.

When crews arrived, the cab was engulfed in flames, but the driver had escaped to safety. According to Trooper Ben Gardner with the Kansas Highway Patrol, the northbound lanes were closed while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.

The fire was under control around 8:30. The cause is under investigation.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Ensign City Council news

Montezuma Press – May 22, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 28, 2014

Fire Department Report:

Travis Sidebottom handed his resignation letter in to the Council explaining that his family has moved to Montezuma and due to location he can no longer serve as the Chief of the Ensign Fire Department.

Rex Beemer of Gray County Emergency Management explained the situation the Ensign Fire Department is in with a low number of current volunteers and now the resignation of the Fire Chief of 10 years. He encouraged the Council to take whatever steps necessary to encourage new volunteers because the lack of volunteers could result in the closing of the Ensign Fire Department. He further explained that the lack of a Municipal Fire Department would result in a longer response time for fires in the area and a large increase in residential and commercial property insurance rates.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire Pup a kid-friendly voice for fire prevention, safety

By Kelton Brooks
Garden City Telegram – May 28, 2014

GCFD's Lt. Jason Bennett looks down at firefighter Ryan Powers dressed in the department's new Firepup costume. Photo by Becky Malewitz. Click on photo to view full-size image.

GCFD’s Lt. Jason Bennett looks down at firefighter Ryan Powers dressed in the department’s new Firepup costume. Photo by Becky Malewitz. Click on photo to view full-size image.

If you see a roughly 6-foot-tall Dalmatian strolling down Main Street on two legs during the Beef Empire Days Parade, don’t worry, it won’t bite.

It’s only Fire Pup, the newest member of the Garden City Fire Department.

The GCFD received Fire Pup May 21 through the National Fire Safety Council “Fire Pup” Costume Mascot Adoption program, whom they have been partnering with for many years.

Fire Chief Allen Shelton said the Dalmatian mascot will assist in educating children about the importance of fire prevention and safety. Throughout the year in Garden City and Holcomb, GCFD will promote fire prevention through Fire Pup with talks and presentations, and take the mascot to schools, local events and local businesses. Fire Pup will also be available during tours of the fire department, and whenever the department is using the Fire House.

“We are very pleased to have Fire Pup as a training aid on fire safety,” Shelton said. “It’s very important to us to have the opportunity with the educational costume for young children.”

The new mascot hasn’t made his official, public debut, but Shelton said the Beef Empire Days Parade is where Fire Pup will step out onto the Garden City scene in a glistening, oversized red safety helmet with the emblem of “1 Fire Safety” embedded in the middle, a yellow firefighter jacket trimmed in black on the sleeve tips with black pants to match, red boots and soft fur.

While the life-sized Dalmatian is meant to promote fire prevention, the educational and fun mascot will teach children about the seriousness of a fire as well.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2010, the number of children younger than 15 who died in a fire was 50 percent lower than the general population. However, 57 percent of fire-related child deaths occurred to children 4 or younger. Fire-related injuries were the highest in children ages 4 or younger. In 2010, 357 children died between the ages of 0 and 14, according to the USFA, and fires resulted in the deaths of 204 kids between the ages of 0-4.

Not playing with matches, testing smoke alarms, escaping from a burning building and practicing fire drills are only some of the tips the GCFD will issue to children, with the help of Fire Pup.

“We hope that Fire Pup will help us get the kids’ attention so they can learn these valuable lessons,” Shelton said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

SUV jumps curb, hits parked pickup, house

By Larry Phillips
Southwest Daily Times – May 27, 2014

liberal fire 5272014

A 12-year-old girl had to be transferred to a Wichita hospital after the SUV she was riding in Monday jumped a curb and hit a house and another vehicle.

The accident happened Memorial Day evening, according to a statement released earlier today by Liberal Police Capt. Pat McClurg.

“On Monday … at about 5:11 p.m., emergency responders were dispatched to an injury accident in the 700 block of North Pershing Avenue,” McClurg noted. “A vehicle had collided with a house.”

McClurg reported a 2006 Dodge Durango driven by a 23-year-old female was traveling south on Pershing Avenue.

“The vehicle left the roadway and collided with a house. The vehicle also struck a 2004 Ford F-150 that was parked in the driveway,” he noted.

“A 12-year-old female passenger in the Durango was transported to Southwest Medical Center by Seward County EMS,” McClurg continued. “She was later transported to a Wichita hospital for further care.”

A 16-year-old female and the driver were both transported to SWMC by a private vehicle for treatment, according to McClurg’s report.

“The cause of the accident is still under investigation,” he added.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

One injured in fire near Pawnee and Oliver

By Stan Finger
Wichita Eagle – May 27, 2014

One person suffered minor injuries in a fire in south Wichita on Monday night, authorities said.

The fire was reported at 9:45 p.m. Monday in the 2400 block of South Glendale, a Sedgwick County dispatcher said. That’s northeast of Pawnee and Oliver.

The fire occurred in a small apartment. The injured person was treated at the scene and did not require hospitalization, the dispatcher said. A cause and damage estimate have not been released.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

2nd Day Searching Milford Lake Ends With No Sign Of Drowning Victim

WIBW – May 27, 2014

A second day of searching ended at nightfall Monday with no sign of a 65-year-old man who fell into Milford Lake and never resurfaced.

Emergency crews were called around 9:30 am Sunday. Geary County Sheriff Tony Wolf says deputies were in the park already, and were able to respond within minutes.

Wolf says a man from the Salina area was fishing with his grandson and another man when a fishing pole went over the boat. The man went into the lake after the pole, but never resurfaced.

Wolf says the Mission Township dive team was among those assisting a search effort that included boats equipped with side scan sonar and dragging equipment. Crews searched until dark on Sunday and continued all day Monday. Wolf says the topography of the lake bottom in the area makes the search effort a bit more difficult.

The man’s name in not being released. Wolf says crews will pick up the search again Tuesday morning.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Wednesday nights matter for firefighters, community

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – May 27, 2014

Firefighters feed hose to firefighters inside a smoke filled house during a recent training exercise in downtown Pratt. The house was not on fire during this exercise but smoke was used to make the drill as real as possible.

Firefighters feed hose to firefighters inside a smoke filled house during a recent training exercise in downtown Pratt. The house was not on fire during this exercise but smoke was used to make the drill as real as possible.

A visitor to Pratt on a Wednesday evening or night might think the fire department is responding to a call. But a closer look reveals that the firefighters are conducting a training exercise to help improve their skills.

The weekly training exercises take place at a variety of locations around Pratt. Firefighters get hands-on training with the hoses, the wide variety of equipment on the truck and even practice driving the fire trucks through a safety cone course to sharpen their skills behind the wheel, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.

The state has no mandated training statutes so the training at Pratt is done as a Pratt Fire Department program.

As firefighters complete the various training programs, their skill level allows them to achieve Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 status. Firefighter 1 requires a lot of basic skills training. Firefighter 2 is more advanced training including Hazmat training.

Kramer said he likes to see his firefighters reach Level 2 within a couple of years. The requirements for Level 1 and Level 2 evolve and change regularly so additional training is needed to meet the different level requirements. The Kansas State Firefighters Association develops the standards for each level.

More experienced Pratt firefighters will lead training exercises. On occasion, outside firefighters will come and act as instructors. Pratt firefighters have taken part in the University of Kansas and the Hutchinson Community College fire training programs.

Firefighters from Pratt and Wichita have trained together in Pratt on several occasions. They will travel to Parsons this week to a training session at Labette County Community College.

Among the important training skills the firefighters have to master is handling the 2.5-inch hose line drills. The lines are heavy and working with them is a labor intensive task but necessary for firefighters to master.

Another important skill is “Big Box” rescue and “Big Box” fire operations. Big Box is a firefighter term for a big four-wall type commercial building. The Walmart store is an example of a Big Box structure.

These buildings have lots of obstacles and when they are full of smoke, it is extremely difficult to conduct search and rescue. But firefighters have to go into the buildings and check to see if anyone is in the building, Kramer said.

Big Box training is done at the Pratt Community Center, the former Walmart building and the Southwest Elementary. The Pratt Community Center used to be a Dillons store and is a good training area.

Rope rescue training is another essential firefighting tool. A rope is run through the building to act as a guide to an exit. If something goes wrong or the smoke and fire intensifies, firefighters can use the rope to lead them to safety.

“If a call deteriorates quickly, they have the rope to get out,” Kramer said.

Some firefighters are more comfortable handling specific tasks at a fire then others. Some are more comfortable being on top of a structure with a pitched roof while others are more comfortable making entrance to a burning structure.

“Not every single firefighter will fill every role,” Kramer said.

For that reason, each firefighter is trained for several skills. That way, no matter what firefighters are available for a call, every element will be covered by a firefighter that is trained in that area.

“There are plenty of jobs at the fire scene,” Kramer said. “We’re not going to throw a firefighter into a job at the scene they have not been trained to do.”

Part of the training is learning to be flexible. When the crew rolls up on a scene, they may have to go to Plan B or think outside the box for that particular event.

Learning how to deal with stress is also part of the training. That is just as important as leaning how to operate the equipment.

Pratt Firefighters are volunteers and they consider their job a tremendous opportunity to give back to the community. Keeping well trained helps them to that the best way they can.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Grease fire at La Hacienda

By Jason Johnston
Emporia Gazette – May 26, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

The Emporia Fire Department investigated a grease fire at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, 1116 W. Sixth Ave., this afternoon.

The Fire Department received a call around 4:30 p.m. today that there was a fire in the kitchen at La Hacienda, and there was smoke coming from the roof, said Battalion Chief Steve Kuhlmann of the Emporia Fire Department.

The restaurant was closed at the time of the fire, said Kuhlmann, who was at the scene. Two employees were inside. The flat top part of the oven was being used. Accumulated grease under the flat top element caught on fire.

No injuries were reported, he said. The hood and hand held extinguishers were used. La Hacienda cannot reopen until its extinguishing system is refilled. Firefighters cleared the smoke out of the building.

The Emporia Police Department was also at the scene.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Mark A. Rinehart


Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

New fire truck demonstration held

Ness County News – May 22, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Ness County Fire District Board of Trustees purchased a new 55 ft. aerial fire truck from Toyne Fire Apparatus in Brede, IA. The truck was delivered to Ness City on Monday, May 12. Cost of the truck was approximately $68,000. Ness City Deputy Chief Sean Sehl stated, “This is a good addition to our department. The new truck will greatly enhance our capabilities to fight different types of fires.” The department held a training exercise last Wednesday evening. Pictured above are local fireman as they learn more about their new truck.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Family of five loses home in Sunday morning fire

Eureka Herald – May 21, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 26, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

A family of five was devasted on Sunday morning when they were woken up to find their home engulfed in flames.

According to family members, three-year-old Aaron Hilmer woke his grandma up, telling her that the front bedroom was on fire. His grandmother, Myra Hilmer then woke up her husband, Dana, son, James Brian and daughter-in-law Shalyn Rachel, with all of them getting out of the home without injuries.

The report of a structure fire at 317 N. School in Eureka, was made a little after 9 a.m., Sunday, May 18.

When crews arrived, the front bedroom was fully engulfed, with smoke going throughout the home. The Eureka City Fire Department was able to get the fire contained quickly.

The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical but remains under investigation.

Eureka City Fire, Greenwood County EMS and the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the structure fire.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Kansas man dies in oil field pulling unit accident

Hays Post – May 26, 2014

A Chase man was killed Saturday in a one vehicle accident south of Bushton.

According to the Rice County Sheriff’s Office, 29-year old Brian Aguilera was driving an oil field pulling unit westbound on Avenue E at approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The vehicle left the roadway and entered the north ditch and rolled, trapping Aguilera inside the unit. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Aguilera was a lifetime resident of Chase and graduated in 2003 from Chase High School. He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003 through 2007, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The accident remains under investigation by the Rice County Sheriff’s Office.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Body of missing man found in lake

By Katie Banks
FOX 4 News – May 26, 2014


Authorities have recovered the body of a man who went missing at an area lake over the weekend, after his two young children were found alone in a boat.

Shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, search and recovery teams discovered the man’s body in the water using side-scan sonar technology. Authorities said the man was found about 20 feet below the surface. Overall the search lasted approximately 27 hours.

Around 4 p.m. on Saturday, authorities confirmed a water rescue was underway at Hillsdale Lake is Miami County. It was later changed to a recovery mission, after authorities determined at that time the man had possibly drowned.

A witness boater told authorities they saw two young children, a boy and a girl, alone in another boat. Authorities say they believe the father of the two children went overboard and drowned, but as of Saturday had not yet recovered the man’s body.

“Units were advised that a boat was found with two children in it upset. A bystander was able to make contact with the children who stated that one adult male was in the water,” said Rodger Larison of the Johnson County Fire District 2.

Circumstances surrounding the possible drowning are still unknown at this time.

“The male got into the water, but the circumstances of why, we don’t know. It’s nothing that we’re going to talk to children about,” said Larison.

The two children and their parents are believed to be from the Leawood area and were at the lake for recreational reasons.

The Johnson County Fire Districts 1 and 2, Miami County EMS, Miami County Water Rescue, Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Overland Park Police Department Dive Team, Kansas Wildlife Parks, and U.S. Corp of Engineers were all assisting with the search.

Search teams used side sonar scanning to narrow down the search area. They also spoke with the fisherman who initially found the young children alone in the boat.

Authorities are not releasing the victim’s name at this time.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Van fire at Fifth and Sunnyslope

By Jason Johnston
Emporia Gazette – May 25, 2014

emporia fire 5252014

The Emporia Fire Department extinguished a van fire near a house at West Fifth Avenue and Sunnyslope Street this afternoon.
The fire was in the van’s engine compartment, said Battalion Chief Rex Fisher of the Emporia Fire Department when he arrived to the scene.
The fire started around 2:15 p.m. today.
The fire did not damage the house, where the van was parked, Fisher said. No injuries were reported.
The Emporia Police Department diverted traffic from the area.
The Emporia Fire Department is investigating the fire.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Woman bitten by snake S.W. of Topeka hospitalized

By Eric Smith
Topeka Capital Journal – May 25, 2014

A woman in her 50s was bitten by a snake while weeding her garden Sunday evening southwest of Topeka and was transported to a local hospital with a swollen hand, the fire chief for Auburn Fire Department said.

The woman, who didn’t see what type of snake bit her, was bitten on the inside of the thumb around 6:30 p.m. and was in clear pain before being taken to the Auburn Fire Department by her husband.

From there, Fire Chief Scott Hunt said, firefighters called for an ambulance, started an IV and got her vital signs.

Hunt said the woman was conscious, alert and oriented but needed to get treatment for her injury quickly, as the puncture wound was clear and her hand was turning colors and starting to swell up to her lower forearm.

The woman was taken by an ambulance to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center.

A 15-year veteran of the department, Hunt said it had been “a long time” since they had dealt with a snake bite at the station.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire causes minor damage to Andover Taco Bell

KAKE – May 25, 2014

Photo by Corey Hawkins.

Photo by Corey Hawkins.

Fire caused a small amount of damage to the Andover Taco Bell.

It happened just before 4 p.m. Sunday in the 200 block of North Andover Road, just north of Kellogg. Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell says when crews arrived on scene, they found heavy flames coming from a sign on the front of the business. Crews were able to quickly put the fire out.

Russell says the fire was mainly on the outside, but there is some minor fire and smoke damage inside of the restaurant. He says he believes the restaurant will be back open by Monday.

The cause is still under investigation, but appears to be electrical in nature. A damage estimate wasn’t available at the scene.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Kevin G. Snyder

Kevin George Snyder, 43, passed away Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Lindsborg. Kevin was born on May 21, 1971, in Mount Vernon, Ohio, the second of three children. He graduated from Johnstown High School, Johnstown, Pa., in 1989.

Kevin received his degree in agri-business economics from McPherson College, McPherson, in 1993. His career in field marketing brought him to Quinter, where he met and married his bride, Valerie Ann Unruh, in 1999.

Kevin spent the last seven years of his career working for Mid Kansas Co-op in Lindsborg. Kevin served as a volunteer firefighter for the Lindsborg Volunteer Fire Department.

Kevin had a positive attitude and a passion for growing people’s faith by striving to show them Christ in action. He loved being the father of his family and spending time with friends. He enjoyed being in nature, landscaping, and was a classic car and farm equipment enthusiast. Kevin was an active member of Lindsborg Covenant Church where he participated in men’s ministries.

Kevin is survived by: his parents, the Rev. George and Carol Snyder of Woodbury, Pa.; his wife, Valerie; along with three sons, Landon, Weston and Haydon Snyder, of Lindsborg; sister, Laurale and Edward Royer, of Annville, Pa.; brother, Loren and Meggan Snyder, of Mauldin, S.C.

Funeral Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 29, at Evangelical Covenant Church in Lindsborg. Burial will be at the Elmwood Cemetery following the service. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Christians Funeral Home, 103 N. Washington, Lindsborg 67456, with the family present from 6-7 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made, in lieu of flowers, to the church or the Tammy Walker Cancer Center in Salina.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

CCFD No. 2 seeks new fire truck

By Andrew Nash
Pittsburg Morning Sun – May 24, 2014

Crawford County Fire District No. 2 sought approval for a new fire truck at the Crawford County Commission meeting on Friday. And by fire truck, this isn’t a fire engine, but a fire truck. The roughly $102,000 truck would serve as a light rescue truck, a mini pumper, and moreover, be used for the numerous grass fires that pop up throughout the year. “It has a bigger size pump for the truck,” said Mike McLeod, CCFD No. 2 fire chief. “There are chicken places out there, the Cove, and the Rockin’ K. We can put a hard suction in a strip pit, and use that like a hydrant. That’s one of the positives of this truck.” That’s an option that makes a lot of sense, particularly because it helps the crews reach water far easier than driving back to a city every time the truck runs out of water. “Dry hydrants do work, if we could get more people to use them. The problem is, with some insurance companies, you have to prove the pit hasn’t dried out in 50 years, and we can’t do that. But it works,” McLeod said. The truck is built on an F-350 chassis and can carry up to 300 gallons of water at a time. McLeod said that the truck committee believed the “specs are right on” and that the CCFD No. 2 was probably looking at a seven-year payback. “We’re wanting [County Counselor] Jim [Emerson] to go out and check I heard the interest rates are pretty good right now. Grants are so hard to get, they’re almost impossible anymore,” McLeod said. However, McLeod mentioned a potential air pack grant that he described as “promising.” Commissioners approved proceeding forward with the truck, and authorized Emerson to seek financing for the vehicle.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Students watch re-enactment of fatal accident

By Susan Marshall
Peabody Gazette Bulletin – April 30, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 24, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Peabody-Burns High School and Middle School students and staff stood in a semi-circle April 23 and watched a drama unfold in front of them at a simulated car crash. Four high school students were in two vehicles positioned to represent one car slamming broadside into another after the first sailed through a stop sign at a high rate of speed, the driver under the influence of alcohol.

Almost immediately, the street filled with emergency vehicles provided by Peabody ambulance and police department. Peabody Fourth Fire District, sheriff’s department, and a Life Team helicopter.

Crews from each began to treat the injured, examine the scene, and talk to the driver. Someone covered the body of a girl who “died” when she was thrown through the windshield of the car in which she was riding.

Emergency personnel, paramedic Larry Larsen and Marion County Sheriff’s officer Jim Philpott, narrated the action as it unfolded.

“We try to do these demonstrations every four or five years,” Larsen said. “Of course the kids all know that it is a re-enactment of a crash, but seeing their friends bleeding and injured or dealing with the guilt of being a young driver who has essentially just killed his girlfriend can be an eye opener.

“We hope the kids who watched all of this and heard the details will remember to make good choices, not just on prom night, but anytime. Even though this was just a demonstration, it could be a reality for any of the kids watching today.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Rural rollover wreck injures Garnett men

By Vickie Moss
Anderson County Review – May 6, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 24, 2014

A Garnett man was listed in serious condition at a Kansas City hospital after a one-vehicle rollover wreck early Saturday morning southeast of Garnett. Another Garnett man also was injured in the wreck, while a third apparently escaped injury.

Joseph Strobel, 28 of Garnett, was listed in serious condition Monday morning at the University of Kansas Hospital, where he was taken by air ambulance after the wreck. Brogen Katzer, 26 of Garnett, also was injured in the wreck and taken to Anderson County Hospital, where he was treated and released that same day. A third occupant, Blayne Keith, 28 of Garnett, was not injured.

Strobel was driving east-bound on 1600 Road near Oregon Road, and apparently was traveling too fast for the conditions, according to a report from Anderson County Sheriff Vern Valentine. Strobel lost control of the vehicle around a curve, causing it to spin sideways and roll on the gravel road at about 2:20 a.m. Saturday, May 3.

Strobel and Katzer had to be extricated from the vehicle, Valentine said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

2 injured in crash

Manhattan Mercury – May 6, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 24, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Firefighters cut through the roof of a Jeep SUV to free the driver as paramedics keep the driver stable on Tuesday morning after the vehicle collided with another car at the intersection of Tuttle Creek Boulevard and Tuttle Terrace. Both drivers were transported to Mercy Regional Health Center.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Water Works

By Andrew Nash
Pittsburg Morning Sun – May 21, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 23, 2014

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

pittsburg fire 5232014b

The traditional image of the fire hydrant is a little red plug. However, what most people might not know is that the red color of that hydrant is important–not all hydrants are red, after all.

“Actually red is the worst of them. It’s the least amount of water per minute. Red is below 500 gallons a minute. Then there’s orange, which is 500 to 1,000. Green’s next at 1,000 to 1,500 gallons a minute. The top is blue, at more than 1,500 gallons per minute. We have some hydrants in town over 3,500 gallons per minute,” said Pittsburg Fire Chief Mike Simons.

City crews have been out and about this year flushing hydrants as part of an annual inspection of the city’s hydrant infrastructure. The work is progressing quickly.

“We’re almost done with the east side of the city,” Simons said. “We started in the southeast, by Woodgate, and we’ve worked all the way north, and we’re getting ready to turn and go all the way to the airport and then head back down south.”

The process of hydrant flushing has involved a great deal of public information. Each day’s hydrants are generally listed in a four to six block area on Channel 6 and on the city’s website. This is to let people know and not be surprised by changes in water pressure or even a few unexpected side effects.

“There is some discoloration in the water for a little bit. We expect that to happen. It’s normal. We want to let people know not to wash any whites in that time, though,” Simons said.

Crews flush about two dozen hydrants each day and are hoping to wrap up efforts by the end of June.

There is a purpose behind opening up the hydrants and letting the water flow out. In fact, there are multiple purposes.

One such purpose is to improve the city’s ISO (Insurance Service Office) rating. Cities are listed on a scale from 1 (best) to 10 (worst). The city has earned a 3, which helps keep property insurance rates low.

“Less than 14 percent of districts are an ISO 3 or better. It’s common to see people in the 4s or 5s. Some townships have a 6. Only three or four in the state have a 1. Very few, though,” Simons said.

Further, the hydrant flushing helps test hydrants ahead of time so that firefighters aren’t surprised at the scene of a fire by a faulty hydrant. This identification also helps them to perform maintenance if needed.

Those two reasons are why the city annually sends crews out to flush the hydrants–all 1,300 or so of them.

“We’re very blessed in this community with the distribution and water systems,” Simons said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster


Two firefighters promoted

Clay Center Dispatch – May 1, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 23, 2014

As of midnight today (May 1), Capt. Jon Ratliff was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief of the Clay Center Fire Department and Lt. Eric Davis has been promoted to captain.

Ratliffe has been with the fire department since 2001 and served as an EMT prior to joining the fire department.

Davis has worked for the department since 2004 and was previously a police officer.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire damages home on Schaeffer Way

By Jason Johnston
Emporia Gazette – May 23, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image. Photo by Dustin Michelson.

Click on photo to view full-size image. Photo by Dustin Michelson.

Heavy smoke filled the house at 2025 Schaeffer Way as the Emporia Fire Department arrived around 3 p.m. today.

“When I first arrived at the house, heavy smoke was coming from the eaves, out the front door of the structure,” said Battalion Chief Rex Fisher of the Emporia Fire Department. “At that point and time, we thought maybe there was still two people inside, but the property owner showed up and told us everybody was OK.”

Firefighters were doing a primary search for victims before the homeowner showed up, Fisher said.

“What we did find on the inside of the house was a fire in the basement,” he said.

The homeowner, Nathaniel Terrell, is an associate professor and a department chair of sociology, anthropology and crime and delinquency studies at Emporia State University.

“I got the call from a colleague on campus that she heard my house was on fire,” Terrell said. “… I’m thinking (she) has got me confused with someone else. So, I’m in the truck, and it comes across on the radio, ‘2025 Schaefer Way.'”

He called his wife, Cathy, to make sure she was not in the house, he said. She was out paying the bills. Their daughter and her two sons used to live at the house, but they moved to Topeka Thursday night.

His wife was a teacher in El Dorado until Thursday, Terrell said. She is going to teach at Topeka High.

Albert and Dorothy Cook, who live in Florida and New York, were visiting friends on Schaeffer Way.

Dorothy Cook said she saw the house was full of smoke.

“I ran over, and I pounded on the door, and I could hear the alarms going off and nobody was answering and there was a car in the driveway,” she said.

Dorothy Cook used to be an EMT, and she knew that there could be someone in the house asphyxiated, she said.

Albert Cook said he called 911 and reported the fire.

Flames were in the house a few moments after she noticed the smoke, Dorothy Cook said.

A fire truck from Station 1 and a fire truck from Station 2 were at the scene, Fisher said. Two ambulances were also there.

The Emporia Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol diverted traffic away from the area.

Firefighters on scene reported the fire was under control at 3:30 p.m. today, according to scanner traffic.

The Emporia Fire Department is investigating the fire.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

New Quick Attack Unit for Mankato

Jewell County Record – May 1, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 23, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

The new quick attack unit for the Mankato Volunteer Fire Department was delivered last Wednesday by Larry Heidrick, salesman who sold the unit to the fire department, representing Watts Welding and Mfg. LCC, Brookville. The brush unit has a 400 gallon water capacity and is fitted with a Ford F-450 4×4. The Mankato firemen paid for the $8,000 monitor on the front of the unit. Fire District No. 4, which consists of five townships, Holmwood, Center, Limestone, Washington and Richland, paid $16,700 for their portion of the truck. Each of the last three years, the districts have paid $11,468.25 to the city in a maintenance agreement. Now by leaving the mill levy at the present 2 1/2 mills, Fire District No. 4 will be able to continue paying the maintenance agreement and save for the next piece of needed equipment.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Building evacuated after fire at south Wichita QT

By John Wright
KWCH – May 23, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

A fire at a south Wichita QuikTrip caused an evacuation of the store.

Wichita Fire Department Fire Chief John Turner said the building was evacuated as a precaution. He says no one was hurt.

Fire investigators say a birds nest has something to do with the fire in the 4800 block of south Hydraulic.

The business has since re-opened. There was no damage inside of the business.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Commissioners meet, talk with ambulance service volunteers

Coldwater Western Star – May 1, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 23, 2014

Members of the Comanche County Commission met in special session at 7 p.m. last Wednesday evening in the courthouse basement to discuss the future of the Comanche County Ambulance service. Meeting with the commissioners were more than a dozen individuals, most of which either are currently volunteers with the ambulance service, or have been in the past.

Comanche County Clerk Alice Smith informed the group that the commissioners had–right after their meeting Tuesday of last week–received a letter of resignation from Ambulance Director Scott Fleming. His resignation is effective May 16, though his last day on the job was to be this Wednesday, April 30. He would remain on the payroll for another 12 days to use up personal days and vacation days.

“Where do we go from here?” EMT Bonnie McLean asked the commissioners.

“We are all going to have to work together to try and make it go,” Commission Chairman Larry Harvey said.

EMT Terri Brosius asked the commissioners what ideas they were leaning toward. Commissioner Randy Unruh said that the commissioners were considering the possibility of hiring a full-time director and a full-time assistant.

The group discussed the qualifications which the commissioners will seek in a new director for the ambulance service. First Responder Ronnie Sawyers pointed out that the director does not have to be a paramedic.

Former EMT Debra Adams pointed out that the protocols (which are now based on a paramedic being in the county ambulance service) would have to be rewritten. She also noted that the state would have to be informed of the change.

She also pointed out that if a new director isn’t hired soon, the ambulance service would no longer be recognized by the state, and that out-of-town ambulance services would have to be used.

Mrs. Brosius said that an interim director could be hired to keep the state satisfied.

Another concern discussed was having enough volunteers to cover the month’s schedule run. One person on each call has to be an EMT. The second person can be a first responder or an EMT.

Former EMT AJ Prusa and Mrs. Brosius both said they leaned toward having a paramedic as director and on the ambulance when possible.

“There are a lot of medication we can’t give,” Mrs. Prusa pointed out.

Mrs. Brosius said that to administer many medications, either a paramedic or nurse must be present.

Mrs. Zimmerman told the commissioners that the hospital already has to put a nurse on ambulance duty the days Fleming is gone.

Mrs. McLean said if the nurse isn’t also an EMT he or she can’t be in the back of the ambulance alone with a patient, and an EMT is to be present also.

Mrs. McLean also said she felt the need for a paramedic working in the local ambulance service.

Commissioner Harvey said that another problem was that the ambulance service hasn’t had classes.

“We were trying to make him (Fleming) do that,” he said.

Several of the EMTs disagreed. They said that classes were held–not just as many as they needed. Local EMTs will have to go to Ashland or elsewhere to get their required number of hours of ongoing training required to keep their certification.

Mrs. Prusa said she felt the commissioners should require that whoever is hired as director schedule both classes and meetings. Those working at daycare centers, she pointed out, need to be taught CPR. She suggested having classes at least four hours a month.

Sawyers said that John Lehman, former ambulance service director, used to have classes once a month.

Al Ellis, a former first responder, said the volunteers need to learn new things.

EMT Janice Miller said she also felt the ambulance service needs a paramedic.

Former paramedic Kip Fiegel said he understands the need for a paramedic, and discussed issues that may need to be taken care of.

Mrs. Brosius also brought up problems between Fleming and County Fire Chief Larry Ellis. She also said that the fire department was willing to help the ambulance service. She had been told by Chief Ellis that firefighters could be paged out to help any time they were needed. Several had responded to a medical emergency at the courthouse recently, in fact.

Mrs. Miller asked if the commissioners would be willing to work with someone who is in the process of getting his or her paramedic certification.

Commissioner Harlie Haas said he felt that would be great.

Sawyers asked the commissioners to allow the EMTs a little bit of say on who is hired as a director.

“You hire them, but we have to work with them,” he said.

Mrs. Prusa recommended that the board make sure the job description is very clear and laid out–to avoid any confusion later. She also recommended that they call the state and see what state requirements are.

“My fear is we won’t have any (training) hours, and we are going to let people in our community down,” Mrs. Miller said.

Mrs. Prusa said she had called the state and found out there are new regulations which allow an EMT to get hours on the Internet for certification.

Mrs. McLean said that a class has to be started. Commissioner Unruh asked if it could be taught in segments. The EMTs all agreed it could.

They also agreed they wanted the first responder class taught first.

Comanche County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Base said he had been in law enforcement public service for 15 years. He thought the commissioners should adopt a policy and procedure to see who to hire as director, as well as training coordinator.

Deputy Base agreed to do the leg work for the board to determine all the requirements that they need.

He also said that he knows how to set up classes, and agreed to find out what is needed and coordinate training. He would be the training coordinator. He would get teachers to teach the classes.

Mrs. Brosius suggested that the commissioners have Deputy Base start out by calling Millie Fudge from Ashland about classes.

Local Instructors are available, it was mentioned, to teach CPR and first aid classes.

Mrs. Brosius said that 15-18 people had signed up already to take classes.

Former first responder Al Ellis said that it is now just a short time till the end of the year for people to get re-certified.

Sawyers noted that he has to have 16 hours of training by Dec. 31 of this year to keep his certification. Sawyers said he agreed that monthly four-hour classes are what the service needs, but Mrs. McLean pointed out that not everyone could make it to all the classes. Deputy Base said the EMTs and he would have a meeting and present their findings to the commissioners.

One duty for the director, according to some of those present, should be to make sure ambulances are cleaned, everything there, and working.

Fiegel, a former paramedic, worked in a couple of larger EMS services, but has let his certification lapse. He has until the end of this year to re-certify.

Where he had worked before the training was the director’s job. It is up to each EMT or first responder to know how many hours he or she needed and get the necessary recertification hours. A policy for the director needs to be written down–how many office hours, maintenance on vehicles tended to, and all other duties.

Fiegel told the commissioners they need to be sure they know what the director’s duties are. They also-noted that the director would need time off, and that should also be specified.

“In a rural community you have to have someone very dedicated,” Fiegel said. “You do it more to help people–not for the pay,” he said.

“Hobbies may need to be set aside, and the director needs to be visible in the community,” he said.” Jobs outside of this county might be a conflict of interest, he added.

Fiegel said he is willing to start the process of certification–but it will take time and money.

Commissioner Unruh asked Fiegel if he would sign up for the job. He also asked what his training was.

Fiegel, a former paramedic, said he needs 240 hours of training by the end of 2014 in order to regain his certification. He said he can go through Mrs. Fudge with the Clark County Ambulance Service, and take the training over the Internet. He added, however, that he would have to clear that with the state board of EMS.

Mrs. Brosius and Mrs. Miller both said they felt the commissioners need to advertise for applicants in both the local papers and Hutchinson paper.

Sawyers and Mrs. Miller discussed the quick response vehicle now driven by Fleming, noting that they didn’t feel the ambulance director needed such a vehicle.

It could instead be used for EMTs to run back and forth from Protection and Coldwater, they suggested. Currently there is an old sheriff’s vehicle that is being used to transport EMTs from Protection to Coldwater. Mrs. Prusa said that either an older ambulance or the quick response vehicle should be kept for that purpose.

EMT Tim Ewy said that after going on runs with paramedics, he was of the opinion that they definitely help save lives.

Mrs. Brosius added that working with a paramedic gives the EMTs and first responders a lot of knowledge.

Who would teach EMT and first responder classes was discussed, as was whether the ambulance service needs a full time assistant.

Mrs. Miller noted that Fleming will have the ambulance scheduling for May prepared before he leaves.

Mrs. Brosius pointed out that Fleming is currently the only one that does the ambulance books.

Comanche County Hospital Administrator Nancy Zimmerman said that the hospital staff will help with the books. Mrs. Fudge, ambulance director from Ashland, has also offered her help.

After the rest of the group left, the commissioners met with Fiegel and Mrs. Brosius to further discuss the possibility of hiring them as director and assistant director of the service.

Discussed were the pay and the various duties of the director and assistant director.

Mrs. Brosius said she would consider the job, but found her decision would be based on what the commissioners come up with for a job description and salary.

Fiegel again told the commissioners he had until December to complete 240 hours of training, and felt he could accomplish that through the Internet.

He pointed out that he cannot get the training done in time–if he continues working full-time at his current job in Protection.

No salary figures were discussed, and the commissioners still don’t have definitive job descriptions for the ambulance service director and assistant.

But it appears that those job descriptions will be developed and the commissioners will see what can be done to keep the ambulance service viable.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire caused by electrical overcharge

By Ryan D. Wilson
Clay Center Dispatch – May 23, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Yesterday morning’s fire at 940 9th St. was a total loss, Clay Center Fire Chief John Ihnen confirmed today.

The fire started in the garage due to an “electrical overcharge.” Although state fire marshal officials weren’t certain what caused that at press time, lightning is a possibility, Ihnen said.

While the structure is a total loss Terry Fleming and his family were able save items in the bedroom on the west side, including, some clothing, memorabilia, and other items.

Firefighters from both city and rural fire departments responded and were treated for minor steam injuries, Ihnen said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Couple rescued from high water in Hutchinson

KSN – May 23, 2014

Photo by Hutchinson Fire Department

Photo by Hutchinson Fire Department

A Hutchinson elderly couple was rescued when their vehicle was caught in high water.

It happened early Friday afternoon.

The two inside they car were uninjured and needed help out of the car.

Fire crews walked the couple to a nearby police vehicle where they were able to get warm.

The Hutchinson area received rain in a short period of time.

Officials want to remind residents to “turn around, don’t drown.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Water warriors

Salina Journal – May 21, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 23, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image. Photo by Tom Dorsey.

Click on photo to view full-size image. Photo by Tom Dorsey.

Salina firefighters wearing personal protective equipment swim as fast as they can Tuesday afternoon in the Kenwood Cover lap pool. The training familiarizes firefighters with equipment used in floodwater and swift water rescues.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster


Harold G. Schoming


Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

I-70 Vehicle Fire

Chapman and Enterprise News Times – May 15, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 23, 2014

dickinson fire 5232014

DKFD #1 responded to a fire in an east bound moving truck Sunday evening just east of the Chapman Exit at mile marker 288, according to Chief Paul Froelich. The back of the truck was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived at the scene. The truck was operated by two men from Colorado. Grant Matthews and Noah Lewis said they were enroute from Colorado to Atlanta, Ga., when the fire broke out. The back of the truck was a total loss including all their belongings. The truck chassis was not damaged.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Volunteer firefighter car show

Arkansas City Traveler – May 17, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – May 23, 2014

The Sedan Rural and City Fire Departments will be hosting a car show in downtown Sedan on June 7.

This is a fundraiser event for both the City and Rural Fire Departments.

All proceeds will be used to buy new firefighting equipment, and to help to cover the cost of firefighting and rescue training.

Admission to the car show is free and the car registration fee is by donation only.

Car registration will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the show starting at 11 a.m.

Registration is open to early and late model muscle cars, hot rods, ratrods, antiques, trucks, and motorcycles.

There will be trophies for best of show, first runner-up, second runner-up, longest drive and a firefighter’s top pick.

The awards ceremony will be at 3:30 p.m., with the show ending at 4 p.m.

Sedan Fire and Rescue will perform a Jaws of Life demonstration at 2 p.m.

The demonstration will educate the public on the different types of equipment used for vehicle extrication.

Vehicle extrication is the removal of a vehicle from around a person who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident when conventional means of exit are impossible or inadvisable.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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