Firefighters take their hits on Wiley Building’s interior

By Ken Stephens
Hutchinson News - April 17, 2014

Firefighters Scott Wilkens, front, and David Mancillas tear down a door Tuesdsay as the Hutchinson Fire Department trains on the eighth floor of the Wiley Building. Before the walls were demolished, firefighters went through the rooms practicing forcible entry and breaching walls to create holes large enough for escape and rescue. Photo by Sandra J. Milburn.

Firefighters Scott Wilkens, front, and David Mancillas tear down a door Tuesdsay as the Hutchinson Fire Department trains on the eighth floor of the Wiley Building. Before the walls were demolished, firefighters went through the rooms practicing forcible entry and breaching walls to create holes large enough for escape and rescue. Photo by Sandra J. Milburn.

Hutchinson Firefighter Jason Webb uses an ax to create a hole in the wall of an unused office on the eighth floor of the Wiley Building Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Photo by Sandra J. Milburn.

Hutchinson Firefighter Jason Webb uses an ax to create a hole in the wall of an unused office on the eighth floor of the Wiley Building Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Photo by Sandra J. Milburn.

 

Firefighter Patrick O’Neal breaks through a wall as part of a training session Tuesday on the eighth floor of the Wiley Building. Firefighters practiced forcible entry and breaching walls on the interior walls using sledgehammers and axes. Photo by Sandra J. Milburn.

Firefighter Patrick O’Neal breaks through a wall as part of a training session Tuesday on the eighth floor of the Wiley Building. Firefighters practiced forcible entry and breaching walls on the interior walls using sledgehammers and axes. Photo by Sandra J. Milburn.

In the parlance of architects and bureaucrats, what’s going on at the Wiley Building is called adaptive reuse, transforming and old building for use in ways other than its original purpose.

The Hutchinson Fire Department took that to extremes on Tuesday.

Several companies of firefighters went up to the eighth floor, where the demolition workers have scarcely begun to gut the interior of the 100-year-old building, and used sledgehammers, axes and other tools to break down locked doors and knock holes through walls.

“We’re practicing forcible entry and breaching walls,” Fire Department Capt. Greg Henke said. “If doors are locked and no key holders are on hand, we have techniques to pop doors. And if we are inside and our escape route is blocked we need to breach walls to rescue ourselves. We have different techniques for different types of walls.”

The Fire Department arranged last week with Jack Manske, head of the group that is redeveloping the former department store and office building into 73 apartments and two floors of commercial space, and Key Construction to take advantage of the plans to gut the interior and get in some practice on a floor that hadn’t been demolished.

“It’s not often we find a building that people will let us use to practice and destroy,” Henke said.

Henke said they have proven techniques that they wanted to practice. But the building also gave them the opportunity to try out other techniques. Mostly, though, it seemed to involve big tools and a lot of muscle.

They got in practice on a number of types of walls. Going through sheetrock seemed relatively easy. Brick and concrete blocks were harder.

“You swing like a sissy,” one firefighter was heard to kid another.

Even plaster laid over a wire mesh presented some problems. In all cases, they were trying to create holes big enough for a man to escape through.

Unlike on television when a swift kick sends a door flying open, the firefighters found some wooden doors with deadbolt locks surprising resistant to the knocking of a sledgehammer. All eventually yielded, however.

As the rubble they created piled up, firefighters roamed from room to room, looking for one more wall or one more door to break down. When none could be found, they trooped down an interior hallway, the fluorescent strips on their coats seeming to dance in the dim sunlight filtering through a cloud of dust that hung in the air.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Firefighters respond to pasture fire Sunday afternoon

Stockton Sentinel – April 10, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 17, 2014

The Stockton, Plainville and Woodston Fire Departments were called to a pasture on fire on Sunday afternoon at 12:30, just east of the Marian Conyac residence at 1440 18 Terrace, south and east of Stockton. An aerial spray plane had clipped an electrical line with its tail wheel, causing it to fall, sparking the fire. “The steep, rocky terrain made fighting this fire more difficult,” said Stockton Fire Chief Jon Voss. Firefighters were at the scene of the fire for about six hours. About 20 acres of grass were consumed.

A previous call on Monday of last week sent the Stockton Fire Department to assist Plainville firefighters at Rooks County Feeders at U & 22 Roads. Ensilage that had caught fire March 27th, and apparently still had hot spots, rekindled in the high wind. Fire crews were on the scene for 6-7 hours, and were called back a couple more times during the week. Voss related, “Dry hay next to the exhaust of a loader was the cause of the original fire. With the dry conditions we’re experiencing, it doesn’t take much to start a fire.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Wabaunsee County Commission were updated about fires

Wabaunsee County Signal – April 10, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 17, 2014

Sheriff Doug Howser said he has received lots of calls about letting people burn, he has several reports he is sending to County Attorney Norbert Marek for consideration of out of control burns and he feels that three are pretty valid. Howser said most of the fire calls were result of a rekindle or where a burned large parcel of land had reignited. Commissioner Stuewe said the problem is it is so terribly dry even trees are burning.

Howser said since March 1st there have been 318 controlled burns and 82 Fire Department call outs or of those 318 burns 82 turned into uncontrolled burns. Howser said that Saturday and Sunday were really busy days for the fire departments, a couple of times all fire departments in the county were called out plus mutual aid from adjoining counties.

Howser said Saturday 84 burn permits were requested with 37 before noon and 14 fire page outs. On Sunday he told the dispatchers to strongly discourage against burning if anyone calls in, they still had 19 fire department call outs due to rekindles from Saturday’s fires. Howser said there was structure loss on Old K18 from a fire that rekindled twice. Howser said he put on a temporary burn ban for 24 hours on a day by day basis because of the wind and to allow the fire departments to rejuvenate.

Commissioner Stuewe asked if any other counties have put on bans. Howser said Riley and Pottawatomie have both done so and is on a day by day basis. Commissioner Allen said a lot of people need to burn. Howser said to be fair it should be evaluated on a daily basis.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Collision on US-24 injures one

Oskaloosa Independent – April 10, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 17, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

A two-vehicle accident Friday afternoon on US-24 Highway sent one person to the hospital and halted traffic in both directions for a time while the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department was busy investigating the crash.

The accident happened about 3:40 when a vehicle traveling west began to turn left, prompting the driver of the vehicle behind it to slow down. But there was a vehicle trailing the second vehicle and the driver of it was unable to stop in time and ran into the back of the second vehicle.

The collision injured one person, who was transported by ambulance to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. The mishap took place about four miles east of the junction with US-59 Highway.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Vehicle accident

By Nancy Calderon
Dodge City Daily Globe – March 25, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 17, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

The Kansas Highway Patrol and the Ford County EMS responded to a vehicle accident, involving one vehicle that rolled over South of the Ford County Jail, Monday afternoon at approximately 6 p.m. There appeared to be no serious injuries to the two passengers traveling inside the vehicle. The Dodge City Police Officers at the scene said at the time, there was no clear information in regards to details that caused the rollover. A Dodge City officer mentioned it was the fourth vehicle accident of the day, which is “pretty average for Dodge City.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Really short

Pratt Tribune – March 25, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 17, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Hair stylists Brenna Thomas and Christina Howell prepare Pratt Firefighter Elisabeth Mohler to get her head shaved at the Pratt Fire Department pancake feed Friday evening. Mohler and many of her fellow firefighters and a few of their sons all got their heads shaved as part of the event that donated the money from the pancake feed to St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer research. Photo by Gale Rose.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Piper Elementary School cleared after gas leak tests

By Nick Sloan
April 17, 2014 – Kansas City Kansan

Carbon dioxide and gas leak tests were performed at Piper Elementary School on Thursday after three third grade students became sick in the gym.

According to a Facebook note from the district, the tests were administered after the students became sick during music rehearsal.

However, the air was declared safe after the tests.

More information from the school district:

We want to inform you that we had three 3rd grade students fall ill this morning during their music rehearsal in the gym. Their parents were notified and protocols were followed. With the assistance of the KCK Fire Department and ambulance, the students were attended to and additional CO2 and gas leak testing was administered to be assured of air quality. There were no issues to report. We are in the process of checking the gas levels and are following the procedures set by the fire department. Your child’s safety is our number one priority.

Safety measures and procedures were followed as a precautionary. All The air was tested and everything is clear. All the students are back in their classrooms and students are eating their lunches. The 3rd grade music program will go on!

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster