Archive for November, 2013

Hotel training ground

By John Richmeier
Leavenworth Times – November 29, 2013

Leavenworth firefighters Zach Chamberlin, left, and Matt Chastain carry a dummy out of a back door Wednesday at the former Nights Inn building. Firefighters were using the building, now owned by the city of Leavenworth, for training. Also shown is Mark DeMaranville, one of the firefighters who was overseeing the training.

Leavenworth firefighters Zach Chamberlin, left, and Matt Chastain carry a dummy out of a back door Wednesday at the former Nights Inn building. Firefighters were using the building, now owned by the city of Leavenworth, for training. Also shown is Mark DeMaranville, one of the firefighters who was overseeing the training.

Leavenworth firefighter Kevin Valencia, right, speaks with fellow firefighter Matt Chastain Wednesday outside of the former Nights Inn building. Firefighters used the building for training. Chastain pretended to be a downed firefighter inside an old hotel room and was dragged from the building.

Leavenworth firefighter Kevin Valencia, right, speaks with fellow firefighter Matt Chastain Wednesday outside of the former Nights Inn building. Firefighters used the building for training. Chastain pretended to be a downed firefighter inside an old hotel room and was dragged from the building.

 

City officials plan to tear it down. But for now, the former Nights Inn building makes an ideal training location, a Leavenworth Fire Department official said.

Firefighters were training at the old downtown Leavenworth hotel Tuesday evening and again Wednesday afternoon. And more training may be conducted this weekend.

“This is an opportunity we don’t get very often,” Leavenworth Assistant Fire Chief Mike Lingenfelser said.

He acknowledged that the Leavenworth Fire Department has a training tower. But he said the old hotel has more rooms than can be set up in a training tower. And the rooms in the hotel still have furniture that had to be navigated as firefighters practiced searching for people in trouble.

The former Knights Inn, located at 101 S. Third St., recently was purchased by the city of Leavenworth from a bank in Tennessee for $592,500. City Manager Scott Miller said the property was purchased with hope it can be developed, possibly for a new hotel.

The building has been vacant for some time after the Nights Inn went out of business.

Members of the Leavenworth Police Department and Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office also have trained at the old hotel in recent days.

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Fourteen members of the Leavenworth Fire Department participated in Wednesday’s training. Lingenfelser and Mark DeMaranville, a health inspector and training officer, were on hand to oversee the training.

Several dummies, or “victims,” were placed in an 11-room section of the second floor of the hotel. The area was filled with theatrical smoke.

Responding firefighters had to search a smoke-filled hallway and rooms for the dummies, which then were carried from the building. Sometimes, firefighters had to use their tools to force hotel room open doors.

At one point, Lingenfelser asked a firefighter to pretend to be in trouble inside one of the hotel rooms.

“We threw a twist into it,” he said.

The firefighter activated a distress alarm, and a two-man rapid intervention team was sent into the building.

Matt Chastain, who played the part of the downed firefighter, said he was dragged down a flight of stairs as he was pulled from the building.

“It wasn’t bumpy,” he said. “It was just an odd feeling.”

Firefighters carried hoses into the building, but they didn’t pump any water during the training.

Had Wednesday’s fire and rescue situation been real, Lingenfelser said, there would have been a request for assistance from other agencies such as the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department.

Lingenfelser said Leavenworth Fire Department officials plan to use the building for other scenarios.

 

Olathe house fire causes $200,000 damage

By Matt Campbell
Kansas City Star – November 29, 2013

An early morning fire Wednesday caused an estimated $200,000 damage to a house and its contents in the 900 block of East 126th Terrace in northern Olathe.

Officials said the fire started with an electrical wiring problem in the garage. Three adults and three dogs were in the house at the time of the 4 a.m. fire. They were alerted by a smoke detector and were able to evacuate.

Marion County home burns as firefighters run low on water

By Sia Nyorkor
KWCH – November 29, 2013

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A Marion county family’s house catches fire and as crews work to put the fire out, they start running low on water.

Firefighters used more than 30,000 gallons to fight the flames but then had to stop to conserve the city’s water supply, even though the fire was still burning.

It’s not what James LeValley expected to hear as he watched flames rip through his home.
His home caught fire early Thursday morning in Burns, Kansas.  LeValley says seven people were asleep when someone started screaming.
“She come hollering through the house.  My bedroom is right here, just right off the front door and she came running into my bedroom and said the house is on fire,” said LeValley.
He got every one out safely and went back in to grab coats and blankets.  The former fire fighter says his skills kicked in and he went on the defensive.

“I went back in with the garden hose to get a better attack on it. It broke through the roof or broke through some place else and it just engulfed from there and I just got out because it was more than i could handle with my garden hose,” he said.
When crews arrived the house was engulfed and flames were coming from the ceiling.  As they were putting them out, they started running low on water.
“The city people came down and said we need to try and conserve and at that time we could so we did, they said we were low, we weren’t out,” said Chief Barry Black, Burns Fire Department.
Crews came back out around lunch time with the go-ahead to put the hotspots out. As investigators work to find out what caused the fire, LeValley knows he and his family are at a total loss. but he’s thankful this Thanksgiving day: everyone made it out alive.
“By the time we would have known it here in the other side of the house, there might have been a good chance that we wouldn’t have made it out,” said LeValley.

He didn’t have insurance and the house may be a total loss. His family is working with the Red Cross.

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Eligibility List – Consolidated Fire District #2

Consolidated Fire District #2 (CFD2) will be accepting applications for the position of Beginning Firefighter from December 1st – 16th,2013.  Applications can be picked up between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the CFD2 Administration building located at 3921 W. 63rd Street in Prairie Village, KS 66208 or downloaded from our web site at www.CFD2.org.  The application process is for the purpose of creating an eligibility list for 2014 and does not imply that we have or will have a firefighter position open in 2014.

Mandatory qualifications for the position of Firefighter I are as follows:

ü  Current driver’s license

ü  At least 18 years of age

ü  Firefighter’s Entrance Exam score of 75% or higher

ü  CPAT Certification that is current at time of application

ü  Firefighter I Certification from the National Pro Board or the International Accreditation Congress.

ü  EMT Certification, Kansas or Nationally Registered EMT.  Must be current at time of application and first day of employment, if hired.

*Kansas License must be Transitioned EMT: (EMT (new), AEMT or Paramedic)

*National Registry must be Transitioned NREMT, Transitioned NRAEMT or Transitioned       NRP

  • Letter of recommendation (optional)

Completed applications and proof of required certifications must be received by the CFD2 Administration Office no later than December 16th at 5:00 p.m.

CFD2 Administration Building
3921 W. 63rd Street
Prairie Village, Kansas 66208

Contact Linda Marshall or Kelly Kuhl at 913-432-1105 with any questions.

Post welcomes new fire chief

By Jan Dumay
Fort Leavenworth Post – November 27, 2013

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Fort Leavenworth’s new fire chief, Bill Maciorowski, has been interested in firefighting since he was a 16-year-old high school junior and volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Avoca, Pa.

“I was involved with the Boy Scouts at the time,” he recalled in his office Nov. 25 at Fire Station No. 2. “There were Scout leaders with the fire department so we got involved with them. That’s what sparked my interest. Then I found out I could get paid by the Air Force to do the same job, so I joined the Air Force as a firefighter.”

He ended up staying 20 years with the Air Force — 12 years as a military firefighter and eight years as an Air Force civilian firefighter.

Now, at 46, his 30-year stint in firefighting remains his passion. Before coming to Fort Leavenworth last week, Maciorowski served for three years as the deputy fire chief at Fort Lee, Va. Before that, he was the assistant fire chief at Fort Drum, N.Y.

“It’s not just a job,” he said of firefighting. “It requires constant training and dedication to the job. Once you’re hooked on it, it generally becomes a lifelong career and passion. We had a reunion last year with supervisors and they asked me if I was still as gung-ho as I was when I was a young airman. And I said, ‘Yes, I still am.’ I’m very passionate about fire service.”

As chief, Maciorowski will lead 51 Fort Leavenworth firefighters. His job will be to make sure he takes care of them by ensuring that they have the proper tools, equipment and trucks to do their jobs safely, he said.

“They get along very well,” he said. “They have a lot of pride in the organization and pride in the installation.”

Maciorowski, who said he loves the historical setting of Fort Leavenworth, is not new to the post. He attended the Civilian Education System’s Basic Course at the Army Management Staff College two years ago.

“I was out here and able to check out the area out here,” he said. “I like the area and the Kansas City area.”

He said he would take a couple months to learn the policies and procedures at the department. He is impressed with what he has learned so far.

“I’m just excited to be here,” he said. “There’s a great team of people here in this fire department. I’m just happy to be part of their team and am looking forward to continuing my career here.”

He praised Assistant Chief of Operations Bruce Davis for filling in as interim fire chief since this summer, when former Fire Chief J.T. Adair retired.

“Since July, he’s been running the show here and has done a fantastic job of holding down the fort until I could get here,” Maciorowski said. “He’s been a tremendous help to me and the department.”

For his part, Davis said Maciorowski would bring a new perspective to the department.

“I think it will be a good thing for someone from the outside coming in with a fresh set of eyes to see how to do things and then improve going forward,” he said.

Sears supporting local heroes of the WFD

Winfield Courier – November 27, 2013

Sears owner Ron Godsey, left, uses a Craftsman bottle opener to open a bottle of Coke held by Winfield Fire Chief Alan Stoll. For every bottle opener sold, $2 will be donated to the WFD. A rendering of the new playground at Island Park is on display in the front window of Sears and can be seen in the background. (Avery Osen/Courier)

Sears owner Ron Godsey, left, uses a Craftsman bottle opener to open a bottle of Coke held by Winfield Fire Chief Alan Stoll. For every bottle opener sold, $2 will be donated to the WFD. A rendering of the new playground at Island Park is on display in the front window of Sears and can be seen in the background. (Avery Osen/Courier)

The Winfield Sears store will be conducting a fund drive to raise money for the Winfield Fire Department this Christmas season.

Sears Holding Corporation acknowledges that local fire departments give back to their communities daily and wants to present an opportunity to give something back. The Winfield Sears Hometown Store is supporting the Winfield Fire Department by raising funds to improve resources for training, equipment and financial support where these local heroes need it most.

“In years past, we have sponsored a food drive,” said Ron Godsey, Winfield Sears owner, “but this year, we are raising funds for the local fire department.”

This is a nationwide event in which all Sears stores are participating.

“This is perfect timing for us since the Winfield Fire Department has been instrumental in helping to design the new playground at the park,” Godsey said, “and we’re very grateful for their assistance.”

There are two ways to contribute. Sears will sell Craftsman bottle openers for $9.99, and for each one sold, $2 will be donated to the fire department. In addition every customer will have the opportunity to add $1, $2, $5, or $10 to their purchase and 100 percent of that money goes to the Winfield Fire Department as well.

Winfield Fire Chief Alan Stoll said the money will go toward fire education in the community and provide funds for free smoke detectors.

The program began Nov. 23 and ends Dec. 31.

“I hope everyone in Winfield comes by and donates something to show their support of these local heroes,” Godsey said.

Take this opportunity to say thank you to the Winfield Fire Department for their service to the community during the holidays.

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Fire damages unoccupied house

Salina Journal – November 27, 2013

An unoccupied home in central Salina was damaged by fire Tuesday afternoon.

Salina Fire Marshal Roger Williams said a Westar employee smelled smoke just before 1 p.m. and started searching for its source. He located a fire at the back of a house at 122 E. Beloit.

The Westar employee called 911 and turned off electrical power, Williams said.

The fire apparently started on the outside of the house, underneath two solar heating panels, Williams said.

Williams said he suspects the fire might have started in a blower motor.

The most significant fire damage was in the attic, Williams said, with little damage to the living areas.

Williams did not have a dollar estimate of damage. He also did not give the name of the owner of the house.

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