Archive for September, 2016

Fire Chief Tom Jones


Fire Chief Tom Jones peacefully passed away September 28, 2016 at his home in Caney, KS where he was surrounded by his family and friends. Tom was born on October 13, 1952 in Caney, KS to Willis and Loretta (Longpine) Jones. Tom was the third of six children. He grew up in Wayside, KS and graduated from Caney Valley High School in 1971. He married the love of his life Brenda Artherton on August 5, 1972 and they made their home in Caney, KS. Tom and Brenda have two sons Robert and Mike and two grandchildren Braiden and Alivia. Tom not only loved his wife but his sons and grandchildren deeply.

Tom worked for Messner Farms, Layton Oil Company, and for the last 23 years he worked for Consolidated Oil Well Services. He joined the Caney Volunteer Fire Department in August of 1986. In his 30 years of service, Tom served as a Lieutenant for 2 years, a Captain for 12 years, Assistant Chief for 10 years and Chief for 2 years. He left this world proudly serving as FD 1. He shared his love for the fire service with not only his sons but also with his grandchildren. The Caney Volunteer Fire Department was not just a hobby for Tom but a true passion.

Tom is survived by his wife Brenda Jones of the home, two sons Robert and his wife Stephanie of Caney, KS and Mike Jones of Caney, KS, two grandchildren Braiden and Alivia, three sisters Linda Hamilton and husband Rich of Wichita, KS, Mary Sturm of Ochelata, OK, and Margaret (Maggie) Morrison of Vinita, OK, two brothers Lloyd Jones and wife Donna of Tyro, KS and Fred Jones and wife Teresa of Sedan, KS, two sisters by marriage Teresa and her husband Bernard (Bunny) Mantooth of Dewey, OK and Sherry Wealthall of Lawrence, KS, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Services will be held 10:00 a.m. on Monday October 3, 2016 at the Cornerstone Church in Caney, KS with burial following at Sunny Side Cemetery in Caney, KS.

Visitation will be held at Potts Chapel in Caney, KS on Sunday October 2, 2016 from 1-8 with family receiving visitors from 6-8.

Memorial contributions can be made to Caney Volunteer Fire Department 211 S. East Street Caney, KS 67333.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Training Opportunity – Machinery Entrapments

Click above to view full-size.

Click above to view full-size.


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Struts improve safety in vehicle responses

By Josh Arnett
McPherson Sentinel – September 30, 2016

Moundridge firefighters have a new set of equipment that can improve safety for residents and emergency responders alike.

The fire department obtained a set of struts in mid-August that can be used to stabilize vehicles when responding to rollover accidents, or other situations in which a vehicle may be unsteady. The braces consist of a metal footing that attaches to the cylindrical strut, which come in 2-foot and 4-foot lengths that can support up to 15.4 tons each.

The strut lengths can also be adjusted as needed. Moundridge Fire is the only department in McPherson County with this equipment.

“We’ll use them mainly for vehicle extractions and trench rescues. It’s a pretty handy tool,” said Moundridge Fire Lt. Rhett Neufeld.

The struts can’t be used to lift heavy objects, but can support heavy objects to keep them stable while emergency personnel work.

“We can use this on anything from a small family vehicle to a loaded semi,” Neufeld said.

As part of the purchase, Moundridge firefighters received training on how to use the struts in an emergency situation. Once deployed, the struts will allow emergency responders to focus efforts on helping people in need, instead of providing stabilization by hand.

“It takes two people to set up. It’s very quick and easy,” Neufeld said. “When they’re up, they lock, so you don’t need people constantly watching and shoring them up. Once set up, they do all the work.”

Neufeld said the department hasn’t had to use the struts yet, but when the need arises, they will be available.

“It’s better equipment, and it’s more efficient,” Neufeld said. “They’re going to improve safety for the people we help, and for the firefighters too.”


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Blaze destroys house in west central Topeka neighborhood

By Steve Fry
Topeka Capital Journal – September 30, 2016

Photo by Steve Fry

Photo by Steve Fry

Firefighters manning eight apparatuses including a ladder truck battled a fire that destroyed a two-story frame house in the 1100 block of S.W. Woodward on early Friday.

The fire was “intentionally set,” a Topeka Fire Department statement issued about 7:30 a.m. Friday said.

No one was injured by the fire at 1112 S.W. Woodward, Battalion Chief Mark Brannock said at the fire scene.

As late as 8 a.m. Friday, smoke continued to rise from the house, which is approximately 15 feet from houses to the north and south of it.

Brannock said it was the third fire at that location since the first fire in the middle of the summer. A second fire was reported there about two weeks ago.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Chester “Chet” W. Russell, Sr.


Chester “Chet” W. Russell, Sr., 92, of McPherson and formerly of Galva, passed away peacefully on Friday, September 23, 2016, at McPherson Hospital. He was retired from CertainTeed where he worked in the maintenance department. He was also a farmer and former Assistant Fire Chief for the Galva Fire Department.

He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, serving in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.

Chet was born on November 10, 1923, in McPherson, KS, the son of Benjamin Harrison and Emma Lillian (Beyer) Russell. He graduated from Galva High School in 1942. On July 14, 1946, Chet was united in marriage to Doris J. Koehn at the Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Galva, KS.

Chet was a member of Galva United Methodist Church.

Survivors include: loving wife of 70 years, Doris of the home; three children, JR (Deb Koehn) Russell of Galva, KS, Ted (Ruth) Russell of Wichita, KS, and Emma Perera of Galva, KS; daughter-in-law, Beth Robinson of McPherson, KS; 14 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, David Russell; brother, Clarence H. Russell; sisters, Arlene Russell and Edna Mae Peterson; grandchildren, J.W. Russell and Mandy Wenger; daughter-in-law, Vickie Russell; and son-in-law, Dennis Perera.

The funeral service will be at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, September 27, 2016, at Galva United Methodist Church with Rev. Sharlan Graber officiating. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Empire Cemetery, Galva. Visitation will be held from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Monday, September 26, at Stockham Family Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Memorial donations may be given to Galva United Methodist Church or Galva Fire Department in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Hoisington to consider replacing pumper

By Veronica Coons
Great Bend Tribune – September 28, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – September 30, 2016


Hoisington City Council members heard a presentation by Chief Jerry Stricker Monday night, concerning equipment needs of the Hoisington Volunteer Fire Department. But first, he informed the council that all run reports had been filed with the state and were now up to date. During the council’s budgeting process in July, it was learned the reports had not been properly filed with the state due to confusion following a staff transition in the department.

He also provided details about the upcoming Fire Department Open House, an annual event when the public is invited to visit with firefighters, tour the department and view the equipment. This year, the department will offer fire readiness simulations using the safety trailer, which is equipped with a heated door, simulated smoke, and a phone that can call 911, among several other features.

“Our little kids have been learning a lot about fire prevention through simulations like these,” Stricker said. “Adults are getting an enormous amount of education in this also.”

The open house is scheduled for Sunday, October 16 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the fire department. The Barton County Health Department will also be present, providing flu shots to all who need one.

Stricker then reported on equipment needs. He focused primarily on three trucks of varying condition.

“Our main concern at this time is finding a replacement for our pumper that died a few months ago,” he said.

The truck, built 31 years ago in 1985, failed when its motor died while fighting a fire near Boyd in July. The age of the unit has made locating parts for repairs difficult, Stricker reported to the council at an August meeting. It was also noted that the aging tank is filled with sediment and rust. Sandblasting at this point would breach the tank, so it will need to be replaced.

In August, Stricker looked into acquiring a replacement truck from the Forestry Service, but the unit available was determined to be unsuitable for the department’s needs. It would be too large for the existing space available, and the tank it’s equipped with would be too small to be of use.

Council member Travis Sinn asked if Stricker would replace the pumper with a new or a used unit. Stricker stated a new unit would likely be the best bet for the department, and estimated that the cost could be between $300,000 and $350,000. When asked how he proposed the city pay for it, he suggested a lease-purchase option could be arranged, noting that the first payment would not be required for at least a year after contract signing. He also estimated it could be a year-and-a-half before the new unit would be ready to use.

The new truck would fit at the east building, he added. If any other new vehicles are added in the future, at that time the department will need a new building as late model trucks are being built larger, and would not fit width-wise.

City Manager Jonathan Mitchell reminded Stricker and the council that city ordinances required the city to have funds available to cover a lease-purchase prior to a contract being signed, regardless of when payments would start. He stated that if the council chose to go this route, he would need to begin laying the groundwork to acquire that funding, likely from local banks.

Stricker also added two other trucks, a 2.5 ton brush truck and a GMC tanker, would face needed repairs soon. He asked the council to consider allowing the department to rebuild the tank and add a recirculating pump on the brush truck as a winter project, with the potential for grass fires very low during those months. He said the department could use the pumper as a stationary tank if needed. The GMC is functional at this time, but may require more than routine maintenance within the next few years, he added.

Mitchell noted that volunteers work for $9 per call for each ‘wet run’, regardless of how long or under what conditions a fire call my last.

“These guys deserve some good quality equipment to keep them safe,” Stricker said.

Mayor Clayton Williamson instructed Stricker to gather estimates to present at the October 24 city council meeting. No instruction was provided concerning the requested rebuilding of the brush truck.


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Gary Lee Anthony


Gary Lee Anthony was born April 23, 1940, at home on the family farm the youngest son of George Edgar and Ruth Louise (Brunk) Anthony. He passed away September 19, 2016, at the Wheatland Nursing Center in Russell, Kansas, at the age of 76.

Gary and his three brothers were reared on the family farm near Lyle, Kansas, in Decatur County. His family were members of the Lyle Methodist Church. Gary attended Spring Branch country school through the 8th grade, Decatur Community High School his freshman year, and graduated from Norcatur High School in 1959. From 1960-1962, Gary served in the U. S. Army. He spent a good part of his time in Germany, after basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, and earned a Good Conduct medal.

After returning home, Gary worked construction for Dick Lake for several years before taking over the family farm operation because of his father’s health. He later worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation from 1985 until retiring in 2002.

Gary was a charter member of the Lebanon Lions Club. He also belonged to the American Legion Post #313 in Lebanon, Nebraska, for over 40 years and served as Post Commander in 1980-81. Gary had been a volunteer for the Norcatur Fire Department and served on the Norcatur City Council. One of his favorite activities was being able to play Santa Claus during the holidays. He appeared at the Norcatur Christmas Drawing for many years and later for the City of Oberlin. The Cedar Living residents and staff always enjoyed their Christmas party when Santa Claus arrived. Gary also enjoyed visiting with family and friends and was someone who never knew a stranger.

On September 23, 2000, Gary married Cathy (Bass) Lang in Norcatur, where they made their home. Neither Gary nor Cathy were blessed with biological children, but they brought into the marriage the “steps” that they loved: Fredrick Farr (Shelli), Minnie Dawn Purdy (Jim), and Windy Kuhlman, children of Gary’s former wife, Janet (Farr) Wade; and Kim, Diana, Christopher, Lisa and Lori and their families. Other survivors include a brother, Keith Anthony of Atwood; four step grandchildren, Jack, Tony, Dillon and Daxton ; other family members and many friends.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents; stepson-in-law, Chris Kuhlman; and two brothers and their wives, Gerald and Jan Anthony and Dale and Faye Anthony.

Funeral Service: Thursday, September 22nd at 2:00 p.m. at the funeral home in Oberlin with Mr. Dwayne Jackson officiating

Burial: Norcatur Cemetery

Memorial Funds: Norcatur Cemetery Fund and Norcatur Citizens Alliance


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