Archive for December, 2018

FRA Seminar – 2019

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Lowell James Friesen

Lowell James Friesen, 77, of McPherson, Kansas, passed away at 10:00 p.m., Friday, December 28th, 2018 at Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, Kansas.

Lowell was born in McPherson, Kansas on April 28, 1941, a son of Josephine (Ensz) and Peter W. Friesen.

Lowell attended and graduated from Plainview Country School, rural Inman, Kansas and received his GED later in life.

He was a member of the Galva United Methodist Church, Galva, Kansas.

Lowell was a farmer and through the years also worked for Moridge Mfg., Moundridge, Kansas, Empire Township as a road maintainer, Galva, Kansas and retired from Bradbury Company as an assembler, Moundridge, Kansas.

Lowell was a board member of the McPherson County Rural Water District #4 and was a former volunteer firefighter for the Galva Fire Department.

Lowell enjoyed farming, puttering and tinkering outside in his shed and watching his grandchildren and their sporting events. Lowell knew no strangers and loved visiting and spending time with his friends and family.

Lowell was united in marriage to Yvonne Eilene (Ratzlaff) Grant on November 14, 1970 at Galva United Methodist Church, Galva, Kansas. The couple established their first home together in Galva, Kansas. This union was blessed with Yvonne’s three children, Jacki, Amy and Lance, and the birth of a son Kraig.

He is survived by his wife Yvonne Friesen, of McPherson, Kansas; his children, Jacki Clinton and her husband Tony, of Canton, Kansas, Amy Campbell and her husband Steve, of McPherson, Kansas, Lance Grant and his wife Kathy, of Canton, Kansas, Kraig Friesen and his wife Traci, of Galva, Kansas; his siblings, Weston Friesen and his wife Linda, of Ogallala, Nebraska, JoAnne Friesen, of Inman, Kansas, Marge Goering and her husband Dave, of Moundridge, Kansas, Kenneth Friesen and his wife Rita, of Moscow, Kansas, Royal Dean Friesen and his wife Dawn, of Hardin, Montana and Lynel Friesen and his wife Linda, of Inman, Kansas and his 11 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Lowell was preceded in death by his parents and a great-granddaughter Shaylynn Widener.

The visitation will be held on Thursday, January 3, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Galva United Methodist Church, Galva, Kansas.

Funeral service will be held on Friday, January 4, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the Galva United Methodist Church, Galva, Kansas with Reverend Mike Miller officiating.

Burial will be at the Empire Cemetery, Galva, Kansas.

Memorial contributions may be made to Galva United Methodist Church or the Galva Senior Center and they can be sent to Glidden-Ediger Funeral Home, 222 W. Euclid St., McPherson, Kansas. 67460.


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Johnnie K. Thornton

Johnnie K. Thornton, 90, of Chase, passed away December 27, 2018 at Good Samaritan Society, Lyons. He was born January 27, 1928 in Marland, Oklahoma, the son of Otto and Florence Burgill Thornton.

He attended Chase High School. Johnnie has resided in Chase since 1949, formerly of Burrton, KS.

At the young age of 17, he was a tank truck driver for Sinclair. In 1985, Johnnie retired as a field pumper for Atlantic Richfield ARCO.

He was a member of the Shriners, Royal Lodge #192 A.F. & A.M., Lyons, KS, and a volunteer firefighter.

Johnnie was an avid gardener, loved canning, and enjoyed hunting and fishing.

On April 16, 1948, Johnnie was united in marriage with Betty A. Clites in Ellsworth, Kansas. She preceded him in death on October 27, 1989. On October 13, 2000, Johnnie was united in marriage with Florence E. Eachus Mellott in Ellsworth, KS. She survives of the home.

He is also survived by his two sons, Darren K. Thornton and wife Charla of Paola, KS, and Steven D. Thornton and wife Sandy of Russell, KS; daughter, Sheryl E. Bass and husband Jimmy of Chase; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Rosemary Hatcher and Wanda Poole; and son, Johnnie C. Thornton.

Funeral service will be 10:30 A.M., Thursday, January 3, 2019 at Birzer Funeral Home, Lyons with Johnnie Hardie officiating. Burial will be at Lyons Municipal Cemetery with masonic rites. Visitation will be from 2:00 to 7:00 P.M., Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at Birzer Funeral Home, Lyon with family present from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. Memorials can be made to Senior Center, Chase; Chase High School; or Shriners Hospitals for Children in care of Birzer Funeral Home, Lyons.


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Ernie Anselmi

Ernie Anselmi, 90, formerly from Leawood, Kansas, passed away December 13, 2018.

Born and raised in Pittsburg, Kansas, he was the son of Ann and Ernest Anselmi. After attending Central HS in Kansas City, Missouri, he enrolled at Baker University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1952. During his collegiate career, he was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and also a three sport lettermen in football, baseball and track. His true passion was football as he was a four-year starter; playing both offense and defense while earning All-Conference honors. His outstanding play caught the attention of professional recruiters and he was invited to the Los Angeles Rams football camp. In 2004, Ernie was proudly inducted into the Baker Hall of Fame for his football accomplishments.

Besides his-stellar collegiate achievements, Ernie would boast his most significant accomplishment at Baker University was finding his love of his life, Frances Virginia (Ginger) Newman and they were wed in 1954. Shortly after their wedding, Ernie and Ginger lived in Kansas City, MO and then Prairie Village, KS. In 1963, they established their roots in Leawood, Kansas for more than 30 years to raise their three boys.

Ernie began his career at IBM working in Sales. During his 18-year career, Ernie became one of IBM’s top ten salesmen in the nation winning many sales awards and a member of IBM’s 100% Club fifteen years in a row. Subsequently, Ernie worked at Inland Office as a Regional Sales Manager and he later joined ROM Corporation as a Product Manager with his good friend, Jim Pace. At ROM, Ernie was responsible for revolutionizing the fire truck industry with the Robinson Shutter, a concept he adopted from some European counterparts.

Ernie was also very active in serving his local community. In 1964, Ernie joined the Leawood KS Fire department as a volunteer fireman. During his 25 year career, he served as a Rescue Captain (309) and under his guidance his squad was selected as the National Small Department Rescue Squad of the Year. In addition to his fire service, Ernie also served two terms on the Leawood City Council and was a coach/volunteer for his three sons various sports teams. After a long and successful career, Ernie retired and enjoyed traveling but he “lived” to spend quality time with his extended family. He particularly loved family gatherings and to watch his beloved local sports teams through the good, bad and ugly.

Ernie is survived by his three sons; Kent (Julie Beth) of Olathe, KS, Kurt (Tracy) of Cypress, TX and Kyle (Karen) of Merriam, KS. He was blessed with five grandchildren; Jennifer, Kelsey (Dallas, TX), Stephen (Liberty, MO), Tyler and Brandon (Cypress, TX). He was preceded in death by his wife Ginger (1989) and granddaughter Jennifer Arnett (2012).

A Memorial Visitation will be held from 10:00–11:00 a.m. Followed by a Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 21, at Mt. Moriah, Newcomer & Freeman Funeral Home, 10507 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO. In lieu of flowers, Ernie and the family respectfully request donations be made to the Baker Athletic Department, Baker University, c/o Alumni Relations, Post Office Box 65, Baldwin City, Kansas 66006;


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Herbert A. Hoff

Herbert A. Hoff, died December 24, 2018, at Clara Barton Hospital. He was born January 16, 1937, in Hays, Kansas, the son of Herbert W. and Rose Marie (Leiker) Hoff. Herbert graduated from Claflin High School in 1956.

A resident of Claflin since 1953, he was a bulk tank agent for Standard Oil for over 40 years. He was also a bus driver for USD 112 for 15 years.

Herbert was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. He was active in his community, serving on the city council, as a volunteer fire fighter, and an auxiliary deputy. He was an avid sportsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing.

On August 17, 1967, he married Rhoda Marie Selness in Claflin, Kansas. After two short years of marriage she died on August 3, 1969. He then married Mary Richardson, with which he adopted a daughter Kim. He and Mary later divorced. Then on June 28, 1975, he married Jane C. Weber in Coldwater, Kansas. They were married for 42 years when she died on November 12, 2017.

Survivors include: daughter, Kim Traum and husband Harry of Arvada, Colorado; brother, Steve Hoff and wife Carol of Laramie, Wyoming; sisters, Annette Bourne and husband Gene of Ellsworth, and Dolores Hoff of Iola; four grandchildren, Joshlyn, Alexis, Mattea, and Danielle Traum.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wives, Rhoda and Jane, and an infant daughter, Alexandra Marie Hoff.

Friends may call 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, with family to greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m.Vigil and Rosary will begin at 7 p.m. all at Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home.Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Friday, December 28, 2018, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, celebrated by Father Terrance Klein. Burial will follow in Claflin Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Claflin Community Scholarship or Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in care of Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home, PO Box 146, Hoisington, KS 67544.


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John and Lorraine Richter

Lorraine Joe Richter, 86, and John D. Richter, 70, of Circleville, KS passed away at the Midland Hospice House in Topeka. Lorraine passed on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, and John on December 6, 2018.

She was born February 14, 1932 on the Potawatomi Reservation in Jackson County, the daughter of David Marion and Beulah (Cowger) Wykert.

She graduated from Soldier High School in 1950 and was a lifelong member of the Circleville Community. Lorraine was a waitress and homemaker. She was also a CNA at the Holton Hospital, working for Dr. Roy, and the Merry Manor Nursing Home.

She was a member of the Circleville Christian Church. Lorraine was a devoted mother and grandmother, and enjoyed yard work, gardening, soap operas and the Royals.

She married Willis Shupe in 1950. They later divorced. They shared five children together, Danney, Patty, LeRoy, Alan and Avis.
Lorraine and John were married on November 16, 1975 in Bunker Hill, IN.

Lorraine was preceded in death by her parents, a son, Alan Shupe, a daughter, Avis M. Rodney, and two sons-in-law, Greg Logan and Al Rodney.

John was born April 14, 1948 in Topeka, the son of Joe and Ada Mae Myers Richter. He attended Perry High School for three years before graduating from Holton High School in 1966.

He was a farmer and a stockman. He was a member of the Circleville Christian Church, a volunteer fireman with the Holton Fire Department, Jackson County Storm Spotters, and Circleville Masonic Lodge No. 20, AF&AM. He loved hunting, old vehicles, and visiting with friends and neighbors.

His parents preceded him in death.

Survivors of John and Lorraine include children, Danney Shupe (DeeAnn) Topeka, Patty Logan, Holton, and LeRoy Shupe (Marla), Circleville; sisters, Linda G. Smalley (Robert), Spring City, TN, Marie Starkson (Dan), Holton, and Joyce Richter, Beatrice, NE; brothers, Henry Richter (Carol), Holton, and Wayne E. Richter, Topeka; Lorraine’s aunt, Irene Cowger, Holton, nine grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Funeral Services for John and Lorraine will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 10, 2018 at the Circleville Christian Church. Burial will follow in the Olive Hill Cemetery. Family and friends will meet from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Sunday at the church. Memorials are suggested to Midland Hospice House, Heart of Jackson Humane Society, Holton Fire Department, or the Circleville Christian Church and may be sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436.


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Dean E. Swisher

Dean E. Swisher, 88, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. He was born Nov. 7, 1930, in Gypsum, to Wilbur and Tressa Swisher. He married Nancy E. Miller, May 30, 1954 in Solomon.

Dean was born and raised in Gypsum. He attended Gypsum Grade School and after graduating High School in McPherson, he attended Fort Hays State University. Over the years Dean worked on construction of the Kansas turnpike in Wichita and El Dorado, was owner and operator of Dean’s 66 Service station in Gypsum, worked for Dickinson and Saline Counties as a supervisor, and was owner and operator of Dean’s Decorating, a painting and wall papering business. He served the town of Gypsum as Mayor, member of the town council, and member of the volunteer fire department.

Left to mourn his passing are: his children, Brenda Peterson (John), Brian Swisher, and Rose Ann Taylor, all of Salina; grandchildren, Christy Smith (Larry), Clint Ade (Jill), Clay Ade (Brandi), Cara Griggs (Heath), and Tiffany Clark (Ben); nine great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

He was preceded in death by: his beloved wife of 64 years, Nancy; parents, Wilbur and Tressa Swisher; son, Brad Swisher; siblings, Gerald Swisher, Velma Highsmith, Glenda Simmons, and Dale Swisher; and grandchildren, Holly Ann Ade, and Johnathan Taylor.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, with visitation prior to the service at 11, all at the First Baptist Church, 807 Spring Street, Gypsum. Burial will follow at Gypsum Valley Cemetery #2.

Memorials may be made to the Church, in care of Ryan Mortuary, 137 North Eighth Street, Salina, KS 67401.


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James “J.T.” Theis

James L. “J.T.” Theis 83, died Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at Via Christ, St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas. He was born April 3, 1935 in Ft. Scott, Kansas and was adopted by Nick and Marcella (Gresl) Theis. On September 20, 1958 he married Phyllis L. Rau in Colwich, Kansas and she survives.

J.T. was a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Newton and retired from the Newton Fire/EMS in 1985 after 28 years of service. Three weeks ago J.T. retired from Dillons where he worked nearly 25 years during and following his retirement from the fire department. He also worked the family wheat and milo farm near Halstead until all but the family homestead was sold in 2000.

He proudly served his country and was a U.S. Army Veteran.

J.T. enjoyed spending time on the golf course and watching a good baseball game. He was also an avid K.U. Basketball fan. He would record many of the games to re watch and discuss with his grandsons and son in law. During his kids growing up years he coached baseball and basketball teams

Spending time with his family was a joy for J.T. and he greatly looked forward to family gatherings. He worked hard though out his life to provide for his family and was a wonderful, caring and giving father and husband. J.T. was a social butterfly and always had a smile and joke or story to tell.

He is survived by his wife Phyllis of the home; daughter and son in law Becky and Brian Baird of Newton; daughter Brenda and son in law Frank Graham of Derby; daughter in law Michelle Theis of Halstead and one son Kenneth Theis of Texas; sister Jean Struble of Ponca City, OK. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

J.T. is preceded in death by his parents and two sons Pat and Greg Theis

Funeral Mass will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Newton with The Reverend Devin Burns celebrant. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will precede the Mass at 9:30 a.m., at the church. Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Petersen Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home. A private graveside committal will be in the St. Mary Catholic Cemetery in Newton.

Memorials are suggested to Newton Fire/EMS or Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in care of Petersen Funeral Home.


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Job Opening – Firefighter/EMT – Fairmount Township Fire Department


The Fairmount Township Fire Department in Basehor, Kansas is currently seeking highly motivated men and women who are passionate about serving the public and delivering the highest level of professional service to a growing community as a firefighter. This entry level position is operational positions assigned to serve the community in emergency response and mitigation efforts to save lives and protect property. The positions work under supervision to perform a variety of critical fire department functions including: firefighting, rescue, emergency medical response and patient care, fire safety inspections, preplans, public education, efficient operation of equipment, and maintenance of facilities.

Candidates must be 18 years of age at time of application, have a Kansas Driver’s License, High School Diploma or GED, and IFSAC certified minimum Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Hazardous Materials Awareness, and Hazardous Materials Operations. Emergency Medical Technician Certification in the State of Kansas or National Registry, and NIMS 700, ICS 100 & 200 at time of application to be considered for appointment. Internal applicants may apply without the Firefighter 2 or EMT certification. Applicants will be required to sign a letter of agreement to obtain the Firefighter 2 or EMT certification within 18 months of their hire date or face termination. Prior to applying the candidate must have successfully passed two tests: The Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) within the prior year (copy required with application) and the Written Fire Service Entrance Exam (FSEE) with a score of 70 percent or better within the prior two years. (copy required with application)
Ideal candidates should have basic knowledge of the principles, practices, methods and equipment employed in modern firefighting; fire hazards and fire prevention techniques; and the application of fire records to fire prevention, fire protection, and Fire/EMS report writing. Candidates should be able to perform all functions associated with fire suppression, EMS, rescue, fire prevention, and station/equipment maintenance activities as assigned by the department. Candidates should also have the ability to communicate effectively and portray a positive image of the organization to the general public and be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all members of the organization and outside agencies.
Desirable qualifications include: certifications for Driver Operator, Fire Inspector, and a related associate’s degree, supplemented by formal training in firefighting techniques; or any equivalent combination of education, experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.
The starting salary for the Full-Time Firefighter position is $37,704.09 plus benefits. This position will work a 24-hour Berkeley shift schedule: 24 hours on (8 a.m. to 8 a.m.), 24 hours off, 24 hours on (8 a.m. to 8 a.m.), 24 hours off, 24 hours on (8 a.m. to 8 a.m.), four days off. Then the schedule repeats.
Candidates interested in this employment opportunity, should submit an Application, Resume, including copies of required certifications and a brief overview of relevant work experience and education to: Fire Administrator Mike Lingenfelser at Fairmount Township Fire Department, PO Box 136, Basehor, Kansas. For a detailed position description and to download an application, please visit the Departments website at Positions are open until filled. Application deadline is February 1, 2019 .



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Engine for sale

1992 Ottawa Beck, 1500 gpm Darley, top mount, deck gun, hydraulic ladder rack, 3- 6” intakes, 3- 2.5” intakes, 5” rear discharge, 4- 2.5” discharges 3- 1.5” pre connects nice truck, reasonably clean with all maintenance records and current pump test. $15000. Call Chief James Savage, 785-418-3999


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Kansas Fire News – December 14, 2018


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Kansas Fire News – December 13, 2018


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Paradigm Pipeline Safety Training

Paradigm, based out in Wichita, KS, hosts pipeline safety training programs for local first responders to work with local pipeline operators. Our Kansas programs are starting in January, and we wanted to see about getting information and our meeting schedule out to your association members.

Here is a link to our Kansas meetings schedule:


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Kansas Fire News – December 12, 2018


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Kansas Opioid Summit Training


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Donald E. Marquardt

Donald E. Marquardt, 83, of Marysville, Kan., died November 27, 2018 at the Nemaha Valley Community Hospital in Seneca, Kan.

Visitation will be Friday, November 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kinsley Mortuary in Marysville.

A rosary service will be held at 7:00 p.m., Friday, at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church in Marysville.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 1 at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church. Father Nathan Haverland and Father Jim Shaughnessy will officiate.

The pallbearers will be Robert Marquardt, Dan Feldhausen, Mike Seematter, Jeff Bartolotta, Tim Bartolotta and Steve Schmidt.

The honorary pallbearers will be Mike Dettke, Dennis Iles, Hank Borgerding, Tom Lehechka, Ron Feldhausen, Jerry Manley, John Mulryan, Rick Wilson, Lynn Runnebaum and Galen Cope.

Burial will be in St. Gregory’s Catholic Cemetery.

Don was born July 30, 1935, at Marysville, Kan., to Henry Adolph and Mabel Rose (Cooper) Marquardt. In 1953, he graduated from Marysville High School.

On June 18, 1958, he married Mary Lou Funke at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church.

Don was a member of St. Gregory’s Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Marysville Volunteer Fire Department and Disabled American Veterans. He was a Cub Scout Cubmaster and baseball coach for his kids’ teams. Don served in the Army National Guard and Army active duty during Vietnam Era.

He worked for Burger Fertilizer Plant in Marysville, Finlayson Gravel Pit near Hanover and Dixon Tire. He retired from Kansas Power & Light after working 31 years as a welder. He farmed his family farm for many years.

He enjoyed the time spent with his children and grandchildren.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Helen Scott, Evelyn Schmidt, Kathleen Leikam and Maxine Farrell; and brother, Gary Marquardt.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Lou; 5 children, Tony Marquardt, Chuck Marquardt, and Raymond (Mara) Marquardt, all of Marysville, Margaret Smith and Patricia (Maurice) Walker, both of Wichita; sisters, Marilyn Anderson, Kansas City, MO, and Joan Rosette, Wheatridge, CO; brother, Roger Marquardt, Kansas City, KS; 12 grandchildren, Henry (Chelsea) and Wil (Kim) Marquardt; Natalie, Andee, Kallyn and Ian Marquardt, Ciara, Curtis, Caleb (Bailey), and Isaiah Smith; Zyanna and Zarianna Walker; and 2 great-grandchildren, Noah and Piper Marquardt.

A memorial fund has been established to St. Gregory’s Catholic School. Contributions may be sent in care of Kinsley Mortuary.


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Kansas Fire News – December 11, 2018


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Job Opening – Firefighter/EMT – Northwest Consolidated Fire District

Job Title: Firefighter/EMT

Annual Starting Earnings (Base; Excluding Overtime & Benefit Package):
$35,122 (Recruit)
$36,175 (Post-Probation in 1st Year)

Closing Date: January 10, 2019

NWCFD is establishing a hiring eligibility list for new Firefighter/EMT positions in 2019. Firefighters perform duties related to fire prevention, suppression, emergency rescue, basic life support, and first aid under emergency conditions frequently involving considerable danger. Employees in this classification work under direct supervision of a Battalion Chief or Lieutenant and must adhere to rules and regulations for the safety of all persons. Training provides firefighters with general guidance to perform this position, and ongoing knowledge development/maintenance is required.

NWCFD offers a competitive benefit package including a health, dental, and vision insurance plan, Kansas Police and Fire (KP&F) defined-benefit Retirement System, eligibility to voluntarily participate in the supplemental State of Kansas KPERS 457 deferred compensation plan, paid vacation leave, paid sick leave, paid personal leave, paid holidays (x2.0 of regular wages on holidays worked; 12 hours on holidays not worked), and paid bereavement leave. Firefighters work a modified Berkeley shift schedule of alternating days of 24 hours on-duty and 24 hours off-duty for a total of three shift days over a five-day period. Firefighters are compensated with an overtime rate in accordance of the FLSA Section 7(k) exemption.


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

NWCFD Employment Application and copies of Firefighter I & II, Kansas (Transitioned) OR National Registry EMT certifications, CPAT, and FSEE results must be included to be considered as a qualified candidate. Please submit all documents along with a NWCFD Employment Application (available at the address below or online at via mail or in-person at:

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

Questions can be directed to Battalion Chief Brandon Shipman at (913) 585-0075 ext. 8011 (M-F 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.).


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James Edward “Jim” LeBlanc

James Edward “Jim” LeBlanc, 82 of Waldo, Kansas, passed away Saturday, December 8, 2018 at the Minneapolis Health Care & Rehab in Minneapolis, Kansas.

Jim was born on August 1, 1936 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He was one of four children born to Ralph and Helen Marie (Vachon) LeBlanc. He grew up in Shrewsbury and graduated from Shrewsbury High School in the Class of 55. While in High School, Jim was in the Navy Reserves.

Jim was united in marriage to Marian Clow on December 3, 1962 in Denver, Colorado. This union was blessed with three children; James, Kathryn and Samuel. They made their home at Air Force Bases until Jim’s retirement.

Jim served his Country in the United States Air Force, working as an Air Traffic Controller. During his career he was stationed in Biloxi, MS; Korea; Japan; Tucson, AZ; Germany; Thailand; Denver, CO; and Enid, Ok. He retired as a Master Sergeant in 1977 and moved to Waldo. He ran the Waldo Street & Water Department from 1979 to retiring in 1995. He also delivered the Salina Journal in the Waldo area for many years. He was a long time member of the Waldo Fire Department. Life member of the Russell V.F.W. Post #6240, and member of the Luray American Legion Post #121. In his spare time he enjoyed reading, especially military adventure novels.

Surviving family include his wife of 56 years, Marian of the home; sons, James “Jay” LeBlanc (KiKi) of Littleton, Colorado and Samuel “Sam” LeBlanc (Jenn) of Walnut, California; daughter, Kathryn LeBlanc of Salina, Kansas; brother, Ralph “Bud” LeBlanc (Elaine) of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts; sister, Mary Ellen of Baltimore, Maryland; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents and a brother.

Jim’s family will be conducting a private family service and burial of ashes at a later date. No visitation being held. The family has established a Memorial with the Waldo Fire Department. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.


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Kansas Fire News – December 10, 2018


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Elora Marie Bickford

Elora Marie Bickford, Burlingame, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, at her home. She was 72.

She was born Oct. 13, 1946, at Horton, the daughter of Willie H. and D. Alice Mellenbruch Smith. The family resided on a farm east of Fairview.

She was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church, northeast of Fairview. She attended school at Fairview, graduating in 1964. She then attended Topeka Vo Tech and became an LPN. She worked at Stormont-Vail Hospital for two years, St. Francis Hospital two years and Topeka Veterans Administration Hospital for 33 years.

She met Ron Bickford of Burlingame, while working at St. Francis Hospital. They were married June 13, 1967 at Immanuel Lutheran Church and lived all their married life at Burlingame. He survives of the home.

She was a member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Osage City. She was very involved with her community as a fireman and first responder EMT. She also gave much time to Burlingame 4-H Club and Osage County Fair Board. She gave many gallons of her blood.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a grandson, Daniel.

Besides her husband, she is survived by three daughters, Teresa McNellis and husband, James, Burlingame, Marisa LaCoe and husband, Erik, Beloit, and Alicsa Mayer and husband, Dana, Alta Vista; a stepdaughter, Rhonda Moon, Lyndon; eight grandchildren, Tayson, Kiera, Ryanne, Laramie, Ronnie, Kiree, Beatty and Waylan; three step-grandsons; 10 step great-grandchildren; and a brother, Oliver Smith, Hiawatha.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Osage City. Family visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Carey Funeral Home, Burlingame.

Memorial contributions may be made to Burlingame Volunteer Fire Department, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, or Midland Care Hospice, and sent in care of Carey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 196, Burlingame, KS 66413.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Kansas Fire News – December 7, 2018–502126751.html


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John Alex Earhart



John Alex Earhart passed into heaven Dec. 5, 2018, to meet with family and friends at the rainbow bridge. He was 89.

He was born in 1929 at Barnes Hospital, Osage City. He grew up in Osage City and was active in Boy Scouts and music department in high school. He graduated from Osage City High School in 1947 and traveled to Richland, Wash., to work at Hanford Atomic Energy Works. He returned to Kansas and worked at Osage Gas and Electric until being drafted into the Army in 1951. He served in Korea with 84th Construction Engineers building bridges across Imjin River, including Freedom Gate Bridge.

He married Shirley Ann Walden Aug. 8, 1953. She survives of the home. They had two children and two grandchildren.

In 1955, he joined Osage City Fire Department where he served for almost 40 years and chief for 21 years. His fire service included several years as secretary of the Kansas State Firefighter’s Association. Governor Mike Hayden appointed him State Fire Marshal and he served until 1991. He was the first volunteer fire chief to be appointed to that position. He continued to serve on the board of Osage County Fire District No. 2 until earlier this year.

He worked at Hallmark Cards, Osage City plant, for 23 years until his retirement in 1988. He also served on Osage City Council. During his tenure, he was instrumental in passing a measure for the pipeline from Melvern Reservoir to support the city water supply. He was also an active member of Osage City United Methodist Church. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and scuba diving. He was an avid gun collector before auctioning off his collection several years ago.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Orval and Mary Ruth Hotchkiss Earhart; a step-granddaughter, Nina Mierzejewski; and two dear friends, Chick Brewer and Donnie Williams.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Gordon Earhart and wife, Vicki and Darrin Earhart and wife, Valerie; a granddaughter, Chelsea Earhart; a grandson Collin Earhart and wife, Alycia; a step-grandson, Jon Mierzejewski; a sister Carol Carey and husband, John; a nephew, J.W. Carey and wife, Cheryl; a great-niece, Lindsay Carey; and a great-nephew, Jack Carey.

A Celebration of Life will be held 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at First United Methodist Church, Osage City. Inurnment will follow at Osage City Cemetery with military honors provided by U.S. Army. Visitation will be 9 a.m. until service time Monday at the church.

John requests that he be cremated and there be no flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to Osage County Fire District No. 2 or Osage City United Methodist Church and sent in care of Carey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 196, Burlingame, KS 66413.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Kansas Fire News – December 6, 2018




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Job Opening – Fire Plan Reviewer – City of Topeka Development Services Division

The City of Topeka Development Services Division is seeking candidates for a newly created civilian entry-level plan reviewer position that examines plans, specifications for fire suppression, fire detection, special hazards, high piled storage and hazardous materials installations for compliance to City ordinances and adopted codes/regulations. Specific duties include:

•Examines building plans for all non-structural issues to insure compliance with locally adopted ordinances and codes/regulations

•Conducts preliminary building investigations for proposed construction

•Prepares written reports concerning existing conditions and how current adopted ordinances and codes will affect the proposal

•Make written and or oral recommendations for compliance

•Consults with architects, engineers, contractors, developers and the public in regard to locally adopted ordinances and codes/regulations

•Discusses alternatives with all customers for being incomplete plans into code compliance. Work with the customer to resolve their concern (s) and or problem (s) relating to code issues

•Works and consults with trade and fire field inspectors regarding construction issues/problems

•Follows through on questions, assignments, and other associated plan review issues in a timely, courteous and professional manner
•Assist co-workers as needed

•Review technical drawings and plans for conformity with Adopted fire codes, Life Safety Codes, city ordinances and fire protection standards

•Enforce fire prevention codes and standards

Minimum qualifications: High school diploma or equivalent, related degree in architecture, engineering, construction science or closely related field preferred, experience as a Fire Inspector preferred. Must have the ability to read and interpret Fire and Life Safety codes and other locally adopted City ordinances. Must possess and maintain a valid KS driver’s license and city insurable driving record.

$23.67 – $26.56 per hour, DOQ.

Employment application and position description available at

The City of Topeka is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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Leland W. Reedy

Leland W. Reedy, 90, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, at his home in Neodesha surrounded by his loving family.

Leland was born Oct. 16, 1928, to Wayne and Iva (Bickham) Reedy.

He graduated from Neodesha High School in 1947.

He served in the Army as a sergeant from November 1950 to December 1956. While serving he was a cartographer in the Korean War.

Leland married the love of his life, Ladonna Lee Burlingame, on May 26, 1954, at the First Assembly of God Church in Parsons. They made their home in Neodesha. In 1959 they welcomed their daughter, Kimberly. He worked as a body and fender restorer for Otis Smith Auto Body.

Leland served for a short time as a police officer in 1954 and also a volunteer firefighter. He became a full-time firefighter in October 1954, then in May 1966 he became the assistant fire chief. On Sept. 1, 1969, he was promoted to fire chief. While fire chief he helped promote the 911 system, which was first used on Feb. 1, 1972, on the aerosol explosion. He became an EMT and ambulance director in 1980, serving until his retirement on April 14, 1989. He was also an original member of the Southeast Kansas Fire Chiefs Association.

Leland became a member of the Presbyterian Church in 1962.

He was a member of Harmony Lodge No. 94, A.F.&A.M., in Neodesha in 1961. Leland was initiated and passed in December 1961, raised in 1962, was named worshipful master in 1972, district deputy in 1978 and past master in 1981. He coached numerous members of the lodge.

His passions was target shooting, gun collecting, ammo reloading and being a member of the NRA. He received his concealed carry permit in 2008. His other hobbies were woodworking, drawing, word searches, gardening, yard work, fishing, hunting and camping.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Ladonna, of the home; his daughter, Kimberly Stone of Neodesha; two grandchildren, Wendy Stone and Dustin Stone, both of Neodesha; and two great-grandchildren, Brittanie Stone of Chanute and Donald Rhodes II of Erie.

He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings; and a great-great-grandson, Branden Lee Rhodes.

A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Neodesha Fire Department. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time at the fire department.


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Kansas Fire News – December 5, 2018



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Kansas Fire News – December 4, 2018


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Donald “Don” Emery William

Donald Emery William passed peacefully at the Sheridan County Health Complex on Friday, November 30, 2018 at the age of 90. Born on October 9, 1928 in rural Sheridan County as the fourth of five children to Lorenzo Lewis and Ada Rena (Selbe) William, he lived nearly his entire life in the community of Hoxie.

Before graduating high school Don worked numerous jobs, including Vic’s Grocery Store, where he learned the value of hard work and the importance of customer service.

Don married Helen Eileen Mowry on December 6, 1948, and they were blessed with four children.

An entrepreneur at heart and gifted with a personality that prevented him from ever meeting a stranger, Don joined his father as co-owner of William Tire Shop in 1948. In 1964, he purchased the remainder of the company and operated the business from the building he constructed at the SE corner of Royal and Main Streets until selling the business in 1982.

Along the way, Don owned and invested in numerous other small businesses including the bowling alley and Don’s Auto Sales. He also invested in feeding cattle for several years. While he was driven to provide a viable financial future for his family, a love of his community and desire to see Hoxie prosper also drove many of his investment decisions.

He was active on the city commission, with the Chamber of Commerce, the volunteer fire department and in the community’s economic development efforts. Perhaps a few of his most notable activities included being an original investor in the Hoxie Feeders, co-founder of the real estate company that developed the Wheatridge subdivision and being a founding principal of the Door Factory. Don served on the Board of Directors for First National Bank of Hoxie for approximately twenty years. He recognized the importance of a vibrant business environment and impact it had on the entire community’s small business owners. While not all of these activities produced favorable results, it certainly demonstrated the love he possessed for his community and garnered the respect of his peers.

Don made a point to know everyone on a first name basis and was frequently relied upon when a community historian was needed. Don’s grandchildren held a special place in his heart and afforded his smiles on a daily basis.

Don is survived by his wife, Helen of the home; a sister, Myrtle Prussner of Clifton, Illinois; children, Janice Brown (Dale) of Hoxie, Kansas, Jerry William (Lisa) of Cleveland, Ohio, Dan William (Mary) of Hoxie, Kansas, and Marisa Fleenor (Rick) of Mission Hills, Kansas; ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ranz and Ada William; sisters, Ina Taylor and Norma Ackerman; a brother, Ronald William; and a grandson, Timothy Brown.

The funeral service will be held at the Hoxie United Methodist Church, Hoxie, Kansas on Tuesday , December 4 ,2018 at 10:30 A.M. Don will be laid to rest at the Hoxie City Cemetery following the service. Memorials are suggested to the Sheridan County Amusement Company or Mickey Museum and may be sent in care of Mickey-Leopold Funeral Home, PO Box 987, Hoxie, Kansas 67740. Online condolences may be left at


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Kansas Fire News – December 3, 2018


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