Archive for June, 2015

Fire Crews Called to Afternoon House Fire

By Terry Tebrugge
Salina Post – June 30, 2015

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Salina Firefighters were at the scene of a small house fire in the 200 block of E. Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon.

The fire, which appeared to be on second floor of a two story home, was reported shortly after 3:30 p.m.

A fire official at the scene tells the Salina Post the fire appears to be minor.

There were no reports of injuries and no immediate word on the cause of the fire.

Firefighters offer advice on how to handle the heat

By Tim Potter
Wichita Eagle – June 30, 2015

Photo by Travis Heying.

Photo by Travis Heying.

If anyone knows how to survive summer’s heat, it’s firefighters.

They battle red-hot blazes while wearing thick gear, and they respond to emergencies where people are overcome by heat.

The key is to start hydrating well before you’re going to be doing some serious sweating, said Wichita Fire Marshal Brad Crisp. Firefighters are told to begin drinking plenty of water and electrolytes the day before they come to work, said Wichita fire Capt. Dan Feil.

Or, as Howard Chang puts it: “You don’t want to start your trip with an empty tank.”

“Our bodies are really fine-tuned machines,” said Chang, medical director of the emergency department for Via Christi hospitals.

Sweating is the body’s mechanism for dissipating heat, and if you are dehydrated, you are not going to be able sweat enough to cool down, Chang said.

Proper hydration comes from water and drinks with electrolytes, Crisp said. Electrolytes include things like sodium or potassium that help the body, especially muscles, to function. Alcoholic drinks and coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages take water out of the body.

Too much alcohol and too much heat is a dangerous combination, especially when someone passes out, Chang said. Fire and rescue workers see the situation with homeless people abusing alcohol. The patients are already overexposed to the heat, and then alcohol compounds the problem by dehydrating them.

Generally, the people who are most vulnerable to becoming ill from heat are the very old, the very young and those who are obese, experts say. Older people’s bodies can’t compensate as well, and infants depend on others. Every year across the nation, small children die when they are left in closed-up, super-heated vehicles.

Older folks and young children can get overheated in 30 minutes to an hour in the sun, said Ashley Lunkenheimer, a Wesley Medical Center emergency department manager. She’s seen people come into the emergency room with body temperatures of 105 degrees, when it shouldn’t be above 99.4.

An obese person’s body is already strained, and the added stress of heat causes them to sweat more and get dehydrated very quickly, Lunkenheimer said. Also, excess fat works as insulator and makes it harder for the body to dissipate heat, Chang said.

Heat also puts people who are at risk of heart attack or stroke at a higher risk, Lunkenheimer said.

When you get exhausted from heat, it can affect your judgment, Lunkenheimer said. You might do something you normally wouldn’t. “And you may not realize you should get out of the heat, because you can’t think clearly.”

So the moment minor symptoms show up, it’s time to stop, she said. She’s heard patients describe how they suddenly felt overcome: “I didn’t feel bad until I did.” “Before I knew it, I passed out.”

Staying out of the heat, of course, also is key. That’s why construction workers and others who have to work outside learn to get things done in the cooler morning hours and to take frequent breaks in the shade. When Crisp did some part-time roofing 20 years ago, he would start at 5 a.m. and finish at noon.

When it’s hot, firefighters avoid training outside to limit their exposure and conserve energy, to save it for the emergency calls, Crisp said.

Part of prevention is thinking before you start working, said Feil, the fire captain. For example, he said, an elderly person who does yard work in the spring with no problem might not realize how fast he or she can get overcome when the temperature and humidity rises.

Wichita has seen the weather turn from relatively cool to very hot recently, said Sedgwick County EMS Maj. Kevin Lanterman. “People’s bodies haven’t acclimated to it,” he said. He recommends that people wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing to reduce the heat.

Some early warning signs, Feil said, include thirst, a headache, light-headedness, and profuse sweating that is not making you cooler.

When fire crews work in hot weather, they have to take a break at which their vital signs, including blood pressure, are checked.

If the readings aren’t acceptable, the firefighter can be taken to a hospital.

Spray painting of Cedar Crest furniture causes evacuation of Docking Building

By Justin Wingerter
Topeka Capital Journal – June 30, 2015

A crew of state employees painting lawn furniture from Cedar Crest triggered a fire alarm Monday that evacuated the Docking State Office Building.

The Topeka Fire Department responded to the alarm at 12:09 p.m. Monday. At 12:18 p.m., the Kansas Highway Patrol issued an alert. Six minutes later, the “all clear” was given by KHP.

Lt. Eric Hatcher with Capitol Police said either fumes or splatter from the paint set off the alarm.

“It was pretty strong over here,” Hatcher said.

Greg Moody, deputy fire chief of the Topeka Fire Department, said maintenance personnel at Docking were surprised when the alarm went off.

“They thought, ‘what’s going on, there’s nobody up there — it’s not burnt popcorn this time,’ ” Moody said.

Moody said paint fumes “typically” won’t set off an alarm but mist from the spray could. There was never a fire in the building Monday, Moody added.

The crew moved furniture from the governor’s mansion Monday and began painting on the ninth floor of the state office building before being told by supervisors Tuesday morning that they were no longer allowed to paint at the site, Kansas Department of Administration spokesman John Milburn said.

“They were told to stop immediately and do it elsewhere,” Milburn said.

When a Topeka Capital-Journal reporter walked around the ninth floor Tuesday afternoon, freshly-painted lawn furniture remained on tarps aside paint cans. At least one person could be seen working on the furniture though it wasn’t clear if he was painting.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said he also toured the ninth floor Tuesday afternoon and saw benches with the Cedar Crest emblem.

Paint fumes are the latest in a strange series of nuisances state employees have had to contend with while working at Docking.

In December, bedbugs were found on the first, third and 10th floors of the building, including a nest in an office chair. In January, fleas were discovered in two areas of the building.

Plans to demolish the office building have been considered for some time. In April, the Department of Administration said the building should be demolished between December 2015 and March 2016.

One injured in two-vehicle rollover crash in North Topeka

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – June 30, 2015

Photos by Phil Anderson.

Photos by Phil Anderson.

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Video – TCJ 256

A two-vehicle rollover crash Tuesday morning in North Topeka sent a man to a local hospital with injuries that police said weren’t considered life-threatening.

The accident was reported about 11 a.m. at N.W. Paramore and Topeka Boulevard.

Police Sgt. Byron Endsley said at the scene the collision occurred when a Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle that was headed east on N.W. Paramore and attempting to cross N.W. Topeka Boulevard collided with a northbound Honda Ridgeline sport utility truck.

Endsley said the man driving the Dodge failed to yield to traffic on N.W. Topeka Boulevard.

Upon impact, the Dodge spun around and ended up on its passenger side. It came to rest facing west on the east side of the intersection.

It took about 20 minutes for firefighters to extricate the driver, who was alone in the Dodge. The driver then was able to stand up under his own power before he was placed on a stretcher and taken to a waiting American Medical Response ambulance.

The driver was wearing a seat belt and complained only of pain associated with the seat belt and shoulder restraint.

The woman driving the Honda and two young children also were properly restrained in their vehicle, authorities said. Police said no one in the Honda was injured.

Olathe Fire Department holds firework safety demonstration

By Alyson Bruner
KSHB – June 30, 2015

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Video – KSHB 658

Firefighters with the Olathe Fire Department put on a safety demonstration Monday to highlight the importance of safety when it comes to explosives.

In 2014, 47 perfect of the reported 158 fireworks-related injuries in Kansas occurred on July 4th, according to the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Some sparklers, a holiday favorite, burn at temperatures of up to 1800º Fahrenheit, which is as hot as volcano lava.

“People tend to view sparklers as the innocent type of fireworks, so when you hand them to a kid they assume their child is not gonna get hurt,” Jennifer Parks with the University of Kansas Hospital said.

The possession, sale and use of fireworks is prohibited in Olathe.

RCPD Bomb Team Investigates Suspicous Mail At Via Christi

By Justin Surrency
WIBW – June 30, 2015

Late Monday afternoon Via Christi Hospital staff in Manhattan received a piece of mail they determined suspicious in nature and called authorities for further investigation.

With the purpose of being overly cautious the Riley County Police Department Hazardous Materials Response Team and Bomb Team with assistance from the Manhattan Fire Department Hazardous Materials Response Team responded to the call.

Upon further investigation, authorities determined the piece of mail posed no risk to the public.

Topeka homeowner walks in on person using stove to mix chemicals

By Ann Marie Bush
Topeka Capital Journal – June 30, 2015

A southwest Topeka homeowner Monday afternoon came home to someone using their stove to mix chemicals, said police Lt. Chris Heaven.

Officers were dispatched at 4:45 p.m. to the 2600 block of S.W. Belle on a report of a break-in.

The owner of a residence in that block walked in on a person using the stove to mix some chemicals, Heaven said.

“As soon as we saw the chemicals, we backed out and called the fire department in,” Heaven said.

No injuries were reported.

“We don’t know what they were trying to create,” Heaven said about the chemicals.

No one had been arrested in connection with the incident as of 8:30 a.m.

Officers and firefighters remained at the scene as of 8:30 a.m. and were ventilating the home.

No other details were available late Monday.

KHP provides more details in double fatal crash

KWCH – June 30, 2015

Two people were killed, including a Wichita man and two others injured in a single-vehicle crash in Cowley County early Sunday morning.

It happened in the 25000 block of 31st Rd., just northwest of Arkansas City. The Kansas Highway Patrol said 42-year-old, Isaac Horn of Wichita, was behind wheel of a town car with three passengers.

Investigators said the car was southbound three miles east of Geuda Springs, when it left the roadway for unknown reasons, entered the west ditch and struck a tree.

Troopers said Horn and a passenger, 47-year-old Yolanda Narvaez of San Antonio, Texas, were dead at the scene, while two other passengers were injured, but taken to separate hospitals.

Crews battle garage fire in Goddard

KWCH – June 30, 2015

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Sedgwick County Fire crews worked for about 20 minutes to get a fully-involved garage fire under control Monday night in the 1100 block of Oak Ridge in Goddard.

Occupants of the home attached to the garage were able to get out safely.

The extent of the damage is unknown, but officials confirm the American Red Cross was sent to help a man and a woman at the residence.

Body of missing fisherman found

Parsons Sun – June 30, 2015

Searchers on Sunday found the body of 22-year-old Levi Waun of Dennis on the Neosho River.
Labette County’s 911 center received a call at 9:17 p.m. Thursday reporting Waun missing. Waun was last seen alone fishing on the Neosho near the KG&E dam, which is west of 22000 and Xavier roads, Sheriff Robert Sims said in a prepared statement last week.
A number of agencies searched Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including a helicopter from the Kansas Highway Patrol.
Conditions on the river and the weather made the search difficult the first day. The water level was high and the river was moving fast, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Sims said the John Redmond Reservoir reduced water flow to the area, allowing water levels to decrease. Redmond dumps water into the Neosho River as a flood control measure.
Besides the sheriff and Wildlife and Parks, Parsons Fire Department has its water rescue team on hand and Labette Health Ambulance Service was assisting as well.
Sims said the fisherman’s body was found at 7:58 a.m. Sunday in water north of 19000 Road, about three miles south of the dam.
The identity of the body was being withheld until an autopsy, but the Sun received an obituary for Levi Waun on Monday, which mentioned that he died at the river.

Overnight fire ‘lights up’ block on Fillmore

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – June 30, 2015

Photo by Phil Anderson.

Photo by Phil Anderson.

An overnight fire destroyed one central Topeka residence and spread to a next-door house, damaging that structure, as well, Topeka Fire Department officials said at the scene.

The fire was reported at 2:41 a.m. Tuesday at a two-story house in the 1200 block of S.W. Fillmore.

Topeka Fire Department Shift Commander Martin Gray said when first-arriving crews neared the scene, the entire block was “lit up” by flames coming from the wooden, two-story house.

“It was fully involved,” Gray said.

The house where the fire originated was vacant at the time, but was in the process of being renovated, Gray said. A new porch recently had been added.

The fire caused substantial damage throughout the house and the back third of the house collapsed and was a pile of smoldering rubble a couple of hours after the blaze was reported.

The fire also spread to the home immediately to the north, a two-story brick house that was occupied at the time of the fire.

The south side of that home — separated by only a few feet from the house where the fire started — was damaged.

Gray said occupants of the second structure were able to make it outside safely by the time firefighters arrived. Fire crews were able to go inside the home and rescue some pets from the house.

No injuries were reported.

Topeka fire trucks were parked both in front of the houses that were on fire and also in the Central Presbyterian Church parking lot immediately south of the house where the blaze originally started.

As of 5 a.m., a Topeka Fire Department aerial truck stationed in the parking lot had its ladder extended beyond the burned-down section of the first house and was checking for hot spots in the brick home.

A Topeka fire investigator had been called to the scene, but there was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze.

Grinnell Fire Department news

Submitted by Steve Hirsch, KSFFA Secretary – June 29, 2015

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Grinnell Fire Department took delivery of this 1996 International with 1000 gallon tank and 1250 gpm pump on June 29th from Jons Midamerica Fire Equipment.

House on Kansas burns for second time

Chanute Tribune – June 29, 2015

Photo by Brian McDowell.

Photo by Brian McDowell.

The house at 604 S. Kansas in Chanute was heavily damaged by fire for the second time this year on Sunday morning.

Nobody was occupying the house at the time, so there were no injuries.

The house is still listed in the name of Chanute resident Kay Galt’s late aunt, and the property was to be sold with the money being distributed to heirs. However, a fire damaged the property on April 17 right when the initial sale of the property was to be completed, according to Galt.

In addition to the two fires at this house, the house next door was also destroyed by fire this year.

Galt is still waiting for a report from her insurance company on the official cause of the previous fire, although she reported being told by local firefighters that both the previous and the most recent blaze seemed “suspicious.”

“I just feel bad for the people who live in that neighborhood,” Galt said, “because there is obviously something scary going on there.”

Fire results in $10,000 damage

Leavenworth Times – June 29, 2015

A small fire at a Leavenworth residence over the weekend resulted in an estimated $10,000 worth of damage, a Fire Department spokesman said.
The fire was reported at 6:54 a.m. Sunday at 419 Osage St. No injuries were reported.
The fire apparently started in a dining room area of the residence.
Fire Capt. Mark DeMaranville said light smoke could be seen coming from the house when Leavenworth firefighters arrived.
They extinguished the fire fairly quickly, he said.
The fire resulted in an estimated $5,000 worth of damage to the structure and $5,000 in damage to its contents.
The American Red Cross provided temporary lodging assistance to the home’s occupants.
DeMaranville said he does not know what caused the fire.

Cigarette butt sparks fire on porch

By Dalton Carver
Winfield Courier – June 29, 2015

A cigarette butt sparked a structure fire in the Lake Park Court area Saturday, according to Dennis Darby, Winfield fire marshal.
The resulting fire engulfed the residence’s back porch and was contained in the area.
The Winfield Fire Department dispatched two trucks and one medical unit, joining dispatched units from Arkansas City and Burden.
Initially it was believed the metal fire pit pulled from the debris caused the fire.
Later information confirmed it was a cigarette butt not properly extinguished that was left on the porch.
No injuries were reported. Damage was estimated at $500.

Minor injuries in vehicle fire

Butler County Times Gazette – June 29, 2015

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The El Dorado Fire Department responded to a passenger vehicle fire Sunday morning. Crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly. The driver sustained minor injuries.

Fire causes street closure

Newton Kansan – June 29, 2015

Photo by Chad Frey.

Photo by Chad Frey.

Mechanics at Newton Tire and Auto noticed extra smoke at Trails End Liquor and Smoke Shop, 100 N. Meridian, today morning and called 911.

Newton Fire EMS arrived shortly after, forcing entry to the rear of the building. They were greeted to a smoke filled room with an active fire in the attic of the building. Firefighters fought the fire immediately, and had the fire controlled at about 8:30 a.m. today.

The response led to the closure of Meridian from about First Street to Fourth Street.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

52-year-old Lawrence man dies after garage fire

By Caitlin Doombos
Lawrence Journal World – June 29, 2015

A 52-year-old Lawrence man died after firefighters found him inside his burning garage early Saturday morning, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Chief Mark Bradford said Monday.

James Beal Clark died at Kansas University Hospital after being taken by air ambulance from his home at 1124 Randall Road, Bradford said. Firefighters had responded to a report of a garage fire at the home just after 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Firefighters made it to the scene “within five minutes” of the report, Bradford said, and found the garage in flames. Inside, firefighters discovered Clark still alive and immediately requested an air ambulance, Bradford said.

He was taken in critical condition to the KU Hospital’s burn center, where he “succumbed to his injuries,” Bradford said.

Bradford said that the case remains under investigation and that he did not know whether foul play was suspected.

The fire was contained to the garage area, never spreading to the attached home, Bradford said. Clark was the only person at the residence when first-responders arrived.

Fire investigators were working to determine the fire’s cause on Monday, Bradford said. Damages are estimated at $50,000, but Bradford said that amount could change pending further investigation.

Parents Urged to Practice Summer Fire Safety

Kansas Department of Health & Environment – June 29, 2015

Summertime means spending more time outdoors for many Kansas families. Summer is also when there is an increase in visits to the emergency room due to fire and burn injury. Barbecue grills, campfires and fireworks can cause serious injuries to children. Safe Kids Kansas, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM), the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), and the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) remind everyone to practice fire safety to ensure your family has a fun, safe summer.

Statistics show that as summer approaches, we see an increase in the number of fire/burn emergency department (ER) visits in Kansas. Kansas Hospital Association data from 2007 to 2010 show fire/burn ER visits peaked in the month of July. This is likely due to the increase in use of fireworks.

It is no surprise that many families enjoy the sparkles and booms of fireworks. But it is important to recognize that fireworks are explosive and can be dangerous. It is especially important to supervise children around fireworks, keeping them at a safe distance and ensuring any firework they may be handling is appropriate for their age and used correctly according to the manufacturer. In 2014, 158 fireworks injuries were reported in Kansas. Of those, 46 percent were injuries to children ages 16 and younger, according to OSFM. In addition, we know that many minor injuries go unreported.

“Even when handled correctly, fireworks can sometimes be defective or simply unpredictable,” said Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas. “Even sparklers, which are typically viewed by parents as relatively harmless fireworks for children, cause serious burn injuries, accounting for one-third of the injuries to children under five in the U.S.”

“While shooting your own fireworks can be a thrill, they can also cause serious injuries and fires if not handled properly,” says Doug Jorgensen, Fire Marshal for the State of Kansas. “The safest approach to enjoying fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals who know how to properly handle fireworks. We want all our Kansas kids to enjoy this summer’s fun and festivities as safely as possible.”

Follow these fireworks safety tips:
•Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.
•Transport fireworks in the trunk of your vehicle. If your vehicle does not have a trunk, ensure fireworks are kept out of direct sunlight.
•Read and follow the directions on the packaging.
•Never modify fireworks or use homemade or illegal fireworks.
•Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Let young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
•If a child is injured by fireworks, call 9-1-1 immediately.
•The best protection is to attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to professionals.

Many families enjoy camping during the summer months and making s‘mores around the campfire is often part of that tradition. Be fire smart when you head for the great outdoors, and be prepared to take extra precautions when you may be far from a water source.

Follow these campfire safety tips:
•Supervise children and keep them away from the fire.
•Teach kids how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.
•Keep plenty of water nearby and have a shovel for throwing sand or dirt on the fire if it gets out of control.
•Never leave a campfire unattended.

When extinguishing the fire, drown it with water. If you do not have water, use dirt. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cooled. However, do not bury coals, as they can smolder and start to burn again.

Grilling food outdoors is a national summer pastime. But before lighting up the grill, know the facts and keep safety in mind. Gas grills were involved in an average of 7,100 home fires every year from 2006 to 2010 in the U.S., while charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in an annual average of 1,200 home fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Grill fires at home are estimated to cause an average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries, and $37 million in property loss each year in the U.S.

Follow these grilling safety tips:
•Gas and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors.
•The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
•Keep children and pets away from the grill area
•Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill to prevent flare ups.
•Never leave your grill unattended.

Safe Kids Kansas, KDHE and KHP urge parents to practice these safety tips to reduce the risk of a fire or a trip to the emergency room and ensure this summer is a safe one.

For more information about fire safety, visit

Thank you, Harold!

Wilson County Citizen – June 8, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 29, 2015

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Mayor Haskell Fogle (left) recently congratulated Harold Sullens, a volunteer firefighter for Fall River since the 1980s. Harold always knew what was immediately needed in the Firehouse for fellow volunteer firefighters. The city which the owned building next to the Fire Station, was sitting vacant with ‘various things’ from ceiling to floor. Harold thought this building could be used to store equipment and supplies for the firefighters with a quick and organized access. The town council agreed.

After many long months of discussion with the council, his own labor, guts and sweat, he contracted Jeorge Hanson, from Quality Home improvements of Fredonia to refurbish a ‘locker’ area, with a solid locked door access. Help from other concerned citizens finished out the minor details.

Nolte announces retirement from Seneca Fire Department

Seneca Courier Tribune – June 10, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 29, 2015

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James Nolte announced his retirement from the Seneca Fire Department at the regular meeting held on April 27, 2015. James had served on the Seneca Fire Department since his election April 24, 1995.

During his years on the department, James served on the dance committee in 1996, 2008 and 2009. He was elected for Truck #2 in 1997. James was the Assistant Secretary in 1999 and 2000. He served as Lieutenant for Truck #2 in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and as Captain for Truck #2 in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2015 James served as Station Manager. James was elected for Truck #4 in 2009 and Truck #5 in 2011. He served on the Stutz Committee in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

All of the offices on the fire department are a one-year term. A fireman may be re-elected every year up to three years before he must step down from the office.

James’ service will be greatly missed by the department and the community. Thank you James for volunteering your time and hard work for the last 20 years.

A fond farewell for firefighters

Oskaloosa Independent – June 25, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 29, 2015

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Retiring volunteer firefighters Jay Alexander and his wife, Ingrid, were honored for their service to Sarcoxie Township over a period of nearly nine years prior to the June 17 meeting of the township board at the 21st Street Fire Station. Alexander has been the fire chief for Jefferson County Fire Department No. 4, Mrs. Alexander the assistant fire chief in charge of administrative affairs. He is pictured third from the left here, while she is second from the right. Also in the photograph are Tracy Dover, left, who has been named Interim fire chief, Sara Neuburger, second from the left, who will be an assistant fire chief going forward, Stephanie Haggett, third from the right, a captain with the fire department, and Christian Haggett, Haggett’s son and a junior firefighter. Cake and cookies were served to mark the special occasion.

Fire at abandoned building in downtown Wichita

KWCH – June 29, 2015

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Video – KWCH 702

Wichita firefighters were called to the scene of an abandoned building fire in the 500 block of South Main at Lewis street shortly after 5:30 Saturday afternoon.

The first crews on the scene reported seeing fire and smoke coming from the third floor of the south side of the building.

WFD Captain Tyler Nolan said the building is abandoned and there was no one inside when the fire started.

About 50 firefighters were called out to battle the blaze.

Nolan said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

No damage estimate was given on the building and its contents.

Kansas teen injured in roll-over accident has died

Junction City Post – June 29, 2015

A 15-year-old injured in a one-vehicle accident east of Hutchinson Wednesday afternoon died on Saturday according to the Reno County Sheriff’s Office.

Aaron Powers passed away at 4:58 p.m. Saturday from his injuries in a rollover accident in the 11200 Block of East 43rd. He was a passenger in the vehicle.

The Reno County Sheriff’s office reported a pickup driven by Dawson L. Lehman, 18, was westbound on 43rd Avenue from Rayl Road.

The driver lost control of the vehicle. It traveled into the ditch and rolled.

First responders found two occupants lying in the road.
Aaron Powers and Dalton Stoecklein, both 15, were flown to a Wichita hospital for treatment.

Both suffered head injuries and had not been wearing seat belts according to the sheriff’s office.

Another passenger Reighn Armstrong, 15, was taken by EMS to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center for treatment.

A fourth passenger Samuel Tarbox, 15, was treated at the scene and released with permission from his parents.

Lehman was not injured.

18-year-old killed in 3-vehicle crash in Chase County

By Zoe Brown
KSNT – June 29, 2015

Photo by Kansas Highway Patrol.

Photo by Kansas Highway Patrol.

The person killed in the three-vehicle accident that happened in Chase County Saturday morning was 18-year-old Kaleb James Montgomery, according to the online crash log.

Montgomery was driving a ’07 Ford heading eastbound on K-150 and had just passed an ’03 Mitsubishi driven by Armando Castillo, 25. Also in the car with Armando Castillo was Jame Castillo, 53.

Montgomery was about to pass one semi when another driven by Charles H. Foreman, 53, was coming in from the westbound lane. Montgomery swerved to the right and over-corrected, heading into the north ditch.

Foreman’s semi struck Montgomery’s Ford on the passenger side before leaving the roadway to the right, overturning, and coming to a rest on its driver side. Montgomery was ejected from the Ford, which came to rest in the south ditch. Debris from the cars struck the Mitsubishi.

Montgomery died in the accident and was taken to a mortuary. His family has been notified. Foreman was injured and was taken to a hospital. The Castillos were not injured.

Montgomery was not wearing his seat belt, Foreman and Jame Castillo were, and it is unknown if Armando Castillo was or not.

The Ford and semi were towed, the Mitsubishi was not.

According to tweets from Ben Gardner, Kansas Highway Patrol’s Public Information Officer, KHP was notified of the crash just after 11 a.m. by Chase County law enforcement. Troopers and the Critical Highway Response Team responded shortly thereafter.

The crash occurred along K-150 at milepost 12.5 eastbound, or about 14 miles west of Strong City. The highway was closed in both directions as of 3:55 p.m. The road was reopened by 6:55 p.m.

Tate J. Riedy


Tate J. Riedy, 18, of Woodbine, died Wednesday, June 24th, 2015, south of Salina as a result of an automobile accident. He was born on October 3, 1996, at Salina, the son of Casey and Renae (Stroda) Riedy.

Christian Funeral Mass will be 10:00AM, Monday, June 29th, 2015, at the St. John’s Catholic Church, Herington, with Reverends Soosai Rathinam and Mark Wesely, officiating. Vigil Service will be at 7:00PM, Sunday, June 28th, 2015, at the St. John’s Catholic Church, Herington. The family will receive friends at the church Sunday evening following the Vigil Service until 9:00pm. There will be a balloon release 7:00pm, Friday, June 26, 2015, at
the Hope Football Field.

Tate worked at Straub International in Salina this last year. He graduated from Hope High School with the class of 2015. He was enrolled at Kansas State University starting this fall to study agricultural engineering. He was his class president for four years, FFA president for 2 years, a member of the National Honor Society serving as president, active member of Student Council, belonged to FCCLA and FBLA. He played football, basketball and track. He was a volunteer firefighter with Liberty-Woodbine Fire Department.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather Gary Riedy and his uncle Cory Riedy.

Survived by his parents Casey and Renae Riedy, a brother Drew, and sisters Hannah and Leah all of Woodbine; paternal grandmother Pamela (Farres) Riedy and Mark Maybee of Woodbine; and maternal grandparents Steve and Barb (Backhus) Stroda of Hope, great grandmother Beatrice Riedy of Herington and great grandmother Joan Stroda of Hillsboro. Also survived by an uncle Cody Riedy (wife-Elizabeth) of Kansas City; and aunts Pam Krause (husband-Chris), Kim Diekmann (husband-Doug) of Woodbine, and Deb O’Bray (husband-John) of Topeka, his girlfriend Katlin Allton and numerous cousins and friends.

The family requests memorials to the St. Phillip’s Catholic Church of Hope, Liberty-Woodbine Fire Department, or to the Agriculture Educational Program to be announced at a later date ; and may be sent in care of the Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home & Crematory, Herington Chapel, 404 S. Broadway, Herington, KS, 67449-3038.

Hutch fire crews respond to two overnight fires

By John Boyd
KWCH – June 26, 2015

Fire crews in Hutchinson responded to two overnight building fires. Crews were called to the 400 block of E. 5th at around 10:15 pm Thursday.

When they arrived at the scene, they found a fuse panel melted in the garage, but the fire was already out.

While they were dealing with that fire call, units were dispatched to a second building fire in the 700 block of E. Sherman.

Crews on that scene found fire burning at a two-story home. The fire was contained to the exterior and attic area of th house.

Reno County EMS was called in to help firefighters deal with the hot and humid conditions.

That fire was under control in about 15 minutes, then crews stayed on scene for about two hours.

Damage from that fire is estimated at around $30,000.

Two apartments were damaged in the fire, two adults and one child were in each of them. No one was hurt.

Fire officials say the fire started in the rear stair landing leading up to the upstairs apartment, but there’s no word on a cause.

Lightning strike may have caused early morning fire in Topeka

By Ann Marie Bush
Topeka Capital Journal – June 26, 2015

A lightning strike could be the cause of an early Friday garage fire, the Topeka Fire Department said.

Firefighters responded to a reported garage fire at 426 N.E. Scotland shortly after 1 a.m.

A neighbor notified the owner of the home that a detached garage was on fire, a news release states.

Crews arrived to find smoke and flames emitting from the garage. Firefighters made entry and performed a search to verify the garage wasn’t occupied.

An investigator responded to determine the origin of the fire, which was the northeast area of the wall and roof. The estimated loss is $5,000 in structural damage and $1,000 in contents.

While the preliminary investigation indicates the cause of the fire to be undetermined, a lighting strike is being considered, the release states.

Three engines, two truck companies, two battalion chiefs, one safety officer and an investigator responded to the fire.

Firefighters battle garage fire late Thursday

By Ann Marie Bush
Topeka Capital Journal – June 26, 2015

A Topeka neighbor notified another homeowner Thursday night that a detached garage was on fire, the Topeka Fire Department said.

Firefighters responded to a reported garage fire shortly before 9:30 p.m. at 3324 S.W. Front Street.

A homeowner tried to extinguish the fire with a garden hose. However, the fire was too intense, a news release said.

Crews arrived to find smoke and flames come from the detached garage. Firefighters performed a search to verify the garage wasn’t occupied. They quickly suppressed the fire.

A fire investigator determined the fire to be accidental. A cooking grill adjacent to the east exterior wall started the fire.

The fire caused $5,000 in structural damage and $1,000 in content loss.

Three engine companies, two truck companies, two battalion chiefs, one safety officer and an investigator responded to the scene.

Local Heroes

By Jesse Brown
Pittsburg Morning Sun – June 25, 2015

Pittsburg firefighter Cody Hobbs (right) shows the children what each compartment holds on the department's fire truck Thursday for the Pittsburg Public Library's Community Heroes event. JESSE BROWN/THE MORNING SUN

Pittsburg firefighter Cody Hobbs (right) shows the children what each compartment holds on the department’s fire truck Thursday for the Pittsburg Public Library’s Community Heroes event. JESSE BROWN/THE MORNING SUN

Captain Bobby Gardullo and Cody Hobbs, firefighters of the Pittsburg Fire Deparment gives a presentation to children about fire safety and showing them the equipment they use at the Pittsburg Public Library's Community Heroes event. JESSE BROWN/THE MORNING SUN

Captain Bobby Gardullo and Cody Hobbs, firefighters of the Pittsburg Fire Deparment gives a presentation to children about fire safety and showing them the equipment they use at the Pittsburg Public Library’s Community Heroes event. JESSE BROWN/THE MORNING SUN

With its Every Hero Has a Story summer program continuing, the Pittsburg Public Library brought quite a large force all decked out in red to excite the children.
“The fire truck is a big attraction,” said Bev Clarkson, library director. “That’s about as good as a superhero for a lot of these kids, so I think they’re all really into it.”
The Pittsburg Public Library took the time to honor community heroes Thursday with two firefighters from the Pittsburg Fire Department, Captain Bobby Gardullo and firefighter Cody Hobbs.
“We’ve been covering all different types of heroes throughout the summer and a lot of the times, the kids come in and focus on superheroes,” Clarkson said. “But you know community heroes that they may see every day, I think they also realize that they’re heroes too.”
She said she thought it was good to recognize their accomplishments and the good they do for the community.
“I think (children) already recognize that they’re important to our community,” Clarkson said.
Gardullo said the presentation they gave to the children is similar to the ones they perform in October during fire safety week.
“This is our chance to come out to the public,” Gardullo said. “… We do a lot of summertime things. They have camps and they have adventure stuff and things, and we’ll come and talk to them. We just (teach) them from preschool up to about sixth grade the importance of fire safety. We always talk to them about 911, how to get out of a building and stuff, stop drop and roll, and important factors that we just don’t want them to forget.”
Both Gardullo and Hobbs brought equipment to show to children, teaching them why they use it to be safe while they’re fighting fires. Hobbs also took the children on a tour of the fire truck — which was just parked right outside — showing them each specification about the truck, including the water hoses and the axes stored inside.
“It’s an honor. All of us kind of feel it’s our job, it’s something we love to do,” Gardullo said. “I always say the heroes are the people that our fighting for our freedom now, the teachers are my hero. Heroes is a broad word and stuff, and the thing that the community feels that that’s what we are is really humbling to have that said about you. But we like to portray ourselves as people that care to help other people.”

8th Annual Kansas Technical Rescue Conference

Click on image to view full-size.

Click on image to view full-size.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 William C. Brubaker Memorial Award

Click on image to view full-size.

Click on image to view full-size.

Woman injured in rollover crash

By Julie Clements
Butler County Times Gazette – June 25, 2015

A 32-year-old woman from Leon was injured in a rollover crash Wednesday night near Leon.
According to Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet, the accident occurred at 9:01 p.m. at SE Teeter and Bluestem Road on SE 80th.
“It appeared that the driver was going west on SE 80th when she lost control and struck a tree between SE Teeter and Bluestem Road,” Herzet said.
Butler County Sheriff, Augusta Department of Public Safety, Leon Fire and EMS responded to the call.
According to the report, a Maroon Ford F-150 was in the north ditch facing SE where it had hit a tree.
The driver, Jessica Bertha, was trapped between the door and steering wheel and was not alert upon arrival.
The Augusta Department of Public Safety used their jaws of life to rescue her from the wreckage, then she was transported by Eagle Med to Wesley Hospital in critical condition.
Herzet said another woman, Casey Marlnee, said Bertha had taken the truck two hours prior without permission. The truck belonged to John and Casey Marlnee.
“She hasn’t lived in the area too long,” Herzet said. “Apparently, not knowing the area and driving a vehicle that didn’t belong to her and not paying attention caused the accident.”

EMS to get new oxygen system

By Julie Clements
Butler County Times Gazette – June 25, 2015

The Butler County EMS Department is continuing to look for ways to cut costs. One of those options was presented to the Butler County Commisison during their meeting Tuesday morning.
“We’ve been researching for close to the last year, looking through expenses, trying to figure out where we’re spending our money,” said Chad Pore, EMS director. “Last year, one of the things that jumped out at me was our oxygen expense. I started looking at that and what I noticed was we had two expenses on that – one was for the actual oxygen and two was for all the bottles.”
They are spending about $15,000 on oxygen and a little over half of that is for the rental of bottles.
“We’ve been trying to figure out ways to cut our expense with long-term oxygen,” Pore said.
They were looking for a way to fill their own botbottles, but most systems were either for a home or larger, for a hospital. They found one company in the United States that offered machines to generate medical grade oxygen that was the size they wanted – OGSI.
“We started exploring with OGSI a little bit deeper, trying to figure out the system and how everything works and costs,” Pore said.
They studied it for about eight months.
In addition to cutting cost, they also wanted to reduce the safety risk of transferring the larger cylinders out of the ambulances now when they have to be refilled.
“We can purchase a system that goes on the wall in the station and plugs into a regular outlet and generates it’s own medical grade oxygen,” Pore continued. “It has four large tanks hooked up to it it keeps filled and we will fill our own bottles there. We can use a cord to fill the big canisters inside the ambulance without having to take them out.”
He said they won’t need as many bottles because they won’t have to rotate them as they are filled. Now they also waste oxygen because when the bottles get to about 500 psi, they pull them out so they don’t run out on a call.
“With this system we would be able to fill our own bottles and we would be able to make sure we are using oxygen up and not wasting it,” Pore said.
The system costs just over $24,000, so it would pay itself off in roughly a year and three-quarters.
“They have agreed to throw in $3,000 worth of D cylinders, which are the smaller ones,” Pore said. “Over the course of time, it will save us significantly.”
They are looking at savings $45,000 or more over five years.
For maintenance, there will be filters that need replaced, but it is something they can do themselves. The machine also has an oxygen analyzer in it and that will be calibrated every year as well.
“The company will come out and change the seal if they need to or locally, they can run the certification process,” Pore continued.
For the larger bottles, the cost will be $500 to $700 and that will be taken out of a different part of their budget.
Pore said it would be right at $25,000 to replace the system and get all the bottles. That will come out of the equipment line item, which will overspend it, but they will be about $25,000 to $30,000 under budget in fuel.
The purchase was approved 5-0.

Fort Leavenworth assistant fire chief to retire

By Mark Rountree
Leavenworth Times – June 25, 2015

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A longtime Fort Leavenworth firefighter soon will be hanging up his helmet.
Bruce E. Davis, 51, will end a 33-year career when he retires as assistant chief June 30.
“It’s time to retire,” Davis said. “It has been most rewarding knowing what I did made a difference in someone’s life and the people that I worked with.”
The Fort Leavenworth Fire Department held a luncheon for Davis Wednesday at the Frontier Conference Center at Fort Leavenworth. His family will host a roast in his honor at 6 p.m. Friday at June’s Northland.
Davis’ work in fire service includes three years with the United States Navy and 30 years at the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department.
Davis graduated from Leavenworth High School in May 1982. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1982-1985 as a shipboard firefighter.
In December 1986, he was hired as a firefighter trainee with the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department.
He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in February 1996 and captain in June 2007, making him the first African-American to hold that position at the Fort Leavenworth Department, according to a press release.
In December 2008, he was promoted to the assistant fire chief of operations.
Davis is the first and highest ranking African-American in the fire service in Leavenworth County, according to a press release.
Davis received his associate’s degree in fire science technology from Barton County Community College in 2009.
In 2012, at age 48, he graduated cum laude from Upper Iowa University with a bachelor’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in fire science.
There is a display dedicated to Davis at the Richard Allen Cultural Center in Leavenworth. His shirt and a photo are on display in the tutoring area.
Davis and his wife, Glenda, have one daughter, Janay, and two sons, Troy and Austin.

Rural Firefighters Battle Grass, Baler Fires

By David Elliott
KRSL – June 25, 2015

Photo by Keith Haberer.

Photo by Keith Haberer.

Russell County Rural Fire Departments battled two separate fires Wednesday.

According to authorities, at 4 PM Wednesday, two 911 calls were received reporting wheat stubble on fire in a field east of US Highway 281 on Michaelis Road.

Rural Fire District Five was paged and responded. Upon arrival, fire personnel requested Russell Grant and EMS also be paged to respond. They did, along with Russell County Emergency Management Director Keith Haberer.

The fire was extinguished.

According to Haberer, the fire was possibly caused by hot farm equipment leaving the field.

Earlier Wednesday, at 6:20 AM, dispatch received a report of a baler on fire approximately one mile east of Paradise and three miles south.

Paradise-Waldo-Natoma Fire was paged and responded along with Russell County EMS and Russell County Sheriff’s Officers.

The fire was extinguished, but the baler was destroyed.

Haberer says a bearing went out and caused the fire.

No injuries occurred at either scene.

Sheriff Vehicle Hit At Crash Scene

KSAL – June 25, 2015

Photos by Kansas Highway Patrol.

Photos by Kansas Highway Patrol.

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A law enforcement SUV working the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 70 early Thursday morning in Dickinson County became part of a second crash when a passing vehicle hit it, and rolled.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the initial crash happened when a car headed west crossed the median, and crashed into a car that was headed east.
Two people from Tennessee that were in the car that veered across the median were transported to Geary Community Hospital.
As emergency responders were on the scene, a second crash occurred. A van struck from behind an unoccupied Dickinson County Sheriff Office SUV that was parked at the scene with its lights activated. The van then rolled.
The driver of the van, 79-year-old Thomas Anderson from McPherson, was transported to Geary Community hospital.
The crashes happened on I 70 in the area of milepost 281, near Enterprise in Dickinson County.

Semi, Road Grader Collide

By David Elliott
KRSL – June 25, 2015

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A semi truck and a road grader collided Wednesday afternoon on Kansas Highway 18 in Russell County. No injuries were reported.

According to the Russell County Sheriff’s Office, at 2:17 PM Wednesday, Ron Mead of Paradise called 911 to report an accident between a semi and a road grader approximately 1.5 miles east of Paradise on K-18 with both vehicles blocking the road.

Sheriff’s Officers, Russell County EMS and the Paradise-Waldo-Natoma Fire Department responded.

The highway was shut down and traffic was rerouted through Paradise. The highway has since been reopened.

The vehicles involved were a 2009 International semi owned by Great Plains Trucking of Salina and driven by Clayton Wright of Abilene, and a road grader owned by Paradise Township and operated by Ron Mead of Paradise.

A&D Towing responded to tow the semi. The grader was off the roadway and was not towed.

The Kansas Department of Transportation was contacted to advise them of damage to the highway pavement. Stockton KDOT responded to repair the highway.

SCFD #2 Supports Kids Fun Day and Assists with Flood Evacuations

By Erik Wood, Captain
Shawnee County Fire District #2

Photo by: Patrick Sonnier; Caption; SCFD #2’s Brush Unit is ready for the kids at the 6th Annual Justin Corbett Kids Fun Day. Click each photo to view full-size image.

Photo by: Patrick Sonnier; Caption; SCFD #2’s Brush Unit is ready for the kids at the 6th Annual Justin Corbett Kids Fun Day. Click each photo to view full-size image.

Photo by: Patrick Sonnier; Caption: One of many youngsters trying on gear and playing firefighter at the 6th Annual Justin Corbett Kids Fun Day.

Photo by: Patrick Sonnier; Caption: One of many youngsters trying on gear and playing firefighter at the 6th Annual Justin Corbett Kids Fun Day.

Photo by: Patrick Sonnier; Caption; FF Brendan Scharf shows one of the kids how to operate the remote fire nozzle at the 6th Annual Justin Corbett Kids Fun Day.

Photo by: Patrick Sonnier; Caption; FF Brendan Scharf shows one of the kids how to operate the remote fire nozzle at the 6th Annual Justin Corbett Kids Fun Day.

On Saturday June 6th, 2015 Shawnee County Fire District #2 was very proud to support the 6th Annual Justin Corbett Foundation Kids Fun Day at Ravenwood Lodge. This annual event brings children in from around Shawnee, Wabaunsee and Osage counties and provides them with a day filled with fun activities including free classes on hunter safety taught by Ravenwood Lodge.
For the 3rd consecutive year, Shawnee County Fire District #2 sent a unit to the event to show the kids, and teach them about fire safety. This year FF’s Patrick Sonnier and Brendan Scharf took a brush unit. “Due to the heavy rain and area flooding in the three days before this event, we were unable to send one of the larger apparatus, but this is one of those events we make every attempt to make so we sent a smaller unit. The kids still loved it.” said Chief Scott Hunt.
On June 5th, Shawnee County Fire District #2 was deployed to Rossville, KS to support the evacuation of a large nursing home due to flooding. LT Billy Hester and FF’s Patrick Sonnier, Danny Adams and Eric Vincent represented SCFD #2 well. That morning and the day before, the department conducted multiple flood assessments of the district and on the night of June 4th and into June 5th several intersections and major roads in the district had over 10 inches of standing water resulting in 2 emergency calls for assistance. “We have not seen that much water since 2007 when the Wakarusa River flooded the town of Wakarusa.” said Chief Scott Hunt. Hunt went on to say “With the dedication and coordination of the department command staff, and our dedicated volunteers we were able to provide much needed information to emergency management in a timely fashion, serve our community, provide resources to another district who needed assistance, and in the end still make a public affairs event. I couldn’t be prouder of our folks.”
Shawnee County Fire District #2 is always looking for volunteers. If you live in the southwest portion of Shawnee County please consider volunteering. Contact Station 51 at 785 256 2526 for more information. SCFD #2 will be having an open house and recruiting event on July 11th from 1000 to 4pm. Families are welcome! There will be free food, fire trucks for the kids to climb on, a helicopter, an ambulance, and a sheriff’s deputy.

Kansas man dies in motorcycle crash

Salina Post – June 24, 2015

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

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2000 Kawasaki motorcycle driven by Larry W. Nice, 65, Herrington, was south bound on U.S. 77 at Madison Road.

The motorcycle drove off the right of roadway and struck an embankment.

Nice was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home.

He was wearing a soft helmet and eye protection according to the KHP.

1 person killed in Saline County crash

KAKE – June 24, 2015

Photo by Peggy Timmons Hawk

Photo by Peggy Timmons Hawk

Photo by Teresa Lyle.

Photo by Teresa Lyle.

One person has died following a crash Wednesday afternoon in north-central Kansas.

It happened shortly after 4 p.m. on Interstate 135 just north of the Saline-McPherson county line.

The Salina Post reports the crash involved one vehicle, which slammed into a guardrail at full speed before coming to rest in the median.

Trooper Ben Gardner said one person has died. The victim’s name and age were not released.

UPDATE: The Kansas Highway Patrol reports that one man was killed in an accident on Interstate 135 in southern Saline County Wednesday afternoon.

According to the report, a truck driven by 18-year-old Tate Joseph Riedy of Woodbine, was traveling northbound on I-135 in the right lane, when he veered across the left lane into the median. He traveled in the median for a short time, went around some guard rails, and struck a concrete bridge pillar near mile post 87.

Riedy was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident occurred at approximately 4:18 p.m.

Douglas County creates two new fire districts

By Conrad Swanson
Lawrence Journal World – June 24, 2015

Two new Douglas County fire districts were created Wednesday by a resolution approved by county commissioners.

Currently Marion Township is served by the Osage County Fire Station, said County Administrator Craig Weinaug. However, many homes in the area would be more quickly served in emergency situations by fire stations from either Clinton or Willow Springs townships.

The two new fire districts, Fire District No. 4 and Fire District No. 5, will split northern and southern portions of Marion Township and contract closer fire stations to service the areas, Weinaug said. A western portion of the area will remained covered by Osage County.

Although the new districts have been created, Douglas County must still work with Clinton and Willow Springs townships to draft contracts defining their responsibilities, Weinaug said. Those contracts will not come into effect until Jan. 1, 2016. Until that time Marion Township will remain covered by Osage County.

James “Jim” Clarence Prentice


Funeral service for James “Jim” Clarence Prentice, 85, Lawrence, KS will be held 11:00 am Monday, June 8, 2015 at Calvary Temple Assembly of God in Lawrence. Burial will follow at 3:30 pm at Highland Cemetery in Iola, KS. He died June 3, 2015 at his home.

He was born on April 24, 1930 in LaHarpe, KS the son of Harley and Naoma Prentice.

Jim was a Captain at the Lawrence Fire Department for 25 years and a glazier for Kennedy Glass. He was in the US Air Force during the Korean War. Jim was a member of the Calvary Temple Assembly of God.

He married Phyllis Cress on December 24, 1953 in Iola, KS. She survives of the home.

Other survivors include two daughters, Sheila Rygmyr and husband, Tom, of Ft. Scott, KS, Lori Anderson and husband, Eric, of Lingle, WY; five grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. He was preceded in death by his son, James Prentice, daughter-in-law, Debbie Prentice, sister, Marjorie Wade and two brothers, Donald Prentice and Gary Dalton.

The family will greet friends at 10:00 am, one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Calvary Temple Assembly of God or American Heart Association and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

Rokeyroad Holsteins’ fire results in $150,000 damage

By Heather Freeman
Sabetha Herald – June 17, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 24, 2015

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During the evening of Wednesday, June 10, Dwight Rokey was preparing for the next feeding at Rokeyroad Holsteins’ farm. He pulled out a brand new bale of hay that was cut only a month ago. He went inside the house for 15 minutes and came back out to find the entire hay shed on fire.

The flames, fire trucks, police and ambulances could clearly be seen from Highway 36.

Rokeyroad Holsteins is located 1/4 mile north of Highway 36 on T Road.

Although the fire was near the animals, the Sabetha and Seneca Fire Departments kept the fire under control and were on scene battling the blaze until 1 a.m.

A representative from the State Fire Marshal’s Office was present during the blaze and was scheduled to further investigate on the scene Monday afternoon, June 15.

What caused the fire is still unclear, said Leigha Rokey, daughter of Dwight and Anita Rokey, owners of Rokeyroad Holsteins.

The fire in combination with continued rain has caused Rokeyroad Holsteins to cancel “Breakfast on the Farm.” The event was being planned for June 20 and included a free breakfast and tours of the farm.

Rokeyroad Holsteins plans to reschedule the event later in the summer.

Rokeyroad Holsteins has a lot of work ahead of them, with the plan to clean up and rebuild, L. Rokey said.

The total loss of the fire is estimated between $100,000 to $150,000. Items lost in the fire include several semi loads of alfalfa and straw, a skid loader, a goose-neck trailer, a grain truck, stock trailer, wagons, fencing supplies, gardening supplies, sawdust and many other items.

“A huge thank you to everyone that helped us get it under control,” L. Rokey said.

Garnett Fire Department awarded grant

By JD Mersman, Director, Anderson County Emergency Management
Anderson County Advocate – June 4, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 24, 2015

The Garnett Fire Department was recently awarded a $1,000 grant from Enbridge Energy Company, Inc. These funds were provided to the department via Enbridge’s Safe Community Program that provides grants to emergency response agencies throughout the region where Enbridge pipelines are located. Garnett Fire Department is using the funds to assist with the purchase of upgraded radio equipment that will allow for interoperable communications with other responders.

“Enbridge has been extremely generous to not only the fire departments in our County but also assisted with equipment purchases for law enforcement as well as the 911 communications center over the past few years. Emergency responders receive training from numerous pipeline facilities annually through pipeline awareness meetings. Not only do responders walk away with knowledge from these meetings but also gives them a chance to build relationships with the pipeline operators. Having solid working relationships with these operators’ leads to funding opportunities such as this.”

Five of 12 fire alarms in May proved false

By Donna Celaya
Montgomery County Chronicle – June 4, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 24, 2015

Cherryvale Fire and Rescue received 12 fire alarms in May, but five of them were false alarms caused in part by routine water hydrant flushing conducted by the City of Cherryvale’s Public Works Department.

Fire Chief Jesse Reed told the city council on Monday night that his crew members also responded to three motor vehicle crashes and one each: weather watch, downed power line, odor investigation and smoke in a residence.

The department also responded to 34 emergency medical service calls involving 32 patients, resulting in 18 transports, 14 patient refusals and six “other,” such as no patient found, patient discovered dead at scene, or call cancelled.

Reed said the largest number of calls came from nine falls, four people with chest pain, three stand-by calls, and two sick persons.

The EMS responded within one minute of dispatch 82 percent of the time, and within three minutes 91 percent of the time.

They arrived at the scene within 5 minutes 79 percent of the time, and within 10 minutes every time. Ten of the 34 calls were from outside the city limits, requiring slightly longer arrival times.

Reed also said two crew members participated in Labette County Fire School classes on May 29 and 30.

Travis Goedken, city administrator, said there were no bid responses for the sale of firetruck #504 by Monday’s deadline. So the council is considering converting it for use for the Public Works Department.

Faces of Ark City

Arkansas City Traveler – June 11, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 24, 2015

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Brandy Rice, Arkansas City Fire Department

Why did you want to become a firefighter?

I enjoy helping people and when I got in on the EMT course, I didn’t think that it would go any further than EMT, and then I went into the paramedic course. I started down here with Ark City and this is the only place I’ve ever practiced being a paramedic. I absolutely love helping people.

How long have you been here?

Ten years.

What all do you do?

On top of the firefighter-paramedic duties, I teach CPR classes; I’m an AMLS, PHTLS, EPC instructor; I do fire inspections; I help with Fire Prevention Week. We do programs at the schools each year. I help with the EMS Week that’s coming up. I did the first-ever St. Baldrick’s event last year. And I coordinated the Pink Hills tour that came through last year.

Pipeline association awards grant to Fire Department No. 12

Oskaloosa Independent – June 18, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 24, 2015

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Representing the Kansas Pipeline Association, Bill Haislip was in Nortonville June 4 tp present a $300 check to Mike Henning, Assistant Fire Chief of Jefferson County Fire Department No. 12, for having been selected to receive a grant from the KPA.

The money will be used to help acquire a gas leak detection monitor, a device firefighter use to find gas leaks, anhydrous leaks, methane gas leaks, propane leaks and other similar leaks within houses and confined spaces.

Ken Frost is the fire chief of the fire department, which serves Norton Township. Like Henning, Josh Noll is an assistant fire chief. All three men are pictured in the photograph accompanying this story.

Aware of firefighters’ ongoing need for emergency response equipment and the worsening shortage of funds to purchase it with, the KPA has established a grant program to support the efforts of emergency responders. The move is in keeping with the KPA’s mission to “promote damage prevention and pipeline safety” throughout the state.

The KPA is an alliance comprised of more than 45 pipeline companies that serve some portion of the state’s gas customers.

Should firefighters be paid more?

By Jason Beets
Junction City Daily Union – June 18, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – June 24, 2015

Last month’s fire at Geary Estates has sparked a debate in Grandview Plaza about how much the city’s volunteer firefighters should be paid–if at all.

Currently, volunteers are paid $10 per fire they respond to, and $7 for every department meeting they attend.

Fire Chief Jerome Thomas said many of his volunteers tended to Geary Estates for hours after the fire was extinguished, until the local fire marshal declared the scene safe.

“A lot ot them stayed out there 24 hours for $10–they’re a little upset,” he said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Lightning struck Geary Estates on May 23, igniting a fire that destroyed one of the complex’s buildings. All residents were evacuated before the fire started, but while no one was injured, the blaze did result in around $1 million in damages.

Thomas recommended firefighters should be paid $8 each hour they monitor a fire that has been extinguished.

But councilman Jack Rider was skeptical of the proposal.

“They wanted the job and it’s a volunteer program, isn’t it?” he asked. “If you pay, then they’re not a volunteer, the way I see it.”

Thomas, though, believed the proposal would be a morale-booster for his firefighters.

“They were looking for reassurance you guys appreciate them, because they do a lot more than you guys think,” he said.

Councilman Robert Rodney wanted to gather more information before making a decision.

“Before I would be comfortable saying yes, I really do want to look into it a little more,” he said. “When you get more information, then we will schedule another meeting.”

The issue was tabled and might be considered by the council at a later date.

Mother Fights Flames To Save Her Three Children From House Fire

By Carrie Larsen
WIBW – June 24, 2015

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Video – WIBW 823

A house fire in Kelso, KS sent a mom into action Sunday night, fighting the flames to save her children.

The Council Grove Fire Department said they arrived to the scene around 10:20 p.m. Fire Chief Chris Blackledge said when they pulled up, the house was completely engulfed.

Prior to the help from firefighters, Lindsay James, the resident in the home, and her three sons had to act quickly.

13 NEWS’ Carrie Larsen spoke with James’ mother-in-law, Brenda Thomas, who confirms James was on the second floor of the home with two of her sons, and was unable to use the stairs to escape.

“She put the children upstairs out the window, and jumped out the window,” said Thomas.

James broke her ankle jumping from the 10-foot drop, before running back into the home to get her 7-year-old son.

“He was unharmed. She must have wrapped him in a blanket, or just the hand of God walking her through there,” said Thomas.

After James and her children were out of the house, her husband Johnny, as well as the Council Grove Fire Department pulled up to the scene and helped immediately.

James’ injuries were severe enough to have her med-flighted to the KU Medical Center. She suffered a broken ankle, 2nd degree burns and smoke inhalation. All three of her children were taken to the local hospital in an ambulance, but only the 7-year-old was treated for smoke inhalation.

Brenda said the children, ages 5, 7 and 9, knew what they had to do when the fire started despite how young they are.

“He told me that his mother was breaking the glass and told him he had to jump and he said, ‘Nana, I jumped’,” said Thomas.

Like any house fire, this was a complete shock to the James family. Thankfully, James was able to get her children out safely, however, Blackledge recommends to always be prepared.

“Have an escape location, have multiple points of exit. If you have a two story house, they sell fire escape ladders from hardware stores that you can buy that clip onto the outside of the house,” said Blackledge.

James is still in the hospital, but according to her Facebook page, she is awake, and very sore.

If you would like to donate to this family, there is an account set up in Lindsay and Johnny James’ name at Alta Vista State Bank in Alta Vista, KS. Saddlerock Cafe in Council Grove also set up a place for donations, and the Council Grove Fire Department is accepting any household items or clothes for the family to use.

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