January 16, snow and wind causes wrecks.
The cold, windy, snowy blast we received today created 3 first responder calls due to auto wrecks. All three were on I-70, the first two Liz and I were working and couldn't respond (a semi and truck and u-haul rollovers) with very minor injuries. The last call occurred at 11:30 pm and was generated by a passerby seeing the original semi rollover. I got up and responded as well as Dugan and Tait W. and we searched the area with a county deputy, determining that there was no new wreck, just the origional so we cleared off the frequency and went home.
First aid training for January at firehouse meeting.
Demonstration of how to use bandage that is carried in first aid kits on our fire trucks, Jeremy is watching seated on the back of sq. 340.
Jan.29, smoke in house call.
I was at Brookville attending an Ell-Saline basketball game, talking to Micheal H. when my pager tones for smoke in a house located around 4000 north Link Rd. We ran to my pickup and stopped at Michael's truck to grab his gear, then drove the half mile to the station. Shane B. was already raising the door to E-341 when we drove up and "geared up". We decided that Michael would ride with Shane and I would bring T-342. The temperature was 18 so I had to start the pump to recirculate the water preventing freezing then took off. The house involved was located at the far north end of our district. Units from Glendale and Hedville arrived first. They could not find any fire and turned us around before arrival, a good ending on a cold night!
February 22, grass fire at 4100 N. Link Rd.
It was early evening when the pager tones for a grass fire on Link road. I was loading fire wood in the pasture when the call came in so while I was driving to the road, I called Jeremy and he met me along the way as I headed to the fire scene. We arrived after squads 320 and 350 and Jeremy and Michael H. rode on sq 350 but due to light winds the fire was not large and was easily contained. There was a good turnout from district 3 as all four stations responded with trucks. Cause of the fire was sparks from a burn barrel.
March 2, A wet run, no fire found.
I was home from church Sun. afternoon, talking to my storm chase partner on the phone when the pager tones for a semi loaded with bales on fire, I-70 mile marker 246. It had been raining for the last couple of hours and roads were slippery on the drive to I-70. Hedville units quickly arrived on scene, finding nothing so it became a search for the fire area. We searched I-70 from Lincoln co. line to just west of Salina finding no trucks on fire. We figured that someone saw water spray from the rain curling up behind the semi looking like smoke which promped the call. A good ending to a rainy afternoon.
Saturday March 22, grass fire call to Ellsworth Co. Highway 141& Ave. L.
It was around 3:30 in the afternoon when the pager tones for a controlled grass burn now out of control in Ellsworth County. The fire scene was 3-4 miles north of lake Kanopolis area due south of where I live, so I was first on scene. The weather was cloudy and cool with a north wind around 10 MPH. I found a large grass fire in VERY rugged terrain but not spreading much except in one area where there was a substantial head fire on the south side. I talked to one of the land owners who was on a ATV and then made a size-up for our responding units. I then called for Ellsworth county units for mutual aid and devised strategy with the land owner on placement of fire units when they arrived. I basicly routed our district 3 units a mile loop around the east side of the fire (due to terrain) and assigned them to stop the head fire. Then units from Kanopolis arrived and I had another local ATV driver lead them to the west/northwest fire line. This was done verbally since I had no joint radio bands with Ellsworth Co. units. I then placed district 3 tankers as near to the action as terrain would allow and this paid off well as we refilled mainly Ellsworth Co. units. Fortunately the south head fire burned into a "wet" springy canyon and did not jump so burned itself out negating any attention from the district 3 units I sent there, basically cutting the fire control problem in half. After that it was basically a mop up situation and we got the fire under control rather quickly. We had a good response from district 3, with squads' 320-340-350-360, tankers 342-351-399 as well as E-341. I called the fire out around 5:30 and after filling all squads and tankers we all went home.
Saturday March 22, a second call of the day---pickup/camper fire I-70 mile marker 247.
I was just getting out of the bath tub around 9 pm. when the pager tones for a pickup camper on fire with propane bottles involved! I dressed and jumped into my pickup calling in that I was responding. Squad 350 pulled on just ahead of me so I followed them to the scene. Our first units on scene, (from Hedville) stated fully envolved with the propane relief valves already venting! Sq. 350 and I got on scene and with the highway shut down in both directions we were able to cross the medium and park in front of the burning mess. I jumped out and snapped a picture then donned my gear and assisted Jed B. on the speedlay hose from E-321 attacking the camper area from upwind. Shane B. arrived with E-341 and with plenty of firefighters on hand manning the hoseline I went to E-341 and packed up taking a hose line from I think Sq. 350 and extinguished fire on the down wind side (smoky side). Visibility was nil as I traversed the entire length of the pickup/camper and back, but this action pretty well knocked out the remaining fire. I was now exhausted from a long day's work and still recovering from surgery 2 weeks ago, I was granted release by the incident commander and headed back home.
This is what the fire scene looked like upon my arrival, pickup and pull behind camper fully envolved.
Sunday March 23, out of control grass fire at highway 141 and Ave. L---AGAIN!
I recieved a phone call from the people who lost control of their burn yesterday that they were going to attempt to finish their burn this evening. Winds were light from the north but switched to the south around 10 mph. When the wind switched, they lost control and we were paged out around 9 pm (at night). This time I called Jeremy and he and Meghan met me in route to the fire and jumped in my truck. We got on scene and Jeremy and Meg got on Squad 340 and we drove to the scene as I did yesterday. The difference was that Ellsworth Co. trucks were already on scene fighting fire with many more Ellsworth Co. and district 3 trucks arriving all the time. When Jed B. arrived with 342, I jumped on with him and we "worked" the east fire line while most of the other trucks worked the west (bigger) fire line. With all the many trucks piling on, the fire was quickly brought under control and we got home at 11:30 pm. Tomorrow is supposed to be windy and warm so hope this one stays out!
Friday March 28, State St./Wyman, controlled burn out of control--then back under control again.
I was hauling a bull from one pasture to the next when the pager tones for a controlled burn now out of control. As I was unloading the bull I called Jeremy and he came down to my place while I was taking the trailer off my pickup. We drove to Brookville per request of the incident commander and Jeremy took sq. 340 while I drove T. 342 towards the scene. We got around 4 miles from the station when the IC. turned us around---the landowner got the fire back under control. It appears that many ranchers are trying to get their prescribed burns done this weekend so maybe more action for us at district 3.
April 4, minor injury accident powerlines arcing in trees, highway 40 west of Brookville.
The morning wakeup alarm had just sounded at 6:30 when the pager tones for fire in trees caused by power lines arcing, highway 40 west of Brookville. Then the pager tones for a minor injury accident at the same location! Now we know why the power lines are down. I donned my grass gear and called in that I was responding and about the same time Sq. 340 and 350 called they were responding too. Shane and Michael in sq. 340 arrived on scene and turned 350 and myself around-- there was little fire. A driver probably fell a-sleep, jumped a ditch and broke off a power pole. He only sustained a small cut and a bump to his head, minor injurys for such a wild ride.
April 16, controlled burn out of control, 2100 north McGavern Rd.
After enduring Red Flag/high wind warnings April 14-15, the winds dropped to 10-15 mph during the afternoon. Everybody who needed to burn seemed to be out and burning when I left home to drive to Salina for church and fire fighter 1 classes. I was just finishing choir practice and ready to go to station 1 for classes when we were paged to this grass fire. The address was close to my home (within 3 miles) so I quickley called Jeremy who was home and got him started to the scene. I initially thought the fire was 2 miles north of where it was due to talk on the radio, (there was smoke plumes everywhere!) but Jeremy called back and dialed me in where the fire was. This I confirmed with dispatch and alerted responding units where the scene was as I continued to the Brookville station. Squad 350 arrived on scene, took command and Jeremy rode with them as they attacked what was probably the smallest fire in the area. Sq. 330 and 320 got to the scene and the fire was quickly put out with minor problems due to muddy fields. I stood by at Brookville along with many of the firefighter 1 classmates until the fire was out, then we went back to Salina to complete our interrupted class. A note about the previous two days---a very large range fire started up in northeast McPherson Co. April 15. Saline Co. district 1, 2, and 5 were called to assist with this fire so with the winds howling up to 50 MPH it was decided through cell phone calls that some of district 3 (Brookville) firefighters would be in Brookville area for quicker response. Jeremy, Meghan, Michael and Shane stayed in Brookville for a while to be close. Then, today,(April 16) a large grass fire started in southeast Saline Co. during the morning while I was feeding cattle. With winds switching in the northwest part of the Co. where I was, I called Emergency Mngt and informed them that the winds were about to switch at the fire scene. They broadcast this information to the incident commander and the winds did switch about 15 minutes later at the fire scene, actually driving the fire away from some structures in that area.
May 14, car off bridge call 901 S. Hedville Rd..
I was driving to choir practice/planning team/firefighter 1 class when the pager tones for a possible injury accident, car off a bridge! At that time I was 11/2 miles from the accident scene. Thinking that I would be the first on scene with a radio and that the possibility of a serious situation with maybe a car in the bottom of a creek, I turned off and drove to the scene, finding a much better situation. A high school girl was driving home from school when she swerved to miss a dog and lost control of her car, sliding off a 6x6 concrete culvert backwards. Upon my arrival she was out of the car and seemingly uninjured so I called dispatch stating one person involved, no entrapment and no injury. I then stayed on scene until EMS and deputys arrived and showed them who was who as a small crowd had gathered. District 3 firefighter Jim K. disconnected the battery cable as EMS checked the girl out finding no injuries and after that I left the scene and continued on to Salina. Fortionately for the driver she was going pretty slow when she went into the ditch, otherwise she could have been severely injured.
Car and driver slid backwards off the culvert into the ditch---she was wearing a seat belt and had no injury.
May 26, lightning striking a house call.
I was chasing storms in far southeast Lincoln Co. when the pager tones for a house struck by lightning on west Stimmel rd. The scene was only 6 miles from where I was and I drove on I-70 to the next exit and was first one there. I found no smoke around the exterior and the home owner stating that her TV was zapped and "smelled". Squad 340 and 350 were close so I had all other units "standby" while we searched the house, attic to basement and found nothing firewise. I had the TV carried out to the patio and we disconnected the breaker box as there was no power to the house and terminated the incident to dispatch and went home.
House where lightning knocked out power but there was no fire. Firefighters were conducting top to bottom search at this time.
May 31, Early morning brush/tree fire call on north Fairchild Rd.
The pager woke me out of a sound sleep around 1:30 am. stating a controlled burn now still burning. I got dressed, thinking it would be some embers somewhere and not too much to do so I didn't call in that I was responding. The fire scene was at the far east end of our district so I didn't want to drive all that way for nothing. Squads 320 and 340 responded and when they got on scene nothing was said so I arrived on scene to find four separate fires burning with a couple of large standing trees involved. The smoke from all this mess was drifting across I-35 prompting the call. The incident commander wanted the trees down to be acessable to fire crews so I took my chain saw with a 20" bar and cut these burning trees down then cut them up further so they could be turned. Due to the magnitude of the burning area, T-331 and E-341 was also called to help complete mopping up the area. Finally, the whole scene was wetted down and I got home from this incident around 4 am.
June 4th, a fire at a house call on north Brownhill Rd.
Mom and I was driving to Wednessday evening church when the pager tones for smoke near a house on north Brownhill Road. We had just passed the area 5 minutes before and in my gut I thought it was a controlled burn and ok but since Shane B. and Jeremy was out of state at this time my head said "go back and check it out just in case because you're close". This I did and we were first on scene with a radio, and yes it was a trash fire contained in a barrol so I turned all responders around except Squad 350 who was about on scene and asked them to finish the "formalities" and close the incident while we headded back to church.
June 11--12, search and rescue call for northeast Saline county.
I was just finishing up tornado coverage in the Salina area for KSAL when we recieved an "ALL CALL" tone on the pager with out any text. I went to Brookville station where I met Joe W. who informed me that Rob G. called him by cell phone to get a squad ready for tornado search and rescue in northeast Saline Co. which was in district 5's area. District 5 had one of their trucks helping Salina fire with the storm damage and they were covering Solomon fire area while Solomon went to Chapman to do search and rescue there. Therefore District 5 had no time to check tornado damage in their entire area of responsibility. District 3 took squads 320, 340, 350, 360 and Jeremy and my pickup trucks and staged on east Country Club Rd. We then split up and took every mile road running north off Country Club and checked every farmstead we came upon for tornado damage. We covered all the area assigned finding no structure damage but could follow the tornado path somewhat by following snapped power poles and broken trees. We cleared the area and I got home at 2 am after a very long day.
June 13, one vehicle injury accident, I-70, mile marker 240.
Liz and I were jolted out of a sound sleep, just before 6 am for a possible injury accident mile marker 238. We loaded our stuff in the pickup and called into dispatch we were responding. We drove through the 238 without seeing anything and reported this to dispatch whom gave us an updated position of 240. I crossed the medium at the 240 and we found a suburban upright in the north ditch, up against a fence, near a shallow pond. The suburban obviously rolled several times with two adults and 3 children still in it. I called this in as Liz started her assessment of the 5 people. A ambulance arrived followed by the rescue truck and the Liz helped the paramedics with the adult passenger who was hurt the most. All occupants were wearing seat belts. I gave a size up to the rescue truck crew then the firefighter and I pried the driver's door open so the paramedics from the second ambulance could attend to the driver who had a bad cut to her forearm. We then popped the hood and disconnected the battery. I helped hold the spine board while the crew removed the driver from the Suburban. After that it was "gather up our gear" and we left the scene. Had the SUV rolled one more time it would have ended in a shallow pond which would have complicated things considerably!
Picture of the SUV that rolled to this position. Pond is about 6-8 feet to the right, across the fence.
June 16, machine shed fire, north Hoenneck Rd.
I was in Lincoln at the rock quarry getting a load of rock wjen we were paged to a machine shed fire. Due to storm related issues, my fire pager didn't recieve the call at all and I could not respond. Jeremy was at home and heard the call on Liz's pager and he responded to Brookville and took T-342 to the scene and refilled a couple of trucks. The shed had several cars/trucks inside and was pretty well involved when the first fire trucks arrived so all was lost to the fire. There was a good response from district 3 from what Jeremy said---all the trucks responded from Brookville, at least two from Hedville, one from Glendale and I'm not sure about Bavaria. Several of our young fire fighters were there and got to get "dirty" fighting the fire and doing overhaul getting real time experience other than classes. Because of that I didn't mind so much that I missed this one.
June 20, car fire at State St. and Halsead Rd.
Jeremy and I were working "grandmas" farm ground over in Saline County this afternoon and as Grandma and I were going home so I could meet the "sprayer man" to spray milo ground, the pager tones for a van on fire next to a house! I have a five mile drive home to get my pickup and Jeremy is a mile behind me baling hay! I figure that if things get worse I can pick him up as I go to the station. I coached Grandma where the fields were that I wanted sprayed as we sped home and I zipped by the spray operator standing beside my driveway, then zipped back out in my pickup by the now bewildered spray operator. To make a medium story shorter, squads 320&360 arrived before the fire spread from the fully involved van to the house but used all their water. I brought squad 340 from Brookville to finish "cooling" down the charred van, rolled up hoses and returned to Brookville and then back home.
Sunday July 5, two calls in one day.
Liz and I had just got to church and I was talking with Jeremy when my pager tones for a grass fire at a West Crawford address. Jeremy took my pager and responded to the call arriving just after Michael H. finding a transformer had exploded and scorched the grass underneath. After squad 340 arrived, Jeremy came back to church since there was no longer any fire to put out.
The second call came in the late afternoon with a fire near the railroad right-a-way just east of Brookville. I was in the field planting cane when this page came through so I shut the tractor down and trotted the 400 yards to the house and called Jeremy to warn him since history of RR right-a way calls seem to spread into many fires sometimes. The temperature was 96 with a south wind of 20 mph and by the time I pulled out of the driveway I could tell that sq. 340 and 342 could handle a single little fire. So, no wasted time or use of pickup fuel happened on this one.
July 21, 4 calls in one day!
We had a bunch of calls this day and I only responded to one. 1st call was 4:30 am. for a park bench on fire at the far end of the district. I did not go after hearing Headville staton respond. 2nd call was a med call for a cut to the head, again, to the east end of the county. 3rd call came in as I was fueling up to swath hay---a controled burn getting into the RR right-a-way west of Glendale. I responded to this call due to experience with other fires in that area that took a lot of time and energy due to trees and terrain. Squad 350 immediately reported the fire east of Glendale instead and very small so I was turned around on this one. When I was traveling to the hayfield the pager tones again for a allergic reaction in a child at the 238 exit. Squad 320 stopped by this call as well as Tait W. one of our first responders. Liz was in Westfall at the time and was too far to respond to this call. Then, at around 10 pm., the pager tones again, (no. 5) but dispatch hit the wrong switch and immediately cancled and toned out District 2 for a med call. After all this happened, my pager really needed a battery charge when I put it in the charger!
July 22, Prarie hay bale/farmstead fire at 30th and ave N, Ellsworth Co.
I had finished up stacking square bales in the barn after the noon hour with the temps in the upper 90s, I was soaked with sweat and was washing off in the bathtub when we were paged to this fire. I didn't hear the call at first since I had turned off my pager to clear it and forgot to turn it on again until I was ready to go out to work. When turned on I heard district 3 talking and learned of the call. There was some confusion as to where the fire was as squad 350 drove to Jeremy's to check things out there and Jeremy jumped on with 350. Dispatch clarified the location as northeast of Knapolis lake and that fuel barrels were involved near a house. I heard this as I followed sq. 350 south towards the fire scene, still many miles away yet and as I looked south I saw a huge black smoke cloud rise up!! Our first units arrived on scene (sq. 320 with chief 301) stating bales on fire, pasture on fire, and fuel barrels on fire with Marquete units fighting all this. When I got on scene, I geared up and hopped on 350 with Jeremy and we took over the fuel barrels as Marquete unit there had run out of water. I then left Jeremy at the fuel area (the barrels had cooled down by then) and helped 340 with some tractor tires on fire, then worked with T-342 on wetting down burning big round bales after rolling them out. To say the least, doing this in upper 90s temps with fire gear on was taxing for all firefighters! We left the scene after we got all the bales that were on fire rolled out in the "black" so they could burn up completely. District 3 had a good turnout with squads 320--340--350--360--T342--T331 working this fire with Marquete's fire trucks.
A picture of the smoke plume of the fire about 10 miles away while eating dust from squad 350.
Jeremy is cooling down the fuel and oil barrels after the Marquete fire truck left to refill with water.
I left Jeremy to go put out burning tires shown in foreground using the hoseline off squad 340.
After I put out the burning tires we were pulling out some trash to get at some hot spots when Shane B. discovered some baby kittens under the debris. Shane, Jed and Rod B. are removing debris and corraling baby kittens at this time.
July 26, injury accident, I-70 exit 238.
I was stacking hay a couple of miles from home and Liz and Jeremy were practicing driving school busses at Happy Corner school (mile marker 249) when my pager tones for pickup off the exit, tires flat--air bag deployed--elderly male not responsive! I called Jeremy in case he and Liz would be driving home near the scene area at that time. They were just leaving the school so I continued to move hay and Liz called in on her handheld radio that she was responding. They arrived on scene finding a pickup against an embankment with no law enforcement there yet and only a few good samaritons around the truck! Liz quickly checked the occupant, finding him laying across the seat, but with his head doubled under and in trouble!! Liz, Jeremy and the good sams. straightened the occupant, carefully pulled him out of the truck and started treatment. Law enforcement arrived as well as EMS and they took over transported to Salina. It appeared that the driver had a medical condition as he was exiting the highway and ended upon the embankment.
August 3, lots of calls but did not respond to much.
We've had almost daily calls this last week with most being medical calls on the east side of our district so liz doesn't respond. She did respond to our neighbors' where our neighbor had passed away. We had one fire call---a fire in the ditch north of the Hedville station and I had just talked to Shane and Rob who were working on trucks at the station there and they handled the fire easily. Also, there have been many road closing pages as the county is on another bridge rebuild binge. This will make us use I-70 to get to Salina for our personal use and complicate getting fire trucks to certain areas on the west side of our fire district!
Late August calls.
August 27. We've had a few calls the past two days. Monday, around 6 am., Liz was paged to our neighbor's for a somewhat minor medical call, then in the afternoon there was a fire alarm "malfunction" at St. Francis which took a moment to sort out. Yesterday, as I was moving hay bales in Saline county fields we were paged for a injury accident at State and Hedville, (a dangerous intersection) which was amended to include the car on fire! Jeremy was driving the school bus so I loaded our 3 dogs and set out for Brookville as my direct way to the scene was blocked by bridge construction. There was some confusion as to whether the driver was out of the burning car or not for a while until Shondra A. arrived and stated all occupants were out. Squads 330-320 and 360 made snap responses and were on scene in minutes quickly dousing a small fire in the engine. I turned back as soon as I heard 330 get on scene with the occupants already out. That should do it for a while----3 calls in a row.
September 19, RR right-a-way fire west of Brookville.
I had just come in the house to read the forecast on the computer around 5 pm when the pager tones for a grass fire on the railroad right-a-way 14000 west old 40 highway. I called Jeremy on the cell phone then headed for Brookville as sometimes railroad fires tend to be more than one. Before I got to the station, chief Mark responded with squad 340 and it was determined with dispatch, that the 14000 block was west of Brookville. Rod B. responded with 342 out of Brookville so I drove on to the scene where I pulled the booster line across the RR track for chief Mark as he put out the small grass fire burning there. T. 342 and Jeremy arrived at the same time and they were sent on up the track in search of more fires. After the fire was out, Mark and I rolled up the booster line and followed 342 westward to check for more fires. None were found. The reason we usually do this is if a train car wheel bearing goes out it throws out hot bearing pieces or just shoots out sparks as the wheel axel grinds on the car frame which starts more fires down the line. Also, occasionally a train engine has a carboned up combustion chamber which will throw large enough sparks out the smoke stack to make it to grass before burning out. This time the grass was green enough only one fire started.
September 26, fire call in area of mile marker 239, I-70.
I was just ready to crawl into bed at 10:30 pm. when the pager tones for a reported orange glow with the smell of smoke in the area of 239, I-70. I hurridly dressed and called in to dispatch that I was responding, along with several other district 3 members who were doing the same. Several of us converged on the 239 area, not finding anything. This call was one where the fire was not in the area that was paged. Chief 301 called dispatch for more info on where to search and dispatch came back with a address a ways north of I-70. This was a complication as the bridge was out north of exit 238 on Brookville Rd. cutting off most of the responding personel. Luckily, I had taken a parallel dirt road south of '70 and was able to cross under interstate and was first on scene. I found a medium sized tree pile north of a house that had pretty well burned up with people standing all around. I talked to what I think was the "lady" of the house asking if she called in about the burn and she said no, but they had a burn permit. I radioed to our responding folks saying nothing was out of control and that the folks there had a permit (oviously not called in). I told the lady I'd walk around the burning area to check things out then terminate our response. I got out of the pickup and as I walked around the front of it a man stepped up and started shoving me back towards my pickup shouting that I had no right to invade his property!! The lady was trying to drag him back explaining that I was rual fire and was just checking things out. He was decidedly drunk but when I told him my name he stopped shoving, turning on the charm and was "buddy-buddy"!! I did my walk-a-round and terminated the call and left. At the intersection a mile away I met Darren W. from the Glendale station and told him the story. He told me this household had a "reputation" and my reception was not supprising. A county deputy drove up and we talked with him for a moment and left. I just figured to let well enough alone with this situation as to do more would only inflamed matters worse.
October 1, car fire call I-70 mile marker 244.
I was leaving "grandma's" to check cattle this morning when we got this call. Jeremy called on the cell as I drove back home to get my truck and gear---I would pick him up on my way to the scene. As we topped the highest hill en route to I-70, I could not see any smoke in that area where 244 was. Dispatch called and said the car was at the 249 mile marker instead of 244, then after a few moments said there was no fire. We cleared, then crossed the medium and went home.
October 16, Stand by at the Hawgsmoke competition, Smoky Hill Weapons range.
Picture from the Salina Journal of an A-10 firing it's 30 mil. cannon in the competition. We watched scenes like this all day almost continuously, sometimes at close range! This plane is from the 303rd at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, designated by the KC on the tail standing for Kansas City.
A couple of weeks ago, chief Scott called asking if I would like to take a squad to Hawgsmoke to help the bomb range folks cover fire potential from all the VIP vehicle traffic. Jeremy, Meghan and I took squad 340 to the range and due to the wetness had little fire danger, so enjoyed the show. (See my ag page for more about Hawgsmoke). We watched A-10s bomb and strafe from 8:30 to 3 pm and enjoyed it greatly. In addition, I met many a-10 pilots,(all with combat stories) as well as getting to meet Gen. Flora, a good friend and past commander of Smoky Hill. But a surprise awaited. I was talking to a group of pilots from the 303 out of Missouri, when I discovered that they didn't know about my bale sign! I went on to tell about making a A-10 sign in '85 and that Lt. C. Disrude won top gun after flying over it. The pilots grinned and looked at a gentleman in "civies" who stepped foreward and said "I ought to know, I'm him", the tables were turned on me. It was great to meet Roger again after 20 years. If you haven't guessed by now, I had a great time, and no fires occurred.
Picture of the bombing part of the competition. When the 25 lb. bomb hits, it ejects a white cloud of smoke, making scoring easier. There was many Lt. Cols., Cols., and a one star or two intently peering through binoculars when "their" squadren was bombing---the competition was intense!
October 25, Camper on fire call, West Magnolia Rd.
I was jolted out of a sound sleep around 1:30 am. with the pager toning for a camper on fire next to a house. I geared up and called in to dispatch I was heading for the Brookville station. Enroute, I heard E-341 leave the Brookville station then a deputy called flames visible at the scene. When I was 4 miles out of town, Joe W. in sq. 340 called me that T342 would not start and he was waiting for me. I told him to go on---I'd check out T342 when I got to the station--- then the deputy called back that the fire was out, the home owner doused the fire with a garden hose! Everybody but Shane and the "new guy" in E-341 was turned around so Joe and I looked at T-342 at the station finding that the "kill" switch was pulled and not pushed back in so when the "new guy" tried to start it he ran the battery down. I started 342 three different times and let it run a short period so think it will be ok. Shane and the "new guy" returned after checking out the scene and we made some plans for next month's training and I got home around 4 am.
November 7, grass fire at mile marker 239 I-70.
I was trying to herd cattle across a creek bridge 5 miles southeast of home when the pager toned for this fire. I hurridly got the cattle moved, then forgot to pick up my dog and had to backtrack to do that, then drive the five miles home to get my gear and change pickups! While doing this I heard many firefighters responding and fire trucks beginning to roll. The wind was blowing from the northwest around 25 mph with a high rangeland fire danger in effect for this day. First units on scene called a large grass fire with a structure in the direct path! At this time, hearing only one person heading for Brookville, I called in that I was responding to Brookville station. Soon after my call, Rod B. called that he was driving sq. 340 out of the station and I knew that Shane B. was still enroute to get T-342 so I called S-340 that I would meet him and get on since I thought he was coming north out of Brookville towards the fire. I got to Brookville rd. and waited but no S-340! I called for a position check and found out Rod either mis- heard the mile marker or didn't know where it was because he was driving east on highway 40! After this was straightened out, I just drove to the scene and geared up. Shane arrived with T-342 and Chad W. and I got on, but on this fire, district 3 was very lucky. The head fire burned into a large pond which stopped its foreward progress and enabled our fire units to concentrate on both sides of the fire putting it out quicker. The fire was mostly under control when we got on the fire line and our task was to put out burning tree logs/trees. After 2 hours of firefighting the fire was declared out and we all went home. I didn't find my camera in my truck bag, (it was buried) so was unable to get some good shots of the fire when I first got on scene. Jeremy worked with T-331 and then helped move burning logs after he finished his bus route. The fire was started by a semi-car carrier who had a flat tire and stripped the other dual tire and then ground the rims down to the hub! When the driver fianlly discovered this and pulled over, the hot remaining rims/hub ignited the grass alongside the highway. About 40 acres burned.
November 17, RR right-a-way fire call 1 mile east of Carnero.
We were paged to this fire around noon and Jeremy and I responded to the scene. The wind was out of the north about 12 mph and I was concerned that there was a lot of tall grass south of the rail road in that area. Shane B. in sq. 340 got on scene first and didn't find anything, then we arrived in the area and I saw a smoke plume drifting from a farmstead north of the RR track. Turned out that this smoke drifted across the RR track making it appear to be burning which prompted the call. After talking to the home owner, I called Ellsworth Co. dispatch to explain what happened (so we wouldn't be called again), and Shane called Saline dispatch with the same info. and we went home.
November 18, fire in ditch, 1 mile northeast of Brookville.
I had just come in from doing chores at 7 pm. when the pager toned for this fire. Jeremy called immediatly that he and Meghan were driving in so I just walked back and called dispatch we were responding. Grassland fire danger was high at this time with breezy south winds. Shane B. and Joe W. responded with sq. 340 and was on scene within a minute, finding a small fire that was just spreading out of the ditch. They attacked the fire while Chief Mark turned around all other responders so it was a short run of 3 miles before we went home.
November 19, controlled burn, now out of control, 1/2 mile east of Brookville Rd. and Stimmel Rd.
I was cutting milo in Saline county without any transportation when this call was paged out. Grassland fire danger was in the "very high" today. I had to sit and listen as Jeremy and others responded to this fire just over 5 miles from where I was cutting! (I was not going to take my semi to a fire call!) Jeremy told me later that the home owner was lucky---it burned right up to to the skirts of his mobile home! This fire was the same place we fought the larger grass fire a week ago and I think the home owner was burning a fire guard around his farmstead when the brisk north winds blew it out of control. Sq. 340 and 320 made the primary fire attack on this fire.
December 28, controlled burn,(brush pile) now out of control at 2574 S. Fairchild Rd.
Grassland fire danger was in the "high" category today with a controlled burn out of control earlier in the afternoon in district 7 area. Liz and I had just finished shopping for groceries at Dillon's in Salina when this call came in. The fire area was not far west of town so I called in that I was responding to the fire scene. On the west side of town, I saw a smoke plume on north Fairchild Rd. area and thought this was the fire that was paged (other firefighters also thought this!). As we closed in on the smoke plume, one of our firefighters arrived on scene stating the fire was 3 miles south of where we were at and that an unouccipied house had fire on it's roof!! Liz and I headded south and arrived just after a deputy sheriff and as I got out to don my fire gear, the first firefighter on scene came up and said "I've got to go back to my controlled burn, you got your Sunday clothes on, take incident command"! I called in that I was taking command and did a walk around the old farmhouse seeing 5 spot fires that had not burned through the shingles of the roof as well as a large smoldering pile of debris 40 yards west of the farmhouse. At this time, by Chief 301's suggestion I called district 6 to be paged for mutual aid due to a possible structure fire with district 3 engines far away yet. Rod. B. arrived without his gear so I let him use my bunker gear as I had donned my grass suit over my "Sunday" clothes and as Sq.320 arrived, I assigned Rod and Sq.320 to the west side of the house to attack the spot fires on that side. Sq. 330 arrived and I assigned Michael H. and Jason to attack the east side of the burning roof. In a couple of minutes the guys had all visible flames knocked down so we went into the house and got Rod on the roof through a upstairs window to begin to tear out the leftover smoldering shingles. District 6 arrived as well as many more district 3 firefighters and trucks. I assigned Sq.340 and district 6 squad to begin to cool down the smoldering pile of debris while district 6's Engine deployed their ladders helping with the farmhouse overhaul. Jeremy, Rod, Michael and Rob did the roof overhaul and soon indicated that the fire there was out. I then called fire under control to dispatch and as Sq. 340 and district 6's squad and Engine dumped their loads of water on the smoldering debris, (the origional fire) I replaced them with E-341 and finished cooling down that area. After consulting with Chief 301, the landowner, refilling squads from T-351 and stacking hoses on E-341, I terminated the incident and we all went home.