Archive for October, 2018

Robert “Bob” A. Forsen Jr.

Robert A. Forsen, Jr., age 89, of Ulysses, Kansas, died Monday, October 29, 2018, at Western Prairie Care Home in Ulysses. He was born May 23, 1929, in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Robert A. Sr., and Vera Lucille (Cox) Forsen.

Bob grew up in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from high school, Bob served in the US Army from 1951 and was honorably discharged in 1952. He moved to Ulysses in 1974; and was a volunteer fireman from 1976-2003 and also served as the Fire Chief. He was also an EMT from 1976 – 1982. Bob was the building inspector for the City of Ulysses for many years. He enjoyed woodworking and made dollhouses, enjoyed flying his airplane, and loved his grandkids and attending their activities. Bob was a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Bob married Carol Miller on March 12, 1981, in Kansas City, Kansas. She survives.

Other survivors include his son, Tony Forsen and wife Becky of Holcomb; and three grandchildren, Ethan, Paige, and Jacob.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents; and son, Bobby.

Memorial service will be Thursday, November 1, 2018, at 10:00 AM at Celebration Baptist Church in Ulysses with Pastor Jon Becker and Jeff Rawlings officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. Memorial contributions may be given to his Grandkid’s College Fund or the Ulysses Animal Shelter in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant Ave, Ulysses, KS 67880.


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Timber Ridge Apartments fire displaces occupant

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – October 31, 2018

Photo by Paola Fire Department

















Paola firefighters are asking community members to be vigilant in the kitchen and around grills after responding to another unattended cooking fire last week.

Firefighters were called to Timber Ridge Apartments, a new senior housing complex in Paola, at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23.

Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Hartig said crews were on the scene in six minutes, and they had the fire under control 10 minutes later. The fire was contained to one unit, but fire and water damage left the dwelling uninhabitable, Hartig said.

Residents in neighboring connected units were evacuated, but Hartig said they were able to return to their apartments later that night.

An investigation revealed that the occupant left the apartment while something was cooking on the stove, and when she returned she discovered the fire and called 911, Hartig said.

About 15 firefighters responded to the fire, and Hartig said they took an aggressive interior attack approach to extinguish the flames. The damage estimate is about $100,000 for the structure and contents, he said.

There were no injuries in the fire.

Hartig said it was the second unattended cooking fire in the past month handled by the Paola Fire Department. The previous fire was Oct. 9 at a home in the Indian Hills subdivision, and it originated with a grill on a backyard deck.

Hartig said unattended cooking is the No. 1 cause of home fires in the United States, and he encouraged local residents to be extra careful, especially since October is National Fire Prevention Month.

The upcoming time change is also the perfect time to check the batteries in smoke detectors, Hartig said.


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Woman dies after crashing into trash truck west of Valley Center

KSN – October 31, 2018

One woman died in an accident Tuesday afternoon west of Valley Center. It happened in the 8900 block of North Ridge Road just before 2 p.m.

According to the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department, a 65-year-old woman was driving a Chevy Lumina and hit a Waste Management trash truck that was collecting garbage.

Authorities believe she may have had a medical condition. She did not slow down before crashing into the truck.

Right now, her identity hasn’t been released. The trash truck operator wasn’t injured.

Ridge Road is closed near the accident as crews investigate.


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82 year-old woman waits in car for hours after it fell into shallow pond

By Natalie Dattilio
WIBW – October 30, 2018

An 82-year-old woman is lucky to be alive after hitting a guard rail, falling 15 feet and sitting in her car for over two hours.

The woman’s daughter says her mom called around 10 a.m. and said she was going to visit to pick up Halloween candy from her daughter’s house. Around 12:30 p.m., the daughter said she still had not seen her mother. The daughter called her sister, who drove the route between her mom and sister’s house.

The sister ending up finding the car along SW Auburn Road, past 110th St., in Osage County.

The daughter saw tracks heading off the road and into a pond. She says her mom was going northbound on Auburn Rd. when she hit a guardrail and fell 15 feet into the water. She was in her car for about 2 and a half hours until two men stopped and helped her out.

The mom says she stayed in her car because she knew her daughters would come find her.

The daughters say their mom is doing okay. She was taken to the hospital with shoulder and stomach pain.

Authorities have not released the woman’s name at this time.


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Edna firefighters get $2,000 grant

Parsons Sun – October 30, 2018

The Edna Volunteer Fire Department received a $2,000 grant for firefighting gear from Frontier Farm Credit’s Working Here Fund. The department’s new turnout gear will improve the safety of first responders as they answer emergency calls.

Edna Volunteer Fire Department is one of 16 organizations to receive a Working Here Fund grant in the third quarter of 2018. Frontier awarded $24,035 during the latest cycle.

The Edna Fire Department provides Edna, Elm Grove and surrounding townships, with first aid and fire protection. The department has 20 volunteer firefighters. Jason Myers is fire chief.


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Emergency workers visit Happy Days

Hiawatha World – October 30, 2018

Happy Days Preschool had recent visitors from local emergency service personnel.

Instructor Christy Hageman said the Tuesday/Thursday class was visited by the Town and Country EMS, Duke Koerperich and Peanut Merchant. The Monday/Wednesday/Friday class had a visit from the Hiawatha Fire Department, Chief Ryan Shockley and other fire department volunteers.


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Frustrations flare at open house for new fire station in Piper

By Cat Reid
KSHB – October 30, 2018

IAFF Local 64 Business Manager Robert Wing questioned city staff members about the timeline for the new fire station.


More than two years ago, Unified Government commissioners signed off on a new fire station for the Piper community. Now residents, a union leader and even a county commissioner are questioning why shovels haven’t gone into the ground yet.

They made their opinions known Monday night during a heated and packed open house during which an architect presented designs for a fire station at the intersection of Hutton and Leavenworth roads.

The $4 million project will include three bays for fire rigs, plus a decontamination zone with positive air pressure to limit exposure to cancerous toxins.

Those who attended the meeting had no problem with the design; rather, the project timeline raised questions.

The Unified Government Commission approved funding for the station in July 2016. According to the architect who presented on Monday, construction will begin at the end of this year. The fire station is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

“Where is the problem with getting this thing done?” asked Robert Wing, Business Manager for IAFF Local 64, the union that represents KCK firefighters.

Wing also raised concerns about a statement made by KCKFD Chief Michael Callahan, who said the new station would be staffed by moving firefighters already in the department.

“It is unacceptable to me that it was relayed tonight that a fire company is going to move from in town out here. That is going to just cause the problem that exists out here downtown,” Wing said.

His questions led to an impassioned speech from Unified Government Commissioner Mike Kane, who said the city has been dragging its feet on the project.

“We need that fire station. You guys gotta figure out a way to build it faster than what you’re gonna do. You can work overtime. You can work ’round the clock,” he said.

Unified Government staff explained the time frame was a result of looking at different sites and going through the land acquisition process.

KCKFD Chief Michael Callahan, who signed on with the department in August, said from his experience, the timeline is typical. He came from the Chicago Fire Department, where he was in charge of building new firehouses. Callahan said the process usually took up to four years.

“I know the people here are frustrated because they’ve been promised this for a very long time. It is being done, and we’re doing our best to move with as much dispatch as we can while doing it prudently as well. You don’t want to move so fast that you cut a corner that later comes back to haunt you,” he said.

According to Kane and Wing, the Piper community was promised a new fire station when it was annexed by the county 25 years ago.

It is currently served by Fire Station 8, a structure that was built in 1979 as a volunteer fire station. According to a 2015 study commissioned by the city, that station is not in compliance with any codes or the NFPA. The study recommended construction of two new fire stations in the Piper area.

The Unified Government plans to either remodel or replace almost half of its fire stations in the next ten years because of the study.


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Kansas man dies after pickup overturns on I-70

Hays Post – October 30, 2018

One person died in an accident just after 4a.m. Monday in Sherman County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 1988 Chevy pickup driven by Brian Bender, 59, Salina, was eastbound on Interstate 70 twelve miles west of Goodland.

The pickup left the roadway and entered the median. It hit a paved turn around and a delineator post before re-entering the roadway. The pickup then traveled across eastbound and westbound lanes into the south ditch, overturned and came to rest on its top

Bender was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Koons-Russell Funeral Home. He was properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.


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Wellsville home in flames

By Jeff Gulley
Ottawa Herald – October 30, 2018

Photo by Jeff Gulley

Firefighters from Johnson County, Baldwin and Wellsville responded to a structure fire at 917 Main St. in Wellsville Monday morning. The call came in at around 11 a.m. The structure was a total loss.


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Fresh towels cause fire at local retirement community

By James Ryan
KSNT – October 30, 2018


More than a dozen neighbors were evacuated after a fire at their retirement community.

Topeka Fire was called to Lexington Park Independent Living at 1011 SW Cottonwood Court just before 2:30 Tuesday morning.

When they arrived firefighters found a fire in the lobby and smoke filling the building.

Neighbors were evacuated for around an hour while firefighters put out the fire and aired out the building.

No injuries were reported.

Fire investigators determined that the fire was caused by hot towels fresh out of the dryer.

The towels were sat on a bench in the lobby. The heat from the towels caught the bench on fire and the fire traveled up the wall.

No other damage has been reported.


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Training held in Wichita for emergency responders

KFDI – October 30, 2018

Emergency responders from the Wichita area attended a four-hour training session Monday to learn how to be safe when they’re working at the scene of an accident or traffic problem.

The workers include fire, EMS paramedics, tow-truck drivers, highway crews and law enforcement officers. The training was held at the Sedgwick County Public Safety Building.

Tom Hein with the Kansas Department of Transportation said the training helps first responders with best practices in dealing with accident scenes, construction zones and other situations. The training is aimed at improving safety for the emergency workers and for motorists during traffic incidents.

Rusty James, an instructor with the Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute in Kansas City, said the training has helped reduce the time that it takes to clear a traffic situation. Average times have dropped from two and a half hours in 2013 to 47 minutes in 2017.

The week of November 11th will be National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week, and it will call attention to the dangers that road crews and emergency responders face when they’re working at the scene of an accident or at a construction project.


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Shawnee Fire Department trains for mass casualty crash

By Mike Frizzell/Operation 100 News
Shawnee Dispatch – October 30, 2018

Photos by Mike Frizzell/Operation 100 News

For three consecutive days last week, all 66 Shawnee Firefighters worked their way through a mock mass casualty crash.

Each day the scenario involved a school bus, several vehicles, and volunteers playing the role of injured and hysterical people at the scene.

Last Wednesday’s scenario involved 17 victims with varying levels of injury spread among three passenger vehicles and the school bus.

Eleven volunteers filled the school bus, which in the drill had been rear-ended as part of a chain-reaction crash.

One car was partially under the rear of the bus. A second car was on its roof and partly on top of the first car. A third car was rolled onto its side near the front of the bus and was blocking all access to the door of the bus.

Firefighters had to use struts, straps, and large chains to stabilize all involved vehicles before they could begin the work of safely removing all of the injured.

A firefighter and a Johnson County Med-Act paramedic were lifted through the emergency window of the bus to start evaluating injuries inside as other firefighters worked to cut a hole in the wall of the bus.

One-by-one the injured passengers of the bus were lifted off and then moved across the scene to Johnson County Med-Act’s triage area where their injuries would be evaluated further.

After all of the victims had been removed from the vehicles, firefighters and paramedics gathered to discuss the drill and assess their response and handling of the various aspects.

Deputy Fire Chief Sal Scarpa told Operation 100 News this drill was the first time they had the opportunity to use a school bus.

“On a three or four vehicle crash we may see five or six people with injuries,” he said. “The school bus changes everything, and we have to be prepared for that.”

The school bus was donated to the department for use in the scenario by the Kincaid Group which operates school buses for the Shawnee Mission School District as DS Bus Lines.

Several Kansas City area towing companies also donated the passenger vehicles.


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Wichita firefighters give out coats to students ahead of the cold

By Tiffany Lane
KSN – October 30, 2018


As temperatures begin to drop, more people will pull out their winter coats.

But for some families, it’s more of a challenge being able to afford clothes to keep warm.

Those who protect and serve the community, helped ease some that burden for local kids Monday afternoon.

For the third year in a row, Wichita firefighters, in partnership with Operation Warm, are handing out brand new coats to children from low income families.

Their goal is to provide warmth, confidence and hope.

There were a lot of smiles at Colvin Elementary Monday, as students were given the winter essentials.

“It’s getting kind of wintery out,” said Christopher, a student at Colvin Elementary. “It’s almost like Christmas. So, I think that that’s a very thankful thing that they do.”

One by one the kids lined up to get the right size.

“I haven’t gotten a coat from the firemen before and it made me really happy,” said Colvin student Lakeya.

“It has pretty colors and it looks pretty cool,” said Nevaeh, a Colvin Elementary student.

For students like Lakeya, having Wichita firefighters provide new coats meant more than just adding a new item to her wardrobe.

“We would have had to buy them ourselves and we didn’t really have enough money for that,” she said.

“We leave that to the school counselors on how many coats they need and they go through and they pick the kids that are in need of coats,” said Matt Schulte, president of the Wichita Firefighters Charitable Fund.

This year they’re giving out more than 250 coats.

“If kids are sick and miss school you know, they’re not learning, they’re not progressing,” said Schulte. “And, this is a way to keep them healthy.”

After the kids received their coats, and got their names added on to make it official, they were able to show them off in front of the fire truck.

“I think I will be a firefighter when I grow up,” said Christopher.

The goal is to double the amount of coats given away every year.

They are purchased through donations and fundraisers.

Tuesday, they will be giving out coats to students who qualify at Jefferson Elementary.


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Fire department conducts training exercise

By Melissa Lowery
Emporia Gazette – October 29, 2018

Photo by Melissa Lowery

Part of Mechanic Street was shut down on Sunday morning while the Emporia Fire and Rescue squads conducted training maneuvers in a condemned house.

The house, located on the 900 block of Mechanic Street, is set to be razed soon. This presented an opportunity for the fire department to hold a training session in a residential setting versus the training tower at Fire Station No. 2.

“When we have a condemned structure, we like to use it for training,” said Battalion Chief Rich Gould who was overseeing the operation. “We don’t get the opportunity to pull out the ladders and hoses very often, and you can only conduct so many scenarios at the tower.”

A ladder stretched from one of the fire trucks into the third-story window of the house as firefighters and EMT’s gathered for the training mission.

Gould said they could not actually start a fire in the structure due to regulations around training missions, but would use a smoke machine and other techniques to simulate smoke and low visibility.

The training is an opportunity for Emporia Fire and Rescue to stay up to date on skills and department protocol, and a chance for new people to learn how Emporia’s emergency response teams work together.

“We have some newer people coming into the department, so this is a good way to reinforce policy and show the new people how we do things,” Gould said.


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Apartment fire was intentionally set

By Nick Viviani
WIBW – October 29, 2018

A Sunday night fire at a central Topeka apartment complex was intentionally set, fire investigators say.

According to the Topeka Fire Dept., firefighters could see smoke when they responded to the three-story structure, 1306 SW Harrison St., around 10 p.m. They attacked the blaze, which had started in Apt. #17, and kept it contained to the original structure.

A search of the building found no fire victims and no firefighters were hurt knocking down the flames, the department said.

A preliminary investigation determined the cause was incendiary. Investigators estimated the fire did about $500 in damage to the structure.


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Big hearts ride in Spark of Love Toy Run

By Leslie Eikleberry
Salina Post – October 29, 2018

Some of the members of Fire & Iron Station 27 and the toys they collected. Photo courtesy Fire & Iron Station 27

They risk their lives to protect us from harm and keep us healthy, but that isn’t enough. In their off hours, the firefighters and paramedics who make up Fire & Iron Station 27 Firefighters Motorcycle Club choose to do activities together that benefit the communities in which they live and work.

On Sunday, group members participated in the Spark of Love Toy Run, Fire & Iron Station 27’s annual toy collection and motorcycle ride to benefit children in need in Ottawa County.

Participants were asked to bring a new toy, stuffed animal, or gift card and join the ride to provide toys for children of Ottawa County who otherwise might not get much for Christmas this year.

The riders gathered at noon on Sunday at the old gas station on Kansas Highway 18 in Bennington. They, and their toys, then rode west on Kansas Highway 18 to Kansas Highway 106, which they took north to Minneapolis. Once there, they delivered their toys to the Open Hearts Christmas Store.

John Golbek, a volunteer firefighter out of Bennington, said this was the fifth or sixth year for the ride that benefits the Ottawa County Ministerial Alliance’s Open Hearts Christmas Store. Golbek said that the first year, 20 or so riders participated in the toy collection and ride. This year, there were 106 bikes in the ride, he said.

All of the toys collected by the riders will go to help make Christmas a little merrier for Ottawa County children in need, he added.

Golbek said that Fire & Iron Station 27 members also participate in Ride for Hope, which raises funds to help those with cancer, and the Lincoln County Toy Run to benefit children in that county.

Fire & Iron Station 27 is part of the international Fire & Iron organization made up of firefighters, paramedics, and people in other related occupations who not only share a passion for protecting the lives and property of citizens in their own communities, but also enjoy riding and camaraderie with each other outside of work.


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Elderly KCK woman dies in early morning house fire

KSHB – October 29, 2018

An elderly woman died in an early-morning house fire in the 3200 block of North 27th Street Saturday morning in Kansas City, Kansas.

Fire crews reported a single-family home was fully engulfed in flames after arriving around 7 a.m.

The unidentified woman was found dead inside the home after an initial search.

Three other family members were not at home at the time of the fire.

Battalion Chief Morris Letcher said it appears the fire started in the bedroom area but an official cause has not yet been determined.

The house may be determined to be a total loss, and the American Red Cross is assisting the other family members with temporary shelter.


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Salina woman dies in I-70 Geary County crash

By Jason Beets
Salina Journal – October 29, 2018

A Salina woman died in a crash on I-70, one mile east of Grandview Plaza, in Geary County, about 7:47 p.m. Friday evening, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol crash report.

Heather Hurley, 30, of Salina, drove a 2000 Ford Explorer eastbound on I-70 when she lost control and overcorrected, causing the Ford to overturn. Hurley died in the crash, the report stated.

Bryan Hedrick, 40, of Eudora, drove a 2017 Peterbilt Semi behind the Ford, and the semi struck debris from the overturned Ford. Hedrick was not injured, the report stated.


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Butler County hosts Government Day

By Deanna Bonn
Butler County Times Gazette – October 29, 2018

Photo by Deanna Bonn

Through a cooperative effort by the Butler County Council’s American Legion and Butler County, students from schools throughout the county convened in front of the Butler County Courthouse on Tuesday, Oct. 23 to learn about the various functions of our county government and where tax dollars are invested.
Education is an important part of the mission of the American Legion because a democracy depends largely on its people being informed. The Government Day program is targeted towards informing high school students enrolled in Social Studies within Butler County.
Greeted by Vice Chair, Commissioner Marc Murphy, the students were told how the day would unfold. They divided into several groups and rotated through stations throughout the day. Those stations were composed of the different administrative, executive and legal offices within Butler County.
Students sat in the Butler Board of Commissioners meeting located on the fourth floor of the historic courthouse and heard from County Administrator Will Johnson. He shared an abbreviated history of Butler County with the students in addition to quizzing them on some well-known, and some obscure, facts of the largest county in Kansas. The students also heard from the GIS Mapping Department and learned of the upcoming tax sale in November.
At another station, students heard from Butler County Clerk, Tatum Stafford and her office. Students who were of voting age and unregistered, were given the opportunity to register to vote.
Travelling to the Butler County Judicial Center County Attorney, Darrin Devinney and District Court Judge, Jan Satterfield welcomed students into the Courtroom and gave insights into the judicial process. Emergency Management Director, Keri Korthals shared why the need for emergency preparedness was the responsibility of all the people.
The students were treated to lunch at the Butler County Community Building. The lunch was hosted by the Butler County Council’s American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary. While at lunch, the students met “Rosie the Riveter” as portrayed by Auxiliary member, Virginia Ball. And heard from the American Legion Department of Kansas Commander Dan Wiley who gave the students the “keys” to success. After lunch, the students went to the Butler County Detention Facility to tour the facilities and rotate through more stations set up outside. There they learned from our public safety employees as the Butler County Sheriff, El Dorado Fire Department and Butler County Emergency Medical Services were on hand.
See the video at:


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A Tribute, Not A Memorial

By Todd Pittenger
KSAL – October 29, 2018

A crowd of about 100 gathered Saturday morning to be a part of the dedication of a new tribute plaza outside Salina Fire Department #1.

Salina Fire Chief Kevin Royse told the crowd the plaza was made possible through a public / private partnership and four years of work.

The highlight of the plaza is a customized art piece by nationally renowned artist Benjamin Victor. It is a sculpture depicting a firefighter, kneeling with a hose pointed skyward toward the city.

Victor was at the event Saturday morning. He explained that he isn’t the one who should be thanked and recognized for the sculpture, but rather those who “run into places where others are running out” are the ones who should.

Salina Fire Captain Josh Foley spoke, and tongue in cheek explained he was chosen to be part of the project because he is considered to be “artsy”. Foley said it was important to make the plaza “a tribute, not a memorial.” They want it associated with pride and positivity, not sadness.

The Salina Fire Department’s Tribute Plaza is a tribute to all past and present members of the Salina Fire Department and their service to the citizens of Salina and Saline County. The plaza is located next to Fire Station #1.


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Fire closes Bonner Springs McDonalds temporarily

Wyandotte Daily – October 26, 2018

A fire at the McDonalds in Bonner Springs on Wednesday resulted in the restaurant being closed temporarily.

According to Bonner Spring Fire Chief Dennis Hubbel, there was no structural damage and no one was injured in the fire.

Hubbel stated the fire was in the fryer and duct work. The call came in a little after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

McDonalds had cleanup crews on the scene soon after the Fire Department left, and Hubbel expected the restaurant would reopen soon.


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Fire District #1 teaches fire safety

Gardner News – October 25, 2018

Photos by Johnson County Fire District #1

Fire District #1 Of Johnson County, KS was at Moonlight Elementary Oct. 11 teaching kids about fire safety and also showing what a firefighter looks like when all geared up. National Fire Prevention Week is observed in the United States and Canada, during the week (from Sunday to Saturday) in which October 9 falls. In the United States, the first Presidential proclamation of Fire Prevention Week was made in 1925 by President Calvin Coolidge.


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New fire stations under construction in Consolidated Fire District No. 2, Shawnee and KCMO

By Charlie Keegan
KSHB – October 25, 2018

Photo by Charlie Keegan


When a new fire station opens near 77th Street and Mission Road, firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMT) will be better positioned to respond to the growing number of emergency calls the fire district receives.

Johnson County Consolidated Fire District No. 2 is one of three fire agencies building new stations right now.

Shawnee hopes to open a new station near 53rd Street and Woodsonia Drive in January. Kansas City broke ground on a station on Cookingham Drive in the northeast corner of the city this year.

Chief Tony Lopez, from the Consolidated Fire District No. 2, said the new station in Prairie Village should open in February or March of 2019.

The district will relocate firefighters and trucks from a current station on Roe Avenue. Lopez said a study showed while the district serves eight municipalities, the majority of calls came from central Prairie Village, so building a station there would improve response times.

“It puts us in the highest volume area. I can’t say how many minutes it will save, but it will certainly save quite a bit,” Lopez said.

The new station will cost roughly $6 million.

Shawnee Fire Chief John Mattox said building a new station in the city’s northwest side will improve response times by up to five minutes to about 11,000 properties. He said it also positions firefighters to be able to serve new developments coming to the area.

Mattox said the department has hired 12 new firefighters and purchased a new truck, which will all be ready to move into the new station when it opens in January. The project will cost about $5 million.

Kansas City, Missouri leaders said the Shoal Creek neighborhoods and the northeastern section of the I-435 loop are the fastest-growing parts of the city. They said the development requires better firefighting and emergency medical services.


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One man killed in single-vehicle crash in south Wichita

KSN – October 25, 2018

Wichita police said one man has died after a single-vehicle crash in south Wichita. It happened around 8:15 Wednesday in the 4100 block of South Seneca.

When officers arrived, they found a man inside a vehicle that had crashed into a tree. Police were unable to release his identity Wednesday night, but police said the man was in his 50s.

No one else was injured.

Authorities have been interviewing witnesses who heard the crash to piece together what happened, but they have not interviewed anyone who saw the crash. They are asking any witnesses of the crash to please call 911 with any information.

Lt. Slaughter said it appears the man was traveling at a higher rate of speed when he struck the tree.


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Osawatomie firefighters respond to two suspicious fires

By Doug Carder
Miami County Republic – October 25, 2018

Photos by Osawatomie Fire Department

Osawatomie firefighters tackled two suspicious fires in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Oct. 24, including one in the community’s post office lobby.

Firefighters responded at 1:07 a.m. to the Osawatomie Post Office, 404 Fifth St., and upon arrival discovered a fire in a trash receptacle that served as a bin for discarded circulars and other unwanted mail. The fire damaged a counter where the receptacle sat and a poster on a nearby wall.

“There was some minor smoke in the building that we were able to evacuate after the postmaster arrived, and we were able to access the rest of the building,” said Brian Love, chief of the Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 1:45 a.m. but then were called out again just before daybreak at 6:43 a.m. to douse six hay bales ablaze near the corner of Crescent Hill Road and 371st Street, Love said. The fire was contained to the bales, and firefighters cleared the scene at about 10 a.m.

Both fires are being investigated, Love said. No injuries occurred at either fire, he said.

“Any time you have two suspicious fires in one night, it’s always concerning,” Love said. “A fire investigator was brought in on both fires, and the investigation is continuing.”


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Fire Department to Dedicate Plaza

KSAL – October 25, 2018

Citizens are invited to attend a dedication ceremony for the completion of the Salina Fire Department’s tribute plaza.

The plaza, located next to Fire Station #1 at 222 W. Elm St., is a tribute to all past and present members of the Salina Fire Department and their service to the citizens of Salina and Saline County.

This project culminates four years of a private/public community partnership and includes a customized art piece by nationally renowned artist Benjamin Victor.

The dedication ceremony will be held on Saturday morning at 10:00.


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Kansas man dies after SUV rollover accident

Hays Post – October 25, 2018

One person died in an accident just after 4:30p.m. Wednesday in Geary County.

The Kansas Highway patrol reported a 2000 Chevy Silverado driven by David L. Sutton, 70, Clay Center, was southbound on U.S. 77 a mile south of the Kansas 82 Junction.

The SUV traveled off the roadway to the right. The driver overcorrected, back on the roadway, traveled off the road to the west and rolled.

Sutton was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home. He was properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP


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Reno Co. man airlifted to hospital after farming accident

KWCH – October 24, 2018

Brian Miller

A 31-year-old man was flown to a Wichita hospital after a farming accident in Reno County Tuesday.

According to the Reno County Sheriff’s Office, the man was planting wheat at a farm near Blanchard and Dean Road at the time.

His dad told officials his son was driving a tractor pulling a “no till” drill. He believes at one point, he got off the tractor to spread the wheat seed in the drill, but the tractor somehow shifted into gear.

His dad said no one had heard from his son since mid-afternoon, so he went into the field to look for him.

He was found injured shortly after 9:00 and said he had been run over by the drill.

He was airlifted to a Wichita hospital for treatment of injuries to his upper body.

The tractor was found about a quarter of a mile away. The Sheriff’s Office says it had stopped after striking a tree, but the engine was still running and still in gear.

The father told authorities the vehicle should have automatically gone into park with the driver’s seat unoccupied.


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Albert man injured when corn-filled grain truck overturns

Hutchinson News – October 24, 2018

Photo by Barton County Sheriff’s Office

An Albert man was injured Tuesday afternoon when he apparently took a turn too fast in a grain truck and it overturned about 2 1/2 miles north of Albert.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the intersection of Northwest 130 Avenue at Northwest 90 Road about 2:10 p.m. on a report of an injury accident, according to a release from Sheriff Brian Bellinder.

Upon arrival Sheriff’s deputies discovered a Kenworth truck tractor and grain trailer that had overturned into the ditch, with the driver trapped inside.

Albert Fire Department and Great Bend EMS were able to extract the driver, Randy Schriner, 68, after about 30 minutes.

Investigation at the scene indicated Schriner was eastbound on Northwest 90 Road approaching Northwest 130 Avenue when he attempted to turn right onto Northwest 130 Avenue but was traveling too fast to make the turn, Bellinder stated.

The truck tractor and semi-trailer went into the east ditch on Northwest 130 Avenue and rolled one-half time coming to rest on its top. The trailer was loaded with corn at the time of the accident. Officers believe vehicle speed and a shift in the load were contributing factors in the crash.

Schriner was transported to KU Med., Great Bend Campus with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Albert Fire Department, and the Great Bend EMS and Fire Department.


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Public service recognized

Great Bend Tribune – October 24, 2018

The first ever Pawnee County First Responders and Emergency Services Appreciation Dinner was held on Oct. 21, honoring the service and sacrifice of the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department, Larned Police Department, Kansas Highway Patrol, the Volunteer Fire Departments of Larned, Burdett, Rozel and Garfield, the Burdett-Rozel and Larned EMS, Kansas Department of Transportation, Pawnee County Road and Bridge and the Linesmen of the City of Larned. Approximately 100 attended the dinner which was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Pawnee County Criminal Diversion Fund. Pictured are representatives from the Burdett-Rozel EMS and Larned EMS along with Knights of Columbus District Deputy Brian Haberman and Pawnee County Attorney Doug McNett. From left: Haberman, Kathy Moostrom, Leonard Moostrom, Rachel Hill, Shawn Boese, TJ Hearn, William Jones and McNett.


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Arrowhead Stadium
1 Arrowhead Dr Kansas City, Missouri 64129
Sun, Dec 9, 12:00 PM
From $30

The Kansas City Chiefs are pleased to offer First Responders (Police, Firefighters and EMTs) along with their friends and family a Special $30 Ticket Offer for the Ravens vs. Chiefs on December 9th.

For more info


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Fire depts. conduct mutual aid training

Hays Daily News – October 24, 2018

On Saturday, all the fire departments in Ellis County came together and performed their annual mutual aid training. Third-three firefighters from the Ellis County, Victoria, Ellis and Hays Fire Departments attended the training. This training brings all fire departments together while working in a training environment to test skills, operational plans, and equipment.

This year’s drill was conducted southwest of Hays. The exercise included a property owner burning down an abandoned structure while fire departments were on the scene. The fire departments protected multiple buildings, or “exposures,” surrounding the fire building from receiving any damage.

Firefighters tested their skills with city structural fire engines to start a draft. This includes setting up 3,500-gallon drop-tanks next to the fire trucks, filling the tanks from the water tenders, and having the fire trucks suck water out of the tanks to fight the fire. This was tested and timed for reference as there are no fire hydrants outside city limits. Water was also shuttled on-scene from a local farm pond to refill the drop-tanks.

This larger training event is conducted once a year and this year it was the Ellis County Fire Department’s year to plan and host the event. Next year, the Victoria Fire Department will host the training event. Although this larger mutual aid training happens only once a year, there are multiple other events where local fire departments train together on other items.


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Elderly woman critically injured in Topeka apartment fire

By Chris Fisher and Marleah Campbell
WIBW – October 24, 2018

An elderly woman was rushed to the hospital in critical condition early Wednesday after an apartment fire in south central Topeka.

Crews were called to the 3400 block of W. 29th Terr. just before 2:00 a.m. on reports of the fire.

As they made their way inside, they located an elderly woman on the floor near the front door.

Officials say she likely collapsed while trying to escape the blaze.

Fire crews said they located a smoldering mattress in a bedroom and believe that’s where the fire started.

Officials say a cat was rescued from the apartment and taken to Helping Hands Humane Society.

Shawnee Co. Dispatch says the fire was called in by a neighbor.


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Shawnee firefighters work ‘mock’ mass casualty crash

By McKenzie Nelson
KSHB – October 23, 2018


It’s a tough task for firefighters, but one they have to tackle in a matter of minutes. That’s why the Shawnee Fire Department is training for a mass casualty crash.

“If we have an accident like this, we’re going to utilize a lot of resources,” said Battalion Chief Darrin Nelson of the Shawnee Fire Department.

This week, firefighters are working a mock crash involving five vehicles and a school bus. While Nelson said this type of scenario doesn’t happen every day, it’s one firefighters always have to be prepared for.

“Something this intense, we don’t do it as often as we’d like to. We call this our high-risk/low-frequency type of event,” said Nelson.

On average, Shawnee firefighters get called out anywhere from 15 to 18 times per day. Nelson said two to three are crashes, and not all of them involve extrication.

This type of training is one the department tries to do at least once a year.

“Each time we do a training like this and even an actual event, it’s a tool for the tool box,” said Nelson.


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Firefighters Respond to Vehicle Fire in Russell

By David Elliott
KRSL – October 23, 2018

The Russell City and Russell Grant Fire Departments responded to a vehicle fire Monday afternoon in Russell.

According to dispatch logs, at 12:11 PM Monday, Russell Dispatch received 911 calls reporting black smoke coming from the area of 6th and Van Houten. Another call was received from Shane Brown advising Global Cementing had trucks on fire.

Firefighters responded and extinguished the fire.

According to Russell City Fire Chief Shane Preston, workers at the scene were cutting up old trucks for parts and left for lunch. Some pieces of metal were still hot and caught the trucks on fire.

The damage was contained to two trucks and a skid steer.

There were no injuries.

Russell County EMS, the Russell Police Department and the Russell County Sheriff’s Office also responded.


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Vehicle fire extinguished early Tuesday in 9200 block of S.E. Adams

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – October 23, 2018

Crews made quick work of a vehicle fire early Tuesday in southeast Shawnee County.

The vehicle fire was reported shortly before 5 a.m. at a residence in the 9200 block of S.E. Adams.

Firefighters responded to the blaze and were able to extinguish the fire, preventing it from spreading to a nearby structure.

No injuries were reported.


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Early morning fire destroys butcher shop

By Dan Garrett
KSNT – October 22, 2018

An early morning fire on Sunday caused the Beattie Locker Plant to burn to the ground.

People in town have been going to the butcher shop for the past 18 years.

The fire started around 1 a.m. on Sunday and the cause of the fire is still unknown.

Crews worked to put out the fire the best they could but the building in no longer standing.

Tom Cook watched the building burn to the ground.

“It was like a nightmare, is what it was. I didn’t think it was real, it still hasn’t sank in yet,” said Cook.


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Armen E. Ideker

Armen E. Ideker, age 76, passed away on October 18, 2018 at the Cox Medical Center in Branson, Missouri. He was born on May 17, 1942 in Great Bend, Kansas the son of Ervin and Stella (Reid) Ideker.

He was the first employee hired at LaCrosse Furniture and helped build it from the ground up. He worked at the furniture manufacturing plant for 30 years and retired as the Vice President and General Manager. He was a volunteer fireman for 21 years and the fire chief for 19 year for the LaCrosse-Brookdale fire department. Armen coached his son’s and daughter’s summer league baseball and softball teams and he was an active Boy Scout leader for many years. He loved the Outdoors where he hunted, fished, and camped. He was a great handyman and could fix just about anything. After retiring and moving to Branson West, Missouri he worked for another 10 years at the Whitewater water park in Branson as the head of grounds and maintenance.

He married Nyla J. (Rothe) on June 8th, 1963, in Ness City, Kansas. They made their home in Torrance, California, LaCrosse, and Branson West, Missouri.

Survivors include his wife, Nyla J. Ideker; son, Aaron Ideker and his Wife Sarah; daughter, Michelle Murdock-Martin and her husband Brian; brother, Welton Ideker and his wife Linda; grandsons, Hunter and Dylan Ideker He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral service will be on Saturday, October 27, 2018, 10:30 A.M., at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Ness City. Burial in the Ness City Cemetery, Ness City. Visitation will be on Friday, October 26, 2018 from 4:00 – 8:00 P.M. at Fitzgerald Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be given to the LaCrosse-Brookdale Volunteer Fire Department.


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1 dead after I-70 rear-end semi crash

Hays Post – October 22, 2018

One person died in an accident just after 10:30p.m. Saturday in Shawnee County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 1993 Jeep Wrangler driven by Donald Ray Heckman, 73, Park City, Montana, was eastbound on Interstate 70 at Valencia Road.

The Jeep changed lanes in front of a 2015 Kenworth Semi and then reduced speed. The semi driven by Norman Vincent Leach, 43, Colorado Springs, Colorado, rear ended the Jeep.

Heckman was pronounced dead at the scene. Leach was not injured. Both drivers were properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.


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One killed in fiery crash west of Topeka

By Shawn Wheat
WIBW – October 22, 2018

One person is dead after a crash resulted in a vehicle catching fire Saturday night.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the crash happened after 10:30p.m., in the eastbound lanes at the Frontage Road exit.

Two vehicles collided, sending one down the embankment and catching fire.

One person was found dead inside the car after fire crews extinguished the blaze.

No one else was hurt in the crash.


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Topeka house fire’s cause unknown; damage is extensive

By Brianna Childers
Topeka Capital Journal – October 22, 2018

Photo by Brianna Childers

A house fire Saturday evening caused extensive damage.

Topeka fire crews responded about 6:15 p.m. to a house fire at 1224 S.W. Lane St., with a report of a trapped person.

When they arrived, firefighters didn’t find anyone trapped inside the house and began working to put the fire out, said fire Capt. Chad Baldwin.

No injuries were reported.

It wasn’t immediately known how the fire started, but Baldwin said the damage to the house was extensive.

The 1200 block of S.W. Lane was blocked while firefighters worked at the scene.


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1 hurt in apartment fire

KAKE – October 22, 2018

One person was taken to the hospital following an apartment fire in north Wichita.

It broke out just after 9:00 a.m. on Saturday in the 1100 block of North Topeka, near 11th and Broadway.

Battalion Chief John Turner says a 53-year-old woman was taken to the hospital in serious condition to be treated for smoke inhalation. She is expected to be okay.

The Red Cross is now working to take care care of residents in six units who have been displaced.

Investigators are now working to determine the cause.


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KCK crews search for male victim who drove vehicle into river

Kaitlyn Schwers
Kansas City Star – October 22, 2018


Authorities and rescue personnel spent part of Friday night searching for a male victim who drove a vehicle into the river at Kaw Point Park, police said.

The incident happened around 6:50 p.m. at the Kaw Point Park boat ramp in Kansas City, Kan., close to the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers.

Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office Capt. David Thaxton said a vehicle was seen going into the river. According to a tweet from Kansas City, Kan., Police Chief Terry Zeigler, a witness saw a male treading water.

“A male popped up, went down and they haven’t seen him since then,” Thaxton said.

Rescue boats were seen searching the river for at least an hour. By 8:15 p.m., crews hadn’t found anything but continued looking.

No further information was released.


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Tree trimmer killed in 60-foot fall after boom bucket broke

By Sam Hartle
KSHB – October 22, 2018

A tree trimmer died Friday after he fell nearly 60 feet from a boom truck.

KCKPD Chief Terry Zeigler wrote in a tweet the worker was pruning trees for a tree service company when the boom bucket broke and tilted sideways.

Emergency crews responded to the location at 82nd and Garfield just before 1 p.m.

KCK police said the worker was not wearing his safety harness when the bucket he was in snapped from the boom truck.

Paramedics rendered first aid at the scene before they took the victim, a man in his 40s, to a nearby hospital where he died.

A witness told officers the worker was handling a branch that was about to hit the house.

Police believe he may have used the truck’s boom to remove the tree limb causing the bucket he was in to snap away from the boom.

Although no foul play is suspected, police called crime scene technicians to help document the scene.

“We’ll assist OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration], do whatever we can, do whatever they ask,” Officer Zac Blair, a KCKPD spokesperson said. “They’ll take the lead on that. Come in, look at a lot of photos that we’ve taken and really determine what the cause of the accident was and see if there was anything that was wrong. It’ll be up to OSHA.”

The tree trimmer worked for Alumbaugh Tree and Paving out of Buckner, Missouri.


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David B. Jones

David B. Jones, age 90, died Wed., October 17, 2018 at Park Villa Nursing Home, Clyde. He was born in Portsmouth, NH on July 18, 1928 to Harold & Dorothy (Becker) Jones.

David married Genevieve A. Hockman on Feb. 6, 1954 in Clyde, KS. David joined the U.S. Air Force on Aug. 22, 1946 and served his country for 29 years, being stationed at various bases in California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas & New Hampshire. After his retirement from the Air Force on Jan. 31, 1975, David worked as an airplane mechanic at the Blosser Airport in Concordia, was a rural mail carrier and volunteer Fire Chief for Clyde. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and the VFW #7515, both in Clyde.

David is survived by his wife, Genevieve, Clyde; sisters in law, JoAnne Balthazor, Clyde & Gloria Naillieux, Valparaiso, IN and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces & great nephews and a community of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Warren & Niel Jones & a brother in law, Arthur Hockman.

Funeral Mass will beat 10:00 am, Mon., Oct. 22, 2018 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Clyde with Fr. Steven Heina officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Clyde with Military honors conducted by the U.S. Air Force, McConnell AFB, Wichita, KS. Visitation will be Sun., Oct. 21, 2018 at Chaput Mortuary from 1-6 pm with a Rosary at 5 pm. The family suggests memorials to Meadowlark Hospice or Park Villa Nursing Home in care of the funeral home.


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Bourbon County Commission Looks for New Ambulance Service

By Zachary Dodge
October 19, 2018



Officials in Bourbon County, Kansas are searching for a replacement to their current ambulance service.

Mercy hospital in Fort Scott is set to close by the end of the year, and with it the emergency room and ambulance service for the county.

On March 30th of next year, Mercy’s contract with the county for ambulance services will expire.

Jeffrey Fischer, Bourbon County Commissioner:”To say that we know how we’re gonna go through this at this point in time is probably a stretch, but we’re gathering information and looking at where the pieces are gonna fall and how to pick them up and move them forward.”

Now, county officials are working with the city of Fort Scott, as well as other towns in the county, to find a solution..

Lynn Oharah, Bourbon County Commissioner:”We are on a fact finding tour. We’re looking at all the information that we can get.”

Part of that is finding who would run an emergency room, and what would happen if opening a new ER in the county isn’t possible.

Oharah:”Plan B is going to be more or less, how do we transport, versus how do we go to an in county facility to handle some of the issues.”

Christi Keating, Chief Nursing Officer at Mercy Fort Scott, met with county officials to discuss how Mercy can help fill the void.

Christi Keating, :”Evaluating the number of transports and runs that are performed in Bourbon County, where those calls are located, what their make ups are, and then operationally answer any questions they have about costs to help the county make a great decision as they transition the care to a new company.”

Keating is also talking in support of the Fort Scott Fire Department taking over those ambulance services, because of their past partnership. The fire department has provided a crew for one of Mercy’s ambulances since 2009.

Keating:”Those dollars from our county, why would we not look to try to keep those dollars local, and partner with the city of Fort Scott Fire Department?”

County officials say they want to keep the fire department in the loop, and that they are an option, but they are still looking at what would work the best for the county as a whole.

Oharah:”This is not just a city county issue, this is every community organization, every town, every municipality, should have a say in this process.”

County Commissioners were not able to provide a timeline on when they might make a decision on a new hospital, ER, or ambulance service.


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Fire Department opens doors to fort community

By Katie Peterson
Ft. Leavenworth Lamp – October 19, 2018

Families look at fire trucks parked outside Fire Station No. 2 during the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department open house Oct. 10. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Fire Lt. Dan Doyle tells 3-year-old Stuart Gallagher, joined by his mother Caitlin Gallagher and 7-month-old sister Sally Jo Gallagher, about equipment used in water rescue during the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department open house Oct. 10 at Fire Station No. 2. Doyle also showed Stuart equipment on the brush truck and explained how it is used to fight fires. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Fire Capt. Jimmy Herken and Firefighter Rennell Pitts serve hamburgers and hotdogs at the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department open house Oct. 10 at Fire Station No. 2. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Three-year-old Kennedy Turner tosses a bean bag through a fiery door while playing a game to put out a pretend house fire during the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department open house Oct. 10 at Fire Station No. 2. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, Fort Leavenworth Fire and Emergency Services hosted its annual open house for children and families Oct. 10 at Fire Station No. 2.

Since 1925, Fire Prevention Week has been observed the week of Oct. 9, Sunday through Saturday, coinciding with the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which burned Oct. 8-10, 1871.

“(The Great Chicago Fire) actually started the push for fire codes and life safety codes,” said Fire Prevention Chief Dean Turner. “As every year goes by, codes are updated and fires are getting to be farther and fewer between now because of the strict codes and materials being made up.”

The open house included food provided by the Commissary, drinks provided by Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities, a raffle, door prizes, videos, a fire safety trailer and an opportunity to see the fire trucks, a rescue boat, uniforms, equipment and tools used by the firefighters in all types of emergency response scenarios.

New open house features included a bean bag toss where children could throw bean bags at fake fire to “put it out” and cardboard cutouts of firefighters and a fire truck, with which children could pose for pictures.

“It is a good event for people to just come down here and see the fire trucks and the firefighters,” Turner said. “It is a big thing to be able to show people what we have and what our capabilities are, so that they understand if they have any issues, we’re here and we can help them with whatever emergencies they have. It lets them have a good, confident feeling that we’re here to respond and take care of their needs.”

Also included was a stove display with representation of the three-foot “no kid zone.”

“Unattended cooking is the No. 1 cause of home fires,” Turner said.

Batteries in smoke detectors should be replaced every six months, he said.

The 2018 theme for Fire Prevention Week is “Look. Listen. Learn.”

“Fire can start anywhere. You always want to look around your house, look around where you work at and look for areas that fire can start and identify those hazards,” Turner said.

“Listen for the sound for the smoke detector and learn as much as you can about fire safety. The fire department is here to help people learn and keep emphasizing fire safety to everybody.”

Throughout the week, the fire department also hosted children in kindergarten through second grade from the post elementary schools and the Osage Child Development Center, as well as visited the pre-kindergarten students. During those visits, children crawled through smoke tunnels; practiced stop, drop and roll; watched firefighters don their gear; and watched a fire safety video featuring characters Timon and Pumbaa.

“You’ve got to start teaching the kids young,” Turner said. “(Give them fire safety information) every year so they develop their minds for fire safety.”

Amanda Gilbert, who brought her four children to the open house, said the event was fun.

“It makes it fun while giving pertinent information,” Gilbert said. “We were just talking about what to do in case of emergency and you start young so that it just becomes natural.”

Ashley Hilty, who attended with her three boys, said she likes how the event allows children to meet firefighters.

“It gives them a good perspective of fire vehicles and what the things do,” Hilty said. “It opens their eyes to what the future possibly holds and how we have lots of community helpers. The community helper aspect is great for them to learn.”

Deana Hidalgo, who attended with her two sons for the second time, said it is important to prepare them in case of an emergency.

“They are aware of the dangers and then they don’t panic if it happens in the house,” she said. “If it does actually happen, they’re familiar with the procedures and what they need to do and they’re not so fearful of the firefighters. If they’re familiar with it, then they’ll be prepared.”

Turner said learning about fire prevention isn’t limited to the week.

“Families can come here anytime if they have questions,” Turner said. “This is a yearlong continuous process of teaching fire safety.”


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Ringing in a new fire truck

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – October 19, 2018

Photo by Michael Stavola

Children drove their feet to push back a 22-ton aerial platform fire truck into its new home at Fire Station No. 3, 100 East Ave E.

They had a little help from firefighter Dalton Black who gently pushed the accelerator.

As the truck came to a slow stop, the bell on the front of the fire truck was rung and a dispatcher announced over the radio that the fire truck was in service.

The 2018 Pierce aerial platform fire truck replaced a 1998 Pierce ladder truck.

Hutchinson Fire Department chief Steve Beer told the roughly 75 people in attendance on Thursday that they were taking part in a firefighter tradition, called a wet down, that dates back to the early late 1800s.

The roughly $1.2 million fire truck made its way down the street while others fire trucks parked on the side of the road hosed it down, a christening of the new truck.

Black backed up the truck right outside of the bay, then firefighters told children to go push. The push-in represents how hand-drawn fire carts had to be parked.

After landing in the center bay at the fire station, children were given towels to wipe down the fire truck. Cookies and drinks were served and children were given plastic, red firefighter hats.

The fire truck has a 100 foot ladder and pumps 2,000 gallons per minute. Beer said the fire truck was bought on a 10 year lease. It’s the first fire apparatus he knew of that had been leased.

He said it’s common practice for department’s to lease vehicles and saves money.

“By going through a (cooperative) that … saves us $32,000 on the vehicle,” Beer said, adding there is more savings over the life of the lease.

The ladder truck being replaced will be sold. Beer estimated it to be valued at $30,000 to $40,000.


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Salina man dies in house fire

By Jason Beets
Salina Journal – October 18, 2018

A Salina man died from injuries he received from a house fire that took place early Wednesday early morning, according to Salina police Capt. Paul Forrester.

A police offer noticed heavy smoke about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, and people called 911 to report a fire at 832 N. Seventh St.

Firefighters found Ronald Holub, 78, of Salina, unresponsive in his residence, Forrester said. Holub was transferred to Salina Regional Health Center, where he died from his injuries, Forrester said.

The Salina Fire Department determined the fire was set accidentally, according to Forrester. The house was a total loss. Fire Marshall Troy Long was unavailable Thursday to provide additional information.


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Parolee dies in auto accident near Atchison

Atchison Globe – October 18, 2018

A man who had absconded from parole after being convicted in a 2017 aggravated battery died overnight Wednesday in a head-on vehicle collision on U.S. Highway 73 just south of Atchison, Kansas.

Atchison County Sheriff Jack Laurie said Nickolas G. Cosgrove, 38, crossed the center line while heading north in an as-yet unspecified vehicle on the highway in the area of 258th Road. Cosgrove, facing north in the southbound lane, crashed into a white SUV driven by Rebecca Cothern, 62, of Leavenworth, Kansas, as she headed south.

First responders pronounced Cosgrove dead at the scene, Laurie said, and transported Cothern to Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph for treatment of a possible broken leg and a shoulder injury.

According to the state Department of Corrections, Cosgrove, who had been living in Atchison at the time of his offense, has been considered an absconded parolee since Sept. 25.

Cosgrove served about eight months of a 19-month sentence in various state prisons for a Jan. 10, 2017, incident. According to archival information, Cosgrove choked his estranged wife to the point of unconsciousness. He pleaded no contest to the charge of aggravated battery before his May 1, 2017, sentencing. He went free on parole in late January.


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