Archive for March, 2015

Parsons Fire Department announces promotions, welcomes new firefighters

Parsons Sun – March 31, 2015

Devon Bohrer

Devon Bohrer

The Parsons Fire Department recently announced several promotions and introduced two new firefighters in March.
As Jay Hawks was named fire chief earlier in the month, there was a battalion chief position vacant. After position-driven testing, several promotions have been made.
Matt Claibourn was named battalion chief, filling Hawks’ position. Jared Stringer was named captain. Alan Hucke was named driver/relief officer. Brenden McRay was promoted to driver.
With the changes in the fire department, two vacant firefighter positions also have been filled, bringing the team up to full staff. Gabe Vitt was hired earlier and recently Devon Bohrer joined the department.
Bohrer is a 2012 graduate of Erie High School. After school he farmed with his family and earned a welding certificate through Neosho County Community College. His position is firefighter.

2 dead in small plane crash in Pleasanton

Wichita Eagle – March 31, 2015

pleasanton fire 3312015

pleasanton fire 3312015b

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash Tuesday of a small plane in Pleasanton in eastern Kansas.

Two people were killed, the Kansas Highway Patrol confirmed in a tweet by one of its troopers.

“KHP has personnel at a crash site of a double fatality involving a plane in LN CO. near Pleasanton, KS. C.H.A.R.T. is also on scene,” tweeted @TrooperrickKHP.

The NTSB tweeted that the craft was a Zodiak CH601XL, which is a small kit plane from the Zenith Aircraft Co.

KHP is handling the crash in Linn County. Other details were not immediately available.

Pleasanton is on U.S. 69, about 70 miles south of Kansas City, Kan.

House destroyed in Sylvan Grove fire

KWCH – March 31, 2015

A house was considered a total loss in a fire reported about 8:30 p.m. Monday in the 300 block of East Second Street in Sylvan Grove. No one was inside the house at the time of the fire, authorities said.

Units from Lincoln County and Sylvan Grove took less than two hours to get the fire under control.

The state fire marshal in investigating the fire. A cause had yet to be determined as of Tuesday afternoon.

Shawnee Heights Fire Department fighting mobile home fire on US-40 highway

By Caroline Sweeney
Topeka Capital Journal – March 31, 2015

shawnee heights fire 3312015

No injuries were reported after a mobile home near S.E. US-40 Highway caught fire Tuesday afternoon.

Around 2:30 p.m., crews from the Shawnee Heights Fire District were called to the 7400 block of the highway, east of Topeka, for an out of control grass fire.

However, what they found was different from the original report.

“The first unit arrived on scene and discovered that we not only had a grass fire but that we also had a building involved,” said Scott Price, a battalion chief with the Shawnee Heights Fire District.

According to Price, a mobile home on the property was mostly consumed in the blaze when crews arrived.

Thick plumes of black smoke blew west over the two-lane highway, however the road was never closed.

Because of the extensive damage to the building, Price said fire fighters were mounting a defensive attack.

“(A defensive attack) means we’re not going to go in and fight the fire from within,” he said. “We are certain the building was unoccupied but we’re not certain that this was an active, livable structure yet.”

As of 3:30 p.m., the owner of the property hadn’t been found.

Along with the high winds and dry conditions, fire crews were faced with the challenge of being far from a water source.

According to Price, tankers with the department drove almost three miles to the intersection of S.E. 29th and Stanley to get water.

The department is investigating the exact cause of the fire and will then determine if the incident was accidental or incendiary.

“We’re going to find out if we had a structure fire that caught grass or vice versa,” Price said.

Fire scorches pasture

By Mike Corn
Hays Daily News – March 31, 2015

Photos by Mike Corn. Click on each photo to view full-size image.

Photos by Mike Corn. Click on each photo to view full-size image.

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A sheet of corrugated tin is being blamed for starting a fire Monday in north Ellis County.

It’s believed wind whipping the tin shorted the line, causing a breaker at a power pole to arc, sending sparks to the ground.

The fire didn’t cover a big area, but it was in especially rough terrain, just south of the Saline River. The fire burned approximately 20 acres of pasture owned by the family of the late Dan Johnson.

Firefighters had to haul hoses down into especially rough terrain to water down spots that threatened to re-ignite.

A pile of recently removed power poles actively burned as firefighters focused their attention on the area where the fire could spread.

“I’m just glad it wasn’t windy,” Ellis County Rural Fire Chief Dick Klaus said of the fire.

Hesston Fire Department putting out bids for new truck

Hesston Record – March 12, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – March 31, 2015

The Hesston Fire Department is replacing a nearly three-decade-old fire truck.

Emergency Services Director Russ Buller said the replacement of a truck will bring the fire fleet into the 21st century.

“None of our existing fire trucks has that available since our newest truck is almost 17-years-old. There has been a significant improvement in firefighter safety and firefighting technology added to fire trucks in the recent years. The new rescue/pumper that we are currently writing specifications on will include numerous improvements over what our current fleet can provide,” he said.

The engine being replaced is a 1988 Central States fire truck.

“It will be a custom chassis rescue/pumper that will be able to pump 1,250 gallons per minute. It will have occupant safety systems incorporated in the cab and will have the latest in foam technology to improve firefighting capability,” said Buller.

Funding for the $550,000 to $700,000 truck will come from a fire equipment tax account that is intended to fund apparatus purchases such as this.

Buller said the truck will be a significant improvement over any of the current fleet.

“This truck will include numerous occupant safety features for improved firefighter safety. It will have a larger compartment capacity to carry all of the necessary rescue/extrication and firefighting tools.

“It will have the new CAFS technology that injects compressed air and firefighting foam into the water stream, which improves fire knock-down and reduces firefighter fatigue. It will have an enhanced scene lighting package that will utilize an elevated light tower. It will have a larger cab to better accommodate five firefighters ‘gearing up’ for a response. It will possibly have a new color scheme to improve the visibility of the vehicle,” he said.

As with the ambulance, finding the right vehicle with the best features to serve Hesston can be an arduous undertaking.

“It is a huge undertaking to incorporate all of the necessary features needed to make this an efficient and effective response vehicle for all types of emergencies and to anticipate the needs of our community for the next 20 to 30 years, the lifespan of this truck,” he said.

Buller said the truck being replaced is too outdated to be sold in the United States but will be sold to a Central or South American country through a broker.

Wilson County house destroyed by recent fire

Independence Daily Reporter – March 10, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – March 31, 2015

A recently remodeled house and contents were a complete loss after a fire Wednesday in Wilson County.

Wilson County Sheriff’s Officers said occupant Jessica Songer said a loud pop woke her up and she realized the house was filled with smoke. She said the smoke appeared to come from the bathroom, where an electrical heater was. The wood house on Thomas Road was fully engulfed in flames when responders arrived.

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