Archive for September, 2014

Fill the Boot effort returns to help MDA

By Allen Smith
Independence Daily Reporter – August 31, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Just as they’ve done for over 30 years, members of the Independence division of the Montgomery County Rural Fire District No. 1 are continuing to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“We’re helping raise funds to help fight muscular dystrophy,” said Bill Caflisch, chief of the Independence division, who said he has been helping raise funds for the past 28 Labor Day weekends.

“There are approximately 150 families in Montgomery County dealing with the effects of this disease, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a form of muscular dystrophy.”

The ALS awareness has been brought to the forefront by the overwhelming response to the ice bucket challenge that is sweeping the United States, and right here in Independence with members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, the Independence Fire Department and the Independence Police Department’s among the groups participating to raise funds. Students, faculty and staff at Independence Community College also got in on the challenge last week.

“Our goal is to raise $2,000,” Caflisch said Saturday of the annual “Fill the Boot” campaign. “That is about what we raised last year, maybe a little more than that, but that’s our goal.”

Independence is included in the Joplin-Springfield, Mo., district.

“The telethon for our district is being held in Branson, Mo., so instead of traveling to Branson we will mail a check in the amount of funds we raise this weekend on Tuesday,” Caflisch said.

Caflisch said all the funds generated within the Joplin-Springfield district, remain in the district to help those who suffer from muscular dystrophy.

Caflisch said the efforts to raise money for muscular dystrophy started nearly 60 years ago when a father whose daughter was in a wheelchair which had broken stopped at a fire station seeking help to get it fixed.

“The firefighters in Boston responded and helped get the girls’ wheelchair fixed and found out she suffered from muscular dystrophy and they decided to start an effort to raise funds for the disease. That’s how all this started,” Caflisch said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire damages golf cart, stock trailer

Butler County Times Gazette – September 30, 2014

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A fire Monday evening damaged a stock trailer and golf cart at the intersection of Main Street and Kansas in El Dorado.

According to the El Dorado Fire Department, the owner had just picked up a golf cart that was placed in the stock trailer. The owner noticed the fire at the intersection.

A quick decision by the owner/driver to disconnect the trailer provided distance between the fully involved – with fire – trailer and truck.

The dispatcher reported explosions prior to the firefighter’s arrival. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire once on scene.

There was heavy damage to the trailer – although it appeared to be salvageable. The golf cart was another story. Fire pretty much consumed it.

The cause was yet to be determined.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Russell to Host Regional Fire School This Weekend

By David Elliott
KRSL – September 30, 2014

Russell High School will be the site this Saturday and Sunday for a Kansas State Firefighters Association Regional Fire Training School.

Firefighters and emergency personnel from around the region will come to Russell to take part in drills, training sessions and classes detailing vehicle extrication, railroad safety, rural water supplies and even how to honor a firefighter killed in the line of duty.

Russell County Emergency Manager Keith Haberer says the school’s purpose is to further educate firefighters on how to handle a variety of emergencies and show them how to always keep safety in mind.

The public is encouraged to come out to RHS to watch the training sessions, but Haberer cautions you to also keep safety in mind.

The training school is hosted by the Russell County Fire Chiefs Association. For more information, contact Haberer at 785-483-5100 or Justin Couse at 785-420-0465.

List of Classes

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Mulvane Fire Rescue “Fill the Boot” campaign

Mulvane News – September 4, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

The “Fill the Boot” campaign in Mulvane just finished another banner year for muscular dystrophy.

The project is a fundraiser by the Mulvane Fire Rescue each year and has been a local fixture for nearly 30 years.

The event features volunteers and other staffers with the Mulvane Fire Department collecting donations at the main intersections in Mulvane with the money going to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) battle the disease.

It’s been a familiar site in Mulvane for years; volunteer firefighters standing at K-15 and Rock Road and Main Street and First with boot in hand taking donations and travelers reaching out of their windows to drop money into the boots.

“We’re working on our records but 2014 was definitely the best one in the last 10 years or so,” said Jason Mundell, a firefighter who has been the program’s chairman for the last few years. “We had $5,300 to turn in this year to the MDA. Last year, we collected $4,200. It’s the biggest one in a while.”

According to Lowell Ester, Mulvane’s fire captain, the “boot” campaign for the MDA has been going on since at least the 1980s. “It was started in response to the big MDA telethon they had with Jerry Lewis as master of ceremonies,” said Capt. Ester. “At that time, we had a member (Ray Fleming) whose son, Greg, had MD and we started getting involved because of that.”

The Mulvane fire departments merged in 1986 and the fundraising effort probably started shortly after that.

Early on, the boot drive was conducted over Labor Day weekend but the last few years, Mulvane firefighters have collected the weekend before.

Mundell said 14 MFR members volunteered their time to “fill their boots” Saturday and Sunday, August 23-24. He said this was the 60th anniversary of the “fill the boot” drive nationwide so they had T-shirts made commemorating the occasion.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster


Cemetery monument truck strikes vehicle

Butler Times Gazette – September 4, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, a small vehicle was struck by a cemetery monument truck on the corner of Central and Boyer Road.

The El Dorado Fire Department, the El Dorado Police Department, Butler County EMS and Butler County Rescue all responded to the incident.

Both small vehicle occupants were transported to Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital.

A motorcycle monument was thrown from the back of the monument truck onto the highway.

The police are investigating the incident.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Quick thinking quells flames

Rose Hill Reporter – September 4, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Things got a little hot in the 300 block of E. School St. Tuesday, August 26. What could have been a potentially dangerous fire was hosed down and extinguished by Harold Beedles.

Beedles saw his daughter jump out of the car as she was pulling out of his driveway and knew something was wrong. Beedles called 911 when they saw smoke across the street. At first he thought it was a barbecue grill but on closer inspection it was a fire in hanging basket of flowers on the patio fence.

Beedles headed to the side of the house, grabbed a water hose and extinguished the fire. Fire Chief Jim Woydziak and volunteer firefighter Jim Schmidt who live just a few streets over, were the first on the scene.

They were followed by the fire engine with Assistant Fire Chief Melvin Linot and Fire Captain Kevin Webster and volunteer firefighter wife Lori Webster followed by Firefighter Stewart Firebaugh who brought in another engine. Rose Hill Police Officer Missy Tharp was also on the scene. “The fire department arrived within three to four minutes but I had it out by then,” said Beedles.

According to Chief Woydziak, one resident was home in the shower and unaware of anything wrong until the sirens were heard. “Another 10 to 15 minutes undetected and it would have spread to the attic area which is never good,” said Chief Woydziak.

There was no serious damage except for the hole in the fence and no injuries.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Successful fund-raising event

Harper Advocate – September 3, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

Photo by Nikki Hightree. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Nikki Hightree. Click on photo to view full-size image.

The Harper Fire Department sold pink ribbon “koozies” during the Fair to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. Gary Ummel hands a koozie to Gary Wohlschlegel, while firefighters Zach Darnell and Melanie Miller look on. Funds will be spent locally and given to the Harper Area Health Foundation.

Note: There is also a story out today about Melanie Miller at KWCH – Bulletproof vest saves deputy pinned between two trucks.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Second explosive device found

Newton Kansan – September 29, 2014

Newton Officers were dispatched to a second report of an explosive device today at approximately 4:50 pm.

The device was discovered near the intersection of Southeast 2nd and Ash and reported to be a grenade wired to some scrap metal. Once on scene officers approached the device and were able to determine it was an inert training grenade, and removed it from the area.

Police do not believe this device is related to the earlier Improvised Explosive Device planted near Harvey County Community Corrections.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Intruder dumps gas in house

Great Bend Tribune – September 29, 2014

An unknown person is suspected of breaking into a Great Bend home and splashing gasoline inside the residence last Friday.
Lt. William Browne confirmed Monday that the Great Bend Police Department is investigating an attempted aggravated burglary/attempted aggravated arson reported at 4:50 a.m. Friday at 3807 12th St. The gasoline was not lit, he said.
Great Bend Fire Department was called at 5:16 a.m. Chief Mike Napolitano said, “We shut off the electricity and gas and eliminated any source of ignition, then ventilated the house.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Candle starts fire in fitness facility

Great Bend Tribune – September 29, 2014

A candle started a fire reported at 6:48 p.m. Friday at Will Power Fitness and Athletic Training, 2015 10th St., Great Bend Fire Chief Mike Napolitano said.
Firefighters saw smoke coming from the front door and traced the source to a stereo at the back of the business. A citronella candle atop the stereo had melted and set the stereo of fire. There was light smoke damage as well as damage to the stereo.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Suspicious device safely dismantled, buildings reopened

KAKE – September 29, 2014


Numerous buildings that were previously evacuated have since reopened in downtown Newton following a bomb threat and the discovery of a suspicious device.

At about 8:15 a.m. Monday, Newton Police say someone called in a bomb threat to the community corrections office at 6th and Oak. Officers arrived, and soon found a white bag containing a suspicious device in a planter outside the building.

Evacuations were ordered in a two-block radius around that building, including Newton City Hall.

According to Newton Police, the device inside the bag consisted of a bottle of fluid, a timer and electrical wires. The Wichita Police Bomb Squad responded to the scene, and they used a robot to safely dismantle the device.

Barricades have since been removed and buildings have reopened. Other information was not immediately available.

The ATF, KHP, Harvey County Sheriff’s Office, Newton Fire/EMS and Newton Street Department assisted during the incident.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Rollover accident reported on KTA

Emporia Gazette – September 29, 2014

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Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, a rollover accident was reported on the Kansas Turnpike. No further information available.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Weekend fire destroys downtown service station

Emporia Gazette – September 29, 2014

Photos by Jakub Stepanovic.

Photos by Jakub Stepanovic.

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A weekend fire gutted a downtown service station Saturday morning.

The Emporia Fire Department responded to a report of a vehicle fire at 9:38 a.m. on Saturday at S&S Oil located at 1102 Commercial St. The vehicle was inside the garage, and when the fire department arrived, smoke was showing from the front of the building and flames were visible inside the vehicle.

Bill West of the Emporia Fire Department said a short time later, several loud bangs and flames filled the entire bay area. Crews attacked the fire with hose lines and quickly brought it under control, according to West.

The building suffered heavy damage and was occupied at the time by mechanics working on the vehicle when the fire started in the engine compartment. They attempted to put it out with a portable fire extinguisher.

There were no injuries in the incident, and the fire was determined to be accidental.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Funeral Procedures

Firefighting continues to be one of the nation’s most hazardous professions. According to the United States Fire Administration, about 100 firefighters die in the line of duty each year in the U.S. It is only fitting, given the heroic efforts of the fire service personnel, both paid and volunteer, that they be given the final respect they deserve. The National Volunteer Fire Council developed a resource manual in response to numerous requests for information about how to properly conduct funeral services.

Navigating Fire Service Funerals
The NVFC developed this online webinar to explain the steps needed to pan and carry out a fire service funeral. Access the webinar through the NVFC’s Virtual Classroom.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Monday fire destroys Abilene home

Salina Post – September 29, 2014

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Fire crews in Abilene responded just before 4 a.m. on Monday morning to a blaze on Northeast 6th Street.

The Abilene Fire Department reported that upon arrival, the first and second floors and roof were on fire. The house was believed to be vacant. There are no injuries reported. The residence is a total loss.

An investigation is underway.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Hagans promoted to deputy fire chief position at HFD

Hays Post – September 29, 2014

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City Manager Toby Dougherty announced Monday the appointment of Ryan Hagans as the new deputy fire chief for the city of Hays.

Hagans was promoted from fire captain and assumed his new position on Sept. 28.

Hagans started his employment with the city of Hays in 2003 as a firefighter, and also has served as a lieutenant and most captain.

The deputy fire chief position was vacated after previous Deputy Fire Chief Wendy Schumacher retired after 39 years with the city of Hays.

Eagle Mike Cooper had the opportunity to talk with Hagans recently as part of the Community Connection series. Click HERE to view the interview.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

City stays mum on EMS talks

By Richard Luken
Iola Register – September 6, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 29, 2014

Iola City Council members emerged without comment Thursday, following a nearly hour-long private discussion about the city’s ambulance contract with Allen County.

Council members gathered for a special session for EMS negotiations with Allen County, after county commissioners put together a proposal that would pay the city $1 million a year for the service.

Since assuming control of the countywide service in January, the city has projected a $377,000 budget shortfall by the end of the year.

After a series of recent negotiating sessions between city and county intermediaries, the county directed Counselor Alan Weber to draft a contract proposal that would pay the city $1 million for the service annually, an increase of the $750,000 the sides already agreed to.

City Council members at one point this summer voted to send a six-month notice to the county that it was terminating the contract, a notice that was effectively rescinded when they later voted to refuse to give Mayor Joel Wicoff permission to sign it.

While much of Thursday’s session was closed to the public, City Administrator Carl Slaugh provided background information on the city’s call-back policy and how it affects overtime pay.

Through August 31, the city has paid $113,000 in unscheduled overtime for its ambulance crews, Slaugh said.

“That’s one area we can potentially reduce some, depending on our call-back policies.”

The city summons two ambulance personnel to the fire station each time an ambulance is called and a patient is transported, Slaugh explained.

The reason being is the fire station must have at least four personnel on duty in case of a fire call, through the “two-in, two-out” standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The policy mandates an “immediately dangerous to life or health” environment–a burning house, for example–must have at least four firefighters on scene.

Employees on standby are paid for two hours of overtime, even if they are on duty for a fraction of the time.

As an aside, if the ambulance crews on standby are called back a second time in that two-hour period, they do not receive extra compensation, unless their service extends to a third hour and beyond.

The two-hour policy is in effect for all city employees on standby–not just EMS personnel–Slaugh noted.

Any changes in city policy for ambulance crews on standby would need to be adapted elsewhere in the city, Councilwoman Nancy Ford said.

The city does not call in employees for such things as standby for helicopter transfers from Allen County Regional Hospital, gas meter strikes, or non-emergency calls, such as smoke odors. The city also does not call in crews if an ambulance is dispatched to a scene but the patient refuses treatment.

Iola Fire Chief Tim Thyer noted he filled in as one of the standby crew if an ambulance was dispatched during business hours.

“We only call in one guy then,” he said.

Council members discussed one potential means to reduce overtime, but were unsure how it would affect the EMS contract.

While an ambulance is stationed 24 hours a day in Moran, it responds to only 6 percent of calls in the county.

Slaugh said it might be possible to send the ambulance from Moran to Iola if an Iola crew was used to transport a patient.

As an aside, the county did something similar when it operated the countywide service. Then, the Moran crew was sent to a roadside stopping point along U.S. 54 in LaHarpe.

Thyer said Iola would almost certainly send the crew all the way to Iola if such a backup plan from Moran was utilized.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Local exercise aims to prevent spread of disease

By Tim Weideman
Manhattan Mercury – September 23, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 29, 2014

Should a serious animal disease ever break out, area officials must be ready to prevent its spread.

This week, state agencies have been participating with agencies from Riley, Pottawatomie, and Clay and Lyon counties in an exercise simulating a confirmed foot-and-mouth disease case. The agencies will practice a response plan on Wednesday.

Pat Collins, Riley County Emergency Management director and fire chief, said the exercise preps officials for how they would work together to stop the movement of animals and agriculture products to keep a disease outbreak from growing.

“There’s always, on our end, deploying resources to fill some of the needs,” Collins said.

One of those needs is making sure officials have the right skills to handle an outbreak.

“It all comes down to if we don’t have enough people to (handle) that, we have to train people or bring people in,” Collins said.

The exercise also will include working out a plan to notify police, public works departments and other transportation-related agencies of stop movement orders for animals and products.

In total, nearly 100 people will be part of the exercise, according to a Kansas Department of Agriculture report.

KDA is leading the exercise, which began on Monday and will conclude Wednesday. The main goal is to allow state and local officials to evaluate response plans and procedures that have been refined since last year.

After Wednesday, those involved will continue to refine the plans, if necessary.

“We’ll do another drill in the future to test it again,” Collins said.

Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious disease that can affect cattle, sheep, swine, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed animals. Though it’s not a human food safety or public health threat, a major disease outbreak could have devastating economic consequences.

The KDA Division of Animal Health has been working on plans with bordering states to make sure the Kansas livestock industry wouldn’t be crippled if a disease outbreak occurred in Kansas or elsewhere in the United States.

The exercise is funded through a Department of Homeland Security grant awarded to the northeast and north central homeland security regions.

Local agencies involved in the exercise include Kansas State University, Manhattan Fire Department, Fort Riley Emergency Management, Riley County Police Department, Riley County Fire District No. 1 and Riley County Emergency Management.

Agencies from the other participating counties also are involved.

“We’ve got other counties coming in to see how we would do this,” Collins said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Chetopa ups offer for old ladder truck

Parsons Sun – September 24, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 29, 2014

The city of Chetopa is still negotiating with the city of Parsons on the sale of a ladder truck for the Chetopa Fire Department.

The volunteer firefighter unit in Chetopa wants to buy the 1993 E-One Quint ladder truck that the Parsons Fire Department soon will replace with a new truck.

Chetopa Fire Chief Jim Cooper asked former Fire Chief Larry Steeby, who retired on Friday, if the Chetopa department could have the ladder truck because he knew the city might declare it as surplus property after the new truck arrives.

Steeby asked the Parsons City Commission about the proposal and told the commissioners that giving the ladder truck to Chetopa would be a big benefit for Chetopa as well as other cities in the southern half of Labette County.

City commissioners wanted to know the value of the truck before making a decision. Steeby received some price quotes on the truck, including one from a company that buys and resells old fire trucks. The company would buy the truck for $20,000. The commissioners indicated during an August 18 meeting that they may be willing to give the truck to Chetopa but preferred the city of Parsons receive some money for it.

Cooper then received permission from the Chetopa City Council to offer $5,000 for the truck.

During a Thursday meeting, Cooper told the council the $5,000 offer was not accepted. He asked if the council could approve a down payment of $5,000 on the truck and $1,000 per year for five years out of the fire department budget for a total of $10,000. The council agreed to allow Cooper to make the offer to Parsons.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

City will review an alarming problem

By Tim Horan
Salina Journal – September 23, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 29, 2014

False alarms cost the city of Salina more than $65,000 in 2013, Police Chief Brad Nelson and Fire Chief Larry Mullikin told Salina city commissioners at a study session Monday afternoon.

Both campaigned for an ordinance that would impose fines in an effort to reduce the number of false alarms city police and fire crews respond to.

The city commission took no action but agreed to review an ordinance that addresses false alarms.

Nelson said such an ordinance should require yearly registration and permits, with the fee waived if there were no false alarms the previous year. He suggested no fine for the first two false alarms; a $50 fine for the third false alarm, and a $25 increase in the fine for each subsequent false alarm.

99 percent are false alarms

Nelson said that in the past five years, the Salina Police Department has responded to 11,085 alarm calls–99 percent of which were false.

Nelson said 20 percent of the alarm owners are responsible for 80 percent of the false alarms.

“All I want to do is reduce the number of false alarms,” he said. “There is no incentive to not have them.”

Mullikin said it was important that alarms be registered, and that such registration include the name of the company that works on the system and who should be called for information. He also would like to see a limit on the number of free false alarms and a requirement that homeowners and companies address problem systems.

The cost of false alarms

Nelson said that in 2013, Salina police responded to 2,453 false alarms, costing an estimated $48,527 just in officer salary. He said that was a conservative estimate.

“Most of the commercial calls are after hours, and we have to wait for the owner to get there,” Nelson said.

Mullikin said the fire department responded to 185 false alarms in 2013, costing between $15,000 and $18,000.

He also said the fire department spends a lot of time waiting for owners to show up in response to alarms.

“Are there a lot of systems that have two or three false alarms a year?” Commissioner Randall Hardy asked.

“There are some that have two or three a week,” Mullikin said.

What is a false alarm?

Mullikin defined a false alarm as a notification made to the 911 dispatcher via an alarm company in which the fire department is dispatched and which turns out to be a system malfunction or an intentional or unintentional tripping of the alarm systems by human or other means.

He said if the alarm system detect heat, smoke or steam, it is not a false alarm.

“For example, if a system detects burned toast or popcorn and is activated, those are not false alarms,” he said.

Mullikin said an ordinance could reduce the number of false alarms, which not only waste resources but endanger the public. He showed a minute-long film of a fire that spread rapidly in the time the fire department could be on a false run.

Aging systems

Salina Fire Marshal Roger Williams said many false alarms are the result of aging alarm systems and changes made to alarm systems without fire department notification.

“We have teeth but not a lot of bite,” he said, when it comes to regulating fire alarms.

Nelson said that of Kansas’ top 10 cities, with Salina being the 10th, six have ordinances that require alarm permits.

“We’re not doing something new or innovating,” he said. “It’s being done nationwide.”

Nelson also said the police department monitors 200 alarms, with 150 owners being billed for the service.

He wants to see that operation taken over by a private alarm-monitoring company.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster


Hosing down hot spots

Pratt Tribune – August 28, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 29, 2014

Photo by Gale Rose. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Gale Rose. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Byers’ firefighters look for hot spots on a load of alfalfa bales that caught fire just south of NW 70th Avenue and NW 90th Street Wednesday morning. The bales caught fire after a suspension problem on the left side of the trailer created heat that caused fire to move upward through the load. Firefighters from Byers, with assistance from Iuka, put out the fire quickly and saved the load of hay bound for Great Plains Alfalfa.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

A little scorced

Pratt Tribune – August 28, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 29, 2014

Photo by Gale Rose. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Gale Rose. Click on photo to view full-size image.

City firefighters and Pratt Police Officer Ed Gimpel look at a burned area around a garage on Cleveland between Starr and Gardner streets Tuesday afternoon. A small grass fire was quickly extinguished with hand bottles. A very small solar panel component was found on the east side of the garage but no exact cause was found. A corner suffered some scorching on the tower two siding panels and a very small patch of grass was burned.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Firefighters investigating suspicious fire in southeast Lawrence

By Giles Bruce
Lawrence Journal World – September 29, 2014

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Firefighters are investigating a suspicious fire in southeast Lawrence on Sunday morning.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical responded to a two-alarm fire at Larsen & Associates, a geothermal drilling business at 1311 E. 25th St., at just after 7:30 a.m. to discover smoke on the first and second levels of the structure, according to dispatchers. Firefighters also sensed heat on the second floor.

During the preliminary investigation, the fire was thought to be coming from the attic. There were no injuries in the blaze.

Division chief Doug Green said late Sunday morning that investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the fire and extent of the damage.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Trash truck destroyed by fire in Selden

By Judy Rogers
Hoxie Sentinel – August 28, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 29, 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 late Saturday evening as it sat in the storage building on the east edge of town. Neighbors called the fire in around 11:00 p.m. When firefighters arrived, the building was filled with smoke. Volunteer firemen Jeff Brown and Micah Goscha attempted to enter the building through the walk in door to get to the source, but when the door was opened, the 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 douse the truck and extinguish the blaze. “The fire was concentrated in the cab and engine compartment of the truck,” said station captain Steve Rogers. “It appears to have self-ignited due to electrical malfunction.”

“We appreciate all the volunteers who responded to the fire,” added 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

Details on Commercial Street fire

Emporia Gazette – September 28, 2014

The Emporia Fire Department responded to a report of a vehicle fire at 9:38 a.m. on Saturday at S&S Oil located at 1102 Commercial.

The vehicle was inside the garage, and when the fire department arrived, smoke was showing from the front of the building and flames were visible inside the vehicle.

Bill West of the Emporia Fire Department said that a short time later, several loud bangs and flames filled the entire bay area.

Crews attacked the fire with hose lines and quickly brought it under control, according to West.

The building suffered heavy damage and was occupied at the time by mechanic working on the vehicle when the fire started in the engine compartment. They attempted to put it out with a portable fire extinguisher.

No people were hurt in the incident, and the fire was determined to be accidental.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Neighbor puts out fire in SW Topeka

By Caroline Sweeney
Topeka Capital Journal – September 28, 2014

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A fire in the 1500 block of S.W. Lane was stamped out after a neighbor smelled smoke.

An abandoned house at 1525 S.W. Lane in Topeka suffered slight fire and smoke damage Sunday night. A neighbor, Jerry Bardlay, said he was at a local bar with some friends and smelled smoke.

He ran to the house and rushed in through the back door and heard beeping from a smoke detector and saw smoke. He found an 8-inch swatch of fire on a carpet, and stamped it out with his feet.

Bardlay said he didn’t want any of the other houses on the block to catch fire. He said the house has been abandoned for 2 years.

The call came in at around 6:30 p.m. to the Topeka Fire Department.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Man arrested on suspicion of arson

Hutchinson News – September 24, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 28, 2014

A Hutchinson man has been arrested after a vacant mobile home was badly damaged by fire Tuesday afternoon.

Troy L. Petz, 41, 614 N. Cessna St., was arrested on suspicion of arson in addition to various unrelated items by Hutchinson police. Petz remains in the Reno County jail.

The Hutchinson Fire Department responded to a structure fire after receiving a call from people within the complex at Applewood Meadows in the 2200 block of East Fourth Avenue at 2:41 p.m.

Chief Doug Hanen said fire and smoke were coming out the back of the unoccupied mobile home. He said there was a lot of heat and smoke damage and firefighters told him the home’s interior was “pretty beaten up.”

Six firetrucks were at the smoldering structure and it took firefighters 10 minutes to douse the flames, which left a gaping hole and charred wood at the rear of the mobile home.

Units were at the site for two hours. The trailer was valued at $5,000, with damage likely exceeding that.

There were no working utilities in the home, Hanen said, adding the fire appeared to be intentionally set.

No one was injured during the fire.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire department’s new facility offers firefighters real-world training

By Ann Marie Bush
Topeka Capital Journal – September 28, 2014

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A new $500,000 training facility at the Topeka Fire Department’s headquarters will give firefighters an opportunity to train in real-world fire scenarios, said Fire Marshal Michael Martin.

“We are excited to see it go up,” Martin said.

The structure is made of gauged steel and sits just a few feet from the department’s training tower at 324 S.E. Jefferson.

Construction of the training facility started in July, said Jack Collie, division chief of training. It should be 95 percent complete by the end of this week.

Though the building is two stories tall, Collie said the roof also will be utilized for training.

There is a large “burn room” on the first floor and a smaller one on the second floor. Each burn room will have Padgenite thermal insulation panels to contain the fire and maintain the integrity of the structure, Collie said. Wood and straw can be used to start the fires.

Large portable panels can be moved around to depict different scenarios, such as hallways and other room layouts.

The second floor has a smaller burn room and an area that is set up like an attic. The attic roof is steeper on one side so firefighters can experience working on different roofs — pitched vs. flat. There also are special areas in the roof that will allow firefighters to practice their skills of cutting holes to access the attic.

Theatrical smoke can be pumped throughout the training facility, too.

“This is a very well-thought-out project,” Martin said. “It’s a pretty impressive piece of technology.”

The second story also has an area that is enclosed by a railing to simulate balcony rescues.

Firefighters can rappel from the roof thanks to anchors, and hatches on the roof and second floor can allow firefighters to simulate rescues if someone falls through a floor.

The burn rooms are the focal point of the structure, Collie said, but “there is so much more to it.”

“This is a state-of-the-art training facility,” he said.

Attendees of the fire department’s open house Oct. 11 will get a chance to tour the new facility.

Safe Streets and Topeka Metro have partnered with the fire department. The first four neighborhood groups to contact Safe Streets will be eligible to receive free transportation via a bus. The winning neighborhoods, which will have to have a minimum of 15 people, will receive transportation to the event. The neighborhood getting the most people to attend the event will receive special recognition from the fire department, Martin said.

Firefighters and department personnel will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate skills.

There will be opportunities to have photos taken in firefighting gear and to participate in fire extinguisher demonstrations.

Hot dogs, chips and drinks will be available free of charge. Webster, the department’s accelerant detection canine, will demonstrate his skills, too.


The 2014 Topeka Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ceremony and Open House will begin at noon Oct. 11. The ceremony will start at noon, followed by open house activities from 1 to 4 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

The theme of this year’s open house is “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Overnight fire destroys Wichita man’s garage and pickup truck

By Emily Griffin
KWCH – September 28, 2014


An overnight fire leaves one west Wichita resident without a vehicle or a garage.

Fire crews were called out to the 600 block of south Vine about 3:30 Saturday morning on reports of a vehicle fire. The noise from the fire woke up the homeowner who quickly called 9-1-1.

Fire crews responded and were able to put the fire out quickly with minimal damage to the home. The garage and the pickup were a total loss. The homeowner, David Reibenspies, made it out safely but was immediately concerned about his three dogs in the backyard located right next to the burning garage.

“I’m in the backyard, my dogs are back there. I’m kind of worried about them,” said Reibenspies. “I had also just gotten a full tank of gas so I’m thinking, is this thing going to blow?”

Reibenspies was able to let his dogs out of the backyard to keep them safe. Neither Reibenspies nor his dogs were injured.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but fire crews believe it began up under the hood of the pickup.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Careless smoking starts apartment fire

KWCH – September 28, 2014

Careless smoking is to blame for an apartment fire that happened Saturday morning.

It happened at the Macarthur Lakes Apartments in the 700 block of west Macarthur. Residents from 12 apartments had to evacuate the building because of the fire.

Only one apartment was damaged from the fire, but several others had heavy smoke damage.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Schumacher inspired by commitment

By Matthew Kenwright
Hays Daily News – September 28, 2014


It was fitting Wendy Schumacher was surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren at his retirement reception Friday at Hays Welcome Center.

Commitment to family inspired the Hays Fire Department deputy chief to join the organization in 1975. Schumacher was working with a bricklaying business before he decided too much travel was keeping him away from his wife, Carol.

Thirty-nine years later, his three grandchildren wore “Grandpa’s my hero” T-shirts decorated with a fireman and fire truck as he was recognized by his colleagues, city staff and other public safety officials. Work and friendship were equal themes in attendees’ speeches.

Schumacher’s son, Darren, voiced his appreciation for his father and his public service.

“I saw a quote recently or a comment that said, ‘True heroes don’t wear capes,’ and I think that applies to any fireman, any policeman, emergency person,” Darren said. “Dad’s been our hero for 39 years.”

Schumacher rose through the department’s ranks after he joined as a firefighter. He became an engineer in 1989, captain in 2003 and deputy fire chief in 2004.

Recalling his first promotion, Schumacher said he missed fighting fires as he operated the pump panel.

“Going into a burning fire really gets your adrenaline going,” he said. “It was something I enjoyed doing.”

The fire station’s brotherhood and work schedule persuaded him to remain.

“It just turned out to be a great job,” he said.

The department grew and evolved during Schumacher’s tenure. Firefighters’ responsibilities now include EMS calls, airport standby, technical rescue and hazmat response.

Fire Chief Gary Brown said he will miss Schumacher after working with him for 12 years.

Many people in the community and the department do not realize how his efforts have served them.

“It’s one of those jobs where a lot of what he does is behind the scenes kind of work. Making things happen, but not being out front when it happens,” Brown said. “He’s made the city much better. He’s made the fire department much better.”

Under Schumacher’s role as fire inspections coordinator, only one site required enforcement. His people-friendly approach encouraged voluntary compliance with codes.

Keeping one job for approximately four decades reflects Schumacher’s character.

“It shows a certain dedication to stay with something through the good times and the bad,” Brown said. “Because you know there’s not all good times, and to stick with it, there’s a dedication and a commitment to that.”

A new deputy chief has not been named.

Schumacher plans to spend retirement with his grandchildren, traveling with his wife, fishing and hunting.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Large Fire Near Salina Waste Water Plant

By Todd Pittenger
KSAL – September 26, 2014

Photo by Todd Pittenger.

Photo by Todd Pittenger.

Salina City and Saline County rural firefighters responded to a large fire at the Salina Waste Water Plant on North Marymount Road late Friday afternoon.

The initial call indicated that a lime pit might be on fire. The first responders to the scene encountered heavy black smoke as they arrived. They discovered that a lime pit was not on fire, but rather there was a large grass fire.

Rural firefighters responded to take care of the grass fire, and to make sure the city structure, which is the only structure in the area, was safe and secure and in no danger.

There were no injuries.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

HCC prepares for fire science field day

By John Green
Hutchinson News – September 26, 2014

The Hutchinson Community College Fire Science Department will host its annual Fire Science Student Field Day 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 8 at the HCC South Campus in Yoder.

The free event is a one-day, hands-on experience for high school juniors and seniors in the world of firefighting. Preregistration is required, and space is limited. Students should register online at

There will be various activity stations led by HCC students and firefighters from multiple departments. Students will learn about the different opportunities available in the fire service, including structural and wildland firefighting, as well as about internships, summer jobs and scholarship opportunities.

For more information call (620) 728-4460 or email Margy Westfal at

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster


Ogden house fire leaves family homeless

By Katya Leick
Kansas First News – September 26, 2014


A four hour house fire has left an Ogden family without a home.

The fire spread from Sebriana Martin’s garage to her home. It destroyed the families camper, back porch and entire side of the house, smoke damage finished the rest.

“This is all we ever had, this is all, this is all I got.”

Twenty-years of hard work and memories burned to the ground right in front of their eyes. Martin’s fiance, Sal Tucker was at work when he got the news and came back to what was once his home to find.

“Everything I own is gone, all my lawn equipment.”

Sebrina Martin’s son, daughter and three small grandchildren are now without a home.

The Red Cross was able to set the Martin family up in a local motel until Sunday. After Sunday the family will stay at Sebrina’s mother’s house.

“My house is small but we can load up, on the floor, everywhere as long as everybody has a roof over their head.”

In the meantime, Sebrina is already starting plans to rebuild.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

House burns in southeast Wichita

KAKE – September 26, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Firefighters have extinguished a fire at a home in southeast Wichita.

Around 2 p.m., a passerby called 911 after seeing a home on fire in the 4300 block of East Morris. When nearby crews arrived on scene, they found smoke and flames visible from outside the house.

Crews got the fire under control in about 15 minutes, but there is significant damage estimated at approximately $50,000.

No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Man arrested after police chase

By Stan Finger
Wichita Eagle – September 26, 2014

A fiery crash following a police chase sent one man to the hospital and another man on the run, authorities said.

The incident began shortly before 8:20 p.m. Thursday when a police officer tried to pull over a 1999 red Pontiac Grand Prix for a traffic violation at 37th Street North and Armstrong, Lt. James Espinoza said. That’s south of I-235 and west of Arkansas in north Wichita.

The driver refused to stop and the chase began. A police supervisor soon called off the chase, but the Grand Prix was found a few minutes later, Espinoza said.

The vehicle had crashed and caught fire just after striking a median at 37th and Meridian, Espinoza said. The crash was north of the Law Enforcement Training Center and south of I-235, more than a mile west of where the chase began.

Two men ran from the burning Grand Prix, Espinoza said. The driver, who is 26, was caught about a block north of the crash site. He was taken to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis for treatment, then booked into the Sedgwick County Jail, records show. A second man ran from the crash scene and still has not been found.

Espinoza said the incident had a fortunate outcome in a number of ways. After firefighters had doused the burning car, police found a shotgun in the front seat.

“You have concerns for … those rounds going off” due to the heat caused by the fire, “causing injuries to citizens and law enforcement,” Espinoza said. “There’s a very strong possibility that could occur.”

The car was racing through a residential area with winding streets and trees at a time of night when families are still out and about.

“Sometimes people roll through” intersections “or misjudge how fast a car was going,” Espinoza said, and that could have had tragic consequences Thursday night.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster


State Fire Marshal announces Infographic Contest

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has opened a new challenge for Kansas residents to create an infographic on Fire Safety using Kansas fire data. The contest, Visualize Kansas Fire Safety, is open to all Kansas residents currently enrolled in a university, college or technical school with entries due by 8 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2014. Interested participants should visit for more information.

The contest centers on the Kansas Fire Incident Reporting System (KFIRS) which collects information from fire departments and is highly useful for both public safety and the Fire Service. By allowing access to raw data the participants form their own conclusions and then present that information visually in infographic format.

“We’re putting education in the hands of the audience we want to reach by giving them a behind the scenes look at where information starts. This has never been done before and our Office is excited to see what the products of this contest will be,” says State Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen.

The winners will be announced Nov. 10, 2014. Prizes include $200, $100, and $50 for first, second, and third place respectively, as well as publication in the 2013 Annual KFIRS Report, an award certificate with letter for professional portfolios, and available opportunities to appear at a National Fire Incident Reporting System Workshop in Kansas City, MO and other conferences.

Visualize Announcement

Mai Hester
Public Information Officer
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

3 wrecks in 2 days kill 1, injure 2

By Robert Pierce
Southwest Daily Times – September 26, 2014

seward co fire 9262014b

James Matthews, 69, of Woodward, was pronounced dead at the scene by the medical examiner of head, leg, arm and trunk internal injuries after his Ford F150 was struck and it spun, rolled four time and hit the utility pole, center. Courtesy photo

James Matthews, 69, of Woodward, was pronounced dead at the scene by the medical examiner of head, leg, arm and trunk internal injuries after his Ford F150 was struck and it spun, rolled four time and hit the utility pole, center. Courtesy photo


Three wrecks took place over two days in both Seward County and Beaver County, Okla., and the Oklahoma accident led to the death of a Woodward, Okla., man.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported around 6:47 a.m. Thursday, Matthew Law, 32, of Beaver, Okla., was southbound on a county road and had stopped at a stop sign about nine miles west of Elmwood, Okla., in Beaver County.

Law was driving a 2013 Ford F250 pickup, and at the same time, James Matthews, 69, of Woodward, was westbound on U.S. Highway 412 in a 2012 F150 pickup

The OHP said Law did not see Matthews’s vehicle and pulled onto the highway, striking the F150. The law enforcement agency then reported that vehicle spun several times before rolling four times and coming to rest against a utility pole.

Law was not injured in the accident, but Matthews was pronounced dead at the scene by the medical examiner of head, leg, arm and trunk internal injuries.

The OHP report noted that Matthews had been ejected from his vehicle.

One driver was injured in an accident Thursday morning north of Liberal, and a passenger in another vehicle was injured in a separate accident early Wednesday morning east of Liberal.

Thursday’s wreck happened about 12 miles north of Liberal, when a Freightliner sanitation truck was eastbound on Kansas Highway 51 and had turned south on to U.S. Highway 83, according to a report from the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The truck was driven by Wayne E. Gerrard, 44, of Liberal, and KHP said after the driver turned onto Hwy. 83, the driver’s side tires went off the roadway into soft mud.

Gerrard then overcorrected the vehicle and it rolled over. He was taken to Southwest Medical Center in Liberal with injuries.

Finally, a Fairmount, Ga., man was injured in a wreck Wednesday morning nearly seven miles east of Liberal.

KHP said a 2015 Kenworth semi, driven by Bobby J. Graham, 50, of Stratford, Texas, was westbound on U.S. Highway 54, when it crossed the center line into the oncoming lane of traffic.

At that same time, James R. Eyster, 42, of Ball Ground, Ga., was eastbound on U.S.-54 in a 1999 Freightliner semi when that vehicle was struck by the Kenworth down the driver’s side of the semi and trailer.

The Kenworth’s semi and trailer came to rest in the south ditch area, according to the KHP report.

Neither Graham nor Eyster were injured in the accident, but a passenger in Eyster’s vehicle, 34-year-old Jeffrey D. Johnson of Fairmount, was taken to SWMC with injuries. The KHP said Johnson was in the sleeper of the semi at the time of the accident.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Apartment fire displaces 10 in Overland Park

By Martin Augustine
KMBC – September 26, 2014


A fire early Friday morning has displaced 10 people at an apartment building in Overland Park.

Firefighters were called to the Sundance Apartments at 6108 Foster about 5 a.m.

Crews reported fire showing when they arrived.

Everyone in the building safely escaped. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters said one unit was damaged by the fire, three others had smoke damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Galena House Fire Under Investigation

By Felicia Lawrence
Four State News – September 26, 2014

galena fire 9262014


Around 5:30 this evening, Galena and Baxter Springs fire departments responded to a fire at a vacant home located at 816 Short Street. Galena Fire Chief Bill Hall says the home was set on fire and the Kansas state fire marshal has been called in to investigate. Chief Hall adds that this is the fourth suspicious fire they’ve treated in the last month-and-a-half and Galena police have an idea who may be setting the structures on fire.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Kansas man dies in motorcycle accident

Hays Post – September 25, 2014

A Kansas man died in an accident just before 11 a.m. on Thursday in Jefferson County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2009 Nissan Frontier driven by Darin E. Christman, 49, Lecompton, was northbound on Lecompton Road just south of U.S. 24 and made a left hand turn, failing to yield to a southbound 1994 Harley Davidson driven by Kurt A. Lucas, 49, Valley Falls.

The motorcycle attempted to avoid the collision but and struck the Nissan in the passenger fender.

Lucas was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Barnes Funeral Home. Christman was not injured.

The KHP reported Lucas was not wearing a helmet.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Step right up

Leavenworth Times – September 25, 2014

leavenworth fire 9252014

Capt. Shawn Kell, left, of the Leavenworth Fire Department, removes a ladder Wednesday from the roof of 705 N. 20th St. Firefighters have been training at the vacant house as well as the neighboring 709 N. 20th St. The homes were recently purchased by the city of Leavenworth. City Manager Scott Miller said the two properties square off Sportsfield park. The houses eventually will be demolished. Also pictured is Capt. Nick Greenwood, right.

leavenworth fire 9252014b

Shawn Holland, of the Leavenworth Fire Department, uses a chainsaw Wednesday to cut a hole in the roof of a house at 705 N. 20th St. Firefighters were practicing cutting holes in the roof and tearing through ceilings, which would provide ventilation for smoke and hot gases during a fire.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire destroys mobile home, kills dog south of Topeka

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – September 25, 2014

shawnee co fire 9252014

A mobile home just south of Topeka went up in flames late Thursday morning, and its only occupant made it outside safely, though authorities said his dog wasn’t as fortunate.

The blaze was reported at 11:49 a.m. at Lot 68 of a mobile home park at 601 S.W. 57th.

Shawnee Heights Fire District Chief Tom Garcia said the mobile home was fully involved in flames when crews arrived on the scene. Large amounts of gray smoke could be seen for miles as it rose from the burning mobile home.

Garcia said Shawnee County sheriff’s deputies on the scene reported the blaze, indicating the property was engulfed in flames.

Garcia said the home’s only occupant was overcome by smoke for a brief period. Garcia said the man’s dog had come out as the home was on fire, but then went back inside.

When the dog tried to get out of the mobile home again, it only made it as far as the front porch, where it died.

Meanwhile, Shawnee Heights firefighters administered first aid to the mobile home’s resident in a shady area across a lane from where his residence was still smoking.

American Medical Response ambulance was called to the scene to provide additional medical support.

Garcia said one of the first things crews do at mobile home fires is to “look at exposures” like trees and other mobile homes in an effort to keep the fire from spreading.

He said once a mobile home catches fire, “they’re real hard to put out.”

After the blaze was brought under control, Shawnee Heights fire crews continued spraying water on hot spots.

The fire department of the Kansas Air National Guard 190th Air Refueling Group provided mutual aid in putting out the blaze.

There was no immediate cause listed for the fire. An estimated dollar loss also wasn’t available.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

City Fire wins ‘Battle of the Badges’

Southwest Daily Times – September 25, 2014

liberal fire 9252014

Cimarron American Red Cross office manager Sheila Limbocker, fourth from left, presents the Battle of the Badges trophy to Liberal Fire Chief Kelly Kirk Tuesday afternoon at the North Fire Station. The American Red Cross had a blood drive on Sept. 18, and part of the drive was the Battle of the Badges. The Liberal and Seward County fire departments received the most votes with the Liberal Police Department a close second. Limbocker stated the blood drive was very successful, and she would like to thank all those that came to donate blood. Pictured along with Limbocker and Kirk are Seward County Emergency Management Director Greg Standard, far left, Liberal Assistant Fire Chief Skeety Poulton, far right, and other local firefighters. L&T photos/Robert Pierce

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

2 freight trains collide in Kansas; no injuries

By Connie Lowmiller
KSN – September 25, 2014

mcpherson co fire 9252014

More photos

Emergency crews are on the scene after two trains collided head-on and derailed in central Kansas between Canton and Galva in McPherson County.

It happened around 6 a.m. Thursday morning.

There is no cargo hazmat involved, but fire crews from Canton, Galva and McPherson are handling some diesel that spilled from one of the trains.

There are no injuries.

One train was heading from Chicago to Los Angeles and the other was traveling for Los Angeles to Chicago.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending team of investigators to the collision between two freight trains.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Summer fires, falls and classes keep department on the move

By Donna Celaya
Montgomery County Chronicle – August 28, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 25, 2014

Cherryvale Fire and Rescue handled 14 fire calls in the month of July, along with five emergency medical service calls, five motor vehicle accidents and one public assist, one downed power line, a trash fire and one false alarm.

The department also responded to 56 EMS calls involving 53 patients, as follows: 31 transports, 14 patients refused transport to a hospital, five second-out medicals transported by another agency, and six “other,” which can include such calls as no patient found, call cancelled, or patient found dead at the scene.

The most prevalent EMS calls were: 12 fall victims, five motor vehicle accidents, five people with respiratory problems, and five sick people.

Chief Jesse Reed said 20 of the EMS runs were outside the city limits. Calls from outside the city limits naturally require longer drive times, resulting in slightly slower response times than the crews accomplished in June. The EMS unit still responded within one minute of receiving the dispatch call 68 percent of the time, compared very closely to 69 percent in June; and within three minutes of receiving the calls 96 percent of the time, up from 92 percent in June. The crews arrived at the scene within five minutes 80 percent of the time, down from 85 percent of the time in June; and within 10 minutes 96 percent of the time, up from 88 percent in June.

The department is in the midst of its 12-week Firefighter 1 class, which is a combination of self-study and actual class time. Cherryvale Fire-Rescue’s eight participants were able to take the classes at no cost. The two outside class members from Caney and Liberty Rural Fire paid for their own books.

Cherryvale Fire and Rescue thanked members of Independence and Coffeyville fire departments for loaning textbooks for the class, and expressed appreciation to Aaron Cook and Andrew Richmond for class preparation and instruction. By the end of the course, there will be only three EMS technicians who are not cross-trained in fire, and only two firefighters not cross-trained in EMS. The latter two are enrolled in EMT classes this fall and will cross-train by the end of the year.

Cross-training in both fire and EMS enables the crew members to handle either situation when the need arises, Reed said.

He said instructors and students hope University of Kansas personnel will come to Cherryvale to conduct both the written and practical portions of the testing in October, and then work with the CFR to put together a Firefighter 2 class.

The department performed six-month maintenance in July on all of the apparatus. Emergency Apparatus Maintenance from Joplin, Mo., performed the annual National Fire Protection Agency compliant pump tests on both engines, and both passed the inspection and testing.

The department crews helped Cherryvale Nursing and Rehabilitation Center with their July 4 activities for residents there, and the crews were the guest judges for a barbecue cook-off.

CFR’s cardio-pulmonary resuscitation instructors also re-certified seven CFR crew members in CPR in July, and worked with the nursing home to re-certify all of their employees in CPR, as well.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Benefit for Collier family

Montgomery County Chronicle – August 28, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 25, 2014

Donnie Collier was one of four employees at Coffeyville Resources refinery to sustain burns in a mishap in July. He remains a patient at the Hillcrest Alexander Burn Center in Tulsa.

Collier is a member of the Tyro division of the Montgomery County Rural Fire Department and his fellow firefighters will host a benefit for his family on Saturday, September 27 at the Tyro City Park. In case of rain it will be held at the Tyro Fire Barn.

The benefit meal and auction will start at noon with other activities for the whole family. All proceeds will go to the Collier family. The fire department is seeking donations of items for the auction. They can be left at the Tyro Fire Barn or call Jeff Finney at 620.330.7453 or Karl Kirkland at 620.270.1872.

The firefighters will be selling tickets for chances for a 308 Mossberg rifle. If you would like to donate money, make checks to Jennifer Collier and send them to the Tyro Fire Department, Box 221, Tyro, KS 67364.

The family of Donnie Collier is in great need of firewood for this winter. Dry or green, any variety of wood will work because the Colliers have an outdoor stove. The firewood can be left at the Tyro Fire Barn by the yellow siren tower on the east side.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Mark Kavanaugh



Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon

Hutchinson News – September 22, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 25, 2014

hutchinson fire 9252014

More than 300 runners and walkers participated on Sunday in the fourth annual Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon. Participants started the 13.1 mile course in Carey Park and finished with a partial lap around the Gowans Stadium track. The half marathon is a benefit for the Hutchinson Recreation Commission and the Boys & Girls Club of Hutchinson.

Above: William Lang carries the American flag as members of the Hutchinson Fire Department walk the 13.1 mile course in full gear.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire trucks tested

Yates Center News – August 28, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 25, 2014

Photo by Melanie McGee. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Melanie McGee. Click on photo to view full-size image.

The Yates Center Volunteer Fire Department put its pumper trucks through a series of tests Tuesday morning at the fire station. Weis Fire Equipment of Salina assisted with the tests. Fire Chief Bob Gaulding said each truck must be tested on an annual basis.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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