Workers express thanks for use of command bus

Shelley Abbott-Becker, Marion County Sheriff’s communications supervisor, came before the county commission Monday morning and expressed the department’s appreciation of the use of Hillsboro’s command bus used in the Tampa fire last weekend.

Abbott-Becker reported the bus had been used by firemen, the state fire marshall, the coroner and others throughout the long day.

“We really appreciate Hillsboro allowing us to use it,” said Abbott-Becker. “We tried to return it in even better condition than we first received it.”

The command bus, which is part of Hillsboro Fire Department, was the idea of Dale Lowry, son of Hillsboro Fire Chief Wayne Lowry.

The Emergency Mobile Command Bus is a renovated 1982 full-sized 48-passenger school bus that now is used for disasters.

“It is set up for multiple communications,” Lowry said. He said personnel could use the unit for paperwork, communications, to take a break or for whatever as necessary at the time.

Lowry also said the bus was equipped with its own generator that allowed for air conditioning on hot days.

In other commission business, County Attorney Dan Baldwin appointed Ed Wheeler Jr. and Susan Robson as deputy county attorneys to serve in his absence or per his request until his term of office expires.

Carol Maggard, county clerk, presented two bids to the commisto insulate the pipes running through the courthouse for heating and cooling purposes.

She explained an air barrier had been broken, allowing the deterioration of the insulation and inefficiency of the system.

Maggard received a bid of $5,284 from a firm in Wichita, and a bid of $4,124 from a firm in Topeka.

“I spoke with a local man,” she said, “and he said they just don’t do that kind of work.”

The board voted to approve the Topeka bid. Maggard said she was told the project would take two men two weeks to complete.

Maggard also presented a request to purchase seven timers. The timers would be set at certain points to avoid having the system having to run 24 hours a day for seven days a week.

“It runs during weekends as if we were all here,” Maggard said. She said installing the controls could save the county $500-800 a year.

The board approved the purchase of the timers for $1,524.

David Brazil, county sanitarian, presented the commission with the Planning and Zoning Board minutLinda Peterson, commission chair, said Deanna Olsen of Tiny Trails had contacted her regarding permission to set up a sign.

Olsen had said the legal work was going much faster than anticipated and they may be open as soon as next weekend.

They currently have erected a temporary sign, and requested a time allowance before putting up the permanent sign.

The board agreed to give her six months from the first request in June for Tiny Trails.

Peterson handed out the new Marion County Resource Guide for 2001. The board talked about taking $2,000 for the guide from the Sales Tax Fund. Peterson explained that advertising had paid for most of the Guide, but the commission needed to pay $2,000 as per an agreement made by the Marion County Econmic Development Council.

She said the guides had been sent to entry points to Kansas and visitor centers statewide, chambers of commerce, and “wherever the tabloid had gone before. But none of them have been mailed out locally or inserted in anything.”

JoAnn Knak, Emergency Medical Services director, said the number of calls for September was up to 85.

Hillsboro was at the top of the list with 27 calls. Peabody had 24, Marion 23, and Tampa 11.

She reported Ramona was considering reestablishing the first-responder group, and had sent two people to the EMT class.

Knak told the Ramona group there was no vehicle available at this time. But the students would not be ready until next May, at which time something may be available.

Knak then reported the staff vehicle was having transmission problems.

She asked for a new staff car, and recommended the transmission be repaired and the older vehicle given to Ramona.

“We’ll have to take a look at the money,” Hein said.

Knak also reported receiving a memo from the Kansas Board of Emergency Medical Services in regard to recent tire failures on ambulances.

According to the letter, “tires involved in the failures are Firestone Steeltex Radial R4S LT 225/75/ R16.”

The failures include:

— Wellington Fire/EMS had a tire peel off an ambulance;

— Woodson County was responding to a call in a new ambulance when an inside dual tire separated from the sidewall.

— Edwards County EMS reported two failures. In both cases the tread separated from the sidewall and caused damage to the wheel well.

— Salina EMS had an inside dual blow out.

— Coffeyville had a right rear inside dual blow out the sidewall on their new ambulance.

The letter went on to say the tires were not currently on the recall list. Officials had been notified of the tire failures and “a supervisor stated this was the first report on ambulance tire problems.”

The letters stated a memo has been sent nationwide to all state EMS directors requesting information be forwarded to boards of emergency services concerning tire problems.

Knak said Marion County Emergency vehicles had 14 of the reported tires.

“I just don’t know where to put 14 tires,” Knak said, “since they are not currently on the recall list, we have to store them.”

Dale Snelling, Marion County Lake and Park supervisor, presented his monthly report.

Snelling said the price increase to $3 had not made a change in the number of fishermen in the heated dock.

He reported half of the fish order had arrived with eight- to 10-inch channel cat hving been delivered last week. The other half, with black bass, will be delivered within a week.

Snelling is also looking at possible funding for hard surfacing the road in the camping area.

“It would enhance the area,” he said.

Two representatives from the Hamm Quarry came before the board to bring up the issue of road upgrades in the northern part of the county.

Marvin Zielsdorg, sales manager, and John J. Strome, general manager, of the Western Division said the project would be two miles north of Roxsbury Road and would be one mile from the McPherson County line.

They are in the process of looking for a site with harder rock required for state road projects, and were currently evaluating the northern county site.

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