reach across miles to help
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
The arm of compassion was long as dispatchers from the Greensburg
Police Department reached out to those in similar careers in Greensburg,
Dan Mulford, who long has been connected with emergency situations
in a variety of ways, presently serves as the Deputy Director of
Ripley County Emergency Agency. He is also a dispatcher with the
Greensburg Police Department, the group that spearheaded a number
of fundraisers to help those in need in Kansas.
After a tornado swept through the small town of Greensburg, Kansas
on June 4, the town, that is similar in size to Versailles, was
nearly leveled. There was hardly anything left, I mean no
houses, businesses, police, fire, hospital, nothing, noted
Mulford, as he told of the devastation that small community had
This summer as Mulford pursued his love of amateur radio operating
through County Hunting he passed through the town of
Greensburg, Kansas. He has long been involved with weather spotting
and knows what to look for when it comes to severe weather. He also
knows the destruction that a tornado leaves behind and is qualified
to assess damage after a storm has been in an area.
Mulford served as the link between the two towns with the same name
and was able to present proceeds from fundraisers to people in Kansas.
He told The Versailles Republican he took a total of $5,000, which
was divided four ways with equal parts going to the sheriffs
department, fire, EMS, and dispatchers in Greensburg, Kansas.
They were so grateful to get the money, he noted, saying
he was there in July, about six weeks after the tornado. Mulford
said the town was like a ghost town with only a few people milling
about. A make-shift hospital like a scene from MASH, was constructed,
and the only indication of the location of the police department
were cruisers sitting in front of a trailer. There were many FEMA
trailers dotting the landscape that was still cluttered with debris.
The town housed the county seat, just like Versailles, and courthouse
employees returned to their jobs to find they didnt have a
restaurant, gas station or convenience store in town. The closest
town is about 25 miles away, according to Mulford.
The tornado was 1.9 miles wide and the town is only about two miles
wide. Seven people died in the tragic storm with numerous injuries.
Mulford, who has been in the center of many storms in his lifetime,
was able to communicate with people in Kansas easily.
Stopping in Greensburg, Kansas, was an honor for Mulford, who with
Judy Bultman was on his way to a national convention for amateur
radio operators. Being a ham radio operator, Mulford and Bultman
enjoy what they call County Hunting. This is where the
radio operator transmits or receives transmissions from counties
all across the United States. That means their hobby takes them
to 3077 counties. There is actually an award given for those who
complete this task. A variety of additional awards can be obtained
through this hobby. Its just fun, and you get to see
a lot of interesting things, and meet a lot of people, noted
Believe me, there are not amateurs (radio operators) in every
county, laughed Mulford, who has almost completed the goal
of transmitting from every county for the second time. He enjoys
the hobby of being a ham radio operator and it has come into good
use in the county. Often times when there is a disaster and there
is little or no communication, these radio operators take over,
helping various emergency agencies with communication. Radio Amateur
Civil Emergency Service (RACES) volunteers number about 15 according
to Mulford and provide valuable service to Ripley County. The RACES
Officer for RCEMA is Marilyn Gray.
Mulford has a list of trainings to his credit and has dedicated
his life to making sure Ripley County has top notch equipment and
training to protect its residents. Sometimes theres not much
you can do, but when the training is available he takes advantage
of it. He has been involved with the RCEMA for 25 years, is a Master
fire fighter, fire medic and Master Fire Investigator, serving with
the Osgood Volunteer Fire Department for 35 years. He is an instructor
for the RCEMA, severe weather classes, National Incident Management
System facilitator, CSX Railroad emergency training facilitator
and much more.
Even with years of experience and thousands of hours of training,
Mulford said he was still amazed at the condition the tornado left
the sister city of Greensburg, Indiana, in.
The town of Greensburg, Kansas, housed the county seat.
The courthouse was one of the few things left in the town
after a tornado swept through it in June. This photo was
taken in July, about six weeks after the tornado, While
it sustained damage, employees could report to work. They
just had trouble finding a place to eat, buy gas, or do