July 10, 2014

Garnett, Kansas



The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at          10:00 a.m. with the following members present: John Alford, EKAE; Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Kristie Kinney, LEPC Secretary/City of Garnett; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Tom Laiter, Anderson County Deputy; Trent McCown, KDWP;             Samantha Mason, SEK MCHD Anderson; J.D. Mersman, LEPC Chairman/Anderson County Fire/Emergency Mgt.; Dawn Moody, Anderson County Communications Center; Bob Palmer, Lybarger Oil; Kevin PeKarek, City of Garnett Police Chief; Robert Robbins, LEPC Vice-Chairman and Anderson County EMS; Christina Rush, Anderson County Hospital; Pat Tate, City of Garnett Fire Chief; Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol; Vern Valentine, Anderson County Sheriff; and Lester Welch, Anderson County Road & Bridge.


 Absent: Don Blome, USD #365; Tabitha Clark, USD #365; Josh DeHoux, KDWP;               James K. Johnson, Anderson County Commissioner; Michelle Miller, Anderson County Public Information Officer – Road Dept.; Bob Mills, City of Garnett Power Plant; Glenn Mudd, Beachner Grain; Don Nungesser, Anderson County Coroner; Keith Peine, Kansas National Guard; Samantha Mason, Alan Quaintance, USD #365; Leslea Rockers, East Central KS Agency on Aging; Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Jerry Turner, USD #479; and Galen Wilson, National Resource Conservation Services/USDA.



J.D. Mersman, Chairperson, called the meeting to order at 10:17 a.m. 



Minutes of November 21, 2013 were reviewed. A motion was made by Pat Tate, seconded by Vern Brown to approve the minutes of November 21, 2013. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman asked everyone to review the membership list to see if any changes need to be made. We also need to contact the Crest School District to see if someone there wants to get involved.



J.D. Mersman reported that identifying storm shelters will be ongoing as well as identifying emergency shelters after disasters for every town in the county. Schools and churches are being used in outlying communities. The City of Garnett has been great about getting shelters lined up in Garnett. Next year, a new fire station will be built in Welda and it may possibly include a storm shelter.


J.D. Mersman reported that he has been looking at the updates for the emergency operation plan and he has noted that it’s probably not the ideal situation to designate fire stations as shelters in all the outlying communities. He is looking at some school buildings and some churches.


J.D. Mersman reported that the old generator at the hospital is a 208 generator and voltage will either need to be stepped up or down to operate it at the community building. The generator is a 1965 to 1968 model and it will be difficult to find parts.  His preference is a switching box generator at the community building. He still needs to meet with hospital staff to look at details on the old generator there.   


Bob Palmer reported that double-wall diesel fuel tanks allow for the generator to sit on top of the tank, and it is self contained. You don’t have to have a berm and containment to drain the water. Pricing will depend upon the weight and size of the generator. He will look at the old hospital generator and get some pricing for a tank. Once a tank is installed, after a specified time period, the fuel will have to be pumped out and new fuel put in.



J.D. Mersman reviewed the training and exercise plan that must be submitted to the State. There have been a few exercises this year. Recently an exercise was done at Parkside Place for the fire department, law enforcement and EMS.


The new ER room will have a DECON room. Trent McCown said it would be good to have an exercise using that room once the building is completed. Chris Rush reported the week of January 22, 2015 is the planned date the new hospital will go online. The contractors will have 30 days to get the old building down and cleared out for the parking lot. In November, some of the departments such as the business office will begin moving to the new building. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas plans are to have five (5) open houses for the public.


J.D. Mersman stated that for the first quarter we usually do a plan review and workshop, so we can leave that there for 2015 and 2016. Second quarter in 2014 we did a fire exercise at Parkside Place. Third quarter there was a table top for the concert on the hill during Cornstock with law enforcement, fire and EMS. Fourth quarter in 2014 the new County Emergency Operations Plan will be completed with the contractor, so at our meeting on Thursday, December 18, 2014, we will have a workshop to review the emergency operations plan.


For 2015, the first quarter will be to review the plan; second quarter will be a table top exercise with mass casualty for active shooter; third quarter will be a full scale functional active shooter; and the fourth quarter will be AAR active review workshop.


For 2016, the second quarter will be a shelter management function. We’ll look at setting up shelters in the winter as another training class. Kathleen Wilmes, Red Cross, reported that there are a few volunteers who have been trained for shelter operations, but not for management. Locally, J.D. Mersman, Kristie Kinney, Beth Mersman, Susie Grimes and Cody Gettler have completed the Red Cross shelter manager certification class. J.D. Mersman stated there is a local CERT team that would probably be interested in the training. If there are six (6) or more interested, Red Cross will schedule a training class. We need to train people outside of the LEPC members, because LEPC members will be busy with other things. If the community is in need of a shelter, we will probably be isolated so we will need local people to be able to get the shelter up and running after a disaster. It was decided that refresher training or exercises needs to be done on this every year, so we are prepared. 

Mick Brinkmeyer, CERT Manager, reported that there are eight (8) CERT members right now. The first members have been qualified for CERT and this year they just started re-qualifying. There are some new members coming in that need to be certified. Members must be 18 years old.


The third quarter in 2016 will be on communications.


Mick Brinkmeyer suggested that we look at table top exercises and then the next quarter do the same training functionally. Kristie Kinney stated that we need to also do refresher courses on the NIMS ICS training, so we don’t lose that. J.D. Mersman reported the new emergency operations plan will focus on pushing out communication to the ESF’s, so it involves everyone in a team effort. He agreed that we need to do a mock EOC exercise. Mike Thweat reported that there are new regulations now that any contractor’s who show up to help in a disaster, must be registered with the State.


J.D. Mersman will email out the updated training calendar.



J.D. Mersman reported that Cornfest will be on September 17, 2014. This year is the 10th anniversary. More than 2,000 tickets were sold in the first month and a half since they went on sale. There will be a full day of events. The IAP is in place for the event.


J.D. Mersman reported that July 25, 2014 will be the Hillbilly Fun Run, which is a 5k night run in connection with Cornfest.


Kristie Kinney reported that this weekend is the Second Saturday event and there will a full day of activities to bring people to town.  This weekend is also the boat races at the North Lake. There is no admission fee. Monday morning one of the Kansas City car clubs is meeting at the North Lake to drive the old track and have lunch at Prairie Belle’s. They are working hard to bring back some events to Garnett, commemorating our race history.


Chris Rush reported that the hospital is working on an alternate water supply plan to insert into the emergency operations plan that will also be incorporated into the new facility. It is a filtration system that will filter 60 gallons of water per hour. If two (2) units are used, 1,020 gallons is the highest capacity of water that can be filtered. Robert Robbins reported there is a 24 hour response time to get the system and storage tank here.


Tom Laiter reported that he attended the Alert Training System for active shooter class, which is a train-the-trainer class. The standard being taught now is to either fight back or run, rather than being a sitting duck. He will go out in the community, for free of charge, and train local businesses, city hall, etc. in a active shooter scenario.


Mike Thweatt reported school will soon begin so they will be busy inspecting school buses.  


Dawn Moody reported that dispatch has new Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) protocols for 911 calls.  They will provide medical advice when calls come in, so there will be more questions. Questions are direct and structured so they can move along quickly.


Vern Valentine reported there are still electrical wiring problems in the jail that has cost $40,000 in the last year. The County Commissioners and counselors are in negotiations on it. The healthcare program is up and running with a 30 day clause to be able to terminate without cause. The company quoted $40,000 per year for medical and prescriptions. They will no longer cure illnesses for prisoners, but will sustain them to the condition they were in when they were arrested.


Bob Palmer reported that they are getting propane set up for the winter and setting up new areas which may create new jobs.


Kevin PeKarek reported that the police department is getting ready for the Cornstock activities.


Pat Tate reported there was a house fire a couple of weeks ago and luckily a gentleman was up and alerted the occupants, which saved three (3) lives. The fire department had a gun raffle on July 4th to raise funds and did well. They will have a booth to bash a car at the fair. August, September and October has a lot of training coming up. On October 11th, the Lake Garnett Grand Prix revisited will be at the North Lake and they will run the old track. Speeds could get up to 80 miles per hour and organizers have asked that the department stand by with a pumper and rescue truck.


Dave Kueser reported some contractors are in the area running smart pig digs to check for anomalies in the gas lines. In October, the 18 gas wells that are in town at Colony will be plugged. The two (2) horizontal wells will take the place of the wells that were in town.


Mick Brinkmeyer said they are trying to recruit members for the CERT team to get the number of members back up. They meet the second Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Law Enforcement Center. Members must be 18 years old and will need to fill out an application.


J.D. Mersman reported that July 26th is the tractor pull. August 4th-8th is the fair and carnival. The parade will be on August 5th and the demo derby is August 9th.


J.D. Mersman reported that on August 12th at 1:30 p.m., there is a Debris Management class in Ottawa. Kristie Kinney, Michelle Miller and Lester Welsh are attending with him. This will address management after a disaster for our debris management plan.


Kristie Kinney reported that school starts August 14th.



The next meeting will be October 30, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at the Law Enforcement Center. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.  




_____________________________________                                                                                                            Kristina L. Kinney, Secretary