Portal Rescue-Agenda - Minutes

Board Meeting (following Annual Community Potluck) – Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Portal Rescue Classroom

Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Bill Wilbur, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, Dinah Davidson, and Victor Shawe; Active members Susanne Apitz, Bonnie Bowen, Lee Dyal, Rolf Koford, Carolyn Nordstrom and Barbara Roth; Community Members Delane Blondeau, Barb Miller, and Ali Morse.

Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 6:19 pm.

Adoption of Agenda

Dinah moved that the agenda be adopted without change, Victor seconded, and the agenda was adopted unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

Jackie moved, and David seconded, approval of the minutes for the January 15 board meeting (reference https://www.portalrescue.com/board/minutes/#0120), and the vote was unanimously in favor.

Jackie moved, and David seconded, approval of the minutes of February 24 Special Board Meeting, and the vote was unanimously in favor.


Vice-President (Bill Wilbur)

Bay doors: yesterday Greer Millworks said they had received the proper roll-up chain and would both install this and fix the track on the south door soon. The panels on the south door have already been repaired.

While doing dishes at Soup’s On, Bill realized that we need a light over the sink in the ambulance bay, and a single LED bulb light is on order. Also in the bay, four LED 2-bulb fixtures will be replaced where ballasts have failed.

Fire Chief (David Newton)

4.2.1.There have been no operations since the January meeting.4.2.2.January training was poorly attended, but the February session was well attended.

Lee Dyal has prepped the CAFS skid unit on Red Brush 6 to be removed.

We should hear about a pending VFA grant application from AZ State Forestry soon.

Many of our firefighters attended their annual Wildland Refresher in Animas in February.

4.2.6.The Bryx911 cellphone dispatching app is running and members like it.

The County’s new radio tower at Antelope Pass is now working, and they are trying to implement our standard 2-tone alert. David will provide training as we move to a new primary dispatch radio channel.

EMS Assistant Chief (Jackie Lewis)

John Yerger can no longer serve as EMS chief because of his frequent and extended absences. Jackie thanked John for his two years of service.

Jackie will take over as EMT Chief, and she appreciates members of our EMT team agreeing to assume various positions of leadership and responsibility.

Portal Rescue has been dispatched to three calls since the January meeting, but EMTs were unavailable for one of these calls.

Several residents have expressed interest in the EMT class to be offered in Animas in mid-July. Typically, students pay in advance, but we may need sponsors for students who cannot cover tuition in advance. Jackie asks the community for volunteers willing to sponsor partial or full tuition if this is necessary. Students (or their sponsors) are reimbursed when a student is licensed as an EMT and joins Portal Rescue. An email will go out to the community once tuition cost is determined. David Newton volunteered that Chuck Kramer Scholarships are available for EMT training. Jackie should contact Chief Josh Steinberg at Sunsites-Pearce FD for details). Reimbursements must be made to a person or persons, not to an agency.

Barbara Roth is now licensed in New Mexico.

With help from EMTs and Ali Morse, the ambulance bay and attic are still being organized.

Thanks to Bill Wilbur for picking up and bringing four large oxygen cylinders into the ambulance bay.

Treasurer (Jackie Lewis)

Our year-to-date Income is $11,075.37, and year-to-date expenses are $6,170.53.

Gross income from this year’s Soup’s On fundraiser was $8,190, including $2,361 in donations and $5,829 in food, raffle and sales. Reimbursed expenses totaled $840.97, and donated expenses amounted to $261.86. Net profit totaled $7,349. Some supplies and reworked sandwich boards and signs can be used next year.

Repair of the bay sink came in at $302.84, and Victor Shawe did a fantastic job. If anyone would like to make a donation in exchange for grout or RedGard (3/4 gallon left - $50 new), we would be happy to pass these on (while RG is still pliable).

The CD held at Washington Federal was rolled over to another 5-year CD in January.

A CD held at Edward Jones matures in May, and we can roll it over. If we need to use the checking account, we must order new checks.

Member at Large (Victor Shawe) – nothing to report.

President (Cary Booth)

Huge thanks go out to Jenny Knapp, who did a terrific job on this very successful 3-day major fundraiser.

It’s been a very busy year for deferred maintenance, and Cary thanks the many people who have taken responsibility for various projects. These people include: Bill Wilbur, for dealing with transfer of Rescue 3, purchase of a new truck, work on the classroom floor and other maintenance projects; Victor Shawe and David Newton for replacement of sky lights, David also for installing outdoor lights, Lee Dyal for assistance with various projects, and Dinah Davidson for secretarial work. Cary also thanked everyone else who worked on the classroom floor and walls, active members for responding to calls, community members who donated to the organization, and Barb Miller and Bonnie Bowen (now taking over from Barb), who have maintained the classroom calendar.

Old Business

The Board affirmed, unanimously, the prior email vote in favor of acquiring a new laptop for the RO office. Barring any supply issues, our order ships on March 27, and we will be charged on the ship date. Bill will donate a keyboard and mouse.

The Board approved a 2020 budget of $43,050, plus approximately $600 for the laptop. This figure is notably low because we anticipate low maintenance expenditures for facilities and vehicles, and little in the way of training costs. Bonnie Bowen volunteered that she hopes to publish a new phone book, which will bring profit over expenditure. Jackie moved, and Dinah seconded, a proposal to adopt this budget, with the option of revisiting the decision during the year. The vote was unanimously in favor.

For the Good of the Order

The next blood drive is scheduled for March 20, from 10 am to 3 pm AZ time. Afternoon appointments (and fresh cookies) are available, and walk-ins are welcome.

Soup’s On review – Thanks again to Jenny Knapp, who spent an incredible ~ 200 hours working on this year’s event. Jenny would volunteer to do just one part of this 5-part job next year, and if we want this event to continue, we will need a new person to take over the top job, plus at least four others to assume responsibility for other responsibilities, including: (1) marketing (need a replacement for Karen Fasimpaur); (2) set up and take down; (3) food and soup coordination (thanks to Susanne this year); (4) acquisition and awarding of small door prizes (a big hit this year, with hopes of securing 4 per day next year); (5) management of raffle. With more than $7,000 coming in from this fundraiser, we really need volunteers to step up and take over these tasks.

New Business

Welcome to our new Active Members (all Radio Operators): Susanne Apitz, Bonnie Bowen, Dinah Davidson, and Bill Wilbur.Nomination and election of Portal Rescue Board Members for March 2020 – March 2021

Carolyn Nordstrom was nominated to fill a required Active Member slot and will become our Member at Large.

Bill Wilbur has served as a board member (President, Vice-President, Treasurer) for 13 years without a break, so we will grant him a break this year and thank him profusely for his long service.

Cary consents to continue as President, and Dinah Davidson, to continue as Secretary. Both are Community Members.

Victor Shawe agrees to serve as Vice-President.

Ali Morse was nominated by Carolyn as a new Community Member and briefly recounted her background. As manager of a public radio station and director for a watershed group (both nonprofit organizations), she managed several federal, state, and local grants. She was also deputy treasurer of San Juan County, CO. After Victor seconded her nomination, Ali was elected Treasurer by acclamation. Jackie will work with her to pass along the knowledge needed to assume these responsibilities.

Jackie Lewis (EMT Chief) and David Newton (Fire Chief) continue as Active Members of the Board.

Cary, Victor, Dinah and Ali will have to meet together at the Washington Federal branch in Douglas to make changes to signatories on account # 2117256988. Jackie and Bill will be removed as signatories.

Bill will pass along the information that Cary needs to maintain our good standing with the AZ Corporation Commission (deadline March 10). Jackie will send the updated membership list to Workman's Comp.

Bill and Victor will talk with Cary about installing the hearing loop for the classroom.

Adjournment: Cary moved to adjourn, Jackie seconded, and we adjourned at 7:12 pm.

Respectfully submitted, ______________________________________

Diane W. (“Dinah”) Davidson, Secretary Date

Reports (inclusive of project updates)

VP Report: Bill Wilbur

Bay doors: Repair of the south door is awaiting arrival of parts (ETA Friday) and also crew availability (next week at the earliest). When the crew arrives, they will also look at the north door to determine why it appears to be off track, and whether the track needs to be reinforced. Rescue 4 is currently in the fire building but is in the way of some of the three first out fire vehicles. If it is returned to the ambulance bay, we must be sure to have it out of the way of the door crew.

Bill and David will try to install remainder of classroom lights prior to Chiefs Luncheon.

Bill will bring his tractor up to mow tall grass behind building, and Victor will string-trim the edges.

Fire Chief: David Newton

There have been no operations since the September board meeting.

October training was moderately well attended.

There have been no changes to vehicles.

To prepare for the possibility that the Arizona Dept. of Forestry will offer fuels reduction grants in the future, David will meet with a USFS representative this week to define the possible path for a fuel break adjacent to federal lands SE of Portal.

EMS Chief: John Yerger

John recognized and thanked Jackie for taking on a considerable work load as Assistant Chief (essentially acting chief) during his months-long absence.

Portal Rescue has responded to four calls since the September board meeting.

John will circulate the biennial renewal form for the TMC base hospital agreement by email and, barring any objections, will sign it on Portal Rescue's behalf. It is basically unchanged from the prior version.

Our relationship with Hidalgo County EMS is improving, and there are opportunities for joint training in the future. (Chief Jared attended our last training.) Dispatch issues remain to be ironed out in order for us to better serve Rodeo. All Portal Rescue EMTs who are licensed in NM now need to file some paperwork in order for Hidalgo to allow us to continue responding in the Rodeo area; 4 of 6 EMTs are already NM licensed, and we’re working on completing the paperwork for all 4.

An Hidalgo County Emergency Medical Responders (EMR) class will be held next month. John is currently working to clarify how EMRs may be able to help Portal Rescue, should our personnel choose to take the class. EMRs differ from EMTs in having less training (56-hrs vs. 256-hrs). NM EMRs can do almost as much as EMTs, but AZ EMRs can’t do as much, because they don’t serve under medical direction by base hospitals. They are primarily ambulance attendants, equivalent to our drivers.

There may also be a full EMT class in the spring.If you know people who might consider taking the class and serving with us as an EMT, please have them contact John.

Treasurer: Jackie Lewis

Numbers here were updated after the meeting to reflect the most current status of our accounts.

Year to date income: $36,817.84

Year to date expenses: $49,749.93 (includes new ambulance bay doors, fire bay skylights, classroom light fixtures, and window screens)

Our expenses are currently about $21,000 below budget and we should still be about $20,000 under budget by year end. We should not have to tap into the Rainy Day Fund.

Total donations still to deposit (included in above income): $3,445

Total other fundraising to deposit (included in above income): $80

Total cash assets: $159,520.57

The 3-year Muma Fund CD will mature in 2022.

We are still short of the goal for the Donation Drive and hope to raise another $8000 -10,000 by end of year.

Contributions from Amazon Smile have totaled $292.82 so far this year.

The 2020 goal for Soups On is $8,000, in addition to sales proceeds for aprons, tee-shirts, etc.

Our insurance company was sold. Everything will remain the same, and we don’t have to complete the 15 pages of paperwork this year.

Member at large: Victor

Victor thanked Jackie and David for helping to complete installation of fire bay skylights.

President: Cary Booth

Classroom screens have been installed and the receipt was given to Jackie after the meeting.

New Business

Jenny Knapp spoke about her plans for Soups On.

To help increase income from this fundraiser, Jenny proposed to increase the cost of lunch and add a charge for raffle tickets. Three (donated) door prizes would be awarded each day, one per hour. (Donations may include things such as services and $10 gift cards.) A decision will be made as to whether individuals must be present to win. Some discussion ensued as to whether available space would accommodate patrons awaiting these awards, but Jenny's counts from 2019 indicate that this should not be a problem if more folks can be induced to eat in the bay. Information on these changes should be forwarded to Pat Espenak at least three weeks prior to publication of our newsletter.

An increase in cost was considered to cover lunch plus a raffle ticket. Victor proposed and David seconded a motion to set the combined cost at $8.00, and the motion passed unanimously.

Schedule January 2020 board meeting

The next board meeting was tentatively scheduled for January 8 at 6 pm.

Document frames for certificates (Jackie)

Jackie proposed that uniform document frames be purchased for various training certificates that have traditionally been mounted on classroom walls. Specifically, she recommended Walmart frames ($2 each, but sturdier than cheaper ones at Dollar Tree). We would need 50-60 if only initial or most recent certifications are framed, and in order to ensure uniformity, another 20 frames should be purchased for future use. Certificates should be in place for the annual meeting.

Dinah's motion to authorize purchase of these frames was seconded by John, and the vote was unanimously supportive.

Organizing attic space - acquisition of shelving and rodent proof totes (for January budget, Jackie)

Available on Amazon Prime are sturdy, 72" chrome wire racks ($106 each). The racks can be broken down into two units - a two-shelf and a three-shelf unit that will fit along the east wall of the catwalk. Shelving and totes would not be ordered until needed capacities are defined.

John advanced, and Victor seconded, a motion to allocate up to $500 for totes and shelving, and the vote was unanimously in favor.

Rodent control options and upkeep (Cary)

Jackie would like to relinquish the job of rodent trapping.

After the meeting, Dinah (assisted by Barb Miller) volunteered for rodent control duty, but only after the building is sealed better than it is now. They emphasized that this is not a lifelong commitment.

Bill will investigate closing the 1.5" space beneath the exterior door nearest the classroom kitchen, and the ambulance bay doors should be fixed in a couple of weeks.

David will use the new thermal imaging camera to discover any remaining breaches of the building.

2020 budget

The Board made a preliminary stab at setting the 2020 budget, which will be completed at the January meeting.

Old Business

In view of new technologies available for participation in meetings, the Board addressed the need to establish how "presence" should be defined for board members to comprise a quorum, and for voting by active members.

Proposed changes to several sections of the Bylaws recognize the need for adequate two-way communication among board members and establish that active members may vote in absentia (e.g. by phone) in cases where absences have been excused by one of the Chiefs.

Addenda (none)

For the Good of the Order

10.1.Blood drives (Jackie)

In total, Portal supplied 17 gallons of blood during the five 2019 blood drives. Twenty people have already scheduled for the next (January 16th) drive.

10.2.Chief’s luncheon (Jackie)

10.2.1.Jackie will set out equipment this evening.

John and Victor volunteered to help David with the landing zone late afternoon Tuesday.

10.2.3.The meeting starts at 10:00 AM with lunch at 11:00 AM.

10.3.Pencil sharpener (Dinah, with input from Bonnie)

10.3.1.The pencil sharpener in the radio room is useless.

10.3.2.Bill will bring one from home.


Cary moved for adjournment, John seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:43 pm.


Nomination of Mary Willy to the Portal Rescue Wall of Fame is based on the description of her contributions below (and see 6.1 above).

Portal Rescue was already operating when Mary was approached about donating land for the first building. Our fire truck was then housed in Ted Troller’s barn. All our medical equipment had been moved from Blondeau's pump house to the silver building sitting along the shed at the Portal Store and donated by the Forest Service. Larry Devers helped us get an old blazer that was parked there.

Bill and Mary Willy donated a level and easily accessible tract of land on which to build the fire house. The original 2-vehicle bay, built in 1991, is dedicated to Bill Willy. Joan White and Debbie Bernard taught the first EMT class in the building. That was 1996 – there were no bathrooms, and the building was very cold. The blazer was parked outside along the building and if we girls had to pee badly and we did not want to walk to the store - guess What!!!!!

Then, around 1998, we raised funds for the classroom. We approached Mary again for a little more land so we could put in a septic and heli-pad. Pete Rawdon donated all his time and equipment, and Debbie Bernard sourced out the right size rock for the pad, which is now just a parking lot on the side of the 2nd building. Mary did not hesitate to help. Devorie made Mary a certificate of the first flush of the new bathroom, and it still hangs in the little bathroom in her house. Mary did a lot to help us get where we are today.

For many, many years, Mary’s garage housed the home medical equipment that was available to people to borrow.

Howard Topoff 2011