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Job Opening – Battalion Chief – Soldier Township Fire/Rescue

Job Opening for the Position of
Battalion Chief
Soldier Township Fire Department
600 NW 46th St. Topeka, KS 66617
785-286-2123 FAX 785-286-2121


Soldier Township Fire Department is accepting applications through March 2, 2018 for a full-time position of Battalion Chief.  Position filled will work a 24 hour shift, ABC schedule. 


Under the general direction of the Fire Chief, this position assists with overall supervision of employees and takes charge of departmental operations in the absence of the Fire Chief. As a member of a team of Battalion Chiefs, this position will manage the fire department’s daily operations and provide supervision of part-time officers and firefighters.  This position is also responsible for Fire Prevention, Fire Investigation and Fire Safety Inspection programs within the department. When on duty, responds to all emergency and non-emergency calls, assuming command of scene per departmental policy. Oversees and assists with maintenance on buildings, grounds, apparatus and equipment as needed. Supervises, mentors, and evaluates core group of officers and fire fighters as assigned.  Performs all other related work as required as directed by the Fire Chief.


Must have considerable knowledge of firefighting tactics and operations, emergency medical care, rescue operations, fire safety inspection, fire investigation and public fire education. Must have the ability to skillfully operate all fire apparatus and equipment; ability to supervise employees and command incidents; ability to meet with general public, present department programs and effectively deal with problems. Must have considerable knowledge of tools and methods used to maintain and repair fire apparatus, buildings and grounds. Ability to perform strenuous physical labor.


High School graduate or GED. Five years of experience as a firefighter/EMT.  Associates Degree or higher preferred.


Possession of a valid Kansas Class A or B driver’s license; Certified as a Firefighter II; Fire Officer I, Instructor I, Driver/Operator certification is highly recommended and is required within 1 year of employment.  Must be Kansas Certified Emergency Medical Technician and Basic Life Support – CPR.

Must be able to pass background check and NFPA 1582 physical examination to perform duties.

Benefits include health care, KPERS, disability insurance, vacation and sick leave.  Gross salary including overtime approximately $43 to 45 thousand per year.  Please submit completed application and resume to the Fire Chief by close of March 2, 2018.

STFD is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based upon the applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (Public Law 88-352, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 253, 42 U.S.C Sec. 2000e et. Seq.).

Graig Brummer, Interim Fire Chief

Application packets are available at:

Soldier Township Fire Department
600 NW 46th St.
Topeka, KS 66617

Or by emailing:


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Hutch Company Officer Academy

fire training flyer updated

Dates: May 8th -10th

Time: Starts 0830 each day

Location: 3201 E. 4th Hutchinson KS, 67501 (Training Facility)

Cost: $115 per person



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Blaze near Saffordville burns nearly 1,200 acres of grass

By Chuck Samples and Brandon Peoples
KVOE – Feb. 9, 2018

Photo by Chuck Samples

The Chase County Fire Department and Chase County Sheriff’s Office are investigating how Thursday’s grass fire developed north of Saffordville.

Fire Chief Steve Fillmore tells KVOE News the fire developed near Road 270 and YY Road, about three miles north-northwest of Saffordville and roughly 10 miles northwest of Emporia, shortly after 3 pm. The fire moved to the northeast, eventually crossing Road 280 and stretching as far north as Road 290 before it was finally controlled.

Fillmore says the fire charred up to 1,200 acres, or the equivalent of nearly two square miles, before it was finally put out. At one point, there were reports of the fire line stretching at least a mile long.

There are no reports of injuries or any damage to buildings, although the fire came close to at least one home and several sheds. The blaze developed as Chase County has been in a burn ban for over a week due to dry conditions. The burn ban remains in place until further notice, and Fillmore urges people to be extremely cautious with anything fire-related until the situation improves.

Besides Chase County fire crews, firefighters from Emporia and Dunlap helped to get the fire out Thursday.


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Kansas man dies after Cadillac hits a tree

Hays Post – Feb. 9, 2018

A Kansas man died in an accident just after 9p.m. Thursday in Edwards County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2007 Cadillac DTS driven by Michael C. Jones, 71, Kinsley was southbound in the 800 Block of Colony Street in the city limits of Kinsley.

The Cadillac left the roadway to the right, traveled through three private yards, crossed over a sidewalk, through a wooden fence and hit a tree.

Jones was transported to Edwards County Hospital where he died. He was not wearing a seat belt, according to the KHP.


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Topeka firefighters put out apartment fire near downtown

By Shawn Wheat
WIBW – Feb. 9, 2018

Photo by Shawn Wheat

An apartment fire near downtown Topeka was put out quickly before it spread to other units.

Fire crews were called to the Harrison Street Apartment at 12th and Harrison around midnight Friday.

When they arrived on scene, they found heavy smoke and flames coming from a third floor apartment.

The building was evacuated as a safety precaution while firefighters put out the fire.

Officials say the fire started in the kitchen and was contained to the one apartment.

No one was hurt in the fire, and residents in other apartments were allowed to return to their homes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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Grain Bin Safety Week Contest

Each year, farmers risk their lives when they enter large grain bins to remove clumped or rotting grain while machinery is still running. Much like quicksand, flowing grain can bury a worker within seconds.

Because these accidents have become all too common, Nationwide and Specialty Risk Insurance are launching the fifth annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in recognition of Grain Bin Safety Week. The goal is to prevent injuries from happening by widely sharing safe bin-entry procedures, such as maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases and wearing proper safety equipment.

“Specialty Risk Insurance is proud to support this great cause to help save lives,” said Kevin Charleston, Agency owner. “We hope you’ll join us in promoting this contest by getting the word out to family, friends and businesses and encouraging them to nominate their local fire department. Contest winners will receive a grain rescue tube and rescue training.”

Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded grain bin rescue tubes and training to 48 fire departments in 18 states. The Westphalia Fire Department in Kansas and the Glenville Fire Department in Minnesota have both put their tubes and training to action — saving the lives of farmers trapped in grain bins.

Grain Bin Safety Week runs this year from Feb. 18-24, 2018, and nominations for the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30. Both are supported by Nationwide and the following partners:

KC Supply
Nationwide Land As Your Legacy
Specialty Risk Insurance
KFSA Insurance Agency
David Larson Financial and Insurance Services, Inc.
The Cornerstone Agency Inc.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Ravenna Feed & Grain
Sietsema Farms Feeds
Agri-Business Insurance Services
The Scoular Company
West Side Salvage
NOHR Wortmann Engineering
The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety
First Gabrielson Insurance Agency

“Grain Bin Safety Week could not happen without the generous support of our sponsors whose contributions to the program help to ensure the safety of farmers across the country,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness, the No. 1 farm insurer.

For more information about the program, purpose or nomination process, visit


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First responders rescue dog from Kansas house fire

KAKE – Feb. 8, 2018

Photo by Neodesha Fire Department

First responders are credited with reviving a dog after it was pulled from a house fire in southeast Kansas.

Firefighters from Fredonia were called before noon Wednesday to assist the Neodesha Fire Department with a house fire in the 900 block of North 8th Street.

Two firefighters found the unresponsive dog and removed it from the house, and two city workers used a pet resuscitator to revive the animal, the Neodesha Fire Department said on Facebook.

“He is being treated by our local veterinarian and is doing fine,” the department said.

No other injuries were reported.


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Appreciation dinner held for local first responders

By Levi Yager
Butler County Times Gazette – Feb. 8, 2018

Photo by Levi Yager

The inaugural First Responder Appreciation dinner was Sat., Feb. 3 at the Community Building in El Dorado. Carlson and Kirby-Morris funeral homes of El Dorado put on the event, which was held to show gratitude to various groups of first responders in Butler County. Kansas Bureau of Investigations Director Kirk Thompson was the guest speaker, and Bernard’s Catering provided the meal.
Organizations formally recognized were the Butler County Sheriff Department, Butler County Emergency Medical Services, Butler County Emergency Communications, the Butler County Rescue Squad, the Butler County Coroner’s Office, Emergency Management Volunteer Responders, the Burns Volunteer Fire Department, the Towanda Volunteer Fire Department, the Leon Volunteer Fire Department, the Rosalia Volunteer Fire Department, the Butler County Jail, the El Dorado Police Department, the El Dorado Fire Department and Kansas Wildlife & Parks Rangers.
“We work with these folks a lot,” Brad Yazel, managing partner of Carlon and Kirby-Morris, said.
Yazel wanted the first responders who attended to simply have some food, enjoy themselves and relax. Those who came received a commemoration pin as well.
“I was very impressed. I think we had a great turnout for the first one. It couldn’t have been better. I think Butler County has a great community of first responders, and tonight was a nice way to honor them,” Kelly Herzet, Butler County Sheriff, said.
Yazel hopes the event can be repeated every year.


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New faces

By Russ Edem
Great Bend Tribune – Feb. 8, 2018

Four new firefighters training.

There are new faces at the Great Bend Fire Department, where four open positions were recently filled. The new firefighters are Elisabeth Mohler, Great Bend’s first female firefighter; Grant Peevyhouse, Preston Landers and Andrew Davis.
“We are excited to have these four individuals at the department. We look forward to getting them trained and ready to take their shifts,” Battalion Chief Eugene Perkins said. “These four firefighters will fill much-needed positions within the department.”
All four were hired in December. Before taking their active shifts, the new firefighters had to go through a three-week training course at the GBFD, which started at the end of January. The training consists of using their safety equipment, vehicle operation and training to assist Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics. All GBFD firefighters are EMTs. They will also receive training such as how to open a water line from a fire hydrant and use of ladders and other equipment.
“This training is very important for these new firefighters,” Perkins said. “They get training in school, but with our training we take it a step further to get them ready to take their shift within the department and get them use to using our equipment.”

Meet the new firefighters

Elisabeth Mohler grew up around Pratt and around firefighters all her life as her dad was a full-time firefighter. She has volunteered for three fire departments since she was 18 years old. She graduated from Hutchinson Community College with her fire science degree in December of 2017 and right after her graduation she was contacted by the GBFD and asked to come work here.
“It is a great honor to be the first female firefighter in Great Bend and to be chosen for this position,” Mohler said. “I hope I can do this position justice and pave a way for future female firefighters. I have been very welcomed by everyone here at the station. Everyone I met so far has been great in helping me out. Their experience level is amazing.”

Grant Peevyhouse comes from Haven where he graduated high school. He is a third-generation firefighter; his grandfather was a volunteer and his father was both a volunteer and full-time firefighter.
“At first I was going to go into an engineering program at school, but after getting involved with being a volunteer firefighter with my family, I fell in love with the career,” Peevyhouse said. “This fire department is awesome; the firefighters are outstanding and really know what they are doing. The training I am receiving is really helpful is continuing my education.”

Preston Landers grew up in Bonner Springs. He graduated from high school in May of 2017 and attended Butler Community College where he received his fire science degree.
“My dad was a firefighter and after hearing all the stories, it made me want to become one and this is where I fell in love with the career,” Landers said. “I really like it here. The guys seem to be really close and I hope to be come part of that. From what I see they are very experienced.”

Andrew Davis comes from Salina, but grew up in Broken Arrow Okla. He received his fire science degree from Hutchinson Community College and decided to go become a firefighter for a rewarding career helping people.
“I really wanted to help people and have a fulfilling career,” Davis said. “This is what made me become a firefighter. I wanted to feel that I can make a difference and I believe I can do that here in Great Bend. These firefighters really are experienced in what they do and are very welcoming to the new people and very helpful.”


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John Vryl Slagle

John Vyrl Slagle, age 81, died Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at the Ness County Hospital, Ness City. He was born on August 27, 1936 in Jetmore, Kansas the son of John M. and Martha Lucille Grumbein Slagle.

Vyrl was a member of the United Methodist Church, Ness City, the Isis Shrine, and he was a Mason. He was a former Fire Chief and a GMC, Pontiac, Allis Chalmers, and Gleaner dealer all in Ness City.

On June 15, 1958 he married Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Dinsmore in Ness City, Kansas. She survives of the home. Other survivors include his mother, Lucille Slagle, Ness City; two daughters, Tracy Proctor and her husband, Steve of Ness City and Verla King and her husband, Scott of Olmitz; two grandchildren, Devon King and Raegan King and her fiancé, Cole McCurry; and a step-grandson C.J. Proctor.

Funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018, 10:30 A.M. at the United Methodist Church, Ness City. Burial in the Ness City Cemetery. Friends may call at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Ness City on Friday from 9:00 A.M. until 9:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Ness County Fire Department, District #1.


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Construction equipment causes morning house fire

Hutchinson News – Feb. 8, 2018

Photo by Sandra J. Milburn

Construction lighting powered by an extension cord caused a fire that charred the rear of a home Wednesday morning at 1005 West First Avenue, the Hutchinson Fire Department stated.

“The home was occupied,” a press release said. “And all escaped without injury.”

The 1925 home had severe damage to the rear of the structure and the attic area, the HFD said. The HFD said the call came at 10:28 a.m. and the fire was under control within 20 minutes of their arrival.

Residents at the 1,468 square foot home told firefighters the cause of the fire.


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Children help fire department save pets

By Stephanie Potter
Pittsburg Morning Sun – Feb. 8, 2018

Photo by Stephanie Potter

Two children had a question for their mother, how do firefighters help pets after a fire?

Their mother, Sammie Brueggemann said her daughters — 11-year-old Natalie and nine-year-old Naomi — started thinking about what happens to pets during a fire after placing a sticker on their door, which is to let firefighters know there are animals inside.

The family itself has three dogs and four cats.

The girls’ mother didn’t know the best answer so she did some research to find out. After browsing on the internet she learned about Invisible Fence’s Breathe Project, which donates pet oxygen masks to fire stations.

She explained her findings to her children and the girls decided they wanted to bring the masks to their local fire department.

“She said, if we don’t do it, who will,” Sammie Brueggemann said.

The girls said they were happy to bring the masks to the attention of the fire department and plan on contacting other southeast Kansas fire departments.

“We enjoy it because it could help,” Natalie said. “We have our own pets and we like helping animals.”

Naomi agreed.

“I really like animals so I really want to help,” she said.

The girls have even memorized facts on pets and fires, for example, “40,000 to 150,000 pets die from inhaling smoke across the United States,” the girls said almost unanimously.

So their mother sent an email to the City of Pittsburg Fire Department and they responded the same day and signed up to receive the donation.

On Wednesday, Invisible Fence Owner Beth Ericson and her helper — a Golden Retriever named Gin — drove from Wichita to drop off the masks. She said in the past 15 years the masks have helped save 10,000 animals. The masks are free, she said, all the fire departments have to do is apply.

Three kits, with small, medium and large sized masks will be given to each fire station in Pittsburg. The masks can be washed with soap and be reused.

Fire Marshal Thomas Vacca said it is devastating for families to not only lose their home, but their pet too. The masks, he said, could help save pets.

“We do our best to preserve their life and property the best we can,” he said.

The firefighters can now use a mask, which fits animals properly, allowing them to better care for pets that inhale smoke.

Vacca, on behalf of the department thanked the children for bringing the masks and gave them a tour of the fire department.

“They were willing to help the community with the masks,” Vacca said. “It is amazing, the thought and compassion they have for people in Pittsburg.”


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Mobile home fire considered suspicious

By AJ Dome
WIBW – Feb. 8, 2018


Firefighters from multiple agencies battled a blaze at a mobile home in northern Shawnee County Thursday morning.

Fire was called in at 2:35 a.m. to the 1800 block of NW Fairmont Road, near Highway 24 and Menoken Rd.

Authorities say they found the home fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.

The only occupant of the home was able to get out safely, waiting outside while first responders arrived.

Firefighters say the fire started in the garage, and spread to the home. With no hydrants nearby, firefighters had a more difficult time battling this blaze.

The 190th Air National Guard Fire Department responded with a water supply tanker truck.

Authorities say the cause of the fire has not been determined, but they are calling the fire “suspicious.”

The home and contents are a total loss; no dollar amount has been attached.

Firefighters say there were no working smoke alarms in the home.

Multiple fire agencies, including those from Silver Lake, Soldier Township and Topeka, responded.


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Former firefighter gives final gift of life

By Rowena Plett
Peabody Gazette Bulletin – Feb. 7, 2018

Glenn Yoder was a Peabody volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years, and although he hadn’t been active recently, his death Jan. 26 at the age of 66 was a final opportunity to continue his legacy.

Memorials were directed to Peabody Fire Department.

Fire chief Mark Penner said the money will go toward buying a self-sustained breathing apparatus that sells for more than $60,000.

“It’s pricey for a small department like ours, so the money will go toward that,” he said.

Assistant fire chief Steve Rose, who has been a firefighter for 25 years, said Yoder was easygoing and had a sense of humor.

“When we got paged out, and in the excitement Glenn would come in shorts, we would joke and say he was in his underwear,” he said. “But when it came to fighting a fire, he was serious.”

When Penner became fire chief at the Peabody Fire Department eight years ago, Yoder was no longer active, but Penner knew him and his reputation for being a dependable firefighter.

Penner said he accepted Florence fire chief Mark Slater’s offer to bring a fire truck to Yoder’s funeral.

“We’re a close-knit bunch,” he said. “Everybody knew Glenn, and we work together often here in the southern part of the county.”

Rose said Slater has a soft spot in his heart for firefighters. In addition to being a firefighter himself, he has a son who serves in the Great Bend Fire Department along with two other Florence men, and he probably came to show his support.

Yoder’s legacy will live on in his family’s memorial contribution to new equipment that will help firefighters do their job.


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Two teenagers critically injured in Prairie Village crash

By Mike Frizzell/Operation 100 News
Shawnee Dispatch – Feb. 7, 2018

Photo by John Sleezer/Kansas City Star

Officers from the Shawnee Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit are assisting Prairie Village Police with the investigation into a crash which left two teenagers critically injured.

The crash occurred in the 7100 block of Cherokee Drive, about one block east of Mission Road around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Radio traffic indicates the car, a Dodge sedan, struck a tree. Johnson County Med-Act units at the scene reported the vehicle had sustained “major damage.”

Firefighters from Consolidated Fire District No. 2 and the Overland Park Fire Department had to extricate both occupants of the vehicle.

Both of the injured teens were transported by Johnson County Med-Act to St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City in critical condition.


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Volunteer Fire Unit honored at annual dinner

By Belinda Larsen
Butler County Times Gazette – Feb. 7, 2018

(L-R) Augusta City Manager Josh Shaw, Volunteer Fireman of the Year Brian Smart, Fire Division Commander Major Ray Marbut & Ron Reavis, President of the Volunteer Fire Division. Photo by Belinda Larsen

Volunteer firefighters do not live and work in a firehouse like career firefighters, they carry out the same kinds of emergency response duties and non-emergency tasks. They don’t get paid and they have day jobs, but they work in the most dangerous situations.
The Augusta Department of Safety has a long history of utilizing volunteer firefighters. Several generations have been represented in the local department.
Their accomplishments and valuable service is recognized each year at an annual dinner. The group met Saturday night at The Point Events Center in Augusta for dinner, music and fellowship.
Ron Reavis, president of the local volunteer firefighters’ association, kicked off the event by welcoming everyone and advising that there had been no significant injuries, no close calls or fire related deaths in the past year.
“Pats on the back for all of you for keeping safety foremost. A lot of credit goes to Ray.“
Next to speak was Major Ray Marbut.
Marbut reported that there were 367 alarms that were responded to in 2017; 170 in the city and 137 in the fire district.
“This is a team effort. We have to compete with other departments for funding, and I’d like to thank the City Manager, the Mayor, and the City Council for your support,” he continued, “Our retired members should be recognized for helping so many people. And for their patience. To our dispatch and communications staff – you take care of the irate and excited callers. Thank you. You don’t get credit often enough. You are very, very important.”
“To the volunteers – you are all professionals. That’s how we operate. I’m proud of all of you. You’re willing to do it in freezing weather and in extremely hot weather. That kind of dedication is rare in today’s society.“
Marbut also recognized the paid staff, area fire divisions and chiefs, the Task Force, the Rescue Squad, the Explorers, and the families of firefighters.
He gave advise to the volunteers and Explorers, “You’ve chosen a noble and well respected service. Strive to do your best. Listen to the old-timers. Listen and ask questions. They can share stuff that’s not in books and on training tapes. They have blazed the path for you. Listen and pay attention.“
He had advise for the older volunteers, as well.
“Train and prepare them for the future. Have patience. They don’t know everything that you know. They are our future. Let’s make it good.“
Guest speaker City Manager Josh Shaw thanked the firefighters.
On behalf of our great community, I want to say how grateful we are to you for your great service.“
Shaw shared the story of the tragic death of his father-in-law in a fire when Shaw’s wife was only 8-years-old. Her father had been a talented artist and most of his work was lost in the fire. One portfolio was saved and has become a valued memento for the family.
“You help save and protect our memories. Our lives are safer,” he said.
The Firefighter of the Year Award is chosen by the command staff each year, and Brian Smart was this year’s winner.
“No matter what time it is, I know that I can call him and he’ll always be here. He’s never let me down,” Major Marbut said.
After presentation of the award, Ron Reavis closed out the program.
“I see nothing but good things for 2018. I see the equipment some fire departments are using. I hear their budget stories and I’m honored to say that we don’t have that problem in Augusta. The city and county have us covered. We thank you for that,” he added, “There are a couple of guys who will never be forgotten and were always a part of this celebration. Leroy Hall and Ronnie Pressnell. They are missed.“
The dinner and program were followed by music and fellowship.


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Apartment fire displaces six families in south Wichita

KSN – Feb. 7, 2018

Fire damaged an apartment building in south Wichita Tuesday night. The fire occurred at the Southlake Village Apartments in the 3100 block of S. Seneca shortly after 6:10 p.m.

Fire Chief Tammy Snow said the first fire crews to arrive on the scene found smoke and flames coming from a second floor balcony. The fire had worked its way up to building three’s upper level and into the soffit above.

Shortly after crews arrived on the scene, firefighters pulled a second alarm to bring the fire under control.

Snow said a total of six apartments sustained damage from the fire and smoke. Residents in those apartments were moved into other apartments on the premises by apartment officials.


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Northern Shawnee Co. house fire under investigation

WIBW – Feb. 7, 2018

Firefighters are investigating a house fire in northern Shawnee County that lasted from late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.

The Silver Lake Fire Departments said the first reports of the fire came in around 11:30 p.m. in the 6400 block of NW 70th St, in the area of the Bethel Community Church.

Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control after more than an hour.

Authorities have not said whether anyone was home at the time, or what may have caused the fire.


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Crews battle western Jefferson County fire at body shop

KSNT – Feb. 7, 2018


Fire crews are on the scene Monday morning of a structure fire in western Jefferson County.

The fire was reported just before 5:30 a.m. at a body shop located at 3245 NE 82nd Street. That address is just west of Meriden. Mutual aid was being requested at the scene.

No injuries have been reported at this time and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

KSNT News has a crew on scene and will more information as soon as it becomes available.


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Fire crews battle house fire

KWCH – Feb. 7, 2018

The Wichita Fire Department battled an early morning fire at a home on S. Water.

Firefighters say the fire happened around 2 a.m. on Wednesday near Mount Vernon and Broadway.

Fire crews say the house was badly damaged in the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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Rosalia, Kan. fire station building burns, truck destroyed

KSN – Feb. 7, 2018

Photo by Raoul Cortez

A building and a fire truck in Rosalia, Kan. were destroyed Tuesday afternoon. The fire broke out in a building behind the main fire station in Rosalia that housed one truck. The main building with four other trucks was not damaged.

Butler County Rural Fire District 5 Chief Dean Bender told KSN News the fire broke out shortly before 3 p.m. Bender said he was notified of the fire by his granddaughter who lives nearby.

Bender said the building housed an older truck that was used as a backup apparatus and was used to fight grass and brush fires.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found smoke and flames coming from the building. Bender said because firefighters were unable to get the building’s overhead door open due to the fire, they were forced to cut a hole in the door and pull it away from the building.

Bender said both the building and truck are a total loss. He puts the damage to both at about $90,000.

Bender said both the truck and building were insured.


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KSFFA Regional Fire School – Lindsborg

KSFFA Regional Fire School
Hosted by Lindsborg Fire Department
March 3-4, 2018
Location: Lindsborg High School, 1 Viking Dr., Lindsborg

Saturday Morning – March 3 – 8:00 a.m.

  1.  Engine Company Operations
  2.  Grain Elevator Fires
  3.  Vehicle Extrication – Requires Full Turn-Out Gear – Approved for BEMS Continuing Education Hrs.
  4.  Lessons Learned
  5.  Fire Behavior

Saturday Afternoon – March 3 – 1:00 p.m.

  1.  Engine Company Operations, cont.
  2.  Grain Elevator Fires, cont.
  3.  Vehicle Extrication, cont.
  4.  Reading Smoke
  5.  Fire Streams

Sunday Morning – March 4 – 8:00 a.m.

  1.  Vehicle Fires – Require Full Turn-Out Gear & SCBA
  2.   Oil Tank Battery Fires
  3.  Search & Rescue

Sunday Afternoon – March 4 – 12:00 p.m.

  1.  KSFFA Burn Trailer – Require Full Turn-Out Gear & SCBA

For Questions contact: Shane Pearson, KSFFA 2nd Vice President,

  • 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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Students shown hands-only CPR

Cowley Courier Traveler – Feb. 6, 2018

Aaron Sutton, left, of Winfield Fire/EMS, instructs Southwestern College sophomore Daren Reed, along with other SC students, in the Pre-Health Professionals Club, in hands-only CPR. Students of the club will be working with Sutton and others from the Winfield Fire Department to host large CPR training events on the college’s campus Feb. 15 and 17. Winfield businesses and organizations are invited to host CPR training events led by WFD throughout February in recognition of Heart Health Month.


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Fire destroys unoccupied house

By Judith Zaccaria
Cowley Courier Traveler – Feb. 6, 2018

Photo by Judith Zaccaria

A fire that occurred about 3 a.m. Monday left the house at 915 E. 14th Ave., in Winfield, a total loss, according to Winfield Fire Department Captain Patrick Ramirez.

The WFD had not determined a cause of the fire or put a value on the house as of late Monday afternoon.

The property was unoccupied, and the owner lives out-of-town, Ramirez said. The owner has been notified and will come to Winfield to assess the damage.

The fire was confined to the front room on the west side of the house, Ramirez said, but the smoke went throughout the structure, which he said was in a state of disrepair.

Ramirez said arson is not suspected. The houses on either side of the damaged building were not in any danger of burning, he said.

Firefighters were called at 3 a.m. and had the fire under control by 4 a.m.

Responding fire departments besides Winfield were from Arkansas City, Burden and Udall.


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Philip Wayne Bertholf

Philip Wayne Bertholf, 68, died Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at Via Christi-St. Francis, Wichita.

He was born July 16, 1949 at Garden City, the son of Wayne and Wanda (Stukey) Bertholf. He was a graduate of Garden City High School. On August 24, 1968 he married Noralee Tresner at Garden City. They moved to Dodge City on March 1, 1969. He worked in the sign business for many years and was the owner and operator of Bert Sign Company. Later in life he was a truck driver for several local trucking companies and businesses.

He was a member of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Dodge City Roundup Rodeo. He was a longtime volunteer for the Dodge City Fire Department and Ford County Fire & EMS and for many years he made the Easter Candles for church.

Survivors include: his wife of 49 years, Noralee, Dodge City, his 4 children, Tim and wife Billie, San Antonio, Texas, Yvette Ediger and husband Ron, Newton, Kansas, Todd, Dodge City and Anthony, Dodge City; 2 brothers, Larry Bertholf and wife Sandy, Omaha, Nebraska and Neil Bertholf and wife Cheryl, Arvada, Colorado; 13 grandchildren, Courtney Bertholf and Cecelia Bertholf, San Antonio, Caitlyn Ediger, McKenzie Ediger and Trey Ediger, Newton, Nathan Ediger, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Caleb Bertholf, Joshua Bertholf and Levi Bertholf, Dodge City, Tailor LaMadline and husband Joel, Wichita, Brandon Bertholf, Hutchinson, Gavin Lindsey and Alexus Lindsey, Hugoton, Kansas; and a great granddaughter, Andee Grace.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Keith Bertholf.

Vigil service will be at 7:00 pm Friday, January 5, 2018 at Ziegler Funeral Chapel, Dodge City. Funeral Mass will be 10:00 am Saturday at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 901 Central Ave., Dodge City, with Fr. Wesley Schawe presiding. Burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dodge City. Visitation will be Friday from noon to 7:00 pm at Ziegler Funeral Chapel. The casket will remain closed.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) for Levi B in memory of Philip Bertholf in care of Ziegler Funeral Chapel, 1901 N. 14th Ave., Dodge City, Kansas 67801.


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Smoke alarm alerts family to garage fire

By John Green
Hutchinson News – Feb. 6, 2018

Smoke detectors alerted a Hutchinson family to a fire in their garage early Tuesday morning, allowing the family to spot the blaze before it spread to their home and to evacuate safely, fire officials said.

Crews were dispatched to the home at 2713 Timber Lane just after 1:40 a.m. and on arrival found heavy smoke and flames coming from the attached three-car garage.

Firefighters “were able to quickly contain the fire by mounting an aggressive interior attack,” Hutchinson Fire Chief Steven Beer stated in a report on Facebook. “This allowed fire crews to stop the spread of the fire before the fire entered the interior of the home.”

While the fire was contained to the garage, which was heavily damaged, firefighters noted some smoke damage throughout the house, Beer stated.

“This is yet another reminder that smoke detectors do work, make sure yours are operational,” Battalion Chief Rex Albright suggested in the post.

An investigation into the cause of the fire continued Tuesday morning.

The Hutchinson Police Department, Reno County EMS, Westar, and Kansas Gas assisted firefighters in their response.


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Pet oxygen mask kit donated to Mac Fire Department

By Patricia Middleton
McPherson Sentinel – Feb. 6, 2018

Members of the McPherson Fire Department pose with the new pet oxygen mask set donated to them by Invisible Fence of Central Kansas. Pictured from left to right: William Lulloff, Zach Peterson, Division Chief Randy Willems, Alex Krebaum, Invisible Fence of Central Kansas owner Beth Ericson and her dog, Bender, Fire Chief Jeff Deal, Ryan Zrubek and Billy Turner. Photo by T.J. Wyssmann

The McPherson Fire Department will have an easier time reviving dogs and cats that have suffered smoke inhalation, thanks to the donation of a pet oxygen mask kit from Invisible Fence of Central Kansas.

“Unfortunately, we run across a lot of pets in structure fires,” said Deputy Fire Chief T.J. Wyssmann.

Wyssmann estimated firefighters rescue between 10 and 15 pets each year.

“When we have structure fires, that’s one of our main concerns,” Wyssmann said. McPherson Fire Department Executive Assistant Chris Bruton sent in the request for a pet oxygen mask kit, which was given to the department last week and is now ready for use.

“Before, we just held a human rebreather and applied oxygen that way,” Wyssman said.

The pet oxygen mask kit will allow firefighters to apply better oxygen delivery to the animals’ noses with varying sizes of masks.

“There’s a small, medium and large for different breeds of animals,” Wyssmann explained.

The pet oxygen mask kit also comes with a leash.

“We actually have a nationwide program through our parent company,” explained Beth Ericson, owner of Invisible Fence of Central Kansas.

The program, called Project Breathe, offers pet oxygen mask kits to fire departments across the country.

“We’re passionate about pet safety,” Ericson said. “It’s something that is really a privilege to participate in.”

Fire safety is a cause that is meaningful to Ericson.

“Our office actually burned down last year, so we have a healthy appreciation for firefighters,” Ericson said.

Wyssmann said firefighters are trained to perform multiple sweeps of a burning structure to ensure that people and their pets get out as quickly as possible.

“If you can’t get pets out, the best thing you can do is get yourself out and do not reenter the structure,” Wyssmann said. “We can get those pets, usually, pretty quick.”

After leaving, tell firefighters which door is normally used to let your pet out for them to go to the bathroom, as that is where they typically go when they want to get out.

“Your pets are creatures of habit, and knowing their habits will aid you,” Wyssmann said.

Families should prepare an escape plan in case of a fire.

The Kansas Fire Marshal offers these tips for preparing a fire escape plan:

— Draw a floor plan for each floor of your home, including windows and doors. For each room, find two ways out and label them on your plan.

— Designate one adult to help get babies, young children or family members who need extra help out safely. Have a back-up plan in case the primary person is overcome by smoke, or is not home.

— Decide on a safe meeting place for your family.

— Test your smoke alarms once a month, and make sure your child can recognize the sound.

— Teach your child to get low and crawl on the ground, where the air is less smoky.

— Show your child how to use the back of his hand to check doors for heat before opening. Teach them to use a different way out if the door is hot to the touch.

— If your child needs to use an escape ladder, show him where you keep it, and how to use it.

— Children can become scared and confused during emergencies, so teach them to never hide from firefighters.

— Teach children to never go back inside a burning building.

— Explain that if they do catch fire, they need to stop, drop and roll.

— Practice your fire escape plan twice a year. Fires can start anywhere in the home and at any time, so run through the plan at different times of the day or night and practice different ways out.

— Use a stopwatch to time how fast everyone can get out and to the specified meeting place. The goal should be under two minutes.

For more information about Project Breathe, visit


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Robert Burnett Roberts, Jr.

Robert “Bob” B. Roberts, Jr., 70, of Wichita, Kansas, passed away Wednesday evening, January 31, 2018 at HCR ManorCare in Wichita.

Born March 5, 1947 in Lamar, Colorado, he was the son of Robert B., Sr. and Dorothy Virginia (Solomon) Roberts. He was raised in several locations due to his father’s military service. After school, Bob proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Following his military service, he worked as a firefighter for the Wichita Fire Department and later become a Corrections Officer at the El Dorado Correctional Facility. He remained with the correctional facility until retiring in 2013.

His family includes:
His sisters: Kathy Edwards and husband, Bob of Derby; Nancy Johnson and husband, Mike of Hutchinson;
His niece: Andrea Burton;
His nephews: Matthew Burton, Rhett Johnson, Mick Johnson; and
Two step-nephews: David Edward and Brian Edwards.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Dorothy Roberts.

Private graveside funeral services and Military Committal Honors will be held at the Kansas Veterans Cemetery in Winfield. Miles Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.

A memorial has been established in Robert’s name for the Kansas Humane Society. Contributions may be made through the funeral home.


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Karel Patrick Pavlik

Karel Patrick “KP” Pavlik, 87, beloved dad and loving granddad, passed away Friday, January 26, 2018, at the Pioneer Lodge in Coldwater, KS. Born May 9, 1930, at Galveston, TX, he was the son of Karel and Mary Lucy (Collerain) Pavlik.

On October 7, 1950, he married Jacquelyn Lou Martin of Coldwater, KS. Hand in hand, for 64 years, they shared their joys and sorrows until her passing on April 26, 2013. To this union were born one daughter and two sons.

Karel worked for Southwestern Bell/ AT&T for 43 years. He was a member of the Coldwater First Christian Church, Coldwater Lion’s Club, and a volunteer fireman for the Comanche County Fire Department. He served the City of Coldwater for many years as a city councilman and was instrumental in the development of Lake Coldwater.

Karel was a conscientious and very modest individual. He was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather, and a dear friend to others. His wise counsel, firm guidance, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him. He was very proud of his children and always wanted the best for them. Karel was especially proud of his grandkids, always looking forward to their visits and times they would share together. He loved life and being outdoors, loved nature, and the song of birds. His backyard was his source of therapy.

Surviving with great memories are his daughter: Karela Jill Dunn (Roger) of Buttermilk, KS; two sons: Jack Alan Pavlik (Janice) of Dallas, TX and Jay Anton Pavlik (Amy) of McPherson, KS; two sisters: Jerrydene Kovar and Nonie Jo Hlinsky; two brothers: William Pavlik and Robert Pavlik; seven grandchildren: Joe Dunn, Jeremy Dunn, Josh Pavlik, Jace Pavlik, Jayla Bonham, Jared Pavlik, and Courtney Gerhardt; and thirteen great-grandchildren: Emma & Keith Dunn, Tristan, Grant, Devin, & Cami Dunn, Milla, Leo, & Rya Pavlik, Hazel, Drake, & Moira Pavlik, and Luella Jo Pavlik.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings.

Calling times are from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday, January 28, 2018 (Family Will Greet Friends from 3-5 p.m.) at Hatfield-Prusa Funeral Home, Coldwater, KS.

Graveside service is at 2:00 p.m., Monday, January 29, 2018, at Crown Hill Cemetery in Coldwater, KS, with Andrew Evans presiding.

Memorials are suggested to Comanche County Fire Department in care of Hatfield-Prusa Funeral Home, P.O. Box 417, Coldwater, KS 67029.


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Grass fire displaces residents

Leavenworth Times – Feb. 6, 2018

Several Leavenworth residents were temporarily displaced over the weekend after a grass fire left them without power, a Fire Department official said.

The fire was reported at 12:09 p.m. Saturday. The fire started in the backyard of 542 Utah St. but spread to neighboring properties, according to Mark DeMaranville, division chief of prevention for the Leavenworth Fire Department.

No injuries were reported.

DeMaranville said firefighters believe the grass fire was sparked by an outdoor fireplace. He said wind helped to spread the fire.

He said the fire damaged the siding of a building that houses three apartments on Iowa Street. The electrical supply to the building also was affected, causing the displacement of residents.


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Task force to battle wildfires

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – Feb. 6, 2018

Leavenworth County has a new task force that can deploy to other parts of Kansas to battle wildfires.

The team had its first readiness drill last week, according to Chuck Magaha, director of Leavenworth County Emergency Management.

“Hopefully, we don’t have to use them,” Magaha said.

But given drought outlooks across the state, Magaha acknowledged the task probably will be needed in the near future.

Officially called KS LVX-WTF 01, the wildland task force is made up of members from Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 and the fire departments of the Fairmount, Kickapoo, Sherman and Tonganoxie townships.

“They all volunteered for that position,” Magaha said.

When deploying, the task force members will be utilizing equipment from their local fire departments.

“Trucks have to meet certain criteria,” Magaha said. “The firefighters have to meet certain criteria.”

If the team is deployed, Leavenworth Fire District No. 1 Chief Rick Huhn will serve as the team’s division supervisor, and he will oversee the task force once it is deployed.

The task force was assembled as part of a statewide initiative. During the last two years, the state has experienced large wildfires, Magaha said.

The Leavenworth County task force was put together in November.

As part of last week’s readiness drill, members were sent notification at 3 p.m. Thursday. They were asked to assemble at 5:30 p.m. at a Tonganoxie Township fire station.

“We pulled everybody together,” Magaha said.

The task force was asked to prepare for a fictional wildfire in Russell County, and the group’s equipment was inspected.

“We want to make sure our team is as ready as possible,” Magaha said.


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Joplin man loses his life in collision

By Adam Sherwinski
Four State News – Feb. 6, 2018

An accident in Cherokee County has caused a Joplin man to lose his life.

Ronald Cook Jr. was traveling westward on U.S. 166 in near the Kansas-Missouri state line last night when he hit the left corner of the car in front of him then moved into the left lane and was struck by a semi truck.

Cook was transported to Mercy Hospital Joplin where he was pronounced dead. The other two drivers did not receive any injuries from the accident.


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Douglas K. Brown

Douglas K. Brown, 56, died Sunday, February 4, 2018 at Stafford County Hospital, Stafford. Born May 1, 1961 at Stafford he was the son of Pete and Bonnie Cox Brown. He was in Law Enforcement for 29 years, serving the past 23 years as Stafford Chief of Police. He served on the Stafford City and Stafford County Fire Depts., Stafford County E.M.S. and was the Stafford County Emergency Management Director. On September 30, 2000 he married Ann Cannon at Stafford. He is survived by his wife: Ann. Parents: Pete and Bonnie Brown. Step-son: John Newman and wife Lara. Brother: David Brown. Sister: Deana Eisenhour and husband Paul. Many nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m., Thursday, February 8 at the United Methodist Church, Stafford. Burial will be at the Stafford Cemetery with Police Honors. Visitation will be Wednesday 1-7 p.m. with the family receiving friends 5-7 p.m. at Minnis Chapel, Stafford. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Stafford Police Department Personal Equipment Fund or Kansas Training Program for Police Dogs, sent to Minnis Chapel, 125 N Main, Stafford, KS 67578.


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Russell Firefighters Respond to House Fire Sunday

By David Elliott
KRSL – Feb. 5, 2017

The Russell City Fire Department responded Sunday morning at about 8:40 to a report of a structure fire at 1454 North Kansas Street in Russell.

Upon arrival of fire crews, flames were showing on the outside of the house near the front door according to a press release from Fire Chief Shane Preston.

The occupants were out of the home when fire crews arrived. No injuries were reported at the time of the fire.

The fire was quickly extinguished and damage was contained to the area of origin.

The cause of the fire was due to an animal building a nest in the inner wall of the home and damaging the electrical wiring said Preston.

The nest was made up of grass and small twigs. These materials surrounded an electrical junction box. The electrical wiring arced and caught the nest materials on fire. A neighbor alerted the occupants of the home of the fire.

The Russell City Fire Department, Russell Police Department, Russell County EMS, Russell Water and Russell Electric Department all responded to the incident.

(Information courtesy Russell City Fire Department.)


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No injuries reported in downtown Topeka apartment fire

By Tiffany Littler
KSNT – Feb. 5, 2018

Photo by James Ryan

A fire broke out in an apartment building in downtown Topeka Wednesday afternoon.

Topeka Fire responded to the fire at The Belmark Apartments just after 2 p.m.

Traffic was blocked at 12th and Polk while crews worked the scene.

According to Topeka Fire, it started in the walls and traveled between the first and third floors.

Only two apartments were affected.

No injuries were reported and Topeka Fire said everyone was evacuated when they arrived.

Topeka Fire said a torch may have been to blame. They believe someone was working with a torch on the first floor.

The investigation is still ongoing.


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2018 off to a deadly start on Kansas roadways

By Tiernan Shank
WIBW – Feb. 5, 2018

2018 is off to a bad start on Kansas roadways.

As of January 29th there have been 31 traffic fatalities in the state.

That’s up 93.7% from the same period in 2017.

Excessive speed, driver distraction (like cell phones) drug and alcohol impairment and failure to use seat belts continue to be major factors in these statistics.

Traffic related deaths rose significantly in 2017 than in previous years.


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Fire destroys home of rural Eudora family, kills 7 puppies

By Elvyn Jones
Lawrence Journal World – Feb. 5, 2018

A fire that officials say started in the chimney of a wood-burning stove has destroyed the home of a rural Eudora family and killed seven puppies.

The family of Quinton Parks reported the fire about 2:45 p.m. Sunday at the home, 2352 North 1200 Road, Eudora Township Fire Department Chief Duke Verheist said. The family discovered the fire as they were returning to the house, which is about a mile southeast of Eudora, after a trip to town, he said.

On their arrival, Eudora Township firefighters found that the fire had fully engulfed the single-story wood-frame house, Verheist said. The fire, which Verheist said started in a chimney for a wood-burning stove, destroyed the house and its contents as well as seven puppies that were inside, he said. He did not have an estimate of the loss.

The Parks and their daughter declined the offer of aid from the American Red Cross and are staying with relatives instead, Verheist said.

The Eudora, Palmyra Township and Wakarusa Township fire departments provided mutual aid, Verheist said, and every fire department in the county provided water tankers to help fight the fire.


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KCK firefighters respond to house fire, find body inside

By Stephanie Graflage and Kathy Quinn
FOX 4 News – Feb. 5, 2018


Police in Kansas City, Kan., were called to assist with a house fire Sunday night after firefighters found a body.

Firefighters were dispatched to the home near 17th and Rowland around 11:30 p.m.

“We’re still investigating right now,” said Morris James Letcher, spokesperson for KCK Fire Department.

Letcher said investigators are in the process of identifying the victim and determining whether they lived at the home.

It is unclear if the person died as a result of the fire or if their death is suspicious.


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SCAFFA Annual Fire School

State Capital Area Firefighters Association is to host their Annual SCAFFA Fire Training School at the Ramada Inn Downtown Topeka, March 14-18, 2018. Firefighters and Emergency Medical Personnel from all over the state, including some from surrounding states attend the school every year. The school offers fire training and medical certification hours, as well as an opportunity to get hands on with equipment and tools from vendors in one of the largest vendor displays in the state.

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

For complete information


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Sunday morning fire displaces Lawrence family

By Elvyn Jones
Lawrence Journal World – Feb. 5, 2018

Photo by Elvyn Jones

A fire Sunday morning has displaced a family from a Lawrence duplex.

Justin Temple, operations divisions chief with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, said that shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday firefighters responded to a fire at 1042 New Jersey St. The fire, which was contained to the kitchen in the two-story duplex, was under control at 10:17 a.m., he said.

A family of an adult and two children had vacated the apartment when firefighters arrived, Temple said. The occupants were uninjured but were unable to return to the residence because of smoke damage and lack of utilities from the fire response, he said. They received lodging assistance from the American Red Cross and the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority. The other unit in the duplex was unoccupied.

No damage estimate was immediately available and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Temple said.


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Fire District #1 holds second annual pinning ceremony

Gardner News – Feb. 5, 2018

Chief Rob Kirk, FD#1, talks to the new recruits about the Maltese Cross and Badges as seen on the screen on the screen. Pictured are: from left to right, Assistant Chief Dennis Meyers, Chaplin Rick George, Division Chief Jerry Holly, Division Chief Kirk Keller, Battalion Chief Trig Morley, Battalion Chief Mike Hirschmann, Board Members Chairman Mark Burdolski, Keith ohnson, and Dr. Brian Cook. (not pictured Battalion Chief Ken Phelps).

Pictured left to right: Recruit Heinen, Recruit Richerson, Recruit Donnell and Recruit Meyer.

The second annual Pinning Ceremony for Fire District #1 of Johnson County, was held Jan. 16. One firefighter was promoted to Captain, four recruits were promoted to Firefighter 1 and five new recruits received their badges.

Individuals and their new rank are: Master Firefighter J. Ducey Promoted to Captain; Recruit Firefighter D. Lawrence Promoted to Firefighter 1; Recruit Firefighter K. Neis Promoted to Firefighter 1; Recruit Firefighter C. Shuck Promoted to Firefighter 1; Recruit Firefighter G. Wernicke Jr. Promoted to Firefighter 1; and New Recruit K. Buller; New Recruit J. Donnell;
New Recruit N. Heinen; New Recruit B. Meyer; New Recruit W. Richerson.


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Worker Escapes Injury at Atchison Facility

Ted Graf, Atchison Fire Chief – Feb. 5, 2018

A subcontractor performing grain fire recovery work at MGP Ingredients escaped injury after corn poured out Friday morning from its storage area and engulfed him up to his shoulders.
Atchison Fire Chief Ted Graf said in a Friday interview that the man’s employer had been retained by MGP after a “hot spot” fire in the corn silo ruined some of its contents. The “hot spot” remains an issue inside the silo, but has been fully contained and poses no threat to anyone, Graf said.
The company, which Graf didn’t have information on, had the task of removing the salvageable grain from the silo and disposing of the rest, Graf said. During that work at about 10:00 a.m. Friday at the MGP complex at 1300 Main Street, the containment of the corn unexpectedly ruptured, quickly pouring bulk corn over the victim and engulfing him.
“Grain is a little unpredictable and it can be very dangerous,” Graf said. “It wants to follow the law of gravity, so when it is contained, and then suddenly isn’t, it wants to spill all over the place.”
MGP hasn’t yet been reached for comment on the incident.
The man’s co-workers began removing grain from the scene to free their colleague immediately, Graf said. He said MGP called the Atchison Fire Department, which responded with Atchison County EMS at around 10 a.m. Friday.
“When we got down there they had removed enough grain so that he was buried up to the mid-thigh area,” Graf said. “Our rescue efforts then helped get enough of it way to free him.”
The man suffered no apparent injury requiring medical attention and declined to be treated or transported from the scene, Graf said.
“He seemed to be OK. He had all of his safety equipment in place, which probably helped considerably,” Graf said. “The company had just gone through safety training with MGP, which is something they always do with their subcontractors.”
Graf has handled more serious grain engulfments before, and said the incident proved to be fortunate, as often, times an engulfment can happen in a rural, private farm or inside of a grain silo. Significant injury becomes a serious possibility in those circumstances, Graf said.
“In my experience, our elevators in town are always aware of that risk and are keen to take the utmost safety precautions,” he said.


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2018 Fire Recruit Class – Wichita Fire Department

The Wichita Fire Department is now taking applications for our Spring 2018 Fire Recruit Class. Utilize this link to apply:



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13 displaced after Overland Park apartment fire

By Steven Dial
KSHB – Feb. 2, 2018


The Overland Park Fire Department responded to an early morning fire at the Meadowlark Hills Apartments, a complex tucked in a neighborhood just northwest of 95th and Metcalf.

Fire crews arrived at the scene around 2 a.m. Friday near 91st Street and Robinson to a smoky, active fire. Several of the residents had already evacuated, and crews went through and got everyone else out safe.

Chief Bryan Dehner says a few people were treated at the scene for possible smoke inhalation, but no one was injured or hospitalized.

The Red Cross is helping 13 people find a place to stay as fire investigators work to figure out what started the fire that destroyed their homes. Chief Dehner says his crew will wait until sunrise Friday to investigate the cause.


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Woman critically hurt in apartment fire

KWCH – Feb. 2, 2018

Fire crews are on the scene of an apartment fire near north Nim street in the Riverside area.

Dispatchers got the call before 3 a.m. on Friday. When firefighters arrived on scene, they saw fire coming from a couple windows in the back of the building.

Firefighters entered the home which had been split into apartments and found a woman near the back in her 40’s unresponsive.

Emergency crews transported the woman to the hospital in critical condition.

There were also several other people living in the other apartments. Fire officials say those folks made it out safely.

Investigators say because it is an old home that had been split into apartments, fighting fires in these types of structures can be very difficult. The fire can often be hidden due to the fire going up the walls.

“You have little voids that have been created. Hopefully, they’re protected by Sheetrock or plaster in these older homes, but in other instances, things have been done–there’s hidden fire. Fire runs through hidden spaces. Typically we can knock down a quickfire but then we’ll find more and more traveling through,” says Deputy chief Stu Bevis.

Fire officials are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.


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Body found Thursday in Brown County fire

By Katie Moore
Topeka Capital Journal – Feb. 1, 2018

A body was discovered Thursday as emergency crews battled a fire near Fairview.

The blaze was reported around 5:20 a.m. at 2144 Dewberry Road, Brown County Sheriff John Merchant said.

Fire departments from Fariview, Morrill, Powhattan, Horton, Kickapoo and Hiawatha battled the fire for several hours.

The state fire marshal’s office was contacted and is investigating the cause of the fire, Merchant said.

The person’s identity is being withheld as authorities notify the family.


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Kan. man dies after rear-end crash into motor home, fire

Hays Post – Feb. 1, 2018

A Kansas man died in an accident just before 3:30a.m. Thursday in McPherson County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage driven by David L. Chamberlain, Jr., 51, Haven, was southbound on Interstate 135 just south of Navajo Road.

The vehicle rear-ended a 1989 Rockwood Motorhome driven by Kenneth R. Shriver, Wichita. The Mitsubishi then entered west ditch, traveled through a KDOT fence and caught fire.

Chamberlain was pronounced dead at the scene.

Shriver was not injured. Chamberlain was not wearing a seat belt, according to the KHP.


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Semi crashes and catches fire

By Daniel Barnett and Stephanie Kayser
KCTV 5 – Feb. 1, 2018


A truck driver has been hospitalized and northbound Interstate 35 is closed between Seventh Street and Southwest Boulevard after a semi crashed and caught fire early Thursday morning.

The crash happened before 12:49 a.m. near I-35 and Mission Road.

Officials say the truck hit the median and burst into flames.

The driver of the truck was injured and taken to an area hospital.

Officials do not know what caused the crash but say the truck was hauling an XPO Logistics Trailer carrying a corrosive substance.

The flames have been put out but emergency crews are still working to clean up the substance.

Police say no one else was involved in the accident.

Traffic is being diverted off the interstate at 18th Street.

Southbound I-35 was also closed in the area but reopened shortly before 4:30 a.m. Officials say the northbound lanes will remain closed until about 10 a.m.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

Space heater ignites fire

Leavenworth Times – Feb. 1, 2018

No injuries were reported following a Leavenworth apartment fire sparked by a space heater, a Fire Department official said.

The fire was reported at 11:54 p.m. Tuesday at 501 N. Seventh St. Mark DeMaranville, division chief of prevention for the Leavenworth Fire Department, said a blanket, chair and section of carpet were damaged in the fire.

“The damage was not extensive at all,” he said.

DeMaranville said firefighters believe the blanket was the first item to catch fire because it was too close to a space heater.

DeMaranville said he does not recommend using space heaters. But if people need to use a space heater, it is important to keep combustible materials away from the heater. DeMaranville said people also should not leave space heaters unattended while they are in use.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

Russell Firefighters Respond to Vehicle Fire

By David Elliott
KRSL – Feb. 1, 2018

On Tuesday at approximately 4:27 PM, the Russell City Fire Department responded to a report of a vehicle fire at Gene’s Service at 237 South Fossil Street in Russell.

According to a press release from Fire Chief Shane Preston, upon arrival fire crews quickly determined the fire was extinguished by employees of the business.

One fire engine responded to the scene to cool down the engine compartment for hot spots.

No injuries were reported and the only property damage was the vehicle involved.

The cause of the fire was due to the engine of the vehicle overheating.

The Russell City Fire Department, Russell Police Department and Russell County EMS responded to the incident.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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