January 28, 2016

Garnett, Kansas



The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at          10:00 a.m. with the following members present: John Alford, EKAE; Mike Barger, East Kansas Agri-Energy; Todd Barnes, EKAE; Mick Brinkmeyer, Anderson County Emergency Mgt./Fire; Tabitha Clark, USD #365; Marvin Grimes, USD #365; Kristie Kinney, LEPC Secretary/City of Garnett; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Tom Laiter, Anderson County Deputy; Samantha Mason, SEK MCHD; J.D. Mersman, LEPC Chairman/Anderson County Fire/Emergency Mgt./Fire; Bob Mills, City of Garnett Power Plant; Dawn Moody, Anderson County Communications Center; Don Nungesser, Anderson County Coroner; Kevin PeKarek, City of Garnett Police Chief; Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Pat Tate, City of Garnett Fire Chief; and        Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol.


 Absent: Don Blome, USD #365; Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Josh DeHoux, KDWP; Tanya Ewert, Anderson County Hospital; Jerry Howarter, Anderson County Commissioner;  Trent McCown, KDWP; Michelle Miller, Anderson County Public Information Officer – Road Dept.; Keith Peine, Kansas National Guard; Robert Robbins, LEPC Vice-Chairman and Anderson County EMS; Leslea Rockers, East Central KS Agency on Aging; Travis Rockers, Anderson County Hospital Engineering; and Vern Valentine, Anderson County Sheriff.



J.D. Mersman called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. Introductions were made of committee members.



Minutes of August 27, 2015 were reviewed. Mike Barger stated the minutes should reflect his title as Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Manager. A motion was made by                    Mick Brinkmeyer, seconded by Mike Thweatt to approve the minutes of August 27, 2015 as amended. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman reported that he is working to find replacements for Bob Palmer who was with Lybarger Oil, and Glenn Mudd who was with Beachner Grain. Tom Lasser, Hawkins, has been added to the LEPC. Hawkins is on the Federal Chemical Stockpile list so they have federal inspections and a good safety program.


J.D. Mersman reported that the current officer’s terms expired on December 31, 2015, so we need to have an election of officers. Current officers are: J.D. Mersman, Chairman; Robert Robbins, Vice-Chairman; and Kristie Kinney, Secretary. A motion was made by Bob Mills, seconded by Dave Kueser to reappoint all current officers for another term expiring December 31, 2017.


J.D. Mersman provided preliminary updates for the 2016-2018 Exercise Calendar. Today’s workshop is part of the program. The Cornstock event will count as an exercise in the 3rd Quarter. The LEPC will review the Anderson County Emergency Operation Plan (EOP).


Kristie Kinney questioned whether the State was still going to be able to come in with the city model for a utility exercise for NIMS review. Once a date that staff would be available,          J.D. Mersman will work on getting it scheduled. 


Robert Robbins reported that the hospital is working on hazmat training.


J.D. Mersman stated the exercise calendar is open to discuss any future ideas for exercises and is subject to change.




Mick Brinkmeyer reported that there was a recent emergency call for a grain engulfment in the county, and it served as good training. He was the incident command on scene. Westphalia, Harris and Garnett fire departments responded. They performed an air check and dispatched grain tubes that surrounded the man while they augured out the grain. Medical first responders were inside and monitored the victim’s vitals. The man was safely rescued with no injuries. He thanked all the donors on the equipment because without it, he didn’t think it would have been a successful rescue. The grain bin was 10-feet by 18-feet tall and was three-fourths full. The victim had gone in on the side rather than the top. Rescue crews were able to identify areas that they need more training.


J.D. Mersman added that the City Fire Department had the 75-foot ladder truck on scene. There was a lot of manpower and equipment there quickly. Mick Brinkmeyer said that Westphalia Fire Department was on scene in less than 10-minutes and they were fully staffed within approximately 20-minutes. The family donated an augur and grain vacuum loading truck. Crews used the vacuum to drain the grain out so it came out fast. The County has a drill pump. If the batter is dead on the drill pump, they have hand scoops and one-gallon buckets for backup.


J.D. Mersman said the mats and pop crates to stand on helped. Everyone in the County and City were working together and it paid off. 


East Kansas Agri-Energy and Beachner Grain would also be good places for the firemen to train.


Dave Kueser reported that all the houses in Colony that were fed off the gas wells will be moved to Kansas Gas this year. The town border will not be moved out of the City of Colony until 2017. It will move over south of the cemetery. The current town border sits about two (2) blocks south of the water department. The wells are all gone but the lateral lines are still there. Kansas Gas will run new service to all the residents. There were 18 wells and 20 residents are served off the Southern Star lateral services. All City of Colony will be Kansas Gas customers. 





J.D. Mersman reported that he and Lieutenant Mike Thweatt will participate in a full scale active shooter scenario in Moran, Kansas, in March, at the Marmaton Valley School District. Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Red Cross and KDOT will all participate. This will be an ALICE training, which trains on Fight, Flight, or Run. They plan to have a mass fatality in the plan so Don Nungesser, County Coroner, might be interested in participating and asked him to let him know if he plans to attend.


Tom Laiter reported that this training is on the law enforcement side and how to enter the building. They presented it to USD # 365 but they turned it down. Mike Thweatt reported that Crawford County has embraced this and they have implemented it in all their schools and are looking at college level too.


Marvin Grimes added that this training is for teachers only, not students. Tom Laiter agreed and said this training is to encourage teachers and custodians who would be telling kids what to do, or they could do a full training and involve the kids. Tabitha Clark asked if the training took all day. Tom Laiter replied that is can be 1 ½ hours to all day. Tabitha Clark reported that Homeland Security just did an in-service on active shooter, so they may be more open to it now.


J.D. Mersman reported that he invited Don Blome, USD # 365 Superintendent, to the March 11, 2016 exercise. Check in time at Moran is 8:00 a.m. and the exercise kicks off at 9:00 a.m. This training will be good to familiarize ourselves with the school in case Anderson County ever had provide assistance. This is one of the largest exercises in the area.


Mike Thweatt reported a training was done in Chanute a few years ago and they identified a lot of areas of support that was needed.


J.D. Mersman said in addition to law enforcement, EMS triage will be set up. Red Cross will set up a Lollypops & Hugs area for the children. Marvin Grimes stated that parents and the public are the hardest part.


Mike Thweatt stated that when it all comes down to it, schools are responsible for the kids and they should have a system in place to know where kids are and parent contacts. The school will be able to find out how well their system works. Moran has the school on cameras that feed to dispatch. Marvin Grimes stated we need to check on getting camera access on phones in the school back, because we are not able to now.


J.D. Mersman stated we need to get Crest school involved with our LEPC. Robert Robbins will try to contact someone at Crest.



J.D. Mersman reported February 21-27, 2016 is Grain Bin Safety Week. March 21-25, 2016 is Severe Weather Awareness Week. March 23, 2016 is the State-wide tornado drill at 6:30 p.m., and sirens will be activate.


J.D. Mersman reported that on February 18, 2016 at 7 p.m., Anderson County Storm Spotter training will be at the community building.


Pat Tate reported that there was a traffic accident due to ice south of Welda with people trapped in a van. A person was in an electric wheelchair and two severely injured women behind the electric wheelchair had to be extracted out. The driver of the van was paralyzed so they had to extricate him as well. The emergency responder’s footing was terrible. The Department of Transportation (KDOT) had a salt truck ¼ mile ahead. Semi-truck drivers were going by too fast. Next time there is an accident in inclement weather, is has been decided the highway will be shut down. Thankfully no one was injured with the traffic issues.


Pat Tate reported there were five (5) injury accidents in the ice. Dawn Moody added there was a total of nine (9) slide off accidents that day. J.D. Mersman reported there was also a gasoline truck roll over at the Anderson County and Linn County line during all the ice and accidents.


Pat Tate reported there was a house fire this past Saturday where smoke level was below 4-feet and was mostly nicotine smoke. The floor furnace hadn’t been cleaned in ten to fifteen years. The dust and pet hair ignited. J.D. and the City gas department came in with the CO2 monitors.  The CO2 level was high in the bedrooms. With the police department’s help, they asked the people to leave the house. The smoke detector was open, but there was no battery but it probably wouldn’t have helped with the amount of nicotine on the walls.


Mike Barger reported new East Kansas Agri Energy Renewable Plant is scheduled for operation in late March. April 4-7, 2016 the ethanol plant will be shut down.


Mike Barger reported that the ethanol plant is getting rid of the ammonia tank and Caldwell Farms has purchased the tank. As soon as he gets the pad poured, they will move the tank. The State has inspected the tank and said its okay.


Mike Barger reported that the ethanol plant has two (2) half million bushel bins going up and separate electrical building going up for them. They also have a closed dump pit back by the southeast corner of the facility to transfer over to where the other four (4) bins are.


J.D. Mersman said as soon as Dave Faries, City of Garnett Assistant Fire Chief, gets a calendar the fire department will come out and work with the ethanol plant. Mike said they welcome working together to understand all of the hazards of the new renewable plant so that will be good.


Dawn Moody reported that dispatch just finished installing the next generation 911 system. The process with smooth, even with a 2-week gap in the training and the go-live date where they were not able to practice some of the things without having gone live. Currently they have the calling and mapping capabilities that they had before. As more agencies in the State start getting onto the system they will start adding texting, video, telematics, and other functions.


Mick Brinkmeyer reported that staff have started putting infrastructures outside of Garnett city limits into the dispatch computer system so that first responders can see the building and floor plan.


Mick Brinkmeyer reported burn season will start in a couple weeks. Last year there were many suspicious fires. If anyone sees a suspicious vehicle contact dispatch so it can be checked out.


Mike Thweatt reported the highway patrol is starting to get short staffed on incidents. They hope there will be new hires in the next year or two. They are more than 100 officers short. The State has a no visible tattoo policy and that may be a deterrent for new applicants, so there is an online survey to see gather the publics opinion on whether they approve of the tattoos or feel that it should be prohibited. Nonemergency calls take longer.


Kristie Kinney reported that Garnett City Hall is undergoing a major software conversion. The first phase is the finance general ledger and payroll, which went live this month. Once the training is completed for this phase, court will be converted and then the most extensive conversion of the utilities will be done.


Robert Robbins reported that the State removed the Ebola risk. Medical staff no longer is required to ask the specific questions related to Ebola. In March, the emergency room director and other staff will be in Alabama for one week for hazmat training.


J.D. Mersman reported Square Fair is May 7, 2016. Cornfest will be September 24, 2016 with Montgomery Gentry as the headline artist. GAPP will bring more youth to the County to help residents paint and other projects. Emergency Management will keep them updated on weather notification. The weekend of October 14, 2016, Lake Garnett Grand Prix will be at the North Lake Park.


J.D. asked Kristie Kinney to let him know whenever there are boy scouts camping at the lake or reservoir for weather alerts if needed.


The next LEPC meeting will be on April 28, 2016.


There being no further business, a motion was made by Pat Tate, seconded by                       Mick Brinkmeyer to adjourn the meeting at 11:25 a.m. Motion carried.  




________________________________                    Secretary