Hiawatha firemen answer call to fight wildfires

By Joey May
Hiawatha World – March 9, 2017

From left, John Merchant Jr., Nick Siebenmorgen and Ryan Shockley.

Three Hiawatha volunteer firefighters answered the call for mutual aid to battle wildfires raging in southwest Kansas.

Nick Siebenmorgen, John Merchant Jr., and Ryan Shockley left at 2 a.m. Thursday morning for Ashland, Kan., near where wildfires are raging over thousands upon thousands of acres.

Jordanne Shockley, public information officer and wife of Ryan Shockley, said the Kansas State fire Marshal’s Office sent out a plea to all fire departments in Kansas for mutual aid in battling these fires. There are currently three large fires in Kansas and the one the Hiawatha firefighters were sent to is called the Starbuck Fire and Shockley said it is not contained.

She said the Hiawatha firefighters were scheduled for at least one 12-hour shift that began at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

Mayor Steffen Shamburg said that when the plea for help came from state officials, Fire Chief Gary Shear and City Administrator Mike Nichols were in contact with them to see what we could provide.

“It’s the largest fire in state history,” he said. “We made a decision that we had enough equipment and manpower here to take care of our community and decided to provide a truck and some able-bodied men.”

Mayor Shamburg commended the three volunteer firefighters for the service and said he was thankful they were interested.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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