Archive for February, 2016

KU’s Fraser Hall evacuated for fire likely caused by tossed cigarette

By Conrad Swanson
Lawrence Journal World – February 29, 2016

Photo by David Johnston

Photo by David Johnston

One Kansas University building was evacuated briefly Monday afternoon for an outside fire.

At 3:04 p.m. a fire was reported along the building’s walls, said Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief Lyle Schwartz.

“It was just two or three evergreen bushes that burned on the outside of the building, it didn’t extend to the building or anything,” he said. “It looked like a discarded cigarette caused it.”

The building was evacuated as the fire was reported, but firefighters quickly extinguished the flames and everyone was allowed back inside again.

No injuries were reported during the fire and the building was not damaged, Schwartz said.

A burn ban has been in effect for Douglas County with the National Weather Service’s rangeland danger rating at “extreme.”


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Water Tender for sale

1997 International DT466
Diesel, automatic transmission, less than 10,000 miles
Carefully and consistently maintained, new tires in 2007, new batteries in 2015
Excellent condition throughout
1500 gallon fiberglass water tank with 8” dump valve and 125 gpm pump
Included: 200’ booster line on electric hose reel, 2000 gallon folding dump tank
Ready for immediate delivery.
Questions? Contact:
Whitewater River Fire District
Darryl Claassen, Chief
316 799-2121

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Click on each photo to view full-size image.

water tender a

Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Kansas Chapter of FCSN looking for new director

Kansas has a chapter of the FCSN Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

The Kansas Chapter is looking for a new director. Someone who has the time, the passion and the organizational skills.

It could be an active or retired firefighter or a firefighter spouse or family member.

Please contact me if you think you are interested.

Thank You

Tim Millspaugh
Kansas Sales Rep Feld Fire


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Wind-Fueled Fire

KSAL – February 29, 2016

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Weekend target practice led to a large grass fire south of Salina.

The Saline County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 160 acres of grass and fence posts were burned after target practice ignited and burned a swath of grass from the 3000 block of S. Simpson Road, north to near Magnolia on Saturday around 4 pm.

Deputies say Tannerite targets, which explode when struck by a rifle round, were being used at a property owned by Michael Forristal.

Fire crews from District 1, 2 and 7 assisted Fire District #5 in controlling the fire that was not completely extinguished until after 11 pm.

From Salina Journal:

About 160 acres of grass and trees burned in a fire southeast of Salina Saturday that started in the 3000 block of South Simpson Road where two men were doing target practice with Tannerite exploding targets, a sheriff’s office spokesman said.

Capt. Roger Soldan said the individuals who inadvertently started the fire did nothing illegal, and that the wind and dry conditions quickly spread the flames.

Soldan said Rural Fire District No. 5 called in backup from RFD Nos. 7, 1 and 2 to fight the blaze that began at about 4 p.m. Firefighters were on the scene until 11:26 p.m., he said.

Soldan said three firetrucks were somewhat damaged while fighting the fire.

Soldan said the only other property damaged was grass and fence posts, although a few houses in the area were threatened by the fire. He said firefighters used water to protect the houses.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Kansas teen, Mo. man die in 2-vehicle accident

Hays Post – February 29, 2016

Two people died in an accident just before 6 p.m. on Sunday in Crawford County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Derek Curtis Brumbaugh, 17, Pittsburg, was southbound on U.S. 69 six miles north of Arma.

The vehicle crossed the center line and struck a northbound 2002 Chevy Silverado driven by David Glen Kessler, 56, Kearney, Missouri.

Brumbaugh and Kessler were pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Frontier Forensics.

A passenger in the Pontiac Aspen Rose Lloyd, 16, was transported to Via Christi.

Kessler was not wearing a seat belt, according to the KHP.


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Truck slams into Kansas City, Kan., home

By Nick Sloan
KSHB – February 29, 2016

Photo by Shannin Combs

Photo by Shannin Combs

A truck crashed into a home Sunday evening in Kansas City, Kan.

The wreck happened just after 6 p.m. on the 4500 block of Shawnee Drive in the Turner neighborhood of KCK.

Minor injuries were reported. Kansas City, Kan., fire crews were at the scene.

No foul-play or arrests were made.


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Man critically hurt in semi vs. motorcycle crash

KWCH – February 29, 2016

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A 60-year-old man was taken to a Wichita hospital with critical injuries Sunday night after his motorcycle was hit by a semi truck.

The crash, was reported a little before 9 p.m.

The Kansas Highway Patrol was on scene investigating. Wichita police also responded to the scene.

The driver of the semi was not hurt.


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Eudora to again ask county for expanded ambulance service to city

By Elvyn Jones
Lawrence Journal World – February 29, 2016

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Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter lets the numbers make the argument for the city of Eudora’s upcoming request that Douglas County expand ambulance service in the community.

In 2011, his department responded to 325 emergency medical service calls, which automatically generated a response from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, Keiter said. The calls have since increased at a rate of 30 to 40 a year, and the community had 450 medical calls in 2015.

“It’s a consistent and steady increase,” he said. “It’s a trend we’re seeing nationwide. I attribute it to baby boomers getting older. As that generation gets older, we’re running more calls.”

The other figure Keiter cites is 12 minutes. That’s the average time it takes a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical ambulance crew to arrive at the scene of a Eudora incident after being dispatched.

“If you have a life-threatening issue, 12 minutes is a long time,” Keiter said. A local ambulance station could shave more than eight minutes off that average, he said.

The Eudora Fire Department attempts to have a trained paramedic on duty at its fire station at all times, Keiter said. They can perform CPR, use some breathing equipment and shock patients with a defibrillator. Unlike ambulance crews, they can’t administer medications, start an IV or initiate more advanced airway breathing procedures.

“We can do things to try to extend lives until more advanced care arrives,” he said. “That’s the reason we want an ambulance.”

After two unsuccessful requests in the past three years, the city of Eudora will again approach the Douglas County Commission about expanding ambulance service in that city.

Eudora City Manager Gary Ortiz said city staff was already in discussion with county officials about the expansion. On the table will be the same proposal first presented to the County Commission by then Eudora interim city manager Mike Press, who rose through the ranks of Johnson County’s ambulance service to become county manager of Johnson County.

The request will have one different element this year. Ortiz said the city has reached out to Eudora and Palmyra townships, which share the city’s concerns, for support of its requests.

Eudora’s last request, made during the County Commission’s July 2015 budget deliberations, won the support of Commissioner Nancy Thellman. She says she is still supportive of improving ambulance service in the county’s fastest-growing city. There is precedent, she said. The ambulance station in Baldwin City opened several years ago to improve response times to that city and the southern section of the county.

Thellman noted, however, that the County Commission faced a tight 2017 budget because of the expected consideration of funding for the expansion of the county jail, creation of a mental-health court and construction of a mental-health crisis center.

Ortiz and Keiter said they understand Eudora’s request represented a considerable financial commitment from the county. The city’s request will provide options to help with the upfront expense of opening a station and the expansion’s early operational costs.

To spare the expense of building a new ambulance station, the city is offering Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical an ambulance bay, bunks and access to the kitchen and other living quarters at the city’s public safety building, which opened in 2013, Keiter said. Should that solution not be acceptable, the city also is making available its old fire and police headquarters, he said. That option would require extensive remodeling of the building, but it would be cheaper than building a new ambulance station, he said.

As in past years, the city is offering options of service. The preferred option remains an ambulance station with two EMTs on duty around the clock. With the purchase of an ambulance and equipment and hiring of six EMTs, it would require a year-one investment of $828,000. The city is also offering a less-expensive alternative called a paramedic advanced response unit as a way to transition to full service, Keiter said.

The PAR unit option would make an EMT available for all shifts, Keiter said. The unit would be equipped with a rapid-response vehicle and be able to start more advanced procedures until the arrival of a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical ambulance, which would transport patients to hospitals. The first-year cost would be $594,600 and it would have continuing operational costs of $355,000, or half those of a fully staffed ambulance, he said.

“In an ideal world, a full ambulance service would be our choice,” Keiter said. “A PAR unit is a baby step toward a full-ambulance service. Everybody I’ve talked to thinks we need something. It’s just a question of when we can make it happen.”


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Grass fire in SE Topeka burns about 20 acres of grass Sunday

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – February 28, 2016

A grass fire in the 2300 block of SE Belleview Avenue burned about 20 acres of grass Sunday.

The Topeka Fire Department responded to reports of the fire at 4 p.m. and found approximately five acres of grass on fire, said Bradley Hanika, of the Topeka Fire Department, in a news release. The blaze spread quickly to another 15 acres before crews were able to extinguish it, however it did not spread to any structures in the area.

Winds were gusting at about 31 mph at 4 p.m., according to Brian Barjenbruch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka.

The fire department’s investigation unit found that the fire’s cause was accidental and associated with improper disposal of cooking materials.

There wasn’t any property or content loss due to the fire.


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Structure fire in Emporia

Emporia Gazette – February 28, 2016

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At approximately 9:30 p.m. Sunday a structure fire was reported in the 500 block of State Street. The Emporia Fire Department and Emporia Police Department responded.

According to scanner traffic when the fire department arrived flames were visible from a first floor window. Heavy smoke was coming from the two story home.

The Olpe Fire Department was called to provide mutual aid at 9:45 p.m. Scanner traffic indicates that one individual is receiving treatment for smoke inhalation.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Grass fire causes damage to multiple structures

WIBW – February 28, 2016

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Several structures are damaged after a grass fire in Silver Lake gained momentum with Sunday’s high winds.

Silver Lake, Rossville and Soldier fire crews responded to the grass fire around 2 p.m. Sunday in the 9400 block of NW 42nd St.

A resident building a house in the area said he was moving cedar trees that burned a few days ago. While transporting the limbs by a tractor, some of the embers blew into the grass and started a fire.

Officials say five to ten acres burned because of the fire, causing damage to several structures in its path.

Fire crews stayed on scene for a few hours to monitor the grass and trees.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Emporia Fire Department dedicates a new “Champion” fire engine

By AJ Dome
KVOE – February 28, 2016

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More Photos

Video 953

The Emporia Fire Department followed with tradition as they dedicated a new piece of equipment Friday.

A brand-new 2016 Pierce Enforcer pumper truck was officially dedicated. Given the name “Champion,” Fire Chief Jack Taylor says this new truck will help firefighters and the community immensely.

The “Champion” name dates back to Emporia’s earliest days of firefighting, possibly having been the name of either a draft horse or the pumper itself purchased in 1883.

The truck named “Chief Lang” will now become Engine One. Taylor says that truck is over 20 years old, and will be placed in reserve status, housed in Station 1. 2001 was the last time the department has received a new piece of equipment. In that time, “Chief Lang” has responded to over 5,000 incidents, at an average of 312 runs per year.

The new truck was manufactured in Appleton, Wisc., at a cost of around $500,000. City bonds were issued to pay for the new truck, and Taylor says they could track the progress of the truck’s build online through the company. The truck features a 1,250-gallon pump and stores 1,000 gallons of water. The truck also sports a new paint scheme, and the Fire Department’s mission statement.

The dedication ceremony featured a transfer of water from “Chief Lang” to “Champion,” and the time-honored tradition of pushing the new fire engine into its bay.

Firefighters had a little help — a light touch on the gas pedal in reverse — pushing the new engine into the bay at Station 2.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Pickup fire and airbag deployment keep firefighters busy Saturday afternoon

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – February 28, 2016

Firefighter Richard Rawson sprays down burned material in the pickup bed while firefighter Clint Phye stands by with a pike pole to stir the debris. Photos by Gale Rose

Firefighter Richard Rawson sprays down burned material in the pickup bed while firefighter Clint Phye stands by with a pike pole to stir the debris. Photos by Gale Rose

Firefighter Clint Phye checks under the pickup for hot spots while firefighter Richard Rawson stands by the with the hose in case something is on fire.

Firefighter Clint Phye checks under the pickup for hot spots while firefighter Richard Rawson stands by the with the hose in case something is on fire.

Pickup owner Adam Boone looks on as Capt. Todd Hoffman shows firefighter Bill Cain an item that might be the source of the fire and needs to be broken free after it melted to the bed.

Pickup owner Adam Boone looks on as Capt. Todd Hoffman shows firefighter Bill Cain an item that might be the source of the fire and needs to be broken free after it melted to the bed.

Pratt Police Investigator Chris Chisham talks with James Burton (right in ball cap) after an airbag went off by itself in a 2004 Ford Expedition just as Burton was about to start the vehicle. The air bag went off just as firefighters were finishing with the pickup bed fire.

Pratt Police Investigator Chris Chisham talks with James Burton (right in ball cap) after an airbag went off by itself in a 2004 Ford Expedition just as Burton was about to start the vehicle. The air bag went off just as firefighters were finishing with the pickup bed fire.

A fire started by a malfunction of an electronic device or possibly smoking materials burned the contents of a pickup bed in the 200 block of North New Saturday afternoon.

Pratt firefighters were called to 206 North New around 2 p.m. after a passerby saw the bed on fire and called 911.

Firefighters quickly had the fire out but it scorched the bed of the pickup that contained trash and other items. The flames melted a portion of the rubber seal around the back glass on the 1978 Ford pickup, caught a mud flap on fire, deflated a tire and caused scorching on items behind the pickup seat, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.

There was an electronic device in the bed of the pickup that could have been the source of the fire but it was burned badly so it was difficult to tell what, if any, it played in the fire. Firefighter Clint Phye suggested it might be a battery pack for jump-starting dead batteries but because of the extreme fire damage to the device, it was difficult to tell what it was.

Kramer said it could have been the device that appeared to have a battery of some kind and other electronic parts or it could have possibly been discarded smoking materials that started the fire. Several empty packs of cigarettes were observed in and behind the seat.

The pickup belongs to Adam Boone who said the pickup had been on fire once before. He said he thought that would be the end of the pickup. The pickup was parked with no one in it at the time of the fire. No one was injured in the incident.

Firefighters were finishing up at the scene when they all heard an explosion that sounded like gunfire just across Blaine Street to the south in the 100 block of North New. Several firefighters immediately ran to the scene when they saw smoke coming from the cab of a parked 2004 Ford Expedition.

James Burton, 33 of Pratt, was in the Expedition and getting ready to start it when the air bag went off by itself. The heat from the bag caused redness on Burtons face and arms but other than that, he was uninjured. It is unknown what caused the airbag to activate. The vehicle had collided with a deer about a week before the air bag went off.

Smoke from the airbag deployment quickly dissipated so Firefighters were not needed and no ambulance was necessary. Firefighters were on scene about an hour and were cleared around 2:30 p.m.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Off-duty paramedic rushes to aid victims of Hesston shooting

By Rachel Skytta
KWCH – February 28, 2016

Video 845

An off-duty EMS worker was one of the first responders at Excel Industries in Hesston Thursday afternoon.

We first spoke with Robert Moreno, a Sedgwick County Paramedic, Thursday night.

When he heard those gunshots, he knew he had to try to help.

“I heard like five or six shots that were outside then someone screaming ‘There’s a shooter’,” said Moreno.

Moreno lives several hundred feet from Excel Industries, but he never a scene like what he saw Thursday afternoon to show up right outside his front door.

“It was chaos. I mean there were people screaming and yelling. There was people laying on the ground.”

Moreno says this is what he’s trained for, and he knew what he had to do right away.

“Got out of my car, ran across and noted three people laying – two people in the ditch and a person laying on the edge of the road.”

When he saw gunshot wounds to the torso, back and arm, he started trying to figure out which patients were in the most critical condition.

“I really wasn’t thinking. I’m trained with high stress situation and my training kicked in and the first thing was to go assess.”

That assessment is what helped emergency responders get the patients into ambulances the moment they arrived.

Moreno says he was just doing his job.


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Andover firefighters receive recognitions

By Julie Clements
Butler County Times Gazette – February 28, 2016

Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell (right) presents Captain Gary Elliott with the fire department's Chief's Award. Photos by Julie Clements

Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell (right) presents Captain Gary Elliott with the fire department’s Chief’s Award. Photos by Julie Clements

Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell (right) presents Lt. Chad Cheslic with the Firefighter of the Year Award.

Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell (right) presents Lt. Chad Cheslic with the Firefighter of the Year Award.

Two fire fighters with the Andover Fire Department received recognition during the Andover City Council meeting Tuesday evening.

Fire Chief Chad Russell presented the awards.

“The amount of time and effort our employees give to our community is unimaginable a lot of times,” Russell said. “It’s really important to us to take a little time to acknowledge what they do for our community. It’s my honor to do that tonight.”

At Andover Fire, one of their daily reminders of the guiding principals is the big four: do your job, treat people right, have an all-in attitude and give an all-out attitude.

“As chief of Andover Fire-Rescue I have annually awarded one of your firefighters who have gone above and beyond to make our community better,” Russell continued. “I select this firefighter for having best espoused the principals of the big four. This year’s winner was described by his peers as being someone who goes above and beyond every day. They said, and I agree, that he is dependable and reliable. He frequently comes to the fire station for recall pages no matter what time of day or night, and no matter what he is doing. His peers said it would be difficult to find someone more deserving of recognition. It is for these reason and many more that it is my distinct honor and pleasure to introduce the 2015 Big Four Chief’s Award winner, Capt. Gary Elliott.”

After presenting Elliott with the award, Russell went on to announce the next award.

Chief Walt Eisenhower served Andover Fire-Rescue from spring of 1991 through the time of his passing on March 4, 1998. He joined the department following the Andover tornado and has served in various capacities, including fire chief in 1993. He also served several other departments in his career.

“‘Hook,’ as he was affectionately known, was known for his mechanical aptitude and natural ability to see value in ordinary things,” Russell said. “He regularly repaired or created a useable tool from scrap material lying around the fire station. He was incredibly resourceful and always had the best interest of the fire department and community in mind.”

Russell said he always had pride in the job, dedication to the community and perseverance in the face of adversity.

“Andover Fire-Rescue has presented an annual award in his honor and now in his memory since 1995,” Russell continued. “This award is presented by Andover Fire-Rescue, Butler County Fire District No. 1, to the firefighter who has demonstrated dedication, sense of pride and perseverance to this fire district, as well as outstanding sense of compassion to the citizens that this fire district serves. The winner this year was selected from four nominees and was described by his peers as someone who truly upholds all of our core values.”

He said he values traditions and stays up on the latest technology, as well as always being willing to help and having a great attitude.

Russell then introduced the 2015 Andover Fire Rescue Firefighter of the Year Lt. Chad Cheslic, who was presented with his award.


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Assistant fire chief balances time with family, school board and local duties

By Clinton Dick
Ottawa Herald – February 28, 2016

Photo by Clinton Dick

Photo by Clinton Dick

The best days are the ones when you get thank you’s, Tim Matthias said. But in the fire fighting business, sometimes it is hard to forget the bad days.

“You always hope you remember the good ones,” he said from his office at Ottawa’s Fire Department, 720 W. Second St. “It just seems like you don’t. Back in December 1991, we had a family of four at Ninth and Lincoln (in Ottawa) who passed away. I just happened to be off duty at home. I lived in town at the time, and I was just right there with the fire trucks when they pulled in. I ended up finding all four of them.

“I wasn’t married and didn’t have kids at the time. It bothered me, but I could tell it bothered guys who had kids worse. I couldn’t imagine what it would do to me now.”

Ottawa’s assistant fire chief now has two kids — Eli, 14, and Emily, who turns 11 this April — with his wife of 16 years, Janet. Both children are in the West Franklin school district where Matthias serves as the school board president. He noted his family is active in sports, 4-H, hunting and fishing.

He also stays busy as the treasurer and local cemetery board member of Greenwood Township, where he and his family live south of Pomona.

But he also has what he considers his second family — the close-knit group of those who serve as firefighters, a profession he has been involved with locally since he started at the Ottawa Fire Department in 1990.

“(My favorite part is) the family atmosphere,” Matthias, 46, said. “When you do spend 24 hours at a time, it’s almost like a family and you have to give a little and learn to get along with people. Even being in the position that I’m at now, you don’t get that group adhesiveness. I miss that, being part of the group. The friendships and the family atmosphere we have here, and it is not just here at the fire department, it is everywhere.”

Matthias left Ottawa for Lawrence in 1997, he said, and returned in 2003. He has been the assistant fire chief for two years, and a member of the governor-appointed Kansas Fire Service Training Commission for about a year. He serves on the 12-member board as a representative of the Kansas Fire Marshall’s Association.

Whether it is the fire department or his district’s schools, Matthias said it is important to see the big picture, which isn’t always easy.

“When you’re a parent and a school board member, you have to remember what hat you wear when you are sitting at the school board table,” he said. “Sometimes that is hard. You want to fight for your children, but you have to really look at it as the district as a whole. Same way (at the fire department). You want to fight for your department in budgets or whatever, but you have to step back at times and look at the big picture as the City of Ottawa and not just the fire department, and that is hard to do.”

This marks his fifth year on the West Franklin school board, the past two of which he served as board president.

One thing he hopes to see in the future for West Franklin schools is expansion of career and skill opportunities. Students deserve that chance, even if it means sending them to other schools in the area, he said.

“The thing I want to see in my tenure is expanding our careers, whether that is us doing it on our own or there’s been talk about when Ottawa gets their career program up and going with their bond and everything that there could be a possibility of sending kids here for added opportunities,” Matthias said. “Personally, it doesn’t really bother me sending kids to wherever, whether that’s in Ottawa or Osage or wherever. We ought to give them that opportunity to get that added skill.”

As for the fire department, upgrades in technology have been a big addition at the station. The department now has iPads that can be used in the station and out at a fire scene for investigations, he said.

Training hours every year are also a big part of the process for firefighters. The Ottawa Fire Department logged 4,700 hours of training as a whole this past year, he said referring to 2015.

“I think we do a really good job in training for our department,” Matthias said. “That is probably one of the highest number of hours we’ve had. It’s not always about the number of hours, but it does give you a gauge to how much activity is going on.”

As for the future, Matthias said he has applied for the position of fire chief for the department, now open due to the retirement of Jeff Carner, who previously had the position for 17 years.

“If I get it, great, if I don’t, great,” Matthias said. “I love what I do. I think with Chief Carner retiring, definitely there is going to be change. Hopefully all of it is positive. Whoever the chief will be, you’ve got to take a look at the department and see what needs to be changed. If I would happen to get it, I would like to start traditions and have more family stuff. (I want this to) be a place the family wants to come to. I want our firefighters to want to come to work, not have to come to work.

“I think the best days are when people say ‘thank you’ and ‘we appreciate what you do.’ Those big calls you won’t remember forever, but it is the little thank you’s and every once in a while somebody will drop by a card.”

Five things to know

Name: Tim Matthias

Age: 46

Hometown: Horton

Time in Franklin County: 22 years

Job: Ottawa assistant fire chief

Fun Fact: His older brother, Darin, and twin brother, Todd, both work for fire departments in Whiting, Kansas, and Horton, Kansas, respectively. “We kind of go home and geek out about fire stuff,” Matthias said with a laugh.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Father drives the message home

By Julie Love
KNPN – February 28, 2016

Photos by Julie Love. Click each photo to view full-size image.

Photos by Julie Love. Click each photo to view full-size image.


Jerry Bauman is a quiet-spoken Kansas farmer. In fact, he still lives on the farm where he was born.

But life for this hard-working family man has been anything but simple. Bauman has seen tragedy firsthand and the pain has left its mark.

As if losing a toddler son to cancer wouldn’t be more than enough to bear, Bauman also lost a daughter in what he calls a senseless killing.

“With Jody, it was a waste. Her life was ended just when it was getting started,” Bauman said. “I just about didn’t make it.”

Almost 20 years ago on March 22, 1996, Jody Sue Bauman was heading to her Kansas home after a day of classes at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. That night, she was hit and killed by a drunken driver.

That same year, five Doniphan County Kansas high schools were having a mock trial for a drunken driver who was accused of killing an innocent driver. The attorney asked the family if they could use Jody’s car as mock evidence for the students to help prove the killing. And that is what Bauman believes it is.

“It’s not an accident, it’s not a disease,” Bauman said. “It’s an outright deliberate (act) by bending that elbow to take that drink, or take that drug or text on that phone.”

There was some push back concerning using the car as an example, but for Bauman it was his way of trying to help out and help himself. At first, the car just sat as a silent reminder.

“It hurt so bad, it took me a while to be able to control my feelings,” Bauman admitted. But when he finally decided to speak, he used a video of Jody’s life and her car to make people think twice about impaired driving.

He took the car across the area, sometimes driving 100 miles one way. He worked through the Kansas branch of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), asking for donations in victim’s names or under Jody’s name. For a decade, he took the car around to schools and parades. Others even took it when he couldn’t.

The vehicle still sits on the trailer in a crumbled mess, but now the St. Joseph Youth Alliance uses it to continue Bauman’s message. The make of the vehicle is barely recognizable. The drive shaft sits where his daughter died. Bauman remembers the police reporting the vehicle was hit at about 80 miles per hour, head on. The driver was said to be three times over the legal limit and on pain pills.

A Kickapoo nation member was found guilty in the crash, and Bauman said he waited for the day he was asked to speak at their high school. And when it finally arrived, he was taken back when some came up to him afterward to shake his hand and thank him for coming.

And there have been others from other presentations throughout the years saying that since hearing about his daughter’s story, they had thought twice about drinking and driving.

“I hope everybody looks at this and realizes we never know when we’re going to be that one in that car,” Bauman said. “So the only thing you can do is try and do your best, with yourself and your family and be sure and give them a hug and tell them you love ’em.”


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

House fire on NE Seward causes $36K in damages

By Joe Brown
KSNT – February 28, 2016

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Video 805

At 10:45 on Friday night, the Topeka Fire Department went to 1819 NE Seward Ave. on a call about a home being on fire.

The man who called about the fire was driving by the home and saw smoke coming from it, so he pulled over and started banging on the door. There was no response, so he called 911. When he went to the back door and kicked it in, copious amounts of smoke poured out and the 911 dispatcher instructed him not to go inside.

When crews from the nearby fire station arrived, they saw the smoke coming from the single-family home and confirmed that no one was inside. The woman who lives in the house was found quickly by fire crews. Prior to the fire, she was out walking her dog when it got loose. She had gone back home, got in her car and went after the dog, which is why she wasn’t at home when the fire began.

The fire did not spread to other structures and was put out.

Damages were estimated to be $36,000 total, with $24,000 of that being structural losses and $12,000 being content losses.

The cause of the fire was not determined in the preliminary investigation conducted by a TFD Investigations Unit.

The Topeka Police Department, Westar Energy, Kansas Gas Service, American Medical Response and the Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted at the scene.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Family loses everything after fire destroys Lenexa home

By Emily Rittman
KCTV 5 – February 28, 2016

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Video 746

A Lenexa family is looking at starting over after a fire ripped through their home, destroying the irreplaceable.

The Whisenant family believes the fire started near the back porch and quickly spread to the house.

Just after midnight Sunday, mother Misty Whisenant got a call at work that her house was on fire.

“He was crying and said that I needed to get home because the house was burning down,” Whisenant recalled.

The call was from her son, frantic to reach her.

“I’m glad they smelled it before it lit the whole house up after they opened the door,” Whisenant said.

Whisenant’s two teenage sons and her brother were home watching a movie when they smelled the smoke. They opened the back door and saw flames. They got out safely. So did their two dogs, Paige and Bo. Sunday afternoon, the family looked for anything salvageable.

“Everything we’ve had for the last ten years is gone. Televisions. Clothes,” Whisenant shared. “I found some baby clothes for my granddaughter and some pictures we got out that were saved.”

Whisenant says she is extremely thankful her ten-month-old granddaughter who lives in the home was not there when the fire started.

“I’m just thankful for God. My kids, my brother and dogs got out of the house before it got too bad,” Whisenant commented.

The fire caused so much damage the family says it’s dangerous to search through the debris.

The Red Cross is helping them as firefighters investigate the cause of the fire.

The Whisenant’s did not have renter’s insurance.


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Fire destroys uninhabited mobile home in Salina

By Erin Mathews
Salina Journal – February 28, 2016

An uninhabited mobile home at 1200 W. Crawford was destroyed by fire Saturday night in Patio Mobile Home Manor.

Salina Fire Department Battalion Chief Calvin Kelsey said firefighters got the fire, called in at about 8 p.m., under control quickly, but the mobile home was burned down to its metal frame.

A cause for the blaze was not immediately determined. Kelsey said the mobile home did have electrical service.

About one block of Crawford Street, east of the Broadway intersection, was blocked off while firefighters fought the fire because a fire hose was connected to a hydrant on the south side of Crawford Street.

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Early-morning apartment fire displaces residents in northern Lawrence

By Elvyn Jones
Lawrence Journal World – February 28, 2016

Photo by Elvyn Jones

Photo by Elvyn Jones

A two-alarm fire early Sunday morning displaced the residents of a north-central Lawrence four-plex.

Eve Tolefree, division chief with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, said firefighters responded to a fire at 1105 George Court that was reported at 2:18 a.m. Sunday. A second alarm was issued when firefighters found flames and heavy smoke coming from the two-story wood frame four-plex, she said.

The four-plex is one of multiple similar structures in the Northwinds Apartments Complex of North Michigan Street. All four units in the building were occupied, Tolefree said. All residents evacuated the building safely, and there were no injuries to fire department personnel, Tolefree said.

The firefighters’ early offensive efforts to put out the fire were switched to a defensive posture because of the concern of high wind gusts when the fire broke through the roof of the building, Tolefree said. Firefighters succeeded in controlling the fire from the outside and reported it under control at 3:26 a.m., she said.

An investigation continues to determine the fire’s origin and the extent of damages, Tolefree said. The American Red Cross is assisting residents of the four-plex.


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$47K fire damage blamed on carless disposal of cigarette

Hays Post – February 28, 2016

Fire officials in Reno County were able to contain a fire that threatened structure before 9 p.m. Saturday night.
Fire Crews responded to the 1400 block of West 3rd Ave for a reported brush fire, according to a media release.

When they arrived, they found a large tree row on fire with several school buses, trailers and a structure all in the immediate area. The fire was controlled within 15 minutes with and extensive overhaul in the tree row of the approximate 25 foot pines.

An investigation was conducted with the likely cause being careless disposal of a cigarette in the immediate area. With the high winds and extreme fire danger index, the fire spread very rapidly. Seven school buses, a storage trailer and some interior insulation damage to a building. The estimate of damage being around $47,000.

No injuries were reported.


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Fire burns hay bales and grass on the east side of Iuka

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – February 28, 2016

Photos by Gale Rose

Photos by Gale Rose

pratt co fire 2282016b

pratt co fire 2282016c

A fire of unknown origin burned grass and a handful of hay bales on the Troy and Misty Bourgeois property Sunday afternoon on the east side of Iuka.

Misty was inside the house and smelled smoke then went outside to investigate and discovered the big lawn was on fire. When she discovered the fire, the hay bales were not on fire and the city burn pit that is nearby was also not on fire.

The fire appeared to have started in a grove of trees on the north side of the Bourgeois property but there were no obvious signs of what started the fire.

The hay bales were broken open and scattered to speed up the burning process. They were left to burn and firefighters checked on the bales later in the afternoon.

Fire fighters were originally on scene about an hour and a half and left about 3:35 p.m. Misty, Troy and daughter Brooklynn were at home when the fire started. No one was injured but some smoke did drift over the Bourgeois house.


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KCK wreck sends vehicle into ravine, leaves one critically injured

By Megan Brilley
FOX 4 News – February 28, 2016

Video 123

Dozens witnessed a harrowing crash that sent a vehicle down a ravine and into a batting cage near Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Police said a truck traveling east on Parallel Parkway and proceeded through a green light. A car attempting to turn left failed to yield, and was hit in the passenger side.

The car was hit so hard it was sent into a ravine and ended up hitting a batting cage at KCK Community College. There was a game happening in the baseball facility, but thankfully no one was hurt.

“That’s going to be something unusual and probably something memorable to do with this baseball game,” Amber Thomas with KCKPD said. “It’s not of course something you ever want to see, especially when it’s dealing with young kids.”

The drivers of both vehicles escaped major injury, but the passenger in the car was reported in critical condition.


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Fire destroys home in northwest Wichita

KAKE – February 28, 2016

wichita fire 2282016

Video 940

An afternoon of multiple fires and a Red Flag Warning includes a fully involved house fire Saturday in a west Wichita neighborhood.

Fire officials said no one was injured in the blaze.

Crews are still working the fire in 7900 block of Meadow Park. That’s in the Reflection Ridge subdivision and near 29th and Ridge. A two-story home was fully involved and partially collapsed.

Dispatchers said the call came in at around 4:20 p.m.

Firefighters spent over an hour containing the flames.

Neighbors in the area estimate the home was worth around $1,000,000.

Fire officials say the fire started on the deck and was quickly made larger by the high winds. The home is a complete loss.


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Grass fires from ESU coed softball field to Coffey County line all likely set

By Chuck Samples
KVOE – February 28, 2016

lyon co fire 2272016

lyon co fire 2272016b

Videos 939 (You will need to scroll down the page)

According to law enforcement, several out-of-control grass fires Saturday were no accident.

Lyon County Sheriff Jeff Cope says several fires along Road 175 from R-1 to the Coffey County line and a fire near the ESU coed softball fields were all set.

Firefighters from seven different departments had to respond to the fires along Road 175 starting around 11 am. It took better than two hours to get the initial situation under control, but then several rekindles developed through the afternoon and evening hours. Several homes were endangered and a few had to be evacuated, but thankfully those were spared and no injuries were reported. Several outbuildings, however, were damaged or destroyed.

Initially, Cope says there were up to eight ignition points along the county road. He later updated that to as many as 14.

Around 2 pm, firefighters went to the Campus Woods area just north of Interstate 35 and east of Merchant Street after a grass fire developed there. Again, several rekindles popped up through the evening hours.

Authorities are looking for two white men in their 30s with long hair and beards who may have bene driving a black or dark blue 1990s General Motors pickup — possibly a Chevrolet or GMC — with a two-door extended cab configuration. If you have information, call the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office at 341-205, Lyon County Crime Stoppers at 342-2273 or Lyon County Dispatch at 343-4200. The men were also observed acting suspiciously in Coffey County. If you have information about that activity, call the Coffey County Sheriff’s Office at 620-364-2123.

Lyon County firefighters had one other significant grass fire Saturday. Fire crews from Olpe and Emporia were dispatched to 1165 Road 90 shortly after 9 am. Early indications were the fire developed near as many as two structures but moved to the northeast away from a metal building at the address before it was extinguished. An official cause has not been listed.


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Hartford church with over 100-year history destroyed by fire

By Chuck Samples
KVOE – February 27, 2016

Photos by Dean Erickson. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photos by Dean Erickson. Click on photo to view full-size image.

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Video 816

An old church building in the heart of Hartford was destroyed by fire Saturday.

Firefighters from Hartford-Neosho Rapids and Coffey County descended on the old First Christian Church of Hartford at 401 Mechanic after fire developed around 1:30 pm, but the building was already burning hot enough inside to where fire crews couldn’t get inside. Fire crews eventually fought the fire at ground level in several spots and also from above by using a ladder truck.

Lyon County Deputy Doug Stump says the fire started when a church member was using a torch near the handicapped-accessible ramp and an ember started a grass fire. That blaze then worked into the church. Thankfully, no injuries or other property damage has been reported.

The building was constructed in 1900, according to Lyon County records.

2 pm Saturday: Structure fire noted in Hartford

Hartford-Neosho Rapids firefighters are battling a structure fire in the city limits.

Firefighters were called to 401 Mechanic after a blaze developed shortly before 2 pm.


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Dry, windy conditions spark numerous grass, house fires

KSN – February 27, 2016

sedgwick co fire 2272016

Dry and windy conditions once again are causing problems with grass fires in and around the Wichita area. And, some of those grass fires also burned houses.

The biggest house fire occurred at a home in the 7900 block of W. Meadow Park Circle. The fire, which was called in shortly after 4:30 p.m., destroyed what firefighters described as a “large, two-story home” of about 2,500 square feet. Firefighters said when they arrived on the scene, they found heady smoke coming from the home. It took numerous fire units to battle the blaze.

One of the first grass fires to be called in occurred along U.S. 400 near Summit St. in Beaumont, Kansas in Butler County.

A fire, which was called in to Sedgwick County emergency dispatchers, burned in the 400 block of N. 189th Street West. That’s north of Kellogg and west of 189th Street West. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control in a short time.

Another grass fire was reported in the 2900 block of E. Grail. That fire was located east of George Washington Blvd. and north of Harry Street.

A third grass fire was called in the 1400 block of N. Pinion. Pinion is located south of Meadowlark and between Woodlawn and Rock Rd. in Derby. That fire eventually sparked a house fire that firefighters were eventually able to get under control.

Another grass fire that caused a house fire occurred in neat East 8th Street North and North Wabash. That fire climbed a utility pole and caused power lines behind the home to fall to the ground.

Another grass fire, located in the 1500 block of E. Tall Tree, also in Derby. Tall Tree is located west of Rock Rd. and south of E. 63rd St. South.

The fire was close to an apartment building that firefighters at first thought would be threatened by the fire. Fortunately, they were able to get the fire under control before it spread to the apartment building.


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Rural firefighters battle grass fire

By Erin Mathews
Salina Journal – February 27, 2016

Rural firefighters from several districts were fighting a large grass fire Saturday afternoon in the area of Magnolia and Simpson roads, the director of emergency management said.

Hannah Stambaugh said dry conditions and wind combined to quickly spread the flames sparked by someone doing target practice in the backyard of a home in the 3000 block of Magnolia Road.

“It’s so dry out there that one little spark can definitely start a huge ordeal,” she said.

She said as far as she knew no homes were seriously threatened by the flames, although firefighters did wet down the area around a couple of houses to protect the structures.

She said Rural Fire District No. 5 called in mutual aid from several districts with tanker trucks to control the flames.


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Area fire departments fight grass fire in southwest Leavenworth County

By Elvyn Jones
Lawrence Journal World – February 27, 2016

Photo by Elvyn Jones

Photo by Elvyn Jones

Units from multiple area fire departments are battling a grass fire Saturday in southwest Leavenworth County.

The fire, which started about 2 p.m., was just east of the county line of Douglas and Leavenworth counties northeast of the intersection of Loring and 262nd roads. Among the departments Reno Township Fire Department called in to fight the fire were the Wakarusa and Eudora township fire departments in Douglas County and Sherman Township Fire Department of Leavenworth County.

The fire spread through pasture and timber in the area, but firefighters have been able to prevent damage to numerous homes and outbuildings near the fire.

A burn ban was in effect Saturday for both Douglas and Leavenworth counties with the National Weather Service’s rangeland danger rating at “extreme.”


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Hays FD responds to Saturday structure fire

Hays Post – February 29, 2016

At 3:47 p.m. on Saturday, the City of Hays Fire Department, assisted by the Hays Police Department and Ellis County EMS, was dispatched to a building fire at 4602 Hoover Drive. The Ellis County Rural Fire Chief was first on scene and found a fire at the rear of the building.

A neighbor had observed smoke coming from the building, called 911 and alerted the occupant. Using a garden hose, they had the fire under control when firefighters arrived. The fire had started in outside ground litter, extended to the wooden stairs and burned through the outside wall into the structure. Firefighters had to open up the wall to extinguish smoldering fire. Firefighters then covered the opening to prevent further damage until repairs can be made.

The fire was most probably caused by improperly discarded smoking materials. The fire grew rapidly in the windy conditions present at that time.

Five fire trucks and 16 firefighters responded. The last firefighters left the scene at 4:45 p.m.


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Eudora Fire Department hires assistant chief

By Elvyn Jones
Lawrence Journal World – February 26, 2016

The Eudora Fire Department has filled a vacancy for assistant fire chief with the hiring of a captain from the Evansville, Ind., fire department. Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter said Nathan Stoermer would start Monday. His diverse background made him stand out from the 24 applicants the department received for the position, the chief said.

“He has fire ground-command experience,” he said. “We were looking for someone with pretty diverse command capability in the service. He’s going to hit the ground running. We have had some pretty good discussions and are on the same page. He is going to be a great addition to the fire department.” Stoermer will bring to five the number of paramedics in the fire department, Keiter said.

The department has also recently “hired” seven new volunteers, he said. “They are currently going through a five-week academy at the department on basic firefighting skills to make sure they’ll be safe when we put them on the scene,” he said.

Like many other volunteers, the new recruits have aspirations of making a career of firefighting, Keiter said. It’s a realistic goal and many past volunteers have secured positions on municipal departments. The hiring of the new volunteers was prompted in part when two volunteers started with the city of Lenexa and another with the Kansas City, Mo., department.

“We go through a few good people, but it’s rewarding if they can go to a career department,” Keiter said.


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El Dorado FD begins new smoke detector program

By Kari Adams
Butler County Times Gazette – February 26, 2016

Over the past several years, the El Dorado Fire Department has partnered with the state of Kansas to help provide smoke detectors for homes in El Dorado. Now, with a recent pairing with the American Red Cross, the department will begin to cover a wider area with the service.

“We’ve always had a smoke detector program in place that would allow us to get smoke detectors from the state,” explained El Dorado Fire Chief Steve Moody. “Now, we’re partnering with the American Red Cross to help us get more detectors so that we can keep more homes and families safe. We encourage families to always have working smoke detectors because the chances of a family experiencing a fire without pre-warning would be very slim. If they do have a fire, it’s going to be determined early and it will give people time to escape or call it in.”

Where the last program was somewhat limited, the new program should become city-wide.

“Before, we had a certain number of smoke detectors that we could receive through the state,” Moody said. “When we were receiving them from the state, we had to provide documentation and we had to fill out all the necessary forms in order to get the smoke detectors. Now, through the Red Cross, they’re donating them to us so that we can install them for these families. We’re doing a city-wide project now instead of just a small area. Our hope is to go through the entire city, installing the detectors.”

The new detectors offered also have their own safety features that were previously unavailable.

“We’re going to be installing 10-year detectors,” Moody went on. “We decided to use those instead of the detectors who’s batteries go dead in just a year. The batteries will last as long as a typical detector does. Then, once it’s dead, it will be time to get another detector.”

To take part in the new program, residents of El Dorado simply have to call the department.

“With this new program, we’ll be going door-to-door,” Moody explained. “We want to give everyone the opportunity to get one of these detectors. We will also be taking requests for the detectors. If someone wants one, they can just pick up the phone and give us a call.”

For more information on the program, visit their Web site at


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Sterling Fire Department receives donation

Sterling Bulletin – February 18, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – February 26, 2016

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Central Prairie Co-op has donated bottled water to the Sterling Fire Department to show its appreciation for the volunteer firefighters and all they do. Pictured are Brian Rife, firefighter; Jeremy Flickinger, firefighter; Joe Schauf, Co-op General Manager; Greg Klein, Sterling Fire Chief; and John Wagerle, Assistant Fire Chief.


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Factory sees two fires in one week

By Zach McNulty
Atchison Globe – January 23, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – February 26, 2016

Photo by Zach McNulty

Photo by Zach McNulty

A midnight fire Friday morning at Progress Rail Services, 2604 Industrial Rd., was the second fire in less than a week at that address and the fourth fire in as many months.

According to Interim Fire Chief Ted Graf, Atchison Fire Department was dispatched to Progress Rail Services, formerly Amsted RPS, at 12:49 a.m. Friday on a report of a structure fire.

Part of the factory’s ventilation system had caught fire. Flames were visible upon the fire department’s arrival, but they were choked with concentrated efforts inside and outside.

Crews remained on the scene until 3:16 a.m. but were needed twice more at 4:10 a.m. and 9:58 a.m. to fight flare-ups caught in other parts of the factory’s duct work and ventilation system.

No injuries were reported.

According to Graf, the initial fire was caused by an electrical failure in the factory’s ventilation system that caused airflow to stop. That stoppage led to a buildup of heat, which likely sparked the oil and vapor naturally present in the factory work environment.

The ventilation system and duct work at Progress Rail Services, which acquired Amsted RPS in September, has caused several similar fire incidents in recent weeks and months.

On Saturday, January 16, just six days prior to Friday’s incident, Atchison Fire Department responded to a report of a fire that was also determined to have sparked in the building’s duct system.

Another fire dating back to April 2, 2014 caused an estimated $50,000 in damages, according to Atchison Fire Department reports, and was sparked in the factory duct work.

On October 19 and June 15, 2015, two more fires torched the factory’s ceiling and the roof.

A sixth fire was also reported December 7, 2015, though it had no effect on or relation to the building’s ceiling, duct work or ventilation system, according to the fire incident report.

Wes Hodges, president of Progress and former president of Amsted said a new ventilation system was ordered and has been delivered. The existing system is 40 years old and will be completely overhauled.

The plant will continue to operate as normal, he added.


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One person trapped in burning trailer

By Dale Hogg
Great Bend Tribune – February 26, 2016

Photo by Dale Hogg

Photo by Dale Hogg

Great Bend Fire Department personnel remained on the scene of a fire in southeast Great Bend through late morning as they battled the blaze and searched for a resident who remained inside. At least one other family member escaped the flames.

The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office was summoned to assist the GBFD as it investigated the fire, GBFD Battalion Chief John Stettinger said. The probe was expected to take a good part of the day.

The names or a cause had not been released as of mid morning.

Firefighters were called to the trailer home at Fourth an Pine streets at around 8 a.m. Clouds of brownish-gray smoke billowed from the structure and flames seeped through the cracks. City and utility company officials were present to shut of gas, electricity and water to the house.

Nearby residents watched from their yards as the trailer was reduced to a charred husk.

Reports at the scene indicated that this wasn’t the first time the home had burned.

Stettinger said more information would be released later.


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Anderson County receives $50,000 for purchase of fire training equipment

Anderson County Advocate – January 26, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – February 26, 2016

Anderson County Fire has received word that they have received $50,000 to help purchase fire training equipment.

Anderson County was one of only 22 agencies across the United States to receive the funding.

These live fire “props” will allow firefighters to train on addressing fires and releases involving flammable liquids and gases such as propane, natural gas, and ethanol.

Training will be open to departments and agencies across the region.


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Guests at Olathe hotel forced out after light smoke fills lobby

KMBC – February 26, 2016

Photo by Bill Klinkhardt

Photo by Bill Klinkhardt

Guests at the Residence Inn on South Strang Line Road were temporarily forced out Thursday morning after light smoke filled the lobby.

The Olathe Fire Department was called to the hotel about 5:45 a.m.

Firefighters said an overheated furnace caused an air filter to catch fire.

The sprinkler system put out the fire. The Fire Department said there is minor damage.

Guests were able to stay warm in their cars. They were allowed back in after about an hour.


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Morning and afternoon accidents on Cowley 3 south of Udall

Winfield Courier – February 26, 2016

Photo by Thomas Carver

Photo by Thomas Carver

A rollover accident happened just after 2 p.m. Thursday. A man driving a Mercury sedan lost control of his vehicle while traveling northbound in the 9000 block of Cowley 3 (21st Rd.), south of Udall. The vehicle veered across the southbound lane and overturned into the ditch around 40 feet from where the driver lost control. The driver was not harmed during the accident. The Cowley County Sheriff’s Office, Udall Fire Department and Winfield Fire/EMS Department responded to the scene. This was the second accident to happen near the same location Thursday. The other happened around 10:30 a.m. and involved another single car rollover where a female driving north on Cowley 3 lost control of the vehicle and flipped over, went through a fence and rammed into a tree stump. The sheriff’s deputy on the scene of the afternoon accident said the driver in the earlier accident was lucky to be alive and was transferred to the hospital with only minor injuries.


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Two killed in shooting at Excel Industries in Hesston

KWCH – February 25, 2016

Live Video

Hesston police confirm a shooting at Excel Industries in the 200 block of South Ridge Road in Hesston. Dispatchers say two people were killed and multiple others are hurt.

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Crews battle east Wichita house fire

KSN – February 25, 2016

Scene of a fire at a home in n the 7500 block of E. 10th Circle in Wichita on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Photo: KSN/Merry Murray)

Scene of a fire at a home in n the 7500 block of E. 10th Circle in Wichita on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Photo: KSN/Merry Murray)

Wichita Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Scott Brown. He said the cause of the fire on E 10th Circle is unknown. (Photo: KSN/Merry Murray)

Wichita Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Scott Brown. He said the cause of the fire on E 10th Circle is unknown. (Photo: KSN/Merry Murray)

Wichita fire crews battled a house fire Thursday afternoon in the northeast part of the city.

The fire, which was called in shortly before 2:15 p.m. damaged a two-story home in the 7500 block of E. 10th Circle.

The first firefighters on the scene radioed back that they spotted smoke and flames coming from the home when they arrived on the scene.

Battalion Chief Scott Brown officials said the blaze started on the second floor. An elderly couple who live in the home were inside when the fire started. They were able to escape uninjured, Brown said. The couple first noticed the fire when smoke detectors in the home began going off and the house started to fill with smoke.

“Crews got inside and encountered some heavy fire, heavy smoke, found most of the fire located on the second floor,” said Brown.

Officials said firefighters were unable to get onto the roof of the house due to it becoming structurally unsafe because of the fire.

“No crews could get on the roof, so we had to fight it from inside,” Brown said.

The fire caused about $150,000 damage to the home and $50,000 damage to its contents.

Brown said firefighters were not sure where the fire started, but the investigation is focusing on the second floor.

He said due to the extent of the damage to the fire the house is uninhabitable at this time.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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Salina FD Wins Ambulance Service of the Year Award

Salina Post – February 25, 2016

This award was given to the Salina Fire Department recognizing outstanding emergency service in the State of Kansas (Photo: Salina Fire Dept.)

This award was given to the Salina Fire Department recognizing outstanding emergency service in the State of Kansas (Photo: Salina Fire Dept.)

Earlier this month at the annual Kansas Emergency Medical Technicians Association conference, the Salina Fire Department was recognized as the 2016 Ambulance Service of the Year.

Awarded annually, the award is given in recognition of the ambulance service that has shown to deliver the best in emergency medical service to their community. The Salina Fire Department continues to strive to provide the highest level of evidence-based, pre-hospital medical care.

Dr. Sean Herrington M.D. serves as the department’s medical director. He works closely with the department and approves all protocols and procedures performed by nearly 90 dedicated EMT’s and Paramedics.

On their Facebook page, the Salina Fire Department said, “we are honored by the recognition, and wish to thank KEMTA for recognizing our efforts.”


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New Pumper Truck UnVeiled

By Cathryne Scharton
Emporia Gazette – February 25, 2016

Firefighters get trained on the fire department's new pumper truck, Champion, at Fire Station No. 2 on Wednesday. All photos by Kendra Johnson. Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Firefighters get trained on the fire department’s new pumper truck, Champion, at Fire Station No. 2 on Wednesday. All photos by Kendra Johnson. Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Fire Chief Jack Taylor talks to Fire Captain Bill Harmon while taking their new pumper truck, Champion, out to see how it drives on Wednesday.

Fire Chief Jack Taylor talks to Fire Captain Bill Harmon while taking their new pumper truck, Champion, out to see how it drives on Wednesday.

Roger Brown shows the firefighters the light tower on the new pumper truck, Champion, on Wednesday. The light tower will help provide better lighting on scenes.

Roger Brown shows the firefighters the light tower on the new pumper truck, Champion, on Wednesday. The light tower will help provide better lighting on scenes.

Firefighters practice spraying foam while doing training with the fire department's new pumper truck on Wednesday.

Firefighters practice spraying foam while doing training with the fire department’s new pumper truck on Wednesday.

Greg Davis gets the excess water out of a hose before putting it back in the truck while doing training on Wednesday.

Greg Davis gets the excess water out of a hose before putting it back in the truck while doing training on Wednesday.

Nathan Mitchell puts a hose away after doing training with the fire department's new pumper truck, Champion, on Wednesday.

Nathan Mitchell puts a hose away after doing training with the fire department’s new pumper truck, Champion, on Wednesday.

The Emporia Fire Department worked to train crews on their new pumper truck, Champion, this week.

Training for the new truck began Tuesday and will continue through today.

“It’s going very well,” said Chief Jack Taylor. “After all three shifts are trained, we should be able to put this in service on Friday.”

“It’s a real treat for us to get to drive and to pump from (the truck),” said Ryan Conley, active officer. “All the new technology that has been mentioned before, the electronic pumping, it’s a lot easier for us to get out the water we need and to get to the fire scene a little quicker.”

The city purchased the new truck in order to put an older truck in reserve.

“Typically, a community will replace firetrucks about every 20 years and we are at or beyond that time period,” said Taylor. “We have an aging fleet that has its maintenance issues and so forth and the time has come that they’ve reached their life expectancy and it’s time for replacement.”

About 10 years ago the city put a reserve truck out of service and, until now, the truck was not replaced. With the addition of Champion to the fleet, the fire department can again have a truck in reserve. Reserve trucks are used as backup if an in-service truck undergoes maintenance. Champion will be housed at Fire Station Two, located at 15th Avenue and Industrial Road.

The cost of the new truck was right at $500,000 and the city paid for it up front so there would be no interest owed on the purchase. The truck was funded by a bond. The firetruck was purchased through Conrad, a dealer for Pierce Fire Apparatus. The city elected Pierce as the builder through a bidding process.

At $500,000, the firetruck has some new bells and whistles.

The new truck has a 15-foot light tower to light up fire scenes at night. The truck also has the ability to carry foam. While foam has been an alternate extinguishing agent for about 20 years, none of the older Emporia trucks have the capacity to hold foam. The truck can hold two different types of foam, class A and B, which are used for different classifications of fires.

Roger Brown with Conrad Fire was on site during the training.

“It’s (Champion) got some newer technology to it as far as foam system and light tower to provide better lighting for them on scene,” said Brown.

Brown said the new truck has better suspension, which helps the truck stop more smoothly and improves the ride quality. Brown said upcoming technology in firetrucks includes features such as GPS tracking and frontal impact avoidance, features similar to those found in new cars.

The firetruck was named after the old Emporia fire wagon Champion, which was pulled by horses. There were two named wagons: Champion and Defiance.

The process of building the firetruck, from the bid to the delivery, took about a year. In addition to the new pumper, Emporia is also looking to get a new ambulance, budgeted at $225,000 and a squad truck, budgeted at $200,000.

The Emporia Fire Department will conduct an in-service dedication ceremony for the new pumper at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Fire Station Two. The community is welcome to attend.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Man caught in last week’s garage fire has died

NewsCow – February 25, 2016

Wayne Bradford, who was caught in a structure fire on 406 S. Blaine in Wellington last Thursday evening has died according to a family source.

The family source said Bradford had died of smoke inhalation. He was transferred to Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita immediately that evening after suffering from smoke inhalation and burns after being caught in the fire in a detached garage for which he lived. For the past week, Bradford has been hooked to a ventilator and never came out of the coma.

The Wellington Fire Department responded to a Sumner County 911 call at 8:25 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18.

Upon arrival, the WFD found flames and heavy smoke coming from the garage. Firefighter began fire suppression when notified that an individual may be in the structure. Firefighters entered the structure and found one male, unconscious, who was dragged from the building and taken to St. Francis via Wellington Fire/EMS. He is listed in critical condition.

The family source said rescue workers speculated the way he was lying he thought he may have gotten overwhelmed by the smoke and couldn’t find himself out.

Firefighters also removed a dog from the structure that was given oxygen on the scene. The dog survived and was taken to a veterinarian by Wellington Police.

The cause of fire is still under investigation. The cause is now thought to be electrical. There was an estimated $10,000 to structure and contents. There were 24 personnel on the scene that included three fire engines, one ladder, two ambulances and three pickups. Oxford, Belle Plaine and Mayfield Fire Departments provided mutual aid.

Other agencies assisting included: Wellington Police, Sumner County Sheriff, Wellington Electric and Sumner County Emergency Management.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

An award from the Kansas EMT Association

By Kari Adams
Butler County Times Gazette – February 25, 2016

During Tuesday’s Butler County Commission meeting, EMS Director Chad Pore arrived unannounced with a surprise for the commissioners – an award from the Kansas EMT Association.
“On the weekend of Feb. 12, 13 and 14 the Kansas EMT Association held their conference (in Hutchinson),” Pore began. “The organization is the longest EMS association in Kansas and it dates back to the late ’70s when it was the Kansas Ambulance and Rescue Association. They have their annual conference every year and as part of that, they have annual awards. We actually wanted to read to you, a submission for one of their awards.”
He went on to read the letter of nomination for the Outstanding Elected Official award. It said:
“Respective Committee members, I would like to take the opportunity to submit the entire Butler County Commission for the Outstanding Elected Official award. I understand the award is typically given to an in individual member, but feel it is important to recognize the support this commission has given as a whole within Butler County. Over the last two years, this commission has committed a significant amount of time and money in order to move Butler County EMS forward.
Their support includes, but is not limited to: funding and approval of new ambulances, approval for new monitors/defibrillators, increased compensation for medical direction, new billing software, new patient care reporting system and research for community paramedicine. While these are just some of the items funded and supported over the last 22 months, I want to highlight the most significant support received: a change in vision and direction.
Twenty-two months ago, there was a change in leadership in Butler County EMS. When I arrived as director, there were only two administrative positions filled out of five in the organization. Any time a new leader comes in, it can be difficult. This commission has embraced the new leadership and supported the vision for the future. The culmination of these efforts occurred when a new organizational structure was implemented in January of 2015, ensuring that crew members that provided care daily have both the operational and clinical resources necessary to provide high-quality patient care. It would have been easy for this commission to keep the reins tight with the leadership change, but they have chosen to support a new direction for Butler County EMS and trust should be rewarded. I know there are many elected officials who strongly support EMS and who are deserving of this award, but I ask you to name the entire Butler County Commission the Outstanding Elected Official award.”
After reading the submission aloud, Pore went on to share the good news.
“I’m pleased to announce that they did do that,” he said. “On the 13th of February at the awards banquet, they presented you with the award for Outstanding Elected Official to the entire Butler County Commission board. Chris Davis (Butler County Emergency Communications director) was the one that ended up getting up and accepting the award (because of late notice to the commissioners).”
Following the presenting of the award, Pore also noted that several other Butler County natives received awards at the conference as well.
“Butler County was represented well,” Pore said. “Paul Stanley, a former Butler County paramedic, won the Paramedic of the Year award. Sam Troyer, who was here when I got here and was in one of our leadership positions before he left to go teach paramedic classes, received the Outstanding Educator award. Jim Schmidt got the Lyle Eckert award. That’s an award for someone who has contributed their careers to EMS and public safety. We’re pretty proud of that.”


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Notice of Vacancy – Fire Prevention Education Consultant

Notice of Vacancy – Fire Prevention Education Consultant – Requisition #183047 – Closes 3/10/2016

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has an opening for an Unclassified Fire Prevention Education Consultant. This is technical and specialized work developing and/or updating existing materials for training purposes concerning the Fire Prevention Code, the National Fire Life Safety Code, International Building Code, International Fire Code, Centers for Medicare/Medicaid inspection process and plans review process. Develops and presents training programs to facilities inspected by the agency and other targeted groups. Requires extensive statewide travel. This notice of vacancy closes 3/10/2016.

Salary: $20.13 per hour.

Minimum Requirements: One year of experience in planning, implementing and monitoring activities relevant to the agency’s programs. College courses in fire science may be substituted for the required experience at the rate of two semester hours for one month of experience. In order to substitute Education for experience, a college transcript must be submitted at time of application. Must have a valid Kansas driver’s license.

Preferred Skills: Must have knowledge of the Kansas Fire Prevention Code, the 2000 National Fire Life Safety Code, International Building Code and International Fire Code. Must have a code and mechanical aptitude background. Must have exceptional skills in oral and written communication. Must have strong computer skills. Must have the ability to communicate technical information and conduct formal presentations. Must have effective interpersonal communication skills; must be detail oriented and have good customer service skills.

Special Requirements: This position is located in the Topeka Office however; extensive travel throughout the State of Kansas is required to provide information and training to different audiences.

HOW TO APPLY: The application process has 3 STEPS:

STEP 1: Register by completing the online Personal Data Form at

STEP 2: Complete the official State of Kansas application form at and submit to the Fire Marshal.

STEP 3: Email the additional required documents to

Include your name and job requisition number on all correspondence when submitting documents.

Required Documents:

Online State of Kansas Application form sent to Fire Marshal

Letter of Interest


College Transcripts

Copy of all Training Certificates

Valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate

send to Brenda Schuette,

Your application will be considered incomplete and you will be found ineligible if you fail to submit the required documentation by the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to be qualified for this and any position with the Office of the State Fire Marshal the applicant MUST MEET THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS for the position. These qualifications MUST BE IDENTIFIED in the online application and resume. Failure to include the minimum qualifications on the application and resume may result in disqualification and the applicant will not be considered for the position.


Each applicant applying for a State of Kansas job vacancy must obtain a valid Kansas Certificate of Tax Clearance by accessing the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website at . Your application will be considered incomplete if not submitted within 48 hours after the job posting closes.

A Tax Clearance is a comprehensive tax account review to determine and ensure that an individual’s account is compliant with all primary Kansas Tax Laws. A Tax Clearance expires every 90 days. Applicants are responsible for submitting a valid certificate with all other application materials to the hiring agency. This is in accordance with Executive Order 2004-03. If you need assistance with the tax clearance, please contact 785-296-3199.

Recruiter Contact Information:

Name: Brenda L. Schuette

Phone: 785-296-0654


How Your Application Will Be Evaluated: Once you complete and submit your application and materials, your application will be reviewed to ensure you meet the minimum and any necessary special requirements. Please indicate all relevant prior experiences and training on your application. Next, your application will be evaluated and rated based on preferred competencies and selection criteria for the position.

What to Expect Next: After your application is evaluated and ranked, you may be contacted for a possible interview. You will be notified of the outcome after the selection process is complete.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ensures you the right to reasonable accommodations. A request for an accommodation will not affect your opportunities for employment with the State of Kansas. Arrangements will be made if you have a disability that requires an accommodation for completing an application form, interviewing or any other part of the employment process. It is your responsibility to make your needs known to the OSFM Recruitment Office at 785-296-0654.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Circleville to get new fire station this year

By Ali Holcomb
Holton Recorder – February 1, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – February 25, 2016

A new fire station is set to be constructed in Circleville this year, it has been announced.

Circleville Battalion Chief Keith Wilson reported that the new fire station is expected to include four bays, a meeting room and kitchen area.

Circleville Fire is a satellite fire station to the Holton Fire Department (Holton Fire District #4). Denison also serves as a satellite station since the Holton Fire Department covers 250 square miles.

The new station will be located on the grounds of the former school building, just south of the old tennis courts along Kansas Highway 79.

Wilson said the land for the new fire station is owned by the city, and that the land is being traded with the city in exchange for the current fire station building. The city is expected to use the former fire station to store city equipment.

The current fire station is located about six blocks south of the new station site on the west edge of town. The satellite department has been at that location since 1996, Wilson said. The building previously served as Don Ash Garage, as well as city hall.

“The sidewalls at the building we have now are so short that it’s hard to find trucks that will fit,” Wilson said. “That’s a problem. And the utilities in that old building are expensive.”

The current fire station was built in the 1920s and is 120 feet by 90 feet.

Wilson said that renovations have been made throughout the years to improve the building. Currently, the fire station has four trucks, but just three bays.

“When we first moved into that building, we had three trucks and one bay,” he said. “So we had to move the grass truck to access the tanker. Then after we pulled the tanker out we had to put the grass truck back in before we could take off.”

Holton Fire Chief Kevin Ingels said the fire department has “outgrown” the current station in Circleville.

“We’ve maxed out the space,” Ingels said. “We looked into just remodeling the building, but decided to build new.”

Ingels said that the Holton Fire Department is in the preliminary stages of constructing the new station in Circleville and that the details of the building could change depending on the bids submitted.

“We’re just getting the ball rolling,” he said. “We’re waiting to see the bids. Depending on what they are, we might have to downsize or we might be able to build bigger.”

Ingels said the fire department hopes to start construction of the station this spring and to have it completed by the end of the summer or the start of fall.

Land for the new station was expected to be surveyed last week, it was reported.

“It’s going to be a nice building,” Wilson said. “Hopefully, it’ll help spur some people to join.”

Currently, six people, including Wilson, volunteer at the Circleville Fire Station.

“There is a dire need for volunteer firefighters in all parts of the county,” Wilson said. “We have a lot of dedicated people in the county that do this.”


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Sedgwick County helps Butler County in early morning fire

KSN – February 25, 2016

butler co fire 2252016

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Video 152

The Butler County Fire Department was busy Thursday morning with two large fires.

One other was a grass fire near SW 30th and Hopkins Switch Rd. According to Butler County dispatch that fire was 2 acres, but quickly contained.

The second fire was a garage fire at the 300 block of W South St. in Benton. The call came in about 5:30. Originally Butler County responded, but the fire was too big for the department to handle alone, so it called Sedgwick County for help.

Eventually the crews had to switch from fire attack to defensive mode. That means instead of trying to save the structure, crews solely focus on containing the fire.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Stepping down

Osborne County Farmer – February 11, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – February 25, 2016

alton fire 2252016

On January 30, 2016, Karl Boland (right) was honored for his 28 years of service as the Assistant Fire Chief on the Alton Rural Fire Department. As a thank you for his long standing committment, Fire Chief Lyle Lewis Jr. (left) awarded him with an axe from the fire department members, a fire truck from the Kansas State Firefighters Association and a certificate. Boland will still be a part of the Alton RFD, as a member. Taking over as Assistant Fire Chief will be Layton Hill.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire contained to one unit at apartment building in SW Topeka

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – February 25, 2016

Photo by Katie Moore

Photo by Katie Moore

A fire broke out in one of the apartment buildings at Whispering Pines, 5801 SW Candletree Drive, Wednesday evening around 7:56 p.m.

The blaze was contained to one apartment unit, though the building had filled with smoke, Topeka Fire Department battalion chief Chris Herrera said on the scene.

Crews went through the building to make sure everyone had gotten out.

No one was injured, Herrera said.

One resident, Linda Elliott, said she heard the smoke detector go off as she was watching TV in her living room. She opened the door to her apartment and saw smoke. Elliott quickly woke up her husband and got out of the building.

The cause of the fire is still being determined.


Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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