Archive for September, 2017

Fallen firefighter to be memorialized at City Building

Marysville Advocate – November 29, 2017

The Marysville Volunteer Fire Department plans to honor past firefighter Frank “Jack” Butler at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, at Marysville City Building. The public is welcome.

Jack Butler, 52, died in the line of duty on March 26, 1991. He collapsed while fighting a grassfire southeast of Home City while dragging a hose up a steep embankment. Firefighters administered CPR to Butler at the scene. He was transported to Community Memorial Healthcare, where he was pronounced dead.

Charlie Lindeen, who was fire chief at the time, said Butler was a model fireman, always willing to do what was asked of him. He had served on the fire department and rescue squad for 10 years. He was a Marysville High School graduate, served in the Army National Guard from 1961 to 1967, and was a member of the American Legion.

Butler worked at Georgia-Pacific for 23 years. His wife, Josie, served on Marysville City Council. They had four children.

To honor Butler, the Marysville Fire Department purchased a personalized engraved brick at the Kansas Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Wichita. Also, Butler is included on the National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, Md., list of U.S. firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

Fire Chief David Richardson will present a memorial plaque honoring Butler to be placed in the City Building.

“Our city is protected by the bravery and sacrifice of our local volunteer firefighters. We are so thankful for each member answering the call to serve our community,” said Mayor Carla Grund.


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Kansas teen dies after motorcycle crash

Hays Post – September 29, 2017

A Kansas teen died in an accident just after 8:30p.m. Thursday in Sumner County.

A 2006 Honda Shadow driven by a Kansas teen was westbound in the 200 Block of west U.S. 160 at Edwards Road, according to a media release from the Sumner County Sheriff’s Department.

The motorcycle rear-ended a 2005 Pontiac G6 driven Oma Milledge, who was stopped behind a pickup making a left turn onto Edwards Road.

The teen died at the scene. The sheriff’s department released no additional details.

In an email to parents, USD 353 reported, “A Wellington High School student was tragically killed in an accident last evening. The district Crisis Team is in place this morning to help both students and staff.”


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Develop, practice home fire escape plan

Fort Leavenworth Lamp – September 29, 2017

Fort Leavenworth Fire Department

Consider this scenario: It’s 2 a.m. You and your family are fast asleep when you wake to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke.

What do you do? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety or even prove deadly.

In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.

“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Dean Turner, fire prevention chief of the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”

This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” strives to educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. The Fort Leavenworth Fire Department is working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association, the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages. Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8-14.

“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.

In support of Fire Prevention Week, Col. Marne L. Sutten, Garrison commander, encourages all Fort Leavenworth households to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place — like a tree, light pole or mailbox — that’s a safe distance from the home.

Sutten recently signed a proclamation designating Oct. 8-14 as Fire Prevention Week throughout this community. In the proclamation, Sutten urges all the people of Fort Leavenworth to develop a home fire escape plan with all members of the household and practice it twice a year, and to participate in the public safety activities and efforts of Fort Leavenworth’s Fire Department during Fire Prevention Week 2017.

The Fire Department is offering fire safety tours for school-age children from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 10-13 at Fire Station No. 2 at 295 Biddle Blvd. Community members are also invited to an open house at the station from 4-6:30 p.m. Oct. 11. Come tour the fire station, see the trucks and equipment, and meet the firefighters of Fort Leavenworth. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be available.

NFPA and the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:

Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.

Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Visit to learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and for more home escape planning, visit


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Fire department hopes campaign prevents fires

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – September 29, 2017

Hutchinson Fire Department Chief Steve Beer wants to change a recurring theme: fires without fire alarms.

Beer said since he took over as head of the fire department in April that more than half of the house fires occurred in homes without fire alarms. That’s why the department will start to leave door hangers around town as part of a “Fire in your neighborhood” prevention campaign. The door hangers contain fire department contact information and tips to prevent fires.

“If we can get into one home and install a smoke detector and prevent a fire, it is worth it,” Beer said.

Beer said he saw a similar initiative work firsthand during his time with the Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue in Wisconsin. The Hutchinson Fire Department spent about $200 for the first batch of 500 door hangers, he said.

Capt. Tony Arpin said firefighters will try to make contact with neighbors after a fire to give them a door hanger or leave one on the door. He said the campaign comes at a time of year when home-heating devices always cause at least a couple of fires.

A recent Energizer grant provided the department with 200, 9-volt batteries, Beer said, and money from the Kansas Office of the Fire Marshal stocked the department with extra fire alarms.

“If there is a need. … We will definitely help our citizens out,” Beer said.

The department is willing to inspect homes for fire safety and help install fire alarms. The door hangers are part of a community-risk reduction program that is a line item in the department’s budget.


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I-70 open after truck carrying ammonia rolls

Salina Post – September 29, 2017

Photo by Trooper Ben Gardner / Kansas Highway Patrol

The Kansas Highway Patrol assisted the Saline County Sheriff’s Office with an accident on Interstate-70 involving a truck carrying anhydrous ammonia, according to social media reports.

The accident forced eastbound traffic to be diverted at the I-135 and I-70 junction at around 7 p.m. Thursday. There was no spill and no injuries reported.

KHP Trooper Ben Gardner said via Twitter that a truck hauling anhydrous ammonia rolled over just east of the junction. An overhead sign was also damaged during the accident, forcing westbound traffic to be diverted at about 8 p.m. as the Kansas Department of Transportation assessed the damage.


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County approves construction of Ogden fire station

By Stephanie Casanova
Manhattan Mercury – September 28, 2017

Construction of a new Ogden fire station is set to begin after Riley County commissioners approved the project during their Thursday meeting.

Commissioners unanimously approved a special use authorization request Thursday to build the 50-by-80-foot station where Skyway Drive and Riley Avenue intersect. Officials said trucks and equipment have become too much for the fire station at Ogden’s city hall.

The station will have three spaces for fire trucks and a room to house and train firefighters. The Ogden station is one of two the county is working on. The county also is trying to build a new Leonardville station. The two stations will cost $900,000. Riley County Fire Department officials plan to pay $100,000 up front and use a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the rest.

In August, the Kansas Department of Transportation denied a variance allowing trucks to access U.S. Highway 24, delaying the approval of the Leonardville station, which caused setbacks for the two-station project. Emergency management officials submitted a new design and worked with KDOT to get the Leonardville station approved at the beginning of September.

The county government provides fire protection in Ogden and Leonardville because they don’t have city fire departments. The county fire department is made up of volunteers.

Also during their Thursday meeting, commissioners approved rezoning a tract of land from single family unit to commercial planned unit development.

Jeff and Eryn Smith, owners of home-based interior design and leadership coaching and consulting businesses at 7300 Anderson Ave. requested the zoning change in order to add a sign to help customers identify their location.

The sign will be about six-foot by four-foot and will have external lighting.


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City moves forward on fire truck purchase proposal

By Charity Keitel
Miami County Republic – September 28, 2017

After a more in-depth review of the budget earlier this summer, Osawatomie city officials decided to change their initial plans to purchase a new fire truck for the Osawatomie Fire Department and instead gave Fire Chief Brian Love permission to begin looking for used alternatives.

What he found was a 2005 E-One with a 75-foot aerial ladder, a truck similar to the newer model truck quoted to the council earlier this year. The exception is the foam system, which is a standard induction system not a compressed air-foam system.

The truck came up for sale after Olathe decided to replace one of its old fire trucks with a newer model, which it hopes to purchase in March. The old truck is for sale now through Brindlee Mountain, the company that sells Olathe’s used fire apparatus.

Love said the truck will come with all of the ladders, and all ladders, including the ground ladders and one aerial ladder, have been tested.

Fire department and city staff have visually inspected the truck and were impressed with the general lack of wear and tear and believe it is clean and has been well-maintained. In addition, based on what they were told by the current drivers of the truck and the Olathe Fire Department maintenance crew, the truck is in excellent condition.

The asking price for the cost of the truck is about $215,000 plus a 10 percent deposit if the city wants Brindlee Mountain to hold the truck for Osawatomie. However, the total cost to the city, once the truck is fully equipped and modified, would be about $275,000. The additional $60,000 would be for loose equipment, the hose and SCBA.

Funding for the $21,500 deposit would come from fund balances with the remainder of the cost coming from a lease-purchase arrangement that would need to be finalized by March.

In a report to the council on Sept. 14, City Manager Don Cawby said ultimately, the mill levy eventually would need to be raised to service the debt. However, if the city is able to move forward with the proposed quarter-cent public safety sales tax for the August ballot, that would provide an alternative option for funding.

City Council members approved the used fire truck purchase proposal but are still negotiating the details of the contract.


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For Sale – 1984 Brush Unit

For Sale

1984 American General M925 5 Ton 6×6 Brush Unit


Unit currently has 32,715 miles with 11,200 hours. Our department bought the unit from an individual in 2012 and added equipment to make it a functional brush unit. Comes with a brand new 1000-gallon tank installed in 2016. It has a Hale HP200IX pump with an auxiliary gas tank. Unit is equipped with an electronic 300 gpm sidewinder controlled from the cab, Four (4) 10 gpm front bumper spray nozzles controlled electronically, left and right, from the cab, a 1” connection with whip line installed and a 1 ½” connection in the walk way, 100’ booster reel with hose on the rear. The unit comes with emergency lighting, siren, and a roof mounted wireless controlled spot light. Also, a winch is installed on the front bumper. More pictures available as needed. Radios and department decals will be removed prior to transfer of ownership. Unit is still in service for use, mileage and hours subject to change. Asking $50,000 for complete unit.


Doug Hanen
Deputy Fire Chief
Hutchinson Fire Department

Click on each pic to view full-size.


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Tom McGaughey Award Nominations

On the evening of Thursday, November 21, 1968, a fire alarm was received from the Yingling Chevrolet Company of Wichita, Kansas. While fighting the fire, the roof collapsed and Fire Chief Tom McGaughey, Chief Fire Inspector M.O. Wells, and firefighters Dale J. Mishler and Jimmy Lee Austin were trapped under tons of burning debris and twisted steel. For those fellow firefighters at the scene, as well as those who manned the stations that night, the tragedy and the horror of it all was etched in their minds forever.

In 1971, in memory of Chief Tom McGaughey, his fellow firefighters and this tragic event, an award was established in his name to commend a fire department and the firefighters whose bravery and courage went above and beyond the call of duty.

This year marks the 44th year of Tom McGaughey Fire Service Award, which will be presented at the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs annual conference in October.

Nomination Form


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Leaving a legacy for future generations

By David Dinell
Derby Informer – September 20, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – September 28, 2017

Model of statue.

Decades from now, Derby residents and visitors will be passing by and viewing a statue of two firefighters at the corner of Madison and Woodlawn – a piece of public art whose seeds were planted in 2017.

It will be an eye-catching bronze work, say its supporters and artist John Parsons, who has been commissioned to create the life-sized piece and landmark creation that will stand the test of time.

As Parsons put it: ‘We’re leaving a legacy for future generations.”

The artwork will be next to the new Fire Station 81, which is planned for construction next year at the corner of Madison and Woodlawn.

There is a dual purpose to the work, City Manager Kathy Sexton said.

“It will not only honor the many firefighters and their families who have served the community for decades but will also solidify this core area of Derby as the heart of the city,” she wrote in a report to the City Council.

The city has often been noted for not having such a center, and officials want this artwork, along with the new station in the city’s center, to serve that role.

Parsons called the work an investment as it will last more than 100 years, he said.

“That structure will be standing there when they go to tear down that fire station,” he said.

Parsons, a Derby native who for years ran a taxidermy business before switching to sculpting, also has a close connection to the fire-fighting profession as he was one himself before being critically injured in a 1979 hunting accident, which left him with a broken back.

“It’s something that is near and dear to me,” he said of firefighting.

The artwork is totally original, and one Parsons said he worked to incorporate the teamwork inherent in firefighting and capturing the action in answering an alarm.

“These guys aren’t just co-workers; they’re friends, they’re partners,” he said.

The sculpture shows two running firefighters, with the lead firefighter holding an ax in his right hand with his left hand outstretched, pointing ahead and with his mouth open, his partner, with a solemn expression, has his hand on his buddy’s left shoulder, a hose draped over his left shoulder.
A well-noted artist

The work will cost $139,000 plus shipping and installation, for an approximate total of $145,000. The proposal is to raise $50,000 in private donations and use public funding for the remaining $95,000. The city’s portion is already included in the fire station project.

Creating the work will take a lot of time and effort, but it will be worth it, Parsons said. It’s due to be finished by December 2018 and Parsons said it will take at least six months of his time to sculpt it. The plan is to enable the statue to be unveiled concurrently with the open house of the new fire station.

“Getting started now is a good idea,” he said.

Parsons estimates he will use 10 cases of clay, each weighing 160 pounds, to create the figures.

Then the clay molding will be sent to a company in Colorado for the casting, which Parsons called a “pretty complicated process.”

It will have a high copper content, which is one reason why it costs what it does. But given its longevity, going with quality materials gives it a lot of value, he said.

Parsons said he’s excited about undertaking the process of making the full-scale model. The final version will not just be plopped down at the intersection’s corner, but strategically placed in front of what is being called a “wall of fire” feature with LED lighting to highlight it. It also will be surrounded by landscaping.

Parsons, 62, long known for his taxidermy skills, later turned to sculpting in his career and has enjoyed great success, including national awards.

In many ways, he said, taxidermy is sculpting so the transition was not too difficult.

Parsons’ sculptures have been installed at numerous Cabela’s stores as well as many private locations across the U.S.

Given that, it was natural that city officials reached out to him for a piece of homegrown art.

Parsons is impressed with all the community backing the statue process is receiving.

“It’s pretty exciting the support we’re getting from local people,” he said. “It means more to me to know that people are supporting it.”

At the Sept. 12 City Council meeting, there was formal recognition of two groups of donors with one family offering a combined gift of $27,000, followed by several families with close ties to the Derby Fire and Rescue Department and its predecessor, the Derby Volunteer Fire Department, making commitments of up to $5,000 each.

Donations of any size are welcomed by the city and those giving $100 or more will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Donation forms and information are available at


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Darrel Raymond Boutz

Darrel Raymond Boutz, age 92, a longtime Zeandale Community resident died September 14, 2017, at the Good Shepherd House in Manhattan.

He was born April 23, 1925, in Sheridan County, Kansas, the son of Albert R and Theresa Hermina (Walkemeyer) Boutz. Darrel attended a country grade school and graduated from Decatur County High School in Oberlin, Kansas.

Darrel was united in marriage to Dorothea Joy Henderson on June 2, 1947 in Washington, Kansas.

Darrel worked in rural Goodland, KS for five years before moving to Rice and then Ames, KS where they resided for five years prior to moving in 1956 to Zeandale Community where they have lived ever since.

Darrel worked for Southwestern Bell for 29 years as a lineman and later an assigner, retiring in 1980. Following retirement he ran an apple orchard and Christmas tree farm.

Darrel was a member of the Zeandale Community Church where he attended services regularly and served as a Sunday School superintendent. He worked with many as a 4-H woodworking leader, was a member of the Zeandale Township Rural Fire Department, Konza Campers, Zeandale Senior Citizens, Riley County Seniors’ Service Center, served as chairman of the Riley County Council on Aging, and a charter member of the Crafty Seniors Plus. Darrel derived great pleasure in wood crafting toys, antique vehicles, and household items including the cedar chests he made for each of his children and grandchildren.

Darrel is survived by wife Dorothea of the home, four children: Raymond Boutz and his wife Cathy of Dover, AR, Sandy Turner and Steve Gilley of Overland Park, KS, Sharon Wilson and her husband Gayler of Augusta, KS, and Gary Boutz and his wife Aline of Topeka, KS; two brothers: Glen and his wife Anita of Mulvane, KS, and Everett and his wife Bonnie of Jefferson City, MO; eight grandchildren: Kirk Boutz, Tim and Patrick Schuck, Gayla Backes, Shawn Wilson, Alisa Chadwick, Bryan Boutz, and Adam Boutz; 10 great-grandchildren, several sister and brother-in-laws, and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; six sisters: Freda Morgan, Flora Edwards, France’s Mosier, Doreen Boutz, Leona Somers, and Waneta Nilson; four brothers: Doyle, Luther, Leo, and Homer Boutz; one grandson Brent Wilson, and two great-grandsons.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Monday, September 18th, at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Chapel with Reverend Wesley Paddock officiating. Interment will follow in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery near Zeandale.



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Former, current firefighters gather in Caney

Montgomery County Chronicle – August 31, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – September 28, 2017

Photo by Rudy Taylor

A reunion of Caney firefighters drew dozens of present and former members of the Caney Volunteer Fire Department last Saturday. Spouses and friends joined them as they reminisced about old days in the fire service to their community, and all enjoyed a meal together, followed by music by U-Turn. Tours were given at the new fire station and many former firefighters got to tell stories about their days of responding to the fire alarm in Caney.

Pictured from left are Ferd Estate, who served as chief from 1972 to 1981, Marshal McDaniel who served in the 1980s and ’90s, and current Fire Chief Robert Jones. All enjoyed looking at photos of firefighters in past years, and a large banner (behind the firefighters pictured) also contained historical photos of the department.


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Pasture fire

Plainville Times – September 21, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – September 28, 2017

Photo by Candace Rachel

Approximately 15 Plainville firefighters and the Stockton brush truck were dispatched to a grass fire between AA and CC Roads and 16 and 17 Roads September 14. It is estimated fewer than 15 acres burned, however cattle from two adjoining herds got mixed up in the melee. Some cows are pictured near the tank battery at left, while many of their calves were behind the fence on the right side of the road. The destruction is attributed to a bird that got into powerlines, according to Plainville Fire Chief Craig Wise.


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Kansas first responders recognized for Hurricane Harvey deployment

By Becky Kiser
Hays Post – September 28, 2017

Photo by Allison Kite

Governor Brownback and Lt. Governor Colyer on Wednesday recognized water rescue teams from agencies across Kansas who were deployed to Texas to assist in recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey

The ceremony took place on the South capitol steps, and was followed by a reception at Cedar Crest that included the teams and their families.

The search and rescue teams, comprised of over 50 individuals from 16 different agencies across the state, deployed to Texas on Aug. 30 to assist with the floods after Hurricane Harvey. In addition to personnel, the deployment included hard bottomed, air, and inflatable boats. They all returned to Kansas on Sept. 5.

“We are proud of these individuals who were ready and willing to help when called upon. They were prepared with specialized swift water rescue training that allowed them to be of service in this unique kind of disaster. We thank them for their talents, abilities, and willingness to help others,” said Brownback.

The crews engaged in search and transportation operations for people and animals stranded by flood waters. Kansas search and rescue swift-water/flood teams, along with teams from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, worked mostly in Katy, Texas, with teams from Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Missouri. Collectively, 15 strike teams consisting of five boat squads combined for a total of 75 water assets. Kansas strike teams searched close to 1,200 structures and evacuated 27 individuals. In total, the joint operation resulted in over 4,000 structures searched and over 100 evacuations. The teams also worked on other small assignments and were on standby as needed.

“What these brave men and women accomplished in serving our neighbors in Texas is a remarkable feat of collaboration and caring,” said Colyer. “They have represented our state well and we thank them for serving.”

“I am proud of the men and women from the many different Kansas organizations who did not hesitate when called upon for hurricane relief,” said Maj.Lee Tafanelli, the Kansas adjutant general. “I am especially proud that the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which guides the coordination of all these resources across the country is once again being managed right here in Kansas by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

“I would also like to remind Kansans that September is Preparedness Month. Though there are numerous skilled, courageous responders such as these, it is everyone’s responsibility to be prepared at home for an emergency. If you need information about what your family can do to be prepared, please visit”

Agencies involved were: The Kansas Adjutant General’s Office, Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Chanute Fire Department, Derby Fire Department, Hutchinson Fire Department, South Hutchinson Police Department, Manhattan Fire Department, Mission Township Fire Department, Neodesha Fire Department, Newton Fire/EMS, Parsons Fire Department, Pittsburg Fire Department, Salina Fire Department, Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Sedgwick County Fire District #1, Shawnee Fire Department, and Winfield Fire/EMS.


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Frontier Farm Credit sponsors grain bin rescue training

Hiawatha World – September 28, 2017

The Horton Fire Department received life-saving grain bin rescue equipment on Sept. 20 through a donation from Frontier Farm Credit.

A grain bin rescue exercise followed at the Willis Ag Partners location to train firefighters in the use of the specialized equipment. Representatives from the Horton, Powhattan, Effingham, and Humboldt fire departments were in attendance. Ag Partners Co-Op provided a meal to those in attendance and Rex Lockwood provided a semi-truck loaded with corn for the rescue training.

The Horton Fire Department received a 10-panel system, slide hammer and other accessories manufactured by Outstate Data in Elbow, Minn. The equipment is designed by rescuers specifically for grain bin entrapments.

Even as the overall rate of serious injuries and fatalities on farms has fallen, the number of grain bin entrapments remains stubbornly steady, in part because the country’s high grain production has led to more bins that require more grain workers.

Grain can engulf and bury a worker in less than 30 seconds. The Horton Fire Department recognizes that grain bin rescue equipment significantly increases the chance of saving a life. Horton is among the 99 rural and mostly volunteer departments receiving grain bin rescue equipment and training through Frontier Farm Credit and Farm Credit Services of America (FSCAmerica) in 2017. Most of the recipient departments are part of mutual aid agreements that allow multiple communities to use and benefit from the equipment.

“Frontier Farm Credit is proud to make grain bin rescue equipment a community service priority,” said Parry Briggs, Regional Vice President at Frontier’s Hiawatha office. “As a cooperative for farmers and ranchers, we understand the importance of farm safety. We see grain bin rescue equipment as one of the most worthwhile investments we can make in the rural communities we serve.”

Farm safety experts caution that bins in many areas of the country are filled with high-moisture corn and beans because of a wet harvest. Crusting can develop inside these bins, increasing the risk of entrapment. Safety experts advise against entering bins without at least two others present; everyone involved should know the steps to take in the event of an entrapment; and nobody should attempt a rescue alone.


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Chiefs keep pressure on county

By Jason Tidd
Peabody Gazette Bulletin – September 28, 2017

Rural fire chiefs addressed commissioners Monday for the third time in a month, pleading for county funding of new 800 MHz radios after an audit found $14.7 million unencumbered cash, of which $3 million was unallocated.

“I saw the paper came out with the audit report information, and I have some questions,” Lincolnville fire chief Lester Kaiser said.

Kaiser pointed out that the capital improvement fund has $5 million and suggested radios as a fitting project.

“What’s there is just for roads,” county clerk Tina Spencer said. “It is not authorized for other uses.”

She said the money can be transferred back into the general fund.

“Why are you coming now when we’ve been after this for two to three years?” chairman Randy Dallke asked

“Because the project didn’t start until we had the meeting with the fire chiefs and with the public and with the governing bodies, and at that time you said, ‘We don’t have the money to help you,’” Kaiser said.

Lost Springs fire chief Brad Pagenkopf said county officials previously said the county would help financially during a discussion after a burn resolution meeting.

USDA grant money might go away if the county helps fund the radios, Spencer said.

Pagenkopf said two of the seven districts, including his, received no grant funding.

Dianne Novak said she wants to reduce the overall cost by purchasing fewer radios.

She said EMS is purchasing 68 radios for its personnel, including volunteers, so fire districts would not need radios for people who receive them through EMS.

Kaiser said extra radios are necessities, just like extra hoses and gear.

Dallke suggested the county could make a zero-percent loan to fire districts without enough money.

Kaiser said other counties, including Harvey and Riley, have covered the cost of similar projects.

“We don’t have the money that they’re talking about, Lester,” Dallke said. “They’ve got wild dreams.”


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Firefighters search for vehicle in river

Leavenworth Times – September 28, 2017

Leavenworth firefighters received a report of a partially submerged vehicle floating down the Missouri River. But they didn’t find the vehicle, Fire Department officials said.

Leavenworth firefighters received a report of a partially submerged vehicle floating down the Missouri River. But they didn’t find the vehicle, Fire Department officials said.

The incident was reported at 1:41 p.m. Tuesday. It was reported that a dark blue or black car was seen in the river just south of the city’s boat ramp, according to Mark DeMaranville, division chief of prevention for the Leavenworth Fire Department.

The boat ramp is located in northeast Leavenworth.

The car was described as a compact sedan, according to Fire Chief Gary Birch.

Birch said Leavenworth firefighters launched a boat in the river and searched downstream for the vehicle. But nothing was found.


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Shawnee firefighters help assist Hurricane Harvey victims

By Jennifer Bhargara
Shawnee Dispatch – September 28, 2017

Standing in the flood of Hurricane Harvey, from left to right, are Shawnee firefighters Josh Chaney, Luke Lohmeyer, Cory Gearin, Matt Griffin, and Nate Schmidt.

Shawnee Fire Captain Josh Chaney has seen a lot on the job, but nothing prepared him for the devastation he witnessed in south Texas earlier this month.

On Labor Day, Chaney was one of five members of the Shawnee Fire Department’s water rescue team who joined the Kansas Task Force to assist Hurricane Harvey victims.

Around 70 firefighters from Kansas deployed to the Houston area; the Shawnee firefighters were the only ones from Johnson County.

The Shawnee firemen drove down to Texas with two boats, a pickup truck and a massive trailer which carried supplies, such as bottled water, food and cots.

The trailer was also their living quarters during the entire trip.

“It was kind of cramped, but we were lucky to have air conditioning,” said Chaney, who is the leader of the water rescue team.

While down there, the first-responders spent a grueling 12-hour day where they joined forces with other firefighters from around the country to go door-to-door at every residence in various Houston neighborhoods, to assist people in need and encourage residents to evacuate.

During that time, they checked 600 homes and assisted with 23 evacuations.

“In some areas the water was up to the roof of a house, in other areas, it was just up to the doorstep,” Chaney said.

He recalls one neighborhood, filled with mansions, being particularly turbulent.

“The water was flowing so fast and rough, it really did make me nervous,” he said. “It just reminds you there’s all kind of danger still out there.”

While floating down streets in a 14-foot inflatable rubber boat, the men were startled to see cars beneath them, completely submerged in water

“Other people were getting around in canoes,” Chaney said. “It was amazing to see fences and stop signs underneath us.”

There was also the caution of alligators and snakes, but thankfully the Shawnee team didn’t come across such fearsome creatures.

Chaney said the experience was one he will never forget.

“Just seeing the smiles on people’s faces while we helped them out was worth everything,” he said. “A lot of them were thankful we were there and we were happy to be there. I’m thankful the city allowed us to go down there. We’re lucky to have the resources to help people outside our city.”


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Colwich Fire Department hoping for new truck

By Darcy Gray
Clarion – September 21, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – September 27, 2017

The Colwich Fire Department could be getting a new fire truck if they have the winning bid in an online auction that’s set to end Tuesday, September 26.

During their council meeting Monday night, Colwich City Council members voted to authorize the local fire department to pursue an online auction at for a 2004 Wichita Fire Department quint ladder fire truck.

The Wichita Fire Department is auctioning off four fire trucks online, and the 2004 quint appears to be the best of the lot, Colwich Fire Chief Brad Banz and Colwich firefighter Mike Rau told council members. As of Monday night, the highest bid for the 2004 quint was $12,000.

The Colwich Fire Department’s current quint ladder truck is 32 years old–a 1985 Sutphen, Banz said in his report to council members Monday. The 32-year-old truck was overhauled in 2013 by inmates at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility and received a paint job, hydraulic system repairs and electrical repairs. Although the local fire department has provided a maintenance program for its truck, the city spent $5,900 in 2015 just to maintain the truck’s tower to annual inspection standards.

Rau estimated the 32-year-old truck to be worth $5,000 to $10,000. According to Banz, the old truck still has issues such as valve leaks, pump corrosion and leaks developing from the hydraulic system.

“(Rau) rebuilt the waterway on it this year, and we’re lucky to have him,” Banz said of Rau’s work on their 1985 fire truck. “He’s a good mechanic, but unfortunately, it’s starting to nickel us.”

Although the truck’s aerial tower isn’t used often, it’s proven to be a valuable asset during its service, as the Sutphen apparatus has helped save over $40 million in assets in Colwich and the surrounding area, Banz stated in his report to the council. The truck’s tower and pumping capacity is factored into insurance rating formulas that insurance companies use to set premiums for the city.

If the city ends up being the winning bidder, some of the benefits firefighters will get from the new quint ladder fire truck include an enclosed cab that helps with firefighter safety, allowing all firefighters and possibly fire victims to ride in the cab.

“It’s a lot safer to have an enclosed cab,” Banz told council members. “Right now, guys on the back ride on the outside.”

Council members agreed with Banz’s plan, which includes using Colwich Firefighters Relief Association Funds. Payments in 2018 would come from capital improvement. If the new truck is obtained, the 1985 Sutphen would be sold at auction, with funds returning to capital improvement. Council member Victoria Duling was absent Monday; Council President Angela Banz, Brad’s wife, abstained from the vote.


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Herington fire chief reinstated

By Kathy Hageman
Abilene Reflector Chronicle – September 21
Submitted by Newz Group – September 27, 2017

About 30 Herington firefighters were ready to walk off the job Tuesday — leaving the City of Herington without fire service — following the termination of long-time fire chief Kenny Staatz.

Staatz, who has been chief since 2000, was abruptly fired earlier in the day Tuesday because of a zoning issue. He has other duties within the city besides the fire department.

Staatz was later reinstated as fire chief following several executive sessions during the Herington City Commission meeting Tuesday night.

Social media sites in Herington were abuzz Tuesday about the termination and residents turned out in droves to support Staatz during the regularly scheduled commission meeting.

So many packed into the city building that Mayor Kat Souza opened and then recessed the meeting, allowing time for the crowd to move to the much larger Herington community building at the fairgrounds.

Not only were Herington residents in attendance, so too were a number of area fire chiefs and other emergency personnel.

Souza said it showed the support Staatz has throughout the area.

“Our fire department is largely volunteer. We have Chief Staatz and one other employee firefighter. The remaining 20 to 30 guys are volunteer staff who were willing to follow their leader,” Souza said.

“It shows the impact the chief has made not only on his department, but I was contacted by fire chiefs from surrounding counties, letting me know he’s been an asset,” she added.

Souza did not allow public comment during the meeting regarding Staatz’s termination.

“Once we delve into one citizen making a comment about personnel issues, it can result in some privacy violations,” she explained.

Souza said she could not comment on the reason for Staatz’s firing because it was a personnel matter. City Manager Ed Patton could not be reached for comment.

Contacted Wednesday morning, Staatz said he was thankful for the support he received from friends, family and co-workers.

“I was very humbled by their display of commitment to me and our community,” he said.

Staatz started with the Herington Fire Department as a volunteer in 1987 and was appointed acting chief in 1999 before taking the chief’s job. He also served as a Herington city commissioner and mayor in the 1990s.

Mayor Souza said it was wonderful seeing the citizens of Herington attend Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’m one of five individuals (commissioners) who are trying to make sure we’re listening to our citizens and our community. We don’t have the power to hire and fire anybody — that is the city’s manager discretion. But the community made an impact last night,” Souza said.

“The community does have a voice. The more they get involved and the more they’re willing to sit down and understand what’s happening in their city, the more impact they can make.”


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Vacant house north of town destroyed by fire

Marysville Advocate – September 21, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – September 27, 2017

A house was destroyed by fire last week on a rural road north of Marysville. The Marysville Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the vacant house when it was fully engulfed in flames on 10th Road three-quarters of a mile north of the city’s brush dump at 6:40 p.m. last Thursday.

The fire had begun to spread to the barn near the house, but firefighters saved the barn.

About 10,000 gallons of water were used to fight the fire, and the department was on the scene until 9:45 p.m.

The property belongs to Dale York, Marysville.

Assistant Marysville Fire Chief Dennis Rockwell said the cause of the fire was under investigation by the Marysville Police Department and that the house did not have a working electrical system.

On Friday morning the fire department returned to the scene because a burning tree was reported.


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EMS crews sporting fresh new uniforms

By Olivia Haselwood
Andover Leader – September 27, 2017

The crews working for the Butler County EMS will be rocking some snazzy new gear as they respond to medical calls in the area.

According to the EMS management, the new colors feature the Butler County logo and are brightly colored for high visibility.

The change accompanies the purchase of a new, technologically advanced ambulance which was purchased last month.


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Up in flames

Manhattan Mercury – September 21, 2017
Submitted by Newz Group – September 27, 2017

A Manhattan firefighter puts out a car fire at 1224 Fremont St. on Wednesday. Fire officials didn’t respond to a request for more information at press time Thursday.


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Crews battle house fire early Wednesday near Silver Lake

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – September 27, 2017

No injuries were reported early Wednesday in a fire at a two-story, wooden frame home just northwest of Topeka.

Crews from the Silver Lake and Soldier Township fire departments were called around 6 a.m. to a home at 3331 N.W. Huxman Road regarding a possible dryer fire.

First-arriving crews found smoke and flames coming from the back portion of the home, authorities said at the scene.

The fire was extinguished quickly and was contained to the back portion of the home. However, smoke could be seen coming out of the back portion of the residence past 7 a.m.

Authorities said the fire was believed to have started in a utility room in the rear portion of the home.

A resident of the home was awakened by an alarm clock and noticed smoke inside the residence, authorities said at the scene.

The home’s occupants made it outside safely before fire crews arrived.

The Topeka Fire Department provided mutual aid to assist the Silver Lake and Soldier Township fire departments.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire or an estimate of a dollar loss.

According to the Shawnee County appraiser’s website, the home is owned by Kelly J. Gaer. Its 2017 appraised value was $96,490.


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Sabetha Fire Department news

By Krista Wasinger
Sabetha Herald – September 27, 2017

Retiring fireman Don Strahm, center, is presented with a commemorative clock at the Sabetha City Commission meeting Monday, September 25. Pictured are (L-R) Sabetha Fire Chief Jim Johnson, Don Strahm and Mayor Doug Clark.

Sabetha Fire Chief Jim Johnson presented retiring fireman Don Strahm with a commemorative clock, recognizing him for 35 years of service. Strahm served as fire chief from 1992 to 1998.


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Firefighting consolidation considered by county

By Craig Andres
KSN – September 27, 2017

KSN Video

Consolidation has been considered before, and now, it’s back.

“Let’s be real clear, this is just a discussion at this point,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell. “This is a conversation that has gone back several decades. When I became a commissioner, there has been this topic, probably monthly.”

Howell said he and at least one other commissioner are looking into consolidating Sedgwick County Fire with Wichita Fire and the Derby Fire Department.

“We (Sedgwick County Counsel) asked for an opinion of the Kansas Attorney General’s office, what it would take to consolidate? What are the issues?” said Howell. “Right now, we’re not even sure there is a will to do this. This would require maybe the departments or the districts to request consolidation as an initial step. And right now, I don’t know that is what they want to do.”

City officials said they have no idea and have not heard of the latest consolidation idea until this week.

City commissioner Pete Meitzner said he wants county leaders to talk to city commissioners.

“Our phones ring and our doors open. They can talk very easily,” said Meitzner. “We need to be included, even if it’s just an idea, a concept.”

Howell said the idea is to consolidate Derby fire as well as the Wichita and Sedgwick County Fire Departments.

“Well, I don’t know. That sounds a little difficult,” said Kathy Sexton, Derby City Manager. “But we’re waiting to hearing whatever the county puts in front of us as far as a proposal. We have not received anything yet. We are always interested in saving money.”

And money is one of the drivers in this concept. Howell said fire safety has to be the best it can be. He said the county has benchmarks for response times, and they are hitting their fire response times at least 80 percent of the time. But Howell also said they need to determine if money can be saved through consolidation.

“It could provide for some efficiency and some reduction of duplication of services,” said Howell. “Right now, when you’ve got this many fire department organizations across the county and it is not an efficient setup. So, we would, I guess like to have that discussion.”

Howell said there are nine county fire stations. Wichita has 22 fire stations. There are also small volunteer fire stations scattered across Sedgwick County.

Howell said at times there can be a fire response from a county crew, city crew and volunteer crew.

“We all help each other out,” said Howell.

Howell also points out that Sedgwick County Fire District # 1 covers areas where taxpayers are not paying into the fire district.

“And that’s something we have to consider,” said Howell. “Public safety is a priority. It has to be. So, the coverage has to be there. I wouldn’t say that we necessarily want it. Whether it’s good or bad that’s something that we have got to determine. But right now what I think this is about is trying to determine if it could be done and if it could be done, what are the limitations, what are the barriers, what are the things we need to know about?”

The Sedgwick County Firefighting union essentially goes away at the end of the year.

KSN asked the firefighting union that covers Wichita for an opinion on consolidation.

“The subject of consolidating fire departments has been discussed in this community for many years,” said Matt Schulte, President of the IAFF Local 135. “While this idea sounds good on paper in reality there is no real savings to be gained… Which Government entity is willing to take on the additional burden of absorbing another department and everything that comes with consolidating? If it was such a good idea it would have happened years ago.”

Sexton with Derby has a wait and see attitude.

“Could we save money and offer better services than we do now? That’s the question,” said Sexton.

So far, there is no official proposal. County leaders continue to study the consolidation concept.


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Firefighters’ statue gains major financial support

By David Dinell
Derby Informer – September 27, 2017

Community donors were honored for their financial contributions to an effort to fund a statue of two firefighters near the new Fire Station 81 by the Derby City Council and Mayor Randy White at a recent meeting.

The Austin family of firefighters, above, donated $27,000. They include, front row, from left: John Unkel, Diana Unkel, Patty Austin, Julie Austin and Ted Austin. Back row, from left: Mayor Randy White, Wayne Stout, Debbi Stout, Jerry Austin, Marilyn Austin and Brad Austin.

The work, which will be created by local artist John Parsons, will cost $139,000 plus shipping and installation, for an approximate total of $145,000. The proposal is to raise $50,000 in private donations and use public funding for the remaining $95,000. The city’s portion is already included in the fire station project. Donations of any size are welcomed by the city and those giving $100 or more will receive a commemorative T-shirt.


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Crews respond to fire at unoccupied home Tuesday afternoon in northwest Topeka

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – September 26, 2017

Photo by Katie Moore

Fire investigators are working to determine what caused a blaze at an unoccupied house Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 2:22 p.m. in the 1500 block of N.W. Eugene.

Topeka Fire Department battalion chief Eric Bauer said heavy smoke and flames were visible when crews arrived.

The fire began in the area of the residence’s back porch and door. An overhanging roof in the back was a challenge in putting the fire out and crews cut a hole in the roof to gain better access. Heavy black smoke also was coming out of a vent on the house’s south side, Bauer said.

Four fire engines were on scene. The fire required hoses to be hooked up to two hydrants, Bauer said.

The Topeka Police Department blocked off the area of N.W. Eugene and Paramore as crews worked on extinguishing the blaze.


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Mac fire purchases drone

By Brooke Haas
McPherson Sentinel – September 26, 2017

McPherson City Commissioners approved the purchase of a drone from Drone World and to not exceed $6,000 for the fire department. The drone will be used for maximizing response capabilities specifically in the areas of fire, hazmat and rescue. It will also be utilized in training by giving firefighters a birds eye view of what is happening during a fire.


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Atchison Fire Department douses car fire

By Bryce Mereness
Atchison Globe – September 26, 2017

Photo by Bryce Mereness

The Atchison Fire Department responded to a report of a car on fire shortly before 2:30 p.m. Friday in the 1200 block of Commercial Street.

Roger Moore, of Everest, was enjoying a day at the pool when his day took an unexpected turn.

“Someone came and got me and told me my car was on fire,” Moore said. “I ran over and saw the smoke, so I ran to get my key and just waited.”

Firefighters arrived and put out the flames in about 10 minutes. The 1998 Dodge Stratus suffered heavy damage to the engine compartment and paint.

He arrived at the pool about 1 p.m. and a passing driver called 911 to report the fire at about 2:30 p.m.


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Hansen grant funds new air packs for Ellis FD

By Becky Kiser
Hays Post – September 26, 2017

The Ellis Fire Department will soon have new SCBA air packs.

Chief Dustin Vine reported to the Ellis City Council during their Sept. 18 meeting a $35,000 grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, Logan, will be used to purchase 20 air packs. According to Vine, some of the packs in the EFD current inventory are more than 35 years old.


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Eskridge man killed in crash on K-4 highway west of Dover

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – September 26, 2017

An Eskridge man was killed Monday afternoon after the vehicle he was driving struck a parked vehicle and overturned on a Wabaunsee County highway, authorities said.

The crash was reported at 3:15 p.m. at 13201 S.W. K-4 highway. The location was about three miles west of Dover in southwestern Shawnee County.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 1999 GMC Suburban 1500 sport utility vehicle was westbound on K-4 highway when it struck a legally parked vehicle. The Suburban then went airborne and overturned, coming to rest on its roof.

The driver of the SUV, Richard A. Nance Jr., 65, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The patrol said Nance, who was alone in his vehicle, was wearing a seat belt.


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Lightning the likely cause of Monday morning tank battery fire in Ellis Co.

Hays Post – September 25, 2017

Ellis County Rural Fire crews responded to a tank battery fire in Ellis County on Monday morning.

According to Director of Fire and Emergency Management Darin Myers, Company 2 from Catharine responded to a reported tank battery fire in the 3000 block of Codell Avenue.

The crews responded to the scene at around 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. The responding company chief requested Company 4 from Victoria to assist for manpower and additional water supply.

Myers said the most probable cause of the fire was a lightning strike during the storm that was passing through Ellis County. No oil was spilled outside the tanks, as the fire was only burning inside the tanks. Fire crews used firefighting foam to extinguish the fire.


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Lightning causes battery tank fire near Lindsborg

KSN – September 25, 2017

Rain and storms causing some problems across some parts of Kansas.

Mike Rose from Lindsborg shared a photo of an oil tank battery fire. He says it was hit by lightning just before 2 p.m. Check out the video on YouTube.

By noon today, the town of Preston in Pratt County already had more than 5 inches of rain and there has been more since then. Water has started to creep into three homes north of K-61.


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Annual Fire School Seminar Series – Using Thermal Imaging and Modern Fire Dynamics to Improve Fireground Operations

The class:
This presentation will provide firefighters with the knowledge they need to combine thermal imaging technology with the latest NIST and UL firefighting research to improve the effectiveness and safety of fireground operations. This will include the review of a large number of thermal imaging photos and videos from fireground operations where key concepts such as vent limited fire behavior, compromised structural integrity, flow path development, and victim survival profiling were in play. Firefighters will ultimately be able to apply thermal imaging in fireground operations with an understanding of both the capabilities and limitations.

The instructor:
Mike Richardson is a 31 year veteran of the Military and Fire Service, and is currently the Division Chief of Training & Safety for the East Jefferson County Fire Protection Districts in Louisville, KY. He is an Eastern KY University Fire & Safety Program graduate. He has focused the last 15 years of his career to studying, developing, and utilizing thermal imaging technology. That focus has led him to teaching firefighters about thermal imaging in 40 States and 8 Countries. He currently serves on the FDSOA Board as an Eastern Director, where he advocates the use of thermal imaging for improving firefighter safety.

This training is offered through Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute at no charge for Kansas firefighters.

The dates and locations:

Thursday, November 2 8AM to 4PM
Pittsburg fire Department
911 W 4th
Pittsburg KS
Click here to register

Saturday, November 4 8 AM to 4 PM
Garden City Fire Department
302 N 9th
Garden City KS
Click here to register

TI – Kansas


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Notice of Vacancy – Administrative Officer – Requisition #187801 – Closes 10/9/2017

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has an opening for a full-time Unclassified Administrative Officer. This is specialized paraprofessional work providing administrative support to the State Fire Marshal, Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal and the Administration Division. This position serves as the Office Manager by planning, coordinating, and directing a broad range of services allowing the agency to operate efficiently. Works under direction and must be able to manage multiple situations and tasks with limited supervision. Must be able to use good judgment, provide information on many topics and manage multiple resources. This vacancy is scheduled to close Monday, 10/9/2017

Duties will include, but are not limited to the following:

Coordinates and maintains the asset management program in both the agency database and SMART.
Coordinates all clothing orders and prepares an agency purchase requisition for clothing to be ordered.
Prepares and tracks all central duplication and state printer requisitions.
Supervises the front desk staff, ensures they receive training as appropriate, develops, updates and maintains desk reference manuals and FAQ’s for those positions.
Monitors the state vehicles assigned to the agency including vehicle maintenance and ensures that it is performed on schedule.
Coordinates office services, such as maintenance of copiers/printers, coordinate space allocation, facility maintenance, and general supply, property and equipment procurement, etc. Serves as the contact person for the building.
Serves as records office for the agency and directs the Record Retention program and disposition schedules for agency records.
Reviews, monitors and tracks all legislation that pertains to the agency and prepares a daily report for the SFM, chief deputy SFM and all senior staff.

Pay Rate: $16.56 per hour


Four years of experience in general office, clerical or administrative support work.
Education may be substituted for experience as determined relevant by the agency.

Preferred Skills:

2 years of supervisory experience
Working knowledge of the state travel policies and procedures
Working knowledge of SMART
Working knowledge of the state purchasing and procurement process
Working knowledge of asset management and fleet vehicle management
Must be proficient with the office equipment and software used by this position and
Must have effective interpersonal communication skills
Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
Must have a valid driver’s license.

Performance Standards: To be successful, the expectation is that a candidate will be able to competently perform the routine tasks of the position with limited supervision within six (6) months of hire date.

HOW TO APPLY: The application process has 3 STEPS:

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

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

STEP 3: Email the additional required documents to Include the job requisition number and your last name in the subject line.

Additional Required Documents:

Letter of Interest
College Transcripts (if applicable)
Valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate

Failure to follow the instructions and submit all required documentation may affect your consideration for this 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.

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.

Recruiter Contact Information:

Name: Brenda L. Schuette
Phone: 785-296-0654
Fax: 785-296-8155

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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New Great Bend Fire Chief addresses staffing shortage

By Cole Reif
Great Bend Post – September 25, 2017

Luke McCormick says since he has been married, he and his wife have not known each other when he has not worked a 24-hour shift or overnight shift. That’s one change McCormick is getting used to after being named Great Bend Fire Chief last Monday night.

Fire Chief McCormick has been with the Fire Department since 1996 and is ready to take on more of the administrative side of the industry.

Starting as a firefighter, McCormick was promoted to Captain in 2008, a position he held until selected as Chief from a committee and unanimously approved by the Great Bend City Council. McCormick was one of three internal candidates that applied for the open position after Mike Napolitano retired September 1.

McCormick says the staff at the Fire Department is six firefighters short as they try to beef up their crew.

Great Bend held a testing/tryout Friday for new firefighters, who also double as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT).

The Fire Department recently received a federal grant in the amount of $322,359 over three years to assist in the cost of hiring three new employees. Great Bend will need to pay 25 percent of the expense the first two years, 65% in year three, and the full cost after the three-year grant expires.


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Salina man accused of arson, animal cruelty

By Tim Horan
Salina Journal – September 25, 2017

A 41-year-old Salina man is accused of setting fire Sunday morning to the house had been evicted from.

Capt. Paul Forrester, of the Salina Police Department, said the police responded to a possible burglary at a rental house in the 1400 block of Arapahoe Avenue at 11:30 a.m.

Police arrived finding heavy smoke in the house and the Salina Fire Department was called.

Forrester said Billy Martin, 41, who had been evicted from the house on Sept. 16, had barricaded himself and his dog Bailey in a bedroom.

A fire had been started in the kitchen with paper burning on a stove causing an estimated $5,200 in damage.

Martin is accused for arson, cruelty to animals, burglary, interference with firefighters and possession of marijuana.

The dog is being cared for by an acquaintance.


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Authorities investigating fatal crash on I-35 in Edgerton

By Dave Pinter
KCTV 5 – September 25, 2017

Authorities are investigating a fatal accident that happened early Friday evening.

It happened at 6:09 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-35 just past Sunflower Road in Edgerton, Kansas. The area is just a little south of West 207th Street in southern Johnson County.

Three vehicles were involved in the accident.

The person who died was declared deceased at the scene of the crash. That person was driving one of the vehicles.

No one else was injured in the crash.

Both lanes of northbound I-35 past Sunflower Road were shut down for the accident investigation.

One lane of southbound I-35 remained open. The left lane was closed due to emergency vehicles.

Police are continuing to investigate.

On Saturday, the victim was identified as 19-year-old Jean Luc W. Teeter from Hutchinson, Kansas.


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Oklahoma Man Dies After Wreck, Run Over By Truck

Associated Press – September 25, 2017

The Kansas Highway Patrol says a 64-year-old Kiefer man was killed when he was hit by a semi-trailer truck after being involved in an earlier crash.

A crash report says two motorcycles were eastbound when they hit a large flatbed trailer in the roadway, causing both motorcycles to crash.

The patrol says Morris Noftsger was lying in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70, after that wreck when he was hit and killed by an eastbound truck.

The accident happened Friday about four miles east of the Dorrance exit and west of Salina on the interstate.

The driver of the semi, a 29-year-old woman from Beggs, was not injured in the collision.


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Fire destroys barn north of Yoder; no injuries

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – September 25, 2017

Details were scant on a fire Friday night that destroyed a hay barn north of Yoder.

According to Todd Strain, a captain with Reno County Fire District No. 8, no one was injured and the cause of the fire remained under investigation. The fire at 8911 S. Yoder Road occurred around 6 p.m.

Strain said Pretty Prairie’s fire district was the first on scene and one firefighter told him the barn was engulfed with flames when he arrived.

Several fire districts assisted in the fire along with neighbors, who used tractors to pull apart the tin barn and carry burning hay bales to an open field.

“We are going to be here all night,” Strain said, adding the hay bales would burn for hours.

Thankfully, Strain said, the wind was blowing north and the hay barn that burned was the most northern structure on the farm. The closest building, just south, did have minor damage, Strain said.

He was unsure if either of the buildings were insured.


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Active shooter training embodies ‘level of realism’

By Susan Welte
Ottawa Herald – September 25, 2017

Ottawa Fire Department. Photo by Susan Welte

An armed gunman — a stranger — enters the facility and begins claiming victims as his own.

Although this event wasn’t real, 50 first responders from several local emergency teams were placed in an active shooter simulation Thursday at American Eagle, 1301 N. Davis Ave., Ottawa, as if it were.

Adam Weingartner, Ottawa’s assistant chief of police, said it’s the second time the agencies have come together to participate in a full-scale exercise such as this, complete with a simulated shooter, 911 call and dispatcher, victims and employees reacting to the chaotic situation. The first was last year at Ottawa University, 1001 S. Cedar St.

“The level of realism was particularly high for this training exercise,” he said.

Training included officers from the Ottawa Police Department, Ottawa Fire Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Ambulance Service and Franklin County Emergency Management Office, as well as security staff and employees from American Eagle Outfitters.

A fully planned exercise is “extremely labor-intensive” and requires a lot of manpower, Weingartner said. Fifty American Eagle employees volunteered to act as characters within the exercise, he added.

“The Franklin County ambulance service stimulated wounds by putting makeup on the victims, and each of those victims had a tag which described their medical condition as if it were real-world, so then when the paramedics and the EMTs had to triage that particular wound injury, they would know what steps they needed to take to provide treatment,” Weingartner said. “So for instance, if it was a gunshot wound to the chest, it would look like a gunshot wound to the chest and they would have to react to that accordingly.”

Weingartner said the training included a stimulated shooter, and they reproduced the sound of gunfire by slapping two pieces of wood together.

“We do that just for a safety aspect because we don’t introduce anything that could be considered ammunition into the training environment for safety reasons,” he said. “That realism is the sound simulating gunfire that the employees have to react to. From there, the script stops and people have to respond to what’s in front of them. As soon as some of the employees heard the gunfire or saw victims being injured, they called 911.”

During the three-hour exercise, the agencies participating did not cease their normal operations, so the police, sheriff, fire and ambulance departments were still handling calls.

Two scenarios were played out for the day: The first being a stranger that entered the premises and began injuring employees from the outside, eventually moving their way into the facility. The second was a scenario where an employee inside was the simulated shooter.

The most important aspect of the exercise is to prepare staff to respond to an event of this magnitude — planning and training — and to hope that they never have to put those skills to the test with a tragic event.

“We work closely with those agencies every single day, and when we can all come together and work on the skill and scope of an exercise such as this, it’s only going to benefit us in the work that we do every single day, whether that’s injury traffic accidents, structure fire or a mass casualty event,” Weingartner said.


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Smoking causes SW Topeka house fire

By Tiernan Shank
WIBW – September 25, 2017

The Topeka Fire Department say careless smoking caused a structural fire in southwest Topeka Sunday.

Authorities responded to 1550 SW Belle Ave. at noon on reports of smoke showing from the rear of a two-story house.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire confined to the structure of origin.

One adult male was at home at the time of the fire incident. He was able to self-evacuate prior to arrival of fire crews.

Topeka Fire say the cause of the fire was accidental but associated with careless smoking.

Approximate damage to the house is $15,500.000 for structural and content loss.


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Two dead in Sunday incident at S.W. 8th and Polk

Topeka Capital Journal – September 25, 2017

Photo by Katie Moore

Two people died Sunday in an incident at an apartment complex near downtown Topeka and a man has been arrested in connection with first-degree murder.

Topeka police received a report of a stabbing and a fire shortly before 6:15 p.m. at the Capital Corner Apartments at S.W. 8th and Polk.

Officers located one person who was pronounced dead at the scene, Topeka police Capt. Scott Gilchrist said in a news release.

A second victim was located with life-threatening injuries. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Authorities haven’t confirmed what caused their deaths.

Smoke was visible coming out of the back of one of the apartment buildings. Six fire engines and at least 9 Topeka police cars were on scene, as well as the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Topeka fire battalion chief Eric Bauer said the third floor of the apartment building was evacuated and that fire crews were working to clear out smoke.

At about 7 p.m., investigators with the Topeka Fire Department strung yellow tape around the building.

Eastbound traffic on 8th street was blocked while the incident was investigated.

Just before midnight, Gilchrist said that an arrest had been made. Maximo Campillo-Echevarria, 62, was located on foot in the area and transported to the Law Enforcement Center to be interviewed. He was then booked into the Shawnee County Jail in connection with two counts of first-degree murder.


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Deadly ATV crash along Wichita bike path

KAKE – September 25, 2017

One person was killed Sunday night when an ATV apparently hit a tree branch and flipped over in northeast Wichita.

The crash occurred around 9:30 p.m. on a bike path near 17th Street and Interstate 135. Wichita Police Sgt. Dan Harty told KAKE News at the scene that a bicyclist spotted the ATV in a tree row, with a 44-year-old man trapped underneath it. Emergency crews tried to save him, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Harty indicated the branch had been down for about three days, but it is not clear if anyone notified city crews to remove it.

Harty added it is illegal to ride ATVs along bike paths in Wichita, but some people apparently have been doing it on weekends.


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Firefighter training brings hundreds to Wichita

By Melissa Murray
KWCH – September 25, 2017

KWCH Video925

Firefighters from across the country gathered in south central Kansas this weekend for Wichita Hands On Training (HOT). They knocked down doors, searched for fires and learned how to better save lives.

Some participants even paid out-of-pocket to be there.

Captain Tim Walker of the Frisco, Texas Fire Department made the six-hour drive with a dozen other members of his department.

“It’s nonstop,” Walker said. “There’s so much for us to do and learn today that they’re running us through a lot of different stations to be able to get as much information as we possibly can in today’s session.”

In addition to Wichita Fire Department’s Regional Training Academy, participants also used Fairmount Towers at Wichita State University. Since the building is no longer in use, they can rip down doors and smash windows without consequence.

“Our fire department is probably one of the most aggressive, most professionally trained fire departments certainly in the Midwest if not the country,” said Batallion Chief Matt Bowen of the Wichita Fire Department.

Chris Roark comes from the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department and said even after 16 years of this work, he chose to be in Wichita to train more.

“Whenever you can get your hands on something, even if it’s just a simple, every day drill, swinging an ax, opening a door, do it,” Roark said.

Instructors traveled to Wichita from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky, Georgia and Ohio.


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City of Hays Firefighter Training

Press Release: City of Hays Firefighter Training

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25, 26 & 27 from 9 AM to 12 PM, City of Hays firefighters will be practicing the procedures to attack a large fire. This training will be conducted at Aubel-Bickle Park on Sherman Avenue between 27th Street Terrace and 29th Street. Traffic will be restricted in this area. The public is invited to observe.

This training tests the ability of the five on-duty firefighters to quickly place large fire streams at work to control a building fire or keep such a fire from spreading to other buildings.

The City of Hays Fire Department policy is to conserve water as practical while maintaining the capabilities to respond to emergencies. By conducting this training in the park, the water is also being used to help maintain the grass and other landscaping.


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One person killed after crash near Johnson County Community College

By Chris Oberholtz
KCTV 5 – September 22, 2017

One person has died after a crash near Johnson County Community College.

Overland Park police responded to an injury accident at 11:16 a.m. Friday on College Boulevard at Westgate involving two vehicles.

Investigators say one vehicle was traveling west on College Boulevard approaching Westgate. A second vehicle was south on Westgate and entered the intersection on a green light.

The vehicle heading west did not stop at the red light and struck the southbound vehicle in the intersection, police say.

Occupants of the southbound vehicle were both taken to an area hospital. The driver of the westbound vehicle died from their injuries.

The Overland Park Traffic Safety Unit says they will continue to investigate the wreck.


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Mac first responders forming support team

By Patricia Middleton
McPherson Sentinel – September 22, 2017

Work is underway to facilitate the formation of a countywide Critical Incident Stress Management Support Team.

According to the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, a CISM Support Team implements methods to assist first responders and others involved in critical events during which they incur emotional and physical stress.

“CISM is a process that enables peers to help their peers understand problems that might occur after an event. This process also helps people prepare to continue to perform their services or in some cases return to a normal lifestyle,” ICISF’s website states.

“I think this is very important for first responders,” said McPherson Police Department Executive Sgt. Mark Brinck.

Representatives from agencies across McPherson County, including McPherson County Communications/911, McPherson Emergency Medical Services, McPherson County Sheriff’s Office, McPherson Police Department and fire departments from Galva, Marquette and McPherson have met to discuss plans for the team.

The planning meetings, which were initiated and organized by Julie McClure, Director of McPherson Emergency Management/Communications, allowed interested members to start formulating policies and procedures for the CISM Support Team, as well as identifying individuals within each agency willing to volunteer to take part.

After volunteers are selected, they will be required to complete specialized training.

While training requirement policies have not yet been finalized, volunteers for CISM Support Teams are typically asked to successfully complete courses such as Assisting Individuals in Crisis or Group Crisis Intervention Training.

Future meetings are planned to discuss establishing policy and identifying opportunities for new team members to attend training to become certified in CISM.

The McPherson Police Department currently has two certified CISM and Peer Support Team members — Brinck and Chaplain Dick Reynolds.

In the past, CISM team members have been deployed at the request of any first responder agency, or individual, who has been involved in a critical incident while on the job.

It will take a variety of resources to create and aid the operations of the CISM Support Team.

Finding volunteers who have the desire and passion to help other first responders is the first priority of forming a CISM Support Team. Being a part of the team requires volunteers to complete the required training and participate in meetings and CISM activities, in addition to their usual duties.

Financial resources will be required to meet training expenses, which may include the cost of the training, travel expenses, lodging and meals.

Physical resources to give out during crisis interventions such as handouts, pamphlets and flyers will provide a way for people to refer back to crucial information.

Initial funding for the CISM Support Team has been identified, but additional funding will be necessary to maintain the team as a viable resource to first responders in the future.

“I hope we’re able to get the team up and going and get it maintained so first responders can provide services for our communities,” Brinck said.


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Crash, fire kills man on Haven Road

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – September 22, 2017

A man driving at a high rate of speed died this afternoon, when his car crashed, rolled into a ditch and caught fire on Haven Road at U.S. 50.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said the driver of a silver Mercedes had been clocked going 95 mph traveling north on Haven Road.

The car appears to have run a stop sign, crashed into the side of an empty tractor trailer, sending it into the ditch, where it caught fire, a trooper said. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the truck, Carlin Becker, 32, of Texas, was not injured.


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