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Darrin Lee Briggs

Darrin Lee Briggs, Burlingame, died Saturday, June 15, 2019, at Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka, after an extended illness. He was 53.

He was born Feb. 18, 1966, at Topeka, the son of Dean and Lyla Rae Lieshman Briggs. He lived Scranton, and graduated from Santa Fe Trail High School in 1985. He attended Scranton United Methodist Church until its closure.

He joined Scranton Fire Department and worked as a volunteer firefighter for 30 years. During that time, he also volunteered with Burlingame Fire Department. He always enjoyed being a volunteer firefighter and was ready to go any time he got a call.

He coached little league baseball when his children played and totally enjoyed it. He attended all of his kids sporting events and never missed them. He loved cheering the kids on. He also enjoyed watching sporting events on television with his children.

He married Tina Morgan, Sept, 6, 1991. She survives of the home.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Jimmy Briggs.

Besides his wife, he is survived by three children, Joshua Briggs and fiancé, Bree Coon, Topeka, Crystal Briggs, Burlingame, and Jordan Briggs, Burlingame; twin grandbabies, Hunter Dean Briggs and Carter Andrew Briggs, Burlingame; a nephew, Aaron Briggs and family, Pomona; and a niece, Christina Briggs and family, Lawrence.

A funeral service will be 1 p.m. Friday, June 21 at Burlingame Federated Church, Burlingame. Burial will follow at Burlingame Cemetery. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Carey Funeral Home, where the family will greet friends and relatives 6 to 7 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made Scranton Fire Department and sent in care of Carey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 196, Burlingame, KS 66413.

Manhattan Fire Department is hiring

 

 

FIREFIGHTER AD 2019 Fall

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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KSFFA Regional Fire School – Galena – July 2019

KSFFA Regional Fire School
Hosted by Galena Fire Department
July 13 – 14, 2019
Location: Galena High School, 702 E 7th St, Galena, KS 66739

 

Saturday – 8 a.m.

  1. Vehicle Extrication (Bunker gear) – 12 hrs.
  2. Rural  Water Supply – 8 hrs.
  3. Engine Company Ops for Small Dept. – 8 hrs.
  4. KSFFA Skills Trailer (Bunker gear, SCBA) – 8 hrs
  5. Incident Safety Officer – 8 hrs.

Sunday – 8 a.m.

  1. Fire Behavior – 4 hrs.
  2. Lessons Learned – 4 hrs.
  3. Vehicle Extrication cont. – 4 hrs.
  4. Chief Officer Class – 4 hrs.

Sunday – NOON

  1. KSFFA Burn Trailer (Bunker gear, SCBA)

Contact Info: Galena Fire Chief Bill Hall 620-783-5404, or KSFFA SE Trustee Ron Ewing 620-366-5399, setrustee@live.com

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

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
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NVFC Volunteer Experience Survey

Tell us about your volunteer experience and earn $100

 

The NVFC is conducting a research project interviewing current AND former volunteers to better understand the issue of retention. Participation involves a telephone or webcam interview of less than one hour. All participants selected will receive $100 in exchange for their time.

In order to qualify for the study, we need to ask a few quick questions in this surveyhttps://www.research.net/r/NVFCretention

Please share with all current and former volunteers you can. There are limited interview slots, so please don’t wait.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
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June 2019 KSFFA Presidents Article

 

Hello Kansas Fire Service.   It has been a busy past few months.   We would like to extend our gratitude to Salina Fire for another excellent conference.  The 131st Annual Conference was a huge success and well attended by over 120 delegates.   We thank all those members who served on committees and help steer the direction of this association.   Elections brought all members back to their positions.   However, during the conference, Treasure Romine and myself did indicate to the group that this would likely be our last terms on the Board.    Dan has served almost thirty years and he has a wealth of knowledge on this organization.   I will be near twenty years on this board when my term is up.   Circumstances may change, but we wanted the organization to be on notice to be thinking about this in the future.  Put on the calendars though that we will be in Topeka in 2020 on April 23, 24, and 25.  It will be a very different format as almost the entire conference will be centered around training topics.  There will also be a large celebration on Saturday following our business meeting to help Topeka Fire celebrate their 150th Anniversary.   Plan to bring your family along to help in the celebration and participate in the many activities that are planned.  Watch the Firewire and the website for more details.

Speaking of changing circumstances, from last year to this year, what a difference.  Wildfires were all the concern last year.  Now this late spring, we are dealing with flooding in many areas of the state.   Many of your departments have been faced with swift water rescues.  This is just another point to highlight the all hazards approach that the fire service has to have.  Focusing on solely firefighting in today’s world is not a realistic way to maintain funding for your agency and serve the expectations of our citizens.  At the end of the day, we serve them and their wishes.  Not ours.    As we roll into summer, I hope all of our members stay safe and continue to be vigilant on emergency scenes to send everyone home.

One final note I will leave you with is to ask you all to keep our webmaster in your thoughts.  Gwen Romine has served this Association quietly behind the screen for many years.   She is the electronic presence of this Association and builds all of our web content daily.  She recently suffered a medical issue that will require some longer-term treatment.   We wish her a speedy recovery and want her and Dan to know we do greatly appreciate the work she has done all these years for the fire service in Kansas.    We do ask that you bear with us during this time as we work towards helping her fill the void of electronic news and the book sales.  Keep your crews safe and we will see you soon at a Regional School near you!

-KSFFA President, Kevin Flory

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
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KSFFA Regional Fire School – Ellinwood – September 2019

KSFFA Regional Fire School
Hosted by Ellinwood Fire Department
September 14-15, 2019
Location: Ellinwood High School, 300 N. Schiller

Saturday – 8 a.m.

  1. Rural Water Supply – 8 hrs.
  2. KSFFA Skills Trailer – 12 hrs.
  3. Engine Company Operations for Small Depts – 8 hrs.
  4. Wildland Fires – 8 hrs.

Sunday – 8 a.m.

  1. Lessons Learned – 4 hrs.
  2. Reading Smoke – 4 hrs.
  3. Chief Officer – 4 hrs.
  4. KSFFA Skills Trailer – continued

Sunday NOON

  1. Burn Trailer

 

 

Contact Info: Ellinwood Fire Chief Chris Komarek 620-566-7510, ckomarek@cityofellinwood.com

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

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

Fire Chief Allen Shelton announces retirement

After 44 years with the Garden City Fire Department and 37 as its chief, Fire Chief Allen Shelton is planning to retire from the department on July 1.

“I am very grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to serve this department and community for the past 44 years,” Shelton said in a press release from the City of Garden City. “I am looking forward to having more time with my family, friends, travel and pursuing my interest in our community and faith-based projects. Garden City is a great place to work and live.”

Before being named the department’s first career fire chief in 1984, Shelton worked at the GCFD as a volunteer firefighter, volunteer assistant chief and volunteer fire chief for the then all-volunteer department.

During his time as fire chief, the department has grown from one full-time employee to 38 paid employees, including three battalion chiefs, a fire marshal, six lieutenants, 26 firefighters and an administrative assistant.

Shelton has been a member of numerous committees and associations and served on various boards, according to the city’s release. He’s worked with Garden City Community College to enhance the college’s fire science curriculum and provide technical and leadership training to department staff.

In October 2018, he was named Fire Chief of the Year by the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs.

“It’s hard to imagine a Garden City Fire Department without Chief Shelton,” City Manager Matt Allen stated in the release. “Chief has devoted his entire professional career to transforming a volunteer fire department into a predominantly full-time department that has the personnel, equipment, and training capable of serving a growing city.”

According to the release, the city will begin searching for a new chief this summer.

Job Opening – Firefighter/EMT – Edwardsville Fire Department

City of Edwardsville
Location: Edwardsville, KS

Edwardsville Fire Department is accepting applications to create an eligibility list for the position of:  FIREFIGHTER/EMT.

Position is open for applications until May 20th, 2019.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:  This position, under minimal supervision, protects life and property by performing firefighting and EMS duties, administering emergency aid, mitigating hazardous materials situations and performing fire prevention duties.  Maintains Fire and EMS apparatus, equipment and facilities.

EXAMPLES OF WORK:

This is the entry-level classification in the Firefighter classification series, characterized by the responsibility to provide emergency services in fire suppression, first response medical services, and hazardous materials incidents.  The employee’s assignments, objectives, work methods, and sequence of steps are either specified or explained in general terms.  Work review is integrated into daily assignments.

Work includes, controlling and extinguishing fires using a variety of specialized equipment and techniques, evacuating persons from areas of danger, and performing emergency treatment. Work includes inspecting multi-occupancy and commercial buildings for fire hazards and violations of the Fire Code, and instructing the public on the principles of fire preventions. The department also provides advanced life support and field paramedical work responding to emergency calls from the public to perform medical assistance with emphasis on the stabilization of patients to permit safe transport to a full-service medical facility. Contact with the general public, the comforting of patients, the reassuring of family and others in the vicinity, and cooperation with fire and police authorities are of major significance to this work. Duties are performed according to standard paramedical practices and established drug therapy protocol. Work is performed under the general supervision of a fire officer. Completes fire and EMS reports in compliance with State and Federal Reporting Requirements.

As a condition of employment, incumbents shall maintain an Emergency Medical Technician – Basic licensure during their employment period.  The requirement for employment can be modified to require and maintain an Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic license during their employment period with no negotiation. Depending upon the needs of the Fire Department, incumbents of positions in this classification and meet the standards established by the City of Edwardsville Fire Department may be assigned the specialty of Firefighter/EMT.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:  Knowledge of firefighting and EMS procedures, practices and techniques.  Knowledge of testing, maintenance, inspection and operation of fire department apparatus, equipment and tools.  Skilled in the use of tools and equipment used in the repair and maintenance of department vehicles and equipment.  Must be a self-starter and have the ability to work independently and follow a job task through from start to finish.  Report writing skills and experience with computers essential.  Must possess good verbal and written communication skills. Must have basic knowledge of portable radio operations and be able to communicate clearly over a radio. Skilled in analyzing fire and emergency situations and providing an effective course of action. Skill in effectively dealing with people under stress.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:  High school diploma or equivalent required, associate’s degree or higher preferred.  Current National Registry Emergency Medical Technician – Basic, or State of Kansas Basic EMT license, with one year of experience with an Advanced Life Support treatment and transport service. International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) certifications of Firefighter I, Firefighter II through the Kansas Fire Service Certification System or other licensing body are requirements for this position. Certification and experience as a firefighter is preferred.

Maintain state-mandated continuing education requirements, including current American Heart Association (AHA) certification in Basic Life Support (BLS).

LICENSES AND SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:  International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) certifications of Firefighter I, Firefighter II and ADO-Pumper through the Kansas Fire Service Certification System are requirements for this position. The obtainment of Firefighter certifications may be waived for one (1) year from hire date. The obtainment of ADO-Pumper certifications will be waived for three (3) years from hire date. Must possess State of Kansas Emergency Medical Technician – Basic certification or Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician – Basic. NIMS ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800 are required within 12 months of being hired. Must complete Wildland Certifications of S-110, S-130, S-190 within 12 months of being hired. Must possess or be eligible for a State of Kansas driver’s license.  Must successfully pass a background investigation with no felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions related to weapons, assault, controlled substances, or theft within the last 10 years.  Position is subject to successful completion of pre-employment drug testing.  Subject to a one-year probationary period. Ability to successfully complete written, physical, and oral exams during probationary period.

TO APPLY:  Please submit a resume, cover letter, complete application with three professional references, proof of EMS Licensure.  A complete job description and other necessary forms are available at City Hall, by calling HR at 913-441-3707, ext. 21, or on the city web page. Return completed applications to the Fire Chief by mail to: Firefighter/EMT Selection Attn: City of Edwardsville FD, P.O. Box 13738, Edwardsville, KS 66113

Applications received after 5:00 pm, May 20th, 2019 will not receive review for employment.

Job Opening – Firefighter I – Consolidated Fire District #2

http://www.cfd2.org/careers/apply-now/

Firefighter Career Opportunities – Lenexa Fire Department

FIREFIGHTER CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The City of Lenexa, Kansas Fire Department is currently seeking highly motivated men and women who are passionate about serving the public and delivering the highest level of professional service as a firefighter. The City of Lenexa is a progressive, dynamic,
and growing community located in Johnson County, Kansas. The department is accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and has been awarded the highest public protection classification rating by the Insurance Services Office. The firefighter position is a non-standard, rotating work, shift schedule (nine 24 hour shifts in a 27-day work period), requiring weekend and holiday work.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: To be acquired prior to conditional job offers on July 26, 2019.

  • Minimum of 18 years of age at time of employment offer
  • Valid driver’s license with good driving record
  • High school diploma or certificate of high school equivalency
  • Firefighter I and II certificate and EMT certification; OR a paramedic certification with or without the Firefighter I and II certificates
  • Successful completion of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) within 1 year of application submission
  • Fire Service Entrance Exam (FSEE) minimum score of 70%

Information for CPAT and FSEE opportunities can be found in the following links:

http://www.jccc.edu/academics/credit/fire-science/ce-fire-science-cpat.htmlOpens a New Window.

http://www.jccc.edu/academics/credit/fire-science/fire-science-entrance-exam.htmlOpens a New Window.

https://www.mcckc.edu/professional-dev/public-safety-institute/fireacademy/Opens a New Window.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATION: National registry or Kansas paramedic certification highly preferred.

PROCESS: The application packet must be submitted before the close of business May 31, 2019. Structured interviews will be scheduled from June 24 to June 28, 2019. Candidates moving forward in the process will be scheduled for a ride along activity between July 8 through July 12, 2019. Finalists will participate in an interview with the Fire Chief July 22 through July 25. Successful candidates who receive a conditional job offer will be required to successfully pass a psychological and medical exam, urine drug screen, and pre-employment background screening. Lenexa firefighters are required to establish residency to be able to report for work within 30 minutes within one year of hire.

STARTING SALARY for Firefighter is $40,653/yearly and starting salary for Paramedic is $44,718/yearly. Firefighter I and II certification training will be provided for successful paramedic candidates without these credentials. Competitive benefits package includes vision, dental, and health insurance; short-term disability; life insurance; state and city sponsored pension plans; and educational tuition reimbursement.

TO APPLY: Applications are only accepted online and must include both resume and minimum qualification certifications. All documents must be saved as a single record and submitted with the online application. The resume should include education and
credentials, as well as the previous ten years of employment history. Application packets must be submitted no later than May 31, by 5:00 p.m. C.D.T. Additional information and application assistance is available at:

City of Lenexa, Human Resources Department

913-477-7550

https://www.lenexa.com/jobs 

EOE

 

KSFFA Conference Banquet

The hotel has requested we have our final number of attendees for the banquet to them by Wednesday, April 24th at 12:00 as they have to place the final food order Wednesday afternoon. Anyone attending the conference that would like additional banquet tickets need to notify the Salina Fire Department Conference Committee as soon as possible.
After noon on Wednesday, April 24th we cannot ensure that we will be able to provide any additional banquet tickets, therefore no access to the banquet on Friday, April 26th.
KSFFA conference attendees that would like to request additional banquet tickets, $30.00 each, ( may be paid for at the registration table), please contact Mark Grosland or Shane Pearson with the Salina Fire Department.
Salina Fire Department Administration, 785-826-73440

Job Opening – Firefighter/EMT – Northwest Consolidated Fire District

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT 4/15/2019
CLOSING DATE 5/31/2019
Job Title: Firefighter/EMT

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 the 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.

Annual Starting Earnings (Base; Excluding Overtime & Benefit Package):
$35,122 (Recruit)
$36,175 (Post-Probation in 1st Year)
Lateral pay will be considered for qualified candidates with previous full time experience.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

● 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 www.nwcfd.org) 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 (M-F 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

An Equal Opportunity Employer

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Louisburg hires veteran fire official to be new chief

The Louisburg Fire Department has a new chief. And he is already well known in the community.

At its April 1 meeting, the Louisburg City Council endorsed Gerald Rittinghouse to be the new chief. Rittinghouse had served as an interim captain with the volunteer fire department while a search for former Fire Chief Paul Richards’ successor took place. Richards retired in fall 2018.

City Administrator Nathan Law said Friday, April 5, that Rittinghouse had accepted the position. The chief will begin his new duties April 23.

“We had a pretty good pool of qualified candidates,” Law said.

Rittinghouse stood out for his leadership capabilities, his 32 years of experience in firefighting service, and his familiarity with the Louisburg department — having been a volunteer with the department for a number of years, Law said.

Rittinghouse’s other professional experience includes serving 28 years at Johnson County Fire District No. 2 and four years of service with the Shawnee Rescue Squad. Chief Rittinghouse is credentialed as a Fire Officer by the University of Kansas. He also attended Hutchison Community College for his High Angle Rescue certification.

Louisburg has 21 volunteer firefighters which Rittinghouse praised for their professionalism and dedication.

“We’ve already made several changes since September,” Rittinghouse said of the interim between full-time chiefs. “One was changing some radio terminology.”

Rittinghouse said he thought Miami County commissioners made the right choice to hire a consultant to determine the best way to convert all the agencies in the county to a standard radio system. He said being able to communicate between departments is essential. The consultant’s review is ongoing.

Rittinghouse has been an avid off-road adventurer for numerous years. In his down time, the chief enjoys going to the Mark Twain National Forest (Missouri) or the Ouachita National Forest (Arkansas), he said.

Chief Rittinghouse said he is pleased to have this opportunity to lead the department. He said the public might not realize that about 85 percent of the fire department’s calls are for medical emergencies and vehicle accidents. Only about 15 percent are actually fire-related. But he emphasized understanding the proper way to handle each fire situation through training is an essential part of the job.

“We are committed to doing the right thing for community safety and firefighter safety,” Rittinghouse said. “We have an open concept, with firefighters out in the public to let them know we are here to protect them and to be sure every firefighter comes home.”

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
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Job Opening – Firefighter/Paramedic Paramedic/Student – Wellington Fire Dept

The Wellington Fire & EMS Department is accepting applications for Firefighter/Paramedic.  Applicants must be currently certified as a Paramedic or will complete Paramedic class in 2019.  Applicants must be a certified Firefighter I or the ability to obtain that certification within 12 months.   Applicants must attend a physical ability test or a current CPAT will be accepted.  Interviews and physical ability test will be scheduled shortly after the application deadline.   Starting annual salary for a paramedic is $42,041 this does not include FLSA overtime.

Wellington Fire & EMS employs 18 full time personnel, and two administrative staff.  The department responds on an average to 2000 EMS calls and 1300 fire calls annually.  Staff work 24 hour shifts and must reside within 20 miles of the fire station within 6 months.

The City of Wellington offers KP& F retirement, 10 paid holidays, vacation, Christmas savings plan, sick time incentive, health insurance and opportunities for overtime.

Apply and review the City of Wellington Firefighter/Paramedic position requirements, at hrepartners.com    Application deadline is April 23rd, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

Contact Tim Hay at 620 326-7443 with any questions concerning this position.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Former chief, others honored by Newton Fire/EMS

Retired Chief Jim Werries, left, Retired Capt. Leroy Dick, center and Darin Werries, right.

From left to right: Newton Fire/EMS Capt. Luke Edwards, Christina Lynn Mattingly, Jared Bergner, Darrell Graves, Aaron Wald and Vincent Quentin

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to retired Chief Jim Werries by retired Capt. Leroy Dyck at the annual Newton Fire/EMS Awards Reception held Thursday night.

Dyck met Werries in 1967 when he applied for a job at Metropolitan Ambulance, a subdivision of a private ambulance corporation headquartered in Wichita.

Werries was passionate about providing the best ambulance services possible, even with budget restrictions and older equipment.

“We personally paid for some plywood and made three backboards — the first three backboards in Harvey County,” Dyck said.

When the city of Newton created its own ambulance department on Jan. 1, 1970, Werries was put in charge.

“There were a lot of things that had to be done to make that happen … Werries was the man for the job,” Dyck said. “He was the right man at the right time.”

Werries’ attention to detail could be seen in every aspect, from the way sheets and blankets were folded to the clip-on ties ambulance personnel wore.

“Chief Werries was adamant that we acted professionally while on a call and the public noticed the difference,” Dyck said.

During inclement weather, Werries made sure the ambulance was washed after every call.

“We also had to make sure the tops of the ambulances were clean,” Dyck recalled. “His reasoning was that people in the second story could look down and see the top of the ambulance and if we had washed it or if it would be dirty.”

The ambulance station was also expected to be clean.

“I didn’t know this a long time, but he used to go around and place toothpicks along the walls to see if the floors were being mopped,” Dyck said.

Werries was instrumental in implementing radio systems, started the practice of taking blood pressure on the ambulance and was an early adopter of CPR.

When ambulance personnel ended up with more items than they could carry into a house to take care of a patient in their hands, Werries bought a vinyl suitcase from Alco.

“This became our first jump kit and it worked well for many years,” Dyck said.

Another step forward for Newton’s ambulance department came in 1973 when Dr. Frances Allen insisted on getting a defibrillator on board. Paying for the machine was the initial hurdle, but community support prevailed.

“The Lions Club undertook the project with gusto and we had one of the best pancake days we’d ever had,” Dyck said.

Since Werries and Dyck were the only two who were trained to use the defibrillator, they outfitted their personal cars with red lights and sirens to be able to respond to a call at any time.

“Newton Ambulance Department became the first service in the state of Kansas to provide advanced cardiac care,” Dyck said. ”…Field saves became routine.”

One day, investigative reporter Charlie Plimpton from KAKE in Wichita came up to find out how Newton’s ambulance service worked.

“While he was doing interviews in the station, we happened to receive a call for a Code Blue,” Dyck said.

Plimpton was allowed to ride along for the call, but was told he couldn’t go inside the house to film anything. Upon arriving, they found the patient collapsed outside and successfully used the defibrillator to revive him. The whole incident was shown on that night’s evening news.

On Jan. 1, 1997, Newton’s fire and ambulance departments were combined.

“A lot of credit for the fine Fire/EMS department that we have today goes to Chief Werries for speaking up for what was right back then,” Dyck said.

Other recognition given out at the awards reception included an Outstanding Achievement Award for Firefighter/Paramedic/Acting Officer Aaron Wald.

In 2013, Wald volunteered to be a bone marrow donor, hoping to be a match for a young girl in the community fighting cancer. Though he was not a match then, he received a call five years later.

“They informed him he was a match for a patient who needed a lifesaving stem cell and white blood cell donation,” said Capt. Luke Edwards.

Agreeing to go through with the donation, Wald flew to Portland in November 2018 for the testing and donation process, which included a series of painful injections.

“Words cannot accurately describe how highly personal and incredibly self-rewarding the experience was for me,” Wald said. “I would encourage everyone who meets the requirements to get on the registry. It’s quick, painless and, hopefully, can save a life.”

A Lifesaver Award was presented to Wald along with Jared Bergner, Vincent Quentin and Darrell Graves.

“On the morning of Aug. 25, we received a call for a patient experiencing chest pain,” Edwards said.

Christina Lynn Mattingly was loaded in the ambulance, with the crew intending to take her to a hospital in Wichita.

“Before they got a block down the road, the patient stated that she felt numb and she went unresponsive after that. When paramedics checked for a pulse, they did not find it,” Edwards said. “The patient had gone into cardiac arrest.”

Ambulance personnel began CPR and performed defibrillation until the patient regained consciousness. Mattingly later went on to regain full neurological function.

Division Chief Phil Beebe stated 2018 was a challenging year for Newton Fire/EMS because it was, at one point, short six positions.

“We found ourselves, most days, at minimum staffing,” Beebe said.

In Sept. 2018, five new recruits — Dylan Richardson, Joseph Stovall, Cole Sturgeon, Stephen Gay and Jake Lindenmeyer — were added to the roster.

“Over the past six months since they completed their rookie training academy, they have really stepped up,” Beebe said.

The newest firefighters have faced structure and grass fires, injury accidents and one particularly challenging commercial fire.

“They said they could hardly see in front of their faces, it was so dark and black in there, but yet they went in together as a team,” Beebe said.

Peivi Tauiliili was honored with a Preceptor Award for his work training Trevor Yoder, the most recent new hire at Newton Fire/EMS.

“Being a preceptor for a paramedics team is a huge time commitment and is absolutely worthy of recognition,” Beebe said.

Fire Marshal Gary Crittenden also recognized Bobby Johnson for completing fire investigation certification.

Newton Fire/EMS Chief Scott Metzler presented Deputy Chief Steve Roberson with the Excellence in Leadership Award.

″(Roberson) developed and administered multiple, simultaneous hiring processes in addition to managing the daily operations of a higher-liability organization. He also shepherded our members through a major transition as we moved all of our emergency reporting processes to a cloud-based platform,” Metzler said.

Roberson recently had his original research published by the U.S. Fire Administration and is currently enrolled in the Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy.

“When he graduates, (Roberson) will be among the top one-third of the top one percent of the United States’ fire service,” Metzler said.

Metzler also acknowledged those who were promoted within the past year, including Aaron Wald, Capt. Luke Edwards, Lt. Zac Lujano, Kevin Plenert, Bobby Johnson, Darrell Graves, Lucas McNally and Drew Couey.

 

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Enel Green donates $25,000 to Roxbury Fire Department

Mark Wiebe, Roxbury Fire Chief

Representatives from Enel Green Power presented the McPherson County Rural Fire District 6 Station in Roxbury with a $25,000 donation on Wednesday afternoon. The money went into a general fund that will likely go towards new communication equipment.

“McPherson County is updating their radio system,” Chief Mark Wiebe explained. “It is very likely the funds will be used for radios for our trucks and supportable radios for the firefighters…The ability to immediately interact with other firefighters and other departments is critical and the proper technology is expensive. These funds from Enel Green Power will provide cutting-edge communication equipment improving efficiency and potentially saving property and lives.”

The department is made up of 18 volunteer firefighters who serve the small town of Roxbury, 15 miles east of Lindsborg.

“It’s a fine group of volunteers interested in serving the community and helping out wherever they can,” Wiebe said.

Enel Green Power started construction on the Diamond Vista wind project in Marion and Dickinson counties in 2018. The 300-MW facility became one of six Enel Green projects in the state of Kansas, making it the largest wind power provider in Kansas. They are the leading owners of renewable energy plants in North America, with facilities in 24 of the United States and two Canadian provinces.

“We’re proud members of the Tampa and Roxbury communities,” said James Henderson, assistant site supervisor for Diamond Vista. “Enel Green Power is grateful to partner with these agencies to create shared value for our neighbors.”

The company has made a massive footprint in the state of Kansas with about 1,250 construction jobs and 210 full-time employment opportunities. That isn’t all, in addition, they entered into a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Service to provide $8.5 million in support of research and preservation of tallgrass prairie in Kansas and have given approximately $300,000 to local education and scholarship programs.

This week they made small-town, public servants and community needs the recipients of their generosity. The $25,000 in Roxbury was part of a larger donation that included another $25,000 to the Tampa Fire Department and $5,000 to the Paul Gooding Memorial Library in Tampa.

“The donation was very much appreciated,” Wiebe said. “In a small department, we operate on a small budget. With trucks getting old and things needing to be replaced every donation is greatly appreciated.”

 

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Hazardous Materials Tech Training – Open for Enrollment

Hazardous Materials Training 06 03 2019 Flyer

 

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KSFFA Regional School Requests for 2020

KSFFA Regional Fire School requests are now being accepted until July 31, 2019. If your department would like to host one of our regional fire schools, please fill out the below information. We are requesting that the application be filled out by either the current fire chief or with his acknowledgement. Selection is decided in August. The KSFFA holds 12 regional fire schools a year in various parts of the state. These courses are offered free of charge. If you have any question about what your responsibility will be to host a KSFFA Regional Fire School, please contact any KSFFA Executive Board Officer.

School Request Application Form

 

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Brandon Lee Barbo

Brandon Lee Barbo, age 19, of Ulysses, Kansas, died Sunday, March 31, 2019, in rural Kearny County, Kansas. He was born January 18, 2000, in Ulysses, Kansas, the son of Benjamin and Jessica (Randolph) Barbo.

Brandon grew up in Ulysses and graduated from Ulysses High School in 2018, and was currently a student at Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas. He was active in theatre, music and tennis. Brandon’s life-long dream and greatest passion was to be a member of the US Army, Air Borne Division. He had joined the Grant County Fire Department and had plans to study fire science in college. Brandon enjoyed racing sprint cars, he had an unmatched sense of humor, loved his family and giving hugs. He had an inquisitive mind and was very knowledgeable about all wars. Brandon was a computer wiz and a master of video games. He had a natural talent playing the guitar.

Brandon is survived by his parents, Ben and Jessica Barbo of Ulysses; sister, LynDen Barbo of Ulysses; girlfriend, Skylynn Lane of Ulysses; grandparents, Tracy and James Byers of Balko, Oklahoma, Jeff and Nancy Randolph of Garden City, Kevin and Debra Barbo of Ulysses, Robin and Keith Dugan of Falcon, Colorado, Mike and Laurie Reid of Colorado Springs, Colorado; great-grandparents, Vic and Millie Barbo and Chuck and Mary Griffith; many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Brandon is preceded in death by his great-grandparents Cliff and Joyce Randolph, Peggy Dailing, and Lee Crawford.

Memorial service will be Friday, April 5, 2019, at 10:00 AM at the Oasis Church in Ulysses with Pastor Garrett Gretz officiating. Memorial contributions may be given to National Epilepsy Foundation in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant Ave, Ulysses, KS 67880.

 

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Structural PPE in the Wildland Environment

Significant attention and research has been given to the protective gear that a firefighter wears. Gear needs to provide a level of protection against the overall thermal environment and products of combustion. Additionally, the gear needs to provide abrasion protection, resistance to bloodborne pathogens, and a level of water and liquid repellency.

NFPA 1971: Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting (2013) establishes the minimum requirements for PPE. Firefighters have bemoaned the weight and isolative properties of modern PPE but have found it increasingly necessary due to the thermal environment within a modern structure fire. However, the very gear that is designed to protect the firefighter from the hostile environment of a structure fire also imposes a physiological burden.

Urban meets wildland

A project recently completed at Skidmore College’s First Responder Health & Safety Laboratory that was designed to evaluate the use of technology to monitor the physiologic impact of firefighting took an unanticipated twist related to the impact of heat stress. The research team, which included a number of fire service partners, worked with the Hanover Park, IL, Fire Department to test technology options in a “real-world” environment. The study, titled SMARTER—Science, Medicine And Research, Technology for Emergency Responders—had firefighters wearing physiological status monitoring (PSM) devices to capture their heart rate, activity and estimated core body temperature. The project was funded through a FEMA Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program (EMW-1015-FP-00731). (Learn more about the project in the Firehouse supplement “SMARTER: Advancing Health-Related Technology” at firehouse.com/21037683.)

When the research team partnered with Hanover Park to evaluate the usefulness of the PSM during fire department operations, it was implicitly assumed that the focus would be primarily on structural fires and other types of emergency incidents. The study did not anticipate evaluating responses to wildland firefighting. Hanover Park is a suburban department located in the Chicago metro area and rarely responds to wildland type incidents. However, 2017 proved to be different in that the department managed three fairly large wildland incidents early in their calendar year.

Since Hanover Park rarely handles these types of calls, personnel are issued structural PPE. Like many departments, the cost associated with the purchase of both structural PPE and wildland PPE is weighed against the number of responses in which the specialized gear would be needed. The physiologic findings discovered while personnel conducted wildland suppression efforts while being monitored, as part of the SMARTER study, provided valuable information that showed the need to reevaluate the cost/benefit equation.

Case review

This question of appropriate gear is not new. Departments for many years have wrestled to find the appropriate balance between the cost of providing specialized gear and the risk of excessive heat strain during wildland fires. This prolonged struggle has likely resulted in many heat stress-related illnesses and injuries, as fire departments have not been able to justify an additional set of gear.

One of these tragic incidents that highlights the seriousness of the decision about gear, and how long it has been a problem, occurred on Sept. 6, 1990, when 25-year-old Firefighter Todd David Colton of Sedgwick County, KS, Fire District 1, died in the line of duty due to heat stroke.1

Colton and his captain responded to a field fire caused by a resident burning trash. The ambient temperature at the time of the alarm was 95 degrees F with sustained, and sometimes gusting, winds between 17 and 28 mph. Colton wore full structural PPE that included a turnout coat and bunker pants. On arrival, he and his captain deployed and operated two 200-foot booster lines for nearly 60 minutes. The captain reported that the two continued working until they were both exhausted. The captain then told Colton to remove his PPE, get a drink of water and rest while he walked to the command post to discuss the incident with the responding assistant fire chief. 1

Due to several issues, commanders lost track of Colton and his body was later discovered in an unburned brush covered area, dressed in full PPE, approximately 4 hours after his arrival at the scene. The Sedgwick County Coroner ruled the cause of death to be heat stroke. Contributing factors listed were high ambient temperatures, high radiant heat, and the performance of heavy work while wearing PPE.1

Wildland situation

The question of how best to protect firefighters at wildland incidents is an especially timely matter as departments nationally are experiencing an increasing number of wildland fires. More specifically, wildland/urban interface (WUI) fires are more frequent and providing an increased challenge for firefighters equipped and accustomed to structural operations. Since 1990, 60 percent of all new homes have been built in areas considered WUI. The U.S. Forest Service identifies the WUI as “places where built structures abut or intermingle with undeveloped natural areas.” Over the last decade, the fire season has become 2½ months longer, and fires covering more than 10,000 acres are increasing.2

In addition to the challenge that many fire departments have with the WUI, many Midwestern and Great Plains departments experience significant agricultural field fires. These fires are often sparked by harvesting equipment and can produce substantial fire losses to expensive equipment and cash crops that are destroyed and will not ultimately reach market. Many departments that have historically viewed themselves as structural firefighters are now tasked with responding to these types of incidents. Statistics from the NFPA related to brush, grass and forest fires suggest that, nationally, departments respond to just over 900 of these types of incidents each day. In 76 percent of these incidents, they were managed by local fire departments requiring no assistance from state or federal forestry agencies.3

Physiologic findings

At the wildland incidents handled by Hanover Park, personnel responded wearing structural PPE. In addition to structural PPE, firefighters wore a base layer shirt manufactured by Globe or a strap that is equipped with Zephyr WASP (wearable advanced sensor platform) physiologic monitoring technology. Physiological status was captured using the WASP system and was transmitted to on-scene monitoring equipment.

During the first of the Hanover Park incidents, firefighters responded on Feb. 14, 2017, at 4:06 p.m. to a field fire in a county-owned forest preserve. Two companies were originally dispatched to this incident, an engine (three personnel) and a firefighter-paramedic ambulance (two personnel). They found fire quickly advancing over open vegetation driven by 18-mph winds. The ambient temperature was 45 degrees F with a humidity level of 56 percent.

Firefighters ranged in age from late-20s to late-30s, with the oldest responding member being the engine company lieutenant at 39 years old.

Data collected indicates that these responders had peak heart rates ranging from 159 to 205. These rates indicate that firefighters were at or near maximum heart rate at various times during the incident. Similar numbers have been seen during laboratory testing and are not overly concerning for personnel who are in good health and do not suffer from an underlying cardiac condition.

More concerning, however, was the high peak estimated core body temperatures. Core temperatures are estimated via the WASP technology by using a calculation developed by Dr. Mark Butler of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine. Butler originally developed this algorithm using military personal. An important objective of the SMARTER project is to update and tone this algorithm to ensure that it accurately estimates core temperature responses in firefighting situations. The non-invasive assessment of core temperatures being readily available to incident commanders (ICs) has the potential to assist in fireground decision-making.

At this incident, estimated peak core temperatures for the initial attack firefighters were 103.1 degrees F, 102.2 degrees F, 101 degrees F and 99.28 degrees F (one WASP device malfunctioned, so no data is available for this firefighter).

A generally accepted standard for defining heat stroke is a core hyperthermia above 104 degrees F.4 We understand from prior laboratory research that even when firefighters are removed from the hot environment and their PPE is doffed, it is common for their core body temperatures to continue to rise. Taking this factor into account, it is easy to determine that firefighters responding to this incident were, at least in one case, very close to meeting the clinical definition of heat stroke. Additionally, of great importance is the fact that the ambient temperature at this incident was 45 degrees F. As the ambient temperature increases, the risk of heat-related illness increases dramatically.

Based on the availability of this real-time data, the IC made the decision to pull the firefighter with the highest estimated core body temperature and send him for immediate rest and hydration, which also included doffing of PPE. Note: It is understood that it is not always possible to remove a firefighter from an assignment based on physiological conditions, as they may be entrenched in duties that they can’t abandon, such as making a rescue, advancing and operating a hoseline, etc. In these situations, likely the best an IC can do is simply see that the firefighter is being stressed and give them additional resources to ease the workload.

Future gear considerations

The findings from this incident highlight the logic of having firefighters operate at wildland incidents wearing structural PPE when the overall thermal protection offered by these garments is not required and can be physiologically detrimental.

The cost associated with equipping and maintaining firefighters in current NFPA standard PPE is high and very challenging for many agencies. Many departments opt for structural PPE as their only source of protection since this reflects the majority of their fire work and because it provides maximal protection. They also require the usage of this same PPE for all other incidents requiring a level of protection, such as vehicle crashes, extrications, structural collapses, technical rescues, etc. The question is, does this make sense?

Within the Hanover Park Fire Department, the cost associated with wildland gear has not been justified due to the low number of wildland calls; however, as we considered the findings from SMARTER, we are beginning to question whether wildland gear could be used for other purposes that might be a modifier to the economic decision.

Based on this, Hanover Park and Skidmore are currently evaluating a wildland pant and coat (i.e., non-structural PPE) configuration that provides flash/abrasion/bloodborne pathogen protection. This study, approved by the Skidmore College Institutional Review Board (IRB) and funded by the Hanover Park Fire Department – Foreign Fire Tax Insurance Board, will allow us to compare the physiologic responses of firefighters working in structural PPE vs the non-structural gear.

Final thoughts

The financial impact associated with firefighters being issued two sets of PPE (one structural and one non-structural) may be cost-prohibitive for many jurisdictions. However, the corresponding reduction in heat-related illness/injuries and associated costs may contribute to an analysis for possible change. At this point, the change in PPE is a theory that requires additional research and analysis. Should our hypothesis prove to be correct and the lighter-weight gear provides a decrease in the negative impact of heat stress while still providing an acceptable level of protection, it has the potential to help solve this challenging dilemma and work to prevent incidents like the one befallen Sedgwick County and the Colton family.

In a statement remembering Firefighter Colton, the Sedgwick County Fire District website reads, “The best way we can honor Todd Colton and the Colton Family’s sacrifice is to take every possible step to keep the same accident from happening again.”5

The SMARTER team is using information gained from the project to make informed, data-driven recommendations about appropriate protection for fire service personnel.

References

1. Shults, R, Noonan, G, & Turner, N. “National Institute of Safety & Health—Firefighter Death Investigation(T.D. Colton).” HETA 90-0395-2121. 1991. Cincinnati, OH: NIOSH.

2. Weber, T. “Wildland-urban interface risks are increasing.” ISO Mitigation. 2016. isomitigation.com/spring-2016/wildland-urban-interface-risks-are-increasing.html.

3. Ahrens, M. “Brush, Grass and Forest Fires.” NFPA – News and Research. 2018. nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/WUI/osbrushgrassforest.pdf.

4. Mayo Clinic. “Heatstroke.” 2017. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20353581.

5. Sedgwick County, Fire District 1 – In Memoriam. “Fallen Members.” 2018. sedgwickcounty.org/fire/memorial.asp.

https://www.firehouse.com/safety-health/ppe/turnout-gear/article/21070021/research-corner-structural-ppe-in-the-wildland-environment

 

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Stipend program for volunteer first responders to move forward

The Riley County Commission on Monday supported moving forward with a first responder stipend program that would pay volunteer firefighters to provide improved basic life support coverage to the northern area of the county beginning in September.

The three commissioners said they would draft a motion and vote on the issue at a future meeting.

The program would provide all volunteer fire personnel with a stipend for each call they respond to. The county would pay $15 for a firefighter, $20 to a fire officer and $25 to basic life support providers and first responders. Paid fire staff members would not receive stipends.

With this program, Emergency Management Director Pat Collins said he believed it would help retain or attract volunteers, which the district has historically had struggles with.

Collins wrote in a report to the commission that some workers experience burnout, are busy with day jobs or move away for better pay or a full-time job. He wrote it is also time consuming and costly for first responders to maintain proper certifications and use their own vehicles to respond to calls, which they currently pay out-of-pocket.

Riley County Fire District 1 has an agreement with county EMS to help provide basic first response to emergency medical calls. In 2018, the district had 557 total calls for first responder services including 261 “unanswered” medical calls across the county, a record high.

It is the district’s policy to continue paging people until they have enough to mitigate emergencies, but Collins said they did not have available personnel to respond to those calls.

Collins said EMS and ambulance services eventually did respond, but with a delayed response time.

The average initial response time to medical calls in the northern area is more than 15 minutes. Collins wrote that the money will help reduce response time for medical calls to 10-15 minutes.

Commissioners tabled discussion on hiring one or more full-time employees with EMT and Kansas firefighter certifications who would help respond during the day when most volunteers are unavailable.

 

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KSFFA Regional Fire School – Dickinson Co. Fire Dist. #2 – October

KSFFA Regional Fire School
Hosted by Hope Fire Department
October 5-6, 2019
Location: Hope High School

 

Saturday Morning

  1. Engine Company Ops – 8 hours
  2. Rural Water Supply – 8 hours
  3. Basic Skills (including Firefighter Safety/Survival) – 8 hours
  4. Building Collapse – 4 hours
  5. Emergency Vehicle Operations – 4 hours – CE Hours
  6. Westar Energy Electrical Class – 2 1/2 hours

Saturday Afternoon

  1. Engine Company Ops, cont.
  2. Rural Water Supply, cont.
  3. Basic Skills, cont.
  4. Ventilation – 4 hours
  5. Westar Energy Electrical Class – 2 1/2 hours

Sunday Morning

  1. Thermal Imaging
  2. Propane Safety
  3. Fire Behavior

Sunday NOON

  1. KSFFA Burn Trailer

Contact Info – Chief Chad Lorson, 785-366-6697 or Steve Hirsch, KSFFA Secretary, 785-470-7120

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

 

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OSFM Welcomes Fire Investigator Quillan Houser

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is pleased to welcome Quillan Houser, who has joined the team as a fire investigator in Shawnee, Jackson, Douglas, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, and Johnson Counties. Quillan comes to OSFM from Washburn University, where he worked as a police officer for the past four years. He brings seven years of law enforcement experience to the position.

Quillan lives in Topeka with his wife, Hope, their son, Zeke, who is 11 months old, and Wieder, (pronounced Veeder) his chocolate lab/mastiff mix. He enjoys playing softball and watching Chiefs and Royals games.

“Throughout my law enforcement career, I was always interested in fire investigation,” Quillan said. “This position is a perfect fit for me, and I am excited for the opportunity.”

 

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Responders train for grain bin rescues

Emergency responders from multiple agencies are training in Chanute for grain bin rescues through Task Force 4.

The task force is part of Homeland Security and includes responders from emergency services of Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center and Labette Health, and fire departments in Pittsburg, Iola, Parsons, Chanute and Neodesha. The exercise was funded through the Southeast Kansas Homeland Security Council.

Dale Lowry, Chanute Fire Department and Task Force 4 Coordinator, said the group trains on a regular basis and has at least one funded exercise a year. Wednesday was the first day of a three-day event, depending on the weather.

Midwest Search and Rescue provided training instruction. The group is a non-profit organization made up of retired emergency responders.

The exercise is east of Chanute at a group of retired grain bins owned by Beachner Grain, which also supplied two truckloads of corn.

The trainees rotated through three stations where they learned how to build cofferdams, handle ropes and knots, or – in a tube called the “fun house” – deal with victims engulfed by grain. Participants train about an hour at each station, and afterwards the three groups combine in a scenario to rescue a victim from an actual bin.

Some participants will attend more than one day for training in different disciplines to meet specific job performance requirements.

Moisture can cause grain to clump together, Lowry said, forming a top crust while the farmer takes grain out of the bottom of the bin. Sometimes a farmer will go into the bin to break up the crust, then becomes engulfed by the grain.

Once caught, the grain acts like quicksand, and Lowry said being buried only up to the knees can trap someone. Cofferdams must be placed around the victim to keep him from sinking deeper. Any movement on top of the grain can push the victim down further, Lowry said, so sometimes rescuers must lower down from the top of the bin without touching the grain.

Lowry said people expect responders to simply yank the victim out, but they don’t.

“It’s a slow, methodical process,” he said.

If rescuers must cut into the bin to release the grain, Lowry said, they must cut on both sides or the bin will collapse.

The victim for the exercise is a mannequin called Rescue Randy, and there are four of them here. Unlike a department store mannequin, Rescue Randy weighs 170 pounds, has bendable joints and a soft and pliable texture, like a person.

Lowry said corn, used in the exercise, will react the same as other grains like wheat, milo, soybeans or even Ash Grove cement.

 

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Lexipol

Joining Forces to Improve Public Safety

We’re proud to partner with Kansas State Firefighters Association to provide solutions that reduce risk, enhance personnel safety and improve operational excellence.

Below are samplings of our educational content and free resources. Please share this with your associates and/or members.

  • “Addressing Firefighter Deviation from Policy” explains initial actions to take when confronting policy deviation as well as how to prevent further violations through a process of thorough investigation and understanding. 
  • Plus, I wanted to share with you the most prevalent fire training topics in 2018, here.

And, in case you missed it, Lexipol just provided a free fire-focused webinar entitled “The Data-Driven Fire Department: Using Analytics to Improve Operations and Reduce Firefighter Risks.” You can access the webinar on-demand, any time. Click to access the on-demand webinar now. 

Fire Science Students Will get Live Burn Experience

The LHS Fire Science students will engage in their first live burn experience beginning at 830am on Wednesday, April 3rd. This event will take place at the Liberal Fire Department’s Station 2, located on East Pine St.

The Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute, located at the University of Kansas, is bringing the live burn trailer which will allow students to make interior fire attacks at grade level, above grade level, and below grade level. The students make entry into an involved structure fire and employ direct, indirect, and combination fire attacks.

This is an event the students and teacher Wex Fox have been anticipating for quite some time. The activity will use many of the skills they’ve learned—donning bunker gear and SCBA (PPE); working in teams; advancing charged hose line; communications; interior fire attack methods; and retreating as a hose team, among others. The KU Burn Trailer gives them this opportunity to use those skills in live conditions and fulfills one of two requirements needed for the Local Verification Form.

 

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Job Opening – Deputy Fire Chief – McPherson Fire Department

 

For information visit https://www.mcpcity.com/DocumentCenter/View/3191/Deputy-Fire-Chief-Job-Description

 

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Arkansas City Fire Department push-in new fire engine

Community members helped the Arkansas City Fire Department push its new fire truck into the station Saturday afternoon to place it officially in service. Fire Chief Bobby Wolfe said the tradition dates back to when fire apparatus were hand- or horse-drawn, which required members of the fire company to push engines back ‘into quarters.’

 

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KCKFD’s newest team member

The Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department unveiled a new member to its team Monday.

Meet Zoom, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever.

The fire department said Zoom is a “live find K9,” which means he is trained to search for and locate trapped or lost human victims.

“Zoom locates a human scent and narrows the ‘source odor’ to a small area and gives a continuous barking alert until his handler arrives at that location,” the department said in a Facebook post.

Zoom’s handler is Mike Searcy, of the KCKFD, and he lives with the Searcy family when he’s not on duty.

“Zoom is the first live find K9 in the metro,” the department said. “Handler Searcy and Zoom is also available for mutual-aid request by other metro agencies.”

 

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Edgerton, FD#1 partner for plan

Edgerton will soon partner with Johnson County Fire District No.1 to develop a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan to be used in case of a major disaster.
Trig Morley, FD No.1 battalion chief, said the formalization of an emergency preparedness plan will put the community in a better position to deal with major emergencies and serves as an important tool in the recovery process.
Morley said at the March 14 council meeting that the comprehensive plan is geared towards dealing with all kinds of emergencies including floods, tornadoes and even disease outbreaks and epidemics.
“It’s an all-hazards approach,” he said.
He said the plan assigns responsibility for carrying out specific actions during an emergency and sets forth lines of authority and organizational relationships ensuring that all actions are coordinated.
The plan, which will be based on Kansas Planner, a statewide tool developed by the state government, will integrate with the Johnson County Emergency Preparedness Plan.
Morley said the process of developing the plan will include an analysis of hazards, testing the plan and outlining the basis for its maintenance and revision.
“It’s nice to make the plan community specific,” he said adding that for example Edgerton would need to consider rail traffic as a hazard that may not be present in other areas.
Included in the plan is the establishment of an emergency operations center from which to coordinate all activities during an emergency.
He said the center needs to be both physical and virtual and integrate with incident command system.
Morley said that plan will also incorporate a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) which specifies alternative places for city workers to perform their duties in case of disruption.
Don Roberts, mayor, asked how long it would take to complete the plan.
“It’s a multi-year process. Get started now and get caught up,” Morley said.
Ron Conus, councilmember said the plan needs to be kept simple.

 

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Stevens County conducts “structure training” workshop

The Stevens County Emergency Services department held a “structure training” workshop this Saturday, March 23rd. Members of the department burnt a house completely to the ground and then prevented the fire from spreading.

Before the house was engulfed in flames, emergency personnel performed a search and rescue mission.

As the weather gets warmers, wildfires are more likely to spread and workshops like this are useful for training purposes.

 

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OSFM Welcomes Dirk Christian as New Emergency Response Division Chief

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is pleased to welcome Dirk Christian, who has joined the team as the Emergency Response Division Chief. Dirk comes to OSFM from the University of Kansas, where he was the Fire Officer Program Manager for the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute. He has worked in the public safety and emergency services, with a 30-year military service career.

Dirk lives in Topeka with his wife, Amy, and has three children, Kylie, Alyssa and Jake. He also has a dog, Marley and a cat, Luna. He enjoys woodworking, camping, fishing and hunting in his spare time.

“I truly enjoy working with emergency services special operations,” Dirk said. “I have developed a unique set of experiences over the years through my involvement with the Kansas fire service and all of my experiences with the US Army and Army National Guard. As I retired from the military last year, I have pursued the ability to continue to work in these areas of public safety and this position. As the ER Division Chief for OSFM, it will allow me to continue to pursue my passion for service to state and to the nation.”

 

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Salina Fire K-9 Has Rare Skills

The Salina Fire Department has a member of its team who has rare skills. The agency’s K-9 is one of only two dogs of his kind in the country.

The Salina Fire Department has a new tool, in one of only two K-9s of its kind in the country.

According to the City of Salina, Fire Marshal Troy Long and his K-9 Hoke tested and passed their Foundation Skills Assessment with five other teams from the Kansas Task Force K-9 Unit on March 16th at Crisis City.

The team is now deployable assets for live-find disaster search in Kansas.

Hoke has now become one of two working K-9s in the United States to be certified as a dual purpose K-9 in accelerant detection/search and rescue. He is also one of three fire department based search dogs in the State of Kansas.

Over the next five weeks Long and Hoke will be preparing for a FEMA certification which makes them deployable anywhere in the United States.

“These K-9s are an invaluable resource not just across the state of Kansas, but the country. They have the ability to search and locate living victims trapped in structures and debris caused by natural and manmade disasters in a very short amount of time,” said Long.

 

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Kenneth Linot named Kansas VFW State Firefighter of the Year

Kenneth Linot, Derby Firefighter II, center left, was selected as the Kansas VFW 2018-19 State Firefighter of the Year. With him is, from left, Mayor Randy White; Jay Boyle, VFW Commander, VFW Post 7253; and Vance Hill, VFW Fifth District senior vice commander.

For Kenneth Linot, the major reward in his job as a Derby firefighter is clear: helping people in need and giving back to the community.

Linot, who has been with the department full time since 2012, was selected as the Kansas VFW 2018-19 State Firefighter of the Year.

He was presented with the award by VFW officials at the March 12 City Council meeting.

Linot said he is “very humbled.”

“It was unexpected,” he said. “Just something out of the blue.”

Linot was nominated for the award by Fire Chief Brad Smith, who cited Linot’s many career activities and accomplishments including being part of a team that rescued an elderly resident from his burning home in November 2016.

It was hard to pick out one individual in the department, Smith said, because “everyone carries the load,” but Linot is a solid representative of the staff.

“He’s a good reflection of what the department is all about,” he said. “It does make you proud.”

For his part, Linot credits his fellow firefighters for making his job go well.

Linot, 30, is a 2007 Rose Hill High School graduate. He went on to earn an associate’s degree in fire science from Butler Community College and has held a number of ranks and training levels including EMT, Fire Investigator I, hazardous materials technician and first responder for disasters.

He works extensively in education and fire prevention, including working with children who are involved in fire setting to help them understand the dangers of that activity.

Linot also works with high school students to give them an opportunity to see what the career entails.

Furthermore, he heads up Derby’s fire prevention program working with schools to educate young people.

In addition, he’s a volunteer with the Rose Hill and Douglass Fire Departments.

He lives in Douglass with his wife, Shawnell, and their three children.

Fire service runs in the blood line of the Linot family. His father, Melvin, is the deputy chief for Butler County’s Fire District No. 3, which his great grandfather helped start. His grandfather also was fire chief.

His older brothers also helped out as Rose Hill volunteers and one brother is now a fire marshal in Olathe.

When they were all in Rose Hill, there were many times when they got to meet up with each other – because they all responded to the same call.

Smith said Linot’s full slate of activities outside of responding to emergencies is an indication of what the field is like now.

“It’s not just sitting around waiting for the next call,” he said.

There is a lot of civic interaction, including education.

And Linot’s work in that regard has been especially important to Derby, he said.

“To me, fire prevention is one of the most important things we do,” he said.

 

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Fort Scott Fire Department to receive new engines and equipment

Every 25 years fire departments are mandated to refurbish their current engine to meet regulations or get a new one.

The Fort Scott fire department is in the process of getting a new engine with a ladder that will cost about $1.4 million, and another to hold water that will run about $400,000.

Rhonda Dunn, the Director of Finance for Fort Scott says, “We are currently looking into the retirement of two of our fire trucks and replacing two of those with newer fire trucks. We’re looking at all possibilities, were looking at all possibilities in hopes to find the best solution for our community.”

And the station and the city are still in the early stages of narrowing down their selections, but there are plenty of things to consider before they make their purchase.

“When you live in an old town, the 1800’s we have to be careful that it can maneuver the streets that we have. Also, we have a very low railroad bridge it has to go under, and so we have to consider the height of the equipment, the weight, the width and make sure it fits with our community,” she says.

And in addition to the engines, the fire department has plans to add new oxygen tanks to their fleet. Through the assistance to Firefighters Grant and a contribution from the city, the organization will be able to make the much needed upgrade.

Dave Bruner, deputy fire chief for the Fort Scott fire department says, “These air packs we have are 2004 models and 15 years, the bottles are actually obsolete so we would have to spend money to replace those bottles when we had an opportunity to go for a grant to purchase all the SCBA’s complete.”

The department plans to receive their new oxygen tanks by August. And the contribution from the grant and the city total to about $104,000.

Video

 

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Job Opening – Assistant Fire Director/EMT – Stafford County

Stafford County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications for an Assistant Fire
Director/EMT. This position will require a motivated individual with good personnel,
computer and managerial skills.
Qualified applicants should possess Firefighter 1 training, NIMS 100, 200, 700
certifications and a working knowledge of incident command or be willing to be trained
in this discipline. Applicant must be certified as a Kansas EMT.
Applicant must be willing to reside in St. John.
Salary is commensurate with experience and education. Stafford County offers an
excellent fringe benefit package. The job description and application are available at the
Stafford County Clerk’s Office, 209 N. Broadway, St. John, Kansas, (620) 549-3509.
Applications will be accepted until position is filled.
Stafford County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

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Seven fire departments receive grant

Firehouse Subs and their Public Safety Foundation awarded $126,749 worth of lifesaving equipment grants to seven Kansas fire departments.

The dedication took place at the restaurant on North Greenwich Road Tuesday afternoon.

Those receiving the grants were the following:

Burrton Consolidated Fire District #5
City of Russell Fire Department
Clearwater Emergency Services 48
Hutchinson Fire Department
Reno EMS at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center
Sumner County Fire District 8
Valley Center Fire Department

Video

 

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Water Supply from the Nozzle Back Hosted by: Harvey County Emergency Services Training Academy

This class will deal with moving water on the fire scene. Whether rural, suburban, or urban, water is delivered to the target via a nozzle. As fire professionals we have to know what the nozzle can do. A successful nozzle team is totally dependent on a properly supplied hose for the nozzle selected.
-We will address all types of nozzles, but the main class emphases will be on what YOU have.
-We will discuss hose sizes and friction loss of the hose you carry.
-We will practice different types of supply methods with a practical exercise in rural ops.

Show up ready to learn a few things and participate. It will be fast paced with discussion of your equipment, from CAFs to booster lines. We will touch on it all.

More Info & Sign up form

 

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Retirement – Captain Larry Peters – Topeka Fire Department

More than 27 years ago a friend of Captain Larry Peters said he was going to take a test to become a firefighter.

“I said, ‘well, hey, I’m going to take the test too.’ He didn’t pass. I did. And I got the job,” Peter said.

The rest was history.

He joined the Topeka Fire Department in 1992 and since then he’s not a lot to be proud of.

Cleaning up the TFD

Capt. Peters is in charge of taking care of the bunker gear. He makes sure the gear is repaired when necessary and cleaned regularly.

“When I first came on the job we did not clean our gear. And we wore it dirty. And to some guys, the mark of a good fireman was having dirty gear,” he explained.

He helped change the way the department takes care of the gear.

A lot of things such as carcinogens collect on the gear over time and he makes sure it is safe at all times.

“The man makes the man. The gear does not make the man. So you will see the majority of firefighters wearing clean gear today. It doesn’t mean that they don’t fight fire. It means that we wash our gear today. And that’s one of the very things that I’m proud of,” he added.

Saving Lives

Fifteen years ago, Capt. Peters and another firefighter won the department’s second highest medal for their quick action that saved two firefighter’s lives.

“They fell through the burned out stairs. And somehow, I don’t know how we did it, we pulled him up and Gill and I pulled him up out of the basement, and I don’t know how we did it,” he remembered.

He says he jumped into action without a second thought, and he said it’s just part of the job.

Becoming Captain

Six years ago, he became Captain.

He made Station No. 6 in the Oakland Neighborhood his second home and embraced the community.

He also helped save the fire hydrant that sits right outside of the station. He gathered several local artists and community members who helped decorate the hydrant with drawings that reflect the community.

Shawn Frank with the Topeka Fire Department said his Captain has become very popular.

“We always have people come here all the time looking for him, dropping cookies off, dropping food off. You know coming to say hi,” he said.

Peters said his time in Oakland have been some of the best years of his life.

Saying Goodbye

While there have been so many great moments in his past, Capt. Peters is looking forward to his next chapter.

He will retire in the middle of March.

“I have a beautiful wife at home that’s waiting for me to come spend time with,” he said with a smile.

He said there is a lot he is sad to leave behind.

“I’m going to miss the men that I work with, the people that I work with. I’m going to miss seeing the people in the community here,” he said.

However he said he’s just happy to have had a fulfilling career.

“I’ve always found something for the last 15 years of my career to find something to be involved with and help out the department and do more,” he said.

Firefighters at Station No. 6 say whoever comes in next will have some big shoes to fill.

Video

 

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NOTICE OF VACANCY – Senior Administrative Assistant – Requisition #192491 – Closes 4/2/2019

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has an opening for a Full-time Unclassified Senior Administrative Assistant.

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

  • administrative assistant to the Emergency Response Division and other divisions as needed;
  • composes correspondence, memorandums and reports as needed;
  • route calls and e-mails to appropriate unit staff;
  • creates and maintains multiple databases;
  • coordinates various meetings, arranging dates, times and locations;
  • handles notifications and/or mailings;
  • takes and distributes meeting minutes and other associated responsibilities;
  • staff support to the HazMat and Search and Rescue Advisory Committees;
  • handles accounting tasks for the division to insure all expenses/reimbursements resulting from contracts or authorized incidents are paid within established guidelines;
  • works with other state agencies and federal entities to manage all state and federal grant funds allocated to the division;
  • writes and submits timely reports to meet grant obligations;
  • travel and overnight stays to assist with conference and/or symposium registration and provide administrative support is required.

Pay Rate: $13.61 per hour

Minimum Requirements:

  • One-year experience in general office, clerical and administrative support work.
  • Education may be substituted for experience as determined relevant by the agency.
  • Must have a current, valid Kansas driver’s license.

Preferred Skills:

  • strong computer skills especially with Microsoft Word, Excel and Access

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:

  • Online State of Kansas Application form sent to Fire Marshal
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • College Transcripts, if applicable
  • Copy of all Training Certificates
  • current valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate
  • send to Brenda Schuette, brenda.schuette@ksfm.ks.gov

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

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 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 ACUTAL COPY of your certificate is not submitted on or before the vacancy closing date.

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

Process for Selection:  Upon receipt of your complete application packet, an evaluation of your qualifications will be conducted, and your status based on the established minimum 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

 

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KSFFA Regional Fire School – Plainville – June 2019

KSFFA Regional Fire School
Hosted by Plainville Fire Department
June 1-2, 2019
Location: Plainville High School, 202 SE Cardinal Avenue

Saturday – 8 a.m.

  1. Farm & Vehicle Extrication – 12 hrs.
  2. Rural & Suburban Water Supply – 8 hrs.
  3. Emergency Vehicle Operations – 8 hrs.
  4. KSFFA Skills Trailer (Ventilation, Firefighter Safety and Survival, RIT) – 12 hrs

Sunday – 8 a.m.

  1. Farm & Vehicle Extrication – cont.
  2. KSFFA Skills Trailer – cont.
  3. Wildland Fire (KSFFA)
  4. Building Construction
  5. Fire Cause & Determination

Sunday – NOON

  1. KSFFA Burn Trailer

Contact Info: Plainville Fire Chief Craig Wise 785-434-6406, cwise@cityofplainville-ks.gov or KSFFA NW Trustee Justin Couse 785-420-0465, justincouse1973@hotmail.com

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

 

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Fire damages heavy rescue vehicle at Paola fire station

Paola firefighters didn’t have to go far to respond to a fire call that came in at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 5.

In fact, it was a Paola firefighter who made the call after realizing that the front cab of the department’s heavy rescue truck was on fire.

Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Hartig said the vehicle was pulled out of the bay earlier in the day and parked outside the station while firefighters performed standard maintenance. When a couple of firefighters went to drive the vehicle back inside, they discovered flames coming out of the dash area.

Hartig said he is proud of his firefighters who worked quickly to call in the fire and put out the flames using a fire extinguisher. If left unchecked for a few more seconds, Hartig said the flames likely would have burst through the front windshield and spread to the exterior of the vehicle.

Despite their quick work, the flames charred the front dash, and smoke heavily damaged the rest of the vehicle.

Some of the equipment lost in the fire includes a thermal imager valued at about $10,000 and a new 800 MHz radio system also valued at about $10,000. The radio system was installed in the vehicle about two weeks before the fire.

Hartig said the fire appears to be electrical in origin, but an exact cause has not yet been determined. Firefighters quickly sealed off the vehicle’s front cab with caution tape so the scene could be investigated by officials from the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

City leaders told members of the Paola City Council, during a work session March 5, that the city’s insurance company EMC also plans to have an electrical engineer investigate the scene.

Meanwhile, Hartig and his fellow firefighters were left with the difficult task of trying to find a way to replace a vehicle that goes on nearly every fire call that comes into the station.

Luckily, Hartig said, less than a week earlier Miami County Fire District No. 1’s new Engine 5 arrived from Ohio, and fire district officials agreed to allow Paola firefighters to transfer over equipment and turn the engine into a temporary heavy rescue vehicle.

The equipment includes extrication tools, air cascade system for filling bottles, and confined space equipment, among others, Hartig said.

Because the engine also still features a water system and hoses, Hartig is calling it a rescue pumper.

Hartig said the damaged heavy rescue truck cost the city about $265,000 when it was purchased in 2007, and city officials said during the work session that it just had been paid off.

Job Opening – Fire Chief – Lawrence Fire Department

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical is a progressive, fast-paced organization committed to the pursuit of excellence, providing fully-integrated EMS and Fire Services to the City of Lawrence community. This commitment to excellence has yielded international accreditation through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, and an Insurance Services Offices (ISO) rating of 1; one of only five departments state-wide and seventy-one internationally with this distinction. Ideal candidates for this position will possess superior communication skills, passion for public service and the community, and a predisposition for creativity and innovation.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Direct and review the strategic planning, organizational activities and operations, and executive-level administration of the Fire Medical Department. This includes all emergency medical and ambulance services, fire suppression, prevention, technical services and administration across seven stations and two support facilities with 143 sworn staff and supplemental civilian support teams. Coordinate assigned activities with other city departments and outside agencies; inform and evaluate City Policies and Procedures regarding Emergency Management; provide highly responsible and complex administrative support to the City Manager.

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in fire science, emergency medical care, public administration, or a closely related field. Ten years of increasingly responsible command experience in an organized fire and emergency medical department including four to six years of high-level command, administrative, and supervisory responsibility. Experience working with an ISO-1 rated department and familiarity with accreditation process preferred. Must establish permanent residence within the incorporated boundaries of the City of Lawrence, Kansas within the first six (6) months after date of employment. Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid KS driver’s license and Kansas Registry EMT or Paramedic license by date of hire.

MUST SUBMIT ONLINE APPLICATION BY:
Monday, April 8th, 2018
WWW.LAWRENCEKS.ORG/JOBS

 

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NOTICE OF VACANCY – Information Technology Manager – Requisition #192381 – CLOSES 3/25/2019*

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has an opening for an Unclassified Information Technology Manager.  This vacancy closed 3/25/2019.

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

  • managing and delivering the daily operations of all agency information technology systems and activities;
  • establish and implement long-term goals, policies, and procedures for the information technology unit;
  • provide all network infrastructure requirements;
  • recommend system enhancements;
  • determine long-term systems needs
  • and hardware/software acquisitions

Pay Rate:  $65,000.00 annually; can vary depending upon experience and qualifications.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field
  • and five years’ experience in information systems and analysis;
  • or seven years’ experience in information systems and analysis.
  • Additional experience may be substituted for the required education as determined relevant by the agency.
  • Must have a current, valid Kansas driver’s license.

Preferred Skills:

  • Thorough knowledge of computer capabilities, equipment techniques and personnel utilization.
  • Thorough knowledge of activities related to voice, video and data communications, computer processing, work processing and database concepts.
  • Extensive knowledge of user agency information technology requirements and the ability to integrate these into software plans.
  • Ability to prepare technical and non-technical reports in a clear and concise manner both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • MCSC, CISCO Firewall experience, SQL Server, Server 2003, Server 2008R2 & Hyper V, and Server 2012 Operating System experience
  • Windows XP Client, Windows 7 and Windows 8 experience and Network experience desired.

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:

  • Online State of Kansas Application form sent to Fire Marshal
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • College Transcripts
  • Copy of all Training Certificates
  • current valid Kansas Tax Clearance Certificate
  • send to Brenda Schuette, brenda.schuette@ksfm.ks.gov

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

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 at http://www.ksrevenue.org/taxclearance.html.  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 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 ACUTAL COPY of your certificate is not submitted on or before the vacancy closing date.

Recruiter Contact Information:

Name:  Brenda L. Schuette

Phone: 785-296-0654

Email: brenda.schuette@ks.gov

Process for Selection:  Upon receipt of your complete application packet, an evaluation of your qualifications will be conducted, and your status based on the established minimum 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*

 

 

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Dodge City Fire Department history

Dodge City Hose Team. Two notable members were Wyatt Earp and Ed Masterson.

According to their mission, they are charged with serving the citizens of Dodge City through protection of life and property from losses from fire or other natural or man-made emergency situations.

Dodge City was founded in 1872, but it wasn’t until 1876 the privately owned Dodge City Fire Company formed with P.L. Beatty as its first Chief. Finally in 1887, the City formally established the Dodge City Fire Department. It was the three major fires in 1885 which led to the establishment of a municipal department. These fires were huge, each destroying entire city blocks.

Merely a day before the first fire struck on Jan. 18, 1885, one of the four of Dodge City newspapers, “Kansas Cowboy,” printed “Dodge City is a little paradise for fire insurance companies…” Before that date, there had been no disastrous fires because Dodge City had been a 24-hour town and there was always somebody awake and alert enough to put out fires or sound an alarm.

The first inferno started in a grocery store and burned eight businesses to the ground. The next devastating fire held off until November 29, 1885 when fire engulfed the block on Front Street between First and Second Avenues. The third fire came only 10 days later and destroyed the block just north of Walnut (Gunsmoke) between First and Second.

These three fires were disastrous financially. The second fire alone cost over $150,000 which is close to four million in 2019 dollars. The heart of Dodge City burned in these three blazes. Among the 14 businesses destroyed in the second fire were the iconic establishments of Delmonico’s Restaurant, Zimmermann’s Hardware, the Long Branch Saloon, Hoover’s Liquor Store and R.M. Wright & Company General Store.

This series of conflagrations would have killed most towns, but like a phoenix, Dodge City rose from the ashes. This was most apparent when Robert M. Wright contracted to have a replacement building constructed as his store was still burning. Dodge City’s newly formed Fire Department quickly made a name for itself when its 15 man fire hose team broke a world record at the 1887 Annual Fireman’s Tournament in Denver. Eleven men pulled a hose cart 450 feet, while two men pulled 100 feet of hose and hooked it to a hydrant, and the other two men shot a stream of water at least 20 feet.

They did all this in just a little under 32 seconds – a record which still stands. For this, the men won $800 (over $21,000 in 2019 money) and a silver fireman’s trumpet which is now at Boot Hill Museum.

It is uncertain where the first fire station was located.

Chalkley Beeson was the first Fire Chief and held the office until 1909. In 1888, Dodge City built a City Hall at Second and Trail which contained the U.S. Land Office, City offices and Fire Department. For the next 33 years the Department was housed there until moving to 313 Walnut (Gunsmoke) in 1921. In 1929, they moved into the new City Hall on Boot Hill. In 1950, the Department opened a south station at 105 South Second, which was replaced in 1995 by the current south station at 709 South 14th. In the meantime in 1990, they dedicated station at 201 Soule Street after moving out of the City Hall building.

Today Dodge City these two stations are manned by paid firefighters and EMT’s. They, along with the Ford County Fire Department, work hard to protect Dodge Citians from fires and to assist during medical emergencies.

Two notable people who have worked for the Dodge City Fire Department: Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson’s brother, Ed.

 

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Looking for historic fire stations in Kansas

Fire stations have been a landmark in Kansas communities since the early days of statehood. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but each one has contributed a great deal to the history of its community. The Kansas Historical Society is looking for firehouses across the state in an effort to document them for posterity and recognize their stories. Do you have a historic firehouse built before 1975 in your city or community? Know of an older fire station serving a rural or volunteer fire department?  We would love to hear about it! Send us a picture, date of the firehouse, and city or address when available. Email information about the stations to kshs.shpo@ks.gov.

 

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Hutchinson Fire Department awards

 

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Walton Fire Department promotions

The Walton Fire Department recently promoted several of its volunteers, moving those with experience into its top leadership roles and assigning a new role to former Chief Merlyn Johnson.

Johnson started volunteering as a firefighter in 1986 and has officially served as Walton’s fire chief for the past 14 years.

“We don’t get many cats out of trees. …We got a parrot off of the top of the elevator once,” Johnson laughed.

His motivation for joining the department came from a desire to support the town he lives in.

“It’s hard to find people who will give of themselves. We don’t get paid for what we do,” Johnson said.

Johnson and the other volunteer firefighters spend around 300 hours each year training for and responding to emergencies.

“When people call 911, they’re having the worst day of their lives and we’re expected to go deal with it,” Johnson said.

Besides grass and structure fires, the department also handles wrecks, natural disasters and hazard material spills.

“If I had to name one thing that we’d never have to do again, it’d be car accidents. Those are just the worst,” said WFD Captain Jeremy Ashby.

Johnson agreed dealing with wrecks has been the toughest aspect of the job, taking an emotional toll.

Several of the hundreds of crashes he has seen stick in Johnson’s memories, including one where he saw a woman drive past him in a suburban. Seconds later, he heard the distinctive sound of metal hitting metal as the suburban rammed headfirst into a semi. Miraculously, the driver survived.

Another car crash victim was unable to be saved after striking a tree and being partly ejected from the vehicle. Johnson and a fellow responder performed CPR on the young woman for two hours before being told there was no hope for her survival.

“That was a big one for me. When (the doctor) said we had to let her go, well, he was the doctor,” Johnson said.

Adding passing lanes and wider shoulders to Highway 50 has drastically reduced the number of deaths from car wrecks around Walton.

“We still run from one to three fatality accidents a year; we used to run from 12 to 15 a year,” Johnson said.

Each call is different and can affect the firefighters in different ways.

“EMT and medical training teaches you how to deal with a patient; they don’t teach you how to deal with death,” Johnson said.

“I don’t think anybody can be trained how to walk into it; the key is to provide a service for people to walk out of it,” Ashby said.

That is why both Ashby and Johnson are part of Harvey County’s Critical Incident Stress Management team.

Johnson said if it wasn’t for the CISM team, he would have been overwhelmed by the suicidal thoughts that started about five years into his firefighting career. Now, he prioritizes debriefings with the younger volunteers in his department after traumatic calls.

“I look at it as keeping my employees,” Johnson said.

Walton Fire Department also assists neighboring fire departments with large-scale incidents. Of those, the wildfires that burned near Burrton in 2016 was the most challenging, Johnson said.

Ashby, who was with Johnson at the time, recalled seeing trucks and horses going over the roads while they were on fire. The smoke was so thick at times, the men could not see each other while sitting in the same vehicle.

“The first three or four hours, I don’t know how we didn’t have anybody killed. It was a war zone,” Johnson said.

Johnson was placed in a command position to battle the winds blowing over 40 mph and burning grasses and trees throwing up flames topping 20 feet high.

The incident command system used was the same one Johnson helped to implement in Harvey County in 1991.

“It’s a structured way of managing incidences; turning chaos into a manageable situation,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s days spent fighting the wildfires — and years of additional experience — is something Ashby said is invaluable to the fire department. While no longer serving as chief, Johnson plans to spend at least the next year in his new role as a liaison officer for the Walton Fire Department.

“In a paid department, once that chief retires he doesn’t come back to help guys like myself who are working their way through the officer ranks,” Ashby said. ”…It’s just a confidence builder for me to know that I’m learning, but Merlyn’s there as instantaneous backup.”

“I’ve never been one to do it all. That’s not being lazy; it’s not being selfish, either. It’s sharing the load,” Johnson said. “How do you get involvement and ownership in the department? You give your captains and firefighters jobs to do, they do them and they feel good about it.”

Having co-chiefs for the fire department allows the volunteers to split up the responsibilities of operations and administration.

“That’s really rewarding, to watch people grow and know that the fire department doesn’t just revolve around one or two individuals,” Ashby said.

“We have a good department with a bunch of good people,” Johnson said.

Walton Fire Department provides and receives mutual aid from other fire departments, both in Harvey County and neighboring counties.

“We have an unbelievably lucky situation working in Harvey County, because our departments work well with them,” Johnson said.

Ashby said it is easy to call for additional resources — and sometimes aid is volunteered before it is requested.

“We’ve had fires where people have gone out of their way to call in and say, ‘hey, we’re available,’” Ashby said.

Recently, a system has been put in place to page several fire departments at the same time for structure fires in or around Walton.

“If we have a structure fire in town, automatically Hesston, Newton and Whitewater are coming to our fire,” Johnson said.

If the fire chief determines other departments are not needed for a fire, they will radio in to release them, but critical minutes are saved in case additional units are necessary.

That practice also gives support to the department because many of the volunteers do not work in Walton and may be unable to arrive quickly.

“When (a fire) happens, it happens. We don’t know,” Johnson said.

Recruiting new volunteers to the fire department is another challenge Johnson has taken on for several decades.

“Merlyn has single-handedly brought on 90 percent of the people we have right now,” Ashby said.

Around 20 years ago, the response to 9/11 brought an influx of young men to the fire department.

“Now, the average age is probably 30. We’re not seeing that younger generation. Our new members are probably 30-plus,” Ashby said.

Johnson said he is careful about asking people to volunteer; looking for people who own homes in Walton and are at a good time in their life to take on the role.

“It’s a major commitment. We don’t want someone for six months and then they’re gone,” Johnson said.

Walton Fire Department promotions

Bill Kemph has been with the Walton Fire Department for 19 years and has served every role on the fire department at some point in time. He has been the Assistant Chief for over a decade. Recently, he took on the role of Co-Chief alongside former Chief Johnson.
Chris Utter brings over 17 years of service to Harvey County residents. He has been promoted to Co-Chief to serve alongside Chief Kemph.
Will Kemph, with 12 years of firefighting experience, was promoted to Captain of the Red Crew. Kemph also serves as a full-time firefighter for Sedgwick County Fire District 1.
Tyson Old has served the Walton Fire Department for five years and was promoted to Captain of the Green Crew.
Kyle Kientz, with 13 years of experience at the Walton Fire Department, has been promoted to the role of Safety Officer.
Jeremy Ashby has been with the Walton Fire Department for nine years and was promoted to Captain of the Blue Crew.
Merlyn Johnson has taken on the role as Liaison Officer. Johnson has experience working many incidents throughout Harvey County since 1986. Johnson has served as the Walton Fire Chief for 14 years.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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The Jon Clair Memorial Golf Tournament 2019

The Jon Clair Memorial Golf Tournament 2019

 

 

Job Opening – Fire Medic – Overland Park Fire Department

The City of Overland Park Fire Dept is accepting applications for the position of full time Fire Medic.

Responsibilities: This is a highly skilled fire fighting, emergency medical services and fire prevention position. Extinguishes and prevents fires to protect life and property; performs basic and advanced life support care to the sick and injured, maintains fire station equipment, apparatus, quarters, and operating equipment; provides public education; and prevention duties. Work is performed in accordance with general supervision and written procedures, under the command of a superior officer.

Requirements: High school diploma or GED. Associates Degree in Fire Science and/or Emergency Medicine is preferred. Must possess a Kansas Paramedic certification. Must be certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Must possess a valid driver’s license and maintain an insurable driving record. Medical certification required for use of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. Must have a current paramedic and AED certification by the Kansas Board of EMS or National Registry. If National Registry certified, employee must obtain Kansas Board of EMS certification within first year of employment. Employees hired prior to July 1, 2011 must be Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 qualified and have satisfactory progress with the ongoing competencies and requirements of the equivalent of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1001 Professional Firefighter Qualifications, NFPA 472 Hazardous Materials Competencies for the First Responder at the Operational Level, and NFPA 1002 Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator Professional Qualifications and Certifications. Employees promoted to Fire Medic or hired after July 1, 2011 must have Firefighter 1 and Firefighter 2 Certification in the State of Kansas or equivalent International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) or Pro Board Certification. Valid CPAT required. No City residency requirement.

Attaching a resume does not complete the application.  You must fully complete the application to be considered for employment.  All fields including the required licenses and certificates must be completed or you will be automatically disqualified.  An email address is necessary to apply online and receive an electronic confirmation that you successfully submitted the application.

Must successfully pass a background check, drug screen, physical, and psychological evaluation.

Qualified applicants will be scheduled for a FireTeam Video Test March 21, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. at the Fire Training Center. Learn more at www.ergometrics.org.  Copies of all required certifications will be collected at this time and are mandatory before allowing entrance into the exam. A photo ID will be required before allowing entrance into the exam.

Normal Work Hours:  24-hour shift; schedule to be determined by supervisor.

Salary:  $3,686/mo.

Application Deadline: 3/15/2019

Benefits:  Full-time

EO/M/F/D/V



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