Picture of Shane and Jed soaking down the smoldering logs.
Feb. 8, grass fire on north Hedville Rd.
Grassland fire danger was in the "high" category with temps in the low 40s and light winds. I was at the Saline Co. Emergency Management office in Salina when this call came in. The time was around 3:45 pm. I called in my response to dispatch, then got held up by a coal train. While waiting for the train to pass, I put on my grassland gear on. I still got on scene before any trucks arrived. The fire was backburning off of Hedville road to a wet draw as the head fire burned into a farm yard with short grass. Dave arrived with Sq. 340 from Brookville and we positioned in the farm yard. We pulled 200 ft. of booster line and knocked out the advancing fire that was moving into the farm yard. Sq. 320 knocked out the fire in the ditch and Sq. 350 guarded the wet draw. Soon all fire was put out and we rolled up our lines and went home. The fire was probably started by a exhaust pipe that fell off a vehicle and landed in the ditch.
March 14, fire in the ditch, I-70 mile marker 242.
Grassland fire danger was in the "High" category today. I was eating dinner when district 7 was paged to a fire around the Mulberry creek area I-70. Well, there are three places where Mulberry creek passes under I-70. Two of them are in district 3's area. I listened as responders found no fire in 7's area. Then our tone started, stating mile marker 243 for a grass fire. I was out the door and on my way, calling in my response. On most calls where I go east, I drive 5 miles before I reach Brookville Rd. As I drive those 5 miles I listen to hear trucks leaving the Brookville station. If I hear no response, I will turn towards Brookville to get a truck, if trucks respond, I go direct to the fire. Today Shane, Dave and Jeremy left the station with two trucks so I turned left towards I-70. I got on scene just after Sq. 320 from Hedville arrived. Chief Scott and Rob were hoseing down the east fire line in the ditch, gaining fire control quickly. I helped mop up while Chief Scott turned other responders back to stations. We then rolled up 320's booster line and left the scene. While mopping up I saw a piece of burning rubber which may or may not been the cause of this fire. Around 40 yards of grass burned in the south ditch.
I snapped this pic of the burned ditch after we put the fire out.
April 5, brush pile on fire Cloud and Fairchild Rd.
Grassland fire danger was in the extreme category today with red flag warning for Ellsworth county. Temps was in the mid 60s with winds up to 35+mph. I had just started a meeting when this call came out. I knew that there was not much grass down wind of the reported fire so didn't respond. I talked to Jed afterwards and he said they doused the perimeter of the smoldering fire that the wind had forced up, then went back to the stations. Luckily no other grass fires started in the blustery wind.
May 27, semi rollover, I-70 mile marker 248.
I was awakened around 2 am. by this call---semi rollover with entrapment. I went ahead and geared up and responded. At first the secene was at 243, then was adjusted to the mile 248. I got on scene and found a semi lying in the middle of the median. A man had his leg pinned under part of the cab. I assisted Salina heavy rescue in cribbing up the cab and then cutting the area that was pinning the guy's leg. Finally, the rescue Lt. lifted the cut portion up with a spreader tool and we "borded" the victim and rolled him to the ambulence. He was very lucky that the cab only pinned his leg. Two foot farther and the cab would be laying on his chest.
Picture taken of the area of entrapment. The area by the first responder's foot is where the victim's leg was pinned.
June 1, two car wreck I-70 mile marker 244.
This call came in around 9:30 pm. as I was finishing up supper. The call included one person entrapped. I responded and assisted Salina Rescue truck crew in removing the top of a SUV to reach an injured woman. I helped slide her on the spime board and we carried her to the ambulance. I then took my camera and found the battery was out so couldn't get a shot of the two wrecked cars that were lying together.
June 15, porch on fire north Hohneck Rd.
The pager toned for this call around 1:45 am. I got up and geared up and called in my response. Dave called and it was decided that he and Jase would take E-341 and I would take T-342 from Brookville. Very few folks were responding as I drove to Brookville making me nervous. Sq. 330 called on scene and there was an agonizing silence for a while. Then Justin called in smoldering porch with smoke coming from the attic. I drove on past Brookville as it sounded like there was a need for man power rather than trucks. I got on scene checked out the situation. The concern was smoke in the attic so I crawled through a 1x2foot access hole and briefly checked the attic. I saw no flames so backed out as it was smoky. We then pulled some sofet boards out from the porch awning and found one smoldering spot. I accessed the attic again and found less smoke but saw one area where there was possible smoldering. We ripped out another sofet board and wetted down the small area. I waited for a while then returned to the attic and found things looking OK. We gathered our gear and left. Fortunes abbounded with this fire. The home owners were asleep without smoke alarms. The man awakened, probably by the crakling of the fire and found the porch area envolved with flames. They evacuated through another door and attacked the fire with a garden hose. They had the fire knocked down when Justin arrived with 330. He finished wetting down the area with a booster line and that was it for the most part. If the man hadn't awakened when he did, smoke would have been an issue inside the house---we would have been faced with a search and rescue/full blowen structure fire with minimal responders to work with. The only source of fire was the porch light but I'm not sure.
Looking for smoldering areas around the porch awning/attic area.
picture of the burned decking under the porch awning. The enterence door was partially burned through too.
July 5, surviving the 4th and catching up.
Usually we have had some calls from fireworks in previous years, especially last year. We had no calls other than med calls yesterday. District three continue to get regular calls for med help but nothing in our area on the west side. We had a couple of fire calls in the past that I haven't posted due to busy harvest. One, was a fire alarm at St. Francis where there was a burned out motor on a vent. fan. Jeremy and I stood by at Brookville until thhe first arrivals found the problem and released us. The other was a mutual aid fire call to the Ottowa Co. area. We did not respond as the call was terminated early.
July 5/6, two calls to the north.
Just before midnight we had a field fire call in the Humbarger/Link rd. area. I called in my responce to dispatch and headed to Brookville. Before reaching Brookville Rd., I heard all trucks rollng out of the Brookville station, so headed to the scene. Hedville trucks got on scene and stated the fires were just south of Culver---out of our area. By the time I got on scene the fires were out, an easy solution. The next day I was leaving the house to go fishing with the grandkids when we were paged to Link/Humbarger Rd. for a field fire. Again all trucks left Brookville early---an excellent response. Again Hedville trucks got on scene and knocked out the fire. I got on scene and snapped a couple pics. and went home. I was suprised that the green grass burned well at this fire although only a half an acre burned. Fireworks was probably the cause for both fires.
July 9, controled fire out of control at 140 and cloud st area.
This call came in in the late afternoon. Jeremy was running errands on the west side of Salina and was first on scene. A farmer was burning wheat stubble and some of his fire got into the RR area and started some ties on fire. District three had a good response so I turned around after 6 miles heading for Brookville and went home.
July 13, van fire at Wyman and Old 40 highway.
I was awakened around 2:30 am. to this call which was located just 1.5 miles east of Brookville. I dressed and headed to Brookville expecting to hear trucks full of fire fighters responding out of the Brookville station. I heard Shane leave the station with Sq. 340 and Rob responding to the Hedville station and that was it. Shane called on scene, van fully envolved with explosions! Fortionately the family was out of this vehicle. I called Shane and asked wheather he needed me to back him at the fire or bring a truck. He asked me to bring E-341. I geared up at Brookville and brought 341 to the scene. Shane was making little headway against the fire so when I drove up he laid down his hose and while I was pulling a 2" line out he charged it and we went into the attack. I immediately noticed a problem---the gas tank was holed and we were pushing flaming gasoline all over the place. I adjusted the nozzle to a fog and this helped things some. We would just about achive fire knockdown then gas would spread all under the van and reignite with a swoosh putting us back to square one. E-321 arrived as well as Wes in Sq. 330. Jeremy appeared also and we used two hoselines and finally knocked the fire out. We shed some of our gear while we waited for the van to cool off. After some minor cooling we stacked hoses and Jeremy and I took Sq. 340 back to the station and refilled it and went home.
The fire is out, time to shed some gear and cool down. The van is in the foreground with Sq. 340 and E-341 in the background.
Jeremy's picture of me cooling the engine of the burned out car after we knocked the fire out.
July 16, car fire, I-70, mile marker 241.
I was running errands in Salina around 4:30 pm. when this call came in. I called in my response and headed to the scene. Sqs. 340 and 330 responded along with E-341 and E-321. I got on scene just after E-341 with 340 and 321 right behind me. Law enforcement had just shut down east bound traffic so I had a easy time crossing the median to the fire scene. The front half of the car was involved with fire when I pulled up. I geared up and backed Dave as he attacked the fire with 341's 2" line. It took a minute and we knocked most of the visible flames out which was easier than the van fire we had a few days prior. I let other firefighters finish with Dave, grabbed my camera and snapped a couple of pictures. We then set up cones along our trucks and Law enforcement opened one lane of traffic. I then stood watch on the oncoming traffic as the guys cooled down the car and started stackling hoses. I was released from the scene and went back to Salina to finish my errands.
Picture of Dave and Justin finishing cooling the engine area of the car.
July 19, more calls.
We had two fire calls yesterday. The first was at Hedville/old highway 40 where a farmer was burning stubble. Rod was driving by and straightened things out as the report of fire location was off and all was ok. The second call came in the evening while I was burning my own stubble and couldn't respond. Several spot grass fires were called in the area of Hedville exit, I-70. Sqs. 320/330 knocked these out before other trucks got there.
September 14, car rollover at old highway 40 and 28th Rd.
This call came in at around 1 am. It was a perfect example that drinking & driving do not mix, especially with a curve on the road. Liz and I arrived on scene and found a car had rolled through a ditch and through a barbed wire fence. Several responding Ellsworth fire---ambulance---command---rescue were there or arriving at the same time. There were 4 people in the car but supposedaly one of the 4 left the scene before first responders arrived. The most serious victim had just been "boarded" and I helped carry him up to the ambulance/gurney. He started to fight us as the para's were securing the board to the gurney. A deputy grabbed one arm and leaned against the victim while I grabbed the other wrist securely and the victim settled down and was secured in the ambulance. I then heard that a helocopter was coming for this victim. I checked in with the Ellsworth command vehicle who was very busy with directing the whole effort, especially the missing occupant of the wreck. I advised command that I would look for and set up a landing zone for the helocopter and he said "do it". With 2 fire squads and a deputy car from Ellsworth, I set up a LZ on highway 40 a quarter mile from the crash scene. Due to Ellsworth Co. freq. being low band I had no direct communication with the helo.---I had to relay information through command. This is not the best way to do business but we got it done without mishap and sent the helo on it's way. In the meantime, Liz was helping with a victim trapped in the rear seat of the wrecked car. They extracted the victim and sent her in an ambulance to Salina hospital. I picked up liz and we left the scene around 3 am. There were two serious medical calls in Brookville later in this day but due to distance we did not respond to them.
October 8, grassfire in ditch, northwest side of Brookville.
Grassland fire danger was in the moderate category this day with south winds around 20 mph. I was cutting milo in the late afternoon when this call came in. I heard Sq. 340 respond quickly as I went to my pickup to respond. 340 called small grassfire then there was no more comments as I headed to Brookville. Then it sounded like Sq. 340 was calling for more help. Shane, in T-342 arrived and turned most of us responders around as 340, 342 and 330 knocked the fire out as it was burning into a wooded creek.
Nov. 5, one vehicle rollover, highway 40 and Wyman rd.
I was in Salina around 9 at night when this call came in, vehicle on it's top with two adults and one child involved. The scene was 1 mile east of Brookville. I called in my responce and arrived at the same time as the ambulances. There was lots of help at the accident site so I cleared the area and went home.
Nov. 23, semi van fire, I-70 mile marker 247 area.
We were in bed, just turning off the TV sports when this call came in around 10:30. I geared up and headed down the road. The truck temp showed 17 degrees outside. Reports stated that the van was totally envolved with fire but the semi unhooked and was clear. I heard Dave respond with E-341 by himself from Brookville and I was tempted to go straight to the scene. I called Scott who was on scene and he said he wanted water support from t-342. I went to Brookville and discovered the station heater was not working and the inside temp was 35. T-342 cranked, but didn't start so I took Sq. 340 and left the station. I called the IC. and stated that the tanker would not start so he called dispatch to page district 7 for tanker support. When I got on scene the fire was mostly knocked out with all trucks out of water. District 7 tanker arrived and offloaded water to E-341. I engineered 341 as Dave and Jeremy finished cooling down remnants of the van and the produce it carried. We then rolled up hose lines and returned to station. I got home around 3:30 am.
Nov. 26, flash fire call at west Stimmel Rd.
I was just setting down for a late noon meal when this call came in. First, I heard someone calling on the fire freq. like 3 times. The voice was so garbled, I thought it was a district 1 guy (district 1 always comes in weak on our pagers). A page tone came on and it was our call but the voice was so static that I only heard Stimmel rd. and nothing more. I waited as our district gets two pages from two separate towers---I thought the second page would be clearer. It had a tx but no voice what so ever. As I was pulling on my shoes I asked Liz to check her phone for the address (some of our district responders who text get a text from dispatch on calls). She gave it to me and I was out the door. Jeremy called to tell me that the home owner caled him that he thought the fire was out and that the pager near him was not recieving also. I went on as I wanted to make sure all was well----the scene was 7 miles away. Gary, with Sq. 350 was there when I arrived checking things out. The story was this. The homeowner was insulating a pantry wall with pressured cans of insulation through drill holes. He lit a cigarete as he was working not reading the label stating the propellent was propane. The propellent ignited inside the wall. The home ownwe ran and got a ax, chopped a hole in the wall and emptied a dry fire extinguisher into the wall smothering the fire. Two points should be made here. 1. read the label before using things. 2. a fire extinguisher, even a small one can be the difference in a house. The fire, without the homeowners fast action, would have worked into the rafter studs from the wall quickly and we would have had a full blown house fire. A deputy arrived when we were leaving and I told him we had severe pager problems. Later, dispatch did some test pages which I recieved clearly. I called dispatch by my cell phone and said things were better. She said that the system may have been overwhelmed by two house fires in Salina along with our call happening at the same time. I wanted to say (but didn't) that before narrow banding the freqs. we didn't have these problems.
Dec. 11, car fire, highway 40 east of Bavaria.
The time was around 8:30 at night. I had just got home from Salina and was working on my tractor in the pickup headlights. This page was fuzzy for me due to circumstance. My pager was under my heavy coat when the tone came in---I thought I had hit the replay button and was replaying a false alarm call we had earlier in the day. After some moments I realized this was a new call so walked to the pickup to listen on the radio. I had turned the radio off due to interfearance so I missed the first location text. I jumped in the pickup and pulled up to the yard, waiting for the second page to get what the call was. It came while I was coaxing my dog out of the truck and I partially missed the text (location) again. I responded to Brookville and joined up with Dave and E-341. We were a mile from the scene when we were truned back to station. What happened was this. One of our firefighter's wife from Brookville was driving westbound from Salina. She hit a straw bale that had fallen off a truck or trailer and high-centered on it. Her exhaust ignited the hay and it spread to the car. Sqs 340, 320 as well as E-321 and 341 responded to this fire. There were no injuries.
Dec. 12, brush pile fire Hedville and Stimmel rds.
Grassland fire danger was in the Moderate category this day. I was asleep in bed when this call came in around 9:30ish. By the time I had dressed and ready to get into the truck, E-341 called in their response. Chief Abker called them and told them to stand by so I didn't respond. Hedville/Bavaria units worked this brush pile that had been burning for 3 days.