Semi Fire Closes Portion of K-2

By Ashley Galloway
KSN – July 3, 2015

Photo by Austin Soell.

Photo by Austin Soell.

A portion of K-2 is shut down in Kingman County because of a semi fire.

It happened around 11 this morning at mile marker 56.

The Kansas Highway Patrols tells us at least 1 driver was transported to the hospital with injuries. The extent of those injuries is unknown.

Teenager loses part of hand in firework accident

KSN – July 3, 2015

A 17-year-old lost part of his hand and finger in a fireworks accident Thursday night.

According to the Wichita Fire Department, around 10pm screams could be heard on the roof of a bathroom at Murdock Park.

Witnesses say people were lighting and shooting off fireworks.

The Wichita Fire Department says the victim thought the firework was a dud before it went off.

He was taken to Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in serious condition.

Mobile home fire under investigation w/video

KAKE – July 3, 2015

Video – KAKE 800

Fire developed at a west Wichita mobile home park early Friday. Authorities say it’s under investigation.

Crews were called to 550 North Kessler around 2:00 a.m. One mobile home received extensive damage. It was occupied, but no one was hurt.

A KAKE videographer saw a man being taken from the scene in a police car. But fire Captain Doug Winter told reporters no one was arrested.

The fire’s cause has not been disclosed.

Fire damages building

By Roger Bluhm
Dodge City Globe – July 3, 2015

A building at 1408 Avenue B was damaged by fire early Thursday morning. Fire officials believe the window air conditioning unit, shown above, caused the fire. No one was hurt in the blaze. ROGER BLUHM/DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE

A building at 1408 Avenue B was damaged by fire early Thursday morning. Fire officials believe the window air conditioning unit, shown above, caused the fire. No one was hurt in the blaze. ROGER BLUHM/DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE

The inside of a destroyed apartment at 1408 Avenue B iat it looked at 10 a.m. on Thursday. No one was hurt in the fire, which started around 5 a.m. on Thursday. The other five apartments in the building suffered smoke damage. ROGER BLUHM/DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE

The inside of a destroyed apartment at 1408 Avenue B iat it looked at 10 a.m. on Thursday. No one was hurt in the fire, which started around 5 a.m. on Thursday. The other five apartments in the building suffered smoke damage. ROGER BLUHM/DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE

A fire early Thursday morning in Dodge City has displaced several families.
According to the Dodge City Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched at 5:08 a.m.
“No one was hurt,” said Ken Spencer, a captain with Dodge City Fire Department. “It could have been a lot worse”
Spencer said a window air conditioner appears to be the cause of the fire.
“A woman with a 2-week-old baby woke up and smelled smoke,” Spencer said. “She was able to get herself and her children out of the apartment and warn the people in the other units.
“There were no smoke detectors in the building, so it’s fortunate she woke up.”
Spencer said about 15 people lived in the building, located at 1408 Avenue B, which housed six apartments.
“The apartment where the fire started is destroyed,” Spencer said. “The others suffered smoke damage, but they should be salvageable.”
The American Red Cross was called in to help residents of the apartment complex find temporary housing, as well as to provide relief for the family in the destroyed apartment.
“This could have been really bad,” Spencer said. “There are a lot of lucky people right now.”

A long night ahead

By Roger Bluhm
Dodge City Globe – July 3, 2015

Ford County Fire and EMS firefighter/EMS Kyle Springer looks over some of the pictures hung in the hallway of the station's offices. Springer will be working on the ambulance today. ROGER BLUHM/DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE

Ford County Fire and EMS firefighter/EMS Kyle Springer looks over some of the pictures hung in the hallway of the station’s offices. Springer will be working on the ambulance today. ROGER BLUHM/DODGE CITY DAILY GLOBE

Ford County Fire Department and EMS Captain Cody German is expecting a busy Independence Day.
“It’s hot, dry and a three-day weekend,” he said. “We’ll be busy.”
German, along with Kyle Springer, are two members of the department working the 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. shift beginning this morning. Working the holiday is nothing new to these men.
“I’ve been here for 11 years,” German said. “We have our schedule a year in advance, so we can make plans when we’re working a holiday.
“My family will visit me at the station, maybe we”ll grill out, have something to eat, set off some fireworks.”
Springer has been with the fire department less, but he’s worked plenty of holidays.
“I was with the military before joining the fire department,” Springer said. “So I’m used to working when others are off.
“My kids are 8, 5 and 1, and they’ve seen me leave with a call, but one of the best things about this place is they encourage families to come by and visit.”
German said there will be a normal crew on hand for Independence Day,
“We’ll have a truck and a few members down helping the city with the fireworks display,” German said. “Plus, there’s the World of Outlaws that night at the speedway.”
The biggest problem facing everyone is the dry conditions in the area.
“I can’t believe, with how much rain we had, how quick it can go dry,” the captain said. “All it did was create more fuel out there.”
While German is hopeful of a quiet evening, Springer is betting on a busy night.
“I’m with the ambulance Saturday,” he said. “I’m guessing my partner and I are in for a wild shift.
“Hot, three-day weekend, fireworks, racing, grilling and partying all day, we’re going to stay busy,” Springer said. “Hopefully everyone will be cautious lighting fireworks, will not drink and drive and stay safe through the weekend.
“We’re the one crew who wouldn’t mind not being busy over the holiday.”

Newton EMS, health care professionals working to prevent falls in elderly

By Jeff Guy
Newton Kansan – July 3, 2015

The Newton Fire/EMS dept. is starting to approach medical emergency calls the way it does fires – by preventing them before they start.

Deputy Newton Fire/EMS Chief Scott Metzler and a few paramedics from the department have been working with health care professionals and agencies to start a preventive program. Under this model, EMS workers would connect people at risk for medical emergencies with resources that can prevent incidents from occurring.

It is an aspect of what is called “community paramedicine” and it is a “growing trend in the EMS world.” Metzler said.

“The community paramedicine model is to intervene before an emergency takes place,” he said.

Individual communities will have their own specific areas to focus on with regard to emergency care, Metzler said. In Newton, data shows 911 emergency medical calls are increasing annually and the most common are elderly people falling.

“It’s a normal function of a growing and aging community,” Metzler said.

• Metzler shared some alarming national facts about those who fall:

• One-third of Americans 65 and over fall each year.

• Two-thirds of those who fall will fall again within six months.

• One in four seniors who fracture a hip will die within six months.

Most seniors who survive a fall will never regain the level of independence they had before the fall.

“We need to look at fall awareness and fall prevention in this community,” said Val Gleason, chief clinical integration officer at Newton Medical Center and a member of the committee working to bring paramedicine to the community.

Metzler said local data is also telling the department that while emergency calls are increasing, Medicare and private insurance reimbursement is on the decline.

“So as calls for services go up and reimbursement’s going down, we’ve sort of created this unsustainable model,” Metzler said.

The department is looking to respond responsibly to that trend, he said. Metzler and paramedics from fire/EMS are working with local health care professionals and agencies to initiate a community paramedicine program.

Together less than a year, the committee is only in its “formative stage,” Gleason said.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Charles Craig, chief medical officer for Newton Medical Center, is also on the committee. He will bring models from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons “Fall Awareness and Prevention Guide” to use in Newton’s paramedicine program, Gleason said.

“We’re not pulling techniques out of thin air, we’re not re-inventing the wheel,” Gleason said. “We’re basing it on best evidence and a model we know is already working in other communities.”

Committee members will have to put their heads together, write a grant proposal and find foundations that give money to causes like paramedicine, Gleason said.

Metzler said, “We don’t want to duplicate services already available but we do want to be part of the solution.”

Gleason said success in fall prevention could lead to local paramedicine expanding into other health care areas with high mortality rates.

For now, however, the committee has to get beyond the initial stages of implementing ways to prevent falls.

“If we treat falls like we treat fire prevention, we can intervene before a fall happens,” Metzler said. “That’s going to create quality of life benefits for our citizens we don’t even know how to measure.”

Agreement reached between Lawrence Professional Firefighters and City of Lawrence

Lawrence 6 News – July 2, 2015

Conceptual agreement has been reached on a new four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between representatives of the City of Lawrence and Lawrence Professional Firefighters, IAFF Local 1596. The MOU lays out the agreed-upon wages and working conditions for the 104 Firefighters, Engineers, and Lieutenants employed by the Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical Department.

The conceptual agreement will be presented to the Lawrence City Commission for consideration at the July 14 City Commission meeting, and to the members of the IAFF on July 8. The four-year agreement attempts to address firefighter pay structure in the first two years of the agreement and then make market adjustments in the last two years of the agreement. This combination of pay structure changes and general wage adjustments is expected to bring Lawrence firefighter salaries closer in line to those of comparable departments in our market cities.

In addition to wages, the MOU addresses many issues regarding working conditions. While the majority of the MOU remains unchanged from previous years, there were several changes made to subjects including skill incentives, differential pay for Rescue and HAZMAT Technicians, shift trades, union time, and voting time. There were also several issues such as voluntary demotions, wellness leave, and annual physicals that were identified for continued discussion and development during the term of the MOU, via the established Labor-Management meeting process.

The proposed MOU will be in effect from January 1, 2016, until December 31, 2019. However it includes language that allows either the city or the IAFF to re-open discussions over the general wage adjustment in 2018 and 2019, in the event conditions change substantially over duration of the MOU.

Preliminary meetings, including a comprehensive pay study, began in January 2015, and formal MOU discussions began in April 2015. Representatives from City Hall, LDCFM administration, Douglas County representatives, and IAFF Local 1596 have held over a dozen meetings during this time to achieve an agreement that is acceptable to all sides prior to the impasse date of July 1.

Casey Toomay, Assistant City Manager and lead negotiator for the city said, “We are pleased to recommend this agreement to the City Commission, which achieves our goal of providing fair compensation to our firefighters. We’d also like to thank the members of IAFF Local 1596 for their dedication and service to the community.”

John Darling, IAFF Local 1596 President and lead negotiator for the firefighters said, “We thank the City Commission for its substantial commitment to support public safety and ensure Lawrence continues to attract the best employees to protect our citizens.”