Fire Department

Public_Safety_Building_Ribbon_CuttingCity Officials cut the ribbon to open the new Eudora Public Safety Building on Saturday, July 27. Pictured (l-r) City Manager Mike Press, Commission Tim Reazin, Mayor Ruth Hughs, Commissioners Jolene Born and John Fiore (photo by Managing Editor John Schulz)

Eudora News and

City Officials cut the ribbon and opened the doors of  the new Eudora Public Safety Building Saturday morning. Several former Police and Fire Chiefs along with dignitaries from Douglas and Johnson County as well as a large contingent of citizens were on hand to witness the dedication of the new building.

Mayor Ruth Hughs described the new facility as a huge step forward for Eudora.

“Today is a milestone day for the city,” Hughs said. “This building represents our present and our future.  It makes a statement that the citizens of our town deserve the best in police and fire protection.”

Acting Fire Chief Pete Feyerabend was amazed how good the building turned out.

“This is pretty magnificent,” Feyerabend said about the new station. “It great that the community and the City Commission stepped up to provide this fantastic facility which will allow both the the Police and Fire Departments to better serve all the residents of Eudora.”

Feyerabend was filling in for Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter who was out of town due to family commitments.

The Fire and Police Departments were most recently housed in a much smaller and, as determined by an independent evaluation, very substandard building at 9th and Main Streets.

 Stream_Crossing_Dedicaion_CeremonyCity Commission members assist with the christening of the Fire Station portion of the new Public Safety Building (photo by Managing Editor John Schulz) 

After the speeches by various city dignitaries, the firefighters displayed several age old traditions when opening a new firehouse. As Feyerabend explained to the audience on hand, it is traditional for a new station to be christened with two hoses on either side of the bay doors and have the streams cross together in the middle to form an arch. A baptism if you will, of the new building.

Fire_Truck_Push_Dedication CeremonyMayor Ruth Hughs helps with the long standing tradition of manually pushing the truck into the bay of the new Fire Department (photo by Managing Editor John Schulz) 

Another of the traditions dating back to the years before gasoline powered trucks were invented, was the citizens of a community would help push a fire truck into the station backwards since the horses that would draw the carriage could not walk backwards.  Saturday, with maybe a slight bit of assistance of the combustion engine, the City Commission and several firefighters pushed Engine 1232 into it’s new permanent home at 10th and Main.

The Eudora Public Safety Building has been in the works for nearly three years. Former City Administrator/Manager John Harrenstein along with then Police Chief Grady Walker and Fire Chief Chris Moore began planning for a new building in the summer of 2010. All three worked behind the scenes to make the new building possible. Sadly, none of those three were able to be in attendance for the dedication on Saturday.


Ken Keiter


New Eudora Fire Chief Ken Keiter (Photo courtesy The Olathe Fire Department and YouTube)

Eudora News and

The City of Eudora has hired Ken Keiter as it’s new Fire Chief.  Keiter, a 31 year veteran of the Olathe Fire Department, rose to the rank of Batallion Chief at Olathe prior to his retirement in 2012.

“I think it was his years of experience and his desire to come to come build a department here,” City Administrator John Harrenstein said when asked about why Keiter was selected.

Keiter inherits a department that has struggled with recruitment of volunteer firefighters.  One of his goals will obviously be adding new members to the staff.

“He’s (Keiter) ready to ensure that there is a continuity in response times and he wants to become involved with the community,” Harrenstein said. “With a B.A. in Management and Human Resources, he knows how to work at bringing people into the department.”

Keiter also will soon have a new home in the Public Safety Building currently under construction in downtown Eudora. According to Harrenstein, Keiter’s input will be critical with the remaining stages of the new building.

Keiter replaces Chris Moore who resigned as Fire Chief in September 2012.  Keiter begins with Eudora on January 14.

If you want to get an insight on the new Chief, the Olathe Fire Department posted a rather moving YouTube video about the chief around the time of his retirement:  YouTube Video Link 


Eudora Firefighters demonstrating equipment to kids at the recent Family Fun Night at Laws Field

The City of Eudora has named Pete Feyerabend as acting Fire Chief.   Feyerabend will serve in this capacity until a new Fire Chief is selected and a search process is expected to begin this week.

Feyerabend has served on the department for five years and has served as a Lieutenant on the department for the past two years.

“I am pleased to have a man of Pete’s caliber serving as acting Fire Chief,” City Administrator John Harrenstein stated in a press release.  “His commitment to the department and to the community reflects a passion for service.  I am confident in his ability to maintain continuity of operations during this transition period.”

Feyerabend takes over following the resignation of Chief Chris Moore last week.