March 5, 2015

Garnett, Kansas



The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at††††††††† 10:00 a.m. with the following members present: John Alford, EKAE; Mike Barger, East Kansas Agri-Energy; Todd Barnes, EKAE; Kristie Kinney, LEPC Secretary/City of Garnett; Tom Laiter, Anderson County Deputy; J.D. Mersman, LEPC Chairman/Anderson County Fire/Emergency Mgt.; Bob Mills, City of Garnett Power Plant; Bob Palmer, Lybarger Oil; Keith Peine, Kansas National Guard; Kevin PeKarek, City of Garnett Police Chief; Robert Robbins, LEPC Vice-Chairman and Anderson County EMS; Travis Rockers, Anderson County Hospital Engineering; Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Pat Tate, City of Garnett Fire Chief; Vern Valentine, Anderson County Sheriff.


Absent: Don Blome, USD #365; Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Tabitha Clark, USD #365; Josh DeHoux, KDWP; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Samantha Mason, SEK MCHD Anderson; Trent McCown, KDWP; Michelle Miller, Anderson County Public Information Officer Ė Road Dept.; Dawn Moody, Anderson County Communications Center; Glenn Mudd, Beachner Grain; Don Nungesser, Anderson County Coroner; Alan Quaintance, USD #365;Leslea Rockers, East Central KS Agency on Aging; and Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol.



J.D. Mersman called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. Introductions were made of committee members.


Each member introduced themselves.



Minutes of October 30, 2014 were reviewed. A motion was made by Bob Mills, seconded by Bob Palmer to approve the minutes of October 30, 2014. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman questioned how the hospital transition went. Robert Robbins reported that everything went well and the patients were all moved in one hour and 15 minutes.


Travis Rockers reported that the utilities were cut and Tom Adams Construction is about to the point where he can work on removing items from the former hospital building. He estimated that the building would be taken down late next week. There will not be an opportunity to have first responders train because part of the lower bid was that he could remove items from the building.


Pat Tate reported on the shelter at the Catholic Church. The east door has and entrance and exit that citizens can get in, but there is no emergency lighting in the building and the toilet is not enclosed. The basement is in good shape.


Vern Valentine reported that Jeremiah Thompson was a Garnett police officer and Kincaid police officer since he lived in Kincaid. He has moved and left both departments, so Kincaid is looking for a police officer.


J.D. Mersman reported that the Red Cross region we are in has changed and is under new direction. For local response, there are still four (4) disaster BAR assistants who help families displaced by fire or other disasters. There is a question on where some of the cots are since they are not where they were supposed to be stored. We will need to be self-sufficient until the Red Cross can get here.


J.D. Mersman is working on getting a Shelter Management training for the CERT team to be trained. We had training a couple of years ago for Shelter Management Certification, but those who were certified will be busy in other areas if there is a disaster. Local certified shelter managers currently are: J.D. Mersman, Kristie Kinney, Beth Mersman, Susie Grimes, and†††††††† Cody Gettler.


J.D. Mersman reported that the County Commissioners are encouraging him to look at generators for the community building. They may put in a small one that will provide power to the building so people can get in there after a disaster.



J.D. Mersman reported that he had updated the 3-year exercise calendar for 2015 through 2017. He has been working with John Alford and Todd Barnes on setting up an exercise at East Kansas Agri-Energy, which will count toward one of our exercises.


J.D. Mersman reported that he found a Chemical Safety Board (CSB) safety video online taken in Apex, N. Carolina on a hazardous waste storage and disposal site. The video reference website, which J.D. Mersman stated was a very good website with a lot of information on chemical safety. All Tier II reports for the county are kept in emergency management and are supposed to be submitted to his department annually. Hawkins, Inc. has a little bit of every chemical at their plant. We need to do more training on hazardous materials. Depending upon wind direction, we need to have base plans on how we handle various scenarios and whether we evacuate, rescue, etc. If facilities are well trained and well versed, it makes the rescuers job easier. If a decision is made to evacuate, there are issues with people who wonít leave and how to handle them.


Pat Tate suggested a Code Red call to people within 2-miles of a chemical spill if notification is needed. J.D. Mersman agreed and said we need to do more training on being able to launch our Code Red calls. Dispatch may be tied up with emergency phone lines, so they are also working on training some of the CERT members too. Quickest response is still the door to door contact in the immediate red zone. John Alford questioned how many law enforcement officers are trained on SCBA equipment. J.D. Mersman said the officers that are also on the fire department are probably all, and they donít carry the SCBA equipment with them. Chief PeKarek said another problem is when staffing is down and having enough officers to respond other than the duty officer.


J.D. Mersman asked everyone to think about how we might handle a situation at the ethanol plant, Lybarger Oil, Southern Star, farmers, or other businesses in town. Hurricane Services has some radioactive material on one of the fracking trucks. There is also anhydrous ammonia running down the road. We will probably have an exercise on this later in the year. J.D. reported that in the last 12-months he has had three requests to see the Tier II reports, one being from KCTV 5. These reports fall under the community right-to-know.


Kristie Kinney asked if any reports have been received from the surveys being taken on trucks passing through our county. J.D. Mersman replied that he has not and they said they are still working on them, but he definitely wants to see those results when they are completed. He said there is a lot of crude oil on trucks that have been on the roads and flipping over and catching fire. John Alford added that trains are coming through with 50 tank cars on it. He said Linn Co. contacted him to see if they could borrow some of the ethanol plantís foam if needed. The plant has 450 gallons available. The supplier told them it is a three day lead time to deliver more foam. J.D. Merman said he contacted Union Pacific Hazmat personnel to see what material is going through our county at any given time, and he was told we probably donít want to know because there is enough on some of those trains that it would be a disaster. They reported that they donít back a car up to another car that is reactive and they are trying to buffer them.


J.D. Mersman stated that these types of emergencies are when we need to be using our Emergency Response Guides (ERGs). The guide books break down the placard numbers and defines what they are. Bob Palmer said the book also breaks it down several other ways, besides the placard numbers, such as by the product name. Kristie Kinney concurred that the books are great and added that they provide the safety information and what to do in each scenario when there is an emergency.


Todd Barnes reported that he, John Alford and Mike Barger just completed 40 hours of hazardous material training.



Bob Palmer reported that they moving a lot of propane with the cold weather. Another stationary asphalt plant close by is converting to propane. Itís an asphalt plant and they have an 18,000 gallon propane tank sitting on the property which has to be 50-feet away from any fire. This plant is not in our county, but if something happens, they have an 18,000 gallon bomb sitting there if there were a fire. In our county, Bettis Construction Company is set up east of Colony for the Highway 169 project, and there are two 12,000 gallon tanks sitting there.


John Alford reported that the dirt work has been completed and packed for the construction of the renewable diesel plant, and rock will be moved possibly next week. There will be an early shut down in April this year for an annual maintenance overhaul. J.D. Mersman questioned if first responders could have access to the cameras if there was an emergency. John Alford said there are cameras everywhere in the plant and in an emergency they would have access if the cameras are still working. Recordings are archived in Kansas City and shipped to California.




Pat Tate reported firemen have been busy with grass fires. There was a fatality house fire in January.There was also a fatality accident in a house fire over the weekend. Two houses burnt in the city last week. The water department is replacing a fire hydrant that they had trouble with. J.D. Mersman added that there were nine structure fires in the first two months this year. There were ten structure fires in all of last year.


Pat Tate reported that Lieutenant Wes Skillman passed the hazmat training. New firemen are Nick Galey, Mike Gonzales, and Kenny Jarret.


Pat Tate reported that the firemen are attending training on hybrid cars this Saturday. The class will teach them what to do when a hybrid car is in an accident and is on fire. The cars have switches and buttons, and some you can touch and others you canít.


Vern Valentine reported that J.D. Mersman and Candy Powell, sherriff office secretary, are taking a grant writing class on August 21-22, 2015. The cost is $399.00 and the 20 available seats are filling up fast.He said multiple calls are coming in from out of state of people registering for the class. J.D. Mersman added that he would guarantee that the education you receive from this class on being awarded grants, will pay for the cost of this class.


Kevin PeKarek reported that things have been slow for the police department. The department is down three officers. One is attending the academy, one is on medical leave and the other is an open position.


Kevin Ryan reported that KDOT was fortunate that there was not a lot of snow and ice this year.


Kristie Kinney reported that the Anderson County Historical Society is having a living history event commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the high school. Three different infantry regiments will arrive Friday evening and camp on the school grounds just as the soldiers would have camped during the war. Food vendors will be onsite. The event will start at 10:00 a.m. in the auditorium with a play on Leeís surrender to Grant. We will break for lunch and then return to the auditorium where the captains from each regiment will demonstrate the guns and uniforms from the Civil War time period. We will then move outside where the regiments will demonstrate firing their weapons and cannons. Everyone can then tour the campsites and visit with the reenactors. Dispatch will be notified in case they receive calls about the gun fire and cannon fire.


Robert Robbins reported that EMS is short-handed and busy.


J.D. Mersman reported that during Severe Weather Awareness Week, all sirens operated properly. All batteries in the sirens have been updated and maintenance is completed.


J.D. Mersman reported that emergency personnel are sure that the ditch fires are not accidents. The State Fire Marshall and Sherriff offered a reward for information in the newspapers and he posted it on Facebook. A lot of calls came in. He asked that if anyone sees anything suspicious to call it in.


We will schedule the next meeting at a later date and notify everyone. There being no further business, a motion was made by Pat Tate, seconded by Robert Robbins to adjourn the meeting at 11:20 a.m.††



_____________________________________††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Kristina L. Kinney, Secretary