Authors Posts by Info Wyandotte

Info Wyandotte

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Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)
Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

I had the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes of what it takes to be a fireman.

As a child I wanted to be a fireman. How fun it would be to ride on a fire engine putting out fires and helping people as well.

While there recently, I really had the chance to know the firefighters behind-the-scenes, the individuals, their personalities and what they’re made of. I had the chance to talk to them, including the operations chief, Floyd Reberry, and two other firefighters. They were Shawn Lampson and Olinton Shumate.

When I talked to Floyd he explained to me about the duty board that was retired. This board has been retired since 1992, he said. In the future, like other departments, the fire department is going to go totally digital. They have to keep up with the times. They really have to take care of the equipment; here we take pride in what we do, Floyd said.

As I proceeded upstairs I had a chance to have dinner and really get to know them. Many of them are family men who believe in the community, believe in the department and of course believe in the family as well. These are people of high honor, respected within the community. Many of them do a lot of volunteer work within the community.

One firefighter, Shawn Lampson, is relatively new to the fire department, and has been there 6.5 years. He is married and has a 10-month-old baby at home. He got his degree from Kansas City Kansas Community College in fire science. He also has a bachelor’s degree in business.

He said his goals are to try to get a position as a driver, and that will be possible when he has seven years of experience. He said this was a great career, and he plans to be here for the rest of his life. Like any job it has its good and bad points, he said, however the good points outweigh the bad many times over. He said he really enjoyed being here; everybody he works with is great, and they really work as a team. They all get along with each other, he said. At times it may be stressful, especially at home, however, his wife understands. He tries to spend as much time as possible with his family, he said, and he can’t wait until his newborn gets older, how much fun he and his wife will have.

Another firefighter I interviewed was Olinton Shumate. He is a 25-year veteran. The reason he became a firefighter is he really enjoys helping people, he said. He plans to retire from the department. This is his career and he really enjoys it, he said.

After the evening was over I learned a lot. It is not as easy as you think being a firefighter. They go to a lot of education and training. It takes a lot in today’s society to be a firefighter and it takes a different type of person to be a firefighter.

As I left the fire station I thought about the legacy of the Fire Department. Many years ago I had the opportunity to know former Fire Chief J.T. Crossland, who was a phenomenal man himself. This year I had the great opportunity to get to know Chief John Paul Jones and many members of his staff.

Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)
Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)

Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)
Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)

Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)
Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)

The old duty board. (Photo by William Crum)
The old duty board. (Photo by William Crum)

Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)
Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)

Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)
Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)

Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)
A fireman’s prayer, at the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)

Behind the scenes with the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)
Remembering the fallen from the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. (Photo by William Crum)

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WELD Racing will help bring a racing event close to home when it serves as the title sponsor for the U.S. Auto Club (USAC) sprint car race today at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.

The inaugural “WELD Racing Spring Classic” will be held Sunday, April 26, as part of the 2015 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car schedule and marks the first return for the series to Lakeside in 14 years. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

“Lakeside Speedway is a premier facility that our teams are excited to visit,” said Darr Lawson USAC’s director of competition and technical director. “We’re happy that WELD is helping make the race possible, and look forward to a great turnout from our fans around Kansas City for our first visit since 2001.”

WELD and its WELD Racing brand have long been a supporter of USAC activities and remains an integral part of American short-track motorsports.

“WELD Racing and sprint car racing are synonymous with winning and have been legendary partners for many decades,” said WELD president and CEO Norm Young. “We are thrilled to be the title sponsor of the WELD Racing Spring Classic right here on our home turf. We expect to be involved with this event for years to come.”

In addition to sponsoring the race, WELD Racing will have an exhibit of its wheels at the track and will have trackside support for racers at the event.

Greg Weld, the founder of WELD Racing, was USAC’s 1967 National Sprint Car champion and won a race at Lakeside Speedway during that championship season. Weld passed away in 2008 and was the last driver to race the famed Novi at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1966. Weld’s brother, Kenny, who died in 1997, is also listed among USAC’s national sprint car winners. Both brothers were also champions at the prestigious Knoxville Nationals sprint car race in Iowa.

WELD Racing wheels are made in the U.S. and are 100 percent CNC machined from aircraft grade forged alloys for exact sizing and balancing.

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An injury-accident was reported about 1:05 p.m. Saturday, April 25, on I-70 from the 3rd Street exit near Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kan., according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.

A Chrysler car lost control while negotiating a curve on wet pavement and struck the left barrier wall, according to the trooper’s report.

The driver, a 79-year-old man from Benton, Ark., had a possible injury and was taken to the hospital.

A passenger, a 14-year-old girl from Benton, Ark., also had a possible injury and was taken to the hospital, the report stated.

Another unrelated accident was reported about 7:24 a.m. Saturday, April 25, on westbound I-70 west of the 57th Street exit.

According to the Kansas Turnpike Authority trooper’s report, a Chevrolet van was westbound in the right lane when it drifted onto the right shoulder, swerved to avoid a vehicle on the shoulder, went across all three lanes and struck a barrier wall.

The driver, a 19-year-old Kansas City, Kan., man, was injured and taken to a hospital. He was not wearing a seat belt, the report stated.

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