Archive for April, 2016

Horton Fire Department news

Horton Headlight – April 21, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

 

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Local firemen battle house blaze

By Michele D. Gaskell
Horton Headlight – April 21, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

horton fire 4292016

The Horton volunteer firemen responded to a house fire at 245 W. 10th St. at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, April 12. They were assisted by members of the Everest Volunteer Fire Department. Most of the damage was contained to the southeast corner of the house; however even once the fire was well contained by the firefighters, smoke was billowing out of the windows and flare-ups were coming from under the eaves of the roof.

Horton Fire Chief Lamar Shoemaker, who is also an investigator with the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office said the house was vacant at the time. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, he said, but is being investigated as incendiary by the Horton Police Department and State Fire Marshal’s Office.

There were no live utilities to the residence, noted Horton Police Chief John Calhoon, so the fire is listed as suspicious at this time. He said that he has talked with neighbors and Shoemaker investigated the site the following day. Chief Calhoon is awaiting the report with any findings from the Fire Marshal’s Office, but it could take some time. Until the reports say otherwise, he said, the fire will be looked at as suspicious.

 

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Ashland Fire Department hosts training for six fire departments

Protection Press – March 31, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

Ashland Rural Fire Department hosted the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute’s Interior Firefighting Simulator, Saturday March 5, 2016 at the Ashland Fire Department.

Twenty-five firefighters from six fire departments received classroom training on the skills needed for interior firefighting and for fire safety before training in full gear and SCBA.

Groups of five firefighters enacted four separate training scenarios; direct attacks on a stove and a bedroom and transitional fire attacks on a bed and in a basement.

Each different scenario gave them training in different techniques. Each firefighter learned skills for being the lead in a team, use of thermal imaging camera, radio operation, hose/nozzle operations and scene size up.

Kansas Fire & Rescue instructors for the training were Todd Miles, classroom and simulator, Bryan Welch, Todd Beck and Ashley Sheridan. The training is provided free of charge to firefighters.

Firefighters attending the training were Ross Schiffelbein and Daniel Martin of Iola; James Fitzsimmons, Andrew McCloskey and Will Meireis of Preston; Monte Rose, Cunningham; Chris Gray, Minneola; Kyle Terry, Joseph Baker, Blake Smith, Levi Smith and Scott Tune of Englewood, Jeremy Fast, Bill Neier, Francis Young, David Redger, JD Redger, Adam Elliott, Frank White, James Callahan, Dillon Moore, Heath Heston, Austin Borgelt, Ramon Vera, Dan Pearce, Don White, Darren Osborn and George Krier of Ashland.

 

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House fire reported in Delia

Holton Recorder – April 4, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

A small house fire was reported early in Delia Friday morning.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a fire at 520 Washington Ave. in Delia at 6:27 a.m. that day.

The fire was located in the back eastern portion of the house, according to Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse. No one was in the home during the fire, it was reported.

Morse said that Delia, Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, Mayetta and Hoyt Fire Departments responded to the incident, as well as Jackson County EMS and the sheriff’s office.

Morse said the home did receive smoke, fire and water damage.

Six golden retriever puppies and a dog were removed from the home during the fire and were not harmed.

According to county records, the home is owned by Stephanie Riello.

 

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Fire, EMS dispatches down slightly during month

By Donna Celaya
Montgomery County Chronicle – April 7, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

Cherryvale Fire and Rescue answered 37 EMS calls and nine fire calls in March, a quiet month compared to January, when EMS calls numbered 39 and fire calls were almost double at 17.

“March was kind of an average call volume month for the department, Fire Chief Jesse Reed told the city council on Monday night. It was quieter than we’ve seen it so far this year.”

Of the nine fire calls, two were mutual aid structure fires, two were false alarms, one was an EMS call, one was a grass fire and one a leaf fire.

The department contacted 28 different patients during the 37 EMS calls, which included 18 transports for further treatment, nine patient refusals, nine “other” calls, such as no patient found, call cancelled or patient dead at the scene; and one transport by Independence EMS as an addition unit.

The highest percentage of EMS calls were: eight breathing problems, seven fire standbys, three sick individuals, two abdominal pain, two chest pain, two seizure and two falls.

EMS responded within one minute of dispatch 89 percent of the time and within three minutes every time. They arrived on scene within 5 minutes 95 percent of the time, and within 10 minutes 97 percent of the time. Sixteen of the 37 calls–or 43 percent–were from outside the city limits, requiring longer arrival times.

 

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Dumpster fire, grass fire reported

Marysville Advocate – April 21, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

The Marysville Volunteer Fire Department responded to two fires last week.

On April 13 the firefighters were called to a grass fire north of Marysville near U.S. Highway 77. No structural damage was reported. The fire was reported about 2:30 p.m. and was caused by a controlled burn that rekindled after it had been put out.

On Sunday night firefighters responded to a fire in a dumpster at Pony Express Veterinary Clinic. The fire was contained and caused no damage outside of the dumpster said Assistant Marysville Fire Chief Dennis Rockwell. The fire was reported about 5 p.m. Its cause is unknown.

 

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Loren C. “Tub” Kyle

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Loren C. “Tub” Kyle, 91, died April 21, 2016.

He was born Feb. 13, 1925, at Rago, Kansas the son of Claude and Mabel Matney Kyle. A lifetime resident of the Rago and Norwich communities, he was a retired tire repair store owner/operator.

He was a member of the Norwich United Methodist Church; and served many years as Fire Chief for the Norwich Fire Department.

On March 13, 1949, he married Rachael Fieser, at Norwich; she died Feb. 20, 2002. Survivors include two sons, Kelly and Curtis; daughter Sondra Stonebraker; 5 grandchildren; and 1 great-grandchild. He was also preceded in death by an infant child; and his brother Clarence “Bus” Kyle.

Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, at the Norwich United Methodist Church. Friends may call from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Livingston Funeral Home, Kingman with visitation and the family present 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday, at the Norwich United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the Upchurch Cemetery, Norwich.

Memorials may be made with the Norwich United Methodist Church or the Norwich Fire Department, both in care of Livingston Funeral Home.

 

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Fire out quickly

Beloit Call – April 4, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

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Controlled fire out of control

Beloit Call – April 6, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

A controlled fire on the Cloud/Mitchell County line of 400 and Acorn roads became out of control on Monday afternoon. Both rural fire departments from M.C.O. Fire District No. 1 and Mitchell County Fire District No. 3 along with Cloud County units were dispatched to the area.

The Mitchell County fire departments arrived at the out of control brush burn fire around 4 p.m. and returned to their stations around 8 p.m.

“If the wind would have been in a different direction, it could have been worse,” said M.C.O. Fire Chief Larry Heidrick. “The way it was blowing, the wind took the fire away from the buildings.”

Mitchell County hauled 17,000 gallons of water to help keep cedar trees from lighting on fire which were close to the home. Farmway Coop, Fuller Farms and Crop Production Services delivered tanks of water to the fire departments.

Mitchell County firefighters from both districts included Tim Bell, Jarod Miller, Bruce Seigrist, Monty Pearson, Larry Heidrick, Tom Deneke, Matthew File, Darrell Conn, Brian and David Stillwell, Eric LaCoe, Mitch McMillan, Kyler Schiesener, Dallas Fuller, Kyle Kopsa, Jim Walters and Aaron LaCoe.

 

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Large grass fire burns through several sections

By Ryan D. Wilson
Clay County Dispatch – April 6, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 29, 2016

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Six fire departments were dispatched yesterday to fight a large grass fire that had burned between Eighth and 11th Roads on Valleyview Road.

Wakefield Rural, Clay Center Rural Fire Districts No. 1 and 2, Green, Miltonvale Rural, Longford Rural, and Fort Riley fire departments reported to the fire in the southeast part of the county. Clay County Sheriff’s and the Kansas Highway Patrol also provided assistance. The Clay County Landfill, Farmway Co-op and CPS also sent water trucks in support of the fight.

Green Rural Fire also fought a small fire near Green at 23rd and Valleyview Road at around 4 p.m.

The large fire, which began just after 1 p.m Tuesday, threatened 10 structures i the area, and most especially the Mark Mohler residence in the 900 block, the Max Martin residence in the 800 block, and the Rick and Sue Hartenbower residence in the 1000 block.

However, the fire mostly burned grass, brush, trees and other vegetation. There were no cattle in the pastures, so no livestock was affected, said Sheriff Chuck Dunn. A few dogs ran loose during the fire, but they were found unharmed, Dunn said.

Though firefighters were able to keep the fire from affecting any structures, cedar trees near a newer residence burned after the wind picked up ashes and sparks and ignited them around 5:20 p.m.

The fire mostly burned on the west side of Valleyview Road, though south of 10th Road, where firefighters set up a water resupply point, it had burned on both sides of the road. On the west side, it had gotten as far as Thunder Road, Dunn said.

At about 4:30 p.m., firefighters attempted to control the fire by back-burning a few spots on the east side. The wind, primarily out of the south, shifted between southwest and southeast in the afternoon.

The fire was mostly extinguished by 5 p.m., though firefighters keep fighting hot spots and places where the fire rekindled because of the wind. They fought the fire well into the evening.

The Sheriff’s Department and Kansas Highway Patrolman Marcus Sierer blocked off part of Valleyview Road Tuesday afternoon, partly because of concerns with smoke and the fire getting close to the road, and also to keep the road clear for fire trucks trying to battle the grass fire.

Seirer said he had also reported to a grass fire in that area Monday evening, which had started as a controlled burn, but got out of control and spread into Wildlife and Parks property where it “burned and burned and burned” because of wood and brush, Seirer said. Because of its remote location and overgrown brush, firefighters had difficulty reaching it, he said.

Tuesday’s fire was believed to have been started from wind picking up embers from that fire.

As of this morning at 10 a.m., rural firefighters continued to check on hot spots within the burn site.

“When you can see the fire and the fire trucks from your house that’s just too close!” Denette Westerman posted on her Facebook page. “Prayer warriors, if you could lift up this fire and those fighting it, I’d sure appreciate it.”

 

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Franklin County Safety Awareness Day set for Saturday

By Doug Carder
Ottawa Herald – April 29, 2016

Smokey the Bear will be on hand to meet attendees of Franklin County Safety Awareness Day 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Orscheln Farm & Home parking lot, 2008 S. Princeton St., Ottawa.

The event, organized by Franklin County Emergency Management, will feature a car seat check lane, equipment and personnel from emergency medical services, fire departments, law enforcement, emergency management, health department and other agencies, organizers said.

Other features include the STAR team, fire trucks, command trailer, police and EMS vehicles and, weather permitting, a cotton candy machine, Tom Winter, Franklin County Emergency Management coordinator, said in an email.

 

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Garth Wayne Jennings

jennings

Garth Wayne Jennings, the son of Mabel (Gouldie) and Harold Jennings, was born December 31, 1930 at Lebanon, Kansas. He departed this life on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at the Mitchell County Hospital in Beloit, Kansas at the age of 85 years, 3 months and 19 days.

Garth graduated from the Lebanon High School with the class of 1949. A veteran of the armed services, he served with the United States Army during the Korean Conflict. On April 6, 1963 he was united in marriage with Ethel Lofstead at Lebanon. This union was blessed with two sons, Terry Lynn and Kerry Alan.

Garth held various jobs including working on the railroad, farming and trucking, before making a career of building highways throughout Kansas and Oklahoma with Heide Construction from Smith Center until the business dissolved. Garth and Ethel then opened Jennings’ Repair, working there a few years until Garth had the opportunity to go back to road work maintaining with Smith County.

He was a lifetime member of the V.F.W. and American Legion. He also was a council member for the city of Lebanon and proudly served with the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife, Ethel of 42 years; and an infant brother, Melvin. Left to cherish his memory are a brother, Neal Jennings of Lebanon, Kansas; sons, Terry of Beloit, Kansas; Kerry and wife Sheila of Riley, Kansas; grandsons, Terran and Kyle of Manhattan, Kansas; granddaughters, Carli and Haylei of Hastings, Nebraska; other relatives and friends.

Graveside services were held Saturday, 1:30 p.m., April 23, 2016 at the Cora Cemetery with the Rev. Les Ellis officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department.

 

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Forrest W. Dewey

Forrest W. Dewey, 67, passed away on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, at home. He was born on November 18, 1948, in
Belleville, KS, the son of Crissie Belle (Sorrell) and Delmar Sherwood Dewey. On June 20, 1971, he was united in marriage to Lynda R. Rafferty. The couple made their home in Mankato, KS, where he was a self-employed general contractor;

Survivors include wife, Lynda; daughters Shawna Blain (Lennie); Tisha Dewey; Jaci Dewey; sisters Linda
Dewey; Marie Basart; brothers Richard Dewey (Candy); John Dewey (Pat); grandkids Merritt Blain; Jayde
Blain; nieces; nephews; great nephews and great nieces and friends. Proceeded in death by his parents.

Forrest was a volunteer fireman for 35 years on the Mankato Volunteer Fire Department. One of the fondest memories is of him having his nephews on Truck 22 putting out a grass fire at the Judy Ranch. He was also known for saying you have 10 seconds to cut the barbed wire or I’m driving through it.

He and his wife coached girl’s softball for 12 years. His friendship with Bob Forney allowed him to form F&B Tackle.
They spent many hours in the garage pouring lead heads then painting, adding feathers, rubber bodies and spinners.
They sold their lures to businesses in Mankato, Glen Elder and Osborne.

No matter what time of day it was, if he was needed he was there. Daughters would call and say they had trouble with any number of things and he would jump in his pickup headed to help. He could also by found attending any activity that his grandkids were involved in. Forrest will be remembered as a loving husband and loving dad. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed.

Funeral arrangements handled by Kleppinger Funeral Home, 409 Broadway, Jewell, KS 66949 and visitation will be there Friday, April 22nd from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. Funeral service will be Saturday, April 23rd at 2:00 pm at the Christian Church in Mankato, KS.

Memorials may be given to Mankato Volunteer Fire Department

 

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Kansas woman dies after alleged alcohol-related head-on crash

Hays Post – April 29, 2016

A wrecker takes away the remains of Song Horton’s vehicle Wednesday morning- Photo: Salina Police Department. Click each photo to view full-size image.

A wrecker takes away the remains of Song Horton’s vehicle Wednesday morning- Photo: Salina Police Department. Click each photo to view full-size image.

Patrick Driscoll’s pickup

Patrick Driscoll’s pickup

A Kansas woman injured in an accident believed to be alcohol-related just after 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning in Saline County has died at a Wichita hospital, according to Saline County Undersheriff Roger Soldan.

Salina Police reported a Chevy Silverado driven by Patrick Driscoll, 32, Salina, was southbound on North Ohio Street at Stimmel Road.

The pickup crossed the centerline and hit a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe head-on.

Driscoll and the driver of the Hyundai Song Horton, 55, Salina, were transported to Salina Regional Medical Center.

Horton was then transported to a hospital in Wichita, according to police.

The crash closed a portion of North Ohio from Pacific Avenue to Interstate 70 until just after 8 a.m.

Soldan said evidence of alcohol was found in Driscoll’s pickup.

The accident remains under investigation.

 

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Job Opening – Firefighter/Paramedic – Wellington Fire Department

wellington fire

The Wellington Fire & EMS Department is accepting applications for Firefighter/Paramedic. Applicants must be currently certified as a Paramedic or will complete Paramedic class in 2016. Applicants must be a certified Firefighter I or the ability to obtain that certification within 12 months. Applicants must attend a functional analysis test or a current CPAT will be accepted. Interviews and functional analysis test will be scheduled shortly after the application deadline. Starting annual salary for a paramedic is $40,533 with a salary step increase after 6 months.
Wellington Fire & EMS employs 18 full time personnel, and two administrative staff. The department responds on an average to 1300 EMS calls and 1100 fire calls annually. Staff work 24 hour shifts and must reside within 15 miles of the fire station within 6 months.
The City of Wellington offers KP& F retirement, 10 paid holidays, vacation, Christmas savings plan, sick time incentive, health insurance and opportunities for overtime.
Apply and review the City of Wellington Firefighter/Paramedic position requirements, at hrepartners.com Application deadline is May 6th, 2016 at 5:00 PM.
Contact Tim Hay at 620 326-7443 with any questions concerning this position.

 

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Job Opening – Firefighter – McPherson Fire Department

mcpherson fire

FIRE FIGHTER

City of McPherson Fire Department

POSITION SUMMARY
Under the supervision of the Fire Captain, and Lieutenant the firefighter is a non-exempt position under FLSA. This employee is responsible for protecting the lives and property of the citizens of McPherson by performing fire suppression, technical rescues, hazardous materials responses, and providing emergency medical care. This employee should be in excellent physical condition and have the ability to remain poised under extremely difficult and hazardous circumstances. This employee should possess a strong mechanical aptitude, and effective communication and public relation skills.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:
* Protects the lives and property of the citizens of McPherson
* Performs fire suppression techniques
* Performs rescue operations including high angle, confined spaces, and vehicle extrications
* Responds to the release of hazardous materials in the community
* Provides emergency medical care for the sick and injured
* Assists with the inspection, maintenance, and minor repairs
to fire department equipment
* Works within the guidelines of the departments’ standard
operating guidelines and procedures
* Participates in daily training activities
* Assists with public education programs
* Acts in a safe manner during emergency responses, at the
fire station, and during training drills
* Assists the fire Officers in performing fire inspections
* Responsible for maintaining fire station and grounds
* Maintains department records as needed
* Follows department policies and procedures
* Follows safety procedures and practices

MARGINAL FUNCTIONS:
* Checks and tests fire hydrants;
* Performs other duties as deemed necessary.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS:

Experience: Employee is expected to have acquired the necessary information and skills to perform the job reasonably well within one year of employment. At the end of the first 18 months, it is expected that the firefighter will have the Hazardous Materials Technician certification and be fire Driver Operator certified.

Education: A high school diploma or GED is required. Degree in Fire Science or other college degree is preferred. This employee must be certified as a Fire Fighter I and II, Emergency Medical Technician, and Hazardous Materials Operations. A valid Kansas Drivers License (K.D.L.) is required. The employee must also have a current CPAT certification.
Technical Skills: A thorough knowledge of firefighting techniques is required. This employee must be able to operate all hydraulic equipment, various saws, and generators, be proficient with the use of rope rescue techniques, and be competent in the delivery of emergency medical treatment. This employee must have a working knowledge of city geography and fire-flow hydraulics. The ability to understand and anticipate problems, to perform equipment maintenance, and to read and interpret written instructions, reports, manuals, maps, and instruction materials is required. This employee should possess a strong mechanical aptitude, and effective public relation, oral and written communication skills. The firefighter is expected to maintain skills of an ongoing nature and attend and develop any necessary future skills as demanded by the department.

Problem Solving: Some problem solving is involved in this position. This employee encounters problems with fire suppression, emergency medical treatment, and equipment malfunctions. Serious problems are reported to the Fire Captain.

Decision Making: Some decision making is involved in this position. This employee makes decisions about maintaining department equipment, providing medical assistance, and performing daily duties in the safest and most efficient manner.

Supervision: This employee works with frequent supervision from the Fire Captain. This employee does not exercise any supervisory responsibilities over subordinate personnel.

Financial Accountability: This employee is responsible for the safe operation of department equipment. This employee does not participate in the annual budget process.

Personal Relations: This employee has daily contact with the general public and at times deals with the public in extremely tense and stressful situations. The firefighter interacts with co-workers in a non-traditional workplace. Daily interaction with supervisors is expected.

Working Conditions: Adverse working conditions exist within this position. Exposure to extremes of heat and cold is expected. This employee is also exposed to structural collapses, contact with hazardous materials, explosives, asbestos, and radiation, work from heights and in confined spaces, and work around heavy machinery. This position contains a significant risk to personal safety. Exposure to blood borne pathogens while responding to and providing emergency medical treatment can be expected.

Physical Requirements: The firefighter must be in excellent physical condition. The type and amount of personal protective clothing required to perform the duties of the firefighter along with the working conditions listed above creates a significant increase in physical stress to the well being of the employee. Manual labor including heavy lifting, pulling, and carrying heavy objects and equipment is expected. Climbing is a significant aspect of the job. Decisions made during critical moments at emergencies increases mental stress.

Residence requirements: Live within 5 miles McPherson Fire Department and maintain an active telephone.

The specific statements shown in each section of this description are not intended to be all inclusive. They represent typical elements and criteria considered necessary to successfully perform the job.

THIS JOB DESCRIPTION LAST UPDATED IN FEBRUARY 2015

Chris Bruton
McPherson Fire Dept.
312 E Kansas
McPherson, KS 67460
Fax: 6202452509
Phone: 6202452505

Application Form

 

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Operation Prom Crash shows drinking and driving demonstration to high school students

By Joel Nichols

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It should be a time of fun, laughter and excitement. Too often, it turns tragic.

For high school students and their parents, this is prom season, not to mention the beginning of graduations and the parties that come with them.

This morning, some 700 juniors and seniors from Shawnee Mission East High School will see and experience Operation Prom Crash.

Consolidated Fire District #2 of Johnson County teams up with Johnson County Med-Act and the Prairie Village Police Department to expose students to the horrors of a fatal crash.

The accident is the result of drunk driving but, in this day and age, it could also be due to texting while driving.

Deputy Chief Jeff Scott said drama students will be made up to look like victims with one of them actually being zipped into a body bag while a sobriety test takes place nearby.

According to Deputy Chief Scott, if they can make a sobering impact on just a few of the students, it is well worth the effort.

Just yesterday, a former student who saw the presentation 13 years ago told Scott that the dramatic morning convinced her to never drink and drive.

In fact, she became proactive in social settings by taking the keys of those who had been drinking.

Operation Prom Crash may be aimed at high school students but it is a lesson everyone can learn.

 

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Lightning blamed for large fire at vacant Overland Park home

By Peggy Breit
KMBC – April 29, 2016

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Firefighters said lightning is responsible for a big house fire in Overland Park earlier this week.

The house in the 14000 block of Parkhill Lane was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived early Wednesday.

Because the house is empty and for sale, no one heard, smelled or saw the fire until it was too late.

Investigators said it appears lightning struck the electrical service box on the outside of the house, which ignited a fire on the inside. They said it appears to have smoldered for hours before neighbors saw flames leaping from the roof.

Overland Park firefighters said these types of fires happen several times a year in the area.

“There’s no way to completely protect yourself from lightning,” said Jason Rhodes of the Overland Park Fire Department. It’s just that unpredictable.”

Some people use lightning rods and surge protectors, which can help. Firefighters said the best advice is to be ready for anything.

“Knowing that you cannot prevent lightning from striking, the best thing you can do is be prepared for the result of it, if it does occur, and that’s having those working smoke alarms and that home escape plan,” said Rhodes.

Kansas City Power and Light offers surge-protection packages. They cost between $6-$10 per month.

 

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Fatal accident south of Topeka

By Chrissy Amaya
KSNT – April 29, 2016

A man was killed after his van left I-335 13 miles south of Topeka around 9:45 Thursday night.

Fifty-three-year-old John Cooney from St. Marys has been identified by the Kansas Turnpike Authority’s crash log.

The 2002 Ford Cooney was driving northbound on the highway left the roadway, flipped over, and landed in a ditch. Cooney was thrown out of the van.

 

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Crews extinguish large warehouse fire in Kansas City, Kansas

KSHB – April 29, 2016

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Firefighters battled a large fire at a warehouse in Kansas City, Kansas on Thursday afternoon.

Thick black smoke could be seen from the ACH Foam Technologies warehouse, located in the 1400 block of North Third Street.

Crews had the two-alarm fire out by about 2:10 p.m. It was contained to the outside of the building. Seventeen fire trucks were on the scene.

The fire started on the inside of the building, firefighters said.

They decided to battle the inside fire first to protect multiple propane tanks, according to crews.

No injuries were reported.

Many people reported seeing the fire from miles away.

 

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Rogers family staying strong, Lindsborg steps up

By Eric Wiley
Salina Journal – April 29, 2016

Brandon Rogers and his wife, Nikie with sons Breckin (left) and Jaxson.

Brandon Rogers and his wife, Nikie with sons Breckin (left) and Jaxson.

What began as muscular tremors in his right hand and foot turned out to be much more than Lindsborg resident Brandon Rogers and his family could imagine.

On Jan. 8, Rogers visited his doctor to figure out the reason behind the tremors.

“My doctor had told me it was only muscular,” he said.

But shortly after midnight that night, Rogers’ younger son, Jaxson, 4, “came into my room to get me and as I was walking him back to his room, I had a seizure,” Rogers said.
Devastating diagnosis

Doctors determined that Rogers had a tumor in the left front temporal lobe of his brain. He was diagnosed with stage four malignant glioblastoma, which he says “basically doesn’t go away. You have surgery to remove it, but it grows back. Only thing is it doesn’t spread throughout my body, it just stops in my brain.”

On Jan. 14, he underwent surgery at Salina Regional Health Center and 95 percent of the tumor was removed.

Following the surgery Rogers’ grandparents, Roy and Linda Mae Rogers, drove him to and from chemotherapy and radiation therapy five days a week until April 5.

Earlier this month, Rogers had an MRI and the tumor had grown back, this time in both sides of his brain.

“I immediately thought everything was just a waste of time,” he said. “I had gone to treatments five days a week, for two hours a day and the tumor had grown to both sides of my brain. The radiation and chemo had basically failed.”
Follow-up exam

After the unfortunate news, Rogers and his wife, Nikie, went to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for a follow-up MRI.

“I was there for about 12 hours in the doctor’s office, and when we got the results later in the week, we were told the tumor wasn’t as large as we thought following the first followup MRI,” Rogers said.

The physician said radiation could have made the tumor appear to be larger.

Rogers is due for another MRI on May 23.
Getting stronger again

Rogers, who is a volunteer fireman for the Lindsborg fire department and the laptop care unit director for the Smoky Valley Public School District, said he has been feeling well enough to attend fire meetings.

“I’m pretty much back to where I was before the initial surgery. I feel good and have most of my strength back,” he said. “I’m an active person, and for me to go from having something to do every hour of the day to just sitting around and sleeping was tough. I’m not a napper,” he said, joking.

A community unites

Rogers’ unfortunate situation has inspired the Lindsborg community to rally around him.

On Saturday, the town will host a luncheon and auctions beginning at 11 a.m. at Smoky Valley High School.

The lunch will begin at 11 a.m. and include pulled pork or brisket sandwich served with a salad, baked beans, chips, potato salad and a piece of pie. Cost is by donation.

A silent auction will take place during the luncheon. Participants may choose to bid on an item or purchase it at a “buy it now” price.

A live auction will begin about 1 p.m. when higher valued items will be auctioned, including vacation stays, Kansas City Royals tickets, rounds of golf, a Wi-Fi-controlled Green Mountain Grill, gift cards and baskets, art and autographed paraphernalia. More than 200 items will be available for purchase.
Superintendent auctioneer

The event’s auctioneer will be Smoky Valley School District Superintendent Glen Suppes, a professional auctioneer for close to four decades.

“To be able to do this for Brandon is actually something I’m excited about. He brings a lot to the district. His knowledge of technology of course, but most importantly, he brings a personality where he’s always willing to help and be a team player,” Suppes said.

Suppes said he hopes everyone will make the most of the event.

“I want people to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere, even during a time like this,” he said. “I also want them to not be there to get a bargain. They should know what they’re doing is giving. I’ve seen people who would buy things and turn right around and give it right back to me to auction again. That’s what this event is about.”

Smoky Valley High School social studies teacher Margo Lysell, who has known Rogers for close to a decade, is organizing the event.

“We’ve had multiple people in this town get into tough situations, and one thing about Lindsborg is if you live here, then you automatically have a family,” she said. “I don’t know if that’s all small towns, but I believe things are more personal in smaller towns. You feel like you really know everyone and they’re a part of your life.”

Everyone on board

Lysell said many of the donations have been from local residents and businesses. Rogers said, “I’ve received calls from people as far as California. I don’t know everyone who has reached out, but all of the calls and letters are really appreciated.”

Members of the Smoky Valley Middle School sixth-grade class — 61 students taught by teachers Ben Elliot, Jill Hubele and Robin Roets — have also shown their support.

The students raised $400, $140 of which went toward a family pass to the Lindsborg swimming pool that will be auctioned off at the event. In addition to the family pass, students bought a gift basket with a cooler and pool towels.

Students also wrote Rogers cards.

“Brandon is a big part of our school district and he has built relationships with all of our students,” Roets said. “After his diagnosis earlier this year, the students said they wanted to help however they could. It’s amazing that these children care and show so much compassion at such a young age.”
Small town compassion

Smoky Valley High School students will help set up and clean up after the event. The high schoolers have also offered child care and yard work services to be auctioned off at the event.

Lysell said she loves how much the community continues to come together.

“In smaller towns, you’re taught from a young age to help others in need,” she said. “This is something that comes very natural to us. We take care of our neighbors. We hope that everyone will come out on the 30th, have a good time and show their support for Brandon.”

 

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Family of 9 rescued from Dover area floodwaters

By Tori Mason
WIBW – April 29, 2016

Photo by Eric Ives

Photo by Eric Ives

Video 628

13 NEWS was live on the scene Wednesday morning, covering the story of a family being rescued as flood waters surround their home near Dover.

The family of 9 was rescued from their home in the 10,000 block of SW K4 Highway in the Dover area Wednesday morning.

Officials told 13 NEWS they received a call for a water rescue around 1:30 this morning.

The family, ranging in age from 4 years-old to 68, requested a rescue after flood water surrounded their home when Mission Creek, next to their home overflowed it’s banks

Multiple fire and rescue crews were called in to assist in the rescue which was completed without injuries shortly before 7:00 a.m.

 

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Crews fight overnight house fire in Eastborough

KWCH – April 29, 2016

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Video 618

Wichita Fire Investigators are looking at lightning as a possible cause of a house fire in Eastborough.

Neighbors called 9-1-1 around 3:30 when they saw flames shooting from the roof.

It took 15 minutes to get the most active flames out and another 45 minutes of hide and seek to put out all the hot spots.

In firefighting, that’s a long time.

The reason it took so long was because this home, built in 1956, had what’s called lath and plaster. That’s what builders used before sheet rock. It’s a series of boards that go sideways to provide stability between the home’s frame.

That method along with no fire breaks in the home, allowed the flames to move freely throughout the front of the home.

When firefighters stepped into the home, they came across huge holes in the wood floor, where fire burned all the way through. No firefighters were hurt, but it did slow them down.

As for the cause, there’s nothing official right now, but lightning has to be at the top of the list.

Neighbors say the loud slap of lightning woke them up about four hours before flames shot from the home.

And our meteorologists with Storm Team 12, say the timing of Tuesday night’s lightning coincides with the smoldering.

Now it’s on to clean up. The homeowners were not living in the home, they recently moved. Most of their items were already gone, but some pictures were left behind that they will go through to see what can be saved.

They’ll also work with their insurance to see the next step for the home they planned to put on the market.

 

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Retired firefighter reminisces about 30 years of service

By Charity Keitel
Miami County Republic – April 29, 2016

Capt. John Marshall . Photos by Osawatomie Fire Department

Capt. John Marshall . Photos by Osawatomie Fire Department

Osawatomie Deputy Fire Chief Brian Mersman (left) and Fire Chief Brian Love (center) presented Captain John Marshall with his golden Presentation Axe on April 20 during Marshall's retirement celebration at Memorial Hall. Marshall was a dedicated firefighter for 30 years before choosing to retire. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Osawatomie Deputy Fire Chief Brian Mersman (left) and Fire Chief Brian Love (center) presented Captain John Marshall with his golden Presentation Axe on April 20 during Marshall’s retirement celebration at Memorial Hall. Marshall was a dedicated firefighter for 30 years before choosing to retire. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Capt. John Marshall, 64, retired from the Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department on April 20 after 30 years of dedicated service.

As a firefighter, he said he saw many things in his three decades of service and learning to take the bad with the good was part of a package deal. He doesn’t regret his time as a firefighter, but Marshall admitted he was ready to retire.

As he’s gotten older, he’s realized he’s slowing down, and he said he didn’t want that to become a problem for him or for others while out on fire calls.

“I’m getting older. I’ve got a knee replacement and a hip replacement and I’ve recently been recovering from a torn tendon. It sounds like I’m falling apart, but I am slowing down,” he said. “I didn’t want to get hurt, and I didn’t want to get someone else hurt.”

Firefighting is a young man’s game, and though he’ll miss it, he doesn’t mind giving it up, he said.

Despite his retirement from the fire department, Marshall will still be plenty busy working at the Osawatomie State Hospital where he’s worked in property control since just after his high school graduation. His wife, Marcia, also works for the hospital as an escort driver taking patients to appointments on the grounds and also away from the grounds.

John said his wife has been very supportive throughout his years as a firefighter, never complaining even when he would have to pick up and leave suddenly for fire calls. He said even before many of the firefighters’ wives got involved to the extent they are now, Marcia would volunteer to babysit some of the firefighters’ kids or even go out on calls to help support the firefighters however she could.

And back in the day, the paging system wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as it is now. So, she had to deal with the phone ringing constantly whenever there was a fire.

“Our paging system was the telephone,” John said. “It would ring continually until someone picked it up. It would ring at everybody’s house at the same time. I actually kind of miss it, but the paging system now is a lot better because if someone wasn’t home when the phone rang, they’d miss the fire.”

When John joined the fire department, things were a lot different, but the dedication of the people is the same, and it’s what he’ll miss the most – working with his fellow firefighters.

“You didn’t do it for the money way back then. You did it because you enjoyed it and you didn’t mind helping people out or being in the inclement weather. I’ve enjoyed it,” he said.

“I’m definitely going to miss the guys on the fire department. They’re a really great group of guys. I miss some of the older guys who aren’t there now. There were a lot of good times and some sad times as well.”

John said other than his fellow firefighters, the thing he’ll miss the most is the public relation events like the Toys for Tots program and others because while doing good things for the community, it’s easy to forget about all the bad things that happen. Serving others has provided him with some great memories.

John has been a well-liked member of the fire department for a long time, and Osawatomie Fire Chief Brian Love said his contributions will be missed.

“John’s contributions to the city of Osawatomie, its citizens and the growth of the department have been immeasurable,” Love said. “He has been a huge asset in the department for the past 30 years and has left a lasting impression on everyone that has had the pleasure of serving with him.”

 

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GCCC students gain real-life experience during scenario day

By Angie Haflich
Garden City Telegram – April 29, 2016

Dakota Trickey (left) and David Fernandez. Click on photo to view full-size image. Photo by Brad Nading

Dakota Trickey (left) and David Fernandez. Click on photo to view full-size image. Photo by Brad Nading

It was a busy day on the Garden City Community College campus Tuesday — one filled with purse snatchers, murders, arson and a little bit of everything in between.

“For the last couple of days, we’ve had a thief on campus stealing purses,” said Brandy Unruh, director of the college’s department of public safety. “All of our reporting parties are calling in at different times reporting their purses gone.”

No actual purses were harmed in the making of the purse theft scenario — one of several mock scenarios criminal justice, emergency medical and fire science students were participating in Tuesday.

Each year, GCCC instructors, Garden City police officers, Kansas Highway Patrol troopers, Finney County Emergency Medical Service personnel and Garden City firefighters evaluate students of those three programs on their ability to apply everything they’ve learned in the classroom to scenarios they will likely face in the real world.

“We are critiquing them, but this is really about putting them in situations and seeing how they handle themselves,” Unruh said as sophomore criminal justice student Allie Knoll handed her a piece of paper.

Unruh said it was an application for a search warrant for a scene at 2016 E. Spruce St., where Knoll and another officer had come across two homicide victims, portrayed by GCCC drama department students.

“There was a cord wrapped around one of the victim’s necks, so we want that telephone cord as evidence,” Knoll said.

Unruh, who portrayed the judge signing the search warrant, gave Knoll a bit of advice.

“Now remember, the only thing you can get from your search warrant is what you asked for — those are the only things you can collect from the scene,” Unruh said.

Knoll then drove the college’s training vehicle to the crime scene, which was blocked off with crime scene tape.

Freshman criminal justice student Peter Teichroeb greeted Knoll with instructions before they entered the scene to collect evidence included in the search warrant.

“We need to call EMS to get the bodies to the morgue, and we need an autopsy,” Teichroeb said.

In a matter of minutes, an ambulance pulled up to the scene, filled with emergency medical students, who transported the bodies from the scene — well, at least one of the bodies.

The other body, belonging to GCCC drama student Aaron Rojas, began walking around the parking lot, despite his gray complexion and the rather serious looking gunshot injury to his head.

Freshman Saul Fausto, who had been logging people in and out as they crossed over the crime scene tape, didn’t seem to know how to handle the zombie before him.

Another challenge arose when Teichroeb had difficulty communicating through the car’s radio with fellow classmates, who were back at headquarters — a classroom in the public safety department — so he directed Knoll to call one of the students on her cell phone.

Unruh said while an officer wouldn’t have to deal with the walking dead during a real-life crime investigation, it isn’t uncommon to lose radio communications, so the students’ abilities to think on their feet is just as important as anything they learn in the classroom.

“It’s very much learn as you go,” Unruh said.

EMT Director Brad Sisk said many EMT students already work as full-time EMTs, but undergo continuous training at the college. He said engaging students in realistic scenarios is the best way to solidify their book knowledge and to sharpen their skills.

Fire Science Instructor Larry Pander said his students participated in a mock fire involving an arsonist who set fire to a home — the college’s fire tower — and then perished in the flames.

“They learn certain stuff in class, and then when they get faced with it in real life, they realize they don’t know as much as they think they do,” Pander said. “You can’t replace experience.”

With the purse snatching calls, criminal justice students were dispatched to the scene to take reports, which Unruh said they would then be required to tie together so they could nab the culprit.

Other scenarios included mock calls reporting telephone harassment, abdominal pain, stroke-like conditions and an unattended death in the back of a vehicle.

Unruh and Pander said the students now will be required to present reports detailing the scenarios they were involved in and turn them in next week.

 

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Storefront sign catches fire in Andover

KFDI – April 29, 2016

Photo by Chad Russell, Andover Fire Chief

Photo by Chad Russell, Andover Fire Chief

A storefront sign in Andover caught fire early Wednesday morning, and firefighters are trying to find out how.

The Andover Fire Department responded to a fire at In The Bag Cleaners at around 4:45 a.m. and found the front of the building apparently on fire.

Crews quickly put water on the fire, which turned out to be contained to the sign mounted on the front of the business. The building did not catch fire, but the amount of damage is not clear.

The cause is under investigation.

 

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AT&T simulator shows just how scary texting and driving can be

By Linsay Sax
WIBW – April 29, 2016

Video 542

We’ve all been told texting and driving is dangerous, but people got a firsthand look at just how scary it can be Wednesday.

AT&T brought its It Can Wait Texting Simulator to the Statehouse. Participants put on the goggles to see what it’s like trying to drive while spending more time looking at your phone.

“You’re guaranteed to have a wreck,” said Mike Scott, president, AT&T Kansas. “Texting and driving is just so dangerous it’s like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed at 50 miles per house.”

AT&T conducted a recent survey on texting and driving, and while 90 percent of people said they knew texting and driving was dangerous, 71 percent continued to do it.

Scott hopes the simulator will show people just how scary it can be.

“We think it’s very authentic and very impactful,” he said.

 

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Small kitchen fire quickly extinguished by Topeka firefighters

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – April 29, 2016

A pan of hot cooking oil that was accidently knocked over ignited a small fire at a duplex in the 2000 block of S.W. 36th.

The fire was reported at 5:26 p.m.

Once firefighters arrived, it took about 30 seconds to put out the kitchen fire, said Topeka Fire Department battalion chief Chris Herrera. Crews then concentrated on ventilating the space.

Some smoke got into the other duplex, but Herrera said damage to both residences is minimal.

No one was injured in the incident.

 

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Atlanta firefighters auxiliary hosting chicken noodle dinner

Winfield Courier – April 29, 2016

The Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will have its annual chicken and noodle dinner Saturday evening from 5 to 7 at the Atlanta Community Building.

Also featured on the menu will be mashed potatoes, vegetable, salads and homemade desserts. There is no charge, but donations will be appreciated.

The Labor Day Committee will also be selling flowers and plants.

From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., the Senior Center at 308 Third St. (former Methodist church) will be continuing their garage and book sale with new items added.

 

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Man accused of setting fire in medical building bathroom

By Erin Mathews
Salina Journal – April 29, 2016

A Salina man was arrested Wednesday, accused of starting a small fire in a men’s restroom at the Salina Medical Arts Building, 520 S. Santa Fe.

Joel Medlock, 56, is accused of aggravated arson in connection with the fire that set off an alarm at 5 p.m. April 8, said Capt. Chris Trocheck.

Firefighters who responded to the alarm found no evidence of fire, but maintenance crews entered the first floor bathroom and advised officers of “suspicious activity” that might have triggered the alarm. Minimal damage was reported inside the restroom, although no structural damage was noted, according to a news release issued at the time.

The Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office and the Salina Police Department investigated the fire.

 

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Man, two children in stable condition at KU Med following morning fire

By Sarah Gooding
Pittsburg Morning Sun – April 29, 2016

Three area residents were flown to KU Medical Center Thursday morning, after being rescued from their burning home.

KOAM TV reports the home belonged to the station’s morning anchor Tawnya Collins and her husband, James.

James Collins and the couple’s two youngest sons have been flown to KU Medical Center where they are being treated for smoke inhalation and are all in stable condition.

Pittsburg Fire Department Battalion Chief Jim Radell said firefighters were dispatched to 119 E. 14th Street in Pittsburg about 7:24 a.m.

“When the call came in, they did advise us there were people trapped in the house,” Radell said.

Upon arrival, they discovered rescue operations had begun, with Crawford County Sheriff Deputy A.J. Terry and some of the neighbors assisting.

“With the assistance of some neighbors, he put a ladder up on the front porch roof. He went up there and found one adult and one child on the roof,” Radell said. “He went to a window and pulled another child out.”

Upon arrival, firefighters went up the ladder and proceeded to bring everybody down.

Radell said there was some confusion at the scene, with a fourth individual believed to be in the structure.

Firefighters did conduct a rapid response effort, which was terminated after a few minutes when it was discovered the older child was at school

Radell said the fire began in a kitchen or linen closet and was brought under control fairly quickly, but the home likely is a total loss because of heat and smoke damage.

The cause has not yet been determined and the incident is under investigation by the Pittsburg Police Department.

 

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First Aid Badge Workshop

Sentinel Times – April 29, 2016

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Saturday, April 16, 2015, sixty-eight Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts from Columbus, Baxter Springs, Joplin, Carthage, Webb City, and Afton recently gathered at the American Legion fairgrounds to earn their age-level first aid badge.
Scouts ranged in age from kindergarten through 8th grade. They spent the day in various classes. The workshop was sponsored by Columbus Girl Scouts.
The class talking with a professional was taught by Jaden Tedlock from the Columbus fire department. He showed the Scouts a fire truck and talked about recuse equipment. They discussed fire safety and how professionals respond to emergencies.
Check, Call, Care was taught by Vicki Rahall and Josh Harvey with the Cherokee County sheriffs department. Scouts learned how to check their victims, make athe appropriate call to 911, and how to give immediate care until EMS arrives.
Minor injuries was taught by Doug Anderson with the Cherokee County ambulance. He taught Scouts how to care for minor wounds and illnesses. Older Scouts learned how to care for younger children.
In the serious injuries Scouts learned how to care for victims that were choking or victims of poisonings. They also learned basic CPR. This was taught by Carrie Davolt and Laura Bowin with Freeman Health Systems.
Outdoor injuries taught the Scouts about weather-related injuries and animal-related injuries. They discussed safety in the out-of-doors and how to avoid injuries. The older Scouts also learned how to help someone that has broken a bone while away from home. This class was taught by Mavis Bowin with the American Red Cross.
Scouts got help in making their own first aid kits. Senior Girl Scouts Maddie Clugston and Bronwyn Messer taught them what they needed in their kits and what they did not need. Everyone got to take their own kit home.
Justin Noel with the Cherokee County Sheriff Office brought the S.A.F.E. Van. He taught the Scouts the dangers of texting and driving and the importance of wearing their seat belts.
During the morning Mercy LifeFlight brought the helicopter. Scouts got the opportunity to hear about how the helicopter operates and had fun climbing in the back and sitting in the pilot’s seat.
Mercy Hospital Columbus, provided a sunscreen basket for a special door prize drawing. They also provided handouts on the importance of wearing sunscreen and gave every Scout a snack for the morning break. Cherokee County Health Department provided handouts about tick safety, hand sanitizing, and emergency first aid booklets to carry in their kits. There were also a wide variety of brochures provided by FEMA.
A concession stand was available for lunch and snacks throughout the day. Helping serve the food were Senior Scouts Chassady Smith and Ashton Hymer.
The Scouts stated they learned a lot and felt better prepared to help family and friends should an emergency situation ever arise.
Some Scout troops also camped out at the fair grounds both Friday and Saturday nights.

 

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Firefighters practice for swift water rescues after recent rain

By Jade DeGood
KWCH – April 29, 2016

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Video 436

With recent rains and more on the way Wichita Fire’s rescue team was out on the river Thursday practicing for the dangerous situations swift water brings.

“The power of it is unmatched, and people get in trouble with it really quickly,” said Captain Brent Holman with the Wichita Fire Department. “They might think they are having a good time and the next thing you know they are in big trouble.”

The Wichita Fire Department has a 45 person rescue team over the three 24-hour shifts. The team trains for several different rescue scenarios, but says swift water makes them the most nervous.

“Out of all the training we do, the swift water makes me the most nervous out of all of it just because of the power of the water,” said Holman. “Even with all of the gear we have we can get caught in it as well, so we’re pretty careful about it.”

“It’s really important right now because it is the rainy season and the rivers get swollen,” said firefighter Josh Bruggeman. “Somebody’s out here canoeing or kayaking, they tip over, we have the resources where we have a jet ski and a couple boats, we can launch pretty quick to help.”

Every year fire crews across the state are faced with real life situations involving swift water. Sometimes the water is too strong to save the person in it.

Last year a Butler County man was killed after falling into the Walnut River and swept under by the current. In 2013, a boy was swept under and killed after swimming in Wichita’s “Big Ditch.”

“The best advice I can give people is stay away from it,” said Holman. “It doesn’t take a whole lot of water current to sweep you away. It only takes one little lung full of water and then you’re down and you don’t get back up.”

If you are going to be around rivers or other bodies of water, Holman suggests wearing a life jacket and solid shoes.

 

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Soldier Township Fire Department responds to garage fire

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – April 29, 2016

Photo by Katie Moore

Photo by Katie Moore

Soldier Township fire crews worked Thursday evening to put out a fire in a garage in the 6800 block of N.W. Elmont.

The blaze was reported at 7:48 p.m.

Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Jace Beightel said neighbors noticed the fire and alerted the owners of the garage. The garage was used as a paint shop.

Crews were observed using a chain saw to gain entry through the front of the structure.

No one was injured in the incident, Beightel said.

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

 

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Fire damages home

By Michael Maresh
Garden City Telegram – April 29, 2016

Photos by James M. Dobson. Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Photos by James M. Dobson. Click on each photo to view full-size image.

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No injuries were reported from a house fire that started around 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the 600 block of West Garden City Avenue.

The house, owned by Haydee Rodriguez, sustained significant damage to both the structure and the contents that were inside the house.

Seven people lived at the house, 623 W. Garden City Ave., but no one was home at the time of the fire, according to Garden City fire chief Allen Shelton.

The fire was extinguished shortly before 8 p.m., Shelton said. Fire personnel were still looking for two family dogs as of 8 p.m. Thursday who Shelton believes were inside the home.

Shelton said the fire appears to have started in the back of the house but had not determined an exact location. The fire spread to the attic by the time firefighters arrived on scene.

Shelton said he did not have the exact time of when firefighters arrived, but believed it was about 6:30 p.m. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, Shelton said.

In the back of the home, the fire progressed enough to snap a live electrical wire in two, causing officials to cordon off the area where the wire was located until the electricity was turned off.

The electricity, gas and water at the home were turned off at the request of firefighters.

Shelton said the fire is still under investigation.

 

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Rural home is heavily damaged by fire today

By Shane Farley
NewsCow – April 26, 2016

Photo by Donita Clausen

Photo by Donita Clausen

A home in rural Cowley County sustained significant damage this morning as a result of a fire.

Just after 10:30 a.m., fire crews were called to a home at 23343 31st Rd. for the report of a structure fire. Heavy black smoke was visible from a distance and the home was engulfed in flames.

Those who live at the home were not there at the time, however, a family member approached the home, saw fire and called 911. No injuries were immediately reported.

A cause of the fire was not immediately known. Crews from Winfield and Ark City were on scene to bring the blaze under control. Windy conditions made controlling the fire more difficult.

The home belongs to the Williams family, according to Cowley County land records.

 

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Andover F.D. receives $30,256 in grants

By Belinda Larsen
Butler County Times Gazette – April 26, 2016

(l-r) Megan Reyce, a representatives from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell, and Stephen Cullinane and John Gabriel, also with Andover Fire. Firehouse Subs made a recent generous donation to the Andover Fire Rescue.

(l-r) Megan Reyce, a representatives from Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell, and Stephen Cullinane and John Gabriel, also with Andover Fire. Firehouse Subs made a recent generous donation to the Andover Fire Rescue.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation recently awarded $30,256 worth of life-saving equipment grants awarded to Andover Fire Rescue, Sumner County Fire District #8 and Wellington Fire & EMS.

Andover Fire Rescue received portable radios and a thermal imaging camera worth $19,156. The awarded radios will improve communication between the department and county dispatchers, while the thermal imaging camera will be used to detect body heat and hot spots in burning buildings, allowing firefighters to quickly reach victims and provide life-saving assistance.

Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell stated, “It would have been impossible for Andover Fire to have attained the lifesaving equipment we did without the help of Firehouse Subs Foundation and the generosity of their customers. We are so thankful that we were chosen for this honor. The equipment purchased is used every single day in our operation and will no doubt have a huge positive affect on the safety and health of our community and neighbors.”

About Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation

In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first-responders and public safety organizations. Through the non-profit 501(c)(3), Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has given more than $18 million to hometown heroes in 45 states and Puerto Rico, including more than $170,837 in Kansas.

 

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Fire damages home in Roeland Park

By Brenda Washington
KMBC – April 26, 2016

Photo by Brenda Washington

Photo by Brenda Washington

A fire early Tuesday morning damaged a home in Roeland Park.

Firefighters were called to the 3500 block of West 47th Terrace just after 3 a.m.

Homeowner said says she was working on her computer about the time a storm rolled through, causing the lights to go out.

The woman called Kansas City Power & Light. The utility recommended that she check her electrical box.

The woman said she smelled smoke and tried to call KCP&L back, but her phone went dead.

The woman ran to a neighbor’s home to call for help.

No injuries were reported.

Authorities said there was smoke damage to the inside of the home.

Fire investigators are looking into whether lightning caused the fire. It remains under investigation.

 

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Firefighters flip for funds

By Carol Bronson
Pratt Tribune – April 26, 2016

Jahue Warman drops pancakes on the griddle as Rex Robinson stands by to flip them at just the right time. Justin Weber is at the egg-frying griddle. Photo by Carol Bronson

Jahue Warman drops pancakes on the griddle as Rex Robinson stands by to flip them at just the right time. Justin Weber is at the egg-frying griddle. Photo by Carol Bronson

The Sawyer community knows how to put on a pancake supper. The Christian Church hosted an annual supper for more than 30 years. They’ve given up the tradition, but the equipment and management expertise is still there, so when the Sawyer Rural Fire Department planned to do a fund-raiser, a pancake and sausage supper made sense.

On Saturday night, they cleared out the new firehouse and the space that holds four trucks and all the firefighters’ gear became a dining room for about 300 people.

The department has done fund-raisers in the past, and for several years, a hog roast was a tradition. In 2010, they received a nearly $300,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce to construct a new 72,000 square foot facility. It was a KanStep grant, requiring that the community provide the labor to put up and finish out the building. They moved in about a year ago.

Volunteers became a little burned out, Fire Chief Rex Robinson admitted, and the fund-raiser went by the wayside. They’re planning to make it an annual event again, both to provide money for things the firefighters need, but also as a community event.

They would like to install cabinets in the training room, and another grass truck is on the want list for the future.

The department, which currently has a roster of 15 firefighters, typically makes 15 to 25 fire runs in a year in a district that includes the town of Sawyer, the area surrounding it and Elm Mills Township, Elm Mills and 99 Springs resort communities in Barber County. They get tax money from both counties.

As part of a mutual aid agreement, 14 Sawyer volunteers put in 225.5 hours to help control the recent fires in Barber County.

The department incurred some additional expenses for fuel, truck repairs, a blown tire, the loss of a radio, flashlights and other small equipment. Experiences of long hours fighting just a small section of a massive fire in rugged terrain will be the focus of future training exercises.

“With a fire like that you find your weak spots,” Robinson commented.

 

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Fire Department installs diesel exhaust removal systems

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – April 26, 2016

Leavenworth Fire Chief Gary Birch demonstrates how a new diesel exhaust removal system operates at Leavenworth Fire Station No. 1. Each of the city's three fire stations has one of the systems. Photo by John Richmeier

Leavenworth Fire Chief Gary Birch demonstrates how a new diesel exhaust removal system operates at Leavenworth Fire Station No. 1. Each of the city’s three fire stations has one of the systems. Photo by John Richmeier

Video 610

During his career as a firefighter, Gary Birch has seen stations with walls that have been darkened by the exhaust of trucks that constantly were being driven in and out of the truck bays.

And that exhaust poses a health risk to firefighters. In addition to carbon monoxide, diesel exhaust includes carcinogens, said Birch, chief of the Leavenworth Fire Department.

“You know it’s in the air,” he said.

The Leavenworth Department recently installed Plymovent diesel exhaust removal systems in all three of the city’s fire stations.

The systems capture the exhaust from fire trucks while their engines are running inside the stations. Large hoses attach to the truck’s exhaust pipes by magnets. The hoses pump the exhaust out of the station.

As the trucks leave the stations, the hose separates from the exhaust pipes. Firefighters reconnect the hoses when the trucks are returned to the stations.

Birch said the system that pumps the exhaust out of the station is activated by a signal anytime a firefighter turns the ignition of one of the trucks.

“Once we leave the station, it will run about three minutes (before shutting off),” Birch said.

The purchase of the Plymovent systems was approved March 8 by the Leavenworth City Commission. The systems were purchased through a company called Air Cleaning Technologies for a total cost of $48,100.

Each station now has two hose connections for the diesel exhaust removal systems.

Last week was the first week the systems were in operation.

 

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Building fire at Joyland Amusement Park

KSN – April 26, 2016

wichita fire 4262016

A building at Joyland Amusement Park caught on fire late Monday night.

According to dispatch, the fire started just before midnight at 2801 South Hillside.

When crews arrived, they found a 100×50 ft. building near the old railroad tracks completely engulfed in flames. Access caused some problems for the firefighters. They had to cut through a fence to get inside and use links to get a water supply to the area. Around 12:40 am, the fire was under control.

Fire officials tell KSN the building looked like it was used for storage and was filled with lumber.

At this time, the cause of the fire is unknown.

 

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Apartment fire causes minor injuries

Coffeyville Journal – April 9, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 25, 2016

Coffeyville Fire Department responded to a fire at approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday at Pickwick Place, 600 S. Maple Street.

A cooking fire was reported in apartment 219 and was quickly extinguished, according to Fire Department officials. The apartment’s occupant, Denise O’Connor, received minor burns on her hand and was transported to Coffeyville Regional Medical Center by EMS personnel.

The Coffeyville Police Department assisted with the evacuation of the building.

City officials report that the apartment sustained $3,000 in damage as a result of the fire.

 

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Wildfires highlight service of firefighters

By Sydney Bosque
Minneapolis Messenger – March 31, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 25, 2016

The recent Kansas/Oklahoma wildfire gained national attention as the area’s largest wildfire in history. News stations nationwide kept the country up-to-date on the acres burned and estimated losses. The majority of the national media will likely not report on any Kansas-related events for months to come, and by that time, the wildfires will be largely forgotten by most of the country. The irony is that the very men containing the fires and saving homes are working to keep this event as un-newsworthy as possible. They don’t want reports of deaths, loss of cattle, and millions of burned acres. The are working around the clock to prevent as much damage as they can. They want these fires to gain as little news coverage as possible.

Many of the issues facing the firefighters fighting the wildfires are similar to those our own volunteer department deals with every day. When asked about the hardest and most rewarding part of their jobs, firefighters from around the country replied as follows:

“Waking up at 2 a.m. to help someone when you have to be at work at 6. Leaving your family during a birthday party for a structure fire, or responding to a call about a heart attack during Christmas. Going to a call on Thanksgiving to a family who just lost a loved one. It’s tough, but I love it.”

“My husband and I are both volunteers. We have two small kids. It’s hard getting up in the middle of the night and taking them to our Chief’s wife so we can respond. We have missed family gatherings, birthday parties, and many other events, but we do it because we love it and want to help our community.”

“There are many things that are hard, including knowing many people on the calls you attend, and not being able to save them all. It’s also hard organizing work, family, calls and training. But, the benefits are man; satisfaction in serving the community, and pride in the recognition you receive.”

“The hardest part is looking in the eyes of your brother or sister and trying to comfort them as everything they hold dear in life has gone up in smoke, and they pray their family made it out in time. It’s hard knowing you gave your best, but sometimes it’s not good enough. The most rewarding thing is the family you have everywhere in the world just by belonging to the thin red line. And knowing when you see that the life you changed is not only your own, but everyone you have come in contact with. Children have parents because of you. Families can return home. Those are the moments that make this job great.”

“It’s hard. They are fighting fires with one hand, while the town and the homes are burning, and with the other hand they’re texting their wives and telling them to get out of town. Many lose their own home while trying to save others.”

“Sometimes, there’s nothing we can do to save someone/something, no matter how trained, fast, or ready we are. The most rewarding is kids’ reactions when they see us driving the trucks. Pure awe, wonder, and excitement. So yeah, smiles are the most rewarding.”

“You wake up at 1 a.m. to save someone’s house before work. Walk into a medical call and see a child unresponsive, doing everything you can, but not being able to save them. Never knowing if this call will be your last. The most rewarding thing is being able to have a relationship with the community you protect. They know if they call, someone will always show up. That is part of what drives a volunteer. It’s not about money or fame, it’s about people.”

“The hardest part is leaving my family. The most rewarding is coming home.”

“Being in a small town, the hardest is knowing 99.99% of the calls involve people you grew up with.”

Firefighters, both local and national, give their time and effort and risk their lives to help others. Volunteers like those here in Ottawa County routinely miss kids sporting events or family meals to save someone’s home. They drag themselves out of bed at midnight to answer the call and fight a fire. Whatever the reason and whenever the call comes in, they give up a part of their life to keep us safe and our stories out of the news. For that, communities everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women that fight fires, and everyone should take the time to thank their local firefighters.

 

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Leroy Edward TenBarge

tenbarge

Leroy TenBarge, 80, passed away at his residence on Friday, March 4th in rural Walton.

Leroy was born on September 10, 1935 in Rural Cheney, Kansas to Albert and Rose (Klein) TenBarge.

Leroy was a retired Captain for the Newton Fire Department. Once retired, he farmed and raised cattle. He enjoyed camping, fishing and being in the outdoors. He was an avid fan of Notre Dame and Kansas State football as well as University of Kansas basketball. He had several classic cars including 1970 and 1971 Monte Carlo’s, 1961 Nova and a 1931 Model A.

Leroy and Joan were married for sixteen years. When they combined their families they had six children, and later were blessed with nine grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren.

Leroy is survived by his wife: Joan (Folsom) TenBarge; children/step-children: Matthew TenBarge, Rick and Cindy Kleck, Karen and Jack Houseberg, Diane and Joey Char, Cheryl and Lonny Rains, and Cindy and Keith Swonger; sisters: Marilyn Novak, Janie Cheatum and Betty Jo and Duane Chichester.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Albert and Rose TenBarge; brothers: Bill and John TenBarge; and sister: Delores Lamb.

Funeral services are planned for 2:00p.m., Friday, March 11th at the Eastside United Methodist Church of Newton. A visitation will be held from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10th, at Petersen Funeral Home, with the family present from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A graveside committal will follow the service at Walton Cemetery.

Leroy had been ill for several years prior to his death. He will be remembered for his public service and leadership as a fire fighter, love for his family, and his love for the outdoors and nature.

A memorial has been established for Eastside United Methodist Church, 1520 East Broadway, Newton, Kansas 67114.

 

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N. Newton floats idea of own Fire/EMS Department

By Adam Strunk
Newton Now – March 31, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 25, 2016

North Newton is considering creating its own fire department and splitting from Newton for fire protection.

The North Newton City Council and the Newton City Commission met in North Newton City Hall for a joint meeting to discuss items of mutual interest Tuesday evening.

At the meeting, North Newton City Administrator John Torline brought up the possibility of North Newton creating its own fire department.

Torline said cost and service were contributing factors for the possibility.

He said that property taxes in North Newton bring in $396,000 in a year. Fire and EMS protection from Newton costs the City of North Newton $383,000 or 96 percent of that amount.

Torline said that the rest of the city services are funded on a portion of county sales tax, franchise fees and utility fees.

He added that the nearest fire station to North Newton is two miles away and across railroad tracks.

Torline said the city had been thinking about the decision for about a year.

He told the Newton City Commission he was giving them a heads up about the idea. He added that North Newton would be open to the idea of working with the city to get a closer location and paying for a combined Newton, North Newton Fire Department.

Mayor Glen Davis said the Newton City Commission would have to talk about the development, but at this time he wasn’t ready to make any comments on the issue.

Newton City Commissioner Barth Hague sounded like he wished to keep the communities together and cooperating on such services.

“In principal, in things like this, we’re better off as two communities working together,” Hague said.

 

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Departments respond to massive wildfire in southcentral Kansas

Montgomery County Chronicle – March 31, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 25, 2016

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Several area volunteer firefighters from Montgomery County joined hundreds of other volunteers firefighters from Oklahoma and Kansas in attempting to extinguish the vast Anderson Creek fire that consumed several thousand square miles of grassland in southcentral Kansas last week.

From the Caney Fire Department, firefighters Jeff Culver, Mike Jones and Eric Taylor lent their services to fighting the blaze while Chance Brake, Chris Finney and Chris Bishop of the Tyro Division of the Montgomery County Rural Fire Department also battled the flames and smoke.

 

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Motorcycle crash takes life of Nemaha man

By Greg Palmer
WIBW – April 25, 2016

A Seneca man has died after losing control of the motorcycle he was on Saturday afternoon.

The Nemaha County Sheriff’s office says 51 year-old Gary Love was northbound on K-63 when he left the road and was thrown from his bike.

Love was taken to Nemaha Valley Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

 

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Fires taking toll on Greenwood County fire truck fleet

By Tammy Seimears
Emporia Gazette – April 25, 2016

Greenwood County Commissioners reviewed an extensive list of repairs needed on county fire trucks at the meeting Monday morning due to the extreme amount of fires crews have fought in recent weeks.

County Fire Chief Doug Williams had compiled the list for all county departments with repairs estimated at just under $30,000. The repairs ranged from many tires, to transmissions and engine issues. The excessively windy and dry conditions have contributed to a particularly dangerous fire season.

Commissioners commented that a frustrating factor in this year’s out of control fires is the presence of an isolated calm day, when many farmers and ranchers burn, and then the day immediately following has extremely high winds, stirring up embers from burns that day before.

Commissioner Cole Conard asked for clarification on where the majority of the fires have been called out recently. Commissioner Brian Hind said that by far the Severy, Piedmont and Fall River firemen have been called out the most. Sheriff Rusty Bitler agreed, adding that some of those firemen had been called out so much lately that they’ve only been able to go home for a couple hours at a time.

Conard commented that he is frustrated with a situation in the south end of the county that he feels is contributing to the increased fire calls. He explained that there is a large presence of out-of-area owners who have bought smaller lots of acreage for hunting and vacations around the Severy area. He feels that a lot of those people are not familiar with how to safely burn their property and when they do, the fires quickly get out of hand.

“The firefighters are doing fantastic,” said Conard. “But they’re wore out and they’re tired and as you can see, their equipment is getting torn up.” He went on to describe the situation with the large amount of out of town property owners who come in on the weekends and attempt to burn their property.

“They don’t have a clue. They have no sense about it, no equipment or any way to control it,” he added.

The discussion continued about how intense and big the fires have been. It was observed that some of the biggest fires have come up from Elk County. Commissioners discussed the fact that Lyon County requires written permits to burn and wondered if that should be an option in Greenwood County. Sheriff Bitler was asked if the out of town people are calling the fires in. He replied that yes, they’ve been good about calling them in, however dispatch usually gets a phone call shortly after, that the fire had gotten away from them. It was asked if maybe there needs to be stricter rules about burning.

Conard replied that he usually doesn’t support more rules, however he was concerned about the elevating problem. Hind added, “After years of me trying to get stricter rules, I don’t want to punish the 95 percent of people doing it right.”

Emergency Management Director Levi Vinson pointed out that he felt one step in the right direction was when burning was prohibited on Red Flag Days issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). When the NWS determines fire conditions are extreme, a Red Flag Day warning is issued. The weather service also puts out what is called the Rangeland Fire Index. It is generally more accurate, with an extreme fire danger warning issued if the index is 50 or above.

There is some confusion when a Red Flag Day is issued, but the Rangeland Fire Index doesn’t follow with an extreme designation. Sheriff Bitler told commissioners that he has actually talked to the NWS and they are talking about lowering the criteria for the extreme fire danger index in a pilot program this summer.

“I asked them why on some of these Red Flag Days, the fire index is not extreme?” said Bitler. He explained that they told him the problem is with surrounding weather service offices not having the same criteria. It is an issue they are going to address this summer.

Commissioner Hind, who is also a volunteer fireman for Madison, asked Sheriff Bitler if dispatch could gather more information about who calls the fires in. He said that a lot of times, they get to a fire and they get chewed out by the property owner because they are wanting the ground to burn and not be put out. Hind commented that with the exception of the south end of the county, he felt the rest of the burning had gone pretty well. He added that most people in his area had done a pretty good job of burning their pastures.

Vinson commented on the Severy Fire Department, “I’ve gone to a lot of fires and watched them. I’m used to watching a lot of activities at other places and they’ve done a very good job. They turn it around down there. Those guys should be commended. They’ve done a pretty good job with not very much rest or sleep.” Conard added that they have other jobs as well, and have still spent a large amount of time on fires.

Hind wondered about calling other departments in the county to come down and help more often when the fires get so intense in the south. Lt. Randy Cox from the Sheriff’s Office, commented that the concern was leaving other parts of the county vulnerable if they dispatched their trucks out of their own area. Sheriff Bitler added that they usually leave the determination to page assistance from other departments to that specific local chief or the county chief.

Cole then stated, “I think that all these farmers and ranchers need to realize that their right to burn their pastures does not supersede the right of their neighbors not to burn their pastures. And it’s not their neighbors’ responsibility to get out there and stop the fire. They don’t have to do the back burning. If you’re going to light a fire, it’s all on you. And if it gets on your neighbor, you’re responsible for it. That mentality needs to stop.”

Hind added that there also seems to be a problem with some property owners when the fire department is paged out. He would like to see more appreciation for the departments that respond, adding that a lot of the time, they get to the scene and are “chewed out” for not putting the fire out the way the property owner feels they should be doing it.

Hind also added that he felt that most property owners north of Highway 54 and some south of Highway 54 had done a good job burning this season for as dry as it’s been.

 

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Two teens escape house fire at 4009 S.W. 39th Terrace in south Topeka

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – April 25, 2016

Photo by Phil Anderson

Photo by Phil Anderson

Video 943

Two teenagers escaped a house fire early Monday morning in south Topeka.

The blaze was reported around 7:45 a.m. in a one-story brick home at 4009 S.W. 39th Terrace in the Colly Creek neighborhood.

Topeka Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Macke said that first-arriving crews found heavy smoke coming from the residence.

Macke said the blaze was confined to a workout room in the northwest corner of the residence.

Two teens, a boy and a girl, were able to get out and call 911.

Fire companies put out blaze in short order.

No injuries were reported.

The cause is still under investigation.

 

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Dearing home destroyed in recent fire

Montgomery County Chronicle – March 31, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 25, 2016

The Dearing Division of the Montgomery County Rural Fire Department battled two structure fires in the past two weeks.

Marty Smith, Division Chief, said firefighters battled a fire at the home of Robert and Kate Greer south of Dearing last Wednesday morning, March 23. Robert and his wife were at work when firefighters received a dispatch shortly after 10 a.m., indicating a fire at the home. When firefighters arrived, flames had already burned through the roof.

The house was totally destroyed, and all contents in the home were not salvageable, he said.

The Dearing Division received mutual aid from the Coffeyville and South Coffeyville Fire Departments as well as the Tyro and Liberty Divisions of the Montgomery County Rural Department.

The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the fire.

Firefighters also battled a mobile home fire on March 16. A 14 x 70 mobile home sustained fire damage to an area under the floor, said Smith.

“We had to tear the skirting off the entire mobile home in order to get underneath and fight the fire,” said Smith, adding that it’s not yet known how the fire started.

Damage was contained to the floor plate of the structure he said.

The Dearing Division has had a busy first quarter for 2016. The division has already been called 43 times since March 1, as compared to 8 calls during a three-month period in 2015.

“We’ve been busy,” said Smith. “The dry conditions and wind have fanned a lot of the fires lately.”

 

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