Monthly Archives: September 2014

Portraits, Driver Operator, Mechanical Work, …

PortraitsToday was a collage of activity.

Most fire departments don’t have their firefighters perform truck maintenance at all. All the El Dorado Firefighters on duty – plus one off-duty – performed detailed maintenance on trucks today.

Simultaneous with the truck maintenance Firefighter Caleb Fistler and Firefighter Curtis Pollard successfully tested Driver Operator with KU Fire/Rescue. There aren’t many fire departments that would have firefighters at this level so early in their career. Not in El Dorado.

And then there’s professional photographer Chad Wittenberg. Chad arrived this afternoon with portraits of the entire fire department – career, volunteer, and students (as well as mascot Little Felipe). Chad spent an incredible amount of time coming in for multiple sessions to get all these portraits.

To top it off? A golf cart in a stock trailer fire.

And the shift is just half over.

Golf Cart/Stock Trailer Fire

IMG_2350The owner had just picked up a golf cart that was placed in the stock trailer.

The intersection of Main Street and Kansas. That was the location when the fire was noticed.

A quick decision by the owner/driver to disconnect the trailer provided distance between the fully involved – with fire – trailer and truck.

The dispatcher reported explosions prior to the firefighter’s arrival. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire once on scene.

But, there was heavy damage to the trailer – although it appeared to be salvageable.

The golf cart was another story. Fire pretty much consumed it.

The cause was yet to be determined.

Back From “Near-death” – Quint 1

QuintMany months ago there was a problem with Quint 1.

Quint means five and the problem was with the aerial part of the five.

Simple, just have the aerial manufacturer – American LaFrance – fix the broken aerial. Not so easy since the company declared bankruptcy almost simultaneous with our problem.

Finally, we found a fire truck dealer to work on it, but when we got it back there was a problem with another part of the five – the waterway.

To make this problem even greater, as if that was possible, the parts that were causing the waterway problem – weren’t available.

Now, most fire departments would have just thrown their hands up and drove the truck to the iron pile – declaring it unfixable.

But, the El Dorado Fire Department isn’t most departments. Because we have a master mechanic/firefighter named Michael Rose, plus an entourage of mechanic/firefighter assistants.

Rose took the aerial swivel apart – more than once or twice – and worked with a local machine shop to renew parts to the waterway. This all didn’t happen overnight.

And, yesterday – after a monstrous amount of work – an independent fire truck testing company gave Quint 1 a “Pass Rating” for all parts of the aerial system.

Knowledge, skills, and energy that is unsurpassed – to a point of resurrecting trucks back from “near death.”

The Citizens of El Dorado have some amazing firefighters.

1st Female Butler Community College Fire Resident

JesseThis young lady will go down in the Butler Community College Fire Science program history book. Reason being she is the “first female” to participate in the Butler Community College Fire Science Residency Program.

Her name is Jesse.

She comes to us from rural community of Eurkea, Kansas.

Jesse served as the President of the Future Farmers Association her junior and senior year in high school. Part of that experience was an annual Career Development event that included an Ag Sales with a required “sales pitch.” Jesse described that as a valuable learning experience.

Another physical activity for Jesse was track and field. Running wasn’t her passion. So, she chose javelin throw where she made it all the way to the State competition.

Jesse’s father is a farmer and her mother is a cosmetologist. Physical work was a staple in Jesse’s background. She helps annually with the family’s “custom haying business.”

So, why pursue an occupation as a firefighter?

Jesse and her father.
Jesse and her father.
Jesse explained that her high school required that seniors write a career research project. She first targeted emergency medical technician. But, when she looked it up firefighter was included alongside emergency medical technician.

She explained, “I just decided to pursue the firefighter career.”

Unlike some from small towns, Jesse doesn’t have a past background in firefighting. She said, “I just want to learn the ropes.”

And, asked whether there’s any reservations about being a female in a male dominated field, she quickly replied, “I have none.” She prefers to be around guys, adding – “there’s a lot less drama.”

Jesse reminds you of another Kansan female who excelled in a male dominated occupation – Amelia Earhart.

Good Luck Jesse!

A BAD FAD Incident ~ Foreign Animal Disease Planning

FAD 2014Few people think about “It”. “It” could have devastating effects. So, we hope “It” never happens. “It” is a Foreign Animal Disease.

FAD could have financial impact upon our country to a degree that few understand.

Luckily, FAD has been a very rare occurrence in the United States. But, that’s further reason for occasionally brushing off the plan to review.

And that’s just what representatives of Butler County were doing Tuesday morning.

Assistant EM Director Keri Korthals was the instructor for the planning session. And she did an absolutely incredible job of putting together the session as well as delivering it.

The planning session has a follow-up full-day exercise on October 22nd.

p.s. Most anybody who has been involved in emergency service in Kansas – and beyond – recognizes the shiny head in the foreground of the above photo. Yes, that’s Emergency Management Director Jim Schmidt. An emergency service icon.

Thank you Keri. Thank you Jim. And Thank You Daysha for bringing the refreshments!