December 29, 2016

Garnett, Kansas



The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met on Thursday, September 29, 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; Scott Harris, Anderson County EMS; Jerry Howarter, Anderson County Commissioner;†††† Kristie Kinney, LEPC Secretary/City of Garnett; Dave Kueser, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline; Tom Laiter, Anderson County Deputy; Tom Lasser, Hawkins, Inc.; Samantha Mason, SEK MCHD; Trent McCown, KDWPT; 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; Travis Rockers, Anderson County Hospital Engineering; Pat Tate, City of Garnett Fire Chief; and Mike Thweatt, Kansas Highway Patrol.


Absent: Don Blome, USD #365; Vern Brown, Advocate Newspaper; Tabitha Clark, USD #365; Josh DeHoux, KDWPT; Tanya Ewert, Anderson County Hospital; Marvin Grimes, USD #365; Keith Peine, Kansas National Guard; Leslea Rockers, East Central KS Agency on Aging; ††††††††Kevin Ryan, KDOT; Vern Valentine, Anderson County Sheriff; and Daris Wyatt, MFA Oil.



J.D. Mersman called the meeting to order at 10:20 a.m. Introductions were made of committee members.


Introductions were made of members.



A few minutes were taken to review the minutes of September 29, 2016. Kristie noted several corrections she made to the minutes. Trent McCown noted a spelling error. A motion was made by Mick Brinkmeyer, seconded by Don Nungesser to approve the minutes of September 29, 2016 as amended. Motion passed unanimously.



J.D. Mersman reported that volunteers installed 68 smoke detectors in about 25 homes in Garnett in the area where the fatal fire was on Fourth Avenue this fall.



J.D. Mersman reported that the County received $14,000 from The Goppert Foundation for the Sheriff and the County Fire Department for a water rescue boat in the county. January 27, 2017 will be their first time out in the boat for a cold water dive exercise.


J.D. Mersman reported that thee will be a mock crash exercise at the Anderson County Jr./Sr. High School with kids playing real victim roles.


J.D. Mersman reported that he will be making recommendations to the Cornstock Board from suggestions from the last meeting, for future events.


J.D. Mersman reported that the active shooter exercise has been pushed back to August of 2017. He met with Krista Headrick, GES Principal, and Don Blome, USD 365 Superintendent, and they will have a training with the GES staff prior to the exercise.


Trent McCown reported the ultra marathon event went well and was well attended.



J.D. Mersman reviewed the National Title SARA III program and hazardous materials requirements in Kansas. The State LEPC wanted the information sent out to the local level. He reviewed when anyone calls about hazardous materials. He also reviewed reporting requirments. We are requried to show a list of all chemicals to emergency responders; what needs to be reported as emergency response; and that facilities also have a reporting responsibility. J.D. will email copies of this to all members.


J.D. Mersman stated we need to review our annual Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). He stated he had done a review and John Alford sent him some clerical and wording recommendations that they are working on.


J.D. Mersman stated that Mick Brinkmeyer noted that ESF9 Search & Rescue that states that county fire is responsible for high angle confined space rescue. He said the State responded back to him that the county fire is still responsible, but it goes to mutual aid since we donít have the resources. The county is responsible for requesting the resources. Another question was the plan states that the road department doing structural integrity and shoring and we need to reword that to state using regional assests as well.


J.D. Mersman stated Mick also brought up under hazmat. In our previous plan this was done by the contractor and it didnít talk much about congestion pathway planning if something would happen at Wolf Creek. The contractor who did the plan interpreted that we were outside of the containment zone for Wolf Creek. He spoke with tech hazards with the State and they disagree and we are within the containment zone. So this is another adendum to the plan that we will need to develop that puts us back into Wolf Creekís planning process.


J.D. Mersman reported that Dawn Moody identified some of the police departments in the county need updated. Colony was not on there and we are going to add Kincaid.


J.D. Mersman reported that another question on this was the health departmentís ability to provide air sampling equipment. The State said that Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) has the ability so we are going to reword that. It may not fall under ESF8 but may fall under an instant coordination with KDHE. John Alford questioned what the response time was for KDHE to arrive here. Samantha Mason replied that they will have to get approval from Toepka to respond. Bob Mills questioned if they talk about open air samples.†† J.D. Mersman replied for long term open air and most of the regional hazmat teams would bring in their sampling equipment. We are still looking at an hour response time at least though.†††††††††††††† Bob Mills said Phillips out of Paola would be the quickest hazmat response team that he knows of. J.D. Mersman reported that we have the ability to do some basic air sampling with some of our 5-gas monitors. If we are running into a hazmat scenerio of release, our best bet is to try to develop the plume with the computer software we have inhouse here and with the weather service to figure out the intial evacuation area. His office has to make that happen quick and coordinate with the weather service for the wind speed, humidity, etc. Bob Mills questioned if that is something that can be done prior to an event and just look at the immediate weather to where we have a map to go to. J.D. Mersman replied that we do have some forecasting ability for that in the Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) software.


J.D. Mersman reported that we are finding some changes we need under ESF8 for Public Health. We have been working on keeping our plan updated through the Bold System at the State. The plan that the contractor did, didnít transpose over into the Bold System like it was supposed to. Susan Belt, Regional Coordinator for the four County Health Departments, has been entering information into the Bold System. He is hoping that what Susan has done can be saved to where he can slide it over and put everything together. Once everything is entered into the Bold System, local areas can log in and keep the plans updated. It has an easy edit and save feature.


No other changes were noted for the review of the EOP Plan.


J.D. Mersman questioned if everyone had a chance to review the LEPC By-Laws. Kristie Kinney noted the only change we have made has been to the terms of office for the LEPC Officers. Officers were re-elected for another 2-year term last year. We have a new vacancy for the†††††† Co-Chairman.


A motion was made by Bob Mills, seconded by John Alford to elect Scott Harris as††† ††††††††††††††Co-Chairman. Scott Harris graciously refused the nomination.


A motion was made by Pat Tate, seconded by Todd Barnes to nominate Mick Brinkmeyer the Co-Chairman. Pat Tate stated the Mick is a good choice because he is in the loop since he works in Emergency Management and he communicates well. Motion carried unanamously.


J.D. Mersman asked for any amendments or corrections to the LEPC By-Laws. There were none. J.D. will send out copies of the by-laws to all members and hopes to get them on the website. A motion was made by Mick Brinkmeyer, seconded by David Kueser toapprove the by-laws as written. Motion carried.


J.D. Mersman reviewed the membership list for any to remove and any additions. He reported that there are 13 categories that we must have representation on the committee. He reported the that committee members must be approved by the County Commissionerís, so he will present the current proposed list of members.



Trent McCown reported that on Janurary 1, 2017, the National Get Outside for First Day Hikes will be held on the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail. They will have a free t-shirt for anyone who comes through the depot on the trail.


J.D. Mersman commended Southern Star. He and Mick Brinkmeyer had the opportunity to view their table top exercise at Colony Town Border for an aerial truck accident that knocked down a power pole. They went through their tasks of shutting off the gas. They had very good discussions and they were able to work the fire response into it as well. J.D. stated he has had the opportunity to work with Southern Star on a couple of their exercises and they are very well prepared and their level of professionalism and ability is very appreciated.


Bob Mills questioned what type of scenerio would result in the City of Garnett being shut down. David Kueser replied that the City of Garnett is very fortunite because there are multiple town border stations. Border stations in Garnett are by the high school, power plant and another north of Beachnerís Grain. So there are multiple feeds. He stated he didnít know the cityís gas system well enough to know how much of the town is encompassed in each border station. If any one of them was affected, hopefully any one of the other border stations would cover. There are three (3) different feeds coming from Southern Star. Bob questioned if it is feed off the same pipeline to which David responded that he believes there are two (2) lines, with one (1) of the lines feeding the border station by the high school. The pipeline that runs by Yoderís Country Store is a high pressure that feeds the border station by the power plant and goes past the ethanol plant to the border station north of Beachnerís Grain. There is a separate pipeline that runs to the high school. If there is a major situation with shutting down supply, they will have trucking available. They also could have a liquified unit come in and take off their pipeline at another location and truck it in. If there is a shut down at Colony, they will truck the gas in and pressurize the pipeline. It would probably take 10 truckloads a day, with five (5) ready and five (5) transporting. Welda has three (3) different lines they can feed from.


J.D. Mersman said we will plan to work on a table top exercise for the City of Garnett and Southern Star next year. David Kueser said we could look at the feed to the hospital or schools where there would be a lot of people to evacuate.


J.D. Mersman reported thatwe recently had a fatality involving a school bus accident. He said the bus driver did a great job of keeping the bus upright but unfortunatley a young man lost his life. A few weeks later there was another accident south of Greeley involving a school bus that could have turned bad. Don Nungessor said unfortunately the young man lost his life in the accident north of Colony, yet we were fortunate that there was no other injuries. It was a great exercise where we could see how overwhelming it was instantly. The highway was not opened back up until 9:30 p.m. The highway was closed for 7 to 7 Ĺ hours.


Mike Thweatt reported that anytime there is a fatality involving a commercial vehicle or school bus, the chart reconstruction staff is called in to do a skilled diagram of the scene, which is why the highway is closed for 7-8 hours or more sometimes. For some reason this year we have had more accidents involving school buses and fatalities are on the increase in the State. It is probably the result of more people traveling and not paying attention to what they are doing.


Dawn Moody reported that they only had two (2) actual calls on the incident since first responders arrived so quickly. Then parents began calling in and it wasnít initially clear that it wasnít an Anderson County school bus, but actually a bus from Iola. Parents from Anderson County were calling and dispatch told them to call the school. Later in the afternoon when KDOT had the highway shut down, the bypass they were using was a county road and they had complaints of semi trucks on the gravel road and blocking it. They also had calls of complaints that people were stuck in traffic for up to 30 minutes. They had a second injury accident at the same time and by the time they got rescue workers at the scene the driver and the occupants had already left the scene. In addition, someone that took the bypass had hit a deer. So they were working both scenes at the same time and it was hectic in dispatch for awhile.†††


Travis Rockers reported that they are working on the emergency plan process since Robert Robbins had a good handle on that and he is no longer there.


Scott Harris said he is excited to get to work with everyone and get to know everyone.


Dawn Moody reported that 911 lines were moved from Centuryling to AT&T. They are keeping a temporary link up for awhile so any calls coming in on the old trunk will still be routed to the them. They are getting a new recorder for the phone lines.


Dawn Moody reported that they are in the process of hiring a new dispatcher.


Dawn Moody reported that testing will begin in January, with an estimated go-live in spring for texting on the next generation 911 system. They will start pushing out to the counties that are on the system. J.D. Mersman stated that the system has the ability to get a text out sometimes when there is not enough signal for a call.


Mick Brinkmeyer reported that he is working on a end of year review for training and looking at events nationwide. Highway 169 accident rate is high this year. Close to 77% of calls this year were on Highway 169. Large trucks make up about 25% of these. There have been more structure fires this year over last year.††


Mick Brinkmeyer thanked those who helped on a recent search in the country for a person, who was found deceased.


Mike Thweatt reported that new trooper, Ben Biggs, is assigned to Anderson County. He is training in Iola and will be living here in January.


Mike Thweatt reported that southeast Kansas has been hit really hard with accidents. State troopers have started selective controls in high accident areas. There probably will not be any warnings to try to curb accidents in these areas.


Mike Thweatt reported that he has helped out in Neodesha and other areas. We are leaps and bounds ahead in our county with the LEPC than in other counties.


Jerry Howarter questioned who provided the smoke detectors that was recently installed.†††††††††††† J.D. Mersman replied Red Cross at no cost to the county. Jerry questioned who ensures those who have smoke detectors are working. J.D. Mersman said they gave smoke detectors to those who did not have one or took down and replaced ones that were greater than 10 years old. Jerry asked how many residents were contacted. J.D. replied that they visited about 40 houses of elderly and low income. Jerry thanked the fire department for doing that and questioned how they determined the area. J.D. said they walked the area of the fatality fire and knocked on doors. Red Cross brought a van with 500 smoke detectors. Jerry questioned if there was any notification of this in the newspapers. J.D. said there was a couple of stories in the newspapers and Red Cross put up flyers in the area to let them know weíd be in the area that day. Jerry thanked them for doing that.


Jerry Howarter thanked David Kueser for the coffee cups.


Pat Tate reported that he was out of town when they did the smoke detectors and he appreciates J.D. taking care of that.


Pat Tate reported that the fatality accident and the search last week as discussed brings to attention the Crisis Intervention Team that the Colony Fired Department started through the 1033 Foundation. He asked anyone who gets overwhelmed with dealing with these tragedies to let himself, J.D. or the Colony Fire Department know and theyíll get someone in to talk to them. The night after the fatality fire they had Crisis Intervention Team come and there was about 40 in attendance and it really helped. One of the guys from last weeks search is having some issues with it and he came in and talked to him a couple of times. He offered to take him further, and he said he felt better. These things add up. He said others like him whoíve been doing this awile donít forget the first one and they donít forget the last one.


Pat Tate reported the fire department is doing okay. They have had a couple of responses with EMS and they are happy to work with them and help.


Pat Tate said last week he was not able to go out to help with the search bit was able to listen to the radio. He could tell by the voice of the firefighter what he had found just from listening to his voice and then it was silence. Everyone involved did a good job. Unfortunately these fatalities are going to happen again in accidents, fires, etc. Everyone in this room relies on each other and that makes a big difference. He thanked J.D. and everyone.


Kristie Kinney reported that the City of Garnett went live on the utility software in December. City hall staff is still working through some problems on the utility conversion. The new bills will go out this month on the new system. The new bills will look different and will no longer be the yellow postcards. The new bills will be on a blue and white postcard. The conversion has been over a year long process. It was started in October of last year with the payroll and general ledger. In March we went live on our Court software. December we went live on utilities and we will go-live on our cemetery software after the first of the year.


Mike Barger reported that they are still making adjustments to the new renewable diesel plant getting it online. They need to get back to having drills in 2017. John Alford will work with the fire department to get that scheduled. If Pat Tate, J.D. Mersman and Mick Brinkmeyer want to come do a walk through with them, let them know and they will get that set up.


J.D. Mersman reported that there will be training on January 17, 2017, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with the Kansas Pipeline Association Awareness Class in Ottawa. They will provide lunch.


Mick Brinkmeyer reported that he recently attended a computer based training on their system with scenerios. He was impressed with the system and is looking for the training on January 17th.


J.D. Mersman reported that Coffey, Franklin, Osage and Anderson County went together on getting some grants for funding for some hazardous material training. There will be a 4 hours class one evening and another session on Saturday. Itís called Hazmat IQ and will be presented by a contractor.


J.D. Mersman reported that there will be a hazmat tabletop exercise on April 11, 2017 in conjunction with the county fire at the community building. They will eat at 6:30 p.m. and then a 2-3 hour exercise with a contractor from Colorado. He will get the information out to the EMS, fire departments and police departments.


J.D. Mersman reported that the annual weather spotter training will be on March 2, 2017,†††††††† 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the community building.††


J.D. Mersman reported he is looking into a 8 hour Hazmat IQ Toxic & Medic training for the hospital setting. He is working with Susan and Samantha at the health department. He will try to tie this to a grant to get them here.


J.D. Mersman reported that the fire department will go to the ethanol plant for training. He will put together a planning committee for the exercise. On January 12th, they are meeting to go over the workshop on training they need to do.


J.D. Mersman reported that he and Kristie Kinney have discussed a table top exercise for the City of Garnett utilities. He may be able to work something in on that too.


J.D. Mersman reported that the Northeast Region of Homeland Security has one-million dollars a year in grants. He is trying to get a tanem axle trailer for 550 gallons of foam on a trailer. They could produce foam with water in large amounts if a truck or train overturns. It can put out 1,000 gallons per minute with water. The trailer would be based in Anderson County but would be a State resource.


J.D. Mersman reported that his goal for 2017 is to further enhance or Continuity of Operations Plan. He wants each member to take this to their facility and develop or enhance their plans. What happens if J.D.ís office is shut down? Where does he go, how does he set up, and how does he operate? What happens if J.D. is not available, does Mick Brinkmeyer know where everything is? If Mickís not available doe the sheriff know where everything is and how to run it? That is one of his goals and we can tie this into the exercises for the sucession process and knowing what happens when Plan A doesnít work. He will challenge everyone in 2017 to have our plan in place for our facilities. We need to find out where we will need assistance and how we will get that assistance. We need to make sure everyone in our management staff knows our plan and all the components on where things are at and who to go to for help.†††


The next LEPC meeting will be on February 23, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.


There being no further business, a motion was made by Mick Brinkmeyer, seconded by†††††††††††††††††††††† Mike Thweatt to adjourn the meeting at 11:58 a.m. Motion carried.††



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