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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • District No. 1 preparing to recognize 10th anniversary

  • As the new year approaches, Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.
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    • Upcoming meeting
      The reappointment of Jeff Klemp and Jim Westmoreland to Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1's Fire Board is on the agenda for a joint meeting of elected officials from the city of La...
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      Upcoming meeting
      The reappointment of Jeff Klemp and Jim Westmoreland to Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1's Fire Board is on the agenda for a joint meeting of elected officials from the city of Lansing and Delaware and High Prairie townships. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at 111 E. Kansas Ave., in Lansing.
  • As the new year approaches, Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.
    The fire department was founded Jan. 1, 2004, replacing what had been the Delaware Township Fire Department, Fire District No. 1 Chief Rick Huhn said.
    Fire District No. 1, which has paid and volunteer firefighters, provides fire service to the city of Lansing and Delaware and High Prairie townships. The district is governed by a board that has three appointed representatives from Lansing and one appointed representative from each of the two townships.
    Each board member serves four-year terms. The terms of two of board members, Jeff Klemp and Jim Westmoreland, expire at the end of the year.
    Klemp and Westmoreland have been nominated for reappointment. Those reappointments could be approved next week during a joint meeting of elected officials from Lansing and the townships.
    Klemp is finishing his first board term as a representative of the city of Lansing. He currently serves as the board's vice chairman.
    "I've enjoyed it," Klemp said, and he welcomes the opportunity to serve another four-year term.
    Klemp said the safety of residents is his primary focus when making decisions as a member of the fire board.
    When the district is looking at purchasing equipment, he asks whether it will make people safer and improve the department's response time, he said.
    Klemp also said he tries to lower insurance rates for residents by taking measures to improve Insurance Services Office ratings in the district. He said it's always nice when this can be done in a cost-effective way.
    Klemp believes the Fire District is now running smoother than when he started serving the board. He attributes this to improved hiring and purchasing practices.
    A message left with Westmoreland, who represents High Prairie Township, was not immediately returned.
    One change Fire District No. 1 members are expecting in 2014 is the arrival of a new truck.
    Huhn said the Pierce pumper should arrive in May.
    He said the truck already has been purchased for $460,172, but it hasn't been built yet. He said the Fire District saved money by paying for the new truck up front.
    The truck is replacing one that was built in 1988. The older truck will be used as a reserve vehicle.
    "We keep our trucks for 25 years," Huhn said.
    As the Fire District reaches its 10th anniversary, equipment that has remained under the ownership of the townships will become the property of the district per an interlocal agreement, Huhn said.
    As of Wednesday morning, Fire District No. 1 firefighters had responded to 804 calls this year, down from 842 calls firefighters responded to by Dec. 4 in 2012. Firefighters ended 2012 with a total of 915 calls.
    Page 2 of 2 - Huhn said the number of calls are down so far because "we didn't have as many grass fires" in the spring.
    The chief said about 80 percent of the Fire District's calls are for medical issues. He said that trend is standard for other fire service agencies, too.
    Four years ago, medical calls made up about 40 percent of the district's call volume.
    "It's picked up every year," he said.

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