Monthly Archives: November 2018

OES Notepad

By Fred Mullen


     Last year, Melissa and I presented via webinar a paper to the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program about combining forecast and observations from various state and national organizations with our local observations to help develop a wildland fire mitigation program for Franklin County.  The material was very well received and we have since improved it some more.  We are proud to say that we have been invited to present a portion of the materials to the Fifth Annual National Weather Service Integrated Warning Team Workshop in Conway on January 15.
     The program is designed to provide local responders and dispatchers with a comprehensive look at day to day wildfire conditions during times of escalating fire danger and high fire danger days.  We put the materials out on our web-page, text message and email responders, and, make announcements on the Fire Radio Channels.  We also use it as a basis for news releases to local media.
       Weather, fuel conditions, fire locations, department staffing and equipment availability  all go into the mix.  We use the material to make decisions about when to call for mutual aid, how to attack the fire the best way to protect values (homes, barns, farm equipment, width and nature of control lines, etc)  We are deeply grateful to all who have contributed to the project including our local Firefighters, Dispatchers, and, Forestry professionals.
The search and rescue team meets on the 3rd Thursday evening of each month.  Part of our regular meeting is to recap the previous months missions.  Between the October and November meeting, we answered seven calls for service.
   They ranged from just about 20 minutes where Team Leader Dave Sutter assisted a family by phone. The family was looking for an overdue hunter.  Dave was able to describe to them road system were the person went missing.  Dave was assisted by OEM Senior Deputy Coordinator Melissa Francis who provided the parties with electronic maps of the area.  The family was quickly able to locate their loved one.  Another overdue hunter was located by an investigative search led by  the Sheriff’s Department Deputy Travis Ball  who was assisted by the SAR team. This search  took about 2 hours to complete.
    The longest search we have had in Franklin County since we started our team in 2002 was in August of 2012.  A lady from Missouri traveled through Kansas and Oklahoma ending up in the Ozark National Forest near White Rock Mountain.  The search lasted 39 hours.  She was found alive.
     A special thank you to team members Dave, Max, Todd, Leon, Frank who spent a cold and wet Sunday afternoon in the field updating our pre-plan for Devil’s Canyon.
*Thursday December 6 at 1800 hrs AFA Communications--call Frank at 573-821-5570 for more information.
*Monday January 7 at 1730 hrs AFC FireWise Meeting–call Frank at 573-821-5570 for more information.
*Saturday January 26 at 0800 hrs NWCG  S-190 Intro to Wildland Fire Behavior–call Fred at 479-209-0818 for more information.
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OES Notepad

By Fred Mullen

The past couple of weeks we have been busy with some of the unpleasant stuff for responders–vehicle accidents.  When it rains,  it tends to create the perfect environment for wrecks. As you travel  for work or  pleasure, please  remember to take extra care when it is raining.

Sunday morning our Dispatch Center received a call from a woman who was receiving text messages from her husband’s friend saying that they had a off road vehicle accident on  the Mill Creek Trail System.  Pettigrew Fire Department (Madison County), Barnes Fire Department, Franklin County EMS and SAR responded to the scene.  The injured man was assisted to the trail head and taken by family vehicle to a hospital with minor injuries.

Citizens should always beware, severe weather can strike in Franklin County at any time.  You and your family need multiple ways to stay aware of the situation and receive emergency warnings.  Here are some things you can do to help your family and place of work to be Weather Wise: 1) Listen to the daily weather forecast on commercial radio or TV. 2) Purchase and use a NOAA tone activated weather radio 3) Sign up for a weather warning app on your smart phone.  Franklin County residents can use CodeRed for free.  For more information check  our web site at

Franklin County Responders attend AFC Open House

Shown here are a few of the Franklin County Responders who attended the Arkansas Forestry Commission Open House at Greenbrier this past Saturday. From L to R, Joe Fox, Ark Forestry Commission Director; Fred Mullen, OEM Coordinator; Chief Eugene Wilson, Branch Fire Department; Chief Ruby Robinson, PV Fire Department; Mayor Gerald Harris, City of Branch; Dylan Covert, FC Emergency Responder; Chief Frank Theising, Watalula Fire Department; and, Bill James, Arkansas Forestry Commission Instructor.

Several Franklin County Fire Fighters attended the Arkansas Forestry Commission open house on Saturday in Greenbrier.  There were over 30 vendor and education booths.  We learned some stuff that will help us make Franklin County a safer place to live, work and visit. See related photo in this edition.

Had a great time at the Barnes Fire Department Chile Supper.  Those folks put on a great meal with outstanding music and fellowship.  Remember, Saturday night is Bingo Night at Cecil Fire Department–it’s super fun!

RESPONDER TRAINING–Mon Nov 5 at 1800 hrs AFA Scene Lightning Class at Watalula Fire Department.  Thu Dec 6 at 1800 hrs AFA Communications Class at Watalula Fire Department. Mon Jan 7, 2019 at 1730 hrs AFC Firewise Orientation Meeting at Watalula Fire Department.  For more info on these two classes and 1 meeting call Frank at 573-821-5570.  Sat Jan 26 at 0800 hrs NWCG S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior at Arkansas Tech campus (8 hours Act 833 Credit). For more info on this class call Fred at 479-209-0818.

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