Archive for May, 2017

Firefighters quickly douse 2-alarm blaze on Kopp Drive Tuesday

By Mary Shirk
Manhattan Mercury – May 31, 2017

Photo by Jackie Dobson. Click on photo to view full-size.

The Manhattan Fire Department responded to a house fire at 122 Kopp Drive shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday. Assistant fire chief Mike Kaus said firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze.

Firefighters used a chainsaw and a fire axe to cut a hole the roof of the home to vent the excess heat and smoke from inside the house. The fire appeared to have started in the back of the residence but a cause of the fire has not been determined, Kaus said.


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Crews battle apartment fire in southeast Wichita

KSN – May 31, 2017

Wichita fire crews battled an early morning blaze at a southeast Wichita apartment complex. It happened in the 9200 block of East Harry just after 6 a.m. at the Buttonwood Tree Apartments.

The fire started in a second story apartment, and it impacted three total units. That apartment is a total loss.

Crews estimate the fire has caused about $60,000 worth of damage. Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.


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Shop building at Wyandotte County Lake catches fire

FOX 4 News – May 31, 2017


Fire consumed a building at Wyandotte County Lake Tuesday afternoon. Kansas City, Kan., Fire Chief John Paul Jones described the building as a shop building that had three-bays to it.

When firefighters arrived, the structure had already partially collapsed and was fully involved. It was under control in about 20-25 minutes.

There were no reports of injuries.


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Baker University student helps man escape burning duplex

By Conrad Swanson
Lawrence Journal World – May 31, 2017

Photo by Elvyn Jones

Brandon Keller and his mother drove to Baldwin City’s Kwik Shop, 522 Ames St., Monday night to grab a drink and rent a movie. That’s when they smelled something burning.

Considering it was Memorial Day, Keller said he figured somebody was burning something, perhaps leaves. But as they left the shop and headed north on North Sixth Street, the pair quickly located the source of the smell.

“We saw flames coming from the back of this house,” he said. “So right when we saw it we turned into the hardware store’s parking lot, came up to the house, and my mom called 911.”

Around that same time another man who was apparently familiar with the home, told Keller, 20, that an older man lived inside the home and that he might still be inside.

In fact, the home was a duplex at 204 Crimson Ave., said Baldwin City Fire Chief Terry Baker. The fire broke out in one half of the building sometime before 8:20 p.m., he said.


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No injuries reported after fire

Leavenworth Times – May 31, 2017

No injuries were reported following a house fire Tuesday in Lansing, a fire department spokesman said.

No injuries were reported following a house fire Tuesday in Lansing, a fire department spokesman said.

The fire was reported at 11:09 a.m. at 709 Rock Creek Drive.

Rick Huhn, chief of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, said an electric charcoal heater had been placed on top of a bag of hickory chips in the home’s basement. And someone apparently plugged in the heater, resulting in the fire.

Huhn said smoke could be seen coming from the house when firefighters arrived. They extinguished the fire.

“There was no structural damage,” Huhn said.


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Burn regulations discussed

By Tim Horan
Salina Journal – May 31, 2017

New regulations that could require restitution to fire departments for manpower or water required to fight out-of-control prescribed burns and stiffer penalties for those not following the rules are being considered in Saline County.

“If so, what should those penalties be?” Emergency Management Director Hannah Stambaugh asked in a discussion Tuesday with Saline County commissioners. “Should it be a combination of restitution to the fire department? Should it be a loss of your burn permit privileges for a period of time? Or should it be stiffer fines? We just wanted to solicit some information from folks.

“We really don’t want more regulations. We want it as easy as possible for people to do safe burning.”

Regulations are being examined seriously but are in preliminary stages, she said.

The review was prompted by the number of burns that have gotten out of control, requiring firefighter response.

In 2016, firefighters responded to 102 grass fires, 43 of which started as prescribed burns, or 42 percent. In 2015, 43 percent of 151 grass fires started as prescribed burns.

“When the numbers get that high, that’s quite concerning,” Stambaugh said.
Weather network online

Citizens may provide input into proposed regulations by responding by June 5 to a survey on the county’s website,

Of the 352 responses received through Saturday, the question receiving the most comment is: Should there be stiffer penalties for a person who does not follow the rules and regulations?

Stambaum said the burn survey is a way to solicit opinions of everyone in the county.

“We kept it short and simple, but we wanted to know where it is you burn in Saline County or if you don’t burn in Saline County,” she said. “What is it you typically burn? We asked questions as far as supporting any type of regulation changes to, maybe, require the amount of manpower you need to have for a burn or the water, the amount of equipment that you have.”

Stambaugh said emergency management also is looking for ways to better monitor wind and weather conditions.

The department has been working with Kansas Wesleyan University to monitor weather stations. Currently, there are five weather stations on a weather website maintained by Kansas Wesleyan University, — located at Crisis City, Emergency Management, Kansas Wesleyan University, Rolling Hills Zoo and Solomon High School. Soon to be added to the network are weather stations at Rural Fire District No. 5 on North Simpson Road, Southeast of Saline School and at Crumbaker Pork on Smolan Road.

“That web page is now up and running,” Stambaugh said. “We also talked about doing some wind forecasting. That is obviously really important if you are going to be burning quite a few acres.”

Controlled burns are prohibited if wind speed reaches 15 mph.
Group formed on issue

One of the key components to a new burn regulation is how to distinguish between major agriculture burners and the homeowner burning limbs or grass, she said.

“We still have some things we need to discuss,” she said.

A group was formed more than a year ago to discuss burn regulations. It includes representatives of different segments of the county — firefighting, emergency management, farmers, ranches and elected officials.

The next meeting of that group will be Tuesday.

The group has reviewed burn regulations in other Kansas counties.

“We also met with the county attorney’s office to discuss, ‘What can we do within our regulations to define what some of the penalties are if you are not doing what you should be doing in controlling your fires?’” she said.

A prescribed burn association is being discussed.

“It has been a very effective use of manpower, resources and tools across the state. We have seen it in several states in Oklahoma and Texas as well,” she said. “It’s the whole concept of neighbors helping neighbors.”


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Downtown pedestrian hit, pinned by Wichita City Bus

KNSS – May 31, 2017

A man was struck and pinned underneath a Wichita City Bus. It happened late Tuesday morning in the downtown area just west of INTRUST Bank Arena at Topeka and English.

KSN News reports that the man, 55, was crossing English, when he was hit by the bus, pinning him underneath.

The driver stopped and called for help. Fire crews arrived with bus jacks to lift the bus and free the man.

The man was not in a crosswalk when he was struck. He is expected to recover from his injuries. The accident remains under investigation.


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Woman killed in 3-car crash Tuesday

KWCH – May 31, 2017

A woman from Herington was killed in a three-car crash Tuesday evening.

It happened just before 7:00 p.m..

The Kansas Highway Patrol says Ellen Granzow was headed south on Highway 77 in Dickinson County, and didn’t stop at a stop sign.

She struck a vehicle that was going through the intersection, sending that vehicle into someone’s yard.

Granzow’s car kept going and struck a third car that was stopped at the stop sign.

She was killed in the crash. Another driver was hurt.


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Kansas man dies after ATV rolls down embankment

Hays Post – May 31, 2017

A Kansas man died in an accident just before 8:30p.m. Tuesday in Hodgeman County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2007 Polaris ATV driven by Jeffrey C. Hahn, 55, Hanston, was traveling just east of 230th Ave and W road ten miles north and two miles east of Hanston. The ATV traveled down and embankment and rolled.

Hahn was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Beckwith Mortuary. He was not wearing a helmet, according to the KHP.


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Motorcyclist dies of injuries from weekend crash

By Conrad Swanson
Lawrence Journal World – May 30, 2017

A Lawrence man involved in a motorcycle crash over the weekend died Sunday from his injuries, police said Tuesday.

Around 9:50 p.m. Eugene Lester, 49, was northbound on Kasold Drive when a Kia Sorento, driven by a 24-year-old South Dakota resident, turned in front of him, the Lawrence Police Department said in a news release.

The Sorento had been southbound on Kasold Drive and was turning east onto Clinton Parkway, the release said. Lester crashed into the passenger side of the Sorento. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The driver of the Sorento was not injured.

Emergency responders were dispatched to the intersection of Kasold Drive and Clinton Parkway, the Journal-World previously reported. Lester was flown to a Kansas City-area hospital in critical condition. On Sunday he died of his injuries.

The identification of the Sorento’s driver was not included in the department’s release, and representatives did not immediately respond to an inquiry into the person’s name or whether that person would be cited or face charges.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, the release said, and additional information was not immediately available.


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Former Atchison Commissioner killed in ATV rollover

WIBW – May 30, 2017

According to Many Signals Communications (, Mike Bodenhausen died when the ATV he was riding rolled over on Sunday.

Officials say Bodenhausen’s family located him trapped under the vehicle after he didn’t return home Sunday evening.

The accident happened on his Atchison County property.

Bodenhausen served on the Atchison County Commission from January 2012 to March of 2015.

Another Article:

Atchison County authorities say a man died after an ATV he was riding rolled over and landed on top of him.

Sheriff Jack Laurie says in a news release that 64-year-old Michael Bodenhausen died in the accident Monday on a farm north of Muscotah in northeast Kansas.

Laurie says Bodenhausen was spraying thistles from the ATV when it rolled over.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.


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One person treated for smoke inhalation after fire at East Topeka townhomes

By Justin Wingerter
Topeka Capital Journal – May 30, 2017

One person was transported to a local hospital with smoke inhalation after a fire at an apartment complex in East Topeka.

The injuries are not believed to be life threatening, said battalion chief Christopher Herrera.

The fire was reported at 2730 S.E. Golden Ave. at the Colonial Park Townhomes around 11 a.m. It was confined to one apartment which contained just one occupant, Herrera said.

The fire prompted a large response from the Topeka Fire Department. Seven trucks were on scene and a ladder led up to a window on the second floor.

It has not yet been determined how the fire started and whether the occupant was asleep at the time of the fire, Herrera said.


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Motorcyclist dies after crash with Johnson County deputy

KSHB – May 30, 2017

A motorcyclist is dead after a crash involving a Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy on 175th Street east of I-35 Sunday.

The Kansas State Highway Patrol said both drivers were transported to a local hospital with injuries. The driver of the Yamaha motorcycle later died.

Officials haven’t released any information on what led to the crash.

The Kansas Highway Patrol Critical Highway Accident Response Team are investigating. Eastbound and westbound 175th Street near I-35 is now re-opened after officials finished the on-scene investigation.


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Large Hay Barn Fire Friday Night

KSAL – May 30, 2017

saline co fire 5302017

A portion of Hedville Road west of Salina was closed early Friday night as first responders battled a large fire in a hay barn.

Rural firefighters were sent at around 5:00 to the report of a hay barn on fire in the area of Hedville Road and State Street Road.

The first crews on scene immediately requested additional help. Multiple districts were called to provide additional water and manpower.

The firefighting effort was initially delayed by downed powerlines.

Smoke from the fire could be seen for several miles.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

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Body found in Walnut River identified as well-known Augusta native

KWCH – May 30, 2017

Butler County water rescue crews found the body of the man who went missing in the Walnut River.

The Butler County Sheriff identifies him as 82-year-old Ramon D. Criss. Investigators say his body was found a half mile from where the tractor he was on over turned on a low water bridge.

Sheriff Kelly Herzet says Criss was an Augusta native, and well-known as a business man and for his philanthropic efforts.

“He’s done a lot for the community,” Herzet said.

He says Criss was instrumental in launching the annual Governor’s Turkey Hunt and made large donations to schools in Butler County.

Herzet says Criss was clearing a low-water bridge on his property to prepare for the “Storm the Dam Trail Run” that’s coming up next week, when he and the tractor he was riding somehow fell off the bridge.

The run’s Facebook page posted this Saturday morning:

“It is with extreme sadness that I announce the passing of the private property owner, Ramon Criss. Ramon was a great man who didn’t care too much for limelight, he cared about helping others. Ramon did so much for this race, the city of El Dorado, Butler County and even the state of Kansas. I have been privileged to get to know he and his wife over this last year.
It makes me sick to think he will not be out on the property next week. It makes me sick to think he won’t see all the runners enjoying the beauty of his land. It makes me sick that his life was taken so soon from us and his wife and children. His impact on this race, community and state will never be forgotten nor replaced. Ramon was a great man and will be missed.
Please pray for the strength of his family as they make his final plans. We will pay honor to Ramon next week at the race. I asked each of you in advance to continue respecting Ramon’s wishes for the race, enjoy the land only on race day.”

Officials began looking for Criss around 2:00 p.m. Friday afternoon and found him just before 9am Saturday morning.


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Witness says hoverboard sparked blaze that extensively damaged house northwest of Topeka

By Tim Hrenchir
Topeka Capital Journal – May 30, 2017

Photo by Tim Hrenchir

Jordan Donaldson said his new neighbors were recharging their hoverboard — a battery-powered, self-balancing, two-wheeled scooter — when it suddenly burst into flames Saturday in their house’s attached garage.

The fire did extensive damage, leaving the garage “pretty well gutted” and doing considerable heat and smoke damage inside the home northwest of Topeka, said Soldier Township Fire Chief Karl McNorton.

No one was hurt in the blaze at 6215 N.W. Kelshar Drive, McNorton said. Kelshar runs north and south and is located a half-mile west of N.W. US-75 highway.

The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s office was being called to investigate the cause of the blaze, which was reported at 4:17 p.m., McNorton said. A dollar estimate of damages hadn’t yet been made.

Shawnee County appraisal records show the house, built in 2000, was bought eight days before Saturday’s fire by owners Brian and Rhonda Coover. The Shawnee County appraiser’s office assessed the property’s value at $307,330.

The Coovers and their teenaged son and daughter moved into the house two days before the fire, neighbors said.

Neighbor Jordan Donaldson, 13, said he was inside the house with Coover family members when the blaze began.

Jordan said he was in the kitchen watching through the interior door to the garage, which was standing open, when he saw a spark from the hoverboard, which was being recharged in the garage.

“It sparked once, and then when one spark hit the ground it went up in flames,” he said.

Donaldson said he and the Coover family escaped the house through the front door.

“We were lucky it was in the garage and we were able to get out safely,” he said.

The family’s dogs were also brought to safety.

McNorton said Soldier Township firefighters were aided in extinguishing the blaze by members of the Silver Lake and Hoyt fire departments.

Firefighters got the blaze under control in about 30 minutes, he said.

“The guys did a great job,” particularly in terms of keeping the flames in the garage from getting into the rest of the house, McNorton said.

An American Medical Response ambulance crew responded to the scene and checked on firefighters who had been battling the blaze. Shawnee County sheriff’s deputies also were present.

McNorton said he would be interested to see what the investigator determines regarding the hoverboard’s potential involvement in igniting the blaze.

Jordan Donaldson said the fire changed his family’s thinking about hoverboards.

“We were thinking about buying one and then we decided not to, after this,” he said.


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Crews battle garage fire in Hutchinson

KWCH – May 30, 2017

The Hutchinson Fire Department responded to a garage fire Friday night in the 100 block of E. 8th.

“Initial arriving units found a fully-involved, four-car garage with intense heat, the Hutch Fire Department says. “Multiple exposures were being threatened with several starting to burn, including the back side of a church.”

The fire department says three juveniles from the area admitted to playing with a lighter in the garage and starting the fire. The garage and vehicles inside are a total loss, the fire department says.

It took crews about 20 minutes to control the blaze and they remained on scene for about two-and-a-half hours.

Besides the garage, three buildings were damaged. This includes minor damage to the church, the fire department says.

The Hutch Fire Department says total damage estimates are about $10,000. Eleven units responded, including staff and support vehicles. No one was hurt.


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Dodge City man killed in Hodgeman County rollover crash

Hutchinson News – May 30, 2017

A 19-year-old from Dodge City was killed in a rollover crash Saturday night in Hodgeman County.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol crash log, Alvaro Velasquez-Lorenzo, 19, of Dodge City was driving a passenger car about 7:25 p.m. Saturday, southbound on 210 Road north of H Road, southwest of Jetmore. He was riding with one passenger, 19-year-old Nicolas Velasquez-Ortiz of Dodge City.

Velasquez-Lorenzo lost control of the car and went left of center. He overcorrected, and the car rolled multiple times before stopping upright in the west ditch, according to the crash log.

The passenger, Velasquez-Ortiz, was declared dead at the scene. The driver, Velasquez-Lorenzo, was taken to Hodgeman County Health Center with possible injures.

Kansas Highway Patrol reported both men were using seat belts.


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Fire crews battle fire east of Park City

By Matthew Harding
KFDI – May 30, 2017

Wichita and Sedgwick County fire crews battled a house fire east of Park City Saturday afternoon.

It happened in the 7500 block of North Hillside shortly after 1pm.

An eyewitness tells KFDI News that fire was coming from the north end of the home, which had been vacant for some time.

There were no injuries in the fire and a cause remains under investigation.


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Garage destroyed in house fire

KWCH – May 30, 2017

Click on photo to view full-size.

WICHITA, Kan. The garage of a home was destroyed in a house fire early Saturday evening.

Crews were called to a house fire in the 2500 block of Aloma around 5:30 p.m. When they arrived, flames and heavy smoke were showing.

The fire originated in the garage, which was destroyed.

Fire crews on scene say the home was damaged by a fire about eight months ago in the kitchen, which is being remodeled.

The homeowner was in the home at the time working on the garage when he stepped outside and the fire started.

Crews estimate the fire caused $30,000 to $40,000 in damage.


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Fire destroys two vehicles in two separate fires on May 28

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – May 30, 2017

Photo by Gale Rose. Click on photo to view full-size.

More Pics

Rural firefighters were busy May 28 when fire destroyed two vehicles in separate events Sunday afternoon, May 28.

About 1:40 p.m. Jed Brenner, 25 of Rural Pratt, was northbound in a 2010 GMC Acadia just south of his home near SW 100th Avenue and SW 30th Street, when his 4-year-old daughter Brileey asked what that smell was in the car. When Brenner turned around to look, he saw smoke coming out of the vents. Then the steering wheel locked up and Brenner stopped the car. More smoke was coming out so he got the girls away from the car and called 911 but the call went to Kiowa County to their dispatch.

By the time the situation was clarified and a Cullison fire truck arrived, the car was completely engulfed in flames. The fire was quickly extinguished but the vehicle was totally gutted. Brenner and his daughters, Brileey and 20 month old Brecklyn, were not injured in the fire that was one mile west and three miles south of Cullison.


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Two fires reported in KCK

Wyandotte Daily News – May 30, 2017

The Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department responded to two fires during the past 24 hours.

• One fire was reported around 3 a.m. May 29 in the 300 block of North 35th Street, according to fire officials. The house was fully involved, according to early reports, and firefighters entered the building to make an interior attack. The fire was then knocked down.

• Another fire was reported around 8:30 p.m. May 28 in the 1800 block of North 22nd, according to fire officials. The first crews on the scene stated the fire was located outside of the building.


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One person is dead following a crash in Overland Park

FOX 4 News – May 26, 2017

One person is dead following a crash in Overland Park Friday morning.

Police say around 9:47 a.m. the driver of a white 2003 Ford F350 was southbound on Switzer approaching an intersection with a green light when the driver of a light blue 2016 Chevrolet Spark, westbound on W.133rd Street, failed to stop at a red light.

The driver of the 2016 Chevrolet Spark died at the scene. The victim’s identity has not yet been released.


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Patterson earns Kansas Firefighter of the Year honors

Garden City – May 26, 2017

Garden City Firefighter Adam Patterson has been named Kansas Firefighter of the year by the American Legion. Patterson accepted the award in Topeka last week at the American Legion Department of Kansas 2017 Convention.

Patterson was given the award for “outstanding selfless service over and above normal duties through community service and professional achievement thereby exemplifying the meaning of the phrase: America’s Bravest.” The award was presented by Kansas American Legion State Commander Robert Munson and Adjutant Jimmie Foster.

Patterson credited the award to the support of his coworkers.

“What an honor it is to receive the award,” he said. “I am part of a great fire department with many men who are just as worthy of such an award. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Thank you to all of the guys at the Fire Department for your support.”

Patterson has been with the Garden City Fire Department since June 2011. He was promoted to Firefighter II in 2014. Adam is a member of the GCFD Honor Guard and the Tactical Rescue Team.

“We’re very proud of Adam,” said Fire Chief Allen Shelton. “He’s been an exceptional employee for us, and we’re very excited for him that he’s received such an honor.”

Patterson grew up outside of Sublette, Kansas and attended Sublette High School where he participated in football, track, and basketball. Adam began volunteering with the Sublette Fire Department when he was just 18 years old and still helps out when he can.

After graduating from Sublette High School, he attended Hutchinson Community College’s Fire School. He then attended Kansas State University and was a student firefighter from 2010-2011. Patterson married his high school sweetheart Carley Chamberlain in 2015.

In 2014, Patterson was named Honor Guard Member of the Year. Last fall, he attended the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Ceremony in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He was also instrumental in developing the Garden City Honor Guard’s Keeper of the Flame award, created to recognize local residents who consistently give back to the community.


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KSFFA Regional Fire School – Colwich

KSFFA Regional Fire School
Hosted by Colwich Fire Department
July 8-9, 2017
Location: ICM West Campus, 125 N. 1st, Colwich

July 8th – Saturday Morning – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Vehicle Extrication – Full Turnout Gear or rescue PPE required
  2. Grain Elevator Fires – Helmet, Gloves, Eye Protection required
  3. Wildfires
  4. KSFFA Skills Trailer – Full Turnout Gear required
  5. Honoring Your Own – Taught by Topeka Fire Department Honor Guard

July 8th – Saturday Afternoon – 1:00 p.m.

  1. Vehicle Extrication, cont.
  2. Grain Elevator Fires, cont.
  3. Wildfires, cont.
  4. KSFFA Skills Trailer, cont.
  5. Honoring Your Own, cont.

July 9th – Sunday Morning – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Vehicle Fires – Full Turnout Gear and SCBA required
  2. Ethanol Fires
  3. Fire Behavior

July 9th – Sunday Noon

  1. KSFFA Burn Trailer – Full Turnout Gear and SCBA Required

Contact Info – KSFFA 2nd Vice President Shane Pearson –

Hotel Info – Holiday Inn Express, NW K-96, 10750 Hampton Lakes, Maize, KS

  • These courses are offered at no charge.
  • These schools are open to all firefighters/EMS
  • The KSFFA furnishes medical insurance for all participants.
  • The KSFFA is not responsible for lost or damaged clothing or equipment.
  • If you desire to have Firefighter One or Two testing, this must be pre-registered through Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute.
  • The KSFFA offers fit testing with its porta-count machine at all regional fire school.

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Lightning likely the cause of Thursday night house fire in Hays

Hays Post – May 26, 2017

At 9:23 PM, Thursday, City of Hays emergency dispatchers were alerted to a building fire at 418 E. Fifth. The Hays Fire Department, assisted by Ellis County Fire Department Company 5, the Hays Police Department and Ellis County EMS, was immediately dispatched.

First arriving police officers found fire coming from the attic of a single family dwelling. Firefighters used two hose lines to control the fire.

Damage was limited to the attic. There were no injuries. The most probable cause of the fire was a lightning strike during a severe thunderstorm. Because the occupant promptly called 911 firefighters were able to get the fire under control quickly.

During this fire, firefighters also responded to two coincident emergency calls, both involving trampolines blown into and entangled in power lines by the severe thunderstorm winds.

Nineteen firefighters staffing four fire trucks responded to the building fire. Fire crews left the scene at 10:36 PM.


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KSFFA Regional Fire School – Phillipsburg

KSFFA Regional Fire School
Hosted by Phillipsburg
October 7-8, 2017
Location: Phillipsburg High School – 240 S. 7th St.

October 7 – Saturday Morning – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Farm and Vehicle Extrication – 12 hrs.
  2. Honoring Your Own – 8 hrs.
  3. KSFFA Skills Trailer – 8 hrs.
  4. Pump Ops – 8 hrs.
  5. FRA Class – 4 hrs.

October 7 – Saturday Afternoon – 1:00 p.m.

  1. Farm and Vehicle Extrication, cont.
  2. Honoring Your Own, cont.
  3. KSFFA Skills Trailer, cont.
  4. Pump Ops, cont.
  5. Firefighter Rehab – 4 hrs.

October 8 – Sunday Morning – 8:00 a.m.

  1. Farm and Vehicle Extrication, cont.
  2. Defensive Driving – 4 hrs.
  3. Reading Smoke – 4 hrs.
  4. Ventilation – 4 hrs.

October 8 – Sunday Noon

  1. KSFFA Burn Trailer

Contact: KSFFA Northwest Trustee Justin Couse – 785-526-7810 (home), 785-735-8021 (cell)


Chief Jeremiah Clancy
Phillipsburg fire department


  • These courses are offered at no charge.
  • These schools are open to all firefighters/EMS
  • The KSFFA furnishes medical insurance for all participants.
  • The KSFFA is not responsible for lost or damaged clothing or equipment.
  • If you desire to have Firefighter One or Two testing, this must be pre-registered through Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute.
  • The KSFFA offers fit testing with its porta-count machine at all regional fire school.


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Georgia-Pacific Grants for Kansas Departments

The 2017 Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade grant application period is open for a few more weeks, and we would appreciate your help in making sure eligible departments in Kansas know about the program.

These are no-match grants of up to $10,000 that fund needed gear and equipment for fire departments in communities located within 30 miles of a Georgia-Pacific facility. Grants can be used to fund necessities such as turnout gear, breathing apparatus, water pumps, hoses and nozzles, and more. All applicants will also receive a complimentary department membership in the NVFC, courtesy of Georgia-Pacific.

There are Georgia-Pacific facilities in the following locations in Kansas: Blue Rapids.

Fire departments in these communities or within 30 miles of these facilities can apply by going to and submitting the online application by July 7, 2017.

2017 Georgia-Pacific Bucket Brigade Grant Application Period


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Fire department battles fire

Leoti Standard – April 19, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – May 24, 2017

Wichita County Firefighters along with several other volunteers fought a large fire on W and 7 in Wichita County Friday afternoon.


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Roy G. Davidson

Roy G. Davidson, age 87, of Bonner Springs, KS. passed away on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Visitation will be 5pm-7pm Friday, May 19 and Funeral will be 10am Saturday, May 20, both at the Alden-Harrington Funeral Home. Burial in the Chapel Hill memorial Gardens Cemetery in Kansas City, KS. Memorial Contributions can be made to the Boy Scouts of America, Troup #249, Topeka, KS.

Roy was born on Feb. 17, 1930 in Kansas City, KS. He grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and was a 1949 graduate of Wyandotte High School. He had been a TV Repairman at Elmer’s TV Repair in Bonner Springs and at Montgomery Wards in Kansas City, MO. Later he worked as a manager at the Bonner Springs Federal Credit Union, retiring in 1998. Roy had volunteered his time with the Edwardsville Fire Department, Bonner Springs Jaycee’s and was a life member of the Bonner Springs Masonic Lodge #366 and Wyandotte Lodge #3. He had been the Secretary in the Bonner Springs Lodge for over 12 years and also served as Chaplain. Roy was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Nadine (Laughery) Davidson in 2009, one brother Charles “Chuck” Wayne Davidson and one grandson Matthew Davidson. Survivors include his two sons; Gene L. Davidson and wife Tammy, and Kenneth W. Davidson all of Bonner Springs. One daughter JoAnne N. Tuck and husband Gary of Tonganoxie, KS., six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.


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David Phillip Warriner

David P. Warriner of “David’s Herbs”, 66, Perry, died Monday, May 15, 2017 at his home in rural Perry with his family. He was born June 6, 1950 in Lawrence, the son of Charles King and Marian Elizabeth Ford Warriner. David attended Lawrence High School before graduating in 1968 from Ithaca, N.Y. High School and he attended the University of Kansas. He currently served as a 911 Dispatcher for Jefferson County since 2005 and loved serving Jefferson County and the citizens of the county. After moving to Perry in 1983 to pursue his dream of farming. He served as Service Technician for Jefferson County Rural Water District #2 for over 10 years, during that time , “David’s Herbs” was planted in 1985 and grew through the years. David is one of the original vendors of the Topeka Farmer’s Market, starting in 1989. He also worked as a vendor at the Lawrence Farmer’s Market for many years. He was a member and served as Fire Chief for the Kentucky Township Volunteer Fire Department in Perry, retiring after 20 years. David served as a 4-H Leader of the Billtown Go-Getters and served as Gardening Superintendent of Jefferson County 4-H fair for many years. The Warriner family was named 2002 4-H family of the year. Throughout his life , David enjoyed many interests and all who knew him, loved him and his sense of humor. He was married to Susan Lee Blair Beadleston on October 2, 1982 in Lawrence, She survives at the home. He is also survived by two sons, Matt (Juli) Beadleston, San Antonio, TX, Scott (Chandra) Beadleston, Shawnee, KS, one daughter, Elizabeth Kelley, Perry, KS, one brother, Doug Warriner, Denver, CO, one sister, Ruth Singleton, Kansas City, MO, and eight grandchildren. A Memorial Celebration of Life will be at 2:00 PM, Sunday, May 21, 2017 at Perry American Legion Post #142, Perry. Memorials suggested to David P. Warriner, Memorial Fund, or to Jefferson County 4-H Foundation or to Kentucky Township Fire Department in care of Barnett Family Funeral Home, P.O. Box 602, Oskaloosa, KS 66066.


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Osawatomie Fire Department receives $1,000 from Walmart

By Charity Keitel
Miami County Republic – April 19, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – May 24, 2017

The Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department is one step closer to updating its old equipment after receiving a $1,000 grant from Paola Walmart as part of the retailer’s community grant program.

According to a press release on April 12, city officials learned the department was being selected as a grant recipient earlier in the week. The funds will be used to purchase a fire hose and nozzle for the fire department.

“This is the second year we have applied and been awarded the Walmart grants,” Osawatomie Fire Chief Brian Love said in the press release. “Last year, we received $1,500 from three different Walmart grant applications, and the money is being allocated for public relations. The fire hose and nozzle that we will receive from this grant will replace worn equipment on the city’s lead fire truck. We appreciate Walmart and their willingness to help support our operations.”

The Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department has been providing fire and rescue services to the residents of Osawatomie and Miami County Rural Fire District No. 1 since 1896, according to the press release. Volunteers are ready to respond 24 hours a day, every day, to assist those in need.

According to the press release, the department services approximately 100 square miles of territory, answering medical and fire calls as well as other incidents within the city limits and in rural areas surrounding Osawatomie.


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Wet electrical wires set alarm off at school

By Jason E. Silvers
Fort Scott Tribune – May 13, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – May 24, 2017

Staff and students at the Christian Learning Center had an unusual interruption in the school day Thursday.

A fire alarm that sounded about 1:30 p.m. in the school, located at 3200 Liberty Bell Road, was reported to county dispatch, sending the Scott Township Fire Department to the school.

According to initial scanner reports, there were no visible flames or smoke upon arrival of emergency responders to the school.

Scott Township Fire Chief Tom Applegate said later Thursday the fire alarm was activated after exposed wiring on the floor got wet from water due to recent rainfall. Applegate said some remodeling is taking place in a portion of the school.

Electricians completing the work on the remodeling responded to the school to fix the issue, Applegate said.

“There was some wiring on the floor from remodeling,” he said. “Electricians doing the work came out and fixed everything. There was no fire…it was some water from a door or window.”

The school followed the standard protocol of evacuating the building during a fire alarm. Applegate said all students complied and there were no reported injuries during the incident.

“They evacuated the building until we gave the OK to go back in,” he said. “They were outside about 30-45 minutes. They followed protocol.”

The Christian Learning Center is a private religious school that serves pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students.


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Residential house fire lands man arrest for arson

By Mary Meyers
Atchison Globe – May 24, 2017

Photo by Mary Meyers. Click on photo to view full-size.

Formal charges are pending against a 47-year old Atchison man arrested for arson after an overnight investigation concerning a Monday evening fire inside an unoccupied midtown dwelling.

Gary W. Skeen was arrested and booked for arson Tuesday afternoon at the Atchison County Jail where he was held following his arrest on misdemeanors Monday night.

The arrest came after emergency responders were dispatched about 6 p.m. to the scene where smoke was reportedly seen emitted from inside a residence in the 900 block of Atchison Street. Atchison Fire Department firefighters, Atchison Police, Atchison County EMS Ambulance crews and Atchison County Rescue volunteers were present on the scene.

Atchison Fire Chief Ted Graf and Atchison Police Chief Mike Wilson agreed the agencies joined forces with authorities from Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office to pinpoint the cause of the blaze.

Graf said the preliminary findings indicated the origin was of a suspicious nature.

Investigators discovered pour patterns from an incendiary in one area of the house. The damages were mostly confined articles in one room, indicating the fire could have been intentionally set.

Wilson said the stages of an active investigation progressed into a criminal investigation involving arson.

Police initially arrested Skeen, a known acquaintance of the 48-year-old female homeowner, about 8:30 p.m. Monday in the 100 block of South Second Street for disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process.

Wilson said shortly after the fire police were on the lookout for Skeen to talk to him about the incident. Police located him and approached him about the house fire. Skeen became emotionally upset and moved objects in a rude or angry manner. He was apprehended, transported and booked into custody. Misdemeanor charges were filed Tuesday in district court that include assault and interference with law enforcement.

AFD Captain Bill Andre said the scene was released back to the homeowner on Tuesday morning, which means the cleanup process can commence. Andre said in the event of structure fires, it is a routine practice to turn off all gas and electrical utilities until the structures are deemed safe.

Skeen is currently a violent offender registrant until Oct. 21, 2029, according to a KBI Registered Offender Search online. Skeen has been registered since May 3, 2012 following his release from Kansas Department of Corrections in connection with a 2001 conviction on conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree. Skeen’s conviction arose from the Kurt Boldridge homicide that occurred on or about March 18, 2000 a few miles south of Atchison city limits in Walnut Township.


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89-year-old Carbondale man and dog killed in early morning fire

By Brian Dulle
KSNT – May 24, 2017

Photo by Nate Nottage-Tacey

Investigators are on the scene of a deadly fire in Carbondale.

Officials tell KSNT News the fire was reported around 6:30 Tuesday morning at 616 South 1st Street. When firefighters first arrived they reported the basement of the structure was fully engulfed in flames and was too hot to enter.

An 89-year-old man, who has not been identified at this time and a dog died in the fire.

The Kansas Fire Marshal is investigating.


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Edwardsville home fire under investigation

Wyandotte Daily News – May 24, 2017

A fire in the early morning hours of May 23 in the 500 block of Blake Street in Edwardsville is under investigation, according to authorities.

Edwardsville police and fire departments are looking into the cause of the fire at the split-level single-family home, a spokesman stated.

Firefighters responded to the fire and found one man inside the home. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation, the spokesman stated. The man is now in stable condition.

There was significant damage to the home, the spokesman stated.


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Wichita fire chief announces retirement

KSN – May 23, 2017

Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell has announced that he will retire in July. Blackwell has served as fire chief for nearly 10 years. Here is the letter he sent to the city.

I have tendered my intent to retire to the City Manager. My last in the office will be July 14, 2017. It has been my distinct honor to serve the citizens and residents of the City of Wichita as Fire Chief for almost 10 years.

Moments like this bring mixed emotions. While I am happily looking forward to retirement, there are many things I will miss. Among them are the camaraderie and support of civilian and uniform members of the department. However, I have reached a point in time for the next Fire Chief to implement, manage, and imprint several important projects including Optimized Deployment, Property Protection Analysis, Fleet Projects, Promotion Process, Recruit Class, Fleet and Facilities projects.

It has been both a challenge and a great honor to be called “Chief”, to work with some of the best fire service professionals in this very important business. I sincerely appreciate your service and our shared commitment to improve our service, enhance member safety and make the best use of new and existing resources. Organizationally our department is strong and when called upon does not falter. As I head out I am reminded of a quote from W.E.B. Du Bois, “I have loved my work, I have loved people and my play, but always I have been uplifted by the thought that what I (we) have done well will live long and justify my life (our lives), that what I have done ill or never finished can now be handed on to others for endless days to be finished, perhaps better than I could have done.”

I am grateful and humbled to have been a part of the Wichita Fire Department and to have had such a wonderful opportunity to serve with you.


Ronald D. Blackwell


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Preliminary location plans for fourth fire station revealed

By Mike Frizzell
Operation 100 News – May 23, 2017

Photo by Mike Frizzell

About 50 residents showed up to view preliminary plans for a new Shawnee fire station on Wednesday, May 17.

In July 2016, the Shawnee City Council raised the mill levy for the 2017 budget, partially to fund a new fire station in northwest Shawnee. Since the increase, the fire department and city staff have been working to locate a suitable site for the new fire station.

The fire department is recommending a site at 53rd Street and Woodsonia Drive as the location for the city’s fourth fire station. The proposed station would face 53rd Street. The recommendation calls for Roberts Street be extended north to 53rd Street, giving fire crews the ability to respond through a commercial area, instead of near homes along Woodsonia Drive.

Fire Chief John Mattox explained to those in attendance that residential construction in northwestern Shawnee has boomed since 1988 when Fire Station No. 3 opened in the 6700 block of Hedge Lane Terrace.

In 1988 there were 909 residential units in western Shawnee. Residential units in the same area now total 8,106 or a 791% increase since 1988, with more residences proposed.

Other sites considered by the fire department were at Garrett Park, near 47th Street and Aminda Street, and another city owned property on 55th Street just west of Belmont Drive.

The department determined the site near 53rd Street and Woodsonia could provide improved response times to more than 5,800 homes and nearly 17,000 residents. The two other sites could both impact about 2,500 homes and between 7,000 and 7,500 residents.

“It’s for the greater good,” said Ward III Councilman Jeff Vaught. “This site impacts the greatest amount of people most effectively. It seems to me that’s the direction you have to go.”

Mayor Michelle Distler said that most of the feedback she received at the open house seemed supportive of the new fire station. A few residents voiced concerns regarding the noise a fire station could bring to their neighborhood, mainly the sounds of sirens and horns.

“I think through explanation and education to residents, the fire department staff eased the concerns of the residents in regards to noise and safety, assuring them they will be a good neighbor,” Distler said.

Fire department staff explained how firefighters are not using sirens or air horns while around the station and not all responses will require bright lights or loud sirens.

Mattox said hiring to staff the new fire station has already begun. The department welcomed eight new firefighters in March, six of which are new firefighter positions. Mattox also said additional firefighter positions will be filled once construction of the new station begins.

The main emphasis of a fourth fire station is increasing the level of service offered to residents of northwest Shawnee and decreasing response times.

“Response time is critical and the mission of our fire department is to save lives and preserve property,” Distler told Operation 100 News. “The difference between success and failure is a matter of minutes or even seconds.”

Mattox stated the next step in the process will be to share the feedback from the neighborhood meeting with the City Council.

“I think that the overall opinion was positive and supportive of our recommendation to locate the station at 53rd and Woodsonia,” Mattox said. “My expectation is that we will begin final negotiations with the property owner to secure an option on that property and then take our plan to the Planning Commission for rezoning.”

Mattox and Distler both added their thanks and appreciation for the residents who attended the neighborhood meeting to share their opinions and offer feedback.


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Liberal Firefighters Battle Mobile Home Fire

By Joe Denoyer
KSCB News – May 23, 2017

At 6:11 am Tuesday, Liberal firefighters were dispatched to 2642 Long Ave. for a reported fire in the bedroom of the residence. Prior to arrival of fire units, Liberal Police officer’s on-scene advised that all residents had evacuated and were accounted for. The homeowner successfully attempted to control the fire to some extent with a garden hose through the bedroom window. Firefighters making entry encountered very little fire which was confined to one room of the home. The fire was declared under control at 6:14 am.

The fire began in the bedroom and spread through the entire room. The remainder of the residence suffered heat and smoke damage. The exact cause of the fire is undetermined at this time; however it appears to be accidental in nature. Three of the occupants of the residence were evaluated at the scene for possible smoke inhalation and one firefighter suffered an injury from a post-fire fall while removing equipment from the home. The fire department responded with a total of 18 personnel, two engines and a medical/rescue unit. Also assisting at the scene was the Liberal Police Department, American Red Cross, Southern Pioneer Electric & Black Hills Energy. All units were fully returned to service at 7:42 am.


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90-year-old Kansas woman dies in 2-vehicle crash

Hays Post – May 23, 2017

A Kansas woman died in an accident just before 12:30p.m. Monday in Sedgwick County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2002 Kia Rio driven by Ruth Rushing 90, Wichita, was northbound on Greenwich Road.

The driver failed to yield at Kansas 254 and drove in front of a westbound 1999 GMC Suburban driven by Ira Reed, 36, El Dorado.

The Suburban struck Kia in passenger side

Rushing was transported to Wesley Medical Center where she died.

Reed was not seriously injured. Both drivers were properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.


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Notice of Vacancy – Fire Prevention Inspector – Requisition #186799

This vacancy is open until filled.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has an opening for an Unclassified Fire Prevention Inspector/Enforcement.  This is advanced technical fire prevention work covering the counties of Allen, Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho and Wilson.  The inspector conducts fire and life safety inspections of facilities under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Fire Prevention Code and Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services.  Inspection work is governed by division directives which address inspections, inspection protocol, interpretative guidelines, local agency liaison and limits of authority.  Special inspections are periodically conducted to support ongoing enforcement activities or investigate complaints.  Inspections entail climbing in and out of attics, crawling in small areas, climbing stairs, extensive walking, communicating, independent thinking, using a computer, etc.  Extensive travel, including overnight is required of this position.


Salary:  $19.16 per hour.  Unclassified (At-Will), Full-time, Benefits-Eligible.


Minimum Requirements:  Two years’ experience in performing inspections and obtain Kansas certification as a Fire Inspector I through NFPA and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services certification within twelve months of hire date.  College courses in fire science may be substituted for the require experience at the rate of two semester hours for one month of experience.  In order to substitute education for experience, a college transcript must be submitted at time of application and before vacancy closes.  Must have a current valid driver’s license.


Preferred Skills:  Must have knowledge of the Kansas Fire Prevention Code, the 2012 National Fire Life Safety Code, 2012 International Building Code and 2012 International Fire Code.  Must have extensive field experience as well as code and mechanical aptitude background.  Must have exceptional skills in oral and written communication; must have strong computer skills.


This position is a field position covering the counties of Allen, Bourbon, Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho and Wilson.  Residency within the territory is required.


Performance Standards:  To be successful, candidate is expected to routinely perform the position tasks with limited supervision by the end of the probationary period.


HOW TO APPLY:  The application process has 3 STEPS:


STEP 1:  Register by completing the online Personal Data Form at  (Skip this step if you already have an Applicant ID number.)

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

STEP 3:  Email the additional required documents to .


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


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


Required Documents:

Online State of Kansas Application form sent to Fire Marshal

Letter of Interest


College Transcripts, if applicable

Copy of all Training Certificates

Valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate

send to Brenda Schuette,


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




Each applicant applying for a State of Kansas job vacancy must obtain a valid Kansas Certificate of Tax Clearance by accessing the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website at .


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


Failure to follow the instructions and submit all required documentation may affect your consideration for this position.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call me.


Recruiter Contact Information:

Name:  Brenda L. Schuette

Phone: 785-296-0654

Fax:   785-296-8155



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


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


Veterans’ Preference Eligible (VPE):  Former military personnel or their spouse that have been verified as a “veteran”; under K.S.A. 73-201 will receive an interview if they meet the minimum competency factors of this position.  The veterans’ preference laws do not guarantee the veteran a job.  Positions are filled with the best qualified candidate as determined by the hiring manager.  Additional VPE information can be found at


How to Apply for Veteran’s Preference:

Applicants claiming veterans’ preference for the first time must complete:

The Veterans’ Preference field on the Personal Information Registration form, and submit a complete, legible copy of their discharge document (DD 214), showing enlisted and discharge dates, type of discharge, medals received, etc. to the Kansas Department of Administration, Office of Personnel Services


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact the agency recruiter if reasonable accommodations are needed for any part of the application or hiring process.




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


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Meeting Notice


Meeting Notice:

The Kansas Board of EMS invites you to participate in a Stakeholders Meeting in Topeka, KS, on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 1500.  The purpose of this meeting is to collaborate on a plan to credential and regulate non-transporting entities that provide out-of-hospital medical care.

This meeting is scheduled to be held at the Landon State Office Building, 900 S.W Jackson, Room 509. Please email James Reed ( if you plan on attending.

We look forward to having you participate in this meeting so that the Board has information that not only addresses the agency’s and Board’s input and needs, but also addresses our stakeholders’ input.  If you have any specific ideas that you would like considered at this meeting, but you may be unable to attend, please contact me so that your ideas can be presented to the group.  Feel free to widely disseminate this invitation.

James D. Reed

Operations and Compliance Manager

Kansas Board of EMS




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Some county fire insurance rates set to decrease

By Stephanie Casanova
Manhattan Mercury – May 23, 2017

Some business owners and homeowners in Riley County may see a 2- to 5-percent reduction in their fire insurance starting Aug. 1.

The Insurance Services Organization, or ISO, recently audited Riley County Fire District No. 1 and improved the ratings of 11 of the 15 fire stations in the county, Pat Collins, Riley County emergency management director, told county commissioners during their Monday meeting. Fire stations are rated on a scale from Class 1 to 10, with 1 being the best.

A lower class number translates to lower insurance costs for property owners who use insurance companies that base their rates on ISO ratings.

While not all insurance companies base their ratings on the ratings, homeowners insured through companies that do could save between $300 and $1,000 annually depending on their insurance company. Those figures are based on $200,000 homes. Riley County’s average home value is $160,000.

Homes and businesses covered by the Ashland, Peach Grove, Mayday or Hunters Island fire stations will see an increase between $100 and $1,000 annually in their fire insurance. The ISO increased the classification for those four stations.

The ISO looks at the number of trained personnel and number of staffers, the number of three-story buildings, number of hours of structural firefighter training, training facilities, fire codes and records. They also require that the fire trucks meet or exceed equipment and pump requirements, and they test hoses and pump service.

Properties more than 5 miles from a fire station are rated Class 10, and properties within 5 road miles of a fire station are rated a Class 9. Properties within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant received a Class 5 rating, and a 5Y rating signifies a property more than 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant but within 5 miles of a fire station.

In 2013 the ISO revised its ratings, but insurance companies still use the old scale, so some stations have two ratings.

Most Riley County fire stations were reduced from a Class 7/9 to Class 5/5Y. The four stations that saw an increase in classification were moved from a Class 9 to a Class 10. Some insurance companies don’t increase rates between Class 9 and Class 10 ratings, according to information from Collins. The new ratings will affect 1,398 commercial properties rated Class 5, and 3,433 residential and 1,967 commercial properties rated Class 5Y. In the area of the four stations whose rating increased, 147 residential and 40 commercial properties will be affected. Collins told commissioners the audit showed some areas in which the fire district could improve, the biggest being recruiting volunteer firefighters. The ISO requires a 3-to-1 ratio of volunteer firefighters to paid firefighters, meaning a job that would normally require four paid firefighters requires 12 volunteer firefighters, Collins said. “We need to recruit, recruit and then after we get done, recruit,” Collins said. “We’ve got to get more people in the (fire truck) seats.”

The four stations whose rating increased need more adequate fire trucks. The fire district also needs more company level training, Collins said. Some large buildings, including two high schools in rural Riley County, lack adequate water supply to fight fire, he said. Collins said as the district makes changes and improvements they can contact the ISO to reevaluate their ratings.

“I think we need to keep moving forward and focus on some of those areas that don’t have that 9 rating now or 5, 5Y rating and try to get that fixed,” Collins said.


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City fire truck donated to cancer charity

By Greg Lower
Chanute Tribune – May 23, 2017

A nearly 30 year-old fire truck will get a new life with a new color after the Chanute city commission approved donating it to a charity in Wichita at its regular meeting Monday evening.

The 1989 Pierce Dash fire truck, Engine No. 13, will be donated to Pink Heals, Inc., to be refurbished to support cancer patients. The truck will be painted pink and used for patient visits and fundraising. A $495,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency grant funded the purchase of Engine No. 1 to replace No. 13, and requires the old truck be taken out of fire service because it does not meet current safety standards.

“There just is no value left in the truck as a fire truck,” Chanute Fire Chief Kevin Jones said.

Pink Heals, Inc., and its Wichita chapter were both established by men whose wives died of cancer.

Disposing of No. 13 gave commissioners a chance to question Jones on the fire department’s next need, the eventual replacement of the 1993 ladder truck, which faces current issues with both new and historic buildings in Chanute.

In addition to high-rise buildings such as the historic Tioga Hotel and new Holiday Inn Express, a ladder truck needs to reach high enough to deal with the size of the new Orizon Aerostructures building and the parapet tops of historic downtown buildings. With many downtown buildings, the vertical parapet wall extends above the roof itself.

Jones estimated a ladder truck may cost about $1.4 million, but he warned that grant funding is drying up. He also said because Chanute has already received grants for Engine No. 1 and a 2005 grant for a water truck, the city is unlikely to receive a third.


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Fire destroys Saline County house

By Erin Mathews
Salina Journal – May 23, 2017

A rural Saline County house that was totally engulfed in flames when emergency responders arrived was most likely a total loss, but its owner and his two dogs escaped unharmed, a Saline County sheriff’s office spokesman said.

Lt. Jeremiah Hayes said firefighters were going through the house looking for hot spots a little after 10 p.m., but the fire that had been reported about an hour earlier in the 4700 block of McReynolds Road was under control.

Robert Mudd got himself and his dogs safely out of the house and asked a neighbor to call 911, Hayes said. Hayes said firefighters from Rural Fire Districts 2 and 6 were on scene.

Hayes said no cause had been determined.


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Wichita Firefighters battle 2-alarm apartment fire

KSN – May 23, 2017

Photo by Ryan Newton


Wichita firefighters battled a two-alarm apartment fire in West Wichita Monday night. The fire broke out around 8 p.m in the Colony West Apartments. They’re located one block north of W. Central and just west of N. Ridge Rd.

A Wichita police officer who first responded to the scene, said flames reached a height of about 30 feet. Fire officials say around seven or eight units were destroyed in the fire. The cause of the blaze is not known at this time. Twenty crews and 60 firefighters responded to the scene. Four firefighters received minor burns fighting the fire but were not hospitalized. A resident was injured after returning to the apartments and seeing his residence on fire. Firefighters are investigating a cause to the fire.


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Support surges for S. Hutch fire service as city rejects cost-saving measures

By Adam Stewart
Hutchinson News – May 23, 2017

Photo by Lindsey Bauman

South Hutchinson residents who attended a town hall meeting Monday night overwhelmingly told their City Council that saving $42 or $75 in property taxes a year wasn’t worth lowering the level of service provided by South Hutchinson Fire Department, and the council agreed.

At the end of the meeting, the council voted unanimously to maintain the current status quo at the fire department while continuing to review incremental changes as needed.


The town hall was the culmination of months of discussion regarding the fire department’s future. By the time the council convened the meeting, it had already eliminated its two most extreme options from consideration – going to a full-time professional department at one end and scrapping the department and contracting with Hutchinson for fire protection at the other end.

South Hutchinson uses a hybrid model for its fire department, having three part-time paid firefighters on duty from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week, while volunteer firefighters cover the other hours. That system was implemented because the department didn’t have enough volunteers available to respond to calls during the work day.


In addition to the current system, under which the department has a budget of a bit over $400,000, City Administrator Matt Stiles laid out two options that would cost the city less but would result in a lower level of service.

Reducing paid staffing to two people, Monday through Friday, and paying volunteers a token amount to be on-call and available during the weekend was estimated to save about $85,000 per year, which amounts to about $42 in property taxes on a $100,000 house. Returning to an all-volunteer department, as South Hutchinson was before 2014, was estimated to save about $153,000 a year, or $75 in property taxes on a $100,000 house.


The majority of audience members who spoke at the meeting favored retaining the status quo.

Lowana Morawitz, who said she lives in the high-rise behind the former Alco, said the fire department is invaluable to the people who live in the high rise, many of whom have disabilities and often need medical assistance.

”We need these people,” Morawitz said. “I feel secure knowing we have a fire department here.”

Terry David, who leads the county emergency medical service, said South Hutchinson firefighters are an excellent part of the team on medical emergencies, and they often are the first on the scene. The earlier response can be the difference between a patient surviving or not.

Fire Capt. Kaleb Albarado said the difference between having two or three firefighters on duty determines whether firefighters can enter a burning building to make a rescue. One person always has to man the truck and keep water pumping, but if only two people respond, the other person can’t go into the building alone.

Audience member John Van Bruggen said fire departments, like ambulance services, don’t make money. They exist solely to provide a necessary service.

”We’re talking about lives,” he said. “We can’t go backwards.”

Audience poll

Near the end of the meeting, Mayor Pete Murray asked the audience to indicate their preference for the fire department’s direction by a show of hands. The vast majority favored keeping the department’s current status, with three paid staff during daytime hours and volunteers at night.

Almost nobody raised their hands in favor of reducing staffing or returning to an all-volunteer department.


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

Longtime WaKeeney family loses home to fire

Hays Post – May 22, 2017

Click on each photo to view full-size.

A WaKeeney family is reeling after a house fire Friday afternoon destroyed their home.

The fire in the home of David and Susan Bailey, longtime WaKeeney residents, started on the third floor of the home. Son-in-law Bryan Bennett said investigators reported the cause as accidental.

No one was home when the fire started, Bennett said, but the family lost pets, antiques and many items with sentimental value.

“It’s four generations of memories,” said Bennett, a professor at Fort Hays State University who lives in the house neighboring the Baileys. “It’s a total loss on the house. You can walk in the front door … and just see sky.”

David Bailey is retired military and served in Desert Storm and in Germany, where many of the heirlooms came from, Bennett said.

“It’s just devastating,” he said.

The community of WaKeeney has rallied behind the family, with more than a dozen showing after the fire to lend a hand, others offering to store salvaged items from the house and someone else setting up a community fund at a local bank.


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

Lightning strike may have caused fatal fire

Parsons Sun – May 22, 2017

A rural Bartlett woman died early Saturday in a house fire apparently started by a lightning strike.

First responders were called at 1:16 a.m. Saturday to 1550 2000 Road, which is southwest of Bartlett.

Marilyn Eck, 84, was home alone at the time and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Sheriff Darren Eichinger. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

The Hackberry Township Fire Department responded, as did the Labette Health Ambulance Service. The Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office also investigated and determined that a lightning strike may have started the fire, Eichinger said.

The fire destroyed the home.


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

One killed, seven injured in SW KS crash

By Matthew Harding
KFDI – May 22, 2017

One person was killed and seven others injured in an accident involving a bull in southwest Kansas.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says a Dodge Journey driven by 66-year-old Alma Bencomo collided with a bull in the west bound lanes of US 400 east of Dodge City late Saturday night.

The vehicle went over the center line and collided with a Mercedes SUV, driven Tony Thirakul.

Bencomo died at the scene and a 7-year-old girl was airlifted to Wesley Medical Center, where she remains in critical condition.

The rest were treated at Western Plains Regional Hospital.


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

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