Archive for July, 2017

State audit will compare Kansas wildfire response with other states

By Jonathan Shorman
Wichita Eagle – July 31, 2017

State auditors will investigate how Kansas’s wildfire suppression system compares to others following massive fires this spring that caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.

Kansas has among the smallest wildfire suppression budgets in the country – about $300,000 – and state fire officials have said coordination of firefighting resources has been lacking.

Lawmakers on Monday approved an examination of the state’s wildfire fighting system. Auditors will begin their investigation in January.

“The bottom line is the last two years we’ve lost in excess of $100 million in property in Kansas and we’re spending maybe $300,000 on state money to try to prevent these losses and it’s not making it better,” said Rep. John Carmichael, D- Wichita.

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Officials investigate cause of house fire in Wilson

Hays Post – July 31, 2017

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a Monday morning fire at a house in Wilson.

Just after 8a.m. the Wilson Fire Department was paged to the fire at 717 28th Street, according to a media release from Fire Chief Larry Langerman.

There were no injuries reported.

The Wilson Fire Department returned to the station at approximately 11:00 am. An estimate on amount of damage was not available .


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Volunteers serve vital role in Johnson County Fire Department

By Jim Cunningham
KMBZ – July 31, 2017

Some see it as a way to give back. For many, it’s the first step toward a career. They are volunteer firefighters.

Cory Neal and Mike Shaw serve their community in Johnson County’s Fire District #1.

Neal is a sheriff’s deputy. Shaw manages the parts division at McCarthy Chevrolet. At 50 and 60-years-old respectively, neither man is looking to begin a career. Fire District #1 has more than 15 volunteers.

“There are times you want to step up and you gotta remember, I’m firefighting today,” said Neal, who enjoys wearing two badges.

Shaw became a volunteer seven years ago. He says helping people is gratifying and exciting.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t an adrenaline rush to run into a burning building,” Shaw said. “It seems crazy but it’s a fun thing to do.”

District #1 has four stations that combine to protect more than 100 square miles of Johnson County.

“I think Johnson County District 1 has some of the best in the business,” Shaw said. “It takes both volunteers and full-time to be successful.”


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Rock fire requires more visits

By Rebecca McCutcheon
Cowley Courier Traveler – July 31, 2017

Photos by Donita Clausen

Firefighters from Udall and the surrounding area fought fires at two houses Wednesday and early Thursday in Rock.

Area firefighters were called out twice to the site of a fire that leveled a vacant house at 131 Williams St. Another fire early Thursday morning also damaged a neighboring home at 141 Williams St.

The initial fire was reported around 12:30 p.m. at 131 Williams St., Udall Fire Chief Randy Hoffman said. Firefighters were there until 7 p.m. Units from Udall, Atlanta and Winfield were on scene. Occupants of a neighboring house at 141 Williams St. were evacuated, although their house did not catch fire at that time.

When firefighters arrived, the vacant house was fully engulfed in flames, Hoffman said. They mainly worked on keeping the flames away from the neighboring home.

There were no injuries directly related to the first fire, although a child at 141 Williams St., was taken to William Newton Hospital via ambulance after stepping on an object in the yard and sustaining a foot wound, said Hoffman.

The second call came about 8:40 p.m., when a concerned citizen called and asked firefighters to check on the site. Udall firefighters went by and sprayed more water on the ruins.

The third call came around 2 a.m. Thursday. A Cowley County sheriff’s deputy patrolling the area saw flames coming from the side of the house at 141 Williams St. Firefighters from Udall, Atlanta, Winfield and Douglass responded and extinguished the fire.

The occupants evacuated, but were able to return after the fire was out, Hoffman said. The cause of this fire is also under investigation.


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Paul Eugene Becker

Paul Eugene Becker was born on June 26,1931 in Logan, Kansas and passed away on July 23, 2017 at the Phillips County Hospital in Phillipsburg, Kansas at the age of 86.

Paul was born and raised on a farm north of Logan to Rhodney and Lucille (Jaenicke) Becker. Except for his two years in the Army, Paul lived his whole life in Logan, raising his family on the farm 6 miles north of town. In 1983 Paul and Loretta built their house in town, where they both enjoyed their retirement years.

Paul was united in marriage to Loretta Ann Jandera on June 11, 1951 at the Catholic Church in Logan, officiated by Monsignor Koegan. They were blessed to adopt three children into their lives and fill their home with joy.

Paul worked for Rural Telephone upon his exit from the Army. He then began to haul bulk gasoline for Standard Oil Co as well as propane for Westhusing’s, eventually owning and operating his own fuel service until his retirement in 1996.

Besides spending time with his family, Paul’s greatest joys came from his horses. He passed this love for riding and working cattle as well as hunting along to his children. Paul was a fourth degree Knight with the Logan Knights of Columbus; he also served as a volunteer fireman with the Logan Fire Department for 25+ years. Paul also served on the Logan School board and volunteered his time and skills with community projects.

Paul is survived by his daughters: Susan (Mike) Elliott and Shirley (Darrell) Colby both of Phillipsburg, Kansas. He also leaves 4 grandchildren: Wayne (Valorie) Grammon of Hays, KS; Amy (Chris) Rundell of Sheridan, WY; Jessie (Rodger) Keehn of Beatrice, NE and Kayla (Jeff) Zerr of Heartwell, NE; as well as 12 great-grandkids. He is also survived by three brothers: Robert (Mary) Becker, Ronald Becker and Cliff (Darlene) Becker all of Logan; sister in-law, Betty Jane Bittel and brother in-law, Jerrold (Wanda) Jandera, all of Logan; along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Loretta and son, William (Bill) Becker; parents, Rhodney and Lucille Becker; In – Laws, Joe and Anna Jandera; brother and sister in –law, Jerome and Ruth (Lynch) Becker of Beaver City, Nebraska; as well as sister in-law, Kay (Frans) Becker of Logan and brother in-law, Alvin Bittel.

A Rosary will be held Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Logan Funeral Home, Logan.

A Mass Of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, August 2 at 10:00 a.m. in the St. John’s Catholic Church, Logan, with Father Daryl Olmstead officiating. Burial will follow in the Pleasant View Cemetery, Logan.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Logan Fire Dept. or the Logan American Legion.


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Job Opening – Firefighter I – Garden City Fire Department

Firefighter I – Garden City Fire Department

Purpose: The City of Garden City is accepting applications for the position of full-time Firefighter I. This position is non-exempt shift work and is subject to drug and alcohol testing.

Qualifications: Required qualifications include: 18 years of age or older, a high school diploma or GED, a valid Class B Driver’s License or ability to obtain on within one (1) year of employment, with a good driving history, and Firefighter I certification.

Salary Range: $11.18 – $16.77 per hour DOQ plus an excellent benefits package. Applications will be accepted until position has been filled. EOE

Please send resume, cover letter and application to City of Garden City, Human Resources Dept.: online; by email:; or by mail: PO Box 998, Garden City, KS 67846


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Manhattan Fire Department holds training for all types of situations

By Natalie Dattilio
WIBW – July 31, 2017


The Manhattan Fire Department is training to make sure they can handle all situations that arise.

The Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team held rope rescue training Friday morning. They had to respond to a fake rescue call, where a man had fallen thirty or forty feet down a cliff and suffered a few fractures.

The Battalion Chief of Training says even though they haven’t had a call like this in real life, it’s better to be prepared.

“We always got to continue to refresh,” Mark Whitehair said. “We can always continue to learn, anytime we stop learning then we stop progressing. We always get new equipment, so we got to keep the cycle going, keep fresh with it. We got new guys on the department, its good for them to see so if we do get one of these situations. They kind of know how it will go and what equipment we’ll need to have a successful outcome.”

The department says the Technical Rescue Team is fully prepared for rescues at structural collapses, confined spaces and trenches, plus more.


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