Archive for August, 2016

Veteran firefighter named city’s assistant fire chief

By Doug Carder
Ottawa Herald – August 31, 2016

A firefighter with a decade of experience serving the community has been named the Ottawa Fire Department’s second highest ranking official.

The city of Ottawa announced Wednesday afternoon Shawn Dillon had been selected as the new assistant fire chief, according to a city news release.

Dillon began his service with the Ottawa Fire Department in February 2006 as a firefighter/EMT-1, according to the release. He was promoted to driver/operator in April 2008, lieutenant in October 2008 and captain in July 2014, the release said.

“Assistant Fire Chief Dillon has been a significant part of the Ottawa Fire Department since becoming a lieutenant in 2008,” Fire Chief Tim Matthias said in the release. “He has good leadership skills and is able to make adjustments in the field for the betterment of the firefighters. He has a very strong work ethic and is a great asset to the department.”

Dillon, who grew up in Wichita, worked one year with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Ottawa department. Pior to that, he served four years with the Concordia Police Department and Concordia Fire Department, according to the release.

He has 16 years of experience in public safety.

“I transitioned to the Miami County Sheriff’s Office to be closer to my wife’s family,” Dillon said in the release. “I knew that firefighting was the career I wanted to pursue. I was attracted to Ottawa because I wanted to raise my family in a smaller town but still have access to a bigger city.”


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One Dead In Coffeyville, Kansas House Fire

News on 6 – August 31, 2016

coffeyville fire 8312016

Coffeyville, Kansas authorities say a person died in a house fire Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the home in the 300 block of West 3rd Street at around 7:30 a.m. As they arrived, firefighters said they could see fire through a bedroom window.

Fire Chief James Grimmett told KGGF Radio, one person was found dead inside the home.

He says the cause of the fire remains under investigation, adding the State Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in as well. The state Fire Marshal’s Office says they were asked to provide an arson dog as part of the investigation.

The name of the victim has not been released.


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Job Opening – Firefighter/EMT – Soldier Township Fire Department

soldier twp

Soldier Township Fire Department is currently hiring three (3) full time firefighter/EMT positions.
To define the job description, qualifications, and basic guidelines for potential duties of full time Firefighter/EMT
This is a hired Position. This position may be terminated at any time at the discretion of the Fire Chief.
Upon conditional offer of employment, the candidate must complete a pre-employment physical, including drug test, and associated NFPA 1500 components.
Must successfully complete a comprehensive background check and license check.
 High School diploma or equivalent required
 KS Emergency Medical Technician certification or above.
 Must hold and maintain a valid, and current KS Class B driver’s license. Preferred Driver/Operator certification
 Successful completion of STFD EVOC class.
 Firefighter I or equivalent certification. HazMat Operations certification or equivalent. Must obtain Firefighter II certification within one year from hire date.
 NIMS certificates for 100,200,700 & 800
 Must have the ability to work fixed and rotating shifts.
Physical Requirements:
 Vision – Normal vision needed with or without corrective lenses
 Hearing – Normal hearing is needed with or without hearing aids.
 Body motion – a full range of body motion is required to accomplish the above mentioned tasks.
For an application, please contact Pam at 785.286.2123 or Application deadline is noon on September 19, 2016. Positions will begin January 1, 2017.


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Police Investigating Suspicious Vehicle Fire

By Terry Tebrugge
Salina Post – August 31, 2016

Salina Police are investigating after a vehicle fire late Tuesday night was determined to be suspicious.

Captain Chris Trocheck tells The Salina Post that firefighters were called to the 600 block of W. Walnut just after 9:30 p.m., and found a 1989 Chevy Silverado totally engulfed in flames.

Investigators determined the fire was suspicious in nature and had originated inside the cab of the pickup.

The owner of the pickup, Arnold Peplinski, said the vehicle had not been driven since the day before and was not locked.

Trocheck said the pickup sustained major damage, which has been estimated at $2,500.


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Grant award to pay for new fire truck in Coffeyville

Independence Daily Reporter – August 26, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – August 31, 2016

The City of Coffeyville has been awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant in the amount of $428,572 for the purchase of a fire truck.

The Department of Homeland Security, on behalf of FEMA, notified Fire Chief James Grimmett of the award.

“We have been working on this grant for over a year,” said Grimmett. “These grants are very competitive, and we are fortunate to receive this grant as it will pay for 87 percent of our new truck.”

According to Grimmett, a Smeal rescue/pumper truck has been ordered. The truck will be custom built and will take approximately one year to manufacture. Commissioners approved the purchase of the fire truck at the July 12 meeting with the intention to finance the truck over ten years.

The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments by helping them obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear and vehicles. Previous grants received through this program have funded the vehicle exhaust system in the fire station and the purchase of new bunker gear.


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Lightning being blamed for overnight house fire in East Topeka

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – August 31, 2016

Photo by Phil Anderson

Photo by Phil Anderson

A lightning strike is being listed as the likely cause of an overnight house fire that scorched a vacant residence in East Topeka, authorities said.

The fire was reported at 2:16 a.m. Wednesday by a passerby who saw smoke and flames coming from the roof of a house at 725 S.E. 6th.

No injuries were reported, and fire officials listed the damage at approximately $6,000.

The location is directly below the south edge of the Oscar Stauffer Viaduct, which carries S.E. 6th and connects S.E. Jefferson with S.E. Branner streets. The viaduct crosses over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Amtrak railroad tracks.


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Kansas man dies, 2 hospitalized after pickup rollover accident

Hays Post – August 31, 2016

A Kansas man died in an accident just before 11 p.m. on Tuesday in Harper County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Neven O. Cullop, 25, Anthony, was northbound on Kansas 179 five miles south of Anthony.

The driver failed to negotiate the curve in the roadway.

The pickup left the road and rolled three times.

Cullop and passengers Jacob E Obrien, 29, Kelleyville, TX, and James W. Poston, 28, Anthony, were transported to Anthony Medical Center where Poston died.

Cullop and Poston were not wearing seat belts, according to the KHP.


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Paramedic and patient hurt when ambulance ran off a Miami County highway and rolled over

KSHB – August 31, 2016

A paramedic and a patient were critically hurt when their ambulance skidded off U.S. 169 Highway Tuesday night, went down an embankment and rolled over.

The Neosho County, Kansas, ambulance was headed north on the highway between Spring Hill and Hillsdale Lake when a tire malfunctioned, according a Miami County Sheriff’s Department spokesman.

That caused the ambulance to leave the highway, roll down an embankment and overturn.

No word on the severity of injuries to the ambulance driver.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.


Paramedic Gary E. Enos, 38, of Chanute, Kan., was in the back of the ambulance with the patient, 58-year-old Kenneth N. Chase of Centerville, Kan.

Chase was wearing a safety restraint, but Enos was not. Both suffered injuries.

The driver, 54-year-old Larry D. Washburn of Chanute, Kan., also suffered possible injuries. He was not wearing a safety restraint, according to the report.

All three occupants were taken to Overland Park Regional Medical Center.


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Grain bin rescue tube winners

High Plains Journal – August 31, 2016

Nationwide, the No. 1 farm insurer, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Nominate Your Fire Department Contest held in conjunction with the recent Grain Bin Safety Week.

Now in its third year, the 2016 contest generated a record 641 nominations and will provide tubes and training to 19 fire departments across 14 states—another record:

•Dyersville Fire Department, Dyersville, Iowa;

•Adams Fire Department, Adams, New York;

•Oldham Fire Department, Oldham, South Dakota;

•Carsonville Fire, Carsonville, Pennsylvania;

•Sipesville Volunteer Fire Company Inc., Sipesville, Pennsylvania;

•Millersport Fire, Millersport, Ohio;

•Wilmington Fire, Wilmington, Ohio;

•Roseland Rural Fire, Roseland, Nebraska;

•McPherson County Rural Fire District #1, Canton, Kansas;

•Western Greene Fire District, Paragould, Arkansas;

•Mid Piatt Fire Protection District, White Heath, Illinois;

•Louisville Fire Department, Jefferson, Georgia;

•Ceylon Fire, Ceylon, Minnesota;

•Westby Christiana Fire District, Westby, Wisconsin;

•De Smet Volunteer Fire Department, De Smet, South Dakota;

•Shelby Volunteer Fire Company, Shelby, Montana;

•Big Sandy Volunteer Department, Big Sandy, Montana;

•Kenmare Fire Department, Kenmare, North Dakota; and

•Cass Township Volunteer Fire Department, Portsmouth, Iowa.

“Thanks to the generous and increasing support of our partners, who help the contest continue to grow each year,” said Nationwide Agribusiness President Brad Liggett. “While accident prevention is our No. 1 goal, we’re committed to helping equip first responders with the necessary grain rescue equipment and training.”

Each department listed above will receive a grain rescue tube and learn specialized extraction techniques to help rescue farmers and other workers who may become dangerously entrapped inside of a grain bin.

Dan Neenan, director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, will provide the hands-on rescue training using a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator. Loaded on a 20-foot trailer and able to hold approximately 100 bushels of the grain, the simulator is the perfect training ground.

Members of Dyersville Fire Department were first to receive their tube and training Aug. 1. The Adams Fire Department followed Aug. 3.

“A huge thank you to Nationwide and all who contributed to the contest’s success,” said Al Wessek, chief of the Dyersville Fire Department. “The tube and training gives us the opportunity to bring an emergency situation back to some sense of normalcy.”

Sponsors of the 2016 contest include CHS, West Side Salvage, GSI, KFSA, M.F. Block Insurance, Barry Walker Agency, ABIS, KC Supply Co Inc., Scoular Co., Authur J. Gallagher, The Mennel Milling Company Sukup Grain Handling, Drying and Storage Equipment, Sump Saver, National Education Center for Agricultural Safety and the National Farm Medicine Center.

In three short years, the contest has awarded tubes and training to 32 fire departments. In 2015, the contest awarded 12 fire departments across 11 states. The first year’s winner—the Westphalia Fire Department in Kansas—used their new tube and skills in 2015 to rescue a man who became entrapped in a grain bin.


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Pay-It-Forward Campaign: Montgomery County Showing Gratitude through Generosity

August 29, 2016
For Immediate Release

Pay-It-Forward Campaign: Montgomery County Showing Gratitude through Generosity

Coffeyville Fire and CRMC EMS  Kevin Midgett, CFD, and Romeo are flanked by EMS crew members - left to right: Kyle Evans, Kris Kuszak, Casey Goff and Josh Cavaness. Photo Credit: Cindy Price, City of Coffeyville. Click on each photo to view full-size.

Coffeyville Fire and CRMC EMS
Kevin Midgett, CFD, and Romeo are flanked by EMS crew members – left to right: Kyle Evans, Kris Kuszak, Casey Goff and Josh Cavaness.
Photo Credit: Cindy Price, City of Coffeyville. Click on each photo to view full-size.

CFV Fire  Left to Right: CFD - Kent Bastian, Kevin Midgett with Romeo, Shon Price and Matt Dixon. Photo Credit: Cindy Price, City of Coffeyville

CFV Fire
Left to Right: CFD – Kent Bastian, Kevin Midgett with Romeo, Shon Price and Matt Dixon.
Photo Credit: Cindy Price, City of Coffeyville

Romeo Demo Firefighter Kevin Midgett performs a mock demonstration using an oxygen mask suited for his dog, Romeo. Photo Credit: Cindy Price, City of Coffeyville

Romeo Demo
Firefighter Kevin Midgett performs a mock demonstration using an oxygen mask suited for his dog, Romeo.
Photo Credit: Cindy Price, City of Coffeyville

Montgomery County, KS—On August 29, 2016, Montgomery County First Responders – firefighters and EMS – received a generous donation from the Emma Zen Foundation: 17 pet oxygen mask kits. These kits make it possible for our first responders to provide a life-saving oxygen supply to pets and other animals overcome by smoke inhalation from house fires, wildfires and the like. The kits are durable and will be a great asset for our first responders for years to come!
In appreciation for this generous gift, all Montgomery county citizens are invited to participate in a Pay It Forward Campaign:
During the month of September, we are asking Montgomery County citizens for donations to help replenish Emma Zen Foundation’s pet mask equipment fund. We hope to raise $1,300.00 to show our appreciation and to help Emma Zen Foundation fulfill the next request for equipment from a rural county and towns just like ours.
If you would like to donate, please take one of the following actions:
 Donate online through the Emma Zen www site:
 Send a check:
o The Emma Zen Foundation
o P.O. Box 25414
o Anaheim CA 92825
 Drop by a local facility:
o Make checks payable to “The Emma Zen Foundation”, memo line: MG County, KS
 Coffeyville Fire Station – 701 Walnut Street – checks or cash
 Independence City Clerk – 811 West Laurel Street – checks only, please
No donation is too small ~ every dollar counts!
Emma Zen Foundation is non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, so all donations are tax deductible.
Sincerest Thanks to The Emma Zen Foundation for supporting Montgomery County First Responders in the important work they do!

“The Independence Fire/EMS Department has been stocking Pet Oxygen Masks on their ambulances for over 6 years. We have used them on numerous occasions with great success treating dog and cat smoke inhalation victims at various structure fire scenes.”
~ Rusty Baker, Fire Chief, Independence, KS


“We are grateful for the generous donation of pet oxygen mask kits to our first responder teams. We look forward to having this life-saving equipment onboard our vehicles and providing assistance for companion animals involved in fires and other dangerous situations.”
~James Grimmett, Fire Chief, Coffeyville, KS

“Our organization has had a positive impact on the number of pet lives saved. For without the right equipment, all that can be done when a firefighter pulls a pet from a burning home is to lay a human oxygen masks near the pet’s nose and turn up the O2. It’s referred to as “blow by air”. Pet oxygen masks are specifically shaped to fit pets, the rubber base at the end of the cone shape, closes the jowls making sure the delivery of clean oxygen is through the nostrils. This simulates proper pet CPR techniques and allows for a quicker recovery.”
~ The Emma Zen Foundation

“By gifting the pet mask kits to first responders like firefighters and emergency medical personnel, the Emma Zen Foundation enabled our community to provide critical first response care to pets rescued from fires and other disasters.”
~ Tami Johnson, District Leader Volunteer, Humane Society of the United States
More Information?
Tami Johnson
District Leader Volunteer
Humane Society of the United States

Debra Jo Chiapuzio, Founder and President
Emma Zen Foundation

Kevin Midgett
Coffeyville Fire Department

About Emma Zen Foundation
We are a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization. We raise funds for Pet Oxygen Masks and donate them to Fire Departments and other First Responders. These masks are used to deliver oxygen to pets that suffer from smoke asphyxiation and other breathing issue due emergencies such as home fires.
Maybe you’ve never thought about it before but without the proper equipment all they can do to deliver oxygen is to lay a human mask at by the snout of a pet, for many years this has been known as blow by air. Our method is a much more efficient and effective way to resuscitate your pet!
Located in Anaheim California this organization has donated more than 3,000 kits throughout the United States. Our first goal is to put one kit on every front line engine in California. Our second goal is to help you become TEAM O2 Member teaching you how to establish kits in your home town! We have established Pet Oxygen Mask Kits state throughout the United States and under special circumstances have established pet oxygen masks in Canada, Germany and Japan.
We raise funds and help you to raise funds to cover the cost of the equipment which is donated directly to fire departments and other first responders at no cost to them!
We are about “establishment”, we make sure that every department receives enough kits to put the same piece of equipment on every like vehicle.
About Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization.
We and our affiliates provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and we professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. We are the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. We are driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.


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Rural FD Awarded $102,000 Grant

By Karen Shade
KSAL – August 30, 2016

Persistent grant writing has paid off for David Turner, Chief of Rural Fire Department #5. His sixth grant application, to replace air tanks that fire fighters wear, has been funded.

A division of Homeland Security will pick up 95% of the costs of purchasing self-contained breathing apparatuses while RFD#5 will pick up 5% of the costs. DHS will provide $102,852 in funding, with $5,142 to be raised locally. The Saline County Commission voted to accept the grant and to permit RFD#5 to tie into bid pricing from another RFD’s SCBA purchase earlier this year.


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Paola 20-year-old killed in wreck on 311th Street

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – August 30, 2016

A 20-year-old Paola man was found dead Monday afternoon as a result of a one-vehicle accident on 311th Street east of Paola.

Units from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Louisburg Fire Department and Miami County Emergency Medical Services were dispatched at 1:45 p.m. Monday afternoon to 311th Street between Beaver Creek and Pflumm roads.

Upon arrival, it was determined that a 2016 Ford Mustang driven by Cooper Ventress, 20, was traveling eastbound on 311th Street between Beaver Creek and Pflumm roads when the vehicle veered onto the south shoulder and into a field before landing in a creek bed. Ventress was found dead at the scene, according to a news release.

The accident is still under investigation by the Miami County and Johnson County sheriff’s offices.


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Mac teams up with CHS for training facility

By Teri L. Hansen
McPherson Sentinel – August 30, 2016

Commissioners approved a request from the McPherson Fire Department at the city’s regular meeting Monday morning. The request for materials to build a training facility at CHS. This will allow for proper training of fire department personnel. The cost of materials is estimated at $25,000.

The facility is currently being constructed behind NuStar east of the refinery. The fire department is working with public lands and public works as well as CHS for this construction.

This joint facility is unique as it joins two entities public and private. It will include training capabilities for fire suppression, technical rescue and hazmat fully operational by April of next year.

“There is nothing like it,” McPherson Fire Department Division Chief TJ Wyssman said. “It will be a countywide asset.”


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Student firefighters ‘always learning’ on, off the job

By Jena Ernsting
Kansas State Collegian – August 30, 2016

Josh Payne, sophomore in personal financial planning, is in his first year in the student firefighter program. He became interested in the program because his dad has been a volunteer firefighter for 22 years. (Shelton Burch | The Collegian)

Josh Payne, sophomore in personal financial planning, is in his first year in the student firefighter program. He became interested in the program because his dad has been a volunteer firefighter for 22 years. (Shelton Burch | The Collegian)

Just as Brooke Harshaw, graduate student in agricultural education and student firefighter, was about to explain what led her to pursue firefighting, a bell-like noise reverberated through the station. She paused.

“I might have to go,” Harshaw said.

The bell sounded again. This time with a second, more high pitch tone following the bell.

Harshaw’s face instantly became more serious.

“I’ve got to go,” she said.

As suddenly as the first bell sounded, firefighters began emerging from every direction, and in a blink of an eye they were gone.

The Manhattan Fire Department offers a student firefighter program for students enrolled full-time at Kansas State or Manhattan Christian College, according to the City of Manhattan website.

Harshaw is not the only student firefighter employed at the Manhattan Fire Department. She said there are four other student firefighters.

Luke Fischer, senior in social sciences and fourth-year student firefighter, went through the Manhattan fire academy the summer after his senior year of high school. Fischer said he pursued firefighting as a college job because he saw firefighting as a career and as a good way to build experience and his resume.

“I hope to one day be a firefighter paramedic,” Fischer said.

Like Fischer, Josh Payne, sophomore in personal financial planning, said he knew he wanted to be involved in the firefighting profession, whether it was through volunteer firefighting, which he began doing at 16 years old, or as a career.

Payne said going through the Manhattan fire academy provided a more intense and in-depth training compared to his volunteer training.

“Every single one of the guys is willing to help you with anything you ask,” Payne said. “They want you to learn and grow and become a better firefighter just as much as you want to. They’re all great guys to look up to.”

During the school year, Payne arrives at the fire station ready for work at 5 p.m. and leaves at 8 a.m. the following morning. He said when he arrives at the station, he prepares his gear by the truck so he is ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“You really develop a bond with (the crew) when you work 24 hours at a time or even over the nights,” Payne said. “It’s just like being on a sports team where you get to know each other very well and get really close with them.”

Payne said the shifts rotate so student firefighters work every other day for about a week then have four days off, which is similar to the schedules of career firefighters.

“You’re always learning, you learn to not be complacent and that will carry on to other jobs as well,” Payne said.

Payne and Harshaw both come from firefighting backgrounds, where each of their fathers were volunteer firefighters. Payne’s father volunteered for 22 years and Harshaw’s father volunteered for around 23 years.

Like their fathers, Harshaw and Payne both said they want to continue firefighting in the future.

Although firefighting is not the safest of jobs, Payne said his family is proud of him and of the career service aspect of his job.

Payne said he also values the relationships and friendships he is building along the way.

“It’s a great opportunity, and there is no other job like it for a student,” Payne said.


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Man, 2 dogs killed in southeast Wichita fire w/video

KAKE – August 30, 2016

Photos by Nicholas Kieffer

Photos by Nicholas Kieffer

wichita fire 8302016b


A man and two dogs have died following a fire Tuesday morning at a triplex in southeast Wichita.

Crews were called around 7:40 a.m. to a fire in the 1200 block of East Clark, near Mt. Vernon and Washington. They reported seeing smoke when they arrived and had to force entry into the home, said Sgt. Kelly O’Brien with the Wichita Police Department.

Once inside, firefighters found the man and his two dogs dead. The man’s name was not released.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. No other units of the triplex were affected.

Neighbors reported a gas smell at the time of the fire, but no gas-related issues were found.


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Roosevelt Receives Governor’s Appointment To Commission

Andover Leader – August 30, 2016

andover fire 8302016

Governor Sam Brownback has announced that Andover Deputy Fire Chief Mike Roosevelt has been reappointed for another term on the Kansas Fire Service Training Commission. The appointment was made earlier this month, as Brownback realigned many of the positions on various state boards and commissions.

“Mike Roosevelt is an incredible asset to our department, and this appointment reaffirms that.” said Andover Fire-Rescue Chief Chad Russell. “We are thankful for all of his hard work and dedication, and for how he is representing us so well.”

The Kansas Fire Service Training Commission was mandated in a 2002 revision of the 1949 statute that established fire service training at KU.

According to it’s website, the commission is an alliance of fire service organizations had pressed for the legislation, which had two principal aims: to increase funding for the state’s Fire and Rescue Training Institute at KU and to establish a body that would provide oversight and guidance for the program and guarantee its continued financial well-being.

The commission, which will meet at least quarterly, is composed of representatives from 12 fire and emergency response agencies and organizations.

Roosevelt has represented the Kansas chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators on the board during his first term. Fire Service Training Commission members are appointed by the Governor of Kansas to serve four-year terms. The first commission (appointed in September, 2002) drew lots to select one-half of the members to serve two-year terms in order to stagger appointments for continuity of operations.


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County makes PILOT funds available to Cunningham for fire protection

Kingman Leader Courier – August 25, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – August 30, 2016

Kingman County will make funds from the Kingman Wind Energy 1, LLC payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) to the city of Cunningham in the form of a one-time grant for fire protection.

County Commissioner John Steffen wanted the funds to be allocated for the Cunningham Fire Department during the negotiations with David Gil of NextEra. Gil, however, said his company likes to pay the funds to the county and then each individual county can disperse the funds how they see fit.

“We determined we could help (fire protection) when we negotiated the PILOT agreement,” Steffen said. “I realize other departments also take care of some of these areas. Those needs can be addressed at a later date.”

Steffen originally wanted to see $400,000 made available to Cunningham, but because of budget constraints which needed a boost from PILOT funds, he requested $300,000. The motion was passed 2-1, with Commissioner Carol Voran casting the no vote.

Voran said the majority of the wind towers from the current wind farm project were going to be placed in locations that would be serviced primarily by the Kingman Fire Department. She said she had reached out to Spivey city clerk Liz Madden, who said their fire department did not need any additional equipment.

Voran said she had not had a chance to visit with Kingman Fire Department Chief Steve Drosselmeyer about potential needs.

She said she would support $200,000 for the city of Cunningham, but would not support $300,000 without seeing what Kingman’s needs were first.

According to a press release by the county, the county and city of Cunningham agree that the grant shall be used to pay all or a portion of the cost of improvements and additions to the city’s fire department facilities and/or equipment as determined by the city and approved by the county. In return, Cunningham will continue to provide firefighting services and protection to Dresden, Eureka, Rural and Union townships, as well as the north one-third of Kingman township.

Cunningham also will continue to honor any mutual aid agreements for fire protection it has with other jurisdictions.

A grant document solidifying the funds was passed 2-0 during Monday morning’s commission meeting with Voran abstaining from the vote.

Commissioners are expecting one and possibly two more wind farm projects in the near future where funds for other fire departments within the county can be addressed.


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Car catches fire, explodes in southwest Topeka apartment complex

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – August 30, 2016

topeka fire 8302016b

Residents of a southwest Topeka apartment complex received a rude awakening Tuesday morning when a car caught fire in their parking lot.

Topeka firefighters were sent around 3:45 a.m. to the Whispering Pines Apartments in the 5800 block of S.W. Candletree Drive on a report of a car fire.

Upon their arrival, fire crews found a car that was engulfed in flames. Crews made quick work of the fire, but other vehicles parked next to it may have sustained some damage.

A witness told The Topeka Capital-Journal that she was awakened by a loud “boom” in the parking lot, followed by the sound of sirens about four minutes later. She said the fire was “extinguished within minutes.”

After the blaze was put out, the witness said, firefighters were seen looking into the trunk of the vehicle that caught fire.

A fire investigator was called to the scene, which was cleared by around 5 a.m.

No injuries were reported.


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Fire engulfs house believed to be vacant in East Topeka

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – August 30, 2016

Photo by Katie Moore. Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by Katie Moore. Click on photo to view full-size.

A fire engulfed a house believed to be vacant in the 400 block of S.E. Leland.

The blaze was reported shortly before 9:45 p.m. Monday.

Topeka fire battalion chief Chris Herrera said when crews arrived, they saw smoke and flames. They carried out a primary search and didn’t find any occupants.

A secondary search was also done and an investigator was called to the scene. No one was injured in the fire.

A rehab area was established at the northeast end of the block for fire crews. Herrera said when it is humid out, the areas are set up so that firefighters can take a break away from the exhaust and heat from the fire engines and AMR can assess their blood pressure and pulse rates.

Herrera said there weren’t any house numbers on the residence, so they will have to check with the county to determine the exact address.

Streets in the immediate vicinity were blocked by Topeka police.

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


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Firefighters battle rekindled house fire

Ottawa Herald – August 29, 2016

Photo by Greg Mast. Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by Greg Mast. Click on photo to view full-size.

The Ottawa Fire Department responded to a house in the 900 block of North Locust Street twice Monday morning. The initial fire call came in at 3:38 a.m. Monday, Tim Matthias, Ottawa fire chief, said. A 31-year-old Ottawa man told Ottawa Police officers an unknown suspect set fire to the occupied residence. Firefighters returned to the scene about 10:30 a.m. Monday after the fire rekindled. The fire is still under investigation, Matthias and police said.


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Stove burner left on might have started Merriam apartment fire

KMBC – August 29, 2016

Photo by Mark Owen

Photo by Mark Owen

Overland Park and Shawnee firefighters put out a fire late Monday morning at a Merriam apartment complex.

Crews were called about 11:30 a.m. to the apartment in the 9100 block of West 72nd Street. They said they found a fire in the kitchen of an apartment on the ground floor.

Firefighters said they got the fire out quickly but found a dog in the apartment suffering from burns. The dog was taken to a veterinary hospital.

Investigators said the fire appears to have started because a stove was left on.

The person who lives in the apartment was not home when the fire started.


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Job Opening – Firefighter/EMT – Northwest Consolidated Fire District

northwest consolidated fire district

Job Title: Firefighter/EMT

Annual Starting Salary (Base):
$32,789 (Recruit)
$33,758 (Post-Probation in 1st Year)

Closing Date: September 30, 2016

The Northwest Consolidated Fire District (NWCFD) will soon be establishing an eligibility list for future openings for a Firefighter/EMT position. Firefighters perform duties related to fire prevention, suppression, emergency rescue, basic life support, and first aid under emergency conditions frequently involving considerable danger. Employees in this classification work under direct supervision of a Fire Captain or Lieutenant and must adhere to rules and regulations for the safety of all persons. Training provides firefighters with general guidance to perform this position, and ongoing knowledge development/maintenance is required.

NWCFD offers a competitive benefit package including a health and dental insurance plan, Kansas Police and Fire (KP&F) defined-benefit Retirement System, eligibility to voluntarily participate in the supplemental State of Kansas KPERS 457 deferred compensation plan, paid vacation leave, paid sick leave, and paid holidays. Firefighters work a modified Berkeley shift schedule of alternating days of 24 hours on-duty and 24 hours off-duty for a total of three shift days over a five-day period. Firefighters are compensated with an overtime rate in accordance of the FLSA Section 7(k) exemption.


● Must be 21 years or older
● Must possess a valid driver’s license with a safe driving record
● High School Diploma or equivalent
● Firefighter I and II Certifications
● Kansas (Transitioned) or National EMT Certification
● Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) Certification taken within the last 12 months
● Written Fire Service Entrance Exam (FSEE) with a score of 70 percent or better within the past two years
● The ability to pass a post offer physical, drug screen, and background investigation

NWCFD Employment Application and copies of Firefighter I & II, Kansas (Transitioned) OR National Registry EMT certifications, and FSEE results must be received by September 30, 2016. CPAT results must be received by November 21, 2016. Please submit all documents along with a NWCFD Employment Application (available at the address below or online by clicking “Apply Online” below) via mail or in-person at:

Northwest Consolidated Fire District
9745 Kill Creek Rd.
De Soto, KS 66018

Apply Online

Questions can be directed to Capt. Bob McCoy at (913) 583-3886 (M-F 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.).

An Equal Opportunity Employer

Local CPAT and FSEE Testing Centers:

Johnson County Community College
Metropolitan Community College
Hutchinson Community College


Position Title: Firefighter/EMT
Accountable to: Fire Captain and/or Lieutenant

Protects life and property by performing firefighting, emergency aid, hazardous materials, and fire prevention duties, under the direction of department command staff. Maintains fire equipment, apparatus and facilities.

Performs firefighting activities including driving fire apparatus, operating pumps and related equipment, laying hose, and performing fire combat, containment and extinguishment tasks. Performs emergency aid activities including administering first aid and providing other assistance as required. Participates in fire drills, attends classes in firefighting, emergency medical, hazardous materials, and related subjects. Receives and relays fire calls and alarms. Operates radio and other communication equipment. Provides First Responder emergency medical services. Participates in the inspection of buildings, hydrants, and other structures in fire prevention programs. Maintains fire equipment, apparatus and facilities. Performs minor repairs to departmental equipment.
Performs general maintenance work in the upkeep of fire facilities and equipment, cleans and washes walls and floors; cares for grounds around station; makes minor repairs; washes and dries hose; washes, cleans, polishes, maintains and tests apparatus and equipment. Assists in developing plans for special assignments such as emergency preparedness, communications, training programs, firefighting, hazardous materials, and emergency aid activities. Present programs to the community on safety, medical, and fire prevention topics. Performs salvage operations such as spreading salvage covers, moving furniture, sweeping water, and removing debris.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

High school diploma or GED equivalent. No specific work experience required.
Must be at least 21 years of age. Valid driver’s license.

Working knowledge of driver safety, working knowledge of first aid. Ability to learn the operation of fire suppression and other emergency equipment. Qualified in the application of standard firefighting, emergency aid, hazardous materials, and fire prevention techniques. Ability to perform strenuous work for prolonged periods of time under conditions of extreme height, intense heat or cold, noise, smoke, or obscured vision during firefighting, rescue, hazardous materials, medical response, and training. Ability to act effectively in emergency and stressful situations. Ability to understand and follow both verbal and written instructions. Effective written and oral communication skills.
Ability to establish effective working relationships with employees, other agencies, and the general public. Must be able to pass a medical exam, including drug screening, and the Department’s physical ability test.

Firefighter I & II certifications
EMT certification
No felony convictions.

Emergency medical equipment, fire apparatus, fire pumps, hoses, axes, chainsaws, hydraulic rescue tools, other standard firefighting equipment, ladders, first aid equipment, radio, pager, personal computer, phone.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an
employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable
accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or operate objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to sit; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; talk or hear; and taste or smell. The employee occasionally works in confined spaces with limited or no visibility. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 40 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 150 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


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Taking the next step

By Dale Hogg
Great Bend Tribune – August 29, 2016

Taking the next step in emergency communications, the Barton County Commission Monday morning approved a memorandum of agreement with Kansas 911 Coordinating Council for Next Generation 911. The agreement outlines the program use and cost.

As a follow up, the commission authorized making payment the council for these services. The commission approved a deduction from the county’s 911 tax funds, and scheduled payments would include a $29,000 withdraw for 2016, with 2017 and 2018 allocations to be made in the amount of $74,400 annually.

“Last October, our phone system failed,” said 911 Director Dena Popp. “This forced us to switch to Next Generation 911 sooner than expected.”

Next Generation 911 (NG 911) is an internet protocol (IP)-based system that allows digital information (e.g., voice, photos, videos and text messages) to flow from the public, through the 911 network, and on to emergency responders, Popp said. It is hosted by the State of Kansas.

It was installed Aug. 9. “We are currently operating on that system,” she said.

Since it is state maintained, Popp said all of the county’s maps and information can be accessed from anywhere in the state, which is great in the event of an emergency. “We can dispatch from any agency and we can dispatch for any agency.”

The $29,000 payment was pro-rated by the state since Barton County didn’t start using NG 911 until mid year. The payments for 2017 and 2018 will be $74,000.

The county is locked in for the next two years at that price.

The state requested an automatic withdrawal of the payments from the 911 tax funds. Although authorized, this is a departure from how the county usually handles paying invoices.

The 911 money comes to the county about in the middle of each month. The amount varies.


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New documentary from NFFF shows the fire chief perspective on line-of-duty deaths

Documentary Video

Twelve chiefs (including the Fire Chief from Downs and Wichita) representing every type of department – metropolitan and rural, career, volunteer and wildland – share the grim realities of coping with a line-of-duty death.


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Police Investigating Suspected Arson

By Terry Tebrugge
Salina Post – August 29, 2016

Salina Police say a weekend storage shed fire is being investigated as an arson.

Captain Mike Sweeney tells The Salina Post that firefighters were called to a residence at 1111 N. 7th at about 6:16 a.m. Saturday on a report of a shed on fire.

Upon arriving at the residence, firefighters were able to locate a storage shed in the backyard engulfed in flames.

Sweeney said firefighters were able to determine that the fire was intentionally set.

Damage to the shed, which is owned by Cameron Heart, has been estimated at $5,000. Damage to the contents of the shed, which included clothing and a Craftsman lawn mower, has been estimated at $1,000.


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Friday’s rainfall heaviest in NEJC, leading to flash flooding, water rescues

By Dan Blom
Shawnee Mission Post – August 29, 2016

Click on photo to view full-size.

Click on photo to view full-size.

Cars stranded Friday night under Shawnee Mission Parkway at Roe Avenue.

Cars stranded Friday night under Shawnee Mission Parkway at Roe Avenue.

The incredible flooding that occurred in Northeast Johnson County was triggered by some of the heaviest rainfall seen in the area in a long time.

And the worst of the concentrated rain totals was near the area where fire departments were called in for water rescues. Close to 5 inches of rain fell at Martway and Rock Creek, near the spot where the Overland Park Fire Department helped four motorists whose cars were trapped in high waters under the Shawnee Mission Parkway overpass.

Three cars were stuck in high water up to the floorboards where Roe Ave. goes under the Parkway. One other car was stuck where Johnson Drive drops under the Parkway to merge into the eastbound lanes.

Firefighters at the scene said all of the drivers were able to get out of their cars, but needed some assistance getting out of the water.

Fire crews were busy all evening with water rescues, including one near Village Presbyterian Church on Mission Road. The rescues occurred about 10 p.m. Friday.

Rain gauges showed heavier rain totals in the northern part of the county. Less than an inching of rain fell in Leawood where Mission hits Indian Creek and the same time Martway was being pummeled with 4.81 inches.

The torrential rains that hit northeast Johnson County Friday had emergency response crews scrambling to rescue motorists who drove into standing water and found their cars stranded.

First responders from Consolidated Fire District No. 2 were already assisting in a fatality car wreck on Metcalf Road in Mission when the calls for assistance to stranded motorists started coming in. Battalion Chief Ed Barger reports that the fire department assisted three stranded cars at 67th Street and Mission Road, four at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe Avenue, two near 5400 Mission Drive, and one at 56th Street and Canterbury Road.

Barger said the only incident that was related to Brush Creek spilling its banks was the one on Mission Drive, where the creek actually began pushing the vehicle downstream. In the other incidents, heavy rains caused water to start backing up on the roads and drivers underestimated its depth.

“Don’t drive into water,” Barger said.

All of the motorists were removed from their vehicles without injury, Barger said. And in many cases, the high water that stranded the vehicles receded relatively quickly. At 67th Street and Mission Road, for instance, Barger and the owner of a stranded Jeep were able to walk up to the vehicle 25 minutes after it had been inundated because the water had gone down. (The Jeep, unfortunately, did not start).


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Woman killed, man injured in two-car crash on Metcalf w/video

KMBC – August 29, 2016


Police said they’re investigating a fatal crash on the north end of Metcalf Avenue.

Investigators said the crash happened before 9 p.m. near 52nd Street and Metcalf, just south of the I-35 interchange.

Police said a red pickup truck appeared to cross the median and hit an SUV. The driver of the SUV, a woman in her 50s, died of her injuries.

The truck driver was taken to a hospital. Police said he is a man in his 40s.

There was no immediate information about what role, if any, weather played in the crash. Torrential rains have been falling in the area for much of the evening.


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K-170 reopened near Reading after investigation turns up no hazardous material spill

By Chuck Samples
KVOE – August 29, 2016

Emporia Fire Battalion Chief Rich Gould (white shirt) coordinates an area fire department response to a potential hazardous material spill on Kansas Highway 170 near Road U on Saturday. Photos by Chuck Samples/KVOE News.

Emporia Fire Battalion Chief Rich Gould (white shirt) coordinates an area fire department response to a potential hazardous material spill on Kansas Highway 170 near Road U on Saturday. Photos by Chuck Samples/KVOE News.

emporia fire 8292016b


A potential hazardous materials incident in northeast Lyon County turned out not to be the case, but the crash on Kansas Highway 170 near Reading still hampered travelers for close to two hours Saturday.

Lyon County Deputy Jacob Welsh tells KVOE News a westbound trailer carrying several different herbicides crashed east of Road U just before 2:45 pm. Welsh says the driver swerved to miss a deer but sent the trailer across the highway, where it crashed in the south ditch.

Emporia, Miller and Reading fire crews responded. Emporia Fire Battalion Chief Rich Gould says firefighters had to take several steps to make sure the scene was safe.

Eventually, it was determined there was no spillage. Gould says all chemicals inside the trailer were properly secured.

Welsh says the trailer belongs to a currently unspecified contractor for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, spraying herbicides along the tracks at different locations.

No injuries were reported.


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Four escape burning van w/video

By Tim Horan
Salina Journal – August 29, 2016

Photos by Aaron Anders. Click on each photo to view full-size.

Photos by Aaron Anders. Click on each photo to view full-size.

saline co fire 8292016b


A minivan and its contents were destroyed in a fire on Interstate Highway 135 just south of the Kansas Highway 4 intersection Saturday afternoon.

According to Saline County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Appel, Sara Hasch, 24, was southbound, moving from Kansas to Texas, with three children. The minivan was filled with their belongings.

Appel said Hasch said she had just filled up the vehicle with gasoline in Salina. Then at about 3:45 p.m., the vehicle caught fire.

Tim Gottschalk, of Ellis, said he was headed to Dallas when he rolled up onto a smoking vehicle. He said two children and a woman had already gotten out of the car.

“I saw movement like an arm in the back seat and ran over there and got the baby out of the baby carrier,” he said.

Gotteschalk said that soon after he got the baby out of the vehicle, the vehicle went up in flames.

“It burned the hair on my legs,” he said.

Hasch said the four appeared to have escaped uninjured. They were transported to the Salina Regional Health Center for observation but refused treatment at the emergency room.

When the Saline County Rural District No. 2 firefighters arrived, the dark blue minivan was fully engulfed.

I-135 was closed for about 45 minutes.

Appel said the cause of fire had not been determined.


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Russell Firefighters Respond to Car Fire

By David Elliott
KRSL – August 29, 2016

Russell City Firefighters responded Thursday evening to a car fire at McDonald’s in Russell.

According to the Russell City Fire Department, at 7:11 PM Thursday, Russell Dispatch received several calls reporting a vehicle on fire in the parking lot of McDonald’s on South Fossil.

Firefighters, Russell County EMS and Russell Police Officers responded.

The car, a 2016 Volkswagen with Colorado license plates but registered to a man from Iowa, suffered only minor damage according to Russell City Fire Chief Shane Preston.

The fire was quickly extinguished and contained to the engine compartment.

The fire was caused by a pack rat nest in the engine said Preston.

No injuries occurred.


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Car bursts into flames north of Olpe

By Zach Hacker
Emporia Gazette – August 29, 2016

Photos by Zach Hacker. Click on each photo to view full-size.

Photos by Zach Hacker. Click on each photo to view full-size.

lyon co fire 8292016b

Roberto Herrara and a female passenger were on their way back home to Emporia Friday morning when they got a big surprise.

They were traveling north on Highway 99 just south of the intersection with Road 100 when Herrara heard a loud, explosion-like sound from underneath the hood of his 2004 Dodge Durango.

“I started to see black smoke coming from under the hood,” Herrara said. “I pulled over and we got out. That’s when I started to see fire.”

The Emporian said the fire spread quickly.

“I called 911 right away when I started to see the fire,” Herrara said.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at about 11:30 a.m. and, by the time Chief Bob Miller, Assistant Chief Wade Schmidt and Firefighter Justin Hayes of the Olpe Fire Department were the first to arrive, it was fully engulfed. Miller said the fire appeared to have started in the engine compartment.

Lyon County Fire District 4 and Lyon County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene. Emergency crews attacked the blaze with water and had it out quickly. It briefly re-ignited just before noon, but the minor flare-up was extinguished in just a couple minutes.

“When we got here, there was nobody in the vehicle,” Schmidt said.

“So we just put the wet stuff on the red stuff,” Miller added.

The vehicle, which was a total loss, was eventually towed away by Williams Automotive in Emporia.

Miller said the commonality of similar fires is difficult to predict.

“It’s the luck of the draw,” he said. “We might have two more calls like this today and we might not have one for another five years.”


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Firefighter Boot Brigade For MDA

By Todd Pittenger
KSAL – August 29, 2016

salina fire 8292016

Salina Firefighters are deploying a boot brigade this weekend, in an effort to collect money to extinguish childhood diseases. Firefighters will be out at several busy intersections in Salina, trying to fill their boots with donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Firefighter Chris Rios tells KSAL News that they out collecting for MDA on Friday from 4 till 7 at the intersections of Crawford and Ohio and Crawford and Broadway. They will be out Saturday from 11 till 3 at the same locations, as well as at Magnolia and Belmont. They will then be out again a final time on Sunday from 11 till 2 at all three locations.

Donations can also be dropped off at any Salina fire station, or made online at Salina Fire Department Fill the Boot.

Rios says that last year the effort brought in about $10,000. This year the goal is to collect $15,000.

All money collected will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, whose mission is to free individuals and the families who love them, from the harmful effects of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related life-threatening diseases so they can live longer and grow stronger.

Firefighters have been collecting money for MDA since 1954.


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Brief downpour leads to nine-vehicle crash on I-70 west of Topeka

By Samantha Foster
Topeka Capital Journal – August 29, 2016

Photos by Samantha Foster.

Photos by Samantha Foster.

shawnee co fire 8292016b

shawnee co fire 8292016c

A brief downpour Friday afternoon led to a crash involving nine vehicles that snarled traffic on Interstate 70 west of Topeka.

The collision was reported about 3:30 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of I-70 between the Carlson Road and West Union Road exits.

At the scene, Dirk Christian, fire chief for Shawnee County’s Dover Fire District No. 4, called the crash a “chain reaction” that occurred during a heavy downpour that lasted for only a couple of minutes.

Two people were injured and taken to a hospital, but their injuries weren’t considered critical, Christian said.

He said everyone involved in the crash was wearing a seat belt, and all of the air bags that needed to deploy did so.

“That is what saved about six people,” Christian said, noting two mid-size vehicles sustained heavy front-end damage.

A FedEx semi was among vehicles involved, but all others were cars or trucks, Christian said.

The crash blocked both eastbound lanes in the area for about two hours, and authorities directed traffic to exit onto West Union Road, then re-enter I-70 on the other side of the scene.

About 4:40 p.m., eastbound traffic was backed up for at least 3 miles from the crash scene.


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Chief Willis Announces Retirement

By Jade Hudson
Newton Kansan – August 29, 2016

After a long and successful career for Newton Fire/EMS, Chief Mark Willis has officially announced his intent to retire. In a letter which Willis provided the city on Thursday, Aug. 25, he expressed the pride he has found in serving the community for over 31 years.

“I am grateful for the experiences, challenges and support provided during my career: I have had the opportunity to work for and with some of the finest, most talented and dedicated public servants I have ever known,” Willis wrote. “I am proud to have called Newton my home, and have been privileged to have had the opportunity to provide service our residents and visitors. I have a great sense of pride and humility for the privilege of serving others, and my greatest pride is being affiliated with my co-workers past and present in providing excellent service to a high standard, knowing this community is supportive and appreciative of the services they provide for and receive.”

According to City Manager and Senior Counsel Bob Myers, Willis has said a post-retirement opportunity recently became available for him. For that reason, and since he was already considering retirement, Willis decided the time was right.

“We all know what a fabulous job Mark has done, not only as the Chief but as a leader throughout the State and beyond,” Myers said. “We have a Fire/EMS Department which, throughout its history, has been seen as innovative and as one of the best in the state, and Mark is leaving at a time when the department is functioning at perhaps its highest level in its illustrious history. That is indeed saying a lot.”

Myers also noted that Willis’ career with the Newton Fire/EMS will end on a high note, considering his recently being awarded a KEMSA Lifetime Achievement Award.

“We all wish Mark the very best,” Myers said, “and I know we will be looking for an appropriate way in which to say ‘thank you’ for his remarkable 31 years of service to the City of Newton.”

Willis was named Newton Fire/EMS Chief in 2012. Two years later, he was noticed as an administrator and named the administrator of the year by the Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association at the organization’s annual conference in Wichita.

Willis is a more than 30 year veteran of Newton Fire/EMS, and was part of the department when fire and EMS services were merged. He was named chief after long-time chief Gary Denny retired in 2012.

Willis began his career in 1982 as a volunteer firefighter/EMT with the Whitewater Fire Department. He began his employment in Newton in 1985.

Willis has served as a tactical paramedic, flight paramedic, an adjunct EMS instructor, Deputy Chief, and in his current capacity as department Chief

A member of the Fire Operations Resource Coordination (FORCe) Command Team, the Southcentral Kansas Incident Management Team (SCKIMT), and a Division Commander with the Major Emergency Response Group (MERGe), Willis has been instrumental in writing and administering grants from MMRS for disaster medical equipment and supplies,as well as from the Department of Homeland Security for EMS communications (radios) and MERGe equipment.


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Man rescued from elevator

By TJ Rigg
KWCH – August 29, 2016

Click on photo to view full-size.

Click on photo to view full-size.

A man gets stuck in an elevator near the Old Town Warren Theatre.

Fire crews were sent to the area around 11 a.m. Saturday.

When crews arrived, they found a man trapped inside the elevator near the parking garage.

Crews were able to get the man out safely and tell Eyewitness News he was not hurt.


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No one hurt in S.W. Topeka apartment fire

By Marcus Clem
Topeka Capital Journal – August 29, 2016

Firefighters rescued one person without injury from an apartment building on fire early Sunday morning, and no one else is reported hurt.

The Topeka Fire Department (TFD) said in a news release it responded at about 2 a.m. to 3734 S.W. Plaza Drive, and discovered a structure fire concentrated around unit No. 202 of the White Lakes Plaza Apartments.

Firefighters used a ladder to extract a person from a second floor window, and all others in the building self evacuated.

They contained the fire to the apartment where it originated. It ultimately caused about $25,000 in structural damage and content damage is estimated at $5,000.

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


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United Way campaign salutes Heroes

By Savannah Downing
Hays Daily News – August 29, 2016

Photo by Jolie Green. Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by Jolie Green. Click on photo to view full-size.

Saturday was a beautiful morning for the first community kickoff celebration for the United Way of Ellis County’s 2016 campaign at Aubel-Bickle Park. The theme for the event was “Heroes for Change,” and children were encouraged to wear their superhero costumes while honoring some of Ellis County’s own hometown heroes.

Sherry Dryden, executive director for United Way of Ellis County, welcomed the children, parents, agencies and volunteers at 10 a.m. to start the fun.

“I would like to welcome you to the fun events we have planned here at this beautiful park and we are very blessed to have a picture-perfect day,” Dryden said. “I see a lot of little superheros out here today and that is awesome.”

The American Legion Riders were present with their flag line and color guard; they led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

United Way board member and First Presbyterian Church pastor Celeste Lasich began the event with an invocation.

Sponsors for the event included the Dane G. Hansen Foundation and Sunflower Electric, along with Midwest Energy, a campaign sponsor this year. Dryden thanked the City of Hays for the use of the park, as well as the Hays Daily News, Nex-Tech and Eagle Communications for their help.

McDonald’s of Hays provided drinks for the event.

Dryden then introduced another group of superheroes: the United Way’s partner agencies, asking each one to give a brief description of the work they do in the community. CASA of the High Plains, PACT (Parents and Children Together), Employment Connections with DSNWK, Kansas Legal Services, Options — Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, Cancer Council of Ellis County, Hays Area Children’s Center, United Cerebral Palsy Association and First Call for Help were in attendance.

“Last year these agencies provided 18,000 services for families in Ellis County,” Dryden said.

Dryden emphasized the main reason for the event, which was recognizing first responders and military as members of law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire and military including the American Legion Riders were in attendance.

“They all have or currently wear badges and uniforms,” Dryden said. “This event is to give all of us the opportunity to meet our Ellis County hometown heroes and thank them for all that they do.”

Representatives from the Kansas Highway Patrol, Hays Police Department, National Guard, Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Ellis County EMS and City of Hays Fire and Rescue addressed the crowd to thank them for their support.

Volunteers distributed flags to the children present and Ron Bennett, director of the American Legion Riders, discussed flag etiquette with the kids.

“Everybody loves parades and going to football games,” Bennett said. “At the start of those things, you always have the color guard, so it’s important to know what we do to properly salute our flag.”

Bennett then encouraged the children to wave their little flags.

“Be proud of that flag,” Bennett said.

He added when they see the flag coming, they should stand up tall, put their hand over their heart and remove their hat. That’s how they can pay proper respect for the flag and the people that gave all to protect the flag. Bennett also told the kids when they see someone in a military uniform, they should stop them and thank them for all they do.

“We all got taught this in school,” Bennett told the crowd. “But I don’t know if they are getting taught this as much, so we as parents need to teach them.”

The children then got to participate in a Cape Coloring Contest and a Sidewalk Art Contest. Rides from the Nex-tech Express entertained the kids as well as other games provided by the partner agencies. Those present got to sit on the motorcycles and explore the firetruck and cop cars. Candy and other treats were distributed in addition to prizes awarded for the best superhero costume. Approximately 50 children attended the event.

The United Way has set its fundraising goal at $450,000 for this year.


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Hays firefighters rescue family dog while battling duplex blaze

Hays Post – August 29, 2016

At 3:36 p.m. Sunday, City of Hays emergency dispatchers were alerted to a building fire at 305 E. 14th. The City of Hays Fire Department, assisted by Ellis County EMS and the City of Hays Police Department, was immediately dispatched.

On arrival, firefighters found a fire in the basement half of a duplex dwelling. Firefighters used one hose stream to control the fire and a second to prevent fire spread into the first floor dwelling. Two fire hydrants were used for primary and back-up water supply.

Firefighters rescued an unconscious family dog from inside the smoke-filled first floor half of the duplex dwelling. Using animal oxygen administration equipment provided by the Humane Society of the High Plains, firefighters successfully resuscitated the dog. The dog was transported to the Hays Veterinary Hospital by a City of Hays Police Department animal control officer and is reported to be in good condition.

The most probable cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The Hays Police Department is working with a State Fire Marshal investigator to determine the cause.

Sixteen firefighters staffing five fire trucks responded. The last fire crew left the scene at 5:36 p.m.


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Firefighters respond to garage fire Thursday

Fort Scott Tribune – August 20, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – August 26, 2016

Fort Scott firefighters responded to a structure fire late Thursday morning at a residence in the 700 block of Wilson Street.

The fire, which broke out just after 10 a.m., burned the inside of a garage attached to the house. Fort Scott Fire Chief Paul Ballou said Friday a couple of trucks and five personnel responded to the fire.

Ballou said one of his department’s fire investigators is looking into the cause of the fire, which has not yet been determined. He said the fire was not large and firefighters were only on scene for about 45 minutes to one hour.

“They got the fire out quickly,” he said.

Ballou said the residents, who were home at the time, called in the fire. No injuries were reported.

There were no people inside the garage at the time of the fire. Ballou said the garage contained “typical” items found in a garage.

He said the fire mainly burned the interior of the garage. The structure was left standing.


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E.L. “Bud” Hamilton

E.L. “Bud” Hamilton, 102, Minneapolis, died Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at the Ottawa County Health Center. He was born November 2, 1913 in Ottawa County to Lloyd and Gertrude (Lott) Hamilton.

Bud and June M. Fox were married September 4, 1936 in Minneapolis. He was a lifelong farmer.

Bud was a former member of the Bennington Cemetery Board and Bennington Fire Department.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife June on December 2, 2003; siblings Lester, Arlene, Phyllis, Dorothy, and Gertrude; and daughter-in-law Mary Hamilton.

Survivors include his children Samileen Kirkland and husband Jack, Ernest J. Hamilton and wife Sharon, and Bradly F. Hamilton; ten grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 A.M., Monday, August 22 at Wilson Family Funeral Home, Minneapolis. The family will receive friends an hour before the services. Entombment will be in the Bennington Cemetery Mausoleum. Memorials may be made to the Bennington Fire Department.


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Two lightning strikes suspected as cause in Lenexa and Overland Park apartment & house fires w/video

By Michelle Pekarsky and Rob Collins
FOX 4 News – August 26, 2016

Photo by Overland Park Fire Department. Click on photo to view full-size.

Photo by Overland Park Fire Department. Click on photo to view full-size.


Two apartment buildings in Lenexa were evacuated Friday morning after a fire at the Park Edge apartments on Renner Rd., across from Shawnee Mission Park.

Residents of the complex say the fire started just before 2:00 a.m. at one of the apartment buildings.

“It woke me up with a big clap of thunder and then a big boom. I thought, ‘Oh my. That was very close with the lightning strike,” said Peggy Minter, who lives next door.

Fire investigators had not yet determined if the fire was started by lightning, but that’s what most residents suspect because of what they heard and felt right before the fire.

“I was sound asleep so I heard a loud knock and then, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’ I thought I was dreaming. I heard it again this time more impressively,” said Jose Rodriguez, who lives one unit away from the one that caught fire. “I was in a state of confusion. I was discombobulated.”

Rodriguez said he ran back inside to grab his suitcase and some clothes.

“In the 20 seconds I was grabbing my stuff,… by the time I came out to the living room there was smoke… in the living room,” he said.

Eight apartments were involved affecting 14 residents. There were four pets inside; three have been located. A cat remains missing.

Residents credit two men; Abraham and Jason for going around all the apartments, knocking on doors to get people out.

In Overland Park, a lightning strike is also the likely cause of a house fire in the 8500 block of W. 155th Street. Just after 4:00 a.m., firefighters from Overland Park and Leawood Fire Departments were called out and found smoke and fire coming out of the roof. All residents were out of the house and firefighters knocked down the fire in about 30 minutes.

The homeowner reported hearing a loud boom, and then the smoke alarms began sounding. No one was injured. The three adults in the home are being assisted by the Red Cross.


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Lightning suspected in fire that burned Lenexa apartment building w/video

By Shain Bergan and Brandon Richard
KCTV 5 – August 26, 2016

lenexa fire 8262016


Lenexa firefighters say a fire that destroyed several units of a Lenexa apartment building was likely caused by lightning early Friday morning.

The Lenexa Fire Department responded around 2 a.m. to Park Edge Apartments on Renner Road, where crews saw flames rising from the building and people evacuated from the structure. No one was hurt in the fire.

The fire was declared under control a few hours later. Eight units were destroyed—four on the bottom floor, and four on the top floor, according to the fire department.

There is no official cause to the fire yet, but firefighters believe a lightning strike likely caused it, according to a battalion chief on the scene.

“I just thought it was just lightning nearby and somebody started pounding on all of the nearby apartments, and we started running out in our pajamas,” said Matt Garrett, a man at the apartments. “Everybody got out safely and looks like it was fully engulfed, but looks like everybody made it out.”

Other surrounding fire departments also assisted on the call. Residents were temporarily taken to the apartment complex’s office. The American Red Cross is helping those residents.


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Tank battery struck

Gyp Hill Premiere – August 22, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – August 26, 2016

barber co fire 8262016

A tank battery located west of Medicine Lodge on River Road was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm the evening of August 11th. Barber County volunteer firefighter Travis G. McCauley stated that upon their arrival the structure was fully engulfed in flames. He reported that the fire was put out within an hour but that it rekindled at about 3:00 a.m., necessitating their return to the site.


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Fire department responds to house blaze

By Donna Celaya
Montgomery County Chronicle – July 28, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – August 26, 2016

The Cherryvale Fire-Rescue Department responded to a house fire in the 700 block of East Second Street on Saturday, July 23.

Lt. Stan Gregory said the department received the call at 4:44 p.m. and left the scene at 7:32 p.m.

The source of the fire, he said, was on the second story of the two-story home. The cause appears to have been an electrical short. There were no injuries reported. The structure suffered smoke and water damage throughout, in addition to the damage caused by the blaze.


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Pilot seriously hurt in crop duster plane crash in Rice County

KWCH – August 26, 2016

rice co fire 8262016

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the pilot of a 1968 Piper fixed wing aircraft was injured in a Thursday afternoon crop duster plane crash in Rice County.

The KHP says the plane was in the process of spraying pesticide on a crop field, when for unknown reasons, the motor stalled. The pilot, 51-year-old Brad S. Fitchett, of Ellsworth, attempted an emergency landing, skidding more than 180 feet through the field when the plane flipped on its top.

Fitchett was transported to the Great Bend Regional Hospital before being transferred to Via Christi St. Francis hospital in Wichita where he’s listed in serious condition.

Rice County EMS and the Bushton Fire Department responded to the scene.


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Tonganoxie firefighter delivers baby first day on job w/video

By Kara Protasio
Lawrence 6 News – August 26, 2016


When Tonganoxie Firefighter James Davis started his first day on the job, he wasn’t expecting a baby.

“It’s not a call you expect every day or that we’re normally used to hearing,” said Davis.

A call from Alicia Stoltenberg’s husband who said she was in labor at their home.

“I was just like, we’re not going to make it to the hospital because the contractions started getting a lot stronger and a lot closer together,” said Stoltenberg.

Davis and other members of the department made it just in time to push.

“The firemen showed up and it was just like a couple more contractions and a couple of pushes and he was here,” said Stoltenberg.

Davis was the first to meet Tonganoxie’s newest resident Macklin Stoltenburg.

“I delivered the baby,” said Davis.

“In the bathtub,” said Stoltenberg.

An exciting moment that Stoltenberg says she’s glad she wasn’t alone for.

“I was very thankful that they showed up when they did,” said Stoltenberg.

“Everything went great,” said Davis. “The delivery was smooth.”

And a moment that has Davis excited about the rest of his career with the fire department.

“I guess it’s nice to be something that happened to me at the beginning of my career,” said Davis. “Something with a happy ending.”

Baby Macklin Lawrence Stoltenberg was born August 20 at 11:12 a.m. He weighed 6 pounds and 2 ounces and is 19 inches long.


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At 130, Wichita Fire Department ‘Better Equipped Than We’ve Ever Been’

By Nadya Faulx & Deborah Shaar
KMUW – August 25, 2016

wichita fire 8252016

The Wichita Fire Department celebrates 130 years today (August 23).

Sgt. Stuart Bevis says Wichita Fire gets between 60,000 and 70,000 calls a year, although only about 2,000 of those are for actual fires. The rest are medical calls the department responds to alongside Emergency Management Services.

“All of those calls take resources from us,” Bevis says. “Even if we may have a little bit of a down-drop where we only have a few significant fires in a few days, there’s always plenty of other things that are keeping us really hopping.”

However, Bevis says the department is now “better equipped than we’ve ever been.” They have more than 400 uniformed and civilian firefighters, and the department recently received a federal grant to add even more positions.

The department will celebrate its anniversary by recognizing a firefighter of the year and honoring members for their service throughout the year.


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Wrong-way driver sees vehicle catch fire

By Shane Farley
NewsCow – August 25, 2016

Photo by Shane Farley

Photo by Shane Farley

An Ark City woman was said to be driving the wrong way down the highway Tuesday afternoon shortly before her vehicle burst into flames.

39-year-old Deja N. Hunt was arrested for driving under the influence. She was booked into the Cowley County Jail and was later released after posting $1,000 bond.

Around 1 p.m., Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the 2900 Block of N. Summit Street for a report of a possible hit and run driver that was now northbound out of Arkansas City on U.S. 77 Highway in the south bound lanes.

A witness reported the vehicle turned onto 244th Drive and smoke was coming from under the hood. The vehicle came to a stop just east of 244th Rd.

Mechanical issues were believed to have caused the fire.

The driver had exited the vehicle and was not injured.

It was later determined that the hit and run accident in Arkansas City did not result in any damage.


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Register Now for Company Officer Academy


Columbia Southern University is proud to announce its partnership with the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs (KSAFC) and the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical to host the Company Officer Academy!

We invite you to attend this three-day class as part of a pre-conference event for the annual KSAFC conference or to be taken independently. A discount for the class will be given to those also attending the KSAFC conference. In addition to engaging information and exciting interaction, this class will also be offering Continuing Education Units provided courtesy of Columbia Southern University.

Chiefs John Salka and Rick Lasky have put together this dynamic multi-day program that addresses the many skills and abilities that company officers need to have to be effective in the firehouse and on the fire ground. This program is designed for new company officers, current officers and future officers.

For more information about the course and instructors, visit our website.

October 25-27, 2016
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Double Tree by Hilton (formerly Holiday Inn)
200 McDonald Drive
Lawrence, KS 66044
Discounted Room Block Rate- $83
Room Reservation

$130 KSAFC Pre-Conference Rate
$150 CSU Student/Alumni/Learning Partner
$175 Basic Registration


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Galena loans engine to Baxter Springs Fire Department

Sentinel Times – August 24, 2016

Engine #50 at the Baxter Springs Fire Department has been slated for retirement for sometime. Old #50 has given up the ghost, as its brakes went out and according to the department, the parts are obsolete and the repair would be lengthy (aka expensive).

So in steps Galena Fire Department and loaned Baxter their Engine #1. The Baxter Fire Department sends a big thank you to the Galena Fire Department (and so should the residents). We should all applaud both departments for working together. So at the end of the day who says that the local communities can’t work together.


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