Archive for September, 2014

Fill the Boot effort returns to help MDA

By Allen Smith
Independence Daily Reporter – August 31, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Just as they’ve done for over 30 years, members of the Independence division of the Montgomery County Rural Fire District No. 1 are continuing to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“We’re helping raise funds to help fight muscular dystrophy,” said Bill Caflisch, chief of the Independence division, who said he has been helping raise funds for the past 28 Labor Day weekends.

“There are approximately 150 families in Montgomery County dealing with the effects of this disease, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a form of muscular dystrophy.”

The ALS awareness has been brought to the forefront by the overwhelming response to the ice bucket challenge that is sweeping the United States, and right here in Independence with members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, the Independence Fire Department and the Independence Police Department’s among the groups participating to raise funds. Students, faculty and staff at Independence Community College also got in on the challenge last week.

“Our goal is to raise $2,000,” Caflisch said Saturday of the annual “Fill the Boot” campaign. “That is about what we raised last year, maybe a little more than that, but that’s our goal.”

Independence is included in the Joplin-Springfield, Mo., district.

“The telethon for our district is being held in Branson, Mo., so instead of traveling to Branson we will mail a check in the amount of funds we raise this weekend on Tuesday,” Caflisch said.

Caflisch said all the funds generated within the Joplin-Springfield district, remain in the district to help those who suffer from muscular dystrophy.

Caflisch said the efforts to raise money for muscular dystrophy started nearly 60 years ago when a father whose daughter was in a wheelchair which had broken stopped at a fire station seeking help to get it fixed.

“The firefighters in Boston responded and helped get the girls’ wheelchair fixed and found out she suffered from muscular dystrophy and they decided to start an effort to raise funds for the disease. That’s how all this started,” Caflisch said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Fire damages golf cart, stock trailer

Butler County Times Gazette – September 30, 2014

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A fire Monday evening damaged a stock trailer and golf cart at the intersection of Main Street and Kansas in El Dorado.

According to the El Dorado Fire Department, the owner had just picked up a golf cart that was placed in the stock trailer. The owner noticed the fire at the intersection.

A quick decision by the owner/driver to disconnect the trailer provided distance between the fully involved – with fire – trailer and truck.

The dispatcher reported explosions prior to the firefighter’s arrival. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire once on scene.

There was heavy damage to the trailer – although it appeared to be salvageable. The golf cart was another story. Fire pretty much consumed it.

The cause was yet to be determined.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Russell to Host Regional Fire School This Weekend

By David Elliott
KRSL – September 30, 2014

Russell High School will be the site this Saturday and Sunday for a Kansas State Firefighters Association Regional Fire Training School.

Firefighters and emergency personnel from around the region will come to Russell to take part in drills, training sessions and classes detailing vehicle extrication, railroad safety, rural water supplies and even how to honor a firefighter killed in the line of duty.

Russell County Emergency Manager Keith Haberer says the school’s purpose is to further educate firefighters on how to handle a variety of emergencies and show them how to always keep safety in mind.

The public is encouraged to come out to RHS to watch the training sessions, but Haberer cautions you to also keep safety in mind.

The training school is hosted by the Russell County Fire Chiefs Association. For more information, contact Haberer at 785-483-5100 or Justin Couse at 785-420-0465.

List of Classes

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Mulvane Fire Rescue “Fill the Boot” campaign

Mulvane News – September 4, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

The “Fill the Boot” campaign in Mulvane just finished another banner year for muscular dystrophy.

The project is a fundraiser by the Mulvane Fire Rescue each year and has been a local fixture for nearly 30 years.

The event features volunteers and other staffers with the Mulvane Fire Department collecting donations at the main intersections in Mulvane with the money going to help the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) battle the disease.

It’s been a familiar site in Mulvane for years; volunteer firefighters standing at K-15 and Rock Road and Main Street and First with boot in hand taking donations and travelers reaching out of their windows to drop money into the boots.

“We’re working on our records but 2014 was definitely the best one in the last 10 years or so,” said Jason Mundell, a firefighter who has been the program’s chairman for the last few years. “We had $5,300 to turn in this year to the MDA. Last year, we collected $4,200. It’s the biggest one in a while.”

According to Lowell Ester, Mulvane’s fire captain, the “boot” campaign for the MDA has been going on since at least the 1980s. “It was started in response to the big MDA telethon they had with Jerry Lewis as master of ceremonies,” said Capt. Ester. “At that time, we had a member (Ray Fleming) whose son, Greg, had MD and we started getting involved because of that.”

The Mulvane fire departments merged in 1986 and the fundraising effort probably started shortly after that.

Early on, the boot drive was conducted over Labor Day weekend but the last few years, Mulvane firefighters have collected the weekend before.

Mundell said 14 MFR members volunteered their time to “fill their boots” Saturday and Sunday, August 23-24. He said this was the 60th anniversary of the “fill the boot” drive nationwide so they had T-shirts made commemorating the occasion.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster


Cemetery monument truck strikes vehicle

Butler Times Gazette – September 4, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, a small vehicle was struck by a cemetery monument truck on the corner of Central and Boyer Road.

The El Dorado Fire Department, the El Dorado Police Department, Butler County EMS and Butler County Rescue all responded to the incident.

Both small vehicle occupants were transported to Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital.

A motorcycle monument was thrown from the back of the monument truck onto the highway.

The police are investigating the incident.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Quick thinking quells flames

Rose Hill Reporter – September 4, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Things got a little hot in the 300 block of E. School St. Tuesday, August 26. What could have been a potentially dangerous fire was hosed down and extinguished by Harold Beedles.

Beedles saw his daughter jump out of the car as she was pulling out of his driveway and knew something was wrong. Beedles called 911 when they saw smoke across the street. At first he thought it was a barbecue grill but on closer inspection it was a fire in hanging basket of flowers on the patio fence.

Beedles headed to the side of the house, grabbed a water hose and extinguished the fire. Fire Chief Jim Woydziak and volunteer firefighter Jim Schmidt who live just a few streets over, were the first on the scene.

They were followed by the fire engine with Assistant Fire Chief Melvin Linot and Fire Captain Kevin Webster and volunteer firefighter wife Lori Webster followed by Firefighter Stewart Firebaugh who brought in another engine. Rose Hill Police Officer Missy Tharp was also on the scene. “The fire department arrived within three to four minutes but I had it out by then,” said Beedles.

According to Chief Woydziak, one resident was home in the shower and unaware of anything wrong until the sirens were heard. “Another 10 to 15 minutes undetected and it would have spread to the attic area which is never good,” said Chief Woydziak.

There was no serious damage except for the hole in the fence and no injuries.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

Successful fund-raising event

Harper Advocate – September 3, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2014

Photo by Nikki Hightree. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Nikki Hightree. Click on photo to view full-size image.

The Harper Fire Department sold pink ribbon “koozies” during the Fair to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. Gary Ummel hands a koozie to Gary Wohlschlegel, while firefighters Zach Darnell and Melanie Miller look on. Funds will be spent locally and given to the Harper Area Health Foundation.

Note: There is also a story out today about Melanie Miller at KWCH – Bulletproof vest saves deputy pinned between two trucks.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster

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