Archive for December, 2015

Butler County home damaged in fire

KAKE – December 31, 2015

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

A home in Butler County was damaged in a fire Thursday afternoon.

Crews were called around 1:30 p.m. to a house fire in the 700 block of South Highway 77 in Douglass. They arrived to find heavy fire at the back of the home.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

The cause is under investigation, and a damage estimate has yet to be determined. .

Job Opening – Paramedic – Franklin County

Position Title: Paramedic 40 Hour

Department: Emergency Medical Services

Position Summary:
This position meets all the requirements set forth by the Kansas Board of EMS for the position of MICT Paramedic. The Paramedic is expected to meet the urgent health care needs of all patients regardless of age or co-morbidity, consistent with their defined scope of practice. The Paramedic must be able to exercise considerable judgment, problem-solving, and decision making skills. The Paramedic provides out-of-hospital medical care to those with urgent needs, and is a component of the overall healthcare system. The Paramedic delivers care as part of a system intended to decrease the morbidity associated with sudden illness and injury. Work is performed under general supervision of the EMS Chief, Assistant Chief and/or Battalion Chief.

How to Apply: Complete On-Line Application at

Salary Range: $13.34 to $19.00 per hour depending on qualifications

Date Opened: Thursday, December 31, 2015

Date to Close: Sunday, January 17, 2016.

Hours: Rotating Shifts, evenings, weekends, holidays are required. Overtime may be required.

Questions regarding this job announcement shall be directed to the Human Resources Department at 785-229-3444 or via e-mail at

Additional Information:
High School Diploma or GED required. Current & valid Kansas MICT certificate, CPR/BLS provider certification, ACLS certification, Class C operator’s license are required. Two to three years related experience or training required. CPR certification required.

May use equipment (based on competency level) such as but not limited to, defibrillator, electrocardiograph, performs endotracheal intubation to open airways and ventilate patient, inflate pneumatic anti-shock garment to improve patient’s blood circulation.

Provide basic and advanced emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergency patients that access the emergency medical system in a timely, professional and compassionate manner.

Employee is expected to have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to perform at an acceptable level within six months of being awarded the position.

Franklin County conducts background checks and drug screening on all potential candidates.

Anyone with a disability who needs a reasonable accommodation related to a selection process is requested to contact the Human Resources Department at 785-229-3444 at least two days prior to the scheduled test or interview.

Duties listed on the job description are intended only as illustrations of the various types to work performed. Omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position. The attached job description does not constitute an employment agreement and is subject to change as the County’s needs and requirements of the job change.

The State of Kansas and Franklin County are At-Will Employment jurisdictions. The County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants and/or employees with a disability as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act may request accommodation to perform the position’s functions. Requests should be directed to the Human Resources Director.

Franklin County is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.


2 hospitalized after Kansas rear-end crash

Hays Post – December 31, 2015

Photo by Saline County Sheriff's Office

Photo by Saline County Sheriff’s Office

Two people were injured in an accident just after 12-noon on Wednesday in Saline County.

A vehicle driven by Joseph Meier, 17, Assaria, was southbound on Old Highway 81 at Assaria Road, according to Saline County Sheriff’s Captain Roger Soldan.

The vehicle rear-ended a pickup driven by William Venable, 41, Assaria, that had slowed to turn onto Assaria Road.

Meier was taken to Salina Regional Health Center by his parents to be checked for a possible concussion.

Salina EMS transported Venable to Salina Regional Medical Center due to cuts on his head and cheek, according to Soldan.

Firefighters say goodbye to one of their leaders

By Rayma Gegg
Coffeyville Journal – December 19, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – December 31, 2015

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Many people from the community filtered into the Coffeyville Fire Department on Wednesday to wish Fire Captain Wayne Joplin good luck with his future endeavors. Wednesday was Joplin’s last day on the job as a firefighter in Coffeyville. Although Joplin says he will always be a firefighter in his heart, his co-workers say his presence will be missed at the station.

“I’ve known him since high school,” Coffeyville Firefighter Pete Caresio said. “He’s a very good friend. I’m going to miss him. When you live with someone for a third of your life, it’s like they’re family.”

Coffeyville Firefighter Todd Hayes echoes Caresio’s comments, “I’ll miss him. He’s really good to work for. He let you do the job. He didn’t try to micro manage you. If you had an idea, he’d listen to you. When you got on the fire scene, he knew you knew what you were doing, and he’d let you do it.”

Hayes isn’t the only one who admires Joplin’s supervisory style. Firefighter Jason Stubbs also says he will miss working under Joplin’s management.

“He’s pretty laid back and easy going,” Stubbs said. “It’s a low stress shift to be on. There is never any strain with how he commands. Working for him is pretty good. He’s an honest and upfront guy. It’s been good working on his shift. I think it’s his time to go. He’s been looking forward to this day for a long time. I’m happy for him that he’s going to get to enjoy his retirement.”

According to Firefighter Tony Cozzo, working with Joplin and the other men on his shift has been an enjoyable experience, and the firefighters have all become like family because they are together so much of the time.

“I’m glad to see him finish his years, and I hope he enjoys his retirement because he deserves it,” Cozzo said.

Fire department Administrative Assistant Rosemary Sortore said she will also miss having Joplin around after all the years she has worked with him.

“He was always very good to work for,” she said. “We’re going to miss him. I’ve been here 14 years; he’s been here the whole time. I’ve enjoyed it. I’m happy for him. It’s a great deal. He can retire and enjoy life.”

Coffeyville Fire Chief James Grimmitt praised Joplin for the commitment he has made to the safety of area residents throughout the years.

“When you have someone that wants to do public service work, and they put in a third of their life at the fire department, it’s a sacrifice,” he said. “You miss birthdays, Christmas and other holidays. You miss family time. It’s a commitment from the entire family. I wish Wayne nothing but the best in retirement. I want to thank him for his service.”

Paola firefighters complete Blue Card online training

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – December 9, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – December 31, 2015

paola fire 2102016

Leaders at the Paola Fire Department are now even better prepared for tackling emergencies thanks to a recently completed Blue Card training.

All six of the department’s officers recently completed the training, which is an online course focused on defining best standard command practices for emergency operations.

“This training and certification program produces incident commanders that make better decisions that will potentially eliminate the lethal and/or costly mistakes that cause injury, death, and unnecessary fire losses in the local response area,” the Blue Card website states.

Chief Andy Martin, Assistant Chief Bruce Hartig, Capt. Joe Flake, Capt. John Hinman, Lt. Mark Farmer and Lt. Cam Johnson all successfully completed the training.

Flake said the department already used an incident command system on its fire scenes, but the training was a nice refresher. He also was proud to find out that Paola was the only volunteer fire department in the state of Kansas to have all of its officers complete Blue Card training.

The officers have been working on the training throughout the year, putting in a total of about 50 hours of online course work.

They now are set for three days of related hands-on training, which began Monday and will continue Thursday and December 16.

Fire destroys barn/hay

By Ellen Gable
Horton Headlight – December 24, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – December 31, 2015

A barn and more than 100 large hay bales, belonging to Strube Farms, were destroyed by fire on Saturday, December 19, at 627-130th Street, according to Horton Fire Chief Lamar Shoemaker.

The initial call was received at 3:36 p.m. by Horton dispatch. Approximately 15 volunteer firefighters with the Horton and Powhattan Fire Departments responded to the call. Five fire engines were used at the scene.

Firefighters worked with the property owner to remove nearly 30 bales that were outside the structure. The main task was to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings or equipment in the area, the fire chief said.

Shoemaker, who is also an investigator with the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office, said the blaze is being investigated as suspicious.

Mound City recruiting new firefighters

By Jackie Taylor
Linn County News – December 23, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – December 31, 2015

Working to keep homeowner insurance rates low, the city of Mound City was informed by the organization Insurance Service Office (ISO) fire classification that looks at county and municipal fire departments, that they need more volunteers in order to keep their rating. The lower the rating, the lower homeowner’s insurance rates could be.

Mound City Mayor Mat Casner said, “We don’t have enough volunteers right now, ISO said we have 12 months to recruit new volunteers.”

Casner said that as a city they are looking at what they want to do with the department, whether they want to keep it, dissolve it, or other alternative.

“There is no imminent threat,” said Casner.

He said they currently have three volunteers and need four including the chief.

ISO told the city they need to retain six volunteers, meaning they need to recruit three more in order to retain four firefighters.

According to ISO, the city is fine where their hydrants and fire equipment are concerned, but low on volunteers.

“We haven’t done much recruiting lately,” said Casner. “We were given the letter from ISO in October and have until October 7, 2016 to finish recruiting and do our volunteer training.”

Broadway closed due to building fire in downtown Wichita

KWCH – December 31, 2015

Video 602

The Wichita Police Department has closed Broadway from Second Street to Douglas due to a building fire.

Firefighters were called out to the fire around 12:45 a.m. by a passer-by.

When crews arrived on the scene, they found large flames coming from a building.

Eighteen units responded to the fire, that’s equivalent to the response for a three-alarm fire.

Crews say the fire was extremely challenging to put out due to the intense heat and medical bus on scene to treat crews during breaks.

It took three hours to put out the flames.

Investigators are now looking into a cause of the fire.

Officials say Broadway could be closed for most of the morning while that investigation takes place.

Crews battle garage fire in Derby

KAKE – December 30, 2015

derby fire 12302015

Video 723

Crews are working to contain a fire at a home in Derby.

Firefighters were called just before 6:30 p.m. to the report of a garage on fire in the 1300 block of Blue Spruce Road. That’s Madison Avenue and Rock Road.

Crews arrived to find heavy smoke and flames emanating from the garage area. There’s no word yet on how the fire started.

No injuries have been reported.

KAKE News has a crew on the way to the scene. Check back for updates.

Apparatus Delivery

Fire Engineering – December 30, 2015

nw consolidated fire dist 12302015

The Northwest Consolidated Fire District (DeSoto, Kansas) designed this SMEAL pumper as a rescue-engine. Captain Todd Maxton says the department protects more than 70 square miles of a predominately rural area and consists of a suburban city of 6,000 people. The city has adequate water, but the rural area does not, hence the water tank being larger for a strong initial attack, pending support by tankers. The department designed the body for a larger water tank, but used its size to allow deeper storage compartments.

•SPARTAN Metro Star MFD chassis with 190-inch wheelbase and 10-inch raised roof cab with five seats and a medical cabinet with inside/outside access;
•CUMMINS ISL 9 400-hp diesel engine with ALLISON 3000 EVS-P automatic transmission;
•UPF 1,000-gallon water tank 30-gallon foam tanks;
•SMEAL ladder rack;
•WATEROUS CS single-stage, 1,250-gpm pump with FOAM PRO 1600 system, 1¾-inch front bumper line pre-plumbed for foam, three crosslays (two 1¾-inch and one 2½-inch), one rear 2½-inch discharge (for use of either a supply line or a TFT Blitzfire hand monitor), and an AKRON Hi Riser deck gun;
•ROM roll-up compartment doors and eight wheel well sleeves for spare SCBA cylinders;
•AUDIOVOX Voyager backup camera;
•AMKUS tools;
•equipment for water, ice, and rope rescue;
•PHILLIPS Heart Start AED; and
•light and power with a HARRISON eight-kw hydraulic generator, seven WHELEN scene lights (one brow and six on body), two FRC telescoping floodlights, and one HANNAY electric cord reel.

Rescuers need rescuing in accident on icy roads

By Kelsey Unruh
Peabody Gazette Bulletin – December 30, 2015

Two Marion County rescue teams needed a little rescuing themselves Monday morning.

A Peabody fire truck and Marion ambulance both slid off Sunflower Rd. while responding to two separate accidents just north of US-50 near curves in the road.

Marion resident Lloyd Davies and his son, Nicholas, were traveling in a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix when their vehicle slid off the road.

“He hit a slick spot,” responding officer Wilma Mueller said. “His car went off and landed in the creek.”

The Davies were uninjured. However, while undersheriff David Huntley responded to the scene, three ambulances and Peabody fire were dispatched to the same spot for a second accident that involved a family of six, Mueller said.

Mike and Holly Pereillo and family, children ages 2 to 17, also were southbound on Sunflower Rd. when their vehicle slid off near where the Davies’ car sat in the creek. All except Mike were transported to St. Luke first. The 17-year-old was then transported to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

While emergency crew chief Gene Winkler approached the Pereillo’s vehicle in an ambulance from the north, the ambulance’s front right tire went off the roadway, and the ambulance became stuck, Mueller said.

On the south side of the accident, firefighters were slipping while getting out of the vehicle, according to Peabody Fire Chief Mark Penner.

“It was difficult to walk,” Mueller said. “It was that slick.”

The fire truck also was temporarily immobilized when its right rear tire left the roadway, Mueller said.

A tow truck was called, however, both vehicles were pulled out by a private vehicle before it arrived.

Job Opening – Assistant Fire Chief – Eudora Fire Department

The City of Eudora, Kansas is seeking a dynamic individual to assist the Fire Chief with administrative and field duties in the delivery of Fire, Rescue, First Responder Emergency Medical, and Prevention activities within our community. Expected starting salary for this exempt position is $50,000/year plus benefits. A complete job posting, job description and application is available online at
Applications will be accepted until 5:00pm on January 12, 2016.


Slick roads cause car versus semi wreck

By Clinton Dick
Ottawa Herald – December 30, 2015

Photo by Clinton Dick

Photo by Clinton Dick. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Emergency crews work the scene of a wrecked tan Chevrolet Cavalier with Franklin County plates as snow falls Monday near the intersection of K-68 and Oregon Road, east of Ottawa. The female driver of the car, along with a 6-month-old child, was eastbound on K-68 when she lost control of the vehicle and crossed into the path of a single-occupant Wal-Mart tractor-trailer near the Wal-Mart Logistics distribution center, 3300 K-68. The near-head-on collision, which occurred at about 11:39 a.m., resulted in minor injuries to both the driver of the car, and the child, who were both wearing safety restraints, Sgt. Jason Bryan, with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, said. Both were transported as a precaution to Ransom Memorial Hospital in Ottawa. The semi driver did not have injuries, Bryan said. K-68 was shut down in both directions for a brief period while the scene was cleared.

Seward County opts out of 9-member HAZMAT team

By Robert Pierce
Southwest Daily Times – December 30, 2015

Seward County has opted out of a contract which requires its fire department to have at least a nine-member technician team, with six of those immediately available, to respond to calls about hazardous materials.
The county has been in contract with the State Fire Marshal’s office to provide personnel to respond as a regional hazardous material chemical assessment team.
With the contract up for renewal at Monday’s commission meeting, fire chief Andrew Barkley reviewed the clauses the county could not meet, thus meaning the contract could not be met.
“It says in there, ‘shall consist of nine members, with the capabilities of responding immediately with the minimum of six personnel,’” he said. “I don’t even meet the minimum requirements right now. I would ask with your blessing that we forego signing that contract.”
Barkley said Seward County’s response area is 18 counties in the region, and should a large scale incident happen, even if he had the required personnel, he could potentially lose them for an entire day.
“We’re responsible for the cost on that upfront, and we submit for reimbursement,” he said. “If we’re working in our county, our personnel are already on our payroll. We’re supporting our citizens, and I’m a lot more comfortable doing that.”
Barkley emphasized the loss of responders should a HAZMAT call come in.
“At this time, if I had to send people out, I lose my only person in Kismet, and I lose John Steckel and Brady Steckel, depending if he’s on with the city or not,” he said. “Captain (Gregg) Freelove, who’s also on the team, is working at the hospital as a public safety officer. I don’t have the personnel, and I lose my Kismet staff.”
No vote was taken on that idea, and the commission was in consensus to allow Barkley to decline to sign the contract.
The commission did make a unanimous decision to buy the equipment currently owned by the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office and housed at the Kismet fire station.
Barkley, following the commission’s Dec. 7 meeting, followed up with the state, per the request of commissioner C.J. Wettstein, and the equipment and trailer the county has had in service since 2005 was valued at nearly $30,000. Barkley said the state was willing to sell it for $15,000.
Barkley said he had looked at an apparatus for sale in Pennsylvania. He said he was inquiring from the commission about seeking donations from local corporations about paying the cost for that trailer.
That apparatus could be equipped as a special operations unit with a negotiable price of $65,000. It would be equipped with HAZMAT team equipment, rapid intervention rescue team equipment, extrication equipment and rope rescue team equipment, as well as future water rescue team equipment.
This apparatus also has the available space to run an incident command post inside the apparatus out of the weather.
The fire chief said there is currently $130,000 in the county’s rural fire equipment fund for this year that will move into next year’s budget.
Wettstein said buying the trailer and equipment the county already has in service makes the most sense.
“I would prefer just to purchase the trailer from the State of Kansas, and we have the pickup to pull it,” he said. “We spend $15,000, and nothing changes.”
Wettstein made the motion to allow Barkley to contact the state to purchase the existing trailer and equipment for $15,000, with funds to come from rural fire equipment. The commission voted unanimously to approve the motion.

No Injuries in Early Morning House Fire

By Terry Tebrugge
Salina Post – December 30, 2015

Photo by Terry Tebrugge

Photo by Terry Tebrugge

Video 759

There were no reports of injuries in a north Salina house fire early Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the 700 block of N. 5th just before 1:30 a.m. and found a home just south of Woodland Avenue fully engulfed.

A Salina police officer tells The Salina Post at the scene that all occupants were able to escape the home without injury.

As of early Wednesday morning, the cause of the fire had not yet been determined.

Pet dies after Kansas fire blamed on heat lamp

Hays Post – December 29, 2015

A heat lamp is blamed for a fire that scorched the side of a home, blew out a window and destroyed two doghouses in Liberal just after 1:30 on Monday, according to Fire Chief Kelly Kirk.

The residents of the home near 11th and Calvert Avenue were using the heat lamps to keep pets warm.

Two adult dogs survived the fire. A puppy died. No other injuries were reported.

Windom family loses home in fire after Christmas

By Anna Auld
KWCH – December 29, 2015

windom fire 12292015

“I looked out and my house was just gone, it was gone.”

The Andreas family watched from their truck as their house burned down the day after Christmas.

“We had all just been playing around watching movies, we had a big dinner, it was a good night.”

Starla, her husband, two kids and five dogs were all inside sleeping when it started.

“I woke up my husband and we ran into the living room and there was nothing but smoke and flames.”

Everything in their home, including the gifts, and three of the dogs didn’t make it.

“That’s what I keep reminding myself every day, that my material possessions, even those that aren’t replaceable, I still have my memories of those and we are all here.”

One of their other family members offered up their home just down the street from this one so the family can continue to rebuild. She says the one unexpected gift from all of this…. all the support from friends, family and the community.

“It just doesn’t seem thank you is enough, I just wish I could out my arms around everyone who helped us, and still is.”

The fire is still under investigation. If you would like to help the family, Sunflower bank is accepting donations.

Man critically injured in Pratt County crash

KWCH – December 29, 2015

Photo by Pratt County Sheriff's Office

Photo by Pratt County Sheriff’s Office

Two men were injured, one critically in a Tuesday afternoon crash at the intersection of Northeast 60th Street and Northeast 70th Avenue, southwest of Pratt in Pratt County.

In the crash, the Pratt County Sheriff’s Office said a pickup truck and a semi collided. The sheriff’s office said the pickup was traveling east and the semi northbound when the crash occurred.

Donald Fisher, the driver of a Ford F-250 involved in the crash, had to be extracted from the truck. He was flown by helicopter to the hospital in Hutchinson in critical condition, the Pratt County Sheriff’s Office said.

The driver of the semi truck, identified as 65-year-old William Blomander, of Ulysses, was transported to Pratt Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

Woman hospitalized after Kansas house fire

Salina Post – December 29, 2015

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Fire Crews and Reno County EMS responded to a house fire in the 700 block of West 25th in Hutchinson on Tuesday morning.

No flames were seen coming from the single story home, however smoke was coming from the front door and also out some windows.

An elderly woman was transported to a Wichita hospital for treatment of burns, according to Reno County law enforcement officials. Her name has not been released.

Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Chimney fire causes minor damage

Emporia Gazette – December 29, 2015

The Emporia Fire Department was called to 748 Watson St. around 9:40 p.m. Monday for a chimney fire.

Upon arrival a fire was in the chimney of the residence and extinguished by fire crews.

Damage was estimated to be $5,000.

The owner of the residence was Jose Magnama. No injuries reported from this incident.

Hoisington City Council news

Great Bend Tribune – December 29, 2015

The Hosington City Manager informed the council that the city will not be going after federal grants for fire fighting equipment this year, as it focuses on achieving 100 percent Firefighter 1 certification for all volunteer firefighters. He was informed that without the certification last year, the city was not considered for any applied for grants, and that the same would occur until full certification is achieved.

Man injured in house fire near Lincoln and I-135

KWCH – December 29, 2015

Video 1008

A man in his late 50’s suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation in a house fire Monday night in the 1700 block of East Park Street in Wichita. The home’s address is near Lincoln and I-135 in southeast Wichita.

Officials say the fire was contained to one room in the home. Wichita Battalion Chief Scott Brown said a smoke detector in the home did not work.

The man was transported to Via Christa St. Francis hospital for treatment. Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

Fire crews battle blaze in barn behind Tecumseh residence

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – December 29, 2015

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The Shawnee Heights Fire District fought a blaze in a barn behind a residence Monday evening.

Video 1015

The fire was reported to Shawnee County dispatch at 7:03 p.m. at 5036 S.E. 4th Terrace, in Tecumseh.

Battalion chief Scott Price said no one was injured and that the crew had limited entry at first because they had to assess the structure’s integrity.

Flames were observed coming out of the front and side of the barn in addition to heavy smoke.

The cause of the fire and an estimate on damages is still being determined.

Commissioners see renovated fire station

By Tim Horan
Salina Journal – December 29, 2015

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

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

The city won’t have to restrict the size of new firetrucks in the future, thanks to the recent addition construction of two apparatus bays at Salina Fire Station No. 1, City Manager Jason Gage told Salina city commissioners during a tour Monday.

Two firetrucks currently being stored at other locations will be moved to the new bays at 222 W. Elm on Jan. 7, when the $2.1 million project is complete, said interim Fire Chief Calvin Kelsey, who conducted the tour.

Construction of the bays is part of the second phase of renovations at the fire station.

One of the trucks will take up an entire bay, and the other bay will house two trucks.

Gage said the news bays were needed because of the height of new firetrucks.

“We will never have to worry about a truck being too tall,” Gage said.

The renovations also include a new storage room for fire gear.

“It is a specialized room to save on the investment of fire gear,” Kelsey said. “The climate is controlled all the time. We keep the air circulating all the time, we keep the moisture down, keep the light off all the time.”

Moisture and extreme temperatures can degrade the gear, which costs between $2,000 and $2,100 a person, including the short- duration breathing apparatus, Kelsey said.

The renovation project included:

• renovations to the 6,300-square-foot apparatus bay ceiling and lighting;

• floor and roof construction to eliminate unusable space between the old building and new bays;

• replacement of concrete drive;

• construction of 875 square feet of mezzanine with rescue props;

• redesign and installation of a PlymoVent System to service 11,000 square feet of apparatus bays;

• relocation of the air compressor and high-pressure lines;

• construction of a gear storage room;

• construction of a breathing apparatus maintenance room;

• installation of a sliding pole;

• extension of the fire sprinkler system;

• installation of four 14-foot by 16-foot overhead doors;

• full masonry exterior walls matching the existing construction.

Salina Fire Department work rollover accident

Salina Journal – December 29, 2015

Photo by Tom Dorsey

Photo by Tom Dorsey

Salina Police Department and Salina Fire Department personnel work at the scene of a non-injury, rollover crash Monday morning in the 500 block of Kenwood Park Drive. Danielle Anderson was driving south on Kenwood Park Drive when she hit a patch of ice police said.

Family escapes northeast Wichita house fire

KAKE – December 29, 2015

Video 945

A family with as many as nine people was left out in the cold early Tuesday by a house fire.

The troubled developed around 1:30 a.m. at 1331 North Pennsylvania, not far from Interstate 135 and McAdams Park. We’re told three adults and six children escaped safely, and now are receiving Red Cross assistance.

“Crews got inside, encountered a fire in the attic,” Battalion Chief Scott Brown told KAKE News at the scene. “They were able to get a quick knock-down on it and made sure everybody was safe and out of the house.”

Brown declined to give a dollar on the damage. It’s not yet clear how this fire started.

KSFFA Regional Fire School – Trego County

KSFFA Regional Fire School
hosted by Trego County
May 14-15, 2016
Location: Trego Comm. H.S., 1200 Russell Ave, Wakeeney, KS

Saturday Morning – May 14 – 8 a.m.

  1. Basic Skills of Firefighting
  2. Farm Rescue – EMS Hours
  3. Fire Behavior
  4. Reading Smoke
  5. Wild Fire Training
  6. Emergency Vehicle Operations – EMS Hours
  7. FRA Mini Clinic

Saturday Afternoon – May 14 – 1:00 p.m.

  1. Basic Skills Cont.
  2. Farm Rescue Cont.
  3. Fire Cause Determination
  4. Forcible Entry
  5. Wild Fire Cont.
  6. Emergency Vehicle Ops. – EMS Hours

Saturday Night – Presentation: West Texas Explosion & supper. Need to RSVP John Shubert at 785-743-8128 or 785-650-1913 if you plan on attending this.

Sunday Morning – May 15 – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Farm Rescue Cont.
  2. Search & Rescue
  3. Ethanol Fires
  4. Oil Tank Batteries
  5. Grain Elevator Fires

Sunday Afternoon – May 15 – Noon

  1. Fire grounds/KSFFA Burn Trailer

For any questions contact: Justin Couse, KSFFA NW Trustee – Email: – Phone: 785-420-0465 or John Shubert at 785-743-8128 or 785-650-1913.

  • These courses are offered at no charge.
  • These schools are open to all firefighters/EMT’s.
  • The KSFFA furnishes medical insurance for all participants.
  • The KSFFA is not responsible for lost or damaged clothing or equipment.
  • If you desire to have Firefighter One or Two testing, this must be pre-registered through Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute.
  • The KSFFA offers fit testing with its porta-count machine at all regional fire schools.


Police, EMS rescue driver from icy pond

By Bryan Ramsdale
KAKE – December 28, 2015

Photo by Mike Thompson

Photo by Mike Thompson

Video 540

Wichita emergency workers braved the icy conditions today to save a man who drove into a pond. Crews were called to the scene at Lincoln and Zelta after 11:30 a.m.

The driver lost control of his car on the icy roads. The car was completely submerged. The driver climbed on the roof of his car. He told emergency workers he couldn’t swim.

An EMS worker and Wichita Police officer formed a human chain to reach the man stranded on the submerged car. They pulled the driver to safety.

The driver was treated at the scene and then given a ride home.

GoFundMe account set up for Justin Branham

Topeka Capital Journal – December 28, 2015

Justin Branham, 16, left, was the son of Topeka firefighter Ryan Branham and his wife Cindy.

Justin Branham, 16, left, was the son of Topeka firefighter Ryan Branham and his wife Cindy.

A GoFundMe page has been started for the 16-year-old boy who died last Wednesday in an ATV accident just east of Topeka.

Justin Branham, 16, was the son of Topeka firefighter Ryan Branham and his wife, Cindy.

The account,, will assist in offsetting medical bills and funeral expenses.

Donations also can be made directly to the Topeka Firemen’s Credit Union 2447 S.E. 29th.

A news release on Monday from Topeka Fire Marshal Michael Martin said Branham was loved by many in the community and participated in numerous activities.

The release said Branham loved football, horses and spending time with his friends and family. Additionally, he was an active member of the Fellowship Bible Church.

Branham’s organs, per his wishes, were donated to help others, Martin said.

Branham was pronounced dead Wednesday night after he was injured in a crash early Wednesday afternoon in eastern Shawnee County.

Branham was driving a three-wheeled ATV east on S.E. 2nd Street in Tecumseh when the vehicle lost control and went off the north side of the roadway before striking a tree.

Three other people were riding their own ATVs, but they weren’t involved in the crash.

For more information on donating, contact Brandon Adams at (785) 217-8260 or Eddie Phillips at (785) 221-3485.


Liberal Fire Fighters Battle Residential Fire

KSCB – December 28, 2015

Liberal firefighters were paged at 1:31 pm Monday to 604 W. 11th St. for a residential structure fire. Initial reports indicated a possible occupant still inside the residence. Fire units arrived on scene at 1:34 pm to find heavy fire in the rear of the residence and all occupants accounted for. The fire was extinguished and was confined mainly to the exterior of the residence with minor damage inside due to a window that had broken when exposed to fire. Three of the family’s dogs were kept in dog houses in the area of the fire’s origin. Two were found unharmed and a third perished in the fire. The fire was declared under control at 1:45 pm. The Liberal Fire Department responded with a total of 19 personnel. Also responding and assisting at the fire were the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS and Seward County Sheriff’s Deputy. The cause of the fire is believed to be a heat lamp used to warm the pets during the recent freezing weather. All fire units were back in service at 2:33 pm.

Improved service

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – December 28, 2015

In the past when someone called 911 in Leavenworth County to report a heart attack, dispatchers for the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office could offer advice for making the patient comfortable. But dispatchers were limited in the medical advice they could offer until first responders arrived on the scene, said Undersheriff Jim Sherley.

But the Sheriff’s Office recently launched a program that enables the department to provide emergency medical dispatching.

The Sheriff’s Office has implemented a system called Total Response from a company called PowerPhone.

Implementation of the system has included new software as well as training for dispatchers.

Sherley said the service provides a system of protocols that prompt dispatchers to give information to callers that can assist with first aid or other life-saving measures until first responders arrive.

The Sheriff’s Office went live with the Total Response service Dec. 15.

The Sheriff’s Office provides dispatching services for four law enforcement agencies, Leavenworth County EMS and 13 fire departments.

The city of Leavenworth operates a separate 911 dispatching service that handles calls for the Leavenworth Police Department and Leavenworth Fire Department.

The Leavenworth County Commission approved an agreement in July for the county to offer the Total Response service.

The initial cost for the service will be $47,285. There will be an annual $5,000 maintenance fee beginning next year.

Sheriff Andy Dedeke said in a news release that he is pleased his office can provide this service to visitors and residents of the county.

“This is another example of the Sheriff’s Office working in partnership with our community,” Dedeke said in the release.

Kansas apartment fire under investigation

Salina Post – December 28, 2015

Fire officials in Reno County are investigating the cause of a fire just after 9p.m. on Sunday in an apartment in the 500 Block of East First Street in Hutchinson.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the rear of the structure.

Initial crews were also confronted by one of the occupants who could not account for his wife, according to the Hutchinson Fire Department.

Crews entered the structure and were met with heavy fire.

A search of the apartment was done and no occupants were found. They were then notified later that the occupant was found safe at another location.

The fire took one hour to control.

High winds at the time caused the fire to spread through the attic area. The apartment sustained major damage to three rooms and the roof.

Damage is estimated at $30,000, with the cause undetermined.
No injuries were reported with crews on scene for three hours.

El Dorado home heavily damaged in Christmas Eve fire

KWCH – December 27, 2015

Video 840 – Taken by the El Dorado Fire Department

No one was injured, but a home was heavily damaged in a Thursday morning fire in El Dorado.

The El Dorado Fire Department says the fire in a home on East 29th Street may have started from a Christmas tree in the living room.

The department says the cause of the fire is undetermined, but “the seat of the fire was in the vicinity of the Christmas tree.”

Firefighters were able to put out the fire quickly, but the El Dorado Fire Department says the living room was a total loss and “the entire home suffered smoke and heat damage.”

The department says a woman in the home woke up to heavy smoke and made her way to the living room where she found the fire in the corner of the room where the Christmas tree was located.

She was able to safely escape the home, the department says.

Wichita firefighters contain house fire on S. Victoria

KWCH – December 27, 2015

wichita fire 12272015c

Wichita firefighters responded to a house fire Thursday evening in the 2200 block of S. Victoria. The Wichita Fire Department confirms they were able to control the fire and occupants of the home were are safely out of the home with no injuries.

Fire crews reported heavy smoke and fire showing when they arrived on scene a little after 5:30 p.m.

A person inside the house at the time of the fire smelled smoke and called 911, officials say.

Firefighters relief association gets donation

Hays Daily News – December 27, 2015

The Hays Firemen’s Relief Association has received a $450 anonymous donation.

A few weeks ago, someone delivered three $150 checks to the Hays Fire Department for A Shift, B Shift and C Shift — the three shifts of the fire department — to show appreciation for the department, said Tim Detrixhe, Hays firefighter and relief association spokesperson.

“The fire department and the city can’t accept money,” he said. “It’s not what we do. It’s not something within our ethical boundaries to do.”

The money was turned over to City Attorney John Bird, who said they could accept on behalf of the Hays Firemen’s Relief Association, a private fraternal organization.

The organization maintains the fire department museum, antique fire truck and firefighters’ life insurance policies.

“We know it will get put to good use there,” Detrixhe said. “That’s all it was, generosity; someone showing their generosity.”

Christmas can be just another day for workers

By Greg Lower
Chanute Tribune – December 27, 2015

People may think of Christmas as a time to be with friends and family.

Others do not have that choice, when they provide essential and emergency services.

“It’s just another day,” Chanute Fire Department Capt. Vince Eagle said. “There’s definitely people that need us.”

While many businesses and retail stores close for the holiday, other parts of the city must stay active.

“Somebody’s got to be there,” Chanute Police Department Officer Jeremy Roberts said.”Something you know you got to do.”

But how each service handles the holiday varies with the type.

Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center Emergency Room Registered Nurse Courtney Wright was off from Monday until she came in at 1 pm Friday, to work until 1 am Saturday. She said those who work on Christmas Eve usually have off Christmas Day, and vice versa.

Wright said she has worked in health care for six years, and usually works Christmas every other year. Even some of those who work can go home when there are few patients, to be called in if things get busy.

“Usually on Christmas, we have very few patients,” she said. She said people who couldn’t get in to see a doctor don’t come to the ER on the holiday.

“Most of the time on Christmas, it’s people who are here by necessity,” Wright said. The ER only had three patients between 7 am and 2 pm Friday.

For police, the active time is during the build-up to the holiday. That is when thieves target people shopping.

How police handle the holiday itself varies from department to department and even from time to time, Roberts said. Some departments try to let those who work Christmas Eve have off Christmas Day.

“It doesn’t necessarily work out,” Roberts said.

The Chanute Police Department worked full eight-hour shifts over the holiday, as always.

“Whoever is on the schedule comes out,” he said. Roberts came on at 2 pm Friday, to work until 10 pm, and has worked each Christmas since starting in 2013.

Firefighters work a 24-hour shift with 48 hours off, and driver Shawn Reinecke said in five years, this is the first year he has had to work Christmas Day. But since 2016 is a leap year, he expects to work the holiday again next year.

“We still do the normal shifts just like always,” Reinecke said. And since firefighters sometimes change shifts, one firefighter who worked Christmas last year also worked it this year, and expects to work it next year.

Since fire department shifts change at 7 am, firefighters who worked Christmas Eve got to spend the day with their families, and Reinecke’s children opened their presents before he went on duty.

“It’s surprising. I have every year had to wake up my kids for Christmas,” he said.

Wright said she also rearranges her holiday schedule with her family.

“Sometimes, you miss out on family stuff,” she said.

The Chanute Fire Department also had a quiet day early Friday, with just one call. Reinecke said holidays tend to be active.

“They seem to be a more popular time to have fires,” he said, particularly cooking fires and especially those involving turkey fryers.

Eagle pointed out that, because of the shift rotation, they also will work New Year’s Eve as well.

Wichita house fire caused by child playing with candles

KAKE – December 27, 2015

Photo by Renee Flores

Photo by Renee Flores

Wichita fire crews say a child playing with candles started a house fire on Christmas Day.

Firefighters were called around 11:45 a.m. Friday to a fire in the 1200 block of North Jackson Avenue, near 13th and Waco. They arrived to find smoke billowing from the home.

Crews quickly got the fire under control, which was concentrated in one of the bedrooms.

Investigators say the fire caused about $50,000 in damage. No one was hurt.

Group spends Christmas Day delivering treats to law enforcement, fire department

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – December 27, 2015

Members of Coldwell Banker Griffith and Blair American Home’s Impact group spent their Christmas afternoon delivering treats to the people who keep our community safe.

The first stop the volunteers made was at the Topeka Police Department and the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office, which included the dispatchers.

There, Topeka police Sgt. Jerry Monasmith and Sheriff Herman Jones met the group and received pizza from Buzzard’s Pizza and sugar cookies from Cookies by Gayla.

“It’s just important to remember first responders that work (on Christmas),” Monasmith said. “We’re blessed to have people like this in the community. It’s important to know there’s people out there supporting us.”

The group then split up, delivering to all 12 stations of the Topeka Fire Department and American Medical Response.

The Impact group is composed of newer employees of the real estate company. The group, which meets weekly, spent time trying to come up with a service project that was unique. The result was Project: Holiday Responders, the first community outreach initiative they have organized.

Meg Heston, a member of the group, said the project was a way to say thanks to local agencies for their service, especially since they had to work and be away from their families on Christmas.

Though Buzzard’s Pizza, 4745 N.W. Hunters Ridge Circle, was closed on Christmas, owner Michael Couch came into the shop to make the pizzas on Christmas morning, so they would be fresh.

He made 26 pizzas to be donated.

Couch said he had many friends in both the police and fire departments and that this was a way to give back to public servants who are there for the community when needed.

Wichita firefighter finds way to enjoy Christmas at station

By Akeam Ashford
KWCH – December 27, 2015

wichita fire 12272015

While many of enjoy the holidays with your family, many first responders are on duty to protect you.

The firefighters at station 10 are cooking up a delicious Christmas day meal.

On the menu, ham, green beans, macaroni and cheese, and all the cakes and pies to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Firefighter John Hattrup said a lot of the food they’re enjoying comes from people they serve.

“When the local apartment complexes or just the people in our responding areas take time out of their day to come by and say thank you, we really appreciate,” Hattrop said. “It makes being at work a little easier and makes doing the job all worth wild.”

Hattrup has two young boys who were asleep when he left for work this morning, so his wife brought them up to the fire station to spend time with their dad.

“It makes today, being away from home a little easier when they get to come up and say hi,” he said. “Both my boys get along great with the crew. It’s like having five more uncles.”

Hattrup said this is part of life for anybody in public safety, fire, EMS, police or in the military. 365 days a year, somebody is on duty.

“It’s always nice when someone stops by on the holidays and thinks of the people working today,” Hattrup said.

Fire damages Shawnee Hy-Vee store

Shawnee Dispatch – December 27, 2015

Firefighters battled a fire this morning at the Shawnee Hy-Vee grocery store at about 7 a.m.

Shawnee Fire Marshall Corey Sands said that the fire broke out in a storage room behind the kitchen area of the store located at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Pflumm Road.

An employee was lighting some flame heaters for the buffet line and accidentally spilt some of the liquid Sterno fuel onto a box, Sands said. The employee then put the torch lighter he was using, while it was still hot, into the box with the flammable fluid.

The box caught fire and produced a significant amount of smoke, Sands said. Employees tried to douse the flames with fire extinguishers and the smoke activated the sprinkler system in the storage room, which contained the fire until firefighters arrived.

Sands said the sprinkler system saved more than $1 million in damage.

The store has been closed all morning as the fire department and the Department of Agriculture have been inspecting the damage. The Department of Agriculture inspects all of the food exposed to the smoke and requires any store or restaurant damaged by fire to throw out any food that wasn’t packaged and sealed, Sands said. The store is expected to reopen this afternoon.

No injuries were reported to store employees, customers or firefighters.

Cherokee County Prepares for Flooding

By Tim Spears
KOAM – December 27, 2015

The Sheriff’s department is encouraging voluntary evacuation. The American Red Cross is setting up emergency storm shelters at Baxter Springs High school and Riverton High school.

From the Cherokee County Sheriff’s office:

Emergency Personnel with the Baxter Springs and Galena Fire Departments, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Baxter Springs Police Department and the Cherokee County Emergency Response Teams are currently going door to door in areas near Spring River and prone to flooding to inform residents that the American Red Cross is opening shelters at the Baxter Springs High School (100 North Military Avenue) and the Riverton High School (7120 Southeast 70th) due to flooding, which could severely impact homes up to 500 Cherokee County homes.

Based on information from the National Weather Service, who predict heavy rains to increase this evening and overnight, flooding is expected to be comparable to 1993 and roughly 15′ higher than 2007.

Spring River is expected to crest at 37.3′ on Monday morning.

Any residents who live in an area prone to flooding are encouraged to voluntarily evacuate, either taking advantage of the established shelters or by finding somewhere else to stay until the water begins to subside.

Residential, Commercial Fires Keep Liberal Firefighters Busy

KSCB – December 27, 2015

Liberal firefighters have been kept busy with two significant fires over the Christmas holiday weekend.

At 5:37 pm on Thursday 24th, Liberal firefighters were paged to a residential fire with occupants possibly still inside at 204 S. Cain Ave.

The first fire units arrived on scene at 5:42 pm to find heavy smoke from the second floor of the residence. All occupants had safely evacuated prior to fire department arrival. However, a family pet perished in the fire. Firefighters made entry and were met with heavy smoke and high heat conditions at the top of the stairs. They were able to knock down the fire and begin searching for the pet which was finally located in the room of fire origin. The fire was declared under control at 6:03 pm. One female occupant of the residence was evaluated by Seward County EMS at the scene for smoke inhalation and no additional injuries were reported.

The Liberal Fire Department responded with a total of 15 personnel. Also responding and assisting at the fire were the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS and American Red Cross.

The home suffered extensive fire damage to the upstairs area. The rest of the home sustained heat, smoke and water damage. The fire originated in the attic area and an adjoining bedroom. The fire is believed to be accidental in nature and attributed to an electrical short or malfunction.

All fire units were clear of the scene at 7:52 pm and were fully back in service at 8:23 pm.

Again at 2:17 pm on Saturday 26th, Liberal firefighters were paged to an unknown type of fire at Big Bites Mexican Grill at 720 N. Kansas Ave.

The first fire units arrived on scene at 2:19 pm and reported smoke from the roof of the business. The business was closed at the time of the fire. Firefighters made entry and were met with heavy smoke conditions throughout the building. The fire was located in the kitchen area of the restaurant. The fire was declared under control in approximately 30 minutes.

The Liberal Fire Department responded with a total of 13 personnel. Also responding to the fire were the Liberal Police Department and Seward County EMS.

The business suffered extensive fire damage to the kitchen and dining area. The fire is believed to be accidental in nature. The area of origin has been determined however the cause is undetermined and will remain under investigation.

All fire units were clear of the scene at 4:15 pm and were fully back in service at 4:44 pm.

Topeka teen thanks first responders with cookies

KSN – December 27, 2015

Video 735

On Christmas, a Topeka teen continued her annual tradition of thanking those who protect us every day of the year.

Kasey Sturgeon stopped by Topeka fire stations in the afternoon to drop off cookies for the firefighters.

Kasey has been doing this for nine years in a row. She started the tradition as a way to thank those men and women who work on Christmas to protect us.

She made stops at all Topeka fire stations and the Topeka Police and Shawnee County Sheriff’s office, as well as AMR and Shawnee County’s dispatch center.

Small chimney fire reported on Coronado Ave.

Emporia Gazette – December 27, 2015

At 8:45 p.m. Saturday, emergency crews were dispatched to 1632 Coronado Ave. for a possible structure fire. The fire later was deemed to be a small chimney fire, which was extinguished before fire crews arrived on scene.

Residents reported having problems with their fireplace and sparks and smoke were present, according to initial reports.

Crews on scene reported no extension of the fire and/or heat in the attic where the chimney is located.

At about 9:20 p.m., crews left the scene and reported that the fire was out and everything looked good.

Pratt couple escapes injury in house fire Saturday night in Pratt

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – December 27, 2015

Firefighter Clint Phye (hidden) sprays water on a hot spot while Lt. Chad Van Slyke watches for any problems with the ceiling collapsing.

Firefighter Clint Phye (hidden) sprays water on a hot spot while Lt. Chad Van Slyke watches for any problems with the ceiling collapsing.

Firefighters Chris Freeman (left) and Lee Van Slyke attack the fire from the roof on the porch.

Firefighters Chris Freeman (left) and Lee Van Slyke attack the fire from the roof on the porch.

Firefighter and truck driver Kenny Lee carries a ladder and pike pole to the south side of the house. All photos by Gale Rose

Firefighter and truck driver Kenny Lee carries a ladder and pike pole to the south side of the house. All photos by Gale Rose

Firefighter Chris Freeman uses a fire cam to check for hot spots in a bedroom.

Firefighter Chris Freeman uses a fire cam to check for hot spots in a bedroom.

Firefighter Josh Stahl feeds fire hose to Clint Phye as he attacks the fire in the attic. Fire Lt. Chad Van Slyke checks their progress.

Firefighter Josh Stahl feeds fire hose to Clint Phye as he attacks the fire in the attic. Fire Lt. Chad Van Slyke checks their progress.

A Pratt couple escaped injury when their house caught fire Saturday night, causing extensive damage to the entire house.

Lewayne and Rebecca Tresner of 422 South Pine were home watching TV when Lewayne noticed smoke in the air in the living room. He said he really didn’t smell it but he could see it.

Rebecca went through a bedroom and into the bathroom to check on the smoke. When she opened the bathroom door, she found the bathroom in flames. The pair fled the house and called the fire department about 6:50 p.m.

When the fire department arrived, flames were shooting out the windows on the north side of the house and thick smoke was everywhere, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.

Fire damage was worst on the north side of the house where the bedroom was between two bathrooms. The rest of the house suffered extreme smoke and heat damage from the fire. Fire fighters were on scene for about two and a half hours and had to deal with lots of hot spots. The house had blown-in insulation that smoldered a lot.

Lewayne said he thought the furnace in the basement was right under the bathroom and probably caused the fire.

El Dorado home heavily damaged in Christmas Eve fire

KWCH – December 24, 2015

No one was injured, but a home was heavily damaged in a Thursday morning fire in El Dorado.

The El Dorado Fire Department says the fire in a home on East 29th Street may have started from a Christmas tree in the living room.

The department says the cause of the fire is undetermined, but “the seat of the fire was in the vicinity of the Christmas tree.”

Firefighters were able to put out the fire quickly, but the El Dorado Fire Department says the living room was a total loss and “the entire home suffered smoke and heat damage.”

The department says one occupant of the home woke up to heavy smoke and made her way to the living room where she found the fire in the corner of the room where the Christmas tree was located.

She was able to safely escape the home, the department says.

The occupant awakened to heavy smoke. She made her way into the living room area and found a large amount of fire in the corner of the room where a Christmas tree was located.

Firefighters made a quick stop of the fire, but the living room was a total loss. Likewise, the entire home suffered smoke and heat damage.

Downtown Ottawa business fire won’t hinder holidays

By Shawn Turner
Ottawa Herald – December 24, 2015

Photo by Shawn Turner

Photo by Shawn Turner

A building fire in downtown Ottawa wasn’t going to hinder Terri Sutton’s holiday plans, she said.

She planned to re-open her business, Primitive Treasures, 229 S. Main St., Ottawa, on Christmas Eve after a fire on the roof of her apartment above the building caused damage Wednesday night.

The blaze started on the roof of the building and was reported to the Ottawa Fire Department at 8 p.m. Wednesday night, Tim Matthias, Ottawa assistant fire chief, said. Matthias noted the cause of the fire was an electrical issue, and was still under investigation Thursday morning.

Shawn and Kathy Turner, son and mother, of Turner Flowers & Country Store next door, 231 S. Main St., Ottawa, were the first to notice the fire when they parked behind their shop Wednesday night after dinner. Shawn Turner noticed a “putrid smell” and a reflection off of the windows of the nearby Courthouse Square Apartments, corner of Third and Main Streets. As soon as he noticed smoked, he dialed 911, he said, and ran upstairs to bang on the door of Sutton’s apartment to alert her of the fire.

Everyone got out safe and no injuries were reported, according to an Ottawa Fire Department report.

“The fire department was there almost immediately,” Turner said.

Estimated damage to both the building and contents was set at $20,000, the report said.

Sutton and the fire department were continuing clean up to the business, which suffered water damage, Matthias noted Thursday morning. Sutton said she planned to be open for business on Christmas Eve, and that the fire wouldn’t case too many problems for holidays.

“It just put me a day behind schedule,” Sutton said. “Not bad at all.”

3 Killed, 4 Hurt in Western Kansas Crash

KNSS – December 24, 2015

Three people were killed and four others injured in a crash early Wednesday evening in Ford County.

It happened just after 6 p.m. on Highway 54 east of Bloom. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol a vehicle was westbound on U54 when it attempted to pass multiple semis and struck another vehicle head on.

Four people were inside the vehicle attempted to pass the semis. Juan Lopez, 36, and Yvonne Morales, 32, were both taken to Wesley Medical Center by Life Flight.  A 4-year-old in the vehicle had minor injures and was taken to the Western Plains Medical Complex in Dodge City. A 2-year-old in the vehicle was not injured, all according to KHP.

All three occupants in the vehicle that was hit head on including Maggie Hall, 20, Carl Hall, 24, and Hector Gonzalez, 29, died in the crash.

The Ford County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol and Ford County Fire/EMS all responded.


WFD responds to heavy smoke at Koch industries

KSN – December 24, 2015

Wednesday night Wichita fire crews responded to a call at Koch industries located at 4111 E. 37th just after 10 o’clock.

Staff were evacuated as a precaution due to smoke in the building. According to fire officials, crews traced the smoke to a computer room on the third floor of the building.

Officials say the smoke was from an electrical issue, but there was no fire. Crews stayed on scene for about an hour. There was no damage to the building, no injuries and employees were allowed back into the building.

Ambulance and emergency medical rates to increase by 25 percent by 2018

By Mackenzie Clark
Lawrence Journal World – December 23, 2015

Rates for ambulance and emergency medical services will increase gradually over the next three years after a decision by Douglas County commissioners at their Wednesday meeting.

By Jan. 1, 2018, an overall increase of 25 percent from current rates is planned. Beginning Jan. 1 of next year, rates will increase by 15 percent, followed by an increase to 20 percent over current rates on Jan. 1, 2017.

County Administrator Craig Weinaug said the rates are generally revisited annually, occasionally skipping a couple of years. He said about half the cost of the medical portion of the department is financed through reimbursements from insurance and costs paid by patients; the other half comes from property taxes.

“We’ve always tried to adjust the ambulance charges that would enable us to leverage as many Medicaid and Medicare dollars as possible,” Weinaug said. “… The extent to which we can leverage as many federal dollars as possible, and appropriate ambulance charges consistent with what other people charge, it minimizes the amount we have to put on the mill levy.”

In a memo to the county, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Chief Mark Bradford said the department has seen a 23.5 percent increase in EMS calls since 2008.

Weinaug said he may need to draft an official resolution for the commission’s next consent agenda to formally approve the rate increases, but commissioners authorized him to do so on Wednesday.

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