Portal Rescue-Minutes

Portal Rescue, Inc.

Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 6:30 p.m. in Portal Rescue Classroom

1 Call to order at 6:37 pm: Six Board Members present; five others

2 Adoption of Agenda: Motion to adopt as written by David Newton, second by Ray Mendez.

Motion carried

3 Minutes of Board meeting for August 7, 2017: Motion to accept as written by John Yerger,

second by Ray Mendez. Motion carried.

4 Reports

4.1. President: Bill Wilbur

It has come to my attention that Tamara Lawson, our secretary, will not be seeking

reelection to the Board in March. It is acknowledged that Tamara, in running Hideout ranch and carries an extraordinary work load. Her decision not to continue on the Board is understood. Her efforts, here on the Board, are appreciated. Once again, we put the word out that we are seeking a secretary for the 2018 Board.

Continuing: during the last credit card discussion I made comments trying to illustrate the economic situations of some Portal Rescue members. I later received comments from a few members that my comments, though well intentioned, demeaned the Racicot family. I offer my apology. My comments were not intended to demean any person.

Many of you have noticed that the water system here at the station has been

malfunctioning to one degree or another. Elbrock water Systems was brought in and found, first, a section of the pipe leading from the pump to the well head had worn throughthus reducing pumping efficiency. Then, a section of pipe leading from the well head to the pressure tank had ruptured and water was released into the soil and subsequently into the well to hillside drain. Repair efforts continue. (repaired 1/18).

Maintenance: the new 3,000 Kelvin (warm) LED fluorescent light replacement tubes have arrived and will replaced soon. As to the floor resurfacing, it is too cold for coatings to cure.

Resurfacing efforts will restart in springtime when the doors can be left open to allow for proper ventilation.

Efforts to obtain the services of an electrician to install the emergency lights continue.

Electricians contacted continue to be too busy to attend to Portal Rescues’ problems. It has been suggested that we station emergency lanterns at each door for the time being.

Cleanup efforts by the County and State continue awaiting the repair of the chipper to reduce the brush piles resulting from the cleanup efforts. Thanks to Jerry Racicot for coordinating this cleanup.

Three Portal Rescue Board members, David Newton, John Yerger and Bill Wilbur

attended the two-day Firewise training class. The most important lesson learned was that blowing embers (firebrands) are the primary cause of house and outbuilding ignition.

These blowing firebrands land in brush, trash, wooden fences and decks or flammable furniture next to a building, flare up and set fire to the building. Following the classroom training the class went out and inspected two home sites. One home site was found to be in desperate need of cleanup and would not have been able to be saved during a wildfire.

The other home site was properly groomed and would have likely survived a wildfire.

4.2. Treasurer: Due to her mother’s injuries sustained in an auto accident, Jackie Lewis is out of the valley for several weeks. Rick Beno has agreed to manage the basic bookkeeping in her absence, with Bill Wilbur handling the board business. Rick did find an error in 2017, and has made adjustments. A PDF of the spreadsheet is Included in the PDF of the minutes.

4.3. Fire Chief: David Newton

Operations: Jan 13th mopped up a generator fire at the Sunny Flat campground.

Training: November training was well attended. December training went okay


• Tender 1 – front bumper replaced today. Damage to side mostly repaired.

• Brush 9 – pump froze. Replacement in hand, but not yet installed.

• Brush 6 – Out of service for mysterious stalling again.

Grants: The county's dispatching radio channel is still mucked up, so I have still been unable to test the pagers purchased under our 2014 AFG grant.

4.4 EMS Chief: John Yerger

CALLS: Portal Rescue EMTS responded to 7 EMS calls since our November meeting. 6 calls originated on the Arizona side; 1 of the calls originated in Hidalgo County.

HIDALGO COUNTY: I spoke with David Whipple, Director of Hidalgo County EMS today.

He sent me a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that, once signed, will extend our current agreement for 3 more years. Good news for our residents on the east side of the arbitrary state line.

EQUIPMENT: Rescue 3 is back in service. It has been restored to drivability and

equipment/supplies have now been refurbished. It remains to be seen how reliable this vehicle will be, so in the Chief’s opinion the organization should start thinking about how to replace this vehicle in the next few years. Best quote for Power Cot received from MFI

Medical Equipment: refurbished at $8,995, discounted for us to $8,545. Tax-free for our non-profit, and free FedEx shipping from New York; 3-week lead time. Brand new they cost north of $15,000. For reference, the non-powered stretchers we currently have retail for $7,000. But my understanding is that we don’t own them, they are on long-term loan from the state.

TRAINING: Our December meeting was lightly attended (no surprise, close to the

holidays). We’re looking forward to a joint training with FFTs and RCOs this Saturday, January 20. TMC held a Continuing Education training last month on pre-hospital care for stroke patients; several of our EMTs attended.

ROSTER: 8 Active EMTs; 1 returning soon to Active service after recovering from surgery;

1 retiring. Due to the seasonal nature of our EMTs “day jobs” we will at times be down to only 2 or 3 EMTs from March through October. So, despite what looks like a good roster, we are still in great need of new EMTs.

NEW EMT TRAINING: Hidalgo County will be hosting an EMT course in Animas starting soon (dates not set). I’m in contact with David Whipple of Hidalgo County EMS about this.

Portal/Rodeo residents are invited to attend. Upon completion of the course and test, the participants will be eligible for NM, AZ, and National licensure. I know of 1 person who has interest in attending a class. If you know anyone who would like to consider becoming an EMT please have them contact me or any Portal Rescue member for information. There is NO minimum number of students required, so this is the perfect opportunity for us to educate a few new EMTs.

FUELS REDUCTION: Douglas Handcrew and students from the S-212 Chainsaw class reduced fuels last week of December at no cost to Portal Rescue. However, their chipper was broken down so they’ll need to make another visit to mulch the remaining debris.

5 Old Business

5.1 Self-Evaluation Forms: It was discussed and suggested the President and Vice President read and evaluate the forms. The first round will be private, the second public. The forms will be revised for active members, and sent out to the community. David Newton moved for the board to adopt use of the Self-Evaluation forms. John Yerger seconded.

5.2 SOGs: The SOG for Disciplinary Action is outstanding pending creation of the Conflict Resolution SOG. It was suggested and agreed upon the SOGs be renumbered. It was also reiterated Hidalgo County requested the Portal Rescue Policy Book that provided the impetus for SOG review and implementation. John Yerger moved to accept the SOGs as they have been revised. Ray Mendez seconded, and it was approved.

5.3 Portal Rescue Manuals: The decision to develop and provide manuals for new volunteers and board members gained approval to move forward. Ray Mendez is leading the effort.

5.4 Credit Cards: John Yerger requested all discussion of credit cards be shelved. While there is still a need for credit cards, John is documenting the use of his personal credit card for Portal business over the course of a year.

6 New Business

6.1 A motion to provide lunch to the chipper crew was made by John Yerger, and seconded by Ray Mendez. The motion was approved. Jennifer Racicot has volunteered to cook and serve.

6.2 Participation in the Portal St. Patrick’s Day Parade was discussed.

6.3 Health Day will be held on a Saturday in April.

6.4 An Executive Session to discuss the budget will be scheduled.

6.5 The next meeting will be the Annual Meeting in March.

7 Addenda: None submitted.

8 For the Good of the Order: None submitted

9 Adjourn: Motion to adjourn by Susanne Apitz, seconded by John Yerger. The motion carried, and the meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Howard Topoff 2011