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Fire Chief James B. Francis

Libraries receive latest history book on emergency services

The 5th edition of an updated “History of Firefighting in Johnson County” has been published and distributed by Johnson County Chiefs Association.

The book, detailing the history of local emergency services, was first printed in 1978. A new edition is created by the association every 10 years.

The new edition featured the printing of 1,144 books that were distributed throughout the county’s fire and emergency medical services agencies. Copies were also presented to all branches of Johnson County Library and both Olathe Libraries.

The initial book illustrated the personnel, stations and equipment first-responders had in 1978, but it also tells each agency’s history since they first began. The current book, with 596 pages, focuses on the last 10-year period, 2009-2019, but also discusses historical information about each department that might not have been listed in previous books.

The project was led by James B. Francis, fire chief at Johnson County Fire District No. 2 in Stilwell, and involved committee volunteers from 11 different agencies, including nine fire departments, Emergency Management and Communications and MED-ACT.

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