June 28, 2012

Garnett, Kansas




The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, June 28, 2012 at††† †††10:00 a.m. with the following members present: John Alford, EKAE; Josh DeHoux, KDWP; Marvin Grimes, Anderson County Emergency Mgmt; Brianna Hiles, SEK Multi-County Health Department; Jeff Hupp, Anderson County Sheriff; Kristie Kinney, City of Garnett; ††††††††††††††††Trent McCown, KDWP; J.D. Mersman, Anderson County Fire/Emergency Mgt.; Glenn Mudd, Beachner Grain; Don Nungesser, Anderson County Coroner; Bob Palmer, Lybarger Oil; ††††††Keith Peine, Kansas National Guard; Robert Robbins, Anderson County EMS; Christina Rush, Anderson County Hospital; Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Pat Tate, Fire Chief/Public Safety; Oscar West, EKAE; and Johnnie Riley, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline. Also present was: Dee Dee Mart, Allen County Health Department.


Absent: Don Blome, USD #365; Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Nate Cunningham, Anderson County EMS/St. Rose School; James K. Johnson, Anderson County Commissioner; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Jim Manning, KDWP; Michelle Miller, Anderson County Public Information Officer Ė Road Dept.; Kevin PeKarek, Garnett Police Chief; Alan Quaintance, USD #365; Leslea Rockers, East Central KS Agency on Aging; Cheryl Strobel, Apple Bus Co.; , Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol; Lester Welsh, Anderson County Road & Bridge ; Margo Williams, Anderson County Hospital; and Jessi Zillner, Anderson County Communication Center.


Also attending was: Marisa Hutson, Anderson County Hospital; and Brent Griffith, Anderson County Emergency Management Intern.



J.D. Mersman, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:20 a.m.



A motion was made by Pat Tate, seconded by Chris Rush to approve the minutes of April†††††26, 2012. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman asked everyone to introduce themselves for the new people at the meeting.



Pat Tate reported that he has attempted to visit every church in the City of Garnett. Most churches have no evacuation plan and relied upon the storm sirens or Code Red. There are two (2) churches with large basements, the German Baptist Brotherhood Congregation and the Methodist Church. None of the churches have discussed being used as a storm shelter, but some have discussed being used as an evacuation shelter. Churches will meet with their boards. J.D. Mersman questioned whether there is still an issue with someone opening up the churches, to which Pat Tate confirmed.


Kristie Kinney reported that some of the churches had voice concerns about liability, and at a recent City Commission meeting, Terry Solander, City Attorney, reported that the churches should develop an emergency plan and have it filed with Emergency Management, so they stand a better chance of protecting themselves from a lawsuit should their building collapse.


Marvin Grimes reported that it had been suggested that the fire department open doors to the designated shelters, but they would generally be busy during storms. Pat Tate has not talked to any organizations, such as the Lionís or Optimist Clubs, to see if they would be willing to adopt a shelter to unlock before storm warnings, but that also gets back to a liability concern. ††††††††††Kristie Kinney reported that in some larger cities, the shelters have a box mounted by their door, which contains the key to their buildings. Only one (1) key would need to be carried in order to open any of the boxes placed by the shelter doors, so multiple keys wonít need to be carried for each location. John Alford stated that would give more security on the key. Marisa Hutson reported that St. Lukeís at Kansas City, Missouri has that type of a box and the fire chief has the key for the boxes.


We will continue to work on identifying shelters. Sheriff Hupp asked about the county areas and said other communities will generally be hit prior to Garnett. Josh DeHoux suggested the fire chiefs for each community look into this for their towns. Marvin Grimes will discuss this at the next county fire meeting.


Pat Tate reported that the new school has a shelter for the school children only. The doors are locked from the inside and they lock down the school to keep the children safe in the hallway. Sheriff Hupp questioned whether this has been discussed with the parents who might want to pick up their kids when something like this happens and said law enforcement needs to address this before there is an incident. Josh DeHoux stated that if there was also another type of incident, such as an active shooter, and someone inside hit the panic button, it also locks out law enforcement, so that should also be addressed. Sheriff Hupp reported that there will be some restructuring at the new school and Deputy LaVota will be the School Resource Officer. He was not aware of the panic button, but that will be something that Deputy LaVota will need to be aware of. Pat Tate stated that the sheriff and police officers need to go through the building before the school opens.


J.D. Mersman reported that Emergency Management sold 400 weather radios.


Brianna Hiles-Rockers reported that there was a Town Hall meeting for the health assessment and there are still several more stages to go through before it is completed.



Brianna Hiles-Rockers reported that the health department has a Public Health Preparedness Response Plan that they are required to fill out quarterly and the State KDHE has set criteria each county needs to meet. One requirement is that the local health department will partner with community entities to discuss the guidance provided by KDHE related to the establishment of community reception centers for radiation emergencies. The instructions want them to meet with the local LEPC to discuss this and it should be accomplished through pre-established relationships such as the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).


Josh DeHoux said since this was sent to the health department, then they would be looking at response to illness from radiation contamination and the treatment of exposures and not on the containment of a contaminated field. He said if people that have been contaminated start showing up, somewhere other than the hospital needs to be set up for triage and decontaminate, because you wouldnít want them to show up at the hospital in order to prevent those patients from exposure and contamination. Robert Robbins replied that the three (3) portable D-Con showers are easily moved. J.D. Mersman said the State has portable showers and he thinks locally the biggest thing is that we need to do is to quarantine. We have people trained in Radiation D-Con, but we donít have any equipment any longer, because Wolf Creek pulled that.


Marisa Hutson reported that this is a federal push and all the local health departments are getting this and radiological exposure is the next topic that they are working on. St. Lukeís in Missouri just worked on this survey with their local health department. They are looking at not so much what are you going to do, but are you aware of the plan for here. She asked what the local risk factor for radiological exposure is for Anderson County. Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant is about 40 miles away. Robert Robbins reported Anderson County Hospital was the receiving hospital until a few years ago. Coffey County is now primary and Emporia is now secondary, because of the size and resources available in Emporia. Marisa Hutson questioned whether anyone in this county has any radiation detection equipment. J.D. Mersman replied no, and said we had a full cache of supplies, but Wolf Creek came and pulled it all. Robert Robbins said they also took the equipment off all of the ambulances. Anderson County is still mutual aid, and when we do mutual aid there they will supply us with the equipment that we need before we go in. Marisa Hutson said Anderson County is basically post D-Con radiological exposure then and anything the health department or hospital would do would be to monitor residual effect, because that is all we have since we are not treating, posting, and we donít have the equipment to detect.†††††††



Keith Peine reported that local National Guard members have been helping with the Colorado fires.


Chris Rush reported that the hospital is working on their emergency preparedness and getting staff trained. Every department now has a copy of their Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). Marissa Hutson said the hospitals new EOP needs to be brought to the LEPC for review.


Brianna Hiles-Rockers reported that the health department has now moved into their new building. The new address is 301 S. Vine.


Brianna Hiles-Rockers reported that a second pertussis case is confirmed of an unimmunized child, who was in an unlicensed day care. There are six (6) confirmed cases in Anderson County and ages of the children range from 10-years old to 1-year old, and there is one (1) adult case. None of the cases have been serious enough to require hospitalization. There has not been an infant case so far in Anderson County. She reported that the Tdap vaccine needs to be done every 10 years, and not all tetanus shots have the pertussis with it.

Sheriff Jeff Hupp reported that Deputy Wes McClain was hired to fill a vacancy on May 30, 2012. He is a certified Law Enforcement Officer, so no training will be requried. In April, the Cops Grant for the School Resource Officer, Phil LeVota, ran out. Officer LeVota was pulled from the school for a road deputy position. Early to mid-July, Officer LeVota will be put back to investigations and the School Resource Officer.


Kevin Ryan reported that the project on Highway 169 has been postponed until August. It is a 90 day project with one-lane usage for traffic.


Kevin Ryan reported that the blue delineator markers have been installed next to the hydrant on Highway 31 by Ona Mae Huntís property.


Trent McCown reported that everything is going well with the trail and with the heat he is carrying a small sled and water in his vehicle. He introduced Josh DeHoux who was on the LEPC in Woodson County.


Josh DeHoux provided his background experience, which also includes fire fighter training. He has been in Woodson County and Trenton Lake for the past 3-years. He is still in the process of moving and next Tuesday will be his first day out in the truck.


Robert Robbins reported that the hospital will be doing an internal full scale exercise in September or October for a hospital bomb threat leading to child abduction. They would like the sheriff office and police department to participate and assist. Marissa Hutson added that the bomb threat is new for the hospital and it is the same exercise they are doing in two (2) other hospitals which have OB units. The bomb threat is a cover for an infant abduction. Law Enforcement needs to be aware that they are running a drill and they ask that they send someone to respond as normal. They also need volunteers for patients or someone suspicious.


Robert Robbins reported that he and Don Nungesser are setting up transition classes for the EMTís to meet the Stateís requirement for training, in order to remain certified as EMS. They have done training for some first responders, but there are several more that still need trained.


J.D. Mersman reported that the fire department is ready for the Grain Engulfment Class and they will work with Beachner Grain to train at their facility. KU brings a trailer down for this class to train firefighters and facility workers on grain engulfment rescue. This is a new program through KU. They will be having a ĎTrain the Trainerí class in a couple of weeks, so that they will be ready for a class this fall to tie in Beachner Grain and the ethanol plant. In addition to the training, they will be able to identify what their equipment needs will be for tech rescue.


John Alford reported that the ethanol plant just completed a shut down for three (3) to four (4) days. They have had one (1) of their bins empty since January or February and he expects they wonít be using it for awhile if the firemen want to come out and look at it. They have been looking to outside sources for their corn crops for awhile and the crops around here didnít do well this year. A lot of the local corn goes back out for feed. The FDAís Feed Safety Act is another regulation that will be coming down soon.


Pat Tate reported there has been a City fire about every four (4) weeks. They had a fire last Friday evening and he thanked Robert Robbins for the EMTís response for the firemen who were having heat related illnesses. He and Marvin Grimes have discussed the burn ban and there is a concern and focus on the firefighter and EMT safety.


Pat Tate reported that the fire department is still looking for dedicated personnel to join the department and he extended an invitation for Josh DeHoux to consider joining.


Bob Palmer reported that Lybarger Oil is expanding their service and three (3) employees are now certified in Missouri in order to get some propane business there. They are getting a lot of oil business in Missouri, changing and setting up propane tanks. The oil business is good and they are finding more oil, but it is thicker oil so they have to heat it to be able to transport it. In addition, they are injecting salt water, so they have to heat it to separate the water off the oil. They have several oil leases they are taking care of in Anderson County, Linn County and now into Missouri. They are also converting over to propane as an alternative fuel over waste oil or diesel fuel at asphalt plants because it is cheaper for them.


Trent McCown reported that he saw in Lawrence where a lot of fleet vehicles are now running on natural gas. Bob Palmer said they had looked at putting some of their half ton trucks on natural gas or propane a couple of years ago. The disadvantage on natural gas is that it is worse for fire fighting and wrecks. The tanks with natural gas are under a lot more pressure, at almost 3,000 psi, on the tanks. These tanks are slower at filling if you were to fill them yourself and some stations are setting up to where you can fill natural gas in your car. His service truck, ††††††††††††††††Dave Lybargerís pickup, and two (2) other trucks now run on propane. There are propane vehicles out there that people need to be aware of too. They have propane decals on the bumper or tailgate of their trucks in the event they are in an accident or fire, so itís identified that they do have propane in their vehicles. It could become more common to see more of that usage for vehicles. Lawnmowers and weed eaters are also going to propane now, so if there is a grass fire, it is something for the fire fighters to be aware of.


Marvin Grimes reported that there is a burn ban in place until further notice. There were two (2) county grass fires where farmers were mowing their hay, and possibly hit a rock and threw a spark. The trees burnt very quickly, so it is getting serious. The Advocate newspaper tomorrow will have information on fireworks. It was too late for anything to get in the Anderson County Review before the holiday.


Marvin Grimes reported that a couple of weeks ago there was a three (3) day training for swift water rescue. The City opened up the reservoir to fill the creek. They found that everything we were doing was all wrong, so a lot was learned. They will have another training class the end of July.


Marvin Grimes reported that the State, through the northeast region, is doing a table top exercise with several counties. The scenario is a rally at the State Capital and a crop duster accidently sprayed pesticide on the crowd. Several people left the scene with chemicals on them and they started having flu-like symptoms. The exercise will be July 17, 2012, with the briefing starting at 8:00 a.m. The sheriff and hospital will be involved, and he invited the LEPC to participate.


Kristie Kinney reported that the City continues to work on the ADA plan and crews will be starting the sidewalk work on Highway 59. Sidewalks have been completed from Park Road on Oak Street to First Avenue, First Avenue to the highway, as well as sidewalks on the square and a few other areas. The next phase of the plan is to get people down the highway to Country Mart and will include a crosswalk at Redbud Street. The sidewalk will go from First Avenue north at the highway on the east side, then cross at Redbud Street and continue down the highway on the west side to Country Mart. Both sides of the highway will eventually have to be done. There also has been discussions with the State about maybe putting a crosswalk at the light at Park Road as well, since someone has already been hit by a car in that area during sale day. In addition, with the new school out there now, the City is looking at what needs to be done in that area as well.


Kristie Kinney reported that crews will soon be starting street work on several streets. First Street, from the highway back east, is probably the first street that will be done. Electric crews are trimming trees right now since there are several trees that will need to be trimmed in order for the street pavers to be able to get their equipment through. The tree trimming is part of the preventative maintenance that crews do in the fall, to prepare for winter ice storms, but we pushed it back to try to get as much street repairs done this year that we can.


Kristie Kinney reported there have not been any power issues at the power plant due to the heat, other than a few flickers yesterday afternoon. During peak times, KCP&L will ask the plant to generate in order to help take the load off. As of yesterday, Gardner and some other cities have been asked to push out some extra kilowatts, but so far Garnett has not been asked to generate yet and staff is prepared if needed. If there is an outage, the plant will be in emergency mode and will run the generators in order to get service back up in town. Most of the time, the City is able to have power restored within a couple of hours by generating power.


Kristie Kinney also echoed Pat Tateís invitation to Josh DeHoux to consider joining the fire department.


J.D. Mersman reported that Emergency Management has to have an exercise every quarter for their State funding. The July exercise documentation will cover that quarter. The hospitals exercise in the fall would cover that quarter when keeping emergency management involved.


J.D. Mersman reported that a LEPC member approached him about picture ID badges for when they are on scenes. Most first responders have badges and he asked everyone who does not have a badge to let him get their photo before they leave. He will have the badges for the next meeting.


A motion was made by Glen Mudd, seconded by Keith Peine to hold the next meeting ††††††††August 30, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. at the Law Enforcement Center. Motion approved.


There being no further business, a motion was made by Sheriff Jeff Hupp, seconded by Marvin Grimes to adjourn at 12:05 p.m. Motion passed.





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