Portal Rescue-Agenda - Minutes



Board Meeting (Virtual – September 17, 2020)


Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Victor Shawe, Ali Morse, Dinah Davidson, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, and Carolyn Nordstrom, and community members Susanne Apitz, and Lee Dyal


  1. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the virtual meeting to order at 06:15 and reviewed meeting logistics.


  1. Adoption of Agenda

    1. David asked that a vote to approve a new firefighter be included in the Fire Chief’s report, and Dinah requested that building security from packrats be added to section “For the Good of the Order”.
    2. Cary moved and Dinah seconded the motion to approve the agenda as amended, and the vote in favor was unanimous.


  1. Approval of Minutes

    1. No amendments were proposed to the minutes.
    2. Cary moved for acceptance, Jackie seconded, and the vote was unanimous.


  1. Reports

    1. Vice-President (Victor Shawe)

Victor has secured a commitment from new Portal resident Debb Hillyard to serve on the Board as Treasurer beginning in January, when she will be here as a full time resident (but see below).



    1. Fire Chief (David Newton)

      1. There have been no operations since our last meeting.
      2. Two training sessions on pager use were well attended, but the September 2 training was not.
      3. There is nothing new to report on vehicles.
      4. Nor is there anything new on grants.
      5. Pager tests demonstrated that reception on CMA2 (our future dispatch channel) was pretty good. The next step is to get Douglas to use that same channel for our medical calls.
      6. David forwarded the signed SEACOM subscriber agreement to SEACOM’s Allen Smith, who has acknowledged receipt. David is now receiving emails documenting that Portal Rescue is consideredan official subscriber to SEACOM's dispatching service.



    1. EMT Chief (Jackie Lewis)

      1. PR EMTs were toned out 9 times between August 6th and September 13th. Douglas Fire arrived at one call prior to PR, one patient refused transport, and we were unable to respond to one call. Five calls were assisted by firefighters. Thank you, Alina Downer, Jeff Gee, Lee Dyal, and Victor Shawe!
      2. Year-to-date, PR EMTs have been toned out 26 times. Carolyn Nordstrom has responded to 16 PR calls and 10 calls with Hidalgo County, and Barbara Roth has responded to 14 PR calls, as well as 5 call with Hidalgo County. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated EMTs living so close to the station. Thank you both for your availability and conscientious patient care!
      3. Alina Downer and Michele Lanan began an EMT course in Sierra Vista in August. Cochise College allowed them to transfer to the Douglas campus this week. Please show them your support by thanking them when you can.
      4. Three light covers have been replaced on Rescue 4. Thank you, David, for helping locate them online.
      5. If Dinah has managed to catch all the packrats, we’ll need to repair the classroom wall.


  1. Treasurer (Ali Morse)

    1. Report from checking

      1. 4.4.1.1.Annual revenues to data are $24,478.03, and expenses are $25,247.82.
      2. 4.4.1.2.PR received $1,464 in fire income from the State of Arizona
      3. Cary Booth made an in-kind donation of a new office computer with needed software.
      4. 4.4.1.4.PR incurred no major expenses during this period.
      5. 4.4.1.5.Expenses exceeded income by $769.79
    2. Balance sheet (including all bank accounts)

      1. 4.4.2.1.Edward Jones

        1. The total value of our Edward Jones accounts is $113,042.15, including $1,819.87 in YTD interest.
        2. Money Market = $8,411.66 + 5 CDs (incl. Muma) of different maturity dates (1, 2 and 3 years) = $104,630.49.
      2. 4.4.2.2.Washington Federal

        1. The total value of our Washington Federal accounts is $53,431.58, including $310.80 YTD interest.
        2. Checking = $20,104.41, and Rainy Day Fund = $33,327.17.
        3. PR assets total $166,861.73 (incl. $135 in petty cash, $253 in stamps, all investments and cash).



    1. Member at Large (Carolyn Nordstrom)

Carolyn thanked RCOS and Firefighters for help provided, especially on some intensive calls.



    1. President (Cary Booth) – nothing to report


  1. New Business

    1. Classroom use

      1. With the consensus of board members, Cary moved to continue until our next meeting the policy of not renting the classroom. Classroom use should be permitted only for Blood Drives (with strict precautions) and for core PR events such as EMT and Firefighter meetings. Victor seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimously in favor.
    2. Treasurer position

      1. Jackie summarized the need to replace Ali when she departs for California at a date still uncertain. As noted above, Debb Hillyard would not be available before January. Jackie thanked Susanne Apitz for being available to serve as Treasurer until the March Community Meeting, obviating the need for two training sessions and officers convening at Washington Federal twice (January and again in March). Carolyn urged that the transition occur ASAP; two signatures are required for checks to PR personnel, and Victor will be out of town for a period of time.
      2. Mail handling will be especially important during the October Donation Drive. Susanne hikes frequently in Portal and can pick up mail herself, or Dinah will retrieve and perhaps forward it if necessary.
      3. Jackie moved to appoint Susanne as Treasurer through the remainder of Ali’s term, with the exact start date to be determined by our schedule at Washington Federal. Cary seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
    3. Vote on new Firefighter

New Portal arrival Ed Castellon is a very welcome addition to our fire-fighting team. He is qualified as a Firefighter Type 1, with a complete IQS record and a red card (though currently expired). With Ed’s permission, David followed our new policy of pulling Ed’s motor vehicle driver’s record, and it checked out fine. Ed is also willing to drive the rescue vehicle. David moved to accept Ed as a PR Firefighter, and Jackie seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.


    1. Schedule of next board meeting

      1. No in-person Chiefs’ meetings will take place for the remainder of the year (though the Chiefs are pondering how they might gain access remotely to the usual turkey meal).
      2. The meeting was scheduled for 6 pm AZ time on November 12. Victor will attend remotely.


  1. For the Good of the Order

    1. Blood Drive (Jackie Lewis)

      1. The last drive was very successful, with 19 units collected.
      2. Currently, half of available slots for the November 6 drive are already scheduled. Additional donors can schedule themselves or contact Jackie to do so. Covid precautions will be implemented.
    2. Donation drive (Jackie Lewis)

      1. The drive will again be coordinated by Morgan Yerger.
      2. There will be no preliminary postcard mailing prior to letters going out by October 2.
      3. We have sufficient brochures but need to check information for cell phone users. Cell calls should be directed to: 520-803-3555.
    3. Packrats (Dinah Davidson)

      1. Packrats invaded the classroom by climbing up inside a ridge of external paneling and chewing their way through the classroom wall. Dinah believes that the entire packrat group is now gone but will tape paper over the hole to make sure. One female birthed two cute babies inside a trap.
      2. Victor proposed an inexpensive solution to the exterior entry points and will implement this or an alternative when he returns.
      3. Dinah thanked Rolf Koford and Bonnie Bowen for the loan of their Tomahawk traps, which did the job nicely.


  1. Adjournment

There being no further business at 8:15 pm, Dinah moved to adjourn, Cary seconded the motion, and all agreed.


Howard Topoff 2011