Archive for June, 2016

A Gift Not A Present – The Bereavement Uniform Program

A GIFT NOT A PRESENT
BUILDING the BRIDGE of OWNERSHIP

Bereavement Uniform Program

Honoring those who have dedicated their lives to the service of their fellow man is a true measure of the greatness of our profession. The Fire Service has a unique opportunity to ensure that every firefighter is honored and remembered for their service through the Lighthouse Bereavement Uniform Program. I encourage all Kansas Fire Departments to ‘link up’, take advantage of the service and support the endeavor. It is up to us to provide every comfort to the families of those who served and honor our brothers and sisters who departed this earth to a higher calling. JL Ellis, Past Pres. KSFFA

The Lighthouse has done its job and the Bereavement Uniform Program (BUP) is up, running and available in all 50 states.

KSFFA Past President JL Ellis and Sec. Steve Hirsch have done their jobs and put the BUP in front of the Kansas Fire Service community.

Now, the time has come for you and your fire department to step up and join the effort to make the Bereavement Uniform Program permanent and self-sustaining in Kansas.

If you are from a department that has a Class A Dress program, you are a ‘have department’ and your job is to make sure your department and your neighboring departments with surplus dress uniforms donate them and ‘keep the KS pipeline full’.

If you are from a fire department or have retired firefighters without dress uniforms you are a ‘recipient department’ and your ‘job’ is to link the BUP to your department’s website and/or Facebook page. Linking will provide program awareness, easy access, a level of anonymity and will take the ‘need to ask’ out of the equation.

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to provide every ‘passing’ KS firefighter, active or retired with a Class A in which to answer their ‘last call’.
It’s free. It’s easy. It’s right.

Email me at steve@lighthouseuniform.com to find out more.

 

Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Two workers dead in accident at Wichita business w/video

KSN – June 30, 2016

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Emergency crews are on the scene of a workplace accident in the 6200 block of South Ridge Road, where dispatchers confirm two people have died.

Dispatchers tell us two workers fell from a bucket truck at OxyChem. The company is located near 63rd Street South and Ridge Road.

The first responders said the patients were not breathing and tried to resuscitate the patients, but those efforts were not successful.

According to the plant’s website, OxyChem Wichita manufactures a number of chemicals, including sodium chlorite, chlorine, sodium hydroxide, hydrogen chloride and others.

 

Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Firefighters come to Wacky Wednesday

By Chance Hoener
Pittsburg Morning Sun – June 30, 2016

Firefighter Tom Vacca talks to children about his gear during Wacky Wednesday at the Crawford County Historical Museum. Photo by Chance Hoener.

Firefighter Tom Vacca talks to children about his gear during Wacky Wednesday at the Crawford County Historical Museum. Photo by Chance Hoener.

Pittsburg firefighters stopped by Wacky Wednesday at the Crawford County Historical Museum to teach children about their job and fire safety.

Captain Brian Main and Firefighter Tom Vacca demonstrated how to escape a burning building and how their gear works. Children at Wacky Wednesday also got to see the inside of a fire truck and ask questions about fire safety.

Jordan Lemon is an early childhood education instructor and helped develop the curriculum for Wacky Wednesdays. She serves as the lead teacher at the museum. She said firefighters came to the preschool where she works this year and it is good for children to be comfortable with firefighters.

“A lot of the preschoolers were scared,” Lemon said. “It’s good for the children to see them put on the gear and be able to talk to them and touch them.”

Main also said he wants to teach children about firefighter gear so they will not be afraid if they were to be in a fire.

The Wacky Wednesday program began June 8, and will run through July 27. The program is from 11 a.m. to noon and is free. Each week has a different theme.

“We like to bring in the community to show our appreciation,” Museum Director Amanda Minton said. “The community and volunteers helped us get the doors back open.”

Wacky Wednesdays include a snack, interactive music, crafts and storytime, as well as demonstrations such as the one from firefighters. Next week’s theme will be oceans.

“We started with three kids and now we’re up to 15,” Minton said. “So we’ve done pretty good, and we hope to keep growing.”

 

Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Firefighters step up to meet challenge

By Jennifer Walleman
Fort Leavenworth Lamp – June 30, 2016

Fire Lt. Chris Coughlin races to put on his gear during a relay race. Photos by Prudence Siebert.

Fire Lt. Chris Coughlin races to put on his gear during a relay race. Photos by Prudence Siebert.

Fire Lt. Chris Coughlin races to put on his gear while Lt. Stephen Kidwell observes and helps keep time during a relay race.

Fire Lt. Chris Coughlin races to put on his gear while Lt. Stephen Kidwell observes and helps keep time during a relay race.

Firefighter William Stone climbs up and down a ladder three times, supported by Lt. Chris Coughlin, while Fire Inspector Jamison Amparan and Lt. Stephen Kidwell keep time and firefighter Courtney Risser readies to begin the hose drag portion of the relay race.

Firefighter William Stone climbs up and down a ladder three times, supported by Lt. Chris Coughlin, while Fire Inspector Jamison Amparan and Lt. Stephen Kidwell keep time and firefighter Courtney Risser readies to begin the hose drag portion of the relay race.

Fort Leavenworth Fire and Emergency Services observed Safety Stand Down Week June 19-25 at Fire Station No. 2 on Biddle Boulevard.

Safety Stand Down is a joint initiative between the National Volunteer Fire Council and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. This year’s theme was “The First Five Minutes: Stretching the Initial Hose Line, Putting Water on the Fire.”

“What they mean by the first five minutes is structural firefighting and what you are supposed to be doing in the first five minutes on scene safety-wise, scene size-up, what water you should be using, specific nozzles, tactics that you should be utilizing, your 360 size-up, how to read smoke, locating the scene of the fire before you even make entrance, things of that nature,” said Edgar Guerra, assistant chief of training.

Activities revolved around that theme with both personal and professional training for firefighters who were still ready to respond to emergency calls.

“Safety stand down is that,” Guerra said. “The whole week is about looking in on ourselves, evaluating ourselves and our safety culture and learning from that and seeing what we can do better. There’s always room for improvement.”

The first two days involved two classes offered by Army Community Service on stress in the fire service and tactics to help alleviate it and financial readiness.

“One of our biggest things is stress so that’s one of the things we hit on this year was how to alleviate stress,” Guerra said.

The third day, Guerra concentrated on the importance of the first five minutes on the scene and used training videos from a series of experiments between the New York Fire Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Underwriters Laboratories that involved setting fire to 20 abandoned townhouses on Governors Island, N.Y., lining them with detection equipment and gases, monitoring the flow of the fire, and testing tactics for managing it. The third day also featured a class taught by Christian Howell, assistant chief of fire prevention, on safety culture in the fire department, which included fighting complacency.

On the fourth and fifth days, teams competed in the Firefighter Challenge where they participated in six different common service activities including a structural firefighter relay and activities that tested their knowledge and skills on driving and operating a pumper and EMS, hazardous materials, wildland and rescue responses.

During the relay, firefighters raced each other in a variety of tasks including putting on firefighting gear and self-contained breathing apparatus; shouldering, carrying placing and climbing up and down a 14-foot roof ladder; hammering a hydro sled, which is a device that mimics ventilating a roof with an ax; dragging a rolled hose 100 feet, and carrying a 180-pound dummy.

Guerra said the challenge was a fun activity that included tasks they work on every day.

“The challenge is just beating their fellow guys,” Guerra said.

The final day was the emergency vehicle operations course where firefighters took turns driving the fire trucks through cones, refreshing their training on the dimensions of the truck, turning radiuses and more.

“That is so important because these trucks are so big, the risk is high driving on these small roads,” Guerra said. “Fort Leavenworth has some of the most narrow and small roads you’ll ever drive on. These trucks are not smaller, they are bigger and just as big as any fire department in the nation. It’s tough. We try to train a lot in the vehicles. Every safety stand down we are always looking for ways to do the vehicle operations course.”

Firefighter William Stone participated in the ladder portion of the Firefighter Challenge. Stone has been with the department for a little more than a month and previously was a firefighter in Greece for the U.S. Navy.

He said the first five minutes of a call are crucial for firefighters.

“For us, that’s when we have the best chance of saving lives inside the building and making access and doing our job,” Stone said. “The quicker we can get into the building and the quicker we can get there to see what we have with our size-up, the quicker we can take actions to either save life or property within the building.”

Firefighter Nick Jerrel has only been with the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department for a month but has been working as a firefighter for the last 11 years. He said every day on the job provides something different.

“Every call is unique,” Jerrel said. “They are all different in their own respect.”

Jerrel said that Safety Stand Down Week was an opportunity to reiterate information and skills better preparing them for emergency situations. The department received several calls during the week’s training.

“That’s the job,” he said. “That’s why you do it, right?”

 

Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Missing child found safe

By Brian Sanders
Holton Recorder – June 30, 2016

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Nearly five hours of searching for a 3-year-old girl and her dog reported missing on Monday morning in western Jackson County ended in success for the girl’s family, according to Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse.

“It was kind of a terrifying situation when you have a child go missing like that, not knowing exactly what happened,” Morse said. “We had to treat the situation like the girl was definitely in danger.”

Sheriff’s officers were notified of the missing girl, whose first name was listed as Camber and who lives with her mother at a residence north of Delia, at about 9:30 a.m. Monday and responded to the scene, Morse said. Initial reports stated that earlier in the day, the mother noticed Camber was asleep, and she went back to sleep.

“The mother reported waking up and finding her child missing, along with the family’s German shepherd,” he said.

The report set off an extensive search of the area of 166th and E roads for Camber and her dog Skyler that involved several area emergency personnel, agencies and volunteers, all totaling more than 100 people. Morse said volunteers participating searched on horseback, on foot and on all-terrain and utility vehicles.

The Kansas Highway Patrol and Life Star contributed air support to the search, Morse said. Search dogs were also brought in to help locate Camber, including a dog and handler from the Kansas Search and Rescue Group and later deputies and game wardens from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks with their own search dogs.

“We had a really great turnout of volunteers, local people who came to assist and other law enforcement agencies who provided their resources to us,” Morse said. “We had more resources coming from across the state if we needed them.”

At about 2 p.m. that day, Camber was located about two miles away from home.

“The child was found approximately one-quarter mile west of a dead end on 166th Road in a pasture, lying in the grass underneath a tree with her dog,” Morse said.

Following a reunion with her mother, Camber was taken to an area hospital for evaluation, Morse said.

Other agencies participating in the search included Holton’s police and fire departments; fire departments from Delia, Hoyt, Mayetta, Netawaka, Soldier and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation; Potawatomi tribal police; Jackson County EMS; sheriff’s officers from Atchison, Brown, Pottawatomie and Riley counties; and the Wamego Police Department.

“It was nice to have such a great response,” Morse said. “Everybody was very helpful.”

Morse also said the underlying reason why Camber wandered off, setting off the search, was unclear.

“I don’t know if there was a real motivating factor, other than she was bored, mom was asleep, and she decided to go for a walk and got lost,” he said.

 

Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Man killed when mower falls on top of him w/video

KAKE – June 30, 2016

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A Wichita business owner was crushed and killed by a lawnmower Wednesday. Police say the 63-year-old victim was working on the machine when it fell on top of him.

“He was a very loving person,” said neighbor Carolyn Phillips. “He loved God.”

Wichita police say the death appears to be an accident. The victim died behind a house in the 2800 block of North Terrace earlier in the day and the victim’s wife found the body.

“I can’t even imagine what his wife must be going through,” said Phillips.

The man owned and operated A True Cut Above Lawn Care and mowed many neighborhood lawns. Wichita police say they’ll continue to investigate to find out why the lawnmower fell.

 

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Guests evacuated after sprinkler pipe fails at Hays hotel

Hays Post – June 30, 2016

At 5:29 PM on Wednesday, June 29, the City of Hays Fire Department, assisted by the Hays Police Department was dispatched to an automatic fire alarm at the Best Western Butterfield Inn, 1010 East 41st Street. On arrival, firefighters found that a fire sprinkler pipe in the attic of the hotel had failed causing a large volume of water flow into the hotel.

Firefighters immediately began work to stop the loss to the property and control the hazards caused by the uncontrolled flow of water. The fire sprinkler system was shut down and efforts were made to reduce the weight of the water on the upper floor to prevent collapse. Guests were evacuated and electrical power was shut down to reduce the danger. A room by room search was conducted to make sure all persons were safe and no one needed assistance. The damage extended through large areas of the building.

All available off-duty firefighters were called back to staff additional fire trucks to assist at the scene and maintain protection throughout the city. Assistance was also requested from the Ellis County Fire Department to help with this work. During this emergency, firefighters responded to one other coincident emergency call.

The City of Hays Police Department maintained traffic control and a safe perimeter. Police officers worked with the hotel staff to provide security for unprotected personal property until the owners could be located. An inspector from the City of Hays Planning, Inspection and Enforcement Division also responded to help assess the damage and coordinate necessary follow-up action to make sure the building was safe.

Fire crews left the scene at 7:35 PM.

The City of Hays Fire Department thanks the staff and guests of the Best Western Butterfield Inn for their calm cooperation.

The cause of the fire sprinkler pipe failure was not immediately apparent. Fire sprinkler systems have a record of high reliability and such failures are rare. Automatic fire sprinkler systems are necessary to protect life and property in large buildings where manual firefighting is not practical or large numbers of people gather. Individual fire sprinklers are activated by the high heat of a fire in the immediate area. Typically only one or two fire sprinklers activate to control a fire. When activated, fire sprinkler systems also sound an alarm to alert building occupants to the danger and call the fire department to respond without delay. With the exception of explosions and similar catastrophic events, there has never been a large loss of life fire in a building protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system.

 

Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Fire/EMS reports billing success

By Jade Hudson
Newton Kansan – June 30, 2016

This month marks the first full year of a new billing system for Newton Fire/EMS, one Chief Mark Willis calls a success.

Willis’ official report to the commission states that the outsourcing of ambulance billing services was necessitated by the increasing complexities of the healthcare billing industry, in particular Medicare and Medicaid.

Another significant factor was the transition to the “ICD-10” medical coding system, which was mandated by Medicare and made effective in 2015.

According to accounts receivable, Willis said, through the first five months of the year, ambulance billing collections are up $47,461 over the previous year.

Willis also noted how Meghan Rupp, the administrative assistant they hired last June, “has done a tremendous job of reducing the existing ambulance Accounts Receivable for accounts which preceded Omni, as AR’s have been reduced over $250,000.”

Additionally, Willis noted that revenue was not subject to the 6.5 percent fee that is paid to Omni for accounts they manage.

Though there were challenges in the beginning of the process, Willis said the arrangement with Omni has been an overall success. Ambulance revenues are currently running about 13 percent higher than the previous year to date period.

Moving forward, Willis said that there will be more challenges, and not just for Newton, as Kansas Medicaid plans to reduce reimbursements by yet another 4 percent beginning July 1.

“Kansas Medicaid is just pathetic, there’s no better term to describe it,” Willis said. Citing studies, Willis said Kansas is already in 46th place when it comes to state Medicaid reimbursement rankings and Kansas that will be competing for 50th place after July 1.

“That’s going to be a challenge for us because its just pushing the additional cost down to the local level,” Willis said. “Not accepting Medicaid expansion is costing real money and will lead to the shutdown of many small hospitals.”

There are an increasing number of Medicaid patients in the area and, prior to working with Omni, Willis told the commission Fire/EMS was only able to collect eight percent of total accounts receivable reimbursement money.

“This is my personal thought, and I’m only one man and this is just an opinion, but this is just evidence that this healthcare crisis is hitting us at every level,” Willis said. “There’s absolutely no doubt that local government… the city of Newton [and] taxpayers are assisting in funding Medicaid beyond the taxes that we all pay when we are being forced to further subsidize services which are not being reimbursed at the actual cost for providing the service in the first place.”

 

Posted by Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Fire in sign pole brings out Hays Fire Department on Wednesday

By James Bell
Hays Post – June 29, 2016

Click on each photo to view full-size.

Click on each photo to view full-size.

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At around 11:10 a.m. Wednesday, the Hays Fire and Police Departments responded to a fire contained within the sign in front of Quality Inn, 2810 Vine, where welders were working on the sign.

“They were up there trying to remove the sign, cutting bolts off they can’t get loose,” said Hays Fire Department Capt. Kirk Klein.

At the top of the pole, he said there was an opening that allowed birds to enter into the pole, bringing with them nesting materials.

“There’s a ring where the two posts join together. There is a nest down there and, as they were cutting, sparks and embers were dropping down that started the nest on fire,” Klein said.

The welders attempted to extinguish the fire with extinguishers and water, but because of the length of the pole were unable to completely extinguish the fire.

Workers then called the HFD and flagged a passing truck to assist.

After setting up the ladder, members of the HFD worked to put out the smoldering fire within the pole.

“We used the ladder pipe to spray down, but since it was so far down, we took a hose up the ladder and hung it down and moved it around. Then we ran a hose up from the bottom,” Klein said.

Klein said water was sprayed after the fire was out in an effort to soak any remaining nesting materials.

The HFD remained at the scene for a little over an hour and, by 12:30 p.m., work had resumed on the sign.

 

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5 killed, several hurt in crash involving semi near Goodland

KAKE – June 29, 2016

The Kansas Highway Patrol reports five people were killed and several others hurt in a crash involving a semi near Goodland.

The crash happened around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday on eastbound Interstate 70, about 11 miles east of Goodland. Troopers said both vehicles were heading east when the semi hit the rear of a Toyota SUV.

The SUV veered into the south ditch and overturned, coming to rest on its top.

“There were five fatal victims in the Toyota and several other injured occupants,” the Patrol said on its crash log. “The identities of the individuals are unknown at this time.”

The 42-year-old driver of the SUV, which had Texas plates, was flown to a Wichita hospital for treatment. He was identified as Calvin Florez, a resident of Guatemala.

The man driving the semi was not hurt.

Further details were not provided. The Patrol continues to investigate the crash.

 

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One dead after crash at I-435 and Holliday Drive in JoCo., Kan. w/video

By Stephanie Graflage
FOX 4 News – June 29, 2016

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One person is dead after a crash at I-435 and Holliday Drive Tuesday.

The crash occurred in the southbound lanes of I-435 around 11 a.m.

Police say the driver hit a truck that was parked on the shoulder of the road. No one was inside the truck parked along the side of the road.

The identity of the deceased was not immediately available, nor was the cause of the crash.

 

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Kitchen fire at Overland Park middle school put out quickly

KMBC – June 29, 2016

Photo by Overland Park Fire Department

Photo by Overland Park Fire Department

Firefighters said they’re looking for the cause of a fire that started in the kitchen at Harmony Middle School Tuesday afternoon.

Crews were called to the school near 141st Street and Switzer Road about 5 p.m.

Firefighters said they saw smoke coming from the building when they arrived and found the fire in the kitchen. They said they put the fire out quickly.

The fire had also spread to a small amount of the roofing material and crews said they put that out quickly, too.

No one was injured.

The building is undergoing renovations. No one but work crews were inside Tuesday.

Firefighters said they think the fire started in a kitchen appliance, but no official determination has been made.

 

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Traveling 9/11 exhibit will stop at Kansas Star Casino

By Chandler Ochoa
Derby Informer – June 29, 2016

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A 9/11 mobile museum is making its way to Kansas Star Casino on June 29 for a six-day visit. Police, fire and other first responders will escort the exhibit from Derby to Kansas Star Casino where it will be open to the public from 2-8 p.m. June 30 to July 5.

The 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit is a high-tech, 53-foot tractor, which unfolds into a 1,000-square-foot exhibit that is free to the public. The exhibit includes artifacts such as steel beams from the towers, documentary videos, recordings of first responder radio transmissions and live tours by New York City firefighters.

The processional will start around 1:15 at the Derby police station and arrive at the Kansas Star parking lot around 1:45 p.m.

Created in 2013, the traveling exhibit is a tribute to all those that lost their lives on 9/11.

 

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Manhattan’s first responders learn how to get the word out in an emergency w/video

By Kenia Mills
WIBW – June 29, 2016

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Personnel from the Manhattan Fire Department, Riley County EMS and the Riley County Police Department are participating in a three day training exercise to streamline the process of working together in an intense emergency situation.

Part of the training includes public information officers and organization spokespersons creating a mock public relations response to the scenario.

They answer phone calls from local news agencies, write up press releases and hold mock news conferences.

“It’s one of those things in law enforcement that not a lot of people think we train on and this, we hope, in the time of an actual crisis will help us get information out to the public more efficiently and a lot quicker,” said Officer Matt Droge, Riley County Police Department.

The public information officers also integrate into the mock scenario real life instances of victims in active violence situations contacting family and friends through texts and social media while being held in an attack.

“Social media is probably one of the most challenging aspects on getting information and making sure it’s current or correct. We have to figure out how to keep a good amount of sources and information and intelligence coming in while keeping it credible,” said Cpt. Micha Hydeman, Manhattan Fire Department.

 

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Accident south of Winfield

By Donita Clausen
Arkansas City Traveler – June 29, 2016

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Engineer/EMT Josh Tatum, left, engineer/paramedic Josh Dobbs and Capt./EMT Chad Mayberry of the Winfield Fire Department work a two-vehicle, rollover accident Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of U.S. 77 and 71st Road, south of Winfield. Two vehicles collided at 4:27 p.m. and both ended up in the southbound west ditch along U.S. 77. One male driver was transported by EMS to William Newton Hospital in Winfield, and one female driver was transported by private vehicle to an unknown hospital. The Cowley County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the scene.

 

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Florence Fire Dept. has kit for resuscitating pets

By Patty Decker
Hillsboro Free Press – June 29, 2016

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Thanks to the help of Donna Rosiere of Florence, the local fire department now has a better chance of saving animals during a fire with the addition of a kit containing oxygen masks for cats and dogs.

Florence Fire Chief Mark Slater said a friend of Rosiere in Marion was a member of an organization called, “Animal Angels Rescue Foundation,” in Colorado Springs, Colo., and she had one kit left.

Rosiere called and asked if the fire department would want a kit for resuscitating family pets, pri­­marily cats and dogs in the event the animals were trapped inside a burning structure.

“I didn’t know anything about these lifesaving kits for animals,” Slater said. “I was thinking it was an oxygen mask for people but used on pets.”

When he realized the oxygen masks were for smaller animals, he and the other firefighters welcomed the kit with open arms.

It’s about life

“As firefighters, we are here to save lives and property, regardless if that’s a human or an animal,” Slater said. “We don’t want to see anything (people or pets) lose their lives.”

Fortunately, Slater hasn’t had to use the kit, which has a carrying case marked: “Bark Saves Lives.”

In the kit is one large mask, one medium mask and one smaller mask for felines.

“The mask fits right over a dog’s snout or a cat’s face,” Slater said. “The masks are pliable.”

The kit also came with a line that can be hooked to an oxygen tank to help the animal breathe.

“It also came with directions on the appropriate oxygen flow for each patient,” he said.

For a cat, the smallest mask requires one to two liters of oxygen. For small dogs, three to five liters are required and large dogs require five to seven liters, he said.

In addition to the masks are two leashes and a watering dish or food dish.

“Everything is packed in its own carrying case,” he said.

Near loss

Slater said a couple of years ago the kit could have been useful during a fire on West Second Street.

“We located four dogs (three miniature Schnauzers and one bull mastiff puppy)” he said. “Of course they were all scared at first, but we were able to get them out.”

Once out of the house, though, using the kits would have been helpful because the animals suffered from smoke inhalation.

“They managed to live, but the kit could have helped clear their lungs,” he said.

As far as Slater knows, the Florence Fire Department is the only one with the lifesaving kit for animals.

“We could possibly be called someday by another county fire department because they might need this, and we want to help,” Slater said.

Hillsboro Fire Chief Ben Steketee said recently he would like to have one of these kits, but it’s not something the department could request in its budget.

AARF disbands

Even though the organization that provided Florence with their kit has been discontinued, Slater said he and the department were grateful to receive this free kit as a gift.

“From what I understood, age was getting the best of the members and ours was the last kit the Marion member had,” he said.

The kit, according to other sources, could cost up to $250. If a fire department wants one, it would have to be paid for through donations. The U.S. Fire Administration doesn’t keep statistics on the number of pets that die in fires each year, but other sources have estimated the number to be between 40,000 to 150,000. Most deaths are the result of smoke inhalation.

Another statistic indicates 80 percent of pet owners will run back into their homes during a fire to rescue their pets.

Communities like Florence, which have animal rescue masks, can give people more confidence knowing that first responders will be equipped to save a cat or dog caught in a fire.

“The kit is carried on our first-out truck going to the scene,” Slater said. “It is with us all the time.”

 

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Fire extensively damaged Kingman County bridge Saturday

By Ashley Booker
Hutchinson News – June 28, 2016

Photo by Fred Simon, Kingman County Emergency Manager. Members of the Norwich Fire Department combat a vehicle and bridge fire. Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by Fred Simon, Kingman County Emergency Manager. Members of the Norwich Fire Department combat a vehicle and bridge fire. Click on photo to view full-size.

A fire extensively damaged a Kingman County bridge early Saturday morning.

Norwich and Kingman fire departments, the Kingman County sheriff’s Office and the Kingman County Emergency management were sent around 5:58 a.m. to the Dale #20 Ninnescah River bridge on southeast 80th Avenue for a reported fire, according to a release from county spokeswoman Nancy Borst.

Responders also found an unoccupied vehicle on fire in the river near the bridge.

Firefighters deployed booms on the river to catch creosote seeping from the bridge.

Two firefighters were treated at Kingman Community Hospital after suffering minor injuries.

Kingman County Commissioners on Monday approved asking Kirkham Michael Consulting Engineers to assess the bridge damage.

“County Engineer Steve Bachenberg said the bridge likely is a complete loss. It has been closed indefinitely,” as stated in the release.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment was notified about the incident.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating.

 

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Fire destroys machine shed, chickens in rural Douglas County

By Conrad Swanson
Lawrence Journal World – June 28, 2016

A machine shed fire in rural Douglas County destroyed a building and claimed the lives of several chickens on Monday morning.

At 6:03 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to 1966 North 1500 Road, northwest of Eudora, for a report of a structure fire, said Wakarusa Township Fire Chief Mike Baxter. Crews first on the scene found a machine shop fully engulfed in flames.

Inside the shop were “some old tractor parts … and some old household furnishings,” in addition to some chickens, Baxter said.

Firefighters from both the Wakarusa and Eudora fire departments began battling the flames in the machine shop while also spraying a nearby hay-filled barn with water to prevent the fire from spreading, Baxter said.

While the fire destroyed the machine shop and everything inside, the nearby barn was spared, Baxter said.

The shop was approximately 60 feet by 90 feet long, Baxter said.

“It was a pretty good sized machine shop,” he said.

One firefighter suffered a heat-related sickness, Baxter said. But otherwise no injuries were reported.

“We just cooled him off with ice packs, hydration, water,” he said. “He rested and then he was able to return home.”

The cause of the fire has not been determined. It is currently under investigation, but it does not appear to be suspicious, Baxter said.

 

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Medical condition causes man to drive into Little Arkansas River

KWCH – June 28, 2016

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Wichita police say a man suffered a medical condition, causing him to drive into the Little Arkansas River on Tuesday.

The accident happened just west of downtown Wichita, in Riverside Park, near Murdock and Waco.

Witnesses tell Eyewitness News reporter the 56-year-old suffered what appeared to be a seizure before leaving the road and driving across grass, then into the river.

Police say with the river being down, the man’s vehicle was only halfway submerged in the water and firefighters were able to walk into the water to pull the man out of the car.

Police say they don’t believe the man suffered any injuries from the crash. They say he’s been upgraded to stable condition.

 

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Lightning causes machine shed fire

Hiawatha World – June 3, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

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Lightning is being blamed for a fire Thursday evening in rural Robinson that destroyed a machine shed and contents.

Robinson Fire Chief Dennis Tietjens reported the fire was at 8:30 p.m. at junction of Raccoon and 240th roads, the residence of Jeremy Patton. When firefighters arrived they found the machine shed fully engulfed in flames and firefighters worked more than two hours to bring it under control. Tietjens said firefighters remained on the scene through the night to put out small fires.

Several pickup trucks, a tractor, motor home and numerous shop items were lost in the fire. The State Fire Marshal’s Office confirmed a bolt of lightning was the cause.

No injuries were reported and assisting agencies included Hiawatha Fire Department, Highland Fire Department, the Iowa Tribal Fire Department, Morrill Fire Department, Powhattan Fire Department, Brown County Rescue Squad, Town and Country EMS and Brown County Sheriff’s Department.

 

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Arson determined as cause of building fire

Rush County News – June 22, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

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A building familiar to many in Rush County was the target of arson on June 16 in La Crosse. Smoke was reported coming from windows at the former Baker Hospital, 618 Main, La Crosse, at 6:54 p.m. Thursday and fire units from La Crosse, Liebenthal and Rush Center responded and put flames out quickly.

La Crosse Fire Chief Joe Gabel said most of the damage was to the south side of the building, where there are old double doors. The fire spread inside the building and up in the ceiling, although most damage was caused by smoke and water.

Rush County Sheriff Ward Corsair said the owner of the building, Allan Taylor of Lenora, Kansas was in the building sleeping at the time of the fire and was awakened by the fire sirens. He was not injured.

Gabel said the fire was under control within 20 minutes and fire personnel were at the scene for 1 1/2 hours. The fire chief thanked the spectators who helped control traffic at the scene of the fire until law enforcement officers were able to arrive. Rush County EMS was also at the scene to provide drinking water and medical assistance due to the danger caused by the temperatures in the 90s at the time of the fire.

Gabel said he determined the fire was suspicious because the building had no utilities turned on. He contacted the State Fire Marshal and two fire marshals and a K-9 dog arrived at the scene on Friday, June 17.

Corsair said an arrest was made in the case on Friday. According to the Great Bend Post, Nathen L. Cody, La Crosse, was booked into the Barton County Jail under the jurisdiction of the Rush County District Court for aggravated arson. Bond was set at $75,000.

The building was built by Dr. J.H. Baker in 1924, one of the first hospitals in western Kansas. The 28-bed hospital served the county for more than 25 years until 1950 when the one-story Rush County Memorial Hospital was built. The building was used as a nursing home or apartments for a time, with it being vacant for years at the time of the fire.

 

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Student arrested in arson case

By John Green
Hutchinson News – June 23, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

Hutchinson police investigators think a Hutchinson college student was experimenting with mixing chemicals to create an explosion when he caused a fire in his Plaza Towers apartment Tuesday evening.

Local authorities also contacted Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after their investigation revealed the man was sharing his knowledge in chemical bomb making with people in other states, Hutchinson Police Detective Jamie Schoenhoff said.

Police arrested Chase Lee Coble, 22, on suspicion of aggravated arson in an occupied building, unlawful possession of explosives in an occupied building, conspiracy to commit use of explosives and felony criminal damage to property.

He has not yet made a court appearance and remains jailed on $12,500 bond.

Firefighters responded to Coble’s apartment at the Plaza Towers, 17 E. Second Ave., at about 4 p.m. after a fire triggered the building’s sprinkler system.

The fire itself was small, said Deputy Fire Chief Doug Hanen, and was confined to the top of an upright freezer. He estimated damage from water to the apartment, however, at $4,000 to $5,000.

“After the fire department responded, they discovered numerous chemicals in the apartment they thought might have been meth-lab-related,” Schoenhoff said. “Due to my past history with investigating meth labs, I quickly observed it was not a meth lab but something, in my opinion, more nefarious.”

Police called the State Fire Marshal’s Office, which in turn contacted the South Central Region Homeland Security Hazmat Response Team. All of the chemicals were collected and properly disposed of, Schoenhoff said.

“Mr. Coble is a student at (Hutchinson Community College) majoring in chemistry,” Schoenhoff said. “He’s attended several colleges in other states, in the same major.”

He came to Hutchinson from Salina about a year ago, the detective said.

In talking with Coble and finding items throughout the apartment, they identified at least three chemicals that when mixed with others would create an explosion of flash fire, Schoenhoff said.

“That created a danger to all the occupants of the building,” he said.

The 12-story building has 63 apartments.

There also were indications in the apartment that there had been previous fires or explosions there, Schoenhoff said, though none resulted in firefighters responding or significant damage.

“Of equal concern, he’d been communicating with individuals in other states with reference to giving advice and detailing how to make chemical explosives,” he said.

At least one such contact was in Minnesota.

That information, he said, led investigators to contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the FBI.

Investigators seized at least 10 computer servers from the apartment, though all “went through the sprinkler system shower,” he said.

“Right now, we’re handling it at the state level, but everyone is interested in the computer analysis.”

The chemicals, for the most part, Schoenhoff said, are items anyone can purchase and none was illegal in itself to own. The problem, he said, is in mixing them, and Coble admitted to attempting to create explosives.

“He knew his stuff, as far as chemicals and reactions,” Schoenhoff said. “He gave different reasons, some legitimate reasons, as to why he was trying to experiment.”

Police arrested Coble last month on suspicion of driving under the influence and battery on a law enforcement officer, Schoenhoff said.

 

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Francis Earl Shinogle

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Francis Earl Shinogle, 85, was born September 21, 1930 in rural Plains, Kansas, to August (Gus) and Elizabeth Shinogle. He entered his heavenly kingdom on June 20, 2016, where he joined his loving wife of 53 years, Eleanor Clare Shinogle.

Earl grew up on the family homestead, south of Plains and attended Glendale Rural School and Plains High School. He was a longtime farmer in Meade County, taking over the family homestead from his father Gus and Grandfather Ferdinand.

Earl enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1955, serving in Frankfurt, Germany and the US. He was honorably discharged in 1961. As a young father , Earl served as a volunteer firefighter and a Boy Scout Leader.
He was often called to assist farmers and ranchers throughout Meade County and served as a Deputy Sheriff. He also worked part-time as a town marshal in Plains and security guard at National Beef in Liberal, KS. He was a life-long and active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, serving in many ministries. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Plains Equity Exchange, and served the town of Plains in many capacities. He was known among the community as the early morning watchman, as he delighted in parking at the end of Grand Avenue to monitor the morning traffic and wait for the local café or coffee shop to open.

Earl is survived by one brother , Paul Shinogle of Wichita, KS; his five children: Allen Shinogle & wife Sherry of Littleton, CO; Terrance Shinogle & wife Kimberly of Plains; Timothy Shinogle & wife Pamela of Arlington, TX; Melissa Mellen & husband Barry of Woodland Park, CO and Ronald Shinogle & wife Amy of Peoria, Il: his twelve grandchildren; and six great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Eleanor, and one brother, Albert Shinogle.

Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am Friday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church with Fr. Ted Skalsky and Deacon Jacob Schneider presiding. Burial will be held in Plains Cemetery.

Vigil will be held at 7:00 pm Thursday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Plains.
Visitation time will be held from 9am to 4 pm Thursday at Brenneman Funeral Home. The casket will remain closed.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in care of Brenneman Funeral Home 1212 W. 2nd Liberal, KS 67901

 

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Jewell Volunteer Fire Department responds to tractor fire

Jewell County Record – June 23, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

At about noon on June 9, the Jewell Volunteer Fire Department responded with two fire trucks to a fire three miles south and six miles west of Jewell. A tractor fire had been reported, but it had been extinguished for the most part by the time the fire department arrived.

The fire is believed to have been electrical in nature, perhaps igniting grease. The tractor, which is owned by Jerry Birdsell, was still operational after the fire.

 

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Semi destroyed by fire east of Montrose

Jewell County Record – June 23, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

Click on each photo to view full-size.

Click on each photo to view full-size.

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At approximately 12:40 p.m. Monday, the Mankato Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire 3/4 mile east of Montrose on Highway 36. A semi truck loaded with vehicles had caught fire. The driver of the CARS, Inc., truck, who was traveling west on Highway 36, smelled smoke and stopped to check it out. The truck caught fire and was completely destroyed. Some of the flames ignited the grass along the north ditch right-of-way, but the fire department was able to contain the fire and it was extinguished before spreading. None of the vehicles being hauled on the trailer caught fire. The driver of the semi escaped without injury. Jewell County Sheriff’s Department and Kansas Department of Transportation personnel stayed at the scene until a wrecker from Salina was able to remove the wreckage and debris. The accident was investigated by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

 

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Fire claims barn, tractors, hay

By Paul Stewart
Kansas Chief – June 23, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

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Fire last Wednesday afternoon, June 15, destroyed a large pole barn and contents on the John E. Smith property, northwest of Troy. The loss involved more than 100 bales of hay, three tractors with loaders, an International four-wheel drive pickup truck, a load of feed, a portable welder, 14 oxygen and three acetylene tanks, Smith said.

Smith told The Kansas Chief that he was en route home, about 4 that afternoon. “I saw it (the smoke) from Fanning hill. I knew it was my house or my barn. When I got home the barn was in full blaze,” he said. The three-sided barn, 40-by-100 feet, was south of the residence.

Smith said his wife apparently heard the tanks exploding and thought it was just quarry blasting. “She called 911 and the call went to the Highland Fire Department. It was not in their district, so Troy was called out, But, Highland did come and assist,” Smith added.

 

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Spring blazes incinerate county fire budget

By Debbie Wiens
Sterling Bulletin – June 23, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

Fire season came early and strong this year, County Fire Chief Ed Feil told the Rice County commissioners at Monday’s meeting.

“Payroll expenses for the first quarter and for April will be high,” he said, “and most of those fires were not in Rice County.”

Feil said they have spent 70 to 75 percent of their annual budget already. Mutual aid agreements with neighboring counties are critical and there are also times when Rice County is on the receiving end.

Feil reported that he had attended the Ellsworth County Fire Chiefs meeting to keep those connections, and to review mutual aid agreements. Recent problems with McPherson county cooperation should be resolved with the appointing of a new fire chief at Marquette, and Feil has been in communication with that station as well.

Feil updated the commissioners on the status of the county’s 16-year-old pumper trucks, with lead time on getting new ones built and delivered running into 2018. The history of the purchase of six trucks at once was reviewed, with the bulk discount essentially paying for an additional truck at that time. Commissioner Chairman Bill Oswalt recalled that not everyone was happy with that decision, and some said “now you’ll have to replace them all at once too.”

Current cost of a new pumper truck runs around $290,000. Commissioner Derek McCloud said it should be discussed whether all the current locales really need a brand new pumper truck.

Fire departments are one of the entities currently exempt from the tax lid imposed by the state legislature, and Feil said that by the end of the year they should have $500,000 accumulated in their equipment reserve. He said his thought would be to buy six pumpers, and keep the best two, leaving four to sell with up to $50,000 each possible.

He noted that they have been working to keep their other types of trucks current, and if the pumper trucks were put on a 10-year lease purchase, there should be a three to five year gap before they needed to start replacing the other trucks.

McCloud also encouraged Feil to get with Communications Director Josh Michaelis and his funding plan regarding each group putting money aside for new radios in the future when the change to digital communication becomes mandatory.

With 35 trucks requiring a radio, and currently 80 to 90 radios in use across the county fire departments, they are by far the group most affected by the equipment change to their end users, and can’t avoid doing some planning for it, McCloud said.

 

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Norton County resident succumbs to burn injuries

By Lisa Herman
Norton Telegram – June 24, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

On Sunday, June 19, at 3:04 p.m., Norton County Dispatch received a 911 call from 445 East Mulberry, Lenora. The reporting party stated that there was a house fire at that location. The Lenora Fire Department, Lenora Emergency Medical Services, Norton County Sheriff’s Department, and Norton Emergency Medical Services were paged to that location.

According to the initial investigation by the Solomon Valley Fire Department and the Norton County Sheriff’s Office, the occupant of the home, Allan Taylor, believed he was covered in bugs. He then filled his bathtub partially with water, and poured gasoline into the tub. The gasoline ignited, and Taylor was set on fire. While on fire, he went into his bedroom, where he tried to put out the fire by rolling on the bed. This ignited the bed, and Taylor ran outside, where he called 911.

Mr. Taylor received burns over his body, and was transported to the Norton County Hospital. Later, he was transferred to Wesley Memorial Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, where he succumbed to his injuries.

 

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Tractor fire

Edwards County Sentinel – June 22, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 28, 2016

Photo by Rod Crick

Photo by Rod Crick

Tractor and grain cart burning after tractor took out power pole west of Kinsley on Saturday, June 18. The fire department saved the wheat field.

 

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Crews battle south Wichita fire

KSN – June 27, 2016

Photos by Merry Murray. Click on each photo to view full-size.

Photos by Merry Murray. Click on each photo to view full-size.

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Crews battled a fire at 31st Street South and Old Lawrence Road in Wichita Monday afternoon.

According to officials, fire crews blocked 31st Street from McLean to Broadway as they battled the fire at the American Legion building. Crews went on the defensive and now have the fire under control.

According to Legion members, there were no apparent issues when they were in the building around 9:00 a.m. Monday morning.

The fire was called in around 2:30 p.m. and arriving crews reported that it was difficult to see in the building and they went on the defensive due to the concern of a roof collapse.

There were no reports of any injuries.

 

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Rubble pile burns

St. John News – June 27, 2016

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St. John Firefighters responded to a structure fire Monday at the corner of South and Nutting streets when a controlled burn got out of control.

The dilapidated house had already been torn down. The lot owner said he had been trying to burn up the rubble a little bit at a time, but the fire got into the shingles of the old house and spread quickly engulfing the entire pile.

Firefighters allowed the rubble pile to continue burning once they deemed it would not pose a threat of spreading to any neighboring structures or trees.

 

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KDOT dump truck hit in work zone on I-435

FOX 4 News – June 27, 2016

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An accident involving a maintenance vehicle on Interstate 435 serves as a reminder why drivers need to be cautious in construction zones.

The Kansas Department of Transportation said one of their dump trucks, outfitted with a crash attenuator and a lighted arrow board, was struck and damaged by a passenger vehicle on southbound I-435 near Wolcott Road around 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

The southbound left lane of I-435 was closed as crews remove the damaged vehicle and debris from the roadway. Pothole repair work will be suspended for the remainder of the day.

The KDOT driver was not injured in the crash. The extent of injuries for the occupants of the other vehicle is unknown at this time.

KDOT would like to remind drivers to please slow down and use extra caution when driving through construction zones. In 2015, four people were killed and 480 people injured in work zone crashes in Kansas, KDOT said.

 

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Vehicle fire reported

By Jessie Wagoner
Emporia Gazette – June 27, 2016

Photos by Jessie Wagoner. Click on each photo to view full-size.

Photos by Jessie Wagoner. Click on each photo to view full-size.

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A vehicle fire was reported on I-35 at mile marker 138 around 8:30 a.m. Monday involving a 2003 Honda Pilot.

The vehicle was fully engulfed in the median when emergency crews arrived. One individual was being treated at the scene.

Traffic was condensed to one lane in both directions for a period of time.

 

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Man dies weekend motorcycle accident

KWCH – June 27, 2016

Wichita police are investigating a deadly accident that happened on Saturday near Douglas and Martinson.

They say a 43-year-old man was riding his motorcycle eastbound Douglas around 8 p.m.

The 50-year-old driver of an ice cream van was southbound on Martinson, when he began to cross Douglas and was truck on the rear passenger side by the motorcyclist.

The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

Police say they don’t know if the driver of the ice cream van didn’t see the motorcycle or didn’t realize he was so close.

Investigators are also looking into how fast the motorcycle was traveling.

Police say 11 people have died in 10 fatality crashes this year in Wichita. Two have involved motorcycles.

 

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Two die in Monday morning Oakland Expressway crash w/video

By Greg Palmer
WIBW – June 27, 2016

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Photo by Phil Anderson

Photo by Phil Anderson

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The Oakland Expressway and part of US-24 (Topeka) have been closed following a deadly two vehicle crash.

Officials on the scene told 13 NEWS that the crash happened about 6:00 a.m., when a northbound red Dodge Pickup went left of the centerline and hit a southbound maroon colored GMC head-on.

Both drivers were killed by the impact. No other occupants were involved.

KDOT officials told 13 NEWS the public should avoid the area and use alternate routes for the next 2 to 3 hours. Crews are on the scene investigating the crash and removing the vehicles.

 

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Lightning blamed for fire that destroyed $593,700 Stilwell house

By Robert A. Cronkleton
Kansas City Star – June 27, 2016

Photo by T. Rob Brown. Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by T. Rob Brown. Click on photo to view full-size.

A lightning strike from a Sunday afternoon storm ignited a fire that destroyed a Stilwell house.

The fire was reported about 3:55 p.m. at a house in the 17900 block of Rosewood Street. It was brought under control 1 1/2 hours later.

No one was injured in the blaze, but the house was considered a complete loss, said Jerame Frank, a battalion chief for Johnson County Fire District No. 2.

The 4,676-square-foot home was built in 1980 and had an appraised value of $593,700, according to Johnson County appraiser’s records.

When the first units arrived, they found heavy smoke and a lot of fire shooting through the wood-shake-shingle roof. There was a 30-foot diameter area of fire on the roof, Frank said.

“We had a lot of fire that we had to try to knock down from the beginning,” Frank said. “There was a storm in the area, so we had some pretty good winds that were pushing it as well.”

He encouraged people to be alert during severe weather.

“If you think that lightning has struck your home, make sure you investigate it,” Frank said. “When in doubt, call the fire department to come out and take a look. Call early — that’s the thing to do.”

Firefighters from Leawood, Overland Park and Johnson County Fire District No. 2 battled the blaze. Johnson County Med-Act also responded to the scene.

This was one of two fires caused by lightning that caused significant damage Sunday afternoon. Multiple lightning strikes were believed to have caused a two-alarm fire that damaged townhomes in Olathe.

 

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Lightning strike sets Olathe apartment building ablaze w/video

By Molly Balkenbush
FOX 4 News – June 27, 2016

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It took dozens of firefighters hours to put out an apartment complex fire in Olathe Sunday afternoon.

The fire broke out at Avignon Apartment Homes in Olathe near 119th Street and Greenwood Street around 4:30 p.m.

FOX 4’s Molly Balkenbush was at the scene and spoke with fire officials.

Officials said 25 people lived in this building. Thankfully, they all made it out safely.

The 911 call came in during a storm.

Fire crews said they weren’t initially sure what caused the building to go up in flames, but upon further investigation, determined that the blaze started with a lightning strike.

The fire was under control Sunday night, but crews say when they arrived it was growing bigger by the minute.

Captain Mike Hall of the Olathe Fire Department said his crews worked together with Lenexa and Overland Park units.

“Once we got here a lot of flames a lot of smoke already coming from the roof we got a lot of units here from not only Olathe but Lenexa and Overland Park we usually work together like that,” Hall said.

The Red Cross and the Salvation Army were there to help the people who lived in the building. There is no word yet on if the building is a total loss.

 

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Man driving motorcycle in dark hits black cow and dies

KAKE – June 27, 2016

A 59-year-old Kansas man was killed when the motorcycle he was driving Friday night collided with a black cow on a blacktopped road.

Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Brant Birney said there were no witnesses when James Zordel hit the cow on a paved rural road about six miles south of Interstate 70 near Russell.

Zordel was driving in the roadway when the accident happened and it is not clear if he was speeding or if the cow suddenly appeared from the side of the road.

“It was dark. He was driving down a blacktop road and he hit a black cow,” Birney said, adding that exactly what caused the accident may never be known.

Zordel, who was not wearing a helmet, died at the scene.

 

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Grass fire stopped before home gets burned

By Erin Mathews
Salina Journal – June 27, 2016

A grass fire approached the small town of Carneiro just north of Kanopolis Lake Friday afternoon, but a homeowner with a garden hose and rural firefighters stopped the blaze before it caused damage to a home.

Saline County Rural Fire District No. 3 incident commander Henry Diehl said people need to be aware that even though the grass is green, the weather has been dry enough that it will burn.

“Because the grass was green, it created a lot of smoke and looked worse than it really was,” Diehl said.

Diehl said firefighters worked about two hours Friday afternoon and stopped the flames before they burned down an abandoned house, but a dilapidated utility shed was burned.

“It was nip and tuck for a moment until we got it under control,” Diehl said.

 

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Ft. Riley safety fair w/video

By Kenia Mills
WIBW – June 27, 2016

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Fort Riley hosted their annual safety fair at the on-post convention center.

The event provided useful safety information on topics ranging from basic CPR, car seat safety and information on venomous snakes found in the area.

The Fort Riley Fire and Emergency Services presented a kitchen fire demonstration due to the frequency of grease fires on the installation.

“We’ve had twelve unattended kitchen cooking fires here on Ft. Riley. In just the first six months of this year, we’ve had four. So we thought that best to go after it with education. See it, hear it, pay attention to it, heed the warnings that we’re putting out there,” said Richard Watson, Fort Riley Fire and Emergency Services.

The event also included a seat belt convincer and rollover simulator to demonstrate the importance of wearing a seat belt.

 

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Hutchinson firefighters battle RV fire next to home

KSN – June 27, 2016

Photo by Lindsey Bauman. Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by Lindsey Bauman. Click on photo to view full-size.

Firefighters in Hutchinson battled an RV fire that burned near a residence Friday night.

Hutchinson Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeremy Unruh said in a news release the fire started around 8:30 p.m. in the area of West 17th Street and Jefferson.

Unruh said the initial call was for a vehicle fire, but when firefighters arrived on the scene they found a recreational vehicle on fire in close proximity to a residential structure. Other fire units were called to fight the blaze that rose above the roof line of a two-story apartment. Due to the size of the fire, additional fire units were called to the scene.

There was no damage to the residential building, Unruh said. The RV was a total loss with damage estimates to the vehicle put at about $1,500. The cause of the fire was an engine malfunction in the RV.

No one was injured in the blaze.

 

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Syracuse Man Killed In Accident

KSCB – June 27, 2016

A Western Kansas man is dead after a two-vehicle crash late Saturday morning.

It happened just after 11 a.m. at an uncontrolled intersection about 17 miles north of the Kearny/ Hamilton County line.

Kansas Highway Patrol crash logs show Manuel Perea, 58, of Syracuse, was traveling northbound on Road B when his Chevy Silverado pickup collided with a semi truck traveling eastbound on Road 320.

Perea was rushed to the Kearny County Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The KHP reports neither driver was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

The driver of the semi, 32-year-old Tyler Bontrager, of Syracuse, was also taken to the hospital with injuries.

 

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One taken to hospital after apartment complex catches fire

WIBW – June 27, 2016

One person was taken to the hospital after a Topeka apartment complex caught fire.

Topeka fire crews responded to the 4900 block of SW Huntoon at 4:30 Sunday afternoon.

Upon arrival, they didn’t see any visible sign of a fire from the exterior, but later noticed smoke coming from the fifth floor.

Several residents were evacuated and others took shelter in place.

One person was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

TFD reports roughly $40,000 in damage.

The fire is still under investigation. There’s no word yet how the fire started.

 

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Electrical shortage to carpet cleaner causes fire to Topeka home

By Emma Fiander
Topeka Capital Journal – June 24, 2016

Photo by Emma Fiander

Photo by Emma Fiander

An electrical shortage Friday to a carpet cleaner caused a fire in the kitchen of a rural North Topeka house, a Soldier Township Fire official said.

The call was reported at 1:44 p.m. Friday at 1431 N.W. Hunter.

Soldier Fire Chief Karl McNorton said the carpet cleaner was plugged in to the wall when the cord shorted out, causing a fire.

Residents weren’t home at the time the fire started. They came home to smoke showing from the house and called the fire into authorities, McNorton said.

The fire gutted the kitchen, fire officials said, and caused an estimated $50,000 in damage.

There were no injuries reported, though multiple animals were rescued, including a dog and a cat.

The home, according to the Shawnee County Appraiser’s Office, had a 2015 appraisal value of $140,500.

 

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City of Bentley discusses plans for new fire department w/video

By Emily Griffin
KWCH – June 24, 2016

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Two weeks after an entire volunteer fire department resigned, people who live in Bentley are trying to figure out what needs to happen next to rebuild its department.

The city council met Thursday night to discuss the future of the department.

The former volunteer chief and entire team of volunteers resigned two weeks ago amid concerns about cuts to the department’s budget.

The city is already taking applications for new volunteers. Four people have submitted applications. They are still looking for more.

Officials with the Sedgwick County Fire Department were at the meeting to help discuss starting points for the city, like recruiting volunteers, setting a job description for the department, choosing a new fire chief, deciding what level of service they want the department to provide and the cost of any training.

Sedgwick County officials also said the problem Bentley is facing isn’t unique to the town.

“This is the mantra for departments all over the state,” said Kip Hiebert, division chief for Sedgwick County Fire Department Division One.

“Everybody is hurting right now because of budgets,” he continued.

The council will meet again on July 6 for a workshop in a few weeks to set expectations for the next team of volunteers.

Even though Bentley is currently without its volunteer department, the Sedgwick County fire station in Maize will continue to service the area and respond to all of Bentley’s emergency calls.

 

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Fire Damages Combine

By Terry Tebrugge
Salina Post – June 24, 2016

Photo by Saline County Sheriff's Office. Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by Saline County Sheriff’s Office. Click on photo to view full-size.

A fire damaged a combine Thursday afternoon in rural Saline County.

Undersheriff Roger Soldan tells The Salina Post that shortly before 1 p.m., a 1979 International 1480 combine owned by Kent Ebling was being used to harvest wheat in the 1800 block of W. Rose Hill Road, when leaking oil ignited the engine.

A small field of wheat and stubble was also burned by the fire.

Soldan said firefighters from Marquette were called in to the extinguish the fire. There were no injuries.

Damage estimates were not immediately available.

 

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Ellis County department mergers lead to new job title, description

By Becky Kiser
Hays Post – June 24, 2016

ellis co fire 6242016

Ellis County commissioners have signed off on the new job description and title “Director of Fire and Emergency Management.”

In May, Ellis County Administrator Phillip Smith-Hanes announced transitions among several appointed department head positions, impacting five departments. The changes are estimated to save Ellis County nearly $100,000 in fiscal year 2017.

The Emergency Management Department, once headed by Bill Ring, is merging with the county’s Rural Fire Department. Ring has been appointed Public Works Director. Current Rural Fire Director Darin Myers will assume responsibility of Emergency Management.

The new job description is “based on the job description Evergreen Consultants did for the Fire Director,” Smith-Hanes explained, “and then we took pieces out of the Emergency Management Coordinator position and added them in, and then Darin reviewed it.”

Commissioners were pleased with the detailed description and noted it had been reviewed by Ellis County Counselor Bill Jeter.

Although the new position and job description have been approved, Smith-Hanes noted the job description “will be coming back to the commissioners later in the year as part of a larger package of job descriptions.”

“We’ll need a motion (to adopt them all) at that time,” he said.

Myers will have two years to earn his additional certification as a Kansas Certified Emergency Manager.

The other transition involves the county Health Department and EMS.

Longtime Ellis County Health Administrator Robert “Butch” Schlyer announced his intention to retire at the end of the calendar year. County Emergency Medical Services Director Kerry McCue will assume a combined role directing both departments.

 

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Torched

Manhattan Mercury – June 16, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 24, 2016

Click on photo to view full-size.

Click on photo to view full-size.

Two vehicles sit outside Thursday after being damaged in a garage fire at 6660 N. 52nd St. in rural Manhattan. Twenty-two volunteer firefighters from five Riley County stations fought the fire after receiving a 911 call around 2:17 a.m. Thursday with the scene cleared around 5 a.m. Officials said the garage had 75 boxes of ammunition, which exploded and blew all of the tires on the vehicles. The total estimated damage is $210,000, which includes $100,000 to the vehicles, $100,000 to the garage and its contents, $5,000 to yard furniture and $5,000 to the house. Officials said they haven’t confirmed the cause, but Riley County Fire Chief Pat Collins said it appeared to be electrical-based and started inside the garage. The owner of the home is Fred Schneider.

 

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Rural firefighters save barn

By Jason E. Silvers
Ft. Scott Tribune – June 17, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – June 24, 2016

Bourbon County Fire District No. 3 firefighters battled a rural barn fire late Tuesday night on Maple Road.

Firefighters were called about 11:40 p.m. to a structure fire in the 900 area of Maple Road between Redfield and Uniontown.

“The property owner burned a pile of brush about 60 feet from the barn,” BCFD Chief Delwin Mumbower said Wednesday. “Some embers went up and caught the barn on fire.

“Fortunately, it didn’t get going much. The first truck on scene got it out.”

Mumbower said there was nothing inside the barn, which was damaged but not completely destroyed in the fire.

“There was a small area up in the loft where it started. We got it put out,” he said.

Firefighters were only on scene for about 45 minutes, Mumbower said.

“They were back home in about an hour and a half,” he said.

Mumbower said the Redfield Fire Department sent a truck as part of a mutual aid agreement between both departments.

“We have an agreement with them on structure fires,” he said. “They go to ours and we go to theirs.”

 

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House fire kills dog, second animal resuscitated

By John Green
Hutchinson News – June 24, 2016

One dog died, but firefighters rescued two others from a house fire in Hutchinson Thursday afternoon on the city’s southeast side that officials suspect started on a stove.

Firefighters responded to a home in the 300 block of Justice Street about 12:35 p.m. No one was home at the time, said Battalion Chief Rex Albright.

“The fire originated in the kitchen area of the home, with smoke and fire damage into adjoining areas,” Albright said. “The fire extended into the attic, and there was also heavy smoke damage in other rooms.”

The cause of the fire, which took about 15 to 20 minutes to knock down, remains under investigation, but it appeared to start around a stove, he said.

Officials estimated damages at $35,000.

Firefighters found one dog in a kennel in the home and brought it out unharmed. A second dog was unconscious, but firefighters were able to resuscitate it after about 10 minutes, Albright said. The third, smaller dog, which firefighters found hidden in the back of the house, died.

Six fire units responded and firefighters remained on the scene about an hour, Albright said.

Firefighters also responded to the 5400 block of North Halstead about 2:45 p.m., for a structure fire caused by a lighting strike.

Arriving units found the incident to be isolated to the electrical boxes of the home and canceled additional responding units, Albright said. No injuries were reported.

 

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