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Hoisington firefighters host regional training school
Hoisington EMS 3rd annual open house planned
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A group of firefighters from around the state take part in a propane tank burn exercise, Sunday at the Hoisington High School parking lot. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

City of Hoisington offices to be closed for a day

The offices of the City of Hoisington will be closed on Wednesday, May 17. City workers will be temporarily moving the offices so renovations can be completed. It is anticipated the work will take about three weeks. City Manager Jonathan Mitchell advised those visiting the offices during those weeks use the north or the side entrance to the building.

HOISINGTON — Hoisington’s fire department hosted a regional fire school this past weekend, and Chief Jerry Stricker gave a report to the City Council Monday night.
Nearly 200 departments were invited to attend the training, conducted by nine certified instructors from the Kansas State Firefighters Association. Around 65 firefighters from around the state traveled to Hoisington for the three day class. Training focused on events firefighters in rural areas would likely be called to, including grain engulfment and propane tank fires.
Training culminated Sunday with a propane tank burn; 16 to 17 of the men worked the fire.
“When that large tank popped its top, flames shot 30-40 feet into the air, the ground shook, and you could feel the heat from a good distance,” Stricker said.
In addition to the tank burn, the skills trailer was brought in, providing a way for realistic hands-on training in low-vision, smoky situations.
“Fire fighting is all about teamwork, and we get used to working with one another and a level of trust is built,” Stricker said. “What was neat was how quickly the guys started to build trust with the guys they’d never worked with before. We all were out of our safety zones and had to adapt.”
Stricker added that during the evenings, many of the firefighters took time to stroll Main Street and complimented the city of Hoisington.
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell commented on efforts to organize a fire district out of the various fire departments in the Hoisington service area. At the April 24 meeting, the district had the support of two cities and four townships. The group met with county commissioners Monday in a work meeting, which Mitchell said seemed to be going well, but there is more work to be done, and he left uncertain how much progress was made, he said.

EMS open house planned
Mayor Clayton Williamson, noting that emergency medical services are a vital public service, issued a proclamation making the week of May 21-27 EMS Week. He encouraged the community to observe the week with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.
EMS Director Scott Fleming invited the council to attend one planned activity, Hoisington’s third annual EMS Open House on the evening of May 25. It will include a hamburger meal and an opportunity for the public to meet and talk with responders. Police, ambulance and fire vehicles will be on display. He also shared that a radio station had contacted the manufacturer of the city’s new ambulance, Osage, and convinced the company to provide a live remote for the event at no cost to the city.

City manager’s report
Mitchell reported on his recent trip to Utah, where he attended the International City/county Management Association (ICMA) Regional Summit representing the State of Kansas. In December, the council approved his request to attend. ICMA paid for airfare, room and board and the registration for the three-day conference.
While there, Mitchell assisted with the selection of a new vice president for the association. He also visited with members from Colorado who had questions about Kansas’ current taxing structure, as that state is considering something similar, he said.
Mitchell’s report also included updates on several ongoing projects, most notably that since the council worked out a compromise with HOI to allow applicants to the Moderate Income Housing program to choose other contractors to build on the designated lots at McKenna Meadows, two more applicants have come forward.
“At this time, we have interest in three out of the four lots,” he said.
He also said the No Further Action documents concerning the property being purchased by Roto-Mix have finally been filed by KDHE, and now it is a matter of the city and Roto-Mix finalizing the deal.
The pool will open on time with 14 lifeguards hired, and progress collecting CDBG surveys is progressing, with only 500 more needed.
On a final positive note, Mitchell said the city recently received reimbursement from the Kansas Department of Revenue for the highway project completed last fall in the amount of $493,499.
The next meeting of the Hoisington City Council will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 22 at the Hoisington Municipal Complex.