Archive for November, 2014

Car fire closes westbound I-70 exit at Lawrence

Topeka Capital Journal – November 28, 2014

A car fire closed a Lawrence exit from the Kansas Turnpike on Friday afternoon, authorities said.

First responders were called shortly after 3:30 p.m. to a report of a car on fire at Exit 202 on I-70, which is also the Turnpike at that mile marker.

A Kansas Turnpike Authority dispatcher said the car caught fire after a single-vehicle accident on the roundabout. Emergency vehicles were blocking the exit from westbound I-70, and it remained closed as of 3:55 p.m.

No further details were immediately available.

Years of Service

Ark Valley News – November 6, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Photo by Chris Strunk. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Chris Strunk. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Valley Center firefighters (from left) James Crandall, Capt. Rob Tormey, Phil Tennissen and Nick Banning and their families attend the November 4 Valley Center City Council meeting, where they were honored for their years of service. Crandall, Banning and Tennissen have been firefighters for 10 years, Tormey for 25. Not pictured but recognized for 10 years of service was Kristopher Coffman.

House heavily damaged by fire

Wellington News – November 5, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

A house fire at 1323 North B Street in Wellington caused extensive damage to a house and its contents, local fire officials said.

When firefighters arrived at 10:40 Friday morning, they found heavy smoke coming from the structure.

Firefighters made entry through the front door and found extensive fire in the attic area. Firefighters had to cut holes in the roof for ventilation and pull ceilings in the majority of the house to extinguish the fire.

The occupants of the home discovered the fire and made it out of the structure without injury. Due to fire, smoke and water damage the house and contents suffered considerable damage. The occupants had no insurance and the homeowner is not available yet for insurance information.

Occupants were listed as Tonya Ortega and Justin Myers, along with a baby and a dog. No injuries were reported.

Fire officials estimated the damage at $10,000.

New 911 system to cost $423,000

By Brady Bauman
Manhattan Mercury – November 21, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Riley County will have a new 911 system by year’s end, after commissioners approved an emergency upgrade at a Thursday meeting.

The commission, based on guidance from Emergency Management Director Pat Collins, decided to go with Topeka Mobile Comm/Commenco, which quoted a system upgrade that would cost $423,073.58.

The county’s Emergency 911 Fund had $748,786 at the end of October. Revenue for the fund comes from a monthly 53-cent fee on phone lines and cell phone.

In Collins’ outline for the proposal, he told commissioners the current system is “fragile and limping,” and that the Riley County 911 executive committee, composed of himself, and the leaders of the Riley County Police Department, Manhattan Fire Department, EMS and K-State police, recommended an emergency replacement of the system by the end of the year.

“We can’t wait any longer,” Commissioner Dave Lewis said before making the motion for approval.

Collins said the system has encountered another round of “complicated problems” that couldn’t be resolved with online assistance from the manufacturer.

The current system was purchased in 2006 with a five-year life expectancy. The original cost, including five positions at RCPD and two positions at KSUPD, was $419,340.00 and the annual maintenance is $8,100 per year.

Collins was critical of the customer service AT&T, which provides support for the system, and told commissioners the county’s 911 fund has the means to purchase the new system.

Currently the Riley County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) fields about 2,900 emergency 911 calls per month and provides a consolidated dispatch for all the public safety agencies. The KSU PSAP fields about 140 emergency 911 calls generated on campus, dispatches KSU law enforcement and receives or transfers 911 wireless calls to and from the Riley County PSAP.

Store evacuated after fire report

Manhattan Mercury – November 24, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Shoppers were evacuated from Best Buy on Monday following a report of a possible fire.

Officials responded to a report of smoke in the store at about noon, according to officials.

Manhattan Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Shepek said a fluorescent light might have exploded, causing the smoke.

Firefighters responded but found no blaze and no visible smoke from outside the store. They were on the roof investigating at press time but had downgraded the situation to non-emergent.

Store employees declined to comment.

Fire destroys attic in Galena

By Jordan Zabel
Cherokee County News Advocate – November 28, 2014

Firefighters responded to a small house fire one block west of Derfelt Funeral Home, at 1118 Short Street, in Galena Tuesday night. The incident occurred at approximately 8 p.m. according to Fire Chief Bill Hall.

“I hate fires anymore, and you can quote me on that,” said Hall. “When I was in my 20s I looked forward to getting in there, but anymore I just hate to see it happen.”

Hall stated that most of the attic was destroyed in the fire. He cited bad electrical wiring as the most likely cause.

“We see that a lot in houses that are as old as this one. We found that the family there was using a couple of space heaters to heat the house during the cold weather. These houses with old wiring just aren’t meant to push as much electricity as those space heaters use,” said Hall.

“We also noticed the house was insulated with cellulose insulation, and that stuff just smolders really bad. So we believe it was a combination of those factors,” Hall said.

The house is owned and rented out by Jerry and Peggy Derfelt, who were in Columbus the night of the fire. The family who occupies the residence was home at the time of the incident, but managed to all make it out in time and there were no injuries reported. Hall attributed the family’s safety to their quick response. He said they smelled smoke and called for help immediately.

5 injured in early morning accident

By Rich Wood
KSN – November 28, 2014

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An early morning accident injured 5 and shut down parts of I-235 near 25th street.

A vehicle was northbound and crossed the center median colliding head on with a southbound SUV.

When fire crews arrived one of the victims was pinned, but was awake and alert they were rescued from the vehicle.

None of the victims received life threatening injuries.

I-235 was shut down for around an hour while crews worked to clean up the scene.

KHP is still investigating to determine what caused the accident.

Ronald Thomas Callaway



Barn destroyed by fire south of Lincoln

Lincoln Sentinel Republican – November 13, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Photos by Stephanie Heina. Click each photo to view full-size image.

Photos by Stephanie Heina. Click each photo to view full-size image.

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The Lincoln County Rural Fire District #1 responded to a structure fire on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 11:13 a.m. 1 1/4 miles west of Highway 14 on Jaguar Drive south of Lincoln.

The renter of the property was welding inside the barn when the structure caught on fire.

According to Fire Chief Michel O’Hare the barn was a total loss.

Sunday afternoon fire

Lincoln Sentinel Republican – November 20, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

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The Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department was called to the Lyle Hair residence at 303 South 2nd Street in Lincoln, Sunday afternoon, November 16, at approximately 12:10 p.m., with a report of a fire in the second story of the home.

Firefighters ascended a ladder and accessed a second story window to bring water to the second floor and what appeared to be still smoldering insulation was removed from the house via the window.

Damage information was unavailable at press time, but it appeared no one was injured and the fire was contained in the second story of the home with no visible damage to the exterior of the roof or second story.

Light smoke was visible through the roof vents.

Firefighters respond to blaze

Leavenworth Times – November 22, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Firefighters responded to a barn fire Thursday afternoon in western Leavenworth County, according to a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The fire was reported at 1:57 p.m. in what was described as the 25000 block of 235th Street. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters from Alexandria and Reno townships responded as well as deputies from the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire apparently had spread from a burn barrel to a field before reaching the barn, according to Undersheriff Jim Sherley.

City nears decision on fire chief

By Jamie Willey
Parsons Sun – November 22, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

The city of Parsons is getting close to hiring a new fire chief.

Interim City Manager Debbie Lamb said this week she and a committee consisting mostly of other city employees have interviewed eight candidates on the phone and five in person during a second round. Lamb said the committee has narrowed the list of candidates down to two finalists. City staff is looking into the finalists’ past employment and checking references.

Kari West, public information officer, said the city staff anticipates announcing a hiring in December. The new chief would likely start early next year.

Fire Chief Larry Steeby retired in September after nearly 29 years in firefighting. Steeby had been fire chief since early 2008.

The search for a new fire chief is taking longer than the search for a new police chief, despite the city receiving more notice of Steeby’s retirement than for former Police Chief Scott Gofourth, partly because of the structure of the committee formed to hire the new fire chief.

Former City Manager Fred Gress appointed a committee of several staff members, Mayor Bill Hogelin and a couple of city residents to choose the new fire chief. A few firefighters also were involved in the process early. The number of people involved has made it difficult to arrange interviews with the candidates.

Lamb organized a much smaller group of staff members for the police chief search, which resulted in the hiring of former Parsons Police Detective Jason Sharp. Sharp will begin his duties as chief on December 3.

Until a new fire chief is hired and begins work, Battalion Chiefs Jay Hawks, Brad Boss and Rob Gartner are combining to take on the chief’s role.

The city also may begin a search for a new city manager soon, although some city commissioners have mentioned hiring Lamb as the new manager. Lamb presented the commissioners with job description information on Thursday, and the commission may choose to advertise for the position soon. Lamb said this week she would like to be considered for the position and intends to apply.

Lincoln Elementary students learn fire safety

By USD No. 480
Southwest Daily Times – November 24, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

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On Thursday, Oct. 9, the second and third grade students at Lincoln Elementary received a visit from the Liberal Fire Department.

To honor Fire Safety Awareness Week, the second and third graders learned fire safety and the week ended with an opportunity to discuss what they learned with several firefighters.

The students engaged in great conversations about home escape plans that they made with their families, when to call 9-1-1, and how to react and escape a fire.

After students had the opportunity to share their knowledge, the firemen escorted them outside to the demonstration smoke house. The students were able to practice crawling through and escaping the smoke filled house safely.

All of the students learned it is not safe to immediately open the door; rather they must check the door with the back of their hand to see if it is hot, if it is one must find an alternative way out of the room.

In the smoke house, the students found that the door was hot, and needed to crawl out of the window to escape safely.

The students at Lincoln Elementary learned a lot about Fire Safety through this visit.

All of the students enjoyed this great opportunity to visit with local community members, practice escaping a smoke filled house safely and getting to meet and hug Sparky, the Fire Dog.

Video: Fire destroys Salina home

By Josh Barnhart
Salina Post – November 28, 2014

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The Salina Post was at the scene of a house fire on Valley View rd, just east of the old Elks Country Club. There is no information as to how the fire started or if there were any injuries.

While on the scene, you could hear a fireman yelling, “get out of the garage, the roof is about to collapse.”

The entire block was covered in smoke as the firemen tried to extinguish the flames.

Check back to the Salina Post for information as it becomes available.

Toddler burned in east Wichita

KWCH – November 28, 2014

Emergency crews were called to a home in area of 21st St. N. and 143rd St. E. around 7:30 p.m. for a burned toddler.

Crews said the one-year-old girl burned herself on hands and face. Emergency traffic indicated she was near a fireplace.

The child was taken to Via Christi St. Francis in critical condition.

One man killed, another arrested after accident at U.S. 56 and 159th Street in Olathe

Kansas City Star – November 28, 2014

One man was killed and one man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after a two-vehicle accident early Thursday at U.S. 56 and 159th Street, Olathe police said.

According to a news release, a 31-year-old man was driving north on U.S. 56 before 3 a.m. when his car was struck by a vehicle that was westbound on 159th. The driver of the northbound vehicle was taken to a hospital, where he died.

The driver of the westbound vehicle, a 32-year-old man, was not injured. Police arrested him. The news release said “driving under the influence is being investigated as a possible contributing factor in this accident.”

Thanksgiving Day Crash Fatality In Concordia Identified

By Justin Surrency
WIBW – November 28, 2014

Authorities have identified the victim in a fatal Concordia car wreck as 73 year old Marilyn Sothers from Scandia.

The Concordia Police Department and Kansas Highway Patrol responded to a three vehicle accident shortly before 2:30 pm at the intersection of 8th and Lincoln in Concordia.

The Kansas Highway Patrol Crash Log indicates that a Chevy Silverado, driven by 29 year old Timothy Brush of Concordia was heading westbound on 8th street when he made a left turn onto U.S. 81/Lincoln St. and clipped Sother’s vehicle which was heading southbound in the left rear quarter-panel causing her vehicle to spin in front of a vehicle heading northbound driven by 43 year old Janel Haumont or Turon. Because of the initial crash, Haumont’s vehicle broadsided Sother’s vehicle on the passenger side.

The crash log indicates Sothers was not wearing a safety restraint.

One passenger in Haumont’s vehicle, a 12 year old boy had a possible injury but nobody else involved in the crash was reported to be injured.

Highway 81 is open to traffic and the crash remains under investigation.

Early Morning Ozawkie Trailer Fire A Complete Loss

By Greg Palmer
WIBW – November 28, 2014

A Thanksgiving 3:00 a.m. Ozawkie trailer fire has resulted in complete loss of the structure.

Jefferson County Fire Chief Daniel Rosencutter told 13 News that when the fire crew arrived at 9551 Kickapoo Drive, they found a double wide trailer that was fully engulfed by the fire.

Chief Rosencutter said the structure which was abandoned and a complete loss.

At this point there is no estimate of the dollar loss and the fire is still under investigation as a possible arson.

Busy week for Hutchinson fire crews

By John Boyd
KWCH – November 28, 2014

It’s been a busy few days for the Hutchinson Fire Department. Hutch Fire Cheif Doug Hanen says crews have responded to three structure fires since Tuesday.

The first happened shortly after 10:00 pm on Tuesday. Crews were called to the 300 block of E. Avenue B. They found fire in a detached garage. It took them around ten minutes to get it under control, but units stayed on scene for at least another hour.

Fire officials determined careless smoking was the cause of that fire.

Damage is estimated at around $3,000.

Then, on Wednesday morning, crews were called ot the 3400 block of Jeffrey. Smoke was coming from a home in that area. Turns out, it was just a minor cooking fire on the stovetop.

There was no damage from the fire, but EMS was called in to check an infant that had inhaled some of the smoke. That child is okay and was not taken to the hospital.

Later that day, crews were called to the 1200 block of East 25th Avenue for a structure fire. When they got there, they found arcing and smoke coming from the fuse panel of a home. Westar was called in to cut power to the home.

Damage from that incident is listed at around $1,000. It was caused by an electrical overload on the circuit.

Kansas man dies in rollover accident

Hays Post – November 26, 2014

A Kansas man died in an accident just after 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Neosho County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 1999 Nissan Quest driven by James Merrill, 51, Parsons, was traveling south bound on U.S. 59 a mile north of Parsons.

The vehicle went left of center and drove on the northbound gravel shoulder.

The driver over corrected traveling back across both lanes. The vehicle entered the southbound ditch rolling several times ejecting the driver.

Merrill was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Frontier Forensics.

The KHP reported he was not wearing a seat belt.

Dog killed in Derby mobile home fire

KWCH – November 26, 2014

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Firefighters from several departments responded to a mobile home fire in Derby Wednesday afternoon.

When crews arrived in the 5800 block of South Prairie Meadows Road, the mobile home was already full of flames.

The Red Cross was called out to help two people who lived in the home. Firefighters said the family’s pet died in the fire. No people were hurt.

Rose Hill, Sedgwick County, Wichita and McConnell’s fire departments were all called out to help put out the fire.

No cause has been given.

Two Silver Lake families lose homes on Thanksgiving Eve

By Rod Jackson
Kansas First News – November 26, 2014

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Two families of four lost their Silver Lake homes to fire on Thanksgiving eve.

The fire at 219 Sage Road, at the intersection with Highway 24, was initially reported about 6:00 p.m. as a chimney fire in a duplex.

It then spread to the attic of the home, and quickly spread to the rest of the structure. Both family was able to get out of the home safely.

Both families of two adults and two children were able to get out of the duplex safely and are now being helped by the American Red Cross.

Initially handled by the Silver Lake volunteer fire department, additional units from the Topeka Fire Department.

Firefighters took nearly an hour to knock down most of the flames, which damaged the other half of the duplex and a home behind the structure.

The exact cause has yet to be determined.

Firefighters will install smoke alarms in neighborhood where teen died

By Ann Marie Bush
Topeka Capital Journal – November 26, 2014

Topeka firefighters on Friday will be installing smoke alarms and passing out fire safety information during a walk through an area of Topeka where an 18-year-old was killed last week in a fire.

Morgan Duncan was killed Nov. 20 in a fire at 1106 S.W. 8th.

Firefighters will be walking through the Old Town District from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to a news release.

Fire Department donates Safehouse Thanksgiving dinner

By Sarah Gooding
Pittsburg Morning Sun – November 26, 2014

Pittsburg Fire Department members Brian Blythe, Jeff Kavanagh, Mike Shoemaker, Chad Prewitt, Matt Lemon, Richard Jett, Daniel Proffitt and Matt Stringer on Tuesday helped present Safehouse executive director Rebecca Brubaker and shelter facilitator Shana Raciti with food for a Thanksgiving Dinner at Safehouse. The food will provide about 18-20 women and children with a Thanksgiving meal. SARAH GOODING/THE MORNING SUN

Pittsburg Fire Department members Brian Blythe, Jeff Kavanagh, Mike Shoemaker, Chad Prewitt, Matt Lemon, Richard Jett, Daniel Proffitt and Matt Stringer on Tuesday helped present Safehouse executive director Rebecca Brubaker and shelter facilitator Shana Raciti with food for a Thanksgiving Dinner at Safehouse. The food will provide about 18-20 women and children with a Thanksgiving meal. SARAH GOODING/THE MORNING SUN

Pittsburg firefighters help bag food that will provide Thanksgiving dinner for Safehouse residents following a presentation on Tuesday. The women and children at Safehouse will work together to prepare the meal Thursday. SARAH GOODING/THE MORNING SUN

Pittsburg firefighters help bag food that will provide Thanksgiving dinner for Safehouse residents following a presentation on Tuesday. The women and children at Safehouse will work together to prepare the meal Thursday. SARAH GOODING/THE MORNING SUN

For many, Thanksgiving is a day of celebrating with family or friends, but for women at the Safehouse Crisis Center the holidays can be a lonely, challenging time.

Pittsburg firefighters have partnered with the organization each year for the past several to change that, and on Tuesday they presented Safehouse executive director Rebecca Brubaker and shelter facilitator Shana Raciti with supplies for a full Thanksgiving dinner.

“It’s a hard time to be away from home at the holidays,” Brubaker said. “The traditional food that the fire department provides makes the shelter smell and feel like home.”

Brubaker said the meal will feed approximately 18-20 women and children who are living in the shelter as they rebuild their lives away from violence and abuse.

Firefighter Richard Wood said the firefighters look for ways to give back, and providing a meal for Safehouse has become an annual tradition.

“I think we’re on our tenth year,” he said. “We usually spend around $100 and make sure they get their ham or turkey.”

Not only did the fire department provide a ham and a turkey, but firefighters also included potatoes, stuffing, pies and all the elements of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

“This is really nice of the fire department to do this for us,” Brubaker said.

Wood said the firefighters make annual contributions to a fund that allows them to give back to people they interact with or give back to the community as a whole.

“Each fireman will pay $30 a year and we put that in our charity fund,” Wood said.

This allows the fire department to provide gift cards for families who lose their possessions in fires, as well as seasonal opportunities to sponsor Safehouse and to take area children shopping at Christmas time.

Brubaker said this is a season when many around the community open their hearts and express their generosity to not-for-profits, and she added that Safehouse does have an Angel Tree at Walmart.

This week, Brubaker said the women and children currently living in the shelter will prepare the meal together, and Wood said the fire department is glad to make it possible.

“It’s their home away from home and we do what we can,” he said.

Butters honored for life-saving response

By Colleen Truelsen
Osawatomie Graphic – November 26, 2014

Kansas City, Kan., Deputy Fire Chief Frank Duke (right) presents Osawatomie’s Assistant Police Chief Bob Butters (center) the Civilian Award of Merit from the Kansas City, Kan., Firefighter’s Relief Association on Friday night. At left is the on-scene paramedic who nominated Butters for the prestigious award. Photo by Colleen Truelsen.

Kansas City, Kan., Deputy Fire Chief Frank Duke (right) presents Osawatomie’s Assistant Police Chief Bob Butters (center) the Civilian Award of Merit from the Kansas City, Kan., Firefighter’s Relief Association on Friday night. At left is the on-scene paramedic who nominated Butters for the prestigious award. Photo by Colleen Truelsen.

Osawatomie Assistant Police Chief Bob Butters’ life-saving actions last May while off-duty helping build a playground at his wife’s school were honored Friday night with the Civilian Award of Merit at the 112th annual Kansas City, Kan., Firefighter’s Relief Association Ball.

Butters is credited with saving the life of a parent the afternoon of May 10 at Our Lady of Unity School in Kansas City, Kan., where Nancy Butters is principal.

Parent volunteer Teresa Ortega, 39, was sitting with other volunteers, Nancy said, when she collapsed.

“She just kind of fell out of her chair,” Nancy said. “We didn’t know what had happened.”

She called out to Bob, who was farther away on the playground.

“I could hear the urgency in her voice,” Bob said.

Ortega’s husband had already started chest compressions, and Bob began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

He checked for a pulse, he said, and found none. Then he heard her begin agonal breathing, the “death rattle” as it is more commonly known, and he knew she was critical.

Moving the husband to one side, Bob began intense chest compressions. Nancy was already on the phone to paramedics, relaying Bob’s imperative information to the emergency team on its way.

Other parent volunteers dropped to their knees in the freshly laid mulch, according to a report in The Leaven Catholic newspaper, and began prayers.

When a civilian is nominated for the prestigious award, Capt. Patrick Dunn, president of the firefighters association said, a thorough investigation of events takes place.

“He was nominated by one of the paramedics,” Dunn said, adding that the award is for firefighters or other people who have done something extraordinary or something above and beyond the call of duty.

Bob’s award carries the results of that investigation, and reads:

“On May 10, 2014, at approximately 3:02 p.m., pumper 17 and EMS Unit 17 responded to 2646 S. 34th Street to the parish center on an apparent cardiac arrest.

“Upon arrival, the crews found off-duty Assistant Police Chief for the Osawatomie, Kansas, Police Department, Robert M. Butters, who had immediately initiated and performed continuous CPR on the cardiac arrest patient.

“While performing CPR, Officer Butters informed and gave the crew of Pumper 17 pertinent medical background information which assisted with patient care. Upon taking over CPR efforts, the firefighters on scene continued to receive assistance from Officer Butters as he helped gather equipment and assisted with moving the patient to the awaiting ambulance as they continued CPR.

“It is the firm belief of KCKFD crews on the scene that without the life-saving efforts of Officer Butters, the patient would not have survived. It should be known that Assistant Chief Butters is a native of Kansas City, Kansas, and grew up in KCK.

“For his willingness to step forward and act to save someone’s life under a very difficult and stressful set of circumstances, Assistant Chief Robert M. Butters is hereby presented the Civilian Award of Merit.”

For Bob and other volunteers on the scene, some relief came a few minutes after emergency crews had placed Ortega in the ambulance.

“We’ve got her back,” a paramedic called to the crowd from the back of the ambulance.

Ortega’s crisis was caused by a defect in her heart, according to the Leaven, that she had probably had since birth. Her aorta had become strangled, blood flow stopped.

Surgery corrected the problem, and Nancy said she has completely recovered.

“I’m just no good in a crisis,” Nancy said, “but Bob was there and the other circumstances worked out.”

Just about 10 minutes before her collapse, Ortega had been working alone inside the building preparing food.

“If that had happened before she joined the group, she couldn’t have survived,” Nancy said.

The Butters brought six of their children to the award presentation held at the Kansas National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kan.

Dylan, 17, Darla, 18, Hannah, 15, Delena, 9, and twins Noah and Nathan, 6, all knew their father was a hero.

The younger ones had been at the school May 10 when Ortega collapsed.

“It kind of scared me,” Nathan said.

“Dad saved a girl,” Noah said.

“We need him around the house because if we choke on something he can save us,” Delena said.

In accepting the award, Butters brushed aside his own actions, commending the efficiency of the emergency responders and praising his wife for her part in communications under stress.

“I can’t do much,” Nancy had said earlier in the evening, refusing Bob’s insistence that she had been a key part of the team, “but I can make a phone call.”

Woman dies in Wilson house fire, another fire damages Ellsworth home

By Alan Rusch
Ellsworth County Independent Reporter – October 30, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 26, 2014

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Two house fires Sunday and Monday in Ellsworth County claimed the life of a 92-year-old Wilson woman and severely damaged the contents of both structures.

Rose Yusta was found dead in a bedroom on the east side of her home at 910 22nd Street in Wilson at 2:29 p.m. Sunday, after firefighters were called to the residence to battle a blaze. She was declared dead at the scene. The cause of death is undetermined. The home did not have a smoke detector.

According to Ellsworth Fire Chief Bob Kepka, at 8:15 a.m. Monday, firefighters responded to a house fire at 211 West Second St. The home is owned by Gail J. Bettenbrock of rural Ellsworth, but Bettenbrock’s sister, Shelly Vopat of Ellsworth, is in the process of purchasing the home and had just completed moving in.

Vopat’s boyfriend, Derek Arensman, called firefighters to the home after the smoke alarm went off and he discovered fire in a northwest corner bedroom of the basement.

Kepka said the State Fire Marshal ruled the fire started in the bed area and was accidental.

“There is heavy fire damage in the bedroom area, with water damage in the basement and smoke damage throughout the home,” Kepka said.

Twenty firefighters and eight fire trucks responded. They remained on scene until about 2 p.m.


According to Wilson Fire Chief Larry Langerman, no smoke was visible from the home upon arrival, but the structure was full of smoke. Upon entry, firefighters found the contents of a southwest corner bedroom on fire.

Neil Steinle of Wilson said his son, Jared, a Wilson firefighter, was mowing Yusta’s yard when Jared looked in the window and noticed the interior looked dark. He also noticed the window shades were dark and saw a little smoke. Steinle entered the home, but found the smoke too thick to proceed. He called firefighters and waited outside for them to arrive.

Langerman said the State Fire Marshal investigated the fire and deemed the cause to be undetermined. There was extensive smoke and heat damage.

Sixteen firefighters and five fire trucks responded to the fire.

Clyde Fire Department Fire Prevention Week

Clyde Republican – October 30, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 25, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

On Friday October 17th the Storytime Preschoolers visited the Clyde Fire Station. EMT Cindy Francis and Firefighter Derek Drake helped teach the kids the rules of Fire Safety and the role of EMS. The Library Board and Staff appreciate the help of our local volunteers who took the time to work with the children.

Courtland Fire Department Fire Prevention Week

Courtland Journal – October 30, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

The Courtland City and Rural Fire Departments made their annual visit to Pike Valley Elementary last week to help students become familiar with fire safety. Two members from each department drove trucks to the school and talked to students and dawned their turn out gear so the students would be familiar with the appearance of a fireman entering a room in case of an emergency.

City firemen, Todd Allen, Brian Freeman and rural firemen Mitch Wiezorek, and Mike Allen participated in the event.

The classes are pictured with the firemen. A highlight of the presentation was the opportunity for students to operate a nozzle and spray water.

Fire destroys home in Coats

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – November 25, 2014

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Fire destroyed the home of Hank and Linda Perrin in Coats Monday afternoon. Linda Perrin was at home at 103 Stone in Coats around 3:24 p.m. and had put some wood in a wood-burning stove. She was lying down in her bedroom when she heard a trucker honking his horn and yelling the roof was on fire. Perrin said she couldn’t see fire or smell smoke but then a neighbor showed up and told her she needed to get out. A neighbor, Mike Brunet, came by, crawled on top of the family van and was spraying water on the roof until it became too smoky. Perrin called 911 and other neighbors came and convinced her she needed to get out of the house and not try to get several cats and dogs out. Firefighters from Coats, Sawyer and Township 12 responded to the call. The first units on the scene found the house completely engulfed in flames. The house was completely gutted. No one was injured in the fire. Hank Perrin was not at home when the fire started. Perrin said they had just upgraded their wood stove with a $500 chimney improvement with triple wall pipe.

Fire destroys old schoolhouse

By Kristin Hoppa
St. Joseph News Press – November 25, 2014

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A fire engulfed a former Northeast Kansas schoolhouse in rural Doniphan County early Tuesday morning.

Shortly before 7:30 a.m., fire crews with the Doniphan County Fire District, Wathena Fire Department and Troy Fire Department arrived in the 1600 block of Peck Road near Blair, Kan., an unincorporated community in Doniphan County. Dark plumes of smoke traveled high into the air as fire engulfed the entire structure.

“Flames were 50-foot high and there was nothing we could do, except keep it from getting into the grass around it,” said Wathena Fire Chief Tony Libel, who was first on scene. “Until the (structure) burned down a little bit, we couldn’t do anything.”

The school crumbled into smoldering pieces as firefighters continued to spray water along the edge of the building. The building did not appear to be occupied at the time of the fire.

More than an hour after arrival, Mr. Libel said the structure was collapsed enough to extinguish the small, lingering flames.

“There was no electricity or utilities running to the building, so it’s a little suspicious,” Mr. Libel said.

The schoolhouse was a complete loss, Mr. Libel said. No other information about the schoolhouse was immediately available.

House fire on East Sixth under control

Hutchinson News – November 25, 2014

Video & Pictures

The Hutchinson Fire Department was on the scene of a structure fire Tuesday morning in the 100 block of East Sixth, but as of about 8:20 a.m. had the blaze well under control. The house was thought to be unoccupied.

At about 6:40 a.m., dispatch had reported a fire at 103. E. Sixth. A passerby had earlier reported seeing flames.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the 2 1/2-story house’s roof fully involved.

They did a first-story sweep and found no one, believing the house to be vacant.

According to Deputy Chief Doug Hanen, the roof deteriorated to the point that crews were pulled from the building and fought the fire from the outside.

As of about 7:30 a.m., there were six units on scene, including two firetrucks.

Minivan fire

Junction City Daily Union – November 22, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 25, 2014

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Click on photo to view full-size image.

A minivan caught fire on I-70 near the westbound exit at mile marker 307 Thursday. While fire, police and Emergency Management personnel were onsite, there were no ambulances, giving an early indication that no serious injuries were caused. Any injuries, as well as cause of the fire have not been confirmed at the time of this photograph.

Vehicle fire

Junction City Daily Union – November 22, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 25, 2014

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Click on photo to view full-size image.

Junction City fire crews responded to the area of 10th and Jefferson streets Thursday afternoon for a report of a mini-van on fire. The driver of the vehicle was unharmed. The fire also spread to a nearby power pole, and Westar Energy officials also responded to the scene.

Commissioners learn more details about fire agreement

By Tammy Helm
Fort Scott Tribune – November 25, 2014

Once again, the Bourbon County Commissioners find themselves in the middle of a fire district debate. This time, commissioners have been asked to cancel a contract that ensures fire coverage for residents living west of Fort Scott Lake. During their meeting Monday, commissioners learned that one of the fire districts involved doesn’t agree with canceling the contract.

On Nov. 17, Delwin Mumbower Bourbon County Fire District No. 3 chief, and Louella Howard, Hiattville Fire Department chief, attended a commission meeting asking for a contract agreement between District No. 3 and Scott Township Fire District No. 5 to be ended. Mumbower said because there are mutual aid agreements in place, the contract is no longer necessary. Although commissioners did not make a decision, Commission Chairman Allen Warren asked for a letter from Scott Township.

“We had no idea of canceling this contract,” Don Banwart, Scott Township clerk, said Monday. He also represents Scott Township Fire District No. 5.

He said the contract means more than which fire department is responsible for coverage — it’s also about money.

The area in question is the west side of Lake Fort Scott, which divides the fire districts. He said residents on the south side are in the District No. 5. Even though Fort Scott Airport is not in the district, the city of Fort Scott requested those residents be included in District No. 5. Instead of changing the fire district boundary lines to include that portion, the agreement was made for District No. 3 to collect the tax money and pay District No. 5.

“They collect the money at the current rate,” Banwart said. “We’ve never increased the rate of the agreement. We’re getting the rate from seven years ago when it was established. They pocket part of the money and then pay us the $24,000, or what the agreement is.”

He said the amount established in the agreement is a fourth of the district’s budget.

“So that’s a big loss for us,” Banwart said.

Later, Banwart said District No. 5 was the only fire district to cut its tax rate this year and there are no paid fire department employees.

He said eliminating the contract also means those residents in the covered area will see their insurance rates double because of the fire rating, which is determined by the distance of the nearest fire station. Those residents would go from a Class 6 to a Class 9.

Banwart said without the agreement, those residents’ rating would be based on the distance from the Hiattville station, which he said is almost twice as far.

“It’s done on the way to get there and you can see (on a map) the way to get there almost doubles from Hiattville,” Banwart.

Second District Commissioner Barbara Albright said she thought the commissioners had asked Mumbower and Howard if they’d spoken to Scott Township officials, but Banwart said they did not.

“As far as the commissioners actually having a dog in this fight, the agreement is between the two, not between the commissioners and the fire districts,” Third District Commissioner Harold Coleman said.

“But why did we have to give the OK?” Albright asked.

“Out of courtesy to us so we can be informed on what’s going on, but we don’t actually have a dog in this fight,” Coleman said. “We do for the citizens, but as far as this…”

Banwart said District No. 5 is in the process of constructing a fire station in that area on property currently owned by the City of Fort Scott.

“We want to put a fire station here so these people can get really good rates,” Banwart said. “All we’ve got to do is put one engine in that station and if you’re within five miles of that station, you get the best rate you possibly can.”

1 person dead in Kansas mobile home fire

Salina Post – November 25, 2014

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a passerby of a trailer house fire at approximately 7:49 p.m Monday night in the 15000 block of W.4 Road in rural Denison, Kansas.

The Mayetta, Hoyt and Potawatomi Tribal Fire Departments responded to the scene.  Jackson County EMS, the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the residence engulfed in flames.  The fire was brought under control at 8:35 p.m.  One unidentified person was found deceased inside the residence.  The body was transported for an autopsy.

The incident is being investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office

SUV collides with McDonald’s truck

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – November 24, 2014

topeka fire 11242014

A man was hospitalized with a possible broken arm after a crash late Monday morning in which police said the sport utility vehicle he was driving ran a red light and struck a McDonald’s semitrailer at an intersection just south of downtown Topeka.

The injured person was taken to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center by American Medical Response ambulance. His injuries weren’t considered to be life-threatening.

The crash was reported around 10:20 a.m. at 21st and S. Kansas Avenue.

Police Sgt. Andrew Langdon said at the scene that a white Chevrolet Suburban was eastbound in the 100 block of S.W. 21st when it ran a red light. The Suburban then ran into the driver’s side of a McDonald’s semitrailer.

The impact sent the Suburban across both westbound lanes of S.W. 21st and up and over a curb, where it came to rest facing northeast.

The McDonald’s semi-trailer was sent over a concrete median in the center of the 100 block of S.E. 21st. The McDonald’s vehicle then slid over a curb on the north side of S.E. 21st, and it came to rest facing northeast in a vacant lot.

Police said there were no vehicles in the westbound lanes of the 100 block of S.E. 21st when the SUV and semitrailer slid up and over the curb.

The front-end of the Suburban was heavily damaged, while the McDonald’s tractor lost its right-front tire.

Langdon said the Suburban’s driver, who was alone in his vehicle, had been distracted just before the accident.

There were two occupants in the cab of the McDonald’s tractor, and neither required medical treatment at the scene.

One of the two men who had been in the McDonald’s vehicle said the trailer was empty, as the last load of food had just been dropped off at a Topeka restaurant. The McDonald’s vehicle was headed back to Kansas City to pick up another semitrailer.

Traffic was restricted on the streets surrounding the crash as crews worked to move both the Suburban and the McDonald’s semitrailer.

Mom starts fire in house, attacks 31-year-old son

By Roy Wenzl
Wichita Eagle – November 24, 2014

Things got kind of hot Sunday after a man argued with his mother, Wichita police said.

The man, 31, went to bed in the house he shared with his 54-year-old mother and 14-year-old brother, Lt. James Espinoza said.

He went to sleep, but woke up before midnight to find the house filling with smoke and the house carpet and couch on fire, Espinoza said.

Emergency crews responded to his 911 call, coming to the home in the 5200 block of South Seneca, Espinoza said. And while the man was calling that in, he told police later, his mother attacked him, Espinoza said.

The mother was taken into custody on suspicion of two counts of aggravated arson and one count of domestic violence; investigators say she may have used a cigarette lighter to start the fire, Espinoza said.

No one was injured, he said.

Firefighters quickly extinguish vehicle fire

Miami County Republic – November 5, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 24, 2014

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Click on photo to view full-size image.

Members of the Paola Volunteer Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire in the parking lot of the Miami County Administration Building at about 11:15 a.m. Friday. The firefighters quickly extinguished the fire coming from underneath the hood of a Jeep Cherokee, and nearby vehicles were moved to prevent any more damage. No injuries were reported.

Meals on Wheels involved in accident

By Paul Stewart
Kansas Chief – November 20, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 24, 2014

doniphan co fire 11242014

The driver of the county’s Meals on Wheel delivery vehicle escaped without possible serious injury shortly before noon last Wednesday, November 12, when the 2010-model Ford van went off K-120 Highway, south of Highway 36.

Chad A. Furr, 43, of Highland, was driving the van northbound from Bendena when the accident took place.

The Highway Patrol’s Internet Crash Log stated the vehicle drifted off of the east shoulder, with a steep embankment, and went down into a ditch.

Furr was transported to a Hiawatha hospital for observation and treatment, the Patrol added.

Training Day: Rope Rescue

Anderson County Review – November 4, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 24, 2014

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Click on photo to view full-size image.

Fire department responds to weekend calls

By Jessie Wagoner
Emporia Gazette – November 3, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 24, 2014

The Emporia Fire Department was busy over the weekend. They responded to two calls of possible fires. Both calls ended up being minor in nature with no injuries or property damage reported.

At approximately 5:03 a.m. Saturday morning, the Emporia Fire Department was dispatched to 811 West 18th Ave. for a structure fire. The home owned by Adam Eimer had already been evacuated when the fire department arrived and all residents were outside.

Upon inspection, there was no smoke in the home but there was an odor associated with the furnace being turned on for the first time. The furnace in the home was brand new and this was the first time the furnace was turned on this year.

According to Battalion Chief Rich Gould, there was no damage reported and no injuries associated with this incident.

Shortly after 1 p.m. on Saturday, the fire department received a call regarding a possible fire in Morse Hall on Emporia State University campus. There was smoke in the building and all students were evacuated.

Within an hour, the building was cleared and students were allowed to reenter the structure. The smoke was caused by a burning fan belt. There was no fire in the building.

No damages or injuries were associated with the incident.

City recognizes employees for years of serivce

By Julie Clements
Butler County Times Gazette – November 24, 2014

Photo by Julie Clements. Fire Chief Steve Moody congratulates David Wilson and John Wilson on 25 years of service.

Photo by Julie Clements. Fire Chief Steve Moody congratulates David Wilson and John Wilson on 25 years of service.

Photo by Julie Clements. Fire Chief Steve Moody congratulates Rodney Reed on 20 years of service.

Photo by Julie Clements. Fire Chief Steve Moody congratulates Rodney Reed on 20 years of service.

The Monday El Dorado City Commission meeting brought the annual recognition of employees with the service awards. There were five employees recognized this year for their time with the city.

The first to be recognized was Sarah Hagen.

“Sarah has been with the city of El Dorado for 10 years,” said Scott Rickard, assistant city engineer. “She is our code enforcement officer. She works very professionally and diligently keeping the community looking nice and making sure the citizens understand our municipal code, follow it and enforces those codes. We really appreciate Sarah’s service over the last 10 years.”

The next to be recognized was Amanda Stalnaker.

“Amanda has been with the city of El Dorado for 15 years,” Rickard said, “and serves in the capacity of the engineering department. She pretty much runs the front side of that office day to day: keeps track of all of us; project accounting; permits for for any projects that go on. Amanda is another great asset for our community and we are all very fortunate to have her with us.”

The next recognition was for 25 years and went to two employees who are brothers, David Wilson and John Wilson.

“The fire department runs a very lean operation with 17 paid members, 20 volunteer reserves and we use students from Butler Community College,” began Fire Chief Steve Moody. “We are here this evening to honor three special volunteer reserves.”

“I am going to recognize John and David,” he said. “I would like to recognize these two gentlemen. The reason I wanted to recognize them together was because of when they started.”

He said they started in the spring of 1989 and were reserves with the Department of Public Safety. The wife of one of the staff told John he needed to join, and so he told David “I would if he would.”

“The rest is history,” Moody said. “Twenty-five years later here we stand. These two have been to five major downtown fires over the year and what Dave explained as too many calls to remember. Truly leaders of our department and leaders of the city of El Dorado.”

John works for O’Reilly Auto Parts as the manager and David works for the state of Kansas.

“On behalf the city of El Dorado, thank you,” he told them.

The final award went to Rodney Reed, who has 20 years with the fire department reserve firefighter.

“He’s the who’s who of firefighters,” Moody began.

Reed started in 1994 and soon after he earned his Firefighter I ranking, then Firefighter II. He also went to Mississippi to get his hazmat technician, as well as highway specialist.

“He has received the volunteer of the year three times,” Moody said. “He’s a team leader for the organization, a squad driver. He was with Butler County Fire and Rescue for 12 years, he’s a member of volunteer fire department, the list goes on.”

He also works for the Public Works Department and helps out with Flint Hills Fire Rescue.

“Quite an accomplished fire fighter in any walk of the life,” Moody said. “Rodney, on behalf of the city of El Dorado, thank you for your years of service.”

Commissioner Bill Young also thanked the employees for their service later in the meeting.

“Every year, it’s one of the many things I look forward to as a commissioner and that is getting to see these service awards and understand the longevity and the type of employees we have,” Young said. “We’ve got a lot of really tenured employees in El Dorado which means a lot of knowledge and a lot of history, and the opportunity to accomplish some really great things.

“I want to say thank you to all the employees for the hard work they do.”

Semi hits Butler Co. sheriff’s vehicle, overturns

By John Boyd
KWCH – November 24, 2014

butler co fire 11242014

butler co fire 11242014b

Emergency crews are on the scene of a semi rollover in Butler County. Officials there tell Eyewitness News the semi struck a sheriff’s deputy’s vehicle, then overturned just east of Leon.

It happened Monday morning on Highway 400 near Sunflower Road.

The driver of the semi was pinned inside. He has since been taken to the hospital with potentially serious injuries. A passenger of the semi suffered only minor injuries.

There were two people in the deputy vehicle at the time, they are expected to be okay.

Those deputies were stopped along the side of the road helping a driver with their broken-down car when they were hit.

Floor furnace starts fire

Great Bend Tribune – November 19, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 23, 2014

The Great Bend Fire Department sent trucks to 1434 17th St. at 8:05 p.m. Monday for a possible structure fire.

When firefighters arrived they found light smoke showing from the front door of the house, and all occupants were safely outside. There was burnt fabric and a magazine smoldering on top of the floor furnace grate.

Chief Mike Napolitano said the fire started when a mattress box springs was accidentally knocked onto the floor furnace and caught fire. The occupants extinguished the fire with water and then moved the box springs outside. The fire was confined to the area of the floor furnace, with light smoke through the house.

Three fires reported

Marysville Advocate – November 20, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 23, 2014

The Marysville volunteer fire department was called to a fire north of Hall Brothers Inc., Marysville, where a controlled burn flared up at about 6:45 p.m. November 10. No injuries or damage were reported, according to Dennis Rockwell, Assistant Fire Chief.

The same night, the department was called to a home rented by John Mathis at 411 N. 15th St. a little after 10 p.m. to what the home’s owners thought was a house fire.

Rockwell said the firefighters traced down an electrical ballast in a fluorescent light fixture that had burned out but did not find the house on fire. The incident led to smoke in the house. The light fixture was damaged, but there were no injuries.

On November 11, the department was called to May Street, between Third Street and Fourth Street, at about 10:30 p.m. where a pile of leaves was on fire. The pile had possibly been burned earlier in the day. The fire was called in by the Marysville Police Department and was extinguished, Rockwell said.

Pickup snaps power pole

Pratt Tribune – November 20, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 23, 2014

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Click on photo to view full-size image.

Dylan Armstrong, 25 of Pratt, was arrested Tuesday following a one-vehicle accident on Sixth Street where he crashed into a city power pole. Armstrong was arrested for: two counts of possession of depressant; possession of opiate, opium, narcotic or certain stimulant; possession of hallucinogenic drug; use/possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia into human body; driving under influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the Pratt County Sheriff inmate website.

Armstrong was eastbound on Sixth Street in a 2005 Dodge Dakota when he crossed the centerline and crashed into a power pole on the north side of the street just west of Watson Street, said Pratt Police Lt. Jim Sheldon.

The force of the collision broke the pole off at ground level requiring a portion of Sixth Street to be closed for a time while city electric crews replaced the pole.

Wreck injures Parsons woman

Parsons Sun – November 19, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 23, 2014

A Parsons woman survived a collision with a guard rail late Monday night east of Oswego.

Kourtney D. Wilkins, 22, 1609 Linwood, was treated at the accident scene by Labette Health Ambulance Service and then flown to Freeman Hospital in Joplin by MedFlight helicopter. Sheriff Robert Sims said the woman suffered from head trauma.

The accident, which happened at the east edge of Oswego on U.S. 160 at the base of the hill, was reported at 9:50 p.m. Monday to 911 dispatch.

Emergency responders found a 2008 Pontiac four-door on the north shoulder of the highway. It had collided with a guard rail, which impaled the vehicle and entered the engine compartment and came out in the passenger compartment.

Wilkins was westbound on the highway when the vehicle drifted toward the north shoulder and struck the guard rail.

Sims said the guard rail cut into the car and disconnected the dash board, pushing it into the passenger compartment.

“She was extremely, extremely lucky,” Sims said. He said Wilkins’ seat belt may have saved her life.

“I think that played a very crucial role in her survival,” he said.


Two automobile accidents end in fatalities in Jefferson County

Lawrence Journal World – November 23, 2014

Two fatal accidents automobile accidents occurred in Jefferson County on Saturday.

At 4:33 p.m., a two-car accident occurred westbound on K-16 Highway about 1.5 miles east of Oskaloosa, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol crash log.

After passing a pickup, 17-year-old Hunter Levi Terrell, of McLouth, lost control and skidded into the westbound lanes where he was hit by a 1995 Chevrolet Suburban, according to Kansas Highway Patrol. The Suburban stopped in its lane. Terrell’s 2007 Honda Civic came to rest in the north ditch. According to Highway Patrol, both vehicles came to rest upright. Terrell died on the scene.

There were six passengers in the Suburban: Carolanne Todd, 26; Blayne Josling, 10; Erika Josling, 7; Jeremiah Copp, 6; and Harlee Todd and Teagan Josling, both 1. All were taken to Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka. Their conditions have not been released.

The second fatal accident occurred at 7:32 p.m. on 22nd Road.

According to Kansas Highway Patrol, Dennis R Bedford, 56, of Perry, was driving a 1996 Toyota Camry westbound on 22nd Road about 2.5 miles northwest of Perry when he failed to slow down around a curve. The Camry went off the road and into the south ditch. According to Kansas Highway Patrol, the Camry went down an embankment, flipped over and caught fire. Bedford died at the scene.

First responder meeting held

St. Francis Herald – November 20, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 23, 2014

Emergency responders from both the county and the Cheyenne County Hospital gathered at the Emergency Services Building to practice an emergency drill last week. Emergency Management Director Ryan Murray organized the drill.

The hospital, fire department, Kansas Department of Transportation, emergency medical technicians and Cheyenne County Sheriff’s Office all came to fine-tune their skills. By working together, they learned how to better assist people and quickly respond and delegate duties during an emergency.

Mr. Murray conducted the drill, giving specific details as to what emergency had occurred and what the weather was doing. He presented a winter blizzard so the group could practice responding during winter storms. The group wanted to be prepared for the upcoming colder weather.

Separating into two groups, one with the hospital personnel and one with the county workers, the groups delegated leadership roles and responder roles. They discussed how different situations would require different responses.

Car accidents scenarios, one including a school bus; blizzards with over eight inches of snow; and difficult roadways were all part of the drill.

Through the drill, the emergency responders practiced their skills and learned how to best respond to some situations.

Emil Albert “Red” Kennedy, Jr.



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