Portal Rescue-Agenda - Minutes

Portal Rescue, Inc.

Minutes Of Virtual Board Meeting

January 20, 2021, 18:00

Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Victor Shawe, Susanne Apitz, Dinah Davidson, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, and Carolyn Nordstrom.

  1. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 18:08 pm.

  1. Adoption of Agenda

After two fundraising items were added to New Business (section 6.1), Cary moved that the Agenda be adopted as amended; Dinah seconded his motion, and the measure passed unanimously.

  1. Acceptance of Minutes

No changes were proposed to minutes of the November 24, 2020, board meeting (https://www.portalrescue.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2020-11-24-final-minutes.pdf).

Cary moved that the minutes be accepted without amendment, and Jackie seconded his motion, which passed unanimously.

  1. Reports

    1. Vice-President (Victor Shawe)

      1. New helipad

Victor reported that, on January 29-31, his team of local volunteers would install needed forms prior to pouring of cement on February 1. A request for donation of materials was sent out by Cary on Thursday, January 14, and we are awaiting a response.

      1. Classroom rental

A request has been made to permit classroom use for yoga class again. This suggestion was tabled for consideration later in the meeting (see section 5.1 below).

    1. Fire Chief (David Newton)

      1. Fires

Since our November meeting, Portal Rescue personnel have responded to one wildfire. On November 28, seven firefighters responded to a fire off Price Canyon Rd., and we have billed the State for the use of our equipment.

    1. Training

Attendance has been okay at three training sessions.

      1. Equipment

The replacement swivel fitting for Brush 236 is in hand, but not yet installed.

      1. Grants

David will be submitting the request for our annual 50:50 VFA grant by the February 12 deadline.

    1. EMS Chief (Jackie Lewis)

      1. Calls

        1. EMTs responded to just one call in December, but attended three calls during the first 10 days of January. We received a thank you note, expressing appreciation for our response to one of these calls.
        2. The availability of John Yerger and ET Collinsworth has taken some of the pressure off stalwarts Carolyn Nordstrom and Barbara Roth.
      2. Training

        1. Alina Downer and Michele Lanan completed their EMT training and passed all certification tests with flying colors. We are pleased to have them request membership on the EMS team (section 6.2 below).
        2. Tucson Medical Center has been offering continuing education classes via ZOOM. Five Portal Rescue members participated in the cardiac arrest and documentation sessions.
      3. Supply and Equipment Expenses

Expenses have been higher than usual, reflecting the need to replace almost all AED pads and batteries, power cot and suction batteries, and expiring adult and junior epi-pens. Due to the Covid pandemic, we have also had additional outlays for PPE (personal protective equipment).

      1. Training expenses

These will be high in 2021, as we reimburse our new members and allow at least 4 EMTs to attend the trauma conference if it is held this year.

  1. Treasurer (Susanne Apitz)

    1. Checking account

      1. Donors stepped up after cancellation of our 2021 fundraiser and delivered a good year. Revenues through 12/31/20 ($54,527.16) are ahead of projection, and expenses ($30,956.98) have been lower than expected across most categories, but see EMS Chief’s report above (see 4.3.3 above). Income exceeded expenses by $23,570.18.
      2. The new year (2021) has also brought a good start on donations; revenues are $3305, and expenses, $215.56.
      3. Students have yet to turn in their considerable training expenses, including mileage for repeated trips to Sierra Vista and Douglas. Part of these summed expenses may be reimbursed from a scholarship for which we will apply.
      4. The helipad will be costly, and given the extreme drought conditions, we can perhaps anticipate a big fire year.
    2. Balance sheet

      1. Edward Jones

        1. The total value of our EJ accounts is $113,148.31.
        2. Money Market = $8,507.18
        3. Five CDs (including Muma funds) with different maturity dates (1,2 and 3 yrs) total $104,641.13.
      2. Washington Federal

        1. total value of these assets is $80,694.19
        2. checking account currently holds $47,051.55
        3. The Rainy Day Fund holds $33,642.64, including $627.27 YD interest.
    3. Including all investments and cash, $255 in petty cash, and $55 in stamps, Portal Rescue’s summed assets on 12/31/2020 totaled 194,193.50 $194,193.50. On 01/20/21, assets total $197,282.94.
    4. Tax preparation

Portal Rescue’s 2019 tax return was returned to us, rejected, with a letter dated October 23. The tax return had been received by the IRS on June 24, 2020. The stated reason for the rejection was that Schedule O, Supplemental Information to Form 990, was not filled out. This information was sent by Portal Rescue to the tax preparer, who sent a letter correcting the omission. Between January 7 and 13, a second letter was received from the IRS, noting a penalty due. This letter was also forwarded to the tax preparer, and he has sent another letter that we hope will preclude charges of $20 per day for filing an incomplete return. Susanne has asked the tax preparer repeatedly to copy us on correspondence, but he hasn't done that. This is the third year in a row when we’ve had trouble with on-time submission. Jackie will check with Rick Beno and Peg Abbott to see who FOCCC and Naturalist Journeys use for tax preparation. Susanne will copy Cary and Jackie on correspondence with the preparer.

    1. Member at large (Carolyn Nordstrom passes)

    1. President (Cary Booth passes)

  1. Old Business
  1. 5.1.Vote on classroom use/rental

Board members discussed continuing our policy of not renting the Portal Rescue classroom; exceptions would still be made for Red Cross Blood drives supervised by Portal Rescue’s EMT chief, and for urgent Portal Rescue core business. Salient observations included the fact that the threat posed by Covid in our service area is greater now than ever, and that we shouldn’t drop precautions before the effects of vaccination have been realized, and while cold temperatures still preclude open windows. It was felt that Portal Rescue should set a good example for the community by complying with scientific advice warning of dangers to groups of unrelated people in indoor environments. Following a motion by Victor and Cary’s second, the vote was unanimously in favor of continuing our policy and revisiting this decision at our March meeting.

    1. 5.2.Helipad

      1. Most patients needing air evacuation now depart from Portal Rescue Station, and a third of recent transports have been by air. A helipad is needed to address safety concerns related to scattering of gravel and dust. Victor Shawe is overseeing this effort, which will be completed with a volunteer crew, and has provided an estimate of costs.
      2. It was moved (Victor) and seconded (Dinah) that we approve $8,000 for helipad construction.
      3. The focal area will be fitted with forms by the end of the month and ready for pouring of concrete on February 1.
      4. The upcoming newsletter should outline the need for a helipad and details of its construction. Dinah will write something up and pass it around to board members for review.
    2. 5.3.Decision on where to move the Checking Account (Edward Jones vs Ally Bank)

      1. It’s always been difficult (even more so with Covid) for all board members to meet together inside Washington Federal (WF) each time people rotate off and onto the Board. Two alternatives are Edward Jones (EJ) and Ally Bank, and Susanne advocated for the former. Cash deposits cannot be made at either institution, and large deposits are suspect and discouraged at WF. The Malpai Borderlands Group is very content with EJ. There is a good app for check submission, and it’s easy to contact EJ by phone. We can depend on board members and other residents to turn cash into checks for large deposits that happen just once or twice a year.
      2. Jackie suggested that we keep the WF CD, which matures in 2025, despite moving checking to EJ.
      3. Susanne proposed, and Victor seconded, a motion to move checking from WF to EJ, and the vote in favor was unanimous. Susanne later reminded us that we already have an EJ checking account (the Money Market account) but will need signatures of additional board members on paperwork that she will bring back to Portal.
  1. New Business
  1. 6.1.Fundraising

    1. A community member suggested that we hold our customary raffle even though we’ve had to cancel Soup’s On this year. Absent social interactions, community participation would likely be too low to merit the energy needed to organize a raffle. It was decided to hold items until the 2022 fundraiser.
    2. A second community member had volunteered to prepare an alternative fundraising meal using an unspent portion of a payment for a Covid-cancelled private event. Given the rise in local Covid cases, the Board thought it wise to decline this proposal as well.
  2. 6.2.Acceptance of new EMTs

Jackie welcomed applications of Michele Lanan and Alina Downer to joint Portal Rescue as EMTs. Both candidates have received their Covid vaccinations and already been participating in vehicle checks and other activities. However, they will need to attend training to become familiar with Tucson Medical Center’s protocols and requirements. Jackie moved that the Board accept these two outstanding candidates, Susanne seconded her motion, and the favorable vote was unanimous.

    1. 6.3.Draft and approve 2021 budget

      1. Working from the 2020 budget as a baseline, board members collaborated in constructing the 2021 budget by category, with Covid influencing both anticipated revenues and expenditures.
      2. Jackie moved that the Board accept the budget as drafted (see Appendix A), Susanne seconded her motion, and the vote was unanimously in favor.
    2. 6.4.FF and EMT shirt order

      1. Jackie summarized her survey of Portal Rescue EMS and Firefighter tee-shirt needs and costs. The costs depend on supplier, size, sleeve length, and number, and the total price will be tax exempt. Needs will be especially comprehensive for new members.
      2. Carolyn voiced the need for EMTs to also have hooded jackets ($50 each) with the Portal Rescue logo, and she described a recent incident where cold was intense and EMS identification was a safety issue.
      3. Susanne moved that, as a first pass, we approve an amount not to exceed $1200, and that any additional costs be subjected to email approval. Dinah seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
    3. 6.5.Bricks for the helipad

      1. Jackie summarized a hypothetical brick-buying plan (identifying contributor, honoree or memorial dedication) as a fundraiser. Victor identified an area at the corner of the fire garage where bricks of different sizes (and contributor costs) could be installed after helipad construction and be protected from vehicle traffic. An estimated $3,000 could be raised by such a project. Brick-buying could be an option on the donation form.
      2. After discussion, it was decided that the brick project was unnecessary, given the 2020 budget surplus and the community’s generosity in regularly meeting our annual donation goals.

  1. Schedule March Annual Board Meeting

Following discussion, the meeting was scheduled for March 20, 2021; it will be held with the audience outdoors, use the ambulance bay to house a screen for any image presentation, and involve no food.

  1. For the Good of the Order

The next blood drive will be held on Friday, March 19, 2021. The January 14th drive produced 25 pints.

  1. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 21:13 pm.


Howard Topoff 2011