Upcoming Events

KSAFC 2018 Conference

Garden City, KS
October 26, 27 & 28th 2018

Future Dates
KSAFC 2019 & 2020 Conference
Hutchinson, KS
October dates being determined

2018 Conference
June 18-20
Davenport, IA

August 8-11, 2018: Dallas, TX
August 7-10, 2019: Atlanta, GA
August 19-22, 2020: Phoenix, AZ
July 28-31, 2021: Charlotte, NC

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KSAFC 2018 Conference Presenter (Saturday)

We are excited to announce that Ghada Wahdan will be our presenter on Saturday October 27, 2018. Ms. Wahdan comes highly recommended from Kansas fire service members who have experienced her presentations. With recent events around Kansas and the nation we invite you to register (pending) for the conference and will see you there. Ms. Wahdan's background and presentation information follow.

Ms. Wahdan has been a member of the Colorado Information Analysis Center (CIAC) since 2010. She obtained her MA in Criminology from Regis University in 2012 and holds a BS in Criminal Justice and Criminology. Ms. Wahdan is an American-Arab, born and raised in Kuwait for fourteen years. She gained a tremendous understanding of the radicalization process and the ideology that exists in the Middle East while being exposed to religious, cultural and governmental differences in the region. Her Palestinian Sunni Muslim family immigrated to Colorado a few years before Desert Storm. She is fluent in Arabic in ten different dialects.

Ms. Wahdan is currently a Counterterrorism Intelligence Analyst for the CIAC and a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on international terrorism. She has been instrumental in gathering intelligence on international threats, providing monthly classified secret briefs, and creating strategic intelligence products to inform partners of international threats and possible implications to global and U.S. homeland security.

Her strategic intelligence products are distributed across the nation, with two documents requested internationally. These documents have received positive feedback and requests for further distribution. Her training and outreach included over 20 states, approximately 700 agencies from federal, state and local level, and more than 8,500 professionals in law enforcement and emergency management. 

The presentation is intended to provide an introduction to the radical ideology that exists in the Middle East and its nexus to terrorism, to include an understanding of radical Islam, sectarian division, Shari'a law, the ideology of Jihad in Islam and the global influence, regional control of the Islamic State in Iraq and Al Shaam (ISIS), and current unrest in Europe. 

The presentation will also explore the underlying ideology, leadership, structure, and funding of certain Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and radical groups, such as ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Lastly, the presentation will examine the radicalization process for both domestic and foreign-born extremists, and how propaganda, social media and other non-traditional forms of messaging are influencing the next generation of terrorists specifically women and children. 

Governor Brownback opts-in to FirstNet

On August 15, 2017 Governor Brownback officially opts-in with FirstNet to provide Kansas responders with their own dedicated Public Safety Broadband network.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 had demonstrated the lack of critical communications ability for First Responders in a fast evolving crisis. The need for a single interoperable communication system for Fire Service, Law Enforcement, Medics and other Public Safety entities is paramount to situational awareness, sharing of information and quick efficient communications between jurisdictions and various Public Safety disciplines. This will help us to stay safe during our routine daily activities as well as major disasters. FirstNet will also enable first responders to better protect lives and property by providing timely, accurate, event specific information and interoperable communications.

The 911 Commission report recommended the following: “Congress should support pending legislation which provides for the expedited and increased assignment of radio spectrum for public safety purposes. Furthermore, high-risk urban areas such as New York City and Washington, D.C., should establish signal corps units to ensure communications connectivity between and among civilian authorities, local first responders, and the National Guard. Federal funding of such units should be given high priority by Congress.”

Following this, in 2012 the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act” created the First Responder Network Authority under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The U.S. Government allotted 20 MHz of spectrum and 7 billion dollars to build this network.

FirstNet was responsible for soliciting Request for Proposals from vendors who would be responsible for building the Radio Access Network (RAN). After evaluating the proposals FirstNet selected AT&T as the only vendor who had met their criteria.

FirstNet delivered the Kansas Draft Plan on June 19, 2017 to the State Information Executive Committee (SIEC) and we had 90 days to evaluate the plan and recommend to Governor Brownback to opt-in, opt-out or make no decision. A draft plan review team was formed to review the plan and report its recommendations to the State Chief Information Officer who advised the Governor of the review team’s deliberations and recommendations to aid him in his decision.

The draft plan review team was formed from members of the SIEC and 911 Coordinating Council.  The representation included Fire Service, Law Enforcement, EMS, Emergency Management, Tribal lands, subject matter experts and information technology professionals. Members of this team were required to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) in order to review the FirstNet/AT&T proposal. The following are some of the criteria considered as the FirstNet draft plan was evaluated:

-Coverage in rural areas

-Deployable assets to fill in coverage

-Price to subscriber

-Potential costs/risk to the State

-Can FirstNet/ AT&T deliver the plan as presented?

-Are there any viable options to FirstNet Proposal?

-Compatibility with the States Next Generation 911(NG911)

A Request for Information (RFI)/Market Analysis was issued to help determine if there were any available options to the FirstNet plan, one response was received which was reviewed along with the FirstNet proposal. A Legislative Post Audit report was also issued, entitled “Reviewing the State’s Options Related to the FirstNet Public Safety Network” http://www.kslpa.org/assets/files/reports/r-17-004.pdf . Its findings were also used to evaluate the options under consideration.


There was a lot of internal discussion on cost to subscribers and coverage. After much study, deliberation and negotiation with FirstNet/AT&T the draft review team recommended the FirstNet Proposal to the State. This proposal appeared to hold the least amount of risk as well as the highest probability of success and was the most compatible with the NG 911 integration. It was the recommendation of the review team to the State Chief Information Officer to advise the Governor that the State of Kansas opt-in to FirstNet Public Safety Broadband.

In just the last few years the States 800Mhz interoperable radio system has vastly enhanced the ability of Kansas responders to communicate with each other state wide and has proven to be a vital tool in everyday communications. The system really shines when multiple jurisdictions respond to a major disaster. When we add in Public Safety Broadband with the capability of secure and dependable data and applications designed for the first responder, we can expect many positive and exciting changes to come.

Bob McLemore

Fire Chief, Colby Fire Department

Past President of the KSAFC

Chairman of State Interoperable Executive Committee

Kansas GEMT Project - Update

As most of you know, the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs endeavored two years ago to create enabling legislation that would allow the creation of a State Plan Amendment (SPA) for Medicaid reimbursement increases through our Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT) initiative.  It was determined that the State of Kansas and its EMS agencies are losing millions of dollars annually because of the uncompensated costs associated with transporting Medicaid patients.  We stated clearly that our GEMT initiative was not Medicaid expansion but an attempt to  enable eligible, qualifying agencies to drawn down additional funding available through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) for Medicaid patients. 

Through the support of many of you, and the dedicated time of Chief John Paul Jones of Kansas City, Ks. FD, we have accomplished a milestone in that goal.  On June 15th, Governor Sam Brownback signed HB 2079 which paves the way through this enabling legislation, to create a State Plan Amendment for our GEMT initiative. 

I personally want to thank members of the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs including Chief John Paul Jones and his staff, the Kansas State Firefighters Association, the Kansas State Council of Firefighters, John Pinegar (Pinegar Smith and Associates) along with attorney John Freiden for diligently staying the course and providing the necessary support and expertise. 

The achievement of this enabling legislation is very promising but we still have a ways to go.  The next steps will include hiring a consultant to create the State Plan Amendment and moving forward in presenting an acceptable SPA Plan that will pass muster with CMMS.  This is a tricky business as anything written has to be approved by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  We will be calling on the resources of AP Triton in order to accomplish this very technical and time consuming goal.  AP Triton has a Fire Service background and has worked with numerous states including California, Oregon, Missouri and others in assisting them to create an acceptable State Plan Amendment to present to CMMS. 

This of course will require funding to make this happen. Therefore, in the next couple of weeks, we will come up with a funding plan to determine how to establish a funding mechanism to achieve this goal.  But, once accomplished, it must be understood that we are talking about the potential for millions of additional dollars coming in to the State of Kansas for its provider systems. 

Again, thank you to all those who worked very hard to accomplish this enabling legislation within our GEMT goals and objectives.

Brad Smith, President

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