Archive for December, 2014

KSFFA President Article – January 2015

January, 2015

Greetings fellow firefighters!  I do hope the start of this New Year has found you all happy, healthy and safe!  There are so many events coming up this year and I encourage you to keep an eye on our website, , and also in the FIREWIRE for details.

The first event I want to remind you of is the FRA Seminar in Salina at the Bi-Centennial Center on January 17 beginning at 9am and concluding at lunch.  Ken Selzer, the newly elected Commissioner of Insurance will be on hand to meet the fire service and this will be a great time for us to get to know him.  I am very pleased to announce that Commissioner Selzer has recruited an old friend of ours to lead the FRA Department, John Boyd will be on hand to detail the FRA program.  We will have the roundtable sessions with vendors again this year and I do hope you take advantage of this format to gather information to ensure your FRA is using the monies to provide the very best benefits possible for your firefighters.  Of course there are no fees and pre-registration is not required.  I highly encourage every officer or those who wish to be an officer of your local FRA to attend.

I also want to remind everyone we will again host our Legislative Reception on February 9, 2015 at Topeka’s historic fire station number 2 at 719 SW Van Buren Street beginning at 5pm to 7pm.  This is one block north of the State Capitol.  I highly encourage everyone who can attend to please be there by 4:30 so that we can be ready to welcome our legislators.  One thing I have been asked is that we try to park away from the building and give our guests the courtesy of a close parking space.  Last year was very well attended by over 75 legislators and around 60 fire service personnel from across the state.  We really need to have a firefighter from every legislative district present because that is who the legislators want to see, someone from their home area.  As we identify the issues affecting our fire service, we need to have those relationships in place.  If you can attend, please take the time to let your legislators know you will be there and invite them to attend.  This does make a difference!  If I failed to mention, we will also have FREE FOOD!  The BBQ Shack from Paola, KS is our caterer again this year and I can tell you the food is GREAT!  Please do RSVP to so that we will be able to have plenty to go around.  Also, if you have not signed up for our Legislative CapWiz tool to track legislation affecting the Kansas fire Service, I highly recommend you do so.  On our website, click the link KS Legislative CapWiz .  This is a free service to you and only generates email when we need you to take action or notice of legislation affecting us all.

It’s not too early to remind each of you of our Annual Conference coming up on April 22-25, 2015 hosted by the Junction City fire Department.  Motel information along with the 2015 KSFFAA, James A. Todd Memorial Scholarship applications can be found on our website.  Please, if you know of anyone who may qualify for these scholarships, encourage them to apply!  Applications must be received by March 1st.  Just below the scholarship application link is the application for KSFFA Honorary membership.  We want to honor those who have helped make the KSFFA what it is today.  The scholarships and Honorary memberships are announced at our conference.  The KSFFA Auxiliary also conducts the Firefighter Memorial Service at our conference and we do want to honor all those who have passed on this last year.

As you all know, Conference is also where we get to help shape the overall direction of the KSFFA.  The committee work is very valuable to the executive board and gives the guidance needed to fully provide for the needs of the Kansas Fire Service and our membership.  Elections for officers will also be held for the following positions: President, 2nd Vice President, Treasurer, NorthWest Trustee and SouthWest Trustee.  I can tell you there will be changes on our board this April.  I have informed the executive board that I will not seek re-election at this coming conference.  That decision was not easily made and one that I have thought through, prayed over and fully discussed with my wife and family.  It is simply time for me to devote my time and energies to my family as I take the glide path to retirement.  I truly do love serving as your President and will always cherish the memories and friendships I have made over the last 9 years.  Elected as your 1st Vice President at Lawrence in 2006, I came to this board with ideas and visions of improving the FRA system and our training deliveries.  As a local secretary/treasurer, I knew something was very wrong with the FRA distribution system.  I am proud to say that with your help and the patient leadership of a few key people at the Kansas Insurance Department, that situation is resolved and the system is fair for all.  The FRA Seminar in Salina has a special spot in my heart as that is where I was first named the President of this association in January, 2011.  Attendance at regional fire schools has been a top priority for the last few years.  I still challenge every firefighter in this great state to attend at least one regional fire school.  I think once you do, you will come back.  Our class list and delivery methods are constantly changing and we are always striving to deliver the highest quality educational experience our firefighters deserve.  We can’t do this alone, we need your help.  If you believe you are the next person to help lead this association, please consider running for office at our next conference.

As always, I close with the message of service to our firefighters.  Your executive board serves at your pleasure and we do want to be of the very best service to you.  I ask you to please contact any of our officers if you have any question, suggestion or complaint.  We are and will remain “Dedicated to the Safety and Education of the Kansas firefighter”

I wish each of you a very Happy New Year.

JL Ellis, President KSFFA



Small fire on S. Washington

Wellington Daily News – December 31, 2014

A fire started in the attic of a one-story house at 1221 S. Washington at about 1 a.m. Wednesday in Wellington. The fire was put out by 1:20 by the Wellington Fire Dept.

Firemen suspect wiring ignited insulation in the attic area. Firemen gained access through the roof and put out the fire. There was no damage to the living area of the house. Occupants smelled smoke and called the fire department.

“Older wiring such as knob and tube are susceptible to starting a fire when the wiring is overloaded. If you have knob and tube wiring and/or an older breaker box have an electrician inspect the wiring to prevent a fire. Always have working smoke detectors throughout the home,” Fire Chief Tim Hay said.

There were no injuries reported.

The occupant of the house was listed as Christina Lyne.

Investigators on scene of house fire on Alabama Street

By Conrad Swanson
Lawrence Journal World – December 31, 2014

A firefighter breaks through a side roof as crews work the scene of a house fire. Photo by Nick Krug.

A firefighter breaks through a side roof as crews work the scene of a house fire. Photo by Nick Krug.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical is investigating a fire at a home at Eighth and Alabama streets on Tuesday night.

Fire Chief Bill Stark said Wednesday morning that fire investigators were on the scene at the home, at 825 Alabama St. The department had not yet issued a report on the fire as of Wednesday morning.

Two people were evacuated from the home late Tuesday as a fire spread through the residence.

About 9:30 p.m., firefighters were called to the home on reports of heavy smoke and flames coming from the exterior of the building. By 9:45, two people and two dogs had been evacuated to safety, but a house cat was unaccounted for, said Lawrence police Sgt. David Hogue.

Standing outside in the cold, next-door neighbors Jim and Debbie Alldritt said they were asked to evacuate their house as a precautionary measure while firefighters battled the nearby blaze.

“How tragic,” Jim Alldritt said as he threw his coat around his shivering wife, who was wearing only a robe. “This is everyone’s nightmare.”

Alldritt said he wasn’t aware of the fire next door until they were asked to leave their home. After that, firefighters quickly converged on the house.

“They attacked this thing. It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s all hands on deck.”

Firefighters put out blaze in smoldering Christmas tree

Topeka Capital Journal – December 31, 2014

The Mission Township Fire Department extinguished a blaze in a smoldering Christmas tree late Tuesday in southwest Shawnee County.

Mission Township firefighter Patrick Stueve said the department was called at 10:49 p.m to 4420 S.W. 61st, Lot 49, where firefighters found a Christmas tree smoldering outside a mobile home.

The blaze did no damage to the mobile home and no one was hurt, Stueve said.

He said firefighters remained on the call until 11:58 p.m.

Van Catches Fire; 10K in Damage

Western Kansas News – December 31, 2014

garden city fire 12312014

garden city fire 12312014b

Firefighters were called out to a car fire reported outside the Golden Plains Credit Union on East Kansas Ave Tuesday afternoon. Garden City Fire Chief Allen Shelton says no one was injured. The van has been deemed a total loss with damages totaling $10,000. Some minor damage may have been caused to the side building. Shelton says the fire started in the van’s engine. The exact cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Photos courtesy of Jeneria Bennett-Burgardt and Garrett Janda

Structure blaze

Lawrence Journal World – December 23, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – December 31, 2014

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Wakarusa Township firefighters combat flames at a fully engulfed building at 1678 East 1100 Road around 1:30 p.m. Monday. The building, which was uninhabited, was located across the street from the Lawrence Nature Park.

Cooperative Grain & Supply donates to Ness County Fire District #2

Ness County News – December 25, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – December 31, 2014

The Co-operative Grain & Supply Co. Bazine, announced a donation of $1000.00 to the Ness County Fire District #2 to help with the purchase of new equipment for the firefighters and $1000.00 to the Ness City Ministerial Alliance to aid people in need of help and in support of the local food bank. These funds are specifically designed to help non-profit organizations in the community.

The donation was made possible by The Co-Operative Grain & Supply and the Land O’Lakes Foundation through its Member Co-op Match Program. The Foundation program matches the donations of Land O-Lakes member cooperatives dollar-for-dollar, thus doubling the funds available for community projects.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Land O’Lakes Foundation to support community programs where we work and live,” said Co-op General Manager Bryan Yohe.

The Land O’Lakes Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in communities where Land O’Lakes, Inc., has farmer and co-op members, employees, plants and facilities. Land O’Lakes Foundation proactively helps rural communities prosper and prepare for tomorrow by donating resources that develop and strengthen organizations dedicated to hunger, education, youth and community endeavors.

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