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One killed in two-car crash

Pittsburg Morning Sun – August 21, 2018

A Pittsburg man is dead following a mid-morning, two car wreck Monday.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol Crash Log, at a little after 9 a.m Monday, Stephen Hite, 70, of Pittsburg, was driving south on U.S. Highway 69 about two miles south of Pittsburg in a 1989 Ford Ranger when he slowed to make a left-hand turn onto E 510 Ave.

According to KHP, as Hite slowed to make his turn he was struck from behind by a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Patrick Commons, 49, of Pittsburg.

Hite’s vehicle overturned and both vehicles came to rest in the east ditch.

Hite died in the accident and Commons was taken to Via Christi with unspecified injuries.

Both drivers were wearing seatbelts.

 

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Collision takes South Hutchinson fire truck out of service

Hutchinson News – August 20, 2018

A South Hutchinson fire truck was hit by another vehicle while responding to an alarm Sunday morning, forcing the emergency vehicle out of service.

According to South Hutchinson Police Chief Mark Thompson, Engine 80 was responding to a fire alarm at 600 W. Blanchard with lights and siren about 8:50 a.m.

The truck stopped at the stoplight at Blanchard and Main before proceeding across the intersection against the light.

A Hutchinson motorist, Juan Flores, 33, who was northbound on Main Street, told officers he saw the truck and attempted to stop, but his Chevy Tahoe slid into the driver’s side door of the firetruck because of the wet pavement.

Two passengers in Flores’ vehicle complained of stomach pain caused by their seat belts, Thompson said. No one of the firetruck was injured.

Fire Chief R.C. Watson could not be reached Monday morning for additional information about the damages.

 

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Two men riding in golf cart killed in Dickinson County crash

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – August 20, 2018

Two men who were traveling in a golf cart were killed Saturday night when their vehicle was struck by a pickup truck on a rural Dickinson County road, authorities told The Topeka Capital-Journal on Monday morning.

The fatality victims were identified as Lucas Hicks, 28, of Herington, and Casey Schardein, 28, of Hope.

Dickinson County sheriff’s officials said they were investigating whether alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

Dickinson County Undersheriff James Swisher said the crash was reported around 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the 500 block of Rain Road, about 3 miles southeast of Hope in rural Dickinson County. Swisher said Rain Road is a gravel road at that location.

Swisher said the two fatality victims were riding in a 2009 Yamaha golf cart that was headed south on Rain Road when it collided with a northbound 2013 Chevrolet Silverado.

Swisher said the preliminary investigation indicated the golf cart “made an abrupt turn in front of the truck” for an unknown reason.

Swisher said the front of the truck struck the right-front quarter panel of the golf cart.

Both Hicks and Schardein were pronounced dead at the scene. Autopsies are scheduled to be performed on both of the fatality victims.

The driver of the pickup truck, Craig Banman, 27, of Hillsboro, was reported uninjured. Swisher said Banman was alone in his vehicle.

All three had been attending a bachelor party and knew each other, according to Swisher.

 

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Man killed, boy injured in Stafford County crash

Topeka Capital Journal – August 20, 2018

A man was killed and a boy was injured in a single-vehicle, rollover crash Sunday night in Stafford County in south-central Kansas, authorities said.

The crash was reported around 8:35 p.m. on US-50 highway at S.E. 70th Avenue, about six miles south and one mile east of the town of Stafford.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said the crash occurred when a 1998 GMC Yukon was traveling south at a high rate of speed and hit a patch of water in the roadway, causing it to travel south into a sandy field. The patrol said the vehicle overturned five times, coming to rest in the roadway facing northwest.

The driver of the Yukon, Marvin E. Julian, 51, of Stafford, was transported to Stafford County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The patrol said Julian wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

A passenger in the Yukon, Mason Lee Julian, 13, of Stafford, was reported injured and was transported to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. The patrol said he wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

 

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1 killed, 1 critically injured in crash in Ark City

KAKE – August 20, 2018

One man is dead and another is critically hurt in a high-speed crash in Ark City.

The crash happened around midnight on Summit Street. Ark City Police Chief Dan Ward said the vehicle was traveling around 90 mph when the driver lost control over train tracks. The car then hit four utility poles, and a mailbox before coming to a stop. Police say both men were ejected from the vehicle.

One was pronounced dead on scene and the other was taken to a Wichita hospital. Investigators believe alcohol contributed to the crash. The names of the men have not been released.

 

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Lenexa Police investigating overnight death

By Mike Frizzell/Operation 100 News
Shawnee Dispatch – August 20, 2018

Photo by Mike Frizzell/Operation 100 News

Shawnee police officers and firefighters assisted with an armed disturbance and a house fire at a Lenexa residence early Sunday morning.

Lenexa Police confirmed to Operation 100 News the incident in the 15300 block of West 84th Street was a suicide.

Recorded radio traffic from the Shawnee Police Department indicates Lenexa officers were called to an address on West 84th Street, west of Lackman Road, on reports of an armed disturbance around 12:10 Sunday morning.

Firefighters also responded to a house fire on the scene.

Lenexa Police requested emergency assistance from Shawnee police at the scene. The Kansas Highway Patrol also responded to the call for assistance.

Danny Chavez, the public information officer for the Lenexa Police Department, said, “it was a suicide.”

Chavez declined to comment any further on the incident.

Firefighters from Lenexa, Shawnee, and Overland Park responded to the same address at 12:26 a.m. and initially staged in the area until police could confirm the scene was secure for them to enter the neighborhood.

Several officers were still walking around the neighborhood with rifles when firefighters first arrived on the scene.

Operation 100 News has reached out to the Lenexa Fire Department for more information regarding the fire side of the incident and will continue to update the story as more details become available.

Damage to the home’s exterior appeared minor, with most of the windows remaining intact. The only openings on the house were the front door and open garage doors.

On the scene, light smoke could be seen coming from the home’s garage doors and front door. Firefighters opened upstairs windows to let more smoke out.

Neighbors told Operation 100 News they heard gunshots and a man yelling about a fire.

One neighbor said the man, who she knows as a resident of the home, was sitting in a chair, looking at the house as he shouted about a fire and shooting a gun into the air.

On scene, police could be seen covering an area in the driveway with a large blue tarp. At one point, officers held up the tarp, to block the neighbors’ view as Johnson County Med-Act looked at the person who was under it.

 

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Kan. man dead, 4 hospitalized after pickup and SUV collide

Hays Post – August 20, 2018

One person died in an accident just before 6a.m. Sunday in Stevens County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 1994 Chevy S10 driven by Asuncion Jimenez, 66, Hugoton, was eastbound on Road V three miles south of Moscow, Kansas.

The driver failed to stop at the stop sign on Road 20. A southbound 1994 Chevy Tahoe driven by Delia A. Giron, 35, Ulysses, struck the S10 in the driver’s side.

Jimenez was pronounced dead at the scene and was transported to Paul’s-Robson Funeral Home in Ulysses.

Giron and passengers in the Tahoe Maria Rodriguez, 61;Yaretzi Giron and Gabriela Rodriguez, 17, all of Ulysses were transported to the Stevens County Hospital

Jimenez was not wearing a seat belt, according to the KHP.

 

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Driver cited for crash that left woman trapped in vehicle

KWCH – August 20, 2018

A driver was cited for leaving the scene of a crash where a woman was trapped inside an upside down vehicle.

Police located the suspect vehicle in the southeast corner of Hutchinson.

Armando G. Fierro was cited for disobeying a stop sign and failure to report an injury/major damage accident.

Police say the two citations are both misdemeanors.

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Hutchinson police are asking for the public’s help in locating a hit-and-run suspect who left the scene of a crash where a woman was trapped inside an upside down vehicle.

The crash happened around midnight Saturday morning at the intersection of Avenue B and Adams.

Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extract the driver from her vehicle.

Police are searching for a white Chevy Impala 2006 to 2011, with major front end damage.

 

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Shawnee police officer spots early-morning restaurant fire

By Mike Frizzell – Operation 100 News
Shawnee Dispatch – August 20, 2018

Photos by Mike Frizzell/Operation 100 News

Shawnee Fire is investigating after something in the kitchen area of the Shawnee Mission Parkway Applebee’s caught fire early Sunday morning.

Fire Marshal Corey Sands says a Shawnee police officer was driving through the area about 3:30 a.m. when he smelled what he thought to be burning plastic.

The officer checked the area and discovered that light smoke was filling the Applebee’s at 11500 Shawnee Mission Parkway.

“Firefighters responded and extinguished a fire in the kitchen area,” Sands said. “No one was injured.”

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. Damage is estimated at $25,000.

Sands says the Applebee’s will remain closed until the damage can be repaired and the Kansas Department of Agriculture can complete an inspection of the business.

Firefighters from the Overland Park Fire Department and Consolidated Fire District No. 2 assisted Shawnee firefighters at the scene.

 

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Visible smoke on the horizon

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – August 20, 2018

Photos by Jesse Brothers

The smell of Kyle Campbell’s barbecue that he’s perfected in competitions the last few years filled the air on Saturday around Carey Park, as a group of firefighters eagerly waited to sink their teeth into the pork shoulder.

Saturday’s annual picnic for the Hutchinson Fire Department was much different than the last time some firefighters tasted Campbell’s cooking. This time, they got to enjoy what they ate.

No fire alarms to worry about or houses to save, just the sweet taste of slow cooked BBQ.

Campbell used his 16-foot competition trailer outfitted with cooking equipment to prepare 150 to 200 meals during the first night of the 2017 wildfires north of Hutchinson that destroyed 10 homes and burned 5,500 acres. He continued to help the next few days as firefighters battled to bring the fire under control.

Campbell saw firefighters handed a bologna sandwich and sifted through a box of pizza another night. Some didn’t eat at all.

“Lo and behold you guys have been out there and fighting this fire for us and here is a bologna sandwich,” he said. “And these guys will probably tell you that is the best bologna sandwich they have tasted, but is it really going to get them what they need to get back out there?”

Campbell cooked for family and friends for years before he began competing for the first time in Derby in 2015. He helped with the nonprofit Operation BBQ Relief that formed in 2011 to provide food for people and first responders impacted by the F-5 tornado that killed at least 158 people in Joplin, Missouri.

Volunteers from competition BBQ teams in eight states responded to Joplin, according to the organization’s website.

Campbell went with Operation BBQ Relief to Eureka after a tornado hit the town in 2016. Campbell said he went again in June after an F-3 tornado hit Eureka, injuring at least eight people.

He said volunteers from the Joplin tornado saw pallets of water left untouched on corners around the city. Campbell said community donations during the Hutchinson wildfires led to waste as well.

Campbell saw the need for a coordinated effort.

He started the Code 2 Canteen Facebook page and hopes to raise money for a canteen with community donations and a raffle for two smokers and a grill. Code 2 is used by some fire departments to indicate visible smoke.

The raffle was slated to end Aug. 25, but Campbell has considered pushing that back since he has not gotten donations or $20 raffle sales to cover the cost of the items, valued at $1,500. The raffle will be streamed live on the Code 2 Canteen Facebook page from the HFD Training Division on East Fourth. Winners do not need to be present.

Campbell said he needs to raise as much as $33,000 to buy and furnish a roughly 32-foot trailer that he hopes to use to feed first responders in Reno County and surrounding areas during an emergency.

“If you can donate $5 out of your monthly budget, I can feed five guys,” Campbell said.

Campbell’s long-term goal is to have the canteen operational and, during an emergency, be able to communicate out to the public first responders’ needs. That will free up first responders to concentrate on the disaster and allow them to only communicate with one person for needs like chapstick during a catastrophe.

“It’s one big thing off the logistical officer’s plate,” fire chief Steve Beer said. “It’s a great concept.”

This is the second year Campbell has cooked for the HFD’s annual picnic. He volunteers his time to prepare the meal. Campbell enjoys cooking and it offers him some reprieve from worrying about the canteen.

 

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Butler Co. EMS receives Service of the Year Award

Butler County Times Gazette – August 20, 2018

Butler County EMS (BCEMS) was the recipient of the 2018 Career Service of the Year Award from the Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association (KEMSA). The “Honoring Our Own” awards banquet took place on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Kansas Star Event Center in Mulvane, Kan. during the annual KEMSA Conference & Expo.
BCEMS serves a population of 68,000 with a staff of 50 paramedics and EMTs. Last year, they ran 5,750 emergency calls and 441 non-emergency calls. For the past year or more, their innovative changes have focused on ways to enhance their services to the community through the use of data to improve the safety of the crew, patients, and the public.
For safety initiatives, BCEMS designed a new low-top sprinter ambulance allowing crews to remain seated during transport. The units also have power cots and power load systems to decrease the workload for the crew members. Along with the new ambulances came the need to review their use of lights and sirens. Using outcome data and working with their Emergency Communications Center, they were able to change policies and respond to over 65% of their calls without the use of lights and sirens. This had no adverse patient outcomes and improved the safety of the crew, patients, and the public. Another safety initiative was addressed as the service created new uniforms for personnel to ensure they were visible on scene, especially roadways.
For patient care initiatives, BCEMS’ focus has been on providing high quality care to the patients they serve. In order to do that, they improved their training program. Most of the training is scenario-based and focuses on enhancing the care they provide. Their new program allows crew members to get well over 100-hours of continuing education each year. Cardiac arrest response has also changed as a patient care initiative. In 2017, BCEMS received recognition as a Mission: Lifeline Silver Plus EMS agency by the American Heart Association. This recognition is based on the agency meeting multiple criteria over a 12-month period to improve the quality of care for cardiac, and especially STEMI patients.
For public outreach initiatives, BCEMS developed a Public Education and Outreach position to focus solely on reaching out to the community to provide trainings like Stop the Bleed, First Aid, CPR, and more. They also help with the SafeKids program and car-seat safety checks along with interacting with the community at fairs, children’s events, and more. This has greatly increased their visibility to the public.
The position of Quality Improvement Director has been created to help with data management. This position is responsible for tracking and reviewing data in relation to patient care and operations. The goal is to provide a better picture of how the service is performing when it comes to responding to emergencies and providing care to patients.
Overall, BCEMS has made significant strides over the last couple of years. Their new ambulance design was showcased at a nation show, EMSWorld Expo in Las Vegas, and had an article written about it in EMSWorld. Their patient care initiatives improved outcomes for patients across various disease processes and allowed more people to return to a normal lifestyle than ever before in Butler County. Lastly, their increase in public outreach will greatly enhance the public’s ability to assist in emergencies while improving prevention programs. BCEMS is committed to creating a safer environment for its crews, patients, and the public while enhancing the care they provide. They are committed to making a difference, which they have been able to do even better over the last few years.
This award recognizes a paid EMS system that exemplifies outstanding professionalism and service to the community it serves. This award honors agencies for their dedication, teamwork, and commitment to EMS.
KEMSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of EMS in Kansas. KEMSA has members throughout Kansas and in surrounding states at every level of EMS. KEMSA was formed in 1996 after members from several EMS factions decided to unite to have a single voice for EMS in Kansas. Learn more at www.kemsa.org.

 

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House explosion in Wilson being investigated by fire marshal

Salina Journal – August 20, 2018

An explosion of unknown origin did major structural damage to a home in Wilson Thursday night, but no one was seriously injured.

According to Wilson Fire Chief Larry Langerman, a strong explosion occurred just after 10 p.m. at a home at 713 24th. The house was occupied by Tammy Reed, age unknown, and two dogs. Reed and the dogs were able to escape. The dogs were not injured. Reed was treated at the scene by Ellsworth County emergency medical personnel for minor cuts and scrapes.

Members of both the Wilson and Ellsworth fire departments were called and were able to contain a small fire in the bathroom on the south side of the home.

The cause of the explosion is being investigated by the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office. Langerman said it could take two weeks to a month to complete the investigation.

 

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Teenager rescued from floodwater

By Ray Nolting
Parsons Sun – August 20, 2018

The Hackberry Township Fire Department late Friday afternoon rescued a teenager who was caught in the swift water of a swollen creek and had grabbed onto a tree for safety.

The initial call was that a vehicle was in the creek that flows under (and over) Trego Road between 9000 and 8000 roads and its driver was in a tree. In fact, the Amish teenager had been riding a mule to his home in rural Chetopa and apparently couldn’t get around the deep and swift current in the area. The teen grabbed onto a nearby tree and climbed about 4 feet above the water level. The mule ended up on dry spot west of Trego Road and should be able to walk out after the water subsides.

Hackberry Township Assistant Chief Leighton Davis, no stranger to water rescues, and Hackberry firefighters used the department’s six-wheel-drive rescue truck to drive into the floodwater and reach the teenager. The 40,000-pound military vehicle is made for such rescues and Davis said as long as the vehicle stayed on the gravel roadbed, the current would not sweep it away. The vehicle drove through water that reached the top of its tall tires and backed up to dry land after the rescue.

“And there was a good current where he was at,” Davis said.

Flint Landrith was the rescue swimmer who braved the current tethered to a rescue rope to get to the teenager, identified by his parents as David Stutzman, 15. Firefighters Zach Foster and Tyler Davis held the rescue rope and pulled Landrith and the teenager to the truck.

Leighton Davis said Landrith took about 20 minutes to get to Stutzman and carried an extra PFD. Landrith secured the rescue rope to himself and Stutzman.

“And then we pulled them out instead of having them swim back to the truck,” Leighton Davis said.

Firefighters had Landrith and Stutzman float while they pulled the rescue rope in.

“So (Landrith) got very wet and the kid was pretty scared,” Leighton Davis said.

Landrith said he was able to walk to Stutzman for the most part. There was some deeper water he had to float through. Once at the tree, he placed the life jacket on Stutzman and secured the rescue rope.

“When everything was ready, Zach and Tyler pulled me back to the truck,” Landrith said.

Landrith said at its deepest the water was about chest high. The current was fast.

“When I stepped off that ledge there I had to readjust to try again,” Landrith said of trying to reach Stutzman.

Labette Health Ambulance Service personnel checked Stutzman before releasing him to his parents. The Labette County Sheriff’s Department was assisting at the scene as well.

 

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Battle of the Badges drive brings in 288 pints of blood

By Ryann Brooks
Emporia Gazette – August 20, 2018

More than 280 pints of blood were collected as the Emporia Fire Department came out victorious at the conclusion of the 2018 Battle of the Battles Blood Drive Friday afternoon.

The battle is an annual blood drive that boosts reserves for the American Red Cross. Although law enforcement has won the last two years, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and Emporia Police Department only earned 107 votes this year to the fire department’s 171.

Fire Marshal Reason Bradford said “perseverance” kept the fire department on track for a win. Because the battle is usually held over two days, he said adding a third day this year helped bring in more donations.

“I believe it’s just perseverance and we just stayed on course this year,” Bradford said. “It’s been much easier this year. I can’t believe we were almost 70 votes over law enforcement.”

Bradford said blood donation was always important, and without the community support for the event it wouldn’t be possible. With a goal to collect 260 pints of blood this year, the drive exceeded expectations with a collection of 288 pints.

“It’s always important to have a good blood supply for the Red Cross,” he said. “We always know that in the summer time they’re always short. We see a lot of repeat people that we see year after year after year and not only that, we get a lot of new people coming in and donating. We always appreciate that.”

Emporia Police Department Investigator Dominick Vortherms couldn’t hide his disappointment as he watched the fire department hoist the coveted trophy in celebration, but he said he was confident law enforcement would make a comeback in 2019.

“I don’t know what happened this year,” Vortherms said. “We’ve kind of run a little dynasty over the past eight years on the fire department. We’ve done two in a row. Reason Bradford is a hard competitor to beat. He brought out Dilly bars. We’ve got to try some new strategies next year.”

Still, Vortherms was glad to see that the drive exceeded expectations.

“We beat our goals this year that we set for this three-day blood drive,” he said. “I think that’s the big thing. We got in our pints or units, so I’m happy with that. It was a big community draw and we’ve been steadily busy the last three days.”

American Red Cross Account Manager Susan Faler said she was thrilled with the community support for the drive.

“This was the first time that we’ve had three days of the Battle of the Badges,” Faler said. “We weren’t real sure if that was just going to thin out the other two days, but actually we had more people show. We had fabulous turnout. It’s been wonderful.”

Faler said for every pint of blood that’s donated, up to three lives can be saved. Blood has a shelf life of 42 days, and people can donate once every 56 days. Because of that, Faler said the drive had a big impact. The blood collected during the drive has the ability to help upwards of 864 people.

“This is really going to help us in our region because this was just an overwhelming response for numbers for us,” she said. “Every time we have a pint of blood, that can save up to three lives.”

Faler said she couldn’t thank the community enough for all of the support.

“Without the community, we can’t do it,” she said. “That impresses the most about me having this job, what I’m excited about is everybody who comes in to donate are all volunteers. Nobody’s really getting paid, so it’s all volunteer, and that shows what a good community we have when we have that many people come in. For the size town that we have, we have outstanding donors that come in religiously.”

Clara Corn was one of the many people from the community who came out to donate this year. She said this was her first time donating blood, though she’s been wanting to do it for years.

“I’ve been trying to for years and just finally made my schedule work for it [and] have been really trying hard for the past year,” Corn said. “Previously, I’d been afraid of passing out and missing work.”

Corn said donating went faster than she expected and she was already making plans to give again.

“It went by really fast,” Corn said. “The fact I was right across from my husband who’s given before made it much easier. I’ll definitely give again.”

Corn said people wishing to donate should make sure to keep hydrated beforehand and know that the time goes by quickly.

“I’d say not to stress, it doesn’t take long,” she said. “Just hydrate and make sure you eat beforehand and schedule time to rest afterward.”

Colter Henning said he had been giving blood for years, and donates as much as he can.

“I’ve been donating since high school,” Henning said. “It started as a way to get out of class, but it saves lives. I’ve always been fairly healthy, so the least I can do is donate some blood to help people.”

 

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Miltonvale EMS Service Receives Volunteer Service of the Year Award

North Central Kansas News – August 17, 2018

Miltonvale EMS was the recipient of the 2018 Volunteer Service of the Year Award from the Kansas Emergency Medical Services Association (KEMSA). The “Honoring Our Own” awards banquet took place on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm at the Kansas Star Event Center in Mulvane, Kan. during the annual KEMSA Conference & Expo.

Miltonvale EMS is a city-based EMS service that provides BLS prehospital care with volunteers to the citizens of the city of Miltonvale in Cloud County. The service responded to 57 emergency calls in 2017 with two ambulances.

Miltonvale EMS provides service in Cloud County along with Concordia Fire/EMS and Clyde. Recently, the agency has made some great strides in prehospital care/protocol development, medical community involvement, EMS system/program upgrade, and public education projects.

Miltonvale EMS was nominated for this award because of its proactive approach to emergency patient care in their community and its ability to improve relationships with surrounding hospitals. In addition, they continue to advance their training and improve their capabilities by purchasing new equipment. The nomination praised the care they provide their patients and how they are always looking to improve.

When looking at innovations in prehospital care, you can congratulate Miltonvale EMS on being awarded the Dane Hanson Grant in April 2018 for $30,000 that helped them buy a new Zoll X series monitor that will be used on their first out unit. For a super rural, BLS, volunteer agency, this grant was very much appreciated and deserved. As for protocols, Concordia, Clyde and Miltonvale worked hand in hand to develop protocols that would work for everyone, so that the smaller services of Miltonvale and Clyde could focus more on patient care and less on the administrative portion of protocols.

Since Miltonvale doesn’t have a hospital, the surrounding medical communities are very important to the agency along with strengthening those relationships. Thus, Miltonvale has a fantastic relationship with the receiving facilities and asks the hospitals for ways they can improve their pre-hospital patient care.

Recently, Miltonvale was able to improve staff morale and make the agency more efficient by implementing a new staff structure. They added internal positions of secretary, maintenance supervisor and program manager to take some of the responsibilities off the EMS director and encourage others to be involved. This has also helped with recruitment and retention as the staff are more active in the agency and are working to recruit new people as well.

As for public education, Miltonvale recently developed a facebook page in order to make themselves be more in front of the public. This has given them an opportunity to share what good things are happening in their agency to the public, what they are doing to make the public more comfortable, and let’s the public get to know who they are and what exactly they do.

This award recognizes a volunteer (or combination of paid/volunteer) EMS system that exemplifies outstanding professionalism and service to the community it serves. This award honors agencies for their dedication, teamwork, and commitment to EMS.

KEMSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of EMS in Kansas. KEMSA has members throughout Kansas and in surrounding states at every level of EMS. KEMSA was formed in 1996 after members from several EMS factions decided to unite to have a single voice for EMS in Kansas. Learn more at www.kemsa.org.

 

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Job Opening – Firefighter/EMT or Firefighter/Paramedic – Johnson County Fire District #2

JOHNSON COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT 2
19120 Metcalf Avenue
Stilwell, KS 66085

Position Announcement
FireFighter/EMT FireFighter/Paramedic

August 17, 2018

Open Position: Firefighter/EMT or Firefighter/Paramedic

Purpose: Johnson County Fire District No. 2 (Stilwell, Kansas) is accepting applications for the position of full-time Firefighter/EMT or full-time Firefighter/Paramedic. This position is a non-exempt shift work position and is subject to background check and drug screening.

Qualifications: Required qualifications include: Must be at least 18 years of age, a high school diploma or GED, a valid driver’s license, Firefighter I, and Kansas Certified Emergency Medical Technician (or equivalence), CPAT, and FSEE.

Preferred Qualifications: Kansas Certified Paramedic (or equivalence), Firefighter II, KS Class B driver’s license

Entry Level Salary: Firefighter/EMT -$37,815 (w/no previous full-time experience)

Entry Level Salary: Firefighter/Paramedic – $41,596 (w/no previous full-time experience)

Applications will be accepted until 5pm on August 31, 2018.

Please submit a letter of interest, resume, an employee application, and provide copies of required certifications to the Fire District’s Administrative Assistant at or send by mail to: Johnson County Fire District No. 2, 19120 Metcalf Ave, Stilwell, KS 66085

www.jcfd2.org

Johnson County Fire District No. 2 is an equal opportunity employer.

7.5 Firefighter-EMT – Policy Manual

 

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Franklin ‘Frank’ Lee Harbold

Franklin Lee Harbold, 72, of Hutchinson, died August 3, 2018. Born January 24, 1946, to George and Lavona Harbold. He was a retired Captain for the Reno County Fire Department. Worked as a reserved Sheriff Deputy, KS State Grain inspector, and at Winchester Packing.
He is survived by: wife, Connie; son, Mark; daughter, Shelly Satterfield, (Mike); brother, Jim; sisters, Maxine Shanks, Jean Chandler, and Mary Nichols; Grandchildren, Tyler Montandon, Bailey Harbold, Alissa Satterfield, Britney Satterfield.
He was preceded in death by: four brothers, Billy, Wayne, John, and Raymond.
Celebration of life, Thursday, August 9, 2018, 3 p.m., at Salt City Cowboy Church with Pastor Montie McFerrin officiating.

 

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Hurley and Huddleston honored in National Bike Ride

Eureka Herald – August 8, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – August 17, 2018

Two local heroes were honored last week, following a National EMS Memorial Bike Ride along the east coast. The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride honors Emergency Medical Services personnel by organizing and implementing long distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve everyday, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty. Over 100 riders rode 512 miles in seven days, from Boston to Washington DC.

Each rider honored a fallen EMS member by wearing two dog tags engraved with their names. Following the bike ride, one of the dog tags is presented to the honoree’s loved ones. The rider keeps the second dog tag and continues to wear it in future rides. A presentation took place in Wichita last Thursday, August 2, where five Kansas EMS members were honored, two with ties to Greenwood County.

Danny Hurley was among those honored this year. Danny passed away in May 2017 at the age of 45 due to a heart attack. He volunteered with Greenwood County Central Division Fire Department, serving as chief since 2011. He volunteered over 17 years with the county. He volunteered with the Eureka City Fire Department in 2000 and started as a First Responder in 2002. Danny’s dog tag was presented to his wife Debi. Jaime McHugh, Sedgwick County EMS, nominated Danny for the honor.

Craig Huddleston was also honored during the presentation. Craig passed away in October 2017 at the age of 47 due to Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Craig lived in Eureka with his family and served as a paramedic for over 25 years for various EMS services in Kansas. His most recent position was a shift supervisor at Coffey County EMS. Craig’s dog tag was presented to his wife Donna, who attended with Family. Matt Luder nominated Craig for the honor.

Other Kansas EMS members honored included Casey Cummings, U.S. Army/Via Christi Hospitals; Pamela Landers, Sedgwick County EMS; and Danielle McNaught, Miller EMS.

For more information about the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride, visit www.muddyangels.com

 

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Early Saturday morning fire destroys several apartments

By Taina Copeland
Independence Daily Reporter – August 8, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – August 17, 2018

Saturday morning around 4:15 a.m., the Independence Fire Department responded to a fire with flames showing at Garden Walk Apartments, 1701 N. 10th St. Crews responded with the ladder truck and engines where upon arrival, they discovered occupants had jumped from a back window where they tossed a newborn baby, a small child and a teenager down to waiting residents.

The only thing left in the engulfed apartments were animals and the interior crew was able to rescue a German Shepherd and another small dog who are both doing fine after they were administered oxygen.

According to director of Safety and Code Enforcement David Cowan, crews were not sure they could stop the fire at the fire wall therefore made the decision to call for the Neodesha Ladder Truck. “We felt we might lose the whole top of the building,” he explained. “However, with our ladder and a great job by the interior crew, we stopped the fire at the firewall (saving half of the upper story apartments) and it didn’t reach the apartments on the East side.”

The four apartments they saved were free of smoke and water damage but the main power line ran across the attic space on the west side and was destroyed therefore they are not allowed to be occupied.

“We will send a thank you note to Neodesha for their assistance,” Cowan said. “We had the fire under control upon their arrival but they helped out for about an hour before returning.”

The Independence Police Department investigated the incident and were able to determine tenants were smoking on the port and putting the butts in a plastic storage container which they believe was the cause of the fire.

 

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Volunteer firefighter receives recognition for heroic deed

By Michael J. Sellman
Junction City Daily Union – August 7, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – August 17, 2018

A Geary County volunteer firefighter received an award Monday for saving a life while he was off duty.

On July 17, firefighter Billy Crable was driving home with his son along U.S. Highway 77 when he saw what looked like a grass fire on the side of the road. It turned out to be a vehicle in flames. As he approached, Crable noticed the driver was still in the car.

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Micky Black of Lost Springs was driving southbound in a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am when he hit the rear of another vehicle, causing his car to go into a ditch on the side of the road, and flip.

The other car spun counter-clockwise, crossing the center line and stopping in the east ditch facing west.

As Crable approached shortly after the accident had occurred, he saw it was an overturned vehicle that was on fire.

As Black was still in the car, Crable took hold of both his arms and pulled him out several feet despite the flames.

Other drivers assisted him, including the driver of the car Black had hit.

Geary County Fire Chief Garry Berges said he believes the driver wouldn’t have been able to get out of the car on his own. Therefore, Crable had saved his life.

“I really didn’t think about it,” Crable said. “I was going on autopilot.”

Black was transported to Geary Community Hospital for his injuries.

In recognition of his act, Crable was presented with an award from Berges during a county commission meeting.

Crable has been with the fire department for nine years.

He said he wasn’t looking for recognition for his acts.

“Anyone else would have done it too,” he said. “It was a matter of timing.”

 

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Hazmat team responds to ammonia leak at Manhattan water treatment plant

By Melissa Brunner and Nick Viviani
WIBW – August 17, 2018

Photo by Manhattan Fire Department

An ammonia leak sparked a hazmat response to Manhattan’s water treatment plant Thursday morning.

City officials say workers doing a routine check of the facility just after 11 a.m. noticed a smell. They discovered a small leak in a 12-foot-deep pit where ammonia is injected with the water treatment process.

The Manhattan Fire Dept. was called to vent the area and dilute the ammonia.

City officials say they will complete repairs Friday. For now, they are using a backup line, so there is no disruption in service or effect on the water quality.

Officials added that nobody was hurt.

 

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Injury accident, electrical fire keep emergency personnel busy

By Adam Blake
Emporia Gazette – August 17, 2018

Just before 4:30 p.m. dispatch indicated an injury accident on I-35 near the Merchant Street exit.

Two vehicles are reportedly involved.

Just three minutes later an electrical fire was reported at the Chi Omega Sorority House located at 1519 Merchant St. An electrical pole was reportedly showing flames outside of the house.

 

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Soldier Township Fire Department is selling two fire trucks

2002 Amtech Ford F-550 Walk-Around Rescue

Ford F-550 Chassis
Seating for 6; 2 SCBA seats
Amtech Walk-In Rescue Body
Ford 7.3L Diesel Engine
Automatic Transmission
AuraGen 5KW Generator
Air Conditioning
Mileage: 40,011
Arrowstick Traffic Indicator
Length: 26′ 1″
Height: 8′ 11″
GVRW: 19,000
Wheelbase: 201″
$45,000 or Best Offer

1994 Luverne HME Pumper

Seating for 6; 5 SCBA seats
Detroit 6V92TA 300 HP Diesel Engine
Allison MD3060 Automatic Transmission
Hale QSG125 1250 GPM Side-Mount Pump
500 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
Elkhart Foam System
20 Gallon Foam Cell
Crosslays/Speedlays: Crosslays: (2) 1 1/2″
Onan 7.5KW Diesel Generator
Electric Reel
Generator Hours 738
Air Conditioning
Aluminum Hose Bed Cover
Automatic Tire Chains
Federal Q Siren
12,000lbs Winch on front bumper
Engine Hours: 3,854
Mileage: 25,489
Arrowstick Traffic Indicator
Telescoping Lights
Length: 34′ 4″
Height: 10′ 7″
GVRW: 41,000
Wheelbase: 204″
$40,000 or Best Offer

Contact:

Doug Schmitt
Fire Chief
Soldier Township Fire Department
600 NW 46th Street
Topeka, KS  66617
785-286-2123
doug.schmitt@soldiertownship.org

 

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Eligibility List – Fire Medic – Edwardsville Fire Department

Edwardsville Fire Department is accepting applications to create an eligibility list for the position of: FIRE MEDIC.

Position is open for applications until August 31st, 2018.

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 – Paramedic licensure during their employment period. 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 Fire Medic.

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 – Paramedic, or State of Kansas Paramedic license, with one year of experience with an Advanced Life Support treatment and transport service. 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), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), or equivalent.

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 I will be waived for one (1) year from hire date. The obtainment of Firefighter II and ADO-Pumper certifications will be waived for three (3) years from hire date. State of Kansas Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic certification or Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician – Paramedic. NIMS ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800 are required 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.

STARTING SALARY: $ 38,864.00, not including educational incentives.

TO APPLY: Please submit a Resume, Cover Letter, three professional references, proof of Paramedic Licensure. A complete job description and other necessary forms are available at City Hall, or on the city web page. Return completed applications to the Fire Chief by mail to: Fire Medic Selection Attn: City of Edwardsville FD, P.O. Box 13738, Edwardsville, KS 66113

 

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Shawnee Mission South students dismissed early due to smoke in building

By Kera Mashek and Stephanie Graflage
FOX 4 – August 16, 2018

The school year at Shawnee Mission South is off to an unexpected hot start. Classes were dismissed early Wednesday, after smoke filled the building.

It was a sudden disruption in the middle of a busy school day.

“We were like, ‘What’s that? Smoke?'” said student Carlos Ramos.

Students on the top floor said it got extremely hot, then smoke started filling their classrooms.

“It was a lot foggier in the top floor and it was harder to breathe,” said Ramos.

Within seconds, the fire alarms were sounding and students ordered to evacuate.

“They were like, ‘This is not a drill,'” said student Della Beckstrom.

“But once they said that, everyone started running, acting crazy,” said student Jordan Finell.

The Overland Park Fire Department says construction workers were using hot tar and a torch, when roofing material caught fire. The work was being done near the HVAC unit, quickly sending smoke through the air vents throughout the building.

“I was just thinking, what are my plans, how am I going to get my daughter out of there, and how am I going to keep her safe and keep her calm,” said Della’s mom, Holly Beckstrom.

The school district decided to play it safe and dismissed school early, so the smoke could clear from the building completely. Parents and students are thankful it wasn’t more serious.

“Just praising the Lord and grateful she was cognizant to call me right away. And I’m grateful the schools got it under control,” Beckstrom said.

The school plans to replace all the air conditioning filters so students and staff can breathe easy when classes resume Thursday.

 

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Residents displaced after fire

Leavenworth Times – August 16, 2018

Six people were displaced following a fire at a Leavenworth apartment, a Fire Department spokesman said.

No injuries were reported, but a pet cat was killed in the fire.

The fire was reported at 10:17 p.m. Tuesday at 802 S. Fourth St.

Mark DeMaranville, division chief of prevention for the Leavenworth Fire Department, said the fire began in a second-floor apartment.

Members of the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department responded to the scene to assist Leavenworth firefighters.

The fire resulted in an estimated damage of between $30,000 and $32,000.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

DeMaranville said the American Red Cross provided assistance to the people who were displaced.

 

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SFD receives $9,000 grant for radios

By Heather Stewart
Sabetha Herald – August 16, 2018

The Kansas Forestry Service has awarded a $9,000 grant to the Sabetha Fire Department for new radios.

According the Sabetha Fire Chief Jim Johnson, the Department was awarded $9,000 through the Volunteer Fire Assistance Cooperative Fire Protection Program. The grant is to be split in half, with the City of Sabetha providing half the funds.

Five 800 MHz radios will be purchased, which will allow the SFD to communicate more effectively with local and state first response and public safety agencies who use 800 MHz radios.

 

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Fire department tests life raft

Abilene Reflector Chronicle – August 16, 2018

Members of the Abilene Fire Department performed a water rescue simulation last Monday. The department has owned an inflatable rescue raft for a couple of years but it has never seen water. The department worked with Abilene Parks and Recreation Director Jane Foltz to utilize the capabilities of this raft. The Oceanid Water Rescue Craft is designed for water rescues, ice rescues, water recoveries and so much more. Rescue workers tried to sink it, tip it over and make it fail, but could not get it to fail. It rescued swimmers in the pool every time. Workers hauled in people through the tunnel and over the sides, all successful without tipping it over.

 

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Local firefighters battle western wildfires

By Phyllis Zorn
Peabody Gazette Bulletin – August 16, 2018

Marion County firefighters are among those fighting wildfires in western states.

Lincolnville Fire Chief Les Kaiser is spending a few days at home after helping fight two Colorado wildfires.

“On the first fire, the Lake Christine fire at Basalt, Colorado, I was an equipment manager trainee working with the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team,” Kaiser said. “I inspected vehicles for serviceability, tracked the vehicles on a spreadsheet, and transported supplies to the fire line when needed.”

After 12 days at the Lake Christine fire, he transferred to a wildfire at Cache Creek in Parachute County.

In addition, he prioritized missions such as hauling supplies, picking up personnel at the airport, moving and hauling things around the base camp, and making emergency medical runs to the local hospital.

Kaiser said both fires were in rough areas and burned steady, with the fire at Lake Christine making good advances from time to time.

“It was interesting,” Kaiser said. “It was a learning experience, I’ll tell you. You learn something every time you go out. It’s a different terrain and a different way of fighting fires.”

Because of the terrain, helicopters helped fight both fires along with ground crews.

“It’s a whole different world,” Kaiser said. “It’s the same, but it’s different.”

Kaiser said firefighters wanting to participate put their names on a roster, and those with needed skills are contacted. Selected firefighters work 14 days and can be extended another week, then must have two days off before being called out again.

Kaiser will be back on the roster Monday.

Peabody Fire Chief Mark Penner fought a wildfire at Medicine Bow National Forest, south of Laramie, Wyoming. He then returned home for a week after it was under control before being deployed again, currently to a fire in Oregon.

 

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Halstead Fire offers free address markers

By Patricia Middleton
Newton Kansan – August 16, 2018

Photo by Patricia Middleton

The Halstead Fire Department recently announced it would be giving away address markers free of charge to area residents.

Halstead Fire Chief Jim VanShaick said the markers make it easier for first responders to identify a home — especially in rural areas — when they are called out.

“They’re numerical signs that you can hang on the side of your mailbox that are reflective,” VanShaick said.

The double-sided markers come with pre-drilled holes so homeowners can easily attach them to a mailbox pole.

Having the address markers visible from the street makes it easier for emergency crews to locate houses as they drive by.

“You don’t think about it until you have three or four homes on a mile stretch and sometimes it’s kind of hard to identify which home to go to,” VanShaick said. “These signs help with that.”

Given the large area the Halstead Fire Department covers, being able to determine which driveway to enter in case of an emergency is crucial — not only inside city limits, but outside, as well.

“With auto responses, we go to Burrton, Moundridge and Newton also,” VanShaick said.

Address markers will be available for a few months and then in the fall the department will focus on getting smoke detectors to those who need them, VanShaick added.

 

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Romanus (Bob) J. Racette

Romanus (Bob) J. Racette, age 90, passed away on August 11, 2018 at McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colorado. Bob was born on April 12, 1928 at home in St. Joseph, Kansas to Delphos and Emma (Pelland) Racette. Bob was a graduate of Clyde High School of 1946. On September 11, 1950, Bob married Shirley Ann Resco in Clyde, Kansas. The day following their wedding, Bob was inducted into the U.S. Army.

Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, mentor and great friend to many. Bob served in the Korean War and is a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient. Bob worked for Kansas Power and Light Company for 38 years and retired in 1990. Bob was a dedicated member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, as well as an active member of the Knights of Columbus of Larned, KS. He was a dedicated fireman for many years at the Larned Fire Department.

Bob enjoyed traveling, spending time with friends and family, camping and fishing, and watching his grandchildren’s sports and other activities. He was an avid sports fan and followed many college teams. Bob could accomplish anything that he set his mind to and was a very hard worker.

Bob is survived by his wife of 68 blessed years, Shirley Racette, Loveland, Co; his children, Larry Racette and wife Trudy, Allen, Tx; Kathy Kolb, Salina, Ks; Kevin Racette and wife Barbara, Loveland, Co; and Lori Prescott, Loveland, Co; his seven grandchildren, Ann Collins, Salina, KS, Amy Hallman (Rich), Blue Springs, MO, Brian Racette (Jenny) Valparaiso, Indiana, Julie Rembold (Dan), Allen, TX, Scott Racette, Loveland, CO, Shane Carr, Dillon, CO, Shanna Prescott, Hays, KS; and twelve great-grandchildren. He has one surviving sister, Darlene Weatherhead, Clyde, KS.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents, Delphos and Emma (Pelland) Racette; one sister, Jean Weatherhead; three brothers, Ronald Racette, Wilbur Racette, and Eldon Racette (infant brother), and son-in-law, Kiah Kolb.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 6, 2018 from 1:00 P.M.–8:00 P.M. with a Knights of Columbus Rosary Service held at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, evening at the Chaput Mortuary, Clyde. Family will receive friends after the Rosary Service.

Mass of a Christian burial will be held 10:00 A.M., on Friday, September 7, 2018 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Clyde, Kansas with Fr. Steven Heina officiating. Burial will follow in the Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Clyde. Military Honors will be conducted by the VFW Post #7515 of Clyde.

Memorial contributions may be given to Kansas Honor Flight or Larned Fire Department in c/o Chaput Mortuary.

 

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First responders, staff greet Wichita students on 1st day

By Annette Lawless
KAKE – August 15, 2018

KAKE Video

Tens of thousands of students across Kansas are heading back to the classroom.

Wednesday is the first day for all students in Wichita Public Schools to head back to class. More than 50,000 students are expected to be a part of Wichita schools this year.

Administrative staff, like U.S.D. 259 Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson, greeted students at Brooks Magnet Middle School, near K-96 and Hillside. The school is Thompson’s alma mater, and says schools have a special place in her heart, especially with her mom being an educator as well.

“It warms my heart. I couldn’t sleep last night,” Thompson said. “I was up all night, just waiting and anticipating the kids to come back. We worked all summer long to prepare right now, this time, for our kids to come back.”

First responders helped cheer on kids to the classroom as well. They formed a long line, handing out high-fives to any person who walked by this morning.

“Well, you know what? These kids, sometimes they need motivation, and some of them don’t,” said firefighter Leo Leongson. “They’re happy to be here. We’re happy to be here, so it’s all good to go.”

The firefighters and police officers were joined by Real Men, Real Heroes; it’s a non-profit that provides mentors to schools across Wichita.

 

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Damar Fire Department receives grant

Plainville Times – August 2, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – August 15, 2018

The Damar Community Historical Foundation presented a check in the amount of $3,860 to the Damar Volunteer Fire Department July 21. The money will be used to purchase a commercial high-pressure power washer that will be used to clean fire equipment following use. The money came through a grant from the Heartland Community Foundation made possible from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. Pictured from left are Jim Desbien with the Damar Foundation, Kenny Newell, and Ryan Wells with the Damar Fire Department.

 

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Father, Son Dead In Kansas Flooding

NewsOn6.com – August 15, 2018

NewNewsOn6.com Video

A father and son are dead after flooding near Elk City, Kansas. The bodies were found inside a car on a road just northwest of the reservoir, according to Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson.

Whitson said the father and son were found in their car with the windows still up. They have been identified as Dennis Clark Catron Sr., 72, and Dennis Clark Catron Jr., 39, of rural Elk City.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said their car was swept off the road in heavy rainfall on CR 2950 south of CR 5400.

Crews were looking for a third person in Independence, Kansas. They found a truck on its side in a ditch at CR 4500 and CR 5000 with the windows rolled down, but the person wasn’t inside.

News On 6 has learned the man is alive. The sheriff’s office said he walked away from the truck and lost his cell phone. He has been located Wednesday morning.

Heavy rains late Tuesday and early Wednesday north of the Oklahoma-Kansas state line closed roads, stranded cars, led to evacuations – and led to the flooding deaths.

The emergency manager said Elk City received 11.5 inches of rain. Firefighters responded to 40 to 50 water rescues in Independence, emergency management reports.

They also responded to a structure fire that may have been caused by lightning.

The National Weather Service reports the Verdigris River in Independence, Kansas has crested at 31.6 feet which is considered minor flooding, but they expect it to go down significantly in the next 24 hours.

The radar shows that Independence had 7 to 8 inches of rain overnight and up to 12 inches just northwest of town. Montgomery County is still under flood warnings.

There are also reports of a tornado in the Elk City area.

 

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Gaylord and Athol Fire Departments receive grants

Smith County Pioneer – August 2, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – August 15, 2018

For the past several years Central Plains Coop has participated in a matching grant with CoBank. This year Central Plains Coop donated $1000 to both the Gaylord and Athol Fire Departments, with CoBank giving each department $2,500. Central Plains Coop has patrons and employees that are on both fire departments and depend on them to protect property and lives. “We are thankful for the work that these two departments do for us. It is important to us that we help maintain those departments” stated Sean Cravens, Central Plains Coop Manager.

CoBank believes that improving local communities is important. The grant funds given to both fire departments will go towards updating equipment or adding equipment to meet the needs of the community.

 

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I-435 closed in both directions in Lenexa, Kansas, due to fatal crash

KSHB – August 15, 2018

KSHB Video

I-435 is closed in both directions between 87th Street and Midland Drive in Lenexa, Kansas, due to a fatal crash.

Police said the interstate would remain closed for several hours, affecting morning rush hour traffic.

Drivers are advised to use Shawnee Mission Parkway, K-7, or K-10 to get around the closure.

41 Action News crews on the scene learned a pickup truck and a semi were involved in the crash.

The two vehicles collided head-on.

The driver of the pickup died. The semi driver was OK and able to talk to police on the scene.

 

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Fire station makes progress

By David Dinell
Derby Informer – August 15, 2018

Photo by David Dinell

There has been an almost overnight transformation at the site for the new Fire Station 81 at the southwest corner of Woodlawn and Madison as a series of pre-formed panels have been put in place. A special crane that can lift the panels, each weighing 12,000 to 37,000 pounds, was brought in for the job. “It makes the building come together quickly,” says Ian Williams, onsite job supervisor for Snodgrass Construction, the general contractor. In a few days, the panels take care of what otherwise would take weeks to complete, he says. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2019.

 

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National Night Out

Derby Informer – August 15, 2018

Photo by David Dinell

Lt. Zach Young helps Jackson Garner, 3, handle a fire hose.

 

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Multiple accidents result in injuries and one fatality

By David Dinell
Derby Informer – August 15, 2018

Photo by David Dinell

Area first responders were kept busy on the morning of Aug. 8.

At about 5 a.m., at K-15 and 47th Street South, a two-vehicle collision resulted in the death of Merrill Atkins, 81, of Derby. A driver was headed east on 47th Street when a northbound vehicle driven by Atkins struck it. The driver of the eastbound vehicle was injured, but not critically. A passenger in Atkins’ vehicle was seriously hurt. Atkins was taken to Wesley Medical Center where he passed away at 10 a.m, according to the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 10:15, there was another collision, also involving a vehicle on K-15 and also at an intersection. This one was at Baltimore/K-15 and Madison in Derby and resulted in an SUV being flipped on its side.

Two people were taken by county EMS to the hospital for further treatment. One woman was described as having critical injuries at the time. No update was available on her condition.

Several people working nearby responded to the scene and helped, along with first responders.

Derby fire responded and treated the victims until they could be transported.

Jean Garinger, who owns and operates an American Family Insurance office at the northwest corner of the intersection, said she heard the crash and came out to see what she could do to help. She fetched a chair from a nearby business for one of the injured individuals.

There was no immediate word as to its cause and police continue their investigation. “It’s going to take some time to piece this together,” says Police Chief Robert Lee.

Police are interviewing witnesses who have some video.

“We’re still investigating the accident and reviewing video,” he said. The video has been “helpful,” he said.

Lee said there was a driving violation and the police have a pretty good idea who is at fault, but are not able to state that right now.

A few bystanders at the scene pointed out equipment on the traffic signal arms, but Lee said those are motion sensors that change the lights, not cameras.

Some bigger cities have video cameras at intersections, but Derby officials haven’t believed in the need for them at this time, he said.

The intersection remained blocked for a good part of the late morning as officials investigated and cleaned up the scene.

About an hour after that incident, there was another accident on Rock Road, just north of DHS. There were no serious injuries in that incident in which one vehicle rear-ended another. Derby Fire responded to it. Since most of the other officers were tied up, Derby’s assistant police chief, Brandon Russell, worked on it until other help could arrive.

 

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Salina Woman Killed in Crash

Todd Pittenger
KSAL – August 15, 2018

A Salina woman was killed in a single vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 29-year-old Michelle LaPierre was driving a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, headed east on Crawford Street in the westbound lane of travel. She made an evasive maneuver, steering vehicle to the south.

The car left the road, struck a culvert and overturned.

LaPierre, who was not buckled up, was killed in the crash.

The crash happened at 2:05 Tuesday afternoon, 2/10 mile east of Holmes Road on Crawford Street, or 2/10 mile east of the west Salina City Limits.

 

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Local student wins ride to school on fire truck

By Deneysha Richard
WIBW – August 14, 2018

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Mark Webb started his morning very early, he had a special ride for the first day of school.

“He was up at 4:45 this morning because he couldn’t go to sleep, he was so excited!” Roxanna Webb, Mark’s mother said.

The Meadows Elementary second-grader won a ride to school on a firetruck after winning a National Night Out auction hosted by the Topeka Fire Department.

Firefighters greeted Mark at his home in Ward-Meade, and he soon made his way to a grand entry into class made complete with fire truck and police escort. Webb says the truck ride inspires his future goals.

“I want to be a firefighter when I grow up,” he said.

The part he’s most looking forward to? “Lights and sirens,” Webb said.

Meadows Elementary principal Nicole Johnson said her student’s real win is the bond created between youth and first responders.

“It’s a great way for us to reach out to our community and let our kids see that the fire department as a resource that’s here to support them and I don’t know that you can top that, ” she said.

Think your kid missed out? You may have to wait for another opportunity, as the auctioned ride was a one-time event held to raise money for charity.

 

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Rural Saline County man loses estimated $900 in hay bale fire

By Leslie Eikleberry
Salina Post – August 14, 2018

Photo by Saline County Sheriff’s Department

A rural Saline County man is out an estimated $900 after 18 hay bales caught fire during a thunderstorm Monday afternoon.

Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan said this morning that emergency personnel were called to the 4000 block of East Cloud approximately 2:58 p.m. Monday for the report of a hay bale fire. The fire was contained to 18 bales owned by John Thelander. Total loss was estimated at $900.

Soldan said a lightning strike is believed to have started the fire.

 

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Cars catch fire in storage lot

By Leslie Eikleberry
Salina Post – August 14, 2018

Photo by Saline County Sheriff’s Office

A vehicle fire late Monday afternoon resulted in the loss of an estimated $4,800 for a local towing company.

Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan said Tuesday that emergency personnel were called to the 1300 block of North Ohio where three vehicles inside a fenced-in wrecker storage lot were on fire. The vehicles, which had been impounded in the lot owned by A&A Towing since at least March 2018, included a 1994 Chevrolet Blazer, a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe, and a 2001 Mazda Millenia. The vehicles were parked close together, he added.

Soldan said the towing company estimated the loss at $1,600 per vehicle.

The cause of the fire was undetermined, he said.

 

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Wyssmann named interim chief for McPherson Fire Department

By Brooke Haas
McPherson Sentinel – August 14, 2018

McPherson’s Fire Department Chief Jeff Deal is hanging up his gear on Sept. 21 and Deputy Chief T.J. Wyssmann will be taking over as interim chief for the department.

Wyssmann was appointed to the post Monday morning during the McPherson City Council’s regular meeting at the city building on 400 E. Kansas Ave.

He said he has “big shoes” to fill.

“The city commissioners and mayor appointed me as interim a month in advance for us to make the transition process of Chief (Jeff) Deal retiring as easy as possible,” Wyssmann said. “I think that Chief (Jeff) Deal has done a tremendous job for the community and the fire department since he’s been here. He’s been a great mentor and I’ve appreciated everything he’s done for us.”

“You always hope that as a chief when you retire that you have an internal candidate to pick up the ball and run where you left off, and I think Chief Wyssmann will do an excellent job with that,” Deal said.

Wyssmann has been with the McPherson City Fire Department for 16 years.

“This is something I’ve been working for throughout my career. I figured I would eventually get to this stage, but I didn’t know it was going to be in McPherson; and I’m really happy I have that opportunity here and I don’t have to go somewhere else for it,” Wyssmann said.

Now that Wyssmann has been selected interim, however, he is still performing the duties of a deputy chief until that role is filled.

“Right now I’ll be pulling a double duty. We currently do not have anyone to fill that old role. So we’re going through a whole bunch of processes there. We’re going to have to find another individual either within or outside that will step into my old role,” Wyssmann said.

Deal said that now is the time move onto the next phase in his life.

“There is an affective level that every chief goes through and at some point when you realize you no longer can be as affective as you want or once were, then you need to recognize that it’s time for you to get out and let someone else push the train up the hill. I pushed this train as far as I can get it, and now it’s someone else’s turn to get it up the hill,” Deal said.

Deal said he’s been honored to be a part of so many good changes that have happened in the fire department during his tenure.

“I’ve been privy to a lot of incredible changes in the fire service and I’ve been allowed to bring some amazing things to the table which I’m very proud of,” Deal said.

Deal said the people he works with have inspired him through the years.

“These guys don’t make a lot of money, and they definitely don’t do it for the fanfare or the glory. As a matter of fact, you’ll find most firefighters shy away from the glory — that’s not in our nature. There’s something about firefighters. It’s a different breed of people. It’s their attention to service… it’s truly inspiring,” Deal said. “The fact that I got to hang out with those people for 25 years, and that those people are my friends, is amazing. When you go into a burning building with someone, there’s a close-knit bond. Your lives are in each other’s hands. Some of my greatest memories are the friendships I’ve forged over the years.”

Deal plans to be an adjunct instructor after he retires.

“I’ll be teaching some courses for different colleges. I’m very excited for this next phase in my life,” Deal said.

 

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Light The Night for Fallen Firefighters

Every October, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) sponsors the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, the official national tribute to those firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. This year’s Memorial Weekend will be held October 6-7, 2018 in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The weekend includes specialized activities and group sessions and culminates with a Memorial Service on Sunday morning. Thousands attend the programs and services each year.

As dusk turns to dark, landmarks across the country will glow in respect to the fallen and their families for Light the Night for Fallen Firefighters. This nation-wide lighting is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, as part of the weekend.

Lighting of your fire department in red during the Candlelight Service on October 6th, or any time during the week of October 1st, would be an additional symbol of support and comfort to the families and co-workers of those being honored. Please click here to let us know that you will join this extraordinary display of recognition.

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New chief and training facilities for Hays Fire Department

By Margaret Allen
Hays Daily News – August 14, 2018

A new Hays Fire Department training facility at the old Frank Stremel Softball Fields on Old U.S. Highway 40 and Chetolah Creek will make a huge difference for the region’s firefighters, says Hays Fire Chief Ryan Hagans.

“This will be a dedicated place to go for live fire training and to practice technical rescue skills,” Hagans said. “We will use it quite often. It’s where we’ll do most of our training at. And we’re going to open it up to all the fire departments in our region.”

The new three-story drill tower of 40-foot steel shipping containers will be constructed with doors and walkways and stairs. That will allow the department’s 22 uniformed firefighters to practice technical skills such as search and rescue, advancing fire hose, and repelling with ropes while carrying heavy gear and a couple hundred pounds of fire hose. Now Hays firefighters won’t have to wait for old houses scheduled for demolition to open up to practice running hose through a house, breaching walls or pulling down a ceiling.

“It’s just going to increase our training capabilities,” said Hagans, who was promoted from interim fire chief earlier this month when Gary Brown retired.

The department will share the facility with firefighters from area towns and from rural departments throughout northwest Kansas. Currently when new firefighters are hired, firefighters have to wait for training to open up somewhere in Kansas. With the new facility, Hagans said, Hays firefighters can help train area firefighters in Hays on an as needed basis.

The tower, with three 40-foot steel shipping containers on the first floor, two on the second floor and two 20-foot containers on the third floor, should be completed in February or March 2019 by Illinois-based American Fire Training Systems Inc. Dirt work has started for a 100-foot by 125-foot concrete pad.

A separate live burn building is going up adjacent to the tower. The 40-foot container will simulate the interior of a building, but with movable walls so the configuration can be changed. Made of steel, the department can fill it with wooden pallets and hay and light it on fire, Hagans said.

“We’re hoping to have a large weekend fire school on an annual basis,” he said, noting he’ll contact the Kansas State Firefighters Association and the Kansas Fire and Rescue Training Institute at the University of Kansas in hopes of working more closely with them to provide training to departments in western Kansas.

“If other departments need us to help with training we’ll definitely provide it for them,” he said. Leon’s Welding & Fabrication in Hays is constructing the building, which should be done by the end of September, he said.

Both training facilities will require water line, which will be installed by the city of Hays Water Resources Department. Hays firefighters hope to do their first live burn in early fall.

Training prepares the firefighters for an average of seven calls a day. Those can range from running with Ellis County EMS to assist by lifting patients onto cots, moving furniture or assisting with patient care, to putting out fires, or working with Ellis County responding as a search and rescue team during tornadoes, building collapse or other emergencies.

“We’re seeing an increase in calls, but it’s mainly due to medical emergencies,” he said.

Some aspects of firefighting have changed since Hagans started with the department 15 years ago in 2003.

Homes are made of more combustible materials and also collapse more readily. They burn hotter and faster than houses built previously.

“So we have to change what we’re doing to be safer,” he said. “We have to be faster and more careful. It’s more dangerous than it was 40 to 50 years ago.”

The Dane G. Hansen Foundation in Logan provided the bulk of the money for the new facilities, with a $272,000 grant. City of Hays budgeted $63,000 for waterline and hydrants, with a remaining $50,000 from the fire department.

Hagans said the department’s firefighters typically work a shift that is 24 hours on and 48 hours off. Every third weekend they have Saturday and Sunday off. That’s a typical schedule for firefighters in most departments, said Hagans, who’s been with the department since he was 29, so firefighters are accustomed to it.

“Being a firefighter is a way of giving back to your community,” he said, “it’s a calling that you have.”

Under his new leadership the department will continue working on building to change with the times, Hagans said.

In announcing his appointment, City Manager Toby Dougherty said Hagans “has served admirably as deputy and interim chief, and I am confident he will excel as chief.”

 

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Wichita firefighters concerned about possible budget cuts

KWCH – August 14, 2018

KWCH Video

Tuesday morning, members of the Wichita City Council will review the city’s 2019-2020 budget.

Some Wichita firefighters worry they could be impacted by potential cuts.

Matt Schulte, the president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 135, says the department needs more resources not less.

“Our injuries have been through the roof already. Firefighters getting hurt because we’re working so hard trying to keep the lid on that it’s showing up,” said Schulte.

He says the city wants to stop using the large fire engine the department uses in east Wichita.

“We have on record of the manager saying last week there’s gonna be a squad put out there instead of an engine, well, you can do more with an engine, and those are big homes. Lots of big homes,” said Schulte.

A squad is a pickup truck with water and skid pump. It’s cheaper to use but Schulte says it’s not as effective when you have big fires.

He also says Tuesday’s budget proposal will include eliminating 10 firefighter positions.

The union has been vocal not wanting to see budget cuts and encourages citizens to contact Mayor Jeff Longwell.

Last month, he said the city is evaluating the best use of useful resources to meet safety standards.

He said the city also wants to be a good steward of tax dollars, but Schulte says now is not the time to cut back on firefighters.

“It takes more people to service those large areas when there’s that many people, and we’re already behind the eight ball on the east side of town because we need more units, we need another station out there,” said Schulte. “We need another station out west because we’re just not meeting our response time goals. We’re not sure why we’re shrinking the fire department during this time.”

Schulte says when it comes to eliminating positions, no one is getting fired. He said when firefighters retire, no one will be hired to replace them.

Again, the city will hold a public hearing on the budget on Tuesday at 9.m.

The current proposal totals more than $600 million.

 

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Pink Heals truck visits Wichitans fighting cancer

By Carly Willis
KSN – August 14, 2018

Bella Bush, the Wichita 7-year-old fighting brain cancer got a surprise in her driveway on Monday evening.

The “Pink Heals” fire truck visits those fighting cancer and with the help of a local non-profit, the truck and its crew visited the Bush family.

“It’s pink,” Bella squealed.

A local non-profit helped make the surprise happen. Chris Klausmeyer lost his brother, Mark, to cancer. Since then, the family has established “Cause for Klaus,” adopting two local families per year to provide financial assistance to during the patient’s battle with cancer.

“We got such great love and support for my brother that we decided to give it back and we wanted to keep it local,” Chris Klausmeyer said, “It’s very nice to be able to touch people’s hearts in a way that we were all touched when my brother was going through the cancer.”

Bella got to sign “Nicki,” the Pink Heals firetruck and all the firefighters helmets.

The Pink Heals truck and crew made an additional stop in Wichita at Fire Station 21, where Curt Mohr was greeted by family, friends and firefighters.

Mohr is recovering from brain surgery to remove a tumor. He is a 24 year veteran of WFD.

 

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Valley Falls trailer home ‘total loss’ after fire

By Tiffany Littler
KSNT – August 13, 2018

A Valley Falls trailer home is a total loss after catching fire.

It happened at 204 Walnut St. just after midnight.

The Valley Falls fire chief said those inside heard a “popping” noise and were able to safely escape.

The fire is believed to be caused by improper disposal of smoking materials at an outside area near the trailer.

There is no damage estimate at this time.

The Red Cross is helping the family.

 

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Hiawatha Fire Department receives grant

Hiawatha World – August 13, 2018

The Kansas Forestry Service has awarded a grant to the Hiawatha Fire Department for the purchase of radios.

The department was awarded nearly $5,000 through the Volunteer Fire Assistance Cooperative Fire Protection Program. The grant is 50/50 with the City of Hiawatha providing half the funds.

Two 800 MHz radios will be purchased and allow the HFD to communicate more effectively with local and state first response and public safety agencies who use 800 MHz radios.

“The radios will be an asset to the department to stay up to date on calls, as no member of the department utilizes 800 MHz radios,” said Fire Chief Ryan Shockley.

The grant was written by retired Fire Chief Gary Shear and Public Relations Officer Jordanne Shockley.

The Department and the City Commission would like to thank the Kansas Forestry Service for the grant.

 

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