Archive for February, 2019

John “Johnny/Snoop” Snodgrass

John “Johnny/Snoop” Snodgrass, 53, of Lansing, KS, passed away February 11, 2019. He was born May 19, 1965 to William Leroy and Shige Snodgrass in Huntsville, Alabama. He graduated from Lansing High School in 1983 and while in school, he participated in many activities, including athletics, band, and drama. He then attended The United States Military Academy at West Point. After attending for a year, he went to the University of Kansas and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in business in 1988. He was firefighter and served on both Delaware Township Fire Department as a volunteer and Leavenworth’s departments. He served on the Leavenworth departments for 19 years and was a captain. He also worked for B & W Fire, LLC for a period of time. John enjoyed golfing, fishing, helping coach his kids’ sports teams, and hanging out with friends. No matter where he went, he was always willing to lend a hand in any way that he could. He had a big heart and loved his family and friends dearly. John was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughters, Miya (Spencer) Comely of Atchison, KS; Madelyn Snodgrass of Lansing, KS; son William Snodgrass of Lansing, KS; brothers Michael Snodgrass of Lansing, KS; Daniel Snodgrass of Madison, OH; David Snodgrass of Cleveland, OH; Richard Snodgrass of Topeka, KS. He is also survived by granddaughter Spencer Comely and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation will be held Monday, February 18, 2019 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at Davis Funeral Chapel. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Davis Funeral Chapel with burial following at Mount Muncie Cemetery in Lansing, KS. Memorial contributions can be made to Firefighters Memorial Fund or the Leavenworth Interfaith Community of Hope.

 

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SCAFFA School – March 2019

State Capital Area Firefighters Association is to host their Annual SCAFFA Fire Training School at the Ramada Inn Downtown Topeka. Firefighters and Emergency Medical Personnel from all over the state, including some from surrounding states attend the school every year. The school offers fire training and medical certification hours, as well as an opportunity to get hands on with equipment and tools from vendors in one of the largest vendor displays in the state.

Co-sponsored by: State Capital Area Firefighters Association (SCAFFA), Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute (KFRTI), EMS Tech, Kansas State Firefighters Association (KSFFA), Topeka Fire Dept, Kansas Forest Service, 10-33 Foundation, Kansas Task Force 1, Silver Lake Fire Dist, Shawnee Heights Fire Dept, Dover Fire Dept, Mission Township Fire Dept, Soldier Township Fire Dept, Kansas Dept of Health & Environment (KDHE), Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office, SNCO Emergency Management, Johnson Co Consolidated Fire Dist 2, AMR, Midwest Card Solutions

For more information – https://www.scaffa.org/scaffa-school

 

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Seward County partners with community college for firefighter-resident program

A red flag warning remains in effect for parts of southwest Kansas including in Seward County until late Wednesday.

With a shortage of volunteers for local fire departments, students at Seward County Community College are stepping in to fight fires when they’re not in class.

The Seward County Fire Department partnered with the college to start the student-resident firefighter program. They say the goal is to be out the door in two minutes.

“We can get three engines, a 3,000-gallon tanker out the door within two minutes basically at any time now. Before that, you were looking at 10 – 15 minutes by the time the page call person got back,” said Seward County Fire Chief Andrew Barkley.

The fire department currently has 12 men on duty. With the program, they also have five students fully staffed.

Students must be enrolled full-time at the college to be a part of the program and take advantage of other benefits.

“We take care of tuition, we take care of meal plans, and we provide room and board and in return, they have to maintain a 2.5 GPA and be a full-time student at Seward County Community College,” said Barkley.

For Jaime Gutierrez, having the support of their professors has allowed him to manage both roles easier.

“All of our professors know that we’re firefighters and if something happens, we leave during class. Or if we’re late to class in the morning, you know, there was probably a call or something,” he said.

You can find out more about SCCC’s firefighter resident program here.

 

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Six Coffeyville firefighters are honored

Fire Chief Bob Roesky, Captain Rex Reardon, Lt. Jon Graham, Firefighter Eric Fritz; Driver Jake Dean and Firefighter Caleb Horn

Six Coffeyville firefighters are honored with Lifesaving Medals for their efforts in a November house fire.

Three people were in the house at the time of the fire, while six firefighters sprung into action. Two of the victims succumbed to their injuries sustained in the fire, but one life was saved thanks to the emergency responders’ heroic efforts.

In a social media post on Facebook, the City of Coffeyville writes:
“Fire Captain Rex Reardon and his crew – Jon Graham, Kevin Midgett, Jake Dean, Eric Fritz and Caleb Horn – were presented with medals during the Tuesday City Commission meeting for their actions in saving a life during a structure fire in November.

The 911 call came in early on the morning of November 24. A two-story house at 1508 South Willow was on fire with people trapped inside. The Coffeyville Fire Department was dispatched and six firefighters quickly left the station in E-3 and E-1. Also notified were off duty fire personnel along with the South Coffeyville Fire Department and CRMC EMS.

When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting out a second floor window. Firefighters Eric Fritz and Caleb Horn set up a ladder and entered the window where they found two female occupants. Fire Captain Rex Reardon and Lieutenant Jon Graham and Driver Jake Dean assisted with getting the occupants down the ladder and into ambulances.

According to a report by Fire Chief Bob Roesky, a neighbor notified CFD there was still a male occupant inside the house. “Lieutenant Kevin Midgett entered the second story window and located the male,” stated Roesky. “Kevin got him out of the house and was assisted by firefighters down the ladder where he was then loaded into the ambulance.”

Coffeyville Police Department officers Justin Hanigan, Brian Twitchell, Russell White and Lieutenant Darin Daily were on scene where their normal duty in a structure fire is to set up a perimeter to block traffic. With all the firefighters working to rescue the occupants, the officers jumped into action. White pulled fire hose, and he and Hanigan put water on the fire until the additional firefighters arrived. All four officers assisted with loading victims in the ambulances.

Chief Roesky was going to drive one of the ambulances to CRMC, however, his assistance was needed in the back with the patients. Officers Twitchell and Hanigan drove the ambulances to CRMC which allowed all the EMT’s to be with the patients.

All fire victims were transported to CRMC, and two were life flighted to Tulsa. The fire eventually claimed two lives, however, the third victim has been released from the hospital, and she is recovering from her injuries.

“You are heroes,” said Mayor Paul Bauer as Chief Roesky presented the medals. “It is a privilege, and we are all proud to honor the heroic efforts of the three firefighters who entered the burning two-story house to rescue the occupants, and the three who got them down the ladder and into ambulances,” said Bauer. The lifesaving awards were presented as a representation of the training and dedication the firefighters displayed in the rescue and the saving of a human life.

Bauer also noted that letters of commendation from Police Chief Kwin Bromley will be given to police officers Twitchell, White, Hanigan and Daily in recognition of their assistance at the scene.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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WASPS to help firefighters from the sky

Firefighters in Kansas will be getting extra help to battle flames from the sky.

“The quicker you are on top of the fire, fighting it, the better results you have,” says Ag Pilot Bill Garrison.

That is the idea.

“The more coordinated resources we can get on scene, earlier, the better,” Rodney Redinger of the Kansas Forest Service adds.

Garrison is an experienced AG pilot who can now say he also is a firefighter in the sky.

“When we get a phone call, we go dump water on fire,” he explains.

It’s that simple.

“There is just some areas where you can not get fire trucks,” Redinger explains.

What Redinger says the state realized after the Highland fires in 2017 was that pilots like Garrison just wanted to help.

“Flames were over the cockpit of the airplane,” he says. “I was flying at night.”

Redinger says, “It just wasn’t as easy to get access to those resources.”

Now, it is. Redinger says it was essentially about closing a communication gap. Instead of people like Garrison trying to coordinate with fire departments, the state has stepped in, and established a form of contact on the ground to make that easier.

“What we wanted to be able to do was expand those local connections out across the state,” says

Pilots like Garrison can now use their skills behind the sticks to help from above.

“It can be kind of exciting,” he says.

“It is another tool in the tool box and when used appropriately can make a big difference,” Redinger says.

There are currently seven of those pilots in the state. Each goes through a day of field and tactic training to better understand what kind of help firefighters need from the ground.

Video

 

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Essentials of Fire Chaplaincy Training Course – Update on date

When: February 28 & March 1

Where: Goodland Fire Station

Instructor- Pastor Frank McCrary

The “Essentials of Fire Chaplaincy” is a foundational training course for the fire department chaplain. This two-day course is the basis for training recognition by the Federation of Fire Chaplains and earns the student a certificate from the FFC upon completion. U.S. Fire Departments are now using this FFC training as the standard for fire chaplaincy across the country, allowing chaplains to minister within the fire service wherever life takes them.

The content of the Essentials course was developed by fire chaplains across the country to be practical help for on scene and in-firehouse ministry. Instructors are certified by FFC to teach using an interactive approach which involves students in the classroom process.

This course provides an opportunity for everyone – experienced chaplains, new chaplains, and prospective chaplains alike – to learn valuable lessons about Fire Chaplaincy. The class consists of 16 hours of instruction, over the course of two days, covering the following areas:

  • History of Chaplaincy
  • Personhood of the Chaplain
  • Ministry to Crisis Victims
  • Ministry to Fire Personnel
  • Introduction to Critical Incident Stress
  • Introduction to Incident Command
  • Fire Chaplain Safety
  • Firefighter Injury and Death
  • Fire Department Funerals
  • Confidentiality & Professionalism

You must be present for the entire 16 hours of instruction to receive a Certificate for the course from the Federation of Fire Chaplains.

Class Location:

Goodland Fire Station/Wolak Building

1006 Center

Goodland, KS 67735

Materials Needed– Essentials of Fire Chaplaincy Manual (if you do not have this, here is a link to order a hard copy or a thumb drive version.) https://ffc.wildapricot.org/page-1442241

Schedule:

Feb. 28

Start- 0800-1200

Lunch

Resume- 1300-1900

March 1

Start- 0800-1200

Lunch

Resume- 1300-1500

Travel Home

Contact:

Lt. Matthew Breininger, Cell: 785-821-3876 email: goodlandfd@gmail.com

Lt. Michael Dorn, Cell: 785-821-2541 email: seedman20@gmail.com

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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NOTICE OF VACANCY – Fire Investigator – Requisition #192020 – Vacancy closes 2/19/2019

The Office of the State Fire Marshal has an opening for an Unclassified Fire Investigator.

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

  • conducts investigations to determine origin and cause of fires and explosions;
  • conducts criminal investigations in to violations of the arson criminal code, including other criminal offenses that impel arson;
  • investigates, inspects and maintains accurate records on permits and/or licenses issued by the OSFM for those who apply;
  • testifies in court as an expert;
  • conducts and attends training sessions;
  • performs administrative duties such as submitting reports and record keeping;
  • maintains and operates assigned state vehicle and equipment.
  • Extensive travel, including overnight is required of this position.

This position covers the counties of Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Douglas and Johnson.  Residency within the territory is preferred however; this will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Pay Rate:  $21.13 per hour ($43,950.40 annually).

Minimum Requirements:

  • Two years’ experience in general law enforcement and criminal investigation.
  • A four-year college degree in a Criminal Justice field may be substituted for the required experience.  In order to substitute education for experience, a college transcript must be submitted at time of application.
  • Must have a current full-time law enforcement certification issued by the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Commission (KLETC).  Out of state certifications will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.

Necessary Special Requirements:

  • Must be a United States citizen and at least 21 years of age.
  • At time of offer, candidate must take and pass a drug screening tests approved by the Office of Personnel Services and take a pre-employment physical.
  • Top candidates must take and pass a background check and polygraph.
  • This position requires the use of a firearm for law enforcement duties therefore, candidates cannot have been convicted of, and must be free of any diversions from, a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence crime as set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(9) and (g)(9).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • experience in fire and explosive investigations;
  • knowledge of state and local laws, ordinances and regulations;
  • explosive materials and properties, electrical systems;
  • building conduction;
  • chemicals, flammable properties of various substances, char and burn patterns, factors that affect fire spread, color and density of smoke, flame and heat material burning rate and heat release characteristics;
  • investigation procedures;
  • rules of evidence and rights of suspects;
  • criminal court procedures and practices;
  • ability to plan and conduct investigations, ascertain facts and obtain evidence, establish and maintain favorable relationships with co-workers, professionals and the public;
  • keep records, prepare reports, speak in public, present evidence and be able to use a camera.

Licenses, Certifications & Registration:

  • Current certification as a full-time law enforcement officer by the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Commission as required by K.S.A. 74-5601a.  Out of state certifications will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Must have a current, valid driver’s license.

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

HOW TO APPLY:  The application process has 3 STEPS:
STEP 1:  Register by completing the online Personal Data Form  (Skip this step if you already have an Applicant ID or Employee ID number).
STEP 2:  Complete the official State of Kansas application form  (include all employment and experience) and submit to the Fire Marshal.
STEP 3:  Email the additional required documents to brenda.schuette@ks.gov.

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

Required Documents:

  • Completed Online State of Kansas Application form sent to Fire Marshal
  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume
  • College Transcripts, if applicable
  • Copy of current full-time Law Enforcement certification
  • Copy of all other Training Certificates and
  • Valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate
  • send to brenda.schuette@ks.gov

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

KANSAS TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE REQUIRED

Each applicant applying for a State of Kansas job vacancy must obtain a valid Kansas Certificate of Tax Clearance by accessing the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website.  Your application will be considered incomplete if not submitted by the closing date of the job posting.

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

Your application will be considered incomplete if an ACTUAL COPY of your certificate is not submitted on or before the vacancy closing date.

Contact Information:
Name:  Brenda L. Schuette
Phone: 785-296-0654
Email: brenda.schuette@ks.gov

Process for Selection:  Upon receipt of your complete application packer, an evaluation of your qualifications will be conducted, and your status based on the established minimum requirements, necessary special requirements, and preferred selection criteria for the specific vacancy will be determined.  Based on your ranking in comparison with other applicants, you may/may not be referred for further consideration and/or possible interview.  If you are not selected for the vacancy, you will be notified within 30 days of the position being filled.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:  The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ensures you the right to reasonable accommodations.  A request for an accommodation will not affect your opportunities for employment with the State of Kansas.  Arrangements will be made if you have a disability that requires an accommodation for completing an application form, interviewing or any other part of the employment process.  It is your responsibility to make your needs known to the OSFM Recruitment Office at 785-296-0654.

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

 

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Study shows impact of first responder jobs on mental health

An EMT in Thomas County took his own life just two weeks ago.

It’s part of a bigger problem — a recent study found first responders are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.

Many people don’t realize first responders carry the weight of a traumatic event on their shoulders, and sometimes it’s too much to bear. Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner had that experience recently.

Gardner is known for showing his fun side on Twitter — but in a January post following a crash that killed a 19-year-old woman, he tearfully showed first responders don’t leave their work at the scene.

Mission Township Fire Chief Forrest Walter knows all about it.

“There’s certain things that trigger me to remember a scene, I had a bad car wreck it was a double fatality a female was burned pretty bad and just that smell of that scene,” Chief Walter said.

A study from the Ruderman Foundation found 103 firefighters and 140 police officers died by suicide in 2017, compared to 93 firefighter and 129 officer line-of-duty deaths.

“I think that’s one of the big things with first responders is what they see on a daily basis, the death, the tragedy, and some of the ghoulish scenes that they see and I think every first responder has something they’ll remember their whole entire career .” AMR Operations Manager Jon Antrim said.

While suicide among first responders seems to be becoming more prevalent, Chief Walter says it’s also just become more known.

“In our industry, it was something we kind of hid from the mental health of firefighters it was taboo to talk about it,” Walter explained.

Time has provided a culture shift according to Lt. Tyler Abernathy with the Mission Township Fire Dept.

“We had to put something in place for these young kids who come in and know this is what they want to do we have to help them survive this job both mentally and physically,” Abernathy said.

First responders can now find support through websites, peer-to-peer conversations, and education and intervention through the 10-33 program.

Some local first responders also have a fluffy form of stress relief, a golden doodle named Stryker.

“I mean he’s just a giant fluff ball. He runs to them and they sit down and play with him and hold him and sometimes he rough houses with the employees if that’s what they like, other times he just likes to cuddle and give loves.” Antrim said.

No matter the method – the importance of coping cannot be overlooked.

“When people keep this bottled up it becomes so festered up at times that there’s an exploding point there’s a tipping point and just what we see and what we do has to be dealt with emotionally,” Chief Walter said.

If you or someone you know needs help the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

For more resources on suicide prevention just click here.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Concordia Fire Department to Participate in the Fight for Air Climb

Four members of the Concordia Fire Department will participate in the Fight for Air Climb in Kansas City on Sunday, February 24th.

The Fight for Air Climb is one of the American Lung Association’s signature fundraising events. This year’s climb held at One Kansas City Place offers an opportunity for teams and individuals to challenge themselves by climbing 42 floors and 902 stairs to the top of the building. Over the last several years, Fight for Air Climb events have raised more than $53 million to support the mission of the American Lung Association.

In 2018, the Concordia Fire Department won the team event, while Firefighter and Paramedic Levi Whitley finished first individually in a time of 10 minutes 59 seconds.

Whitley says the event gives them the chance to support those who fight for air everyday when impacted by asthma, COPD, lung cancer, and all lung diseases.

This year, Whitley will be joined by Derek Champlin, Kelsey Larson and Erin Williams with the Concordia Fire Department in raising money to support research, patient education and advocacy efforts by participating in the annual climb.

Larson, a certified yoga instructor, will be teaching a cold yoga flow session on Saturday, February 2nd at the Broadway Plaza in downtown Concordia to raise funds for the climb.

Larson says the community is welcome to join them at 2 pm Saturday for Yeti Yoga with the Concordia Fire Department.

In the line of duty, firefighters may experience occupational exposure to gases, chemicals, particulate, and other substances with potentially damaging short and long term effects on the respiratory system. Previous studies performed during knock-down and overhaul phases show firefighters may incur exposure to toxicants and respiratory tract irritants. There is an increased risk among firefighters of developing acute lung disease during the course of firefighting work. There may also be an increased risk of chronic lung disease in firefighters, however, more research on chronic exposure is needed.

Whitley said they will be honoring those who are affected by lung disease during the climb.

Awards at the climb are given out to the fastest female and male, fastest individual firefighter, and fastest firefighter team.

https://action.lung.org/site/TR?fr_id=17557&pg=entry

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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