Two hospitalized after interstate accidents

Hays Post – October 21, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Two people were injured in separate accidents just after 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Saline County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 1993 Jeep Cherokee driven by Michael Ludwig, 37, Abilene, was northbound on Interstate 135 when a semi lost a tire.

The Jeep struck the tire, entered the median and rolled.

The Jeep came to rest upside down in the southbound lanes.

Vetter was transported to Salina Regional Medical Center.

The KHP said he was properly restrained at the time of the accident.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2006 Mazda 3 driven by Lydia Suzanne Shaw, 18, Salina, was northbound on Interstate 135 and did not slow for traffic from the earlier accident. The Mazda was involved in a rear-end crash.

Shaw was transported to Salina Regional Medical Center. Two others in the vehicle were not injured. The KHP reported she was properly restrained at the time of the accident.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

County announces new EMS director, job structure

By Jerry Engler
Hillsboro Free Press – October 21, 2014

The Board of County Commissioners announced the appointment of Brandy McCarty as the county’s Emergency Medical Services director Monday.

McCarty succeeds interim director JoAnn Knak and was to begin work the following day.

The commissioners said that after many interviews with candidates for the position and many insightful discussions, they expect McCarty to be a new kind of EMS director—more of a communicator and coordinator than a hands-on medical worker.

McCarty has served two years as an EMT in Marion County. Prior to that she worked for nearly 15 years in medical and coordination work at Parkside Assisted Living in Hillsboro.

The other commissioners joined Commissioner Randy Dallke in saying they owe a “debt of gratitude” to Knak “for stepping up” to run EMS until a new director was selected.

The commissioners acknowledged they could have hired an EMS director from among candidates who had more hands-on experience, and who usually demanded a higher salary than the $30,000-plus McCarty will receive.

They emphasized that McCarty’s selection wasn’t merely an effort to save county dollars, but because of her administrative abilities as a communicator and coordinator.

Commissioner Dan Holub said McCarty has the ability to coordinate with EMTs while allowing them to act independently in emergency situations.

As a result of the search process, the commissioners said they will create a new county board to improve medical services. The board would include doctors, hospital personnel, EMTs and other professionals with McCarty coordinating the service itself under the board’s direction.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

New Wildland Rig Rolls into Mulvane, Kansas

Firehouse – October 21, 2014

mulvane fire 10212014

Unit Type: Brush/Wildfire Truck

  • Year: 2014
  • Manufacturer: Emergency Fire Equipment
  • Chassis Manufacturer:
  • Model: F-550
  • Engine: 7.3 Liter Powerstroke
  • Transmission: TorqShift 6-speed automatic
  • Pump: Hale 250-gpm
  • Tank: 400-gallon
  • Generator: NA
  • Aerial: NA
  • Location:


 A Type V wildland brush truck was placed in service on Oct. 1 by the Mulvane (Kansas) Fire District No. 12 built by Emergency Fire Equipment on a Ford F-550 cab and chassis.

The apparatus was purchased as a joint venture with Mulvane providing the 4×4 cab and chassis and Fire District No. 12 paying for the brush body improvement. The cab and chassis was part of a recently de-commissioned rescue truck with only 19,000 miles on it.

The apparatus has a 400-gallon water tank, a Hale Foamlogic 2.1 foam system and a 12-gallon foam tank, a Hale pump, TFT remote wildland monitor, a Elkhart ground cover nozzle, Whelen LED lighting, preconnected 1.5-inch hose, and 1-inch forestry lines.

The apparatus was partially funded through a Forestry Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire Fighters Local: Wichita engaged in anti-union practices

By Kelsey Ryan
Wichita Eagle – October 21, 2014

The Wichita Fire Fighters Local 135 says the city has engaged in anti-union practices, including denying or significantly delaying the union’s grievances, harassing or trying to dissuade members from using union representation and discouraging the enrollment of new members.

The issue was brought before the City Council on Tuesday when Mark Woolbright, vice president of the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington, D.C., spoke about the working relationship between the fire fighters and city administration.

“We strongly believe from a legal standpoint that your fire fighters’ contractual, statutorily protected rights as a bargaining unit are being violated,” said Woolbright, who called some of the incidents “blatant acts of intimidation.”

In response, City Manager Robert Layton said the city did not engage in anti-union conduct and that it “believes that it did not violate the labor agreement.” Layton said the allegations should be taken to the Kansas Public Employee Relations Board, but that Local 135 has failed to do that.

Layton also laid out a series of actions that have been taken by the city to develop strong working relationships with fire fighters, including monthly fire department labor and management meetings, monthly health and safety committee meetings, work with Wichita State to create a new promotion process that included fire fighter recommendations, and using tools and training from the Kansas Leadership Center for teams to address safety and training.

However, Matt Schulte, president of Local 135, says those actions have not helped break the cycle of issues between the groups. The actions laid out by Layton are true, he said.

“But the other side of that is the grievances continue and the acts of violations of contracts continue. That’s the problem,” Schulte said.

Of the roughly 430 Wichita firefighters, about 375 of them are Local 135 members, Schulte said. More than 30 fire fighters and their families attended the council meeting.

“The most disappointing thing is the continued violations of the contract. Not paying employees properly and not allowing people to join – which they have a God-given right to by the state – that’s just intolerable. That’s what the union is there for, to protect members’ rights and that’s what we’re doing today,” Schulte said.

Woolbright, who represents more than 200 departments in four states, said the grievances in Wichita outnumber those of any other department he represents.

Mayor Carl Brewer said that issues with the union have been ongoing since he started on the council 13 years ago.

Local 135 had negotiations in 2013 for a contract that goes through 2016. It will not start its next round of contract negotiations until 2016, Schulte said. He hopes that negotiations for the grievances they brought to city council will begin soon.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Rain makes McPherson oil spill exercise more realistic

By Teri L. Hansen
McPherson Sentinel – September 25, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – October 21, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

The rain on Wednesday didn’t stop the McPherson Board of Public Utilities, McPherson Fire Department and National Cooperative Refinery Association from conducting an oil spill response exercise at Lakeside Park.

The exercise is an annual training requirement for BPU. The storms passing through McPherson made the exercise more realistic, as the scenario for the exercise was that due to rain causing slick road conditions, a driver lost control and hit the transformer at Lakeside Park, causing a mineral oil spill.

“We try to do a different scenario each year to train up on different situations,” BPU’s Environmental Compliance Officer Alan Weinbrenner said.

The exercise began at 9:30 a.m. with movement of oil spill response equipment into Lakeside Park. Due to safety concerns with lightning in the area, the exercise was put on hold until storms passed over the McPherson area. Once the storms had passed, the operation continued.

At Lakeside Park, the transformer holds about 700 gallons of mineral oil that cools and insulates it. If there was an oil spill, the mineral oil could contaminate Turkey Creek. While mineral oil is not as toxic as other oils, it can be harmful if ingested. Catfish food was used to represent the oil for this exercise.

The first step in responding to an emergency like this would be to fix the leaking transformer and contain the leak. Then inspection of the area would take place to determine the extent of the clean up necessary.

Oil rises to the top of water much like the fish food they used. The crews deployed containment booms across the creek on either side of the low-water crossing bridge. Booms are floating, physical barriers that corral spilled oil, slowing its spread. A wash water pump was then used to funnel the “oil” into a manageable area.

Once the oil was moved into a smaller area, workers deployed vacuum trucks and a new skimmer to suction the spilled oil off of the surface of the water.

After an oil spill, contaminated material would be properly disposed of, and sampling of the area would be done to confirm that all contaminates had been removed.

The exercise was an all-day event as the cleanup for a true oil spill would be.

“Our guys did well,” Weinbrenner said. “They deployed the equipment quickly and quietly.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Pink Fire Truck Lady donates quilt back to WEPAC for fundraiser

By Brenda Fry
Protection Press – September 25, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – October 21, 2014

In 2012 WEPAC had a quilt that they took donations for as a fundraiser. The quilt was made with t-shirts from 2009, 2010 and 2011 Hoops for HOPE Games. It also includes the rosters from those games.

The quilt was made and donated by Pat Hess of Coldwater, In Memory of Sharon Claphin and In Honor of Paulette Deewall-McConnell. Lorena Hoofer of Coldwater donated her time doing the quilting. Cindy Offield of Ragtime Embroidery, Coldwater, did the embroidery work.

The winner of the quilt was the Pink Fire Truck Lady (Nicki Janne). She was overheard at the game that she (Nicki) was going to win that quilt. Sure enough she did and with great excitement.

In 2013 Nicki donated the quilt back to WEPAC to use as a fundraiser again. The quilt will be on display for 2014 at the local banks where you can also get tickets. Donations are $11.00 for one or $5.00 for six.

Let us tell you a little about Nicki Janne. She is a cancer SURVIVOR and is currently fighting cancer again. She has a beautiful smile that she shares with everyone but especially with those who are fighting a battle with cancer.

She and her husband Richard travel around with the Pink Fire Truck named “Nicki” to all kinds of events. They are a part of the Guardians of the Ribbon in Wichita. It is a group of firefighters, alongside various members of the community and family members who selflessly donate their time to travel around Kansas, near–and sometimes far–in a pink fire truck that is on a new mission, after years of fighting fire.

Her new mission is to spread Love and Hope and to Create Immediate Care in support of women with all forms of Cancer–not just Breast Cancer! Pink is the color of Love and the color that we have wrapped our baby girls in the moment they are born for decades! As we surround her in her color, Cancer Survivors, Co-Survivors and those whose lives have been affected by Cancer, many who have lost loved ones to Cancer are encouraged to sign our pink fire truck, as a traveling memorial.

The sentiments that are written on our truck encourage those that are still fighting their battle to fight harder and to let them all know that they are loved and cared about and are not alone in their fight!

If we are near your location and you know of a woman or child who is too sick from Cancer to come to us, please let us know…we will go to them!

The Guardians of the Ribbon are helping to Create Immediate Care for the local women of your communities suffering from Cancer by enabling you to hold fundraisers that are designed to keep your funds local!

The lady across the street might need a wig…the lady down the way may not be able to pay her bills, as she is too weak to work. These are the people we need to be spending our donated monies on! Corporations can and will continue to fund the Corporate Charities, but let’s take back our communities and help each other out!

We offer our artwork for free to help raise these funds…all we ask in return is that you spend the dollars raised to help your local citizens who are suffering from Cancer!

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

House damaged in Atchison fire Wednesday

By Zach McNulty
Atchison Globe – September 27, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – October 21, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Early Wednesday morning, the Atchison Fire Department responded to a house fire at 818 Atchison St.

Lieutenant Bill Andre said fire crews arrived between 7:30 and 7:35 a.m.

No one was in the home at the time of the fire. There were no injuries.

“The bulk of the fire seemed to be in the rear of the house,” Fire Chief Mike McDermed said.

The aged, blue house is a family home. The father of the family was gone to work, and his children were each at school, according to McDermed.

By 8 a.m. Wednesday, firemen had stopped the flames. Only hotspots remained.

McDermed said an investigator will soon conduct an internal review of the structure to determine the fire’s cause.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster