Archive for August, 2014

RV Fire Spreads To Nearby Barn

By Nick Viviani
WIBW – August 29, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

A family’s holiday weekend has been re-routed after a fire severely damaged their RV.

Firefighters were called out to fight the blaze near 2nd and Rice shortly after 6:00 p.m., authorities said. No one was hurt in the fire, but it did cause significant damage.

The person who lived there said he was letting the RV’s motor run before a week-long trip to Illinois for a family reunion.

No injuries were reported from the fire and a damage report was not immediately available.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Firefighters ask donors to ‘Fill the Boot’

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – August 29, 2014

Photo by John Richmeier. Capt. Andy Brooks of the Leavenworth Fire Department hands a sticker to Corey Sivils, 4, Friday outside of the local Wal-Mart store.

Photo by John Richmeier. Capt. Andy Brooks of the Leavenworth Fire Department hands a sticker to Corey Sivils, 4, Friday outside of the local Wal-Mart store.

Shoppers shouldn’t be alarmed if they see fire trucks outside of Leavenworth stores this holiday weekend.

Members of the Leavenworth Fire Department will be collecting donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The firefighters began collecting money for the MDA’s annual Fill the Boot campaign Friday afternoon and will continue through Monday.

They will be accepting donations at Wal-Mart, 5000 10th Ave., Dillons, 720 Eisenhower Road, and Country Mart, 1920 Spruce St.

“We don’t really have any set hours, but we’re going to try to be out there as much as we can,” said Jeff Porter, a member of the Leavenworth Fire Department who coordinates the local collection effort.

He said Leavenworth firefighters collected a little more than $4,000 last year.

This year, firefighters have a goal of raising at least $6,000.

“We have an ambitious goal,” Porter said.

Porter said the amount of $6,000 was chosen because the national Fill the Boot campaign is now 60 years old.

“This year, we support the 60th anniversary of firefighter support of MDA,” Porter said.

He estimated between 14 and 17 members of the Leavenworth Fire Department will be participating in the campaign this year.

Firefighters will stand near the entrances to the stores. They will be collecting donations in firefighter boots.

They also will be handing out stickers.

“The kids really like the stickers,” Porter said.

Porter said the firefighters participating in the campaign will be on duty, which means they may have to respond to calls at times. But, they will return to the stores.

Last year, firefighters responded to a house fire during the Labor Day weekend. Porter said this kept firefighters away from local stores for much of one day.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire-Medical officers receive professional designations

City of Lawrence News Release – August 29, 2014

Two fire officers of the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Department have received international professional designations. Division Chief Doug Green has successfully completed the process that awards him the professional designation of “Chief Fire Officer” (CFO) and Captain Ben Dennis has successfully completed the process that awards him the professional designation of “Fire Officer” (FO). The Commission of Professional Credentialing (CPC) met on August 26, 2014 to officially confer the designation upon both members. Chief Green is one of only 950 CFO’s worldwide and joins Chief Mark Bradford and Division Chief Bill Stark who are also Chief Fire Officers.

The CPC awards the CFO and FO designation only after an individual successfully meets all of the organization’s stringent criteria. The process includes an assessment of the applicant’s education, experience, professional development, technical competencies, contributions to the profession, and community involvement. In addition, all applicants are required to identify a future professional development plan.

Chief Green and Captain Dennis have a rich knowledge of the emergency services profession and have far surpassed critical core competencies for personnel serving in senior fire officer positions. Both designations use a comprehensive peer review model to evaluate candidates seeking the credential.

The Commission on Professional Credentialing, an entity of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc., (CPSE) administers the CFO and FO Designation Programs. The CPC consists of individuals from academia, federal and local government, and the fire and emergency medical services profession. To learn more about CPC, visit www.publicsafetyexcellence.org.

Chief Green has been a member of the department for 21 years and currently resides in Douglas County with his wife Sharon and his children Jesse, Kaysha, John and Karson. Captain Ben Dennis has been a member of the department for 14 years and currently resides in Douglas County with his wife Stephanie and daughter Olivia.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

County approves changes to grade, job descriptions

By Kari Adams
Butler County Times Gazette – August 29, 2014

In an effort to ensure the fairness and accuracy of Butler County’s current pay scale for employees, the Butler County Commissioners reviewed a recommendation to change the grade and job descriptions for several positions within the county.
“As you’re aware, we have a process in place to review and look at job descriptions,” began County Administrator Will Johnson. “If we have a few existing job descriptions that need reviewed or need modified, we are able to take them to a committee for a recommendation. The committee is made up of the county administrator, county engineer, GIS director, the county’s human resources coordinator, the computer services director and a representative from the appraiser’s department. The committee was asked to review six different positions in the county: Fire District #3 (Rose Hill) fire driver, deputy treasurer, motor vehicle office administrators and driver’s license administrative assistants.”
The fire driver position is new for the county for the 2015 year.
“Previously, the county had fire fighters to complete all the tasks assigned to the new fire driver,” explained Johnson. “They created a new job description, but the responsibilities will be slightly more advanced and will require additional training above that of a firefighter.”
“So it’s more than just driving the truck,” commented Commission Chair Mike Wheeler. “It’s operating the pumps and the hydraulics as well.”
Commissioners Ed Myers and Peggy Palmer questioned the need for an additional position in the district.
“They have four full-time firefighters,” said Commissioner Dan Woydziak, “and probably 20 volunteers. The firefighters typically work at 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift and the volunteers offset that. They staff it during the day because it’s hard to find volunteers during that time. Their goal is to gain enough full-time firefighters so they can have it staffed 24 hours a day.”
“Someone has been fulfilling those certifications,” said Myers. “Will one of the current professionals be stepping up into that position or will we be hiring an additional person for the new position?”
“They have a chief, lieutenant and two firefighters,” said Woydziak. “I’m assuming that one of the two firemen would go for the driver position and they would hire a new person to replace the firefighter. This change was built into their 2015 budget. It is why they requested a .4 mill increase.”
“Every two to three years, if the district has seen a steady growth in assessed evaluation, they’ll add a position in order to go toward a 24-hour operation,” added Johnson.
The commission then moved on to the other positions in the Treasurer’s Department.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Topeka Woman Injured in Hwy 75 rollover

By Amy Himmelberg
Kansas First News – August 29, 2014

jackson co fire 8292014

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a single vehicle rollover accident just south of 142nd Road on US Hwy 75 at 12:46 pm. Responders from the Mayetta Fire Dept., Hoyt Fire Dept., Potawatomi Tribal Fire Dept., Jackson County EMS and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene.

The 1997 GMC Jimmy had been driven by Emma Gruenig 52 of Topeka. The northbound vehicle left the highway south of 142nd Road and rolled multiple times before landing on its wheels. The woman was extricated from the vehicle by rescue personnel. She was later transported to a Topeka hospital by Jackson County EMS.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Pickup lost in Thursday morning fire

Hays Post – August 29, 2014

A suspected electrical fire is believed to be the cause of a vehicle fire in southern Ellis County.

At approximately 11:48 Thursday morning Ellis County Rural Fire and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department received the report of a vehicle on fire in the 2900 block of Chetolah Gold Road.

Ellis County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Gibson said the 2007 Chevy Silverado pickup was driving westbound when the driver noticed smoke coming from underneath the hood.

Gibson said the vehicle was a total loss.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Retiring firefighter to be recognized

Leavenworth Times – August 6, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 29, 2014

Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 will host a retirement celebration at 3 p.m. September 14 at Leavenworth City Hall, 100 N. Fifth St., for Gary Fenton.

Fenton is retiring after 48 years of community service. The event is open to the public.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Stump catches on fire

Kingman Leader Courier – August 7, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 29, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Kingman volunteer firefighters respond to a call Monday afternoon after a stump was reported on fire by City of Kingman interim police chief David Lux in the 1100 block of N. Spruce. Lux said he was not able to make contact with the home owner and no one had a permit to burn at that address.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Rollover blamed on driver falling asleep

Leavenworth Times – August 29, 2014

A rural Leavenworth man was taken to the hospital after his vehicle overturned Wednesday afternoon southwest of Lansing, according to a Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office report.

The crash was reported at 3:28 p.m. north of Fairmount Road on 187th Street.

It’s believed the 53-year-old man fell asleep while he was driving a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix. The car went off the road and overturned.

The driver, who was wearing a seatbelt, had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters, according to the report.

He was transported by Leavenworth County EMS to Saint Luke’s Cushing Hospital.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Storage fire

Wamego Smoke Signal – August 27, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 29, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

An early morning fire destroyed half of one of the buildings at Wamego Self Storage on Wednesday, August 20.

According to Paul Schlifke, Wamego Police Department, the call was received about 2 a.m. Firefighters from Wamego Fire, Louisville Fire, and St. George Fire responded to the scene. The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office was called in to investigate and the cause of the fire was determined not to be arson. Other personnel called to the scene included members from Wamego Police, Pottawatomie County Sheriff, Pottawatomie County Emergency Management, and Wamego Utilities.

Dave Karnowski, owner of the facility, said this is the only fire the facility has experienced in 35 years.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Two structure fires reported in the county

Madison News – August 7, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 29, 2014

According to a release from Greenwood County Fire Administrator Doug Williams, Fall River and Fall River Lake divisions of the Greenwood County Fire Department responded to the report of a house fire at North Rock Ridge Cove on Friday, August 1, at 9:46 a.m. Upon arrival crews were able to extinguish the fire in a bedroom and exterior of a mobile home. It was determined that the fire spread from a brush fire to the mobile home.

On Wednesday of last week, the Eureka Fire Department responded to 713 N. Walnut at 12:13 a.m. for a structure fire. When crews arrived, they found the rear of the house was fully involved. Crews advanced to the front of the house and found fire involvement through the house and got a quick knock down of the main body of the fire. The fire had also advanced into the attic and fire crews had to cut the roof and pull ceilings to get all of the fire out.

The home was owned by B.J. Cheever with Richard Polinsky living in the house. The fire cause is still under view, but believed to be electrical in nature.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Sweet corn for firefighters

Meade County News – August 6, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 29, 2014

click on photo to view full-size image.

click on photo to view full-size image.

Meade firefighter Doug Ritter picks sweet corn with his sons Titus, 4, and Nathan, 3. Ritter and other members of the Meade Fire Department were recently invited to pick corn in the fields of David and Dan Clawson. The Clawson’s invited the firemen to show appreciation and to help promote the quality of genetically modified crops produced in Meade County.

“The fire department has come out here a couple of times and all we’ve given them is a thank you,” Clawson said. “Hopefully this will help let them know how much we really appreciate what they do.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

 

Rollover accident causes power outages in S. Wichita

KWCH – August 29, 2014

wichita fire 8292014

A mile-long stretch of I-235 in south Wichita has been closed after a rollover accident.

It happened near the Seneca exit around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. KFDI reports a car flipped over, struck a power pole, and caused a power outage.

At its peak, Westar Energy reported more than 4,000 people lost power due to the crash.

Dispatchers said the driver of the car left the scene.

Southbound lanes of I-235 were closed at Seneca as crews cleared the scene, but traffic is flowing once again.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Osage County infant dies

Emporia Gazette – August 28, 2014

On Monday, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communication Center received a call of a child not breathing.

Osage County EMS, Osage County Fire District No. 5, Lyndon Police Department and the Osage County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1020 Monroe St. in Lyndon, which is a daycare. The child, Brody Johnston, 4 months, was transported by Osage EMS to a Topeka hospital. Brody died en route to the hospital.

The Johnston family requested that the media be notified that Brody’s organs were donated and at this time have saved two infants’ lives.

The cause of death has yet to be determined by the coroner’s office.

The daycare was closed at the request of the Osage County Health Department for two days while the Osage County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Hang time

Manhattan Mercury – August 21, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 28, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

A member of the Manhattan Fire Department Technical Rescue Team rappels off the top of the Manhattan Housing Authority building during a ropes training exercise. The team, which consists of 34 members, requires 80 hours of initial training and they perform various monthly rescue training exercises to stay current with the equipment.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

MHS evacuated after report of fire

Manhattan Mercury – August 22, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 28, 2014

Manhattan High School was evacuated Friday morning after fire alarms sounded inside the building, although no fire was reported.

Students and staff filed outside at about 9:30 a.m. as Manhattan Fire Department and emergency personnel responded to the school, 2100 Poyntz Ave.

Michele Jones, USD 383 communications and school safety director, said there may have been a change in the building sprinkler system’s water pressure.

“We’re trying to get to the bottom of why,” she said of the possible cause.

Jones said everyone was allowed to go back inside after about 20 minutes.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire officials: Smoking materials caused Sigma Chi fire

By Caitlin Doombos
Lawrence Journal World – August 28, 2014

Investigators determined that improperly disposed of smoking materials caused a Tuesday fire at the Sigma Chi fraternity house, 1439 Tennessee St., Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief Shaun Coffey said Thursday.

Just after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, firefighters responded to a call of smoke on the third floor on the house. By 11:45 a.m., smoke and flames were seen coming out of the southwest side of the house.

Members of the fraternity said the area affected held a bathroom and bedrooms.

The fire caused an estimated $150,000 in damage, Coffey said. Flames were contained to the third floor, but Coffey said the lower floors sustained some water and smoke damage.

Ten firefighting units responded to the fire, Coffey said. The 74 residents of the home were not allowed to reenter the house until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Coffey said he did not know what type of smoking materials caused the fire.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Overheated

Chanute Tribune – August 26, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 28, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

A vehicle was on fire off of 160th Road near Shaw on Monday. The report hadn’t been completed by the sheriff’s department by press time.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

House fire causes big scare for Topeka family

By Brian Dulle
Kansas First News – August 28, 2014

Video

A small fire caused a big scare for one Topeka family Wednesday night.

Topeka firefighters were called to a home on Southwest Skyline Drive around 8:15 Wednesday night.

Crews found a small electrical fire in the basement of the home, which they quickly extinguished.

Officials say no one was injured in the incident but there was smoke damage to the home.

Fire officials are working to figure out the cause.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Selden trash truck burns

By Judy Rogers
Colby Free Press – August 25, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 28, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

The Selden city trash truck was destroyed by fire on the east edge of town, despite the efforts of volunteers from at least four fire departments.

Neighbors reported the fire around 11 p.m. When firefighters arrived, the building was filled with smoke. Volunteer firemen Jeff Brown and Micah Goscha attempted to enter through the walk-in door, but when they opened it, oxygen fed the flames and they couldn’t get to the front of the truck where the fire was concentrated.

Leroy Spresser of Spresser Excavation brought his loader down and was able to open the garage door and pull the truck out, enabling the firefighters to extinguish the blaze.

“The fire was concentrated in the cab and engine compartment of the truck,” said Capt. Steve Rogers. “It appears to have self-ignited due to electrical malfunction.”

“We appreciate all the volunteers who responded to the fire,” said Mayor Jacque Boultinghouse, “including the Selden Fire Department and Selden EMT’s, along with fire departments from Menlo, Hoxie and Rexford.

“Fortunately, they were able to extinguish the fire rather quickly and no one was injured.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

 

Eight fire districts in Cowley County, mostly volunteers

By Jennifer Sandell
Winfield Courier – August 28, 2014

Members of the Winfield Fire department wash ambulances Wednesday evening in front of the fire station. From left are firefighter/paramedic Brad Kline, firefighter/EMT Jacob Coble (with back to camera) and WFD Captain Chad Mayberry. The Winfield Fire Department is in District 7, one of the eight fire districts in the county. (Jennifer Sandell/Courier)

Members of the Winfield Fire department wash ambulances Wednesday evening in front of the fire station. From left are firefighter/paramedic Brad Kline, firefighter/EMT Jacob Coble (with back to camera) and WFD Captain Chad Mayberry. The Winfield Fire Department is in District 7, one of the eight fire districts in the county. (Jennifer Sandell/Courier)

The six fire districts in communities surrounding Winfield and Arkansas City are all made up of volunteers. These firefighters sacrifice their personal time, and sometimes holidays and other events with their families, to serve their communities. For these men and women, being a firefighter/emergency medical technician is a calling, rather than a job.

If there is an accident or fire in the county, the volunteers are the first responders. When 911 is called it could take 15 to 20 minutes for the Winfield crew to arrive on the scene if it were to happen in, for example, Burden. The volunteers who live in that town can use those few minutes to save a life. Although they can’t transport a patient to a hospital, they can use emergency equipment and their training to assist people until help arrives.

The eight fire districts in Cowley County work together to help each other and try to meet one another’s needs. Fire district number one is Dexter, with Fire Chief Roy Henderson. District number two is Atlanta with Chief Darren Grow. District number three is Burden with Chief Dan McClasky. District number four is Udall with Chief Randy Hoffman. District number five is in Arkansas City with Chief Bob Wolfe. District number six is at Strother Field. District number seven is Winfield with Chief Alan Stoll. Number eight is Cambridge with Chief John Conway.

“We have a saying,” said Hoffman. “We give a little to save a little, and we give it all to save a lot.”

“To have people there to meet that medical need is crucial,” said to Conway. “95 percent of the time you know the person (who is injured) because these are such small towns. You have to focus on the task and save emotions for later. The worst is when you have to tell someone that their spouse has died. It stays with you.”

Although many people have pride in their community, it’s a constant struggle to get people to volunteer and train, according to the fire chiefs.

“People may not realize that you don’t have to fight fires to volunteer; you could clean the station, man the phones, wash the trucks (etc.),” said Grow. “There’s a place for everyone.”

To be a volunteer firefighter, you must take at least the “firefighter one” class to learn about gear, safety equipment and other essential information. Firefighters also take EMT classes. The closest schools with firefighter classes are Butler County Community College and Hutchinson Community College. To take EMT classes one can go to Cowley County Community College, Butler or Hutchinson. The paramedic program is available at Cowley and Hutchinson. The University of Kansas has the complete fire science program, which is a two-year degree.

Once certified, an individual may compete to get a paid position in Winfield or Arkansas City.

There is also a program in the county for volunteer fire cadets who must be at least 14 years old and maintain a good grade point average. They can assist the firefighters but cannot enter dangerous areas. Winfield also has an adult reserve program, with three firefighters and eight EMTs. They usually participate in large events, such as being on standby for functions such as the Walnut Valley Festival. They may also get called to large structure fires and even storms. They respond when there is an “all-department page.”

All the firefighters carry pagers and radios. When someone calls 911, whoever is in that area of the county is dispatched to the scene. Winfield gets more calls than Arkansas City because they respond to most of the rural communities, covering 750 square miles, or about two-thirds of the county. The new 911 center in the South Annex will house more next-generation compliant equipment and more dispatchers (two or three per shift). The new facility will separate dispatchers from other personnel so they can concentrate solely on the calls. The center is located in the basement, so it will also be more secure during storms, according to Stoll.

“It costs a substantial amount of money to run a fire department,” Grow said. “The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) sets standards for equipment and trucks to be replaced every so often. It tends to cost more money to fight grass fires than structure fires. There’s a different type of terrain in Burden. There are miles of grass with no roads and a lot of farm grounds. You have to have special equipment and grass rigs.”

Each fire district uses the previous year’s budget plus cost of inflation. Any increase in budget for any of the fire districts, whether paid or volunteer, must be approved by the county commission. Atlanta and Udall came before the county commission to ask for a $4,000 increase last month.

“The big issue is that it costs so much to run a fire department,” said Hoffman. “For instance, one set of gear costs more than $2,000 for each person.”

The state FRA (Firefighters Relief Association) is used to purchase accident and health, disability and life insurance and annuities or pensions for local firefighters. The districts can also apply for Federal Emergency Management Association grants. Udall has received grants for special washing/drying systems to clean the chemicals from their gear properly, breathing apparatus, radio equipment and a tanker/pumper truck in the last 10 years, according to an earlier Courier article. Occasionally, the districts get money from memorials fundraisers. Chief Grow in Atlanta even builds his own trucks.

These dedicated firefighters do everything they can to keep their departments running while scraping up enough money to meet the standards set by the NFPA.

“We’re fortunate to have the dedicated people that we have.” said Hoffman.

They always need funding and volunteers. Anyone wishing to volunteer with a volunteer company can contact the chiefs.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

New fire engine makes its debut

By Mike Sellman
Junction City Daily Union – August 28, 2014

Photo by Mike Sellman. Junction City firefighters Nick Blecha (left), Craig Walsh (center) and Terry Bohanan (right) pose with the departments new 2014 Rosenbauer engine.

Photo by Mike Sellman. Junction City firefighters Nick Blecha (left), Craig Walsh (center) and Terry Bohanan (right) pose with the departments new 2014 Rosenbauer engine.

The newest member of the Junction City Fire Department made its debut Monday.

Junction City residents may catch a glimpse of the 2014 Rosenbauer engine rolling through town. The JCFD obtained the engine earlier this month. The new engine can pump 1,500 gallons of water per minute, has full vehicle equipment and will be stationed at Fire Station 1 on North Jefferson Street.

Fire Chief Kevin Royse said this will be the first of three major steps in refurbishing the fleet. The engine was purchased with a FEMA Assistance Firefighters grant.

A second Rosenbauer engine will replace the station’s 1998 engine, and should begin servicing the city early next year.

This will replace the JCFD’s front-line engines within two years.

A new 109-foot Rosenbauer ladder, also purchased with the grant, is expected to arrive this fall. The city will save on repair and fuel costs, and provide the department with up-to-date technology for firefighting.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Accident involving a grain truck sends two to the hospital

KSN – August 28, 2014

halstead fire 8282014

An accident involving a car and a grain truck leaves a car crushed and sends two to the hospital.

The accident happened on Hwy 50, near Halstead on Wednesday afternoon.

Kansas Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident, but the driver of the car was airlifted to a hospital in an unknown condition, and a passenger was transported to the hospital in an ambulance.

A second passenger of the car was uninjured, and the driver of the grain truck was not injured either.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Wichita HOT class line up

Reminder that the Wichita HOT is just around the corner.  We have a large selection of both hands on and lecture classes for every level of your organization.  Take a look below at the classes offered, prices this year were kept at $35 for Keynote and Saturday Lectures, $60 for Keynote, Saturday Lectures and Sunday Hands On Classes (Organization/Group Discounts available).  Don’t forget the conference includes Lunch and a social event at the Pump House in Wichita’s “Old Town” entertainment district on Saturday night, also special room/rates available at the Hotel In Old town for the conference.  Please visit our website www.wichitahot.com for full class details and to register online!

Keynote Speaker:

Wichita HoT is excited to have Chief Bobby Halton open our fire school with his keynote speech. This is a great opportunity to listen to and learn from one of the fire service greats.

Chief Bobby Halton
Editor In Chief Fire Engineering Magazine

Fire Chief Bobby Halton ret. is currently editor in chief of Fire Engineering magazine and education director of the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC). Chief Halton began his career in structural firefighting with the Albuquerque Fire Department and rose through the ranks to include Chief of Training. Bobby was Chief of Operations until his retirement from Albuquerque in 2004. He then became the Fire Chief of the Coppell (TX) Fire Department, Bobby left Coppell to assume the duties as editor in chief of Fire Engineering Magazine.
Chief Halton is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, left as a member in good standing with the International Association of Fire Fighters, is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and has served on several of the National Fire Protection Association technical committees. He is active with the National Fallen Firefighters, the Congressional Fire Services Institute, and the Firefighters Cancer Support Network. He has done extensive speaking and training for the fire service in the United States and internationally.

Lectures (Saturday): 

Blink-Making Critical Fire ground Decisions

Battalion Jeffrey S. Johnson
Kansas City Fire (Missouri)

Blink: Making Critical Fire Ground Decisions is a highly educational program designed to help fire ground commanders understand the how and why we make decisions on the fire ground. This program is designed for participants that respond to urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Combat Ready Firefighting

Chief Tony Kelleher
Kentland Volunteer Fire Department
District of Columbia Fire Department

Traditions Training

This updated class is an interactive, multimedia-based presentation that focuses on the presence and effects of complacency in the fire service and how and why we must combat it. Tips on  readiness, attitude, and equipment will be offered for the engine/truck company, rapid intervention team, and the incident commander. Many factors have served to increase complacency in today’s firefighters. A complacent attitude is the first step in a tragic calamity of errors that results in a fire extending beyond the point at which it should have been controlled or preventable civilian or firefighter injuries and deaths. The scenarios discussed are based on the instructor’s personal experiences at several near-miss incidents and show how the presence or absence of a “combat ready” mindset influenced the outcome. Attendees are given tips for improving their readiness and that of their companies and departments. This class also serves as a fire service motivator.

Downrange Chiefs: Deploying Chief Officers at the Tactical Level

Battalion Chief Nicholas Martin
Columbia Fire Department

Traditions Training

For many departments, the site of a chief in PPE/SCBA in the “action area” is an awkward sight. Using actual case studies and incident audio/video, this class will discuss the value of deploying chief/command officers to at the tactical level and how coordination at the tactical level leads to safer and more effective control of incidents.

Effective Use of Tower Ladders in Tactical Operations

Battalion Chief Nicholas Martin
Columbia Fire Department

Traditions Training

Although the popularity of tower ladders has grown, they are still less common than traditional “straight stick” aerial apparatus, and their optimum use is not always understood. To obtain maximum benefit from this versatile type of apparatus, firefighters, officers, and incident commanders must understand its capabilities and how it can most effectively be integrated into the fireground. The class is for departments with and without tower ladders. Among topics covered are the following: the proper use of tower ladders in several fireground scenarios including firefighter access, rescue of civilians or firefighters, elevated master streams, and technical rescue; rear-mount and mid-mount devices; and comparison of the “ladder towers” vs. the “tower ladder” and the tower ladder and a straight aerial.

Firefighter and Company Officer – Avoiding pitfalls in the firehouse and on the fire ground

Lieutenant Ignacio Ayala
Wichita Fire Department

The Firefighter and Company Officer course is designed to address team development, safe practices in the firehouse and on the fire ground. The course provides opportunities for Firefighters and Company Officers to learn about team development, safe practices, fire ground priorities, and tactical methods.

First-In, First-Five

Captain Trevor Steedman
Ocean City Fire Department

Strike the Box Training

First-In, First-Five is a foundational class in any Officer Development Series. Focusing on the decisions and actions taken by the “First-In” Company during the crucial first five minutes of initial company-level fireground operations, this course is beneficial for new Company-Level Officers, existing Officers and Firefighters who aspire to become Officers or simply find themselves occasionally riding the right front seat.

Hazards Associated With Electricity: A Look at Overhead and Underground Powerlines

Timothy Boswell
Field Safety & Training Coordinator for Westar Energy

Class will consist of a power point presentation about the hazards associated with high voltage overhead and underground power lines. The presentation will discuss the effects of electricity on the human body through touch potential, voltage gradients, and step potentials. Students will learn why they need to be observe downed power lines and steps that can be taken to protect themselves and others from this danger. With the aid of a “Hot Demonstration Trailer” energized at 7,200 volts, Westar Energy will review and demonstrate real life situations to help students incorporate the observance for possible electrical hazards during everyday life activities at work & at home.

Power Saws

Firefighter / Volunteer Fire Chief J.D. Heitman
Wichita Fire Department / Sumner County Fire District 9

This class will take a closer look at the saws we use in the fire service. It will cover how to check out the saws to make sure they function properly, cleaning of the equipment, troubleshooting problems, chain tension, and other helpful tips. During the presentation you will be given the chance to dismantle part of a chainsaw and take a closer look at not only how it works but why.

Search with Rope and TIC

Captain Keith Niemann
Wichita Fire Department

Far too often when rope or thermal imagers are used during searches the process slows down instead of speeds up. This class will show students how to increase accountability and speed in the proven methods of traditional searches by using thermal imagers and rope in the evolutions. Among the topics covered are the following: good traditional search techniques; using common room layouts to your advantage; thermal imaging camera (TIC)-assisted search; good traditional+TIC search techniques equals orientation; TIC tips and tricks; training drills to increase proficiency; rope-assisted search; NY type bags; retractable systems; TIC+rope search techniques; common themes (pitfalls can make the use of TIC slower not faster, rope management problems); circumstances that work best for a rope search; and hybrid search.

Tactical Extrication

Lieutenant Isaac Frazier
St. Johns County Fire Rescue

Tactical Advantage Training

Tactical Extrication is a “street smart” extrication course that is beneficial for students beginner to advanced. This course is designed to increase the attendees speed and efficiency on the “real world” extrication scene. There is no prior extrication experience required and will be beneficial to any rank of fire service member. The course was established from experiences gained as an officer on Heavy Rescue that is first due to the deadliest stretch of roadway in the nation. This class truly looks at the “why’s” of each operation. It is our feeling that if you know why you are doing a particular technique, then if it fails you will know the next step. After over 7 years of weekly training at a local Mercedes junkyard and responding first due to the nation’s deadliest roadway, this class was crafted to produce the most realistic extrication training around. Mental aspects of extrication, plan A operations, time, speed, efficiency, cut-around points, high strength steels, under-rides are just a start to this course. This class is tailored for limited manpower and provides extensive training on teamwork, basic-advanced skills, tactics, photo/video scenarios and much more. As we always say “At 2AM with patients trapped, certificates don’t mean jack.” It is presented to promote motivation, pride and discussion amongst the attendees.

Truck Company Duties: From Laddering to R.I.T. Operations

Captain James R. Payne
City of Baltimore Fire Department

Brotherhood Above All

The focus is on the various duties of a truck company or special services unit. In today’s dynamic fire service, truck company operations involve skills that are not performed often. Join in a discussion of proper tactics such as ladder placement, ventilation, vent-enter-isolate-search, and the rapid intervention team. Various tricks of the trade that will help ensure success on the fire ground will also be discussed. Participants will be encouraged to join in the discussion of various strategies and tactics that will assist front line officers and firefighters to make improved decisions.

Trust, Love and Thermodynamics

Chief David Rhodes
Atlanta Fire Rescue Department
Rhodes Consultings, Inc

Explore the three things that you must understand to provide and receive good leadership. It’s really not that hard to talk about leadership but it can be difficult to apply it to all different personality types that we encounter. There is leadership theory and then there is reality. We will compare this to real life, street smart, fire house leadership that you have experienced. This fast paced course is designed to get you to think about your leadership style, the evolution of a firefighter, understand why there are disconnects between headquarters

Water Supplies from the Nozzle Back

Captain Darin House
Sedgwick County Fire District #1

A hard, informed look at realistic water flows achieved in tanker/tender operations, covering the initial attack from an engine to being supplied with a tender or port-a-tank operation. This water supply class teaches how to use the water on scene in an educated manner.

When Things go Bad- The Physiology of Self Preservation

Lieutenant Paulie Capo
Clearwater Fire and Rescue

When Things Go Bad

As our industry is training more on Firefighter Rescue, we have to ask ourselves, are we training the right way? Do you know what you will experience or be capable of accomplishing when you feel that you or a fellow brother/sister firefighter is going to die? Stressed firefighters will only do what they’re trained to do. I will explain how we can train our midbrain how we can alter our training programs for success and eradicate bad muscle memory based on science and the academia of Rescue.

Hands-On Classes (Sunday): 

Advanced Forcible Entry

Traditions Training 

Chief Tony Kelleher, Deputy Chief Roger Steger, Battalion Chief Nick Martin, Lieutenant Samuel Hittle

Sponsored by: KSFFA

Searching for victims or getting the line on a fire, requires we first get inside! Join the Traditions Training staff for 8 hours of essential information for getting you through the door and techniques to soften a building by removing high security devices. In this highly interactive and dynamic ADVANCED forcible entry class each attendee will force multiple inward and outward doors in restricted spaces, perform single firefighter conventional entry, high density security device removal with a rotary saw and hand tools, use a rotary saw and hand tools to remove window bars, overcome drop bars with hand tool techniques, cut sectional garage doors, practice saw techniques off a ladder, go thru the lock on residential and store front doors, overcome padlocks, and defeat barrel bolts to achieve confidence on the fire ground.

Prerequisite: Basic Forcible Entry Training

Requirements: Helmet, Eye Protection, Bunker Gear, and Gloves

Location: TBA

Engine Company Operations

Captain Keith Niemann, Captain Lane Pearman, Chief Sid Newby, Chief John Turner, Lt. Gerald Johnson, Lt. Chad Cox, FF Mark Misek, FF Josh Forbes, FF Rick Mosher

In these cash strapped times getting the first line into service is harder than ever. For the paid departments, staffing has been cut to the bone and departments are asked to do more with the bare minimum in staffing. In the volunteer world, the economic downturn means dedicated volunteers must often choose the job that provides for their family, leaving their departments strapped for manpower to get the “all important” first line in place. This class will concentrate on skills necessary to get the first line off the rig and into place with two people quickly and efficiently. This class will pass along some tips and tricks to get the first line in place, and hone the skills necessary to make an effective attack using both 1 ¾ and 2 ½ handlines with understaffed crews.

Requirements: Full PPE and SCBA

Location: Wichita Fire Department Regional Training Center

Rapid Intervention

Lieutenant Paulie Capo, Lieutenant Grant Schwalbe

Rapid Intervention Team training should be realistic and to the point. When a RIT deploys into a burning building for a MAYDAY, each team member will be taxed to the limit, both physically and mentally. This hands-on program will train and evaluate RIT members at performing these RIT duties. Students will rotate through a series of skill stations to learn and practice firefighter removal procedures such as lifting, lowering, pulling, and deploying. This program is a must for firefighters wanting to learn or advance their firefighter rescue skills.

Requirements: Full PPE and SCBA

Location: TBA

Residential Search

Battalion Chief David Rhodes, Firefighter Russell Sykes

The academy basics of going through the front door and searching left or right is rarely the right choice for finding a victim. In order to know where to search and what method will be most effective you have to size up the situation and make sound decisions based on the circumstances. Learn how to successfully make predictions on where victims will be located and develop a search strategy that will give victims the best chance at survival through a reduction in the time it takes to locate and remove them.

Requirements: Full PPE and SCBA

Location: TBA

SCBA Boot Camp

Captain Trevor Steedman

When the fire doesn’t go “by the book,” knowing the SCBA Continuum of Survival, presented in this class, can make all the difference! It provides one more way to ensure that everyone goes home! The principles and practices addressed can be used every day by firefighters–whether rural or urban, career or volunteer. Become aware of the survival options available to keep you alive! SCBA is the lifeline of the firefighter. Build on your basic SCBA rudimentary skills.

Requirements: Turnout Gear, Helmet, Gloves, Hood, SCBA

Location: Wichita Fire Department Regional Training Center

Tactical Extrication

Lieutenant Isaac Frazier

Tactical Extrication is a “street smart” extrication course that is beneficial for students beginner to advanced. This course is designed to increase the attendees speed and efficiency on the “real world” extrication scene. There is no prior extrication experience required and will be beneficial to any rank of fire service member. The course was established from experiences gained as an officer on Heavy Rescue that is first due to the deadliest stretch of roadway in the nation. This class truly looks at the “why’s” of each operation. It is our feeling that if you know why you are doing a particular technique, then if it fails you will know the next step. After over 7 years of weekly training at a local Mercedes junkyard and responding first due to the nation’s deadliest roadway, this class was crafted to produce the most realistic extrication training around. Mental aspects of extrication, plan A operations, time, speed, efficiency, cut-around points, high strength steels, under-rides are just a start to this course. This class is tailored for limited manpower and provides extensive training on teamwork, basic-advanced skills, tactics, photo/video scenarios and much more. As we always say “At 2AM with patients trapped, certificates don’t mean jack.” It is presented to promote motivation, pride and discussion amongst the attendees.

Requirements: Helmet, Eye Protection, Bunker Gear, and Gloves

Location: TBA

Truck Company Operations

Lieutenant Scott Kleinschmidt, Captain James Payne, Captain Matt Bowen

This course takes participants through a series of skill stations that involve street proven tactics in ventilation, ground ladders, aerial operations, forcible entry, and search/rescue operations. Upon the completion of the skill stations, the participant will have the ability to put those skills to work during live fire evolutions.

Requirements: Full PPE and SCBA

Location: TBA 

Instructors:

IGNACIO “Iggy” AYALA has been a firefighter for over 20 years. Ignacio’s career as a firefighter has been as an U.S. Air Force active duty enlisted military firefighter, Department of Defense Civil Service firefighter, and presently as a Lieutenant with the Wichita Fire Department. Ignacio is a nationally certified Fire Officer III, Fire Instructor II, and Hazardous Material Technician. Ignacio holds a Masters degree in Social Work and a Bachelor degree in Business Quality Management.

TIM BOSWELL holds a B.S. in Safety Engineering, is a Certified Utility Safety Administrator, and is a Kansas Certified Paramedic. Tim is currently working as a Field Safety & Training Coordinator for Westar Energy in Topeka Kansas, and has been with Westar the past 34 years.   Tim has been an active member and instructor of Westar’s Emergency Response Teams since 1982 and joined the Safety Department in 1993 where he has held several leadership positions in the last 20 years. Tim’s EMS experience spans over 30 years working in Metro, Urban, and Rural EMS systems, and currently is a part time paramedic for Jackson County Kansas EMS system. Tim’s professional affiliations are the American Society of Safety Engineers, Industrial Protection Systems, National Safety Council, National Fire Fighters Association, and the Kansas EMS Association.

PAULIE CAPO has been a firefighter since 1996 and serves as a Lieutenant/Paramedic on T45 with the Clearwater Fire Department in Florida. Paulie Capo is Founder and serves as President of, When Things Go Bad, Incorporated and is the Program Manager of Firefighter Rescue and Survival for Asymmetric Combat Institute, LLC, where he develops firefighter survival curriculum and training for civilian and military organizations. His vast teaching includes, but not limited to, FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference) and Fire House Expo where he trains on unconventional Firefighter Rescue and Survival. Paulie is considered by many to be one of the nation’s leader’s in the “new vanguard” of Firefighter Rescue / Rapid Intervention Crew capabilities. He and is crew can be seen regularly on Fire Engineering’s Training Minutes. In addition he frequently instructs and consults in areas of firefighter self preservation – the physiology changes during firefighter survival. He also is an instructor at Saint Petersburg Fire College where he teaches all levels and topics on firefighting.

DARIN HOUSE is a captain with Sedgwick County Fire District with 19 years of experience. He is currently assigned to SCFD Station 38 / WFD Station 6. He has volunteered with his home town for 23 years. Darin holds a DHS instructor certificate and has trained Haz Mat teams around his state. Darin has trained new hires in his departments training academy and delivered Fire Fighter One to other agencies. Darin has also delivered this class at other venues.

J.D. HEITMAN is a firefighter with the Wichita Fire Department assigned to Firehouse 5 on B-shift, the Volunteer Fire Chief for Sumner County Fire District 9, an instructor with Butler County Community College Fire Program, and serves as an adjunct instructor for the Wichita Fire Department Truck Company Academy concentrating on power saws matters.

Frazier, Isaac

ISAAC FRAZIER is a Special Operations Lieutenant with St. Johns County Florida’s Heavy Rescue “Squad 4”. First due to the deadliest stretch of roadway in the nation, Frazier teaches from personal street experience providing tried and true tactics. Frazier is the owner of Tactical Advantage Training and creator of the course Tactical Extrication. Frazier travels nationally sharing his passion teaching fire and extrication courses. Frazier is a Florida Fire Officer, FL Paramedic, Special Operations Officer, Florida State Instructor, FLUSAR Tech, Diver, and FL Hazmat Tech.

JEFFORY S. JOHNSON has 27-years of fire service experience and currently a Battalion Chief with the Kansas City (MO) Fire Department, assigned to a Midtown Battalion. He has served as a firefighter, fire apparatus operator, and captain before being promoted to battalion chief.He is an adjunct instructor with Blue River Community College’s Fire Science program and a certified Missouri Fire Instructor.He has a master’s degree in public administration in 2010.

TONY KELLEHER is the chief of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department (Company 33), a Volunteer Division Chief with the Prince George’s County (MD) Fire Department and a Sergeant with the District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department. He has 19-years of fire service experience and is a senior instructor with Traditions Training, LLC – Instructing nationally on leadership and operational fire service issues. In his eight-years as a Chief Officer, he has commanded many large-scale incidents. He has been recognized locally and nationally for leadership, heroism, and bravery. He is the developer of the fire service blog/facebook page “Working Fire Chief”. Its purpose is to distribute basic skill training, preserve fire service history, motivate/inspire individuals and provide leadership to individuals needing guidance as a firefighter and/or Officer.

SCOTT KLEINSCHMIDT is a 17 year veteran with the Wichita Fire Department currently assigned as the officer at Truck Company 2 protecting the south side of the city. Prior to his promotion he served as a fireman assigned to the city’s Rescue Company, has been a member of the city/county Technical Rescue Team for the last 14 years and is a Rescue Technician/Manager with KSTF-5. Lt. Kleinschmidt instructs at the local, state, and national level in Rescue Company Operations and Truck Company Operations.

NICHOLAS MARTIN is a Battalion Chief with the Columbia Fire Department in the capitol city of South Carolina and previously served as a Lieutenant in the District of Columbia Fire Department. He has more than 19 years of firefighting experience and is vice president of Traditions Training, LLC, a national instruction organization specializing in operational issues. He has written for Fire Engineering and other fire service magazines. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in management from the Public Safety Executive Leadership program at Johns Hopkins University.

KEITH NIEMANN is a fifteen year member of the Wichita Fire Department currently assigned as the Captain of Firehouse 10.  Captain Niemann is an instructor for Fools Of Oz, Fire Engineering Magazine contributor, Urban Firefighter co-contributor, and 2013, 2014, 2015 FDIC presenter.

JAMES R. PAYNE is a 25-year veteran of the BCFD and is currently working as the Captain of Rescue 1, the only Heavy Rescue in the City of Baltimore. He has been an officer for 15 plus years. He has worked in engines and trucks as well as a member of various specialized Rescue teams such as the BCFD Dive Rescue Team, The Special Operations Team, and a member of a Type 3 Incident Management Team. Captain Payne has served with the Maryland Search and Rescue Task Force 2 Team as a Hazardous Materials Specialist. Captain Payne also instructs as an adjunct Instructor at the Baltimore City Fire Academy. Captain Payne currently travels the country training in various Fire and Rescue disciplines. Captain Payne has also traveled to France to instruct in Fire Service and Dive Rescue Team Operations, and has also traveled to South Korea to assist in various Fire and Rescue training procedures.

TREVOR STEEDMAN is a 27-year fire service veteran and owner of a fire training/consulting company. He is a career Captain with the Ocean City (MD) Fire Department, where he’s served as a citywide Shift Commander, Special Operations Commander and currently heads the Department’s Training Section. Trevor earned a BS degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland, is a Senior Field Instructor with the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute and is an FDIC instructor.

Rhodes, David

DAVID RHODES is a 28-year fire service veteran serving as a Battalion Chief with the City of Atlanta Fire Department. He is a Chief Elder for the Georgia Smoke Diver Program, a member of the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) Executive Advisory Board, a Hands-on-Training Coordinator for the FDIC conference, an Editorial Advisor and author for Fire Engineering Magazine, and Advisory Board member for UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute.

SAMUEL HITTLE is a Lieutenant with the Wichita Fire Department. He has an Associates in Fire Science, is a FDIC Instructor and Lecturer, instructor with Traditions Training, coordinator/instructor for Wichita HoT, and contributing author for Fire Engineering, Urban Firefighter, Fire Nuggets, and FiRescue Interactive. Lieutenant Hittle serves on the department’s Hazardous Materials Team, is the C Shift Truck Company Coordinator, and an adjunct instructor in the department’s training division.

ROGER STEGER has over 17 years firefighting experience. Currently he is the Deputy Fire Chief of the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George’s County, MD where he has served that county since 1999. He is employed as a Firefighter (Acting Lieutenant) with the Baltimore City Fire Department serving at Engine Company 8 on the City’s Westside.

Roger is an Instructor with Traditions Training, LLC teaching classes nationwide in various fire service subjects.

GRANT SCHWALBE has been a firefighter since 1994. He began his career in Northwest Ohio and has been with Estero Fire Rescue since 2003 as a Lieutenant/Paramedic on Engine 43.  He is an instructor with When Things Go Bad, Inc. as well as Fort Myers Fire Academy. Grant has been published in Fire Engineering Magazine and holds a FL Instructor 3, Associate’s degree in Fire Science from Edison State College and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hodges University.

RUSSELL SYKES is an11 year veteran of the fire service and is currently a firefighter with the City of Atlanta Fire Department. He is a proud member of Company 16, serving the historic Vine City and English Ave. neighborhoods. He is an instructor with the Georgia Smoke Diver program and has taught as a Hands-On-Training (HOT) Instructor at the Fire Department Instructor Conference (FDIC). He is also an adjunct instructor with the Georgia Fire Academy. He is certified Georgia Smoke Diver #671.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire at Westlake

By Tim Schrag
Hutchinson News – August 27, 2014

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

hutchinson fire 8272014b

Hutchinson fire department responded to a minor structure fire Wednesday evening at Westlake Hardware on North Main Street.

Scanner traffic indicated that a power line started to store roof on fire and the store was evacuated.

Store manager Eric Smith said Westlake staff noticed smoldering on around 5:30 p.m. Smith said he put it out before calling 911.

When crews arrived on the scene the fire was not active.

Fire Chief Kim Forbes described this type of electrical fire as something similar to a punk. He also said catching this blister fire early allowed the damage to the structure minimal.

The store will have to have an inspection before power can be restored to the building and open it back up for business.

Smith said the store will likely be open on Thursday.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire destroys home on SW Church Road

By Kent Bush
Butler County Times Gazette – August 27, 2014

Photos by Kent Bush. Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Photos by Kent Bush. Click on each photo to view full-size image.

butler co fire 8272014b

butler co fire 8272014c

Fire fighters from Andover, Benton, Augusta and Towanda responded to a house fire at 2:15 this afternoon at 6469 SW Church Road.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

HAZMAT situation in S. Wichita contained quickly

KSN – August 27, 2014

wichita fire 8272014

HAZMAT crews contained an oil and water mixture leak out of a pipe behind a Pizza Hut in South Wichita.

The incident happened around 3p.m. near 47th and Broadway on Wednesday and was contained around 3:20p.m.

Buildings were evacuated while the liquid was being contained.

Officials say that there is no danger from the leak at this time.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Plane crashes near Kansas airport

KAKE – August 27, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

No one was hurt when a small plane crashed near a Kansas airport.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the crash of a small plane near the airport in El Dorado. It happened around 10:45 a.m.

The plane was reportedly doing touch-and-goes, then had an engine problem before going down in a field across from the north side of the airport.

Two people were on board, but neither was hurt.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Bridge collision kills Gypsum man

By David Colburn
Marion County Record – August 27, 2014

A Gypsum man died Aug. 20 when his car collided with a concrete bridge railing on 290th Rd. between Nighthawk and Mustang Rds.

Undersheriff David Huntley said Richard G. Hoye, 73, was westbound on the Lincolnville-Durham road at approximately noon when the car crossed the road and the driver’s side tires went onto the south shoulder. The car struck the railing head-on and fell into the creek bed, coming to rest on the west bank south of the bridge.

Hoye was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene by county coroner Paige Hatcher-Dodson.

Uncertain if Hoye was traveling alone, emergency personnel from Tampa and Hillsboro searched both sides of the creek, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Marion Reservoir brought equipment rescuers used to drag the creek. They found no other victims.

The road was closed for several hours as the car was removed from the creek and county road crews cleared debris. Thursday, a steel guardrail was installed in front of the south concrete railing.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Boot Drive raises more than $7,000

By Steven Tendo
Garden City Telegram – August 27, 2014

Garden City firefighters raised more than $7,000 at a weekend event organized by the fire department and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The annual event attracted 16 firefighters and support staff.

The Boot Block Drive, which took place Sunday, realized a total of $7,207.32. The Battalion Chief, Jim Morris was commended by the department for organizing the event.

The MDA is a voluntary health agency that aims to conquer diseases that affect more than one million Americans.

Funds raised by the BootDrive support the MDA mission, including worldwide research, specialized health care services, and day-to-day support, which includes sending children affected by muscular dystrophy and related diseases to a week-long, barrier-free MDA summer camp at Rock Springs 4-H in Junction City.

Garden City families and those from surrounding areas receive these services from the MDA district office in Wichita.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Big trucks crash on Highway 9

Norton Telegram – August 22, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 27, 2014

Photo by Mike Stephens. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Mike Stephens. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Two trucks, one carrying corn silage and the other grain, crashed Thursday morning around 10 a.m., on Highway 9 and W-3. Both trucks came to rest on their sides. The cab of the grain truck was destroyed by fire. The Norton County Sheriff’s Department, Norton EMS, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Lenora Rural Fire Department responded to the call. There were no fatalities and the cause of the accident is under investigation.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Four injured in Shawnee Mission Parkway accident

Shawnee Dispatch – August 20, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 27, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

An eastbound vehicle crossed a median that collided head-on with another vehicle forced officers to close all lanes of Shawnee Mission Parkway late Saturday morning.

Maj. Doug Orbin of the Shawnee police said that just before 11 a.m. Saturday, the driver of a white Ford Mustang suffered a “medical episode” and crossed over the raised median on Shawnee Mission Parkway. The Mustang collided with a Chevy Equinox heading westbound carrying three people.

The accident occurred just east of Nieman Road.

Operation 100 News independently confirmed that Med-Act transported four people from the scene. An adult was critically injured, another adult seriously injured, and a juvenile along with a third adult both sustained minor injuries.

Orbin said all four passengers were transported to the hospital, all with non-life threatening injuries.

Several lanes of Shawnee Mission Parkway were opened just before noon, with the remaining lanes opened about 12:30 p.m.

Bedlam of the Badges raises $2,640

By David A. Seaton
Arkansas City Traveler – August 27, 2014

Photo by Felipe Escalante.

Photo by Felipe Escalante.

The second annual charity battle between cops and firefighters in Cowley County raised about $2,640, ending with the police taking home the trophy once again.

The flag football contest — this year dubbed Bedlam of the Badges — ended in a high-scoring affair Saturday night at Bulldog Stadium, 64-54.

The firefighters jumped out to an early lead and led much of the game. But the police, with their quickness and deep aerial attack, prevailed.

“I had all the confidence in the world my guys would prevail,” said Arkansas City Police Chief Dan Ward.

“It was a good game.”

The cops’ team included players from the Ark City and Winfield police departments, and the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office. The firefighters drew from the Ark City and Winfield fire departments.

After expenses, nearly $2,000 was sent to the Shannon Seaton Memorial Fund, which helps families struggling financially due to cancer.

“We had a good turnout and our community really showed their support for the Shannon Seaton Foundation, with over $2,000 raised during the game,” said Ark City Recreation Center director Casey Doty.

“We appreciate all the volunteers and sponsors who made it happen.”

The event attracted nearly 30 sponsor businesses and volunteer groups.

Doty and Clifton Lolar, a Rec Center employee, spearheaded the charity event.

Ward, who is fairly new to the community, said he attended the game with his wife and elderly mother.

“We were all three just really impressed with the amount of support from the community for such a good cause, and the whole community spirit represented there,” he said.

Ark City Fire-EMS Chief Bobby Wolfe was on vacation out of the country on Saturday, but looked on Facebook in Paris, France, to learn the score. He said Ward did some trash talking via text message after the game.

“I think they kind of felt sorry for the cops,” Wolfe said of the firefighters.

On a serious note, he said the event, in addition to raising funds for a good cause, is a morale builder for firefighters and fosters cooperation among fire departments, as well as between police and fire departments.

“It establishes camaraderie among the two departments, because we rely on each other quite a bit,” Wolfe said.

The Ark City Fire-EMS Department already is focused on redemption, he said.

“Practice starts at 0700 Saturday morning for next year,” Wolfe joked.

Traveler publisher David Seaton is the husband of the late Shannon Seaton.

The firefighters jumped out to an early lead and led much of the game. But the police, with their quickness and deep aerial attack, prevailed.

“I had all the confidence in the world my guys would prevail,” said Arkansas City Police Chief Dan Ward.

“It was a good game.”

The cops’ team included players from the Ark City and Winfield police departments, and the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office. The firefighters drew from the Ark City and Winfield fire departments.

After expenses, nearly $2,000 was sent to the Shannon Seaton Memorial Fund, which helps families struggling financially due to cancer.

“We had a good turnout and our community really showed their support for the Shannon Seaton Foundation, with over $2,000 raised during the game,” said Ark City Recreation Center director Casey Doty.

“We appreciate all the volunteers and sponsors who made it happen.”

The event attracted nearly 30 sponsor businesses and volunteer groups.

Doty and Clifton Lolar, a Rec Center employee, spearheaded the charity event.

Ward, who is fairly new to the community, said he attended the game with his wife and elderly mother.

“We were all three just really impressed with the amount of support from the community for such a good cause, and the whole community spirit represented there,” he said.

Ark City Fire-EMS Chief Bobby Wolfe was on vacation out of the country on Saturday, but looked on Facebook in Paris, France, to learn the score. He said Ward did some trash talking via text message after the game.

“I think they kind of felt sorry for the cops,” Wolfe said of the firefighters.

On a serious note, he said the event, in addition to raising funds for a good cause, is a morale builder for firefighters and fosters cooperation among fire departments, as well as between police and fire departments.

“It establishes camaraderie among the two departments, because we rely on each other quite a bit,” Wolfe said.

The Ark City Fire-EMS Department already is focused on redemption, he said.

“Practice starts at 0700 Saturday morning for next year,” Wolfe joked.

Traveler publisher David Seaton is the husband of the late Shannon Seaton.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Crews respond to fire at Lawrence manufacturing company

By Elliot Hughes
Lawrence Journal World – August 26, 2014

Photo by Richard Gwin. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical crews check a roof for fire .

Photo by Richard Gwin. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical crews check a roof for fire .

A paint booth inside a Lawrence manufacturing company combusted Tuesday, setting a portion of the building aflame briefly.

Emergency crews responded to Horizon Systems, 1101 Horizon Dr., at 2:45 p.m. for a reported structure fire. Shaun Coffey, a division chief with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire-Medical Department, said responders had the flames under control after 20 minutes.

Up to 50 employees evacuated the building, according to Dave Nutter, vice president of operations. No injuries were reported, Coffey said.

Nutter said a paint booth got too warm and eventually combusted. Speaking outside the building as firefighters continued to work, he said he did not know the extent of the damage. He said smoke from the incident did not reach the office areas in the building.

Horizon Systems makes fabricated metal components for bulk-material handling, Nutter said. He said an incident like this has not happened before in his 24 years with the company.

Three fire engines responded. Crews briefly shut down traffic near the intersection of Haskell Avenue and Horizon Drive.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Several vehicles involved in rollovers throughout county

Madison News – July 31, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 26, 2014

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Going to the chapel – Manuel Ray Lopez, 21, had a rough start to his marriage when he and his passenger, Robert W. Carson, 21, both soldiers at Fort Riley, KS, rolled the 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse they were in, on the way to his wedding Saturday afternoon. Greenwood County deputies and EMS responded to the rollover approximately two miles west of Madison. Lopez said they were on their way to the Pumpjack Bar and Grill in Hamilton for the ceremony when their GPS navigation system had them turn west on 365th Rd at Madison. He reported that he wasn’t prepared for the paved road to turn to gravel and lost control, sliding up onto the bank with the car landing on its roof. Neither men were injured and he still made it to the wedding, after his fiancé came and picked him up. Photo by Tammy Seimears.

greenwood co fire 8262014b

Deer in the dust – Levi Max James Browning, 20, and his passenger Austin Gill, both of Emporia, rolled the 1996 Toyota 4Runner they were driving, on a dirt road northwest of Hamilton Sunday night. They told Greenwood County Sheriff’s deputies that they were following a friend on W Rd between 290th and 300th, when a deer jumped out in front of them. The dust inhibited their vision and they swerved, driving up on the bank and rolling twice, landing with the vehicle on its side. Greenwood County EMS also responded, but both denied injuries. Photo by Taylor Baylor.

greenwood co fire 8262014c

A Liberty Sport SUV was traveling southbound on K-99 Monday evening, just south of 130th Rd when the driver lost control, entered the west ditch and over-corrected, causing her vehicle to travel into the east ditch and roll before barely stopping in a wooded area. The rear bumper of the SUV was leaning against a larger tree but the car was primarily being held up with a tree no larger than four inches in diameter that kept it from rolling into the creek. The driver, Charissa Skinner, 30, of Colorado Springs, CO, was taken to Greenwood County Hospital in serious condition. She was wearing her seatbelt. Greenwood County Sheriff’s deputies, Eureka City Rescue and Greenwood County EMS responded to the scene.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Kingman County brush fire

Kingman Leader Courier – July 31, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 26, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Volunteers from the Kingman Fire Department and a Kingman County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a brush fire in the northern most part of Kingman County last Wednesday afternoon. Officials said the cause of the blaze was more than likely a hay baler.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Veterans Appreciation Show brings out patriots

Southwest Daily Times – August 1, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 26, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

State fire marshal says Jake’s explosion accidental

By Andra Stefanoni
Joplin Globe – August 26, 2014

An Aug. 12 explosion at a warehouse owned by Jake’s Fireworks that killed one employee and critically injured another is being ruled accidental.

Rose Rozmiarek, chief of investigations with the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s office in Topeka, said investigators have completed the investigation to the point of being able to determine the cause.

“It is being ruled accidental, associated with debris that was in and around the area of the forklift they were using to move product,” Rozmiarek said Tuesday morning in a phone interview.

The explosion occurred at the company’s former 20th Street and the U.S. Highway 69 Bypass location. Employees Kenny Clark, 28, and Howard Harper, 42, both of Pittsburg, were unloading a shipping container of fireworks there to transfer them to the company’s new location in the Pittsburg Industrial Park.

Crawford County Undersheriff Steve Geier said the afternoon of the explosion that the two employees were severely burned and their injuries required medical helicopters to land on the highway.

Clark was flown to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, where he died. Clark had worked for Jake’s for six years, according to a blog entry on the company’s website written Aug. 15 by Jake Marietta, chief executive officer of the company.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Residents coping well with high heat this week

By Mary Rupert
Wyandotte Daily – August 26, 2014

People in Wyandotte County seem to be coping fairly well with the high temperatures and heat advisories this week.

Kansas City, Kan., Assistant Fire Chief Craig Duke, public information officer, said that there were only three heat-related calls so far during this time. The three were treated at the scene and then transported to the hospital for evaluation, he added.

The Fire Department has a plan that will be put into place for firefighters in the event of extreme heat. Duke said personnel are rotated more quickly, and extra apparatus are brought in to relieve the firefighters on the scene.

Also, on days like today, an air-conditioned vehicle is brought to the scene so that firefighters can sit in it to cool off, and drink fluids to replace electrolytes, he said.

A heat advisory continues in effect today, as temperatures are expected to reach a high of 93, with a heat index as high as 99 degrees. There have been several days of high temperatures. Temperatures currently are predicted to decline a few degrees in the next few days.

“We have only had two heat-related cases in the last week,” said Bob Hallinan, spokesman for the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan. “Neither were admitted; they were brought in, treated, given plenty of fluids, cooled off and released.”

People may be paying attention to the warnings they hear about the hot weather, he added. “When it gets this hot, people actually do pay attention to the media and stay in,” he said.

Many students started school last week, and athletic practices have already started. Most students are in air-conditioned classes during the hottest part of the day.

“We’re lucky. Our facilities are all air-conditioned with the exception of a couple gyms,” said Jason Dandoy, spokesman for the Turner Public Schools. “One of those we are replacing as part of the Oak Grove Elementary School.”

Dandoy said Turner’s learning environments are not affected. “When kids come back from recesses, we’re making sure they are well hydrated.”

The Turner athletic department has delayed the start of athletic practices on high heat days, and also is giving the students frequent water breaks, he said.

Doug Key, Piper athletic director, said the Piper football coaches are using the Kansas State High School Activities Association guidelines on giving water when they should, and students are not wearing all of their equipment until it is needed.

The time of the practices has not had to be altered, he added. So, far, there have been no heat-related illnesses there. Piper is planning its Purple-White scrimmage on Thursday.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Firefighter 1 Course

Location
Holton F.D., 301 W. 4th, Holton, KS

Class Details
This class will be delivered on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6 pm to 10 pm with a possibility of additional weekdays and weekends.

Class Begins
September 03, 2014

Class Ends
March 31, 2015

Time
6:00 PM–10:00 PM

Description
This course is designed to meet the NFPA 1001 standard for Fire Fighter 1. The course uses IFSTA Essentials of Firefighting, Sixth Edition, as text. (Furnished by the student.) Course contents include: Orientation, safety, fire behavior, building construction, protective clothing and SCBA.Portable fire extinguishers, ropes & knots, building search and victim removal, forcible entry construction and techniques, ground ladders, ventilation, and hose loads. Also included is instruction on operating as part of a team which includes: classes A, C, D, vehicle and wildland fire control, sprinkler system fundamentals, salvage, overhaul and protecting evidence or fire cause, fire department communications equipment and techniques, fire prevention and public fire education, water fire streams, water supplies, laying, carrying and advancing hose.

Prerequisites
None

Kansas Fire Service Fee
$0.00

Non-Kansas Fire Service Fee
Non-Kansas fire personnel must contact KF&RTI prior to the start of this class to participate in this training.

Class Number
FS150015

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Firefighters put out structure fire at Sigma Chi fraternity

Lawrence Journal World – August 26, 2014

lawrence fire 8262014

Video

Firefighters responded to a structure fire at Sigma Chi fraternity house, 1439 Tennessee, just before noon on Tuesday.

Crews had the fire under control by 12:30 p.m. and were continuing to look for hot spots as smoke cleared. No injuries were reported.

Smoke and flames had been showing from the exterior of the building after reports of a fire on the third floor.

Tennessee Street from 14th to 17th streets was closed as firefighters investigated.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Shawnee Fire Department receives record rating by national reviewer

By Nico Roesler
Shawnee Dispatch – August 26, 2014

shawnee fire 8262014

The Shawnee Fire Department achieved its highest ever rating in an independent analysis of its public protection classification this year and local homeowners and businesses could benefit from it with lower insurance premiums.

The results of the independent study also puts the Shawnee Fire Department in the top 3 percent of fire departments nationwide.

The Insurance Service Office (ISO) recently conducted a review of the Shawnee Fire Department to determine its public protection classification. The department received an ISO rating of 2. According to ISO, only 750 fire departments in the United States have received a rating this high. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that there are more than 30,000 fire departments nationwide.

The Shawnee Fire Department was rated a 3 last year and Fire Marshall Corey Sands said it took a lot of work to jump up to a 2 rating.

Sands said proactive efforts such as strengthening staffing levels on first-out apparatus to provide more safety and meet national recommended numbers, increasing training opportunities and training hours, increasing the staffing levels for shift fire investigators from three to six, and increasing community fire and life safety education have helped them take the next step.

The department also hired Deputy Chief Sal Scarpa to help with providing training and developing training opportunities and added an additional fire crew at Station 71.

The ISO’s independent analysis reviewed various aspects of the department, including emergency vehicle readiness, equipment, staffing, fire crew training, fire investigation and public education outreach.

Shawnee Fire’s ISO rating matters because insurance companies use ISO ratings to establish appropriate fire insurance premiums for residential and commercial premiums.

“The findings of this report are a testament to the proactive efforts the department has put in place,” Shawnee Fire Chief John Mattox said. “While we are certainly happy with our progress, we will always look at areas where we can improve the services that we provide to our citizens.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Reception to honor county fire chief Mike Rice’s retirement

Southwest Daily Times – August 26, 2014

seward co fire 8262014

Seward County Administrator April Warden has announced county staff and friends are hosting a retirement reception for Seward County Fire Department Chief Mike Rice.

The reception will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the commission chambers on the second floor of the Seward County Administration Building.

Rice will be retiring after 32 years of service.

The public is invited.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Atchison County EMS providers recognized

Atchison Globe – August 2, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 26, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

The Atchison County EMS recognized several EMS providers and firefighters from the Atchison Fire Department for their efforts in the successful resuscitation of a cardiac arrest victim.

Firefighters Rod Aversman and Jay Genail, AEMT Stacie Vandeweerd and paramedics Lydia Ackmann and Josh Hundley were presented with EMS Phoenix Awards. Their teamwork in providing basic and advanced life support to the victim was a vital component to the patient’s survival.

The Phoenix Award is a nationally recognized honor to EMS providers that recognize those individuals who, through their skill and knowledge, have successfully revived another person known to have been in cardiac arrest.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Accident leaves minor injuries, driver arrested

By Hiawatha World – August 1, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 26, 2014

A vehicle accident at 11th and Oregon streets in Hiawatha Wednesday afternoon left minor injuries and sent one Hiawatha woman to jail.

According to Hiawatha Police Chief John Defore, the accident occurred around 1:48 p.m. when a vehicle driven by Paige Nicole Williams, 19, of Hiawatha “T-boned” a vehicle driven by Kim McQueen, 57, of Hiawatha, who was driving west on Oregon.

Defore said Williams had been traveling northbound on 11th, stopped at the stop sign and then proceeded onto Oregon, stating she did not see the white car driven by McQueen.

Defore said the accident was initially called out as an injury accident and emergency personnel responded due to the children in the back seat of McQueen’s car, especially one in a car seat that was seated on the side of impact. Defore said both children escaped the accident without injury, and were able to be extracted from the vehicle without issue. Both had shattered glass all over them, however, but did not receive any cuts.

Williams was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license. There was substantial damage to both vehicles.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Hiawatha Fire Department needing more volunteers

Hiawatha World – August 1, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 26, 2014

Hiawatha is in need of more firefighters.

Fire Chief Don Koontz said the Hiawatha Fire Department currently has an excellent group of firefighters, but is still in need of more individuals that have the desire to become part of an organization that gives back to the community when the situation arises.

“We hold our meetings on the first and third Mondays every month, with the third Monday reserved for training,” Koontz said. “There is no previous experience required and our department has an excellent group of firefighters that are ready to train new members.”

For those wishing to join the fire department, applications are currently available at City Hall.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

For the love of the challenge

By Jesse Murphy
Emporia Gazette – August 1, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – August 26, 2014

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

emporia fire 8262014b

If one was to ask an avid angler what their dream job would be, it’s a given that their day would involve a boat, calm waters, a tackle box and a few fishing poles.

Believe it or not, some are that lucky.

Tim Webb, a native Emporian who lives just north of Olpe, has that opportunity.

He recently won a fully-rigged Ranger Z117 boat, worth about $30,000, along with $5,000 in cash for first place at an FLW Rayovac bass tournament in western Kentucky.

Webb retired in 2012 with the rank of Battalion Chief from the Emporia Fire Department after 27 years of service.

His free time became filled with the sport of fishing that has been a passion of his since he was knee-high to a grasshopper (a good bait for Kansas fishing, by the way).

“As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved fishing or have been thinking about fishing,” Webb said. “There was just some kind of a spark.

“I remember when I was too little to go, one time my dad couldn’t take me because where they were going was too dangerous I think.

“I got really upset, so he filled a washtub with water and put a bobber on the end of an old pole and I was fishing in that tub.”

The original passion for angling grew.

At 16, Webb fished in his first competitive tournament in 1978 with the Twin Rivers Bass Club at Melvern Lake. The club is still around to this day.

He went through his life and started his fire department career and a family. And as most in that situation, marriage and children took the main stage.

Even though competitive fishing was put on the back-burner, it never left his mind and never left his free time.

“It’s a great way to wind down and relieve stress,” Webb said. “And it’s been that way for my entire life. Fishing and the outdoors in general have been my escape from the stresses and pressures of life.

“People play golf or do other things, but fishing has always really been part of my way of life.”

Webb wouldn’t have ever given up the camaraderie of the fire department for anything besides retirement, but he’s always had fish on the brain, he said.

“I had a really wonderful career in the fire service,” Webb said. “I was fortunate to come out of it with my health. It was always my dream to go and do this, go places and fish all over the United States.”

And he has been doing just that, he currently sits at sixth in the FLW’s Pro-Am central division and 37th in the Texas division.

The top 30 finishers will compete in the FLW Championship tournament in Alabama in late October this year.

Webb has casually been back in the competitive angling world since 2003.

All together he’s fished in well over 100 tournaments since his first at 16, including club events held by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.

The newest foray in competitive angling went on for three years before his main sponsor sold their business, which basically left Webb without funding to get out on the water.

Webb said that competitive fishing is much like Nascar racing in that it is a sponsor-driven sport.

“It’s hard to justify spending the money it takes for travel and everything,” Webb said. “I could not do any of this without my sponsors.”

His local contributors now include Cliff’s Super Service and Mel’s Tire here in Emporia.

Others include–but are not limited to–the Maryville, Missouri-based Tightlines UV and MESU Tackle out of Rosehill, Kansas. Both make lures that Webb uses frequently, and they seem to be working well in catching bass.

But according to Webb, his biggest sponsor and supporter has always been his wife Beth and their grown children Tasha, Timothy, Tiffany and Camille.

“They’re very supportive of me doing it and they know that I love it,” Webb said. “To be able to do it competitively is very rewarding.”

Beth just might be the very reason Webb has found himself where he is today in the angling world.

“I almost actually got out competitive fishing,” Webb said. “My wife talked me into going back to it. She knew how much I loved it, and I was really discouraged after losing that sponsorship. She got me to go for it.”

Webb grew up in Emporia and the family moved to their house outside of Olpe in 1993, where they raised their children.

“We pretty much carved it out,” Webb said. “I just came out here with the chainsaw and I’d work all day clearing trees.

“We actually had the pond built before we built the house. The reason we did it that way is because we knew that if we didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to justify the expenditure. So we felt like if we did that at the very beginning, it’d be done.”

It was done, as was the house, along with a lifetime of memories and a fruition of a young boy’s dreams of being able to go fishing for a living.

“I think it puts me in touch with myself better,” Webb said. “Because it tunes me into nature and God’s creation. I just think it brings me closer to everything around me.”

Webb said that his favorite fish to go for in competition is bass, but non-competitively, he likes to catch walleye.

He has three more tournaments this season, one in the central division. The third is for all the marbles.

All but guaranteed to make it to the championship tournament in the central division, Webb said that a good showing in the last Texas event could move him up enough to compete in that division’s championship event.

He’s ready and welcomes the challenge.

“I don’t look at it like I’m competing against other anglers,” Webb said. “I have no control over what they do or how they do it. I look at like it’s me against the fish, and if it’s me that comes out on top in that part of it, everything else will take care of itself.

“It’s kind of like golf. There’s a lot of people in it, but it’s an individual sport. The psychological part of it can beat you if you let it.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Meadows school evacuated after ‘small’ fire

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – August 26, 2014

A Topeka elementary school was evacuated for a short time Tuesday morning after a fire was discovered inside the building, authorities said.

The incident was reported at 8:22 a.m. Tuesday at Meadows Elementary School, 201 S.W. Clay.

According to Topeka Unified School District 501 officials, a “small fire” was discovered in a trash bin in one of the school’s bathrooms.

Students and staff members evacuated the building and the fire was quickly extinguished, the officials said.

Topeka fire crews were called to the scene.

No injuries were reported, and students were said to be returning to their classrooms.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Leavenworth Police Department switches to digital radios

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – August 26, 2014

Going from AM to satellite radio.

That’s how Leavenworth Deputy Police Chief Dan Nicodemus described his department’s recent switch to new police radios.

Police officers began using the new radios Friday, and other departments in the city of Leavenworth soon will be making similar transitions.

In making the transition, the city has joined a Kansas Department of Transportation statewide radio system.

Nicodemus said the city’s old system required analog equipment. The new radios use a digital system.

He said the old system had a smaller frequency spectrum that could be used for transmissions.

“We’ve had a number of issues with coverage in certain areas of town,” he said.

He said the old radios also had decreased range especially inside some buildings in the city.

With the new radios, police have significantly improved clarity and reliability of transmissions.

Under the old system, transmissions from officers’ radios were converted to a digital format for the dispatchers. When dispatchers sent out messages, they had to be converted to an analog format for the officers’ radios.

But, these conversions are no longer necessary, Nicodemus said.

He said the new radios also have safety features that make it easier for officers to signal for help.

Nicodemus said the city budgeted $720,000 for the conversion to the new radio system. This includes equipment upgrades for multiple departments.

He said city officials don’t yet know the final cost for the transition, but they believe it will be under budget.

Nicodemus said officers are using their new handheld radios, and most police vehicles have new radio equipment.

He said radios were still being switched out Monday in police vehicles that aren’t used on daily basis.

Leavenworth Assistant Fire Chief Mark Nietzke said the Fire Department is at least two weeks away from switching to its new radios.

“They’re still programming our radios,” he said.

Nietzke said Leavenworth firefighters will be using a “ruggedized” model of radios. He said they’re designed to continue operating if they get wet or are dropped.

“They’re made for firefighting,” he said.

He said one of the major improvements of the new radio system is increased interoperability.

For now, Leavenworth fire trucks carry two types of radios in order for firefighters to be able to communicate with Leavenworth County EMS and rural fire departments.

But, the additional radios won’t be needed with the new system. One radio will be able to communicate with various other agencies in the county.

Nietzke said the new radios also will give Leavenworth firefighters the ability to communicate with agencies from around the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The Leavenworth Public Works Department and Parks and Recreation Department also are transitioning to the new radio system.

City spokeswoman Melissa Bower said radios for these departments are being distributed this week.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Police officers help put out car fire

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – August 26, 2014

A pair of Topeka police officers were on their way to a call in the southeast part of the city about 5:55 a.m. Tuesday when they noticed a car that was fully involved in flames in the driveway of a home in the 2500 block of S.E. Adams.

The fast-acting officers pulled over, with one of them grabbing a fire extinguisher from their patrol car to help subdue the blaze.

The officers, Brian Chapman and William Lister, continued with their firefighting efforts as an occupant of the home — who had been notified of the blaze by neighbors — grabbed a garden hose and sprayed water on the burning car.

Topeka firefighters soon arrived on the scene and got the fire under control, though hot spots continued to flare up in the car’s engine compartment for about 15 minutes.

The damage was confined to the car, a black Volkswagen, but Chapman said it easily could have gotten out of hand.

“When we drove by, there were flames coming out the top of the car,” Chapman said. “They were touching the bottom portion of the tree.”

Chapman said he was concerned the fire could catch the tree on fire and possibly spread to other nearby vehicles and the home.

Thanks to the quick action taken by the police officers and neighbors, the fire didn’t spread and crews were able to clear the scene by 6:42 a.m.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster



%d bloggers like this: