Portal Rescue Board Meeting Minutes

Mar. 2021

Jan. 2021

Nov. 2020

Sept. 2020

July 2020

May 2020

Mar. 2020

Feb. 2020

Jan. 2020

Nov. 2019

Sept. 2019

July, 2019

May., 2019

Jan., 2019

May, 2018

Jan., 2018

Nov., 2017

May, 2017

Jan., 2017

Sept., 2016

July, 2016

Mar., 2016

Jan., 2016

Dec., 2015

Sept., 2015

July, 2015

June, 2015

Mar., 2015

Jan., 2015









Board Meeting (Virtual, March 20, 2021)

Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Victor Shawe, Susanne Apitz, Dinah Davidson, Carolyn Nordstrom, Jackie Lewis, and David Newton, plus seven other active members present or by phone (Bonnie Bowen, Eric Desfachelles, Alina Downer, Lee Dyal, Henry Essary, Jeff Gee, and Rolf Koford), 13 community members, and three guest speakers.

  1. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 2:11 pm.

  1. Adoption of Agenda

The Agenda was adopted after Cary proposed inserting item 7.2 for a change in online meeting tool.

  1. Acceptance of Minutes

There being no proposed changes to minutes of the January 20 meeting, Cary moved to accept them as submitted, Susanne seconded his motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

  1. Reports

4.1. Vice-President (Victor Shawe)

4.1.1. Victor announced the completion of the new helipad and thanked the many helpers and community members whose volunteered labor and donations made the project feasible and successful. He also acknowledged generous donations of materials from Maddux & Sons in Douglas, and Elbrock Water Systems, in Animas.  Costing $7593.19, the project came in under budget.

4.1.2. The helipad still has not been used (if you build it, they won’t come?), so the opportunity still exists to be first!

4.2 Fire Chief (David Newton)

4.2.1. Operations

On January 30th, a vehicle fire at milepost 393 ignited a roadside fire. Thanks to John Yerger and Rolf Koford for responding.

4.2.2. Training

Attendance has been okay.  We’ve tested our extrication tools and drafting out of a ‘pumpkin’ (temporary frameless tank).

4.2.3. Vehicles Brush 236: Andrew Waser replaced the hose reel swivel, and it’s working well.  A good set of wheel chocks has been added. Brush 9: This coming week, Lance will inspect leaking fuel near lines coming out of fuel injector pump.

4.2.4. Grants

Our VFA grant application was funded.  We’ll receive about $430 for purchases of various wildland fire supplies and equipment.

4.2.5. Special Note

Thanks to Victor Shawe for spearheading the Helipad project. It is rare for Portal Rescue to see a project go so quickly from inception to completion.

4.3. EMS Chief (Jackie Lewis)

There were 33 calls in 2020 (a correction from the report in the 2021 newsletter), and just eight calls so far this year.

4.4. Treasurer (Susanne Apitz)

4.4.1. Checking account Revenues for 2020 were $54,527.16, and expenses came in at $30,956.98. Revenues exceeded expenditures by $23,570.18. Revenues so far in 2021 are $6961.09, including donations totaling $5057, $17.92 interest, $29.67 from Amazon Smile, and $1856.50 returned from fighting the Price Canyon fire. Expenses have totaled $12,899.41, including $7,593.19 in helipad expenses.

4.4.2. Balance sheet Edward Jones

The total value of our Edward Jones accounts is $113,166.23: Money Market = $8599.53 + 5 CDs (incl. Muma) of different maturity dates (1, 2 and 3 years) = $104,566.70. Washington Federal

The total value of our Washington Federal accounts is $72,231.41:  Checking = $38587.77 plus Rainy Day Fund = $33643.64.

4.4.3. As of 3/19/21, Portal Rescue assets total $185,742.64: $255 in petty cash, $90 in stamps, and all investments and cash.

4.4.4. The Portal Rescue 2020 tax return problem has been resolved, and no penalties or interest are due.

4.4.5. A new endorsement stamp has been purchased for the Edward Jones account, and a checkbook ordered. All is ready to move the checking account from Washington Federal to Edward Jones.

4.5. Member at Large (Carolyn Nordstrom)

4.5.1. Carolyn credited Delane Blondeau and Jeanne Williams (both present) as founding members of PR.

4.5.2. 2020 was unusually challenging, especially for EMS, and PR response was commendable, indeed it has been community-making: firefighters showed up day or night in weather both good and awful to help EMTs, to land helicopters anywhere from backyards to heliport; radio operators worked in often chaotic conditions handling multiple radios and phones, at times in communication dead ones; Portal residents stepped up with great help, e.g. the volunteers who donated days of intense hard work building the helipad.

4.6. President (Cary Booth)

Cary thanked Victor and his crew and expressed “shock” at the rapidity and efficiency of construction.

  1. Continuing Business

5.1. Classroom rental policy

5.1.1. Carolyn suggested the Board continue the recent policy of not renting the classroom in accordance national health guidelines, and until Covid is better controlled through vaccination.

5.1.2. Cary moved that we continue 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. Victor seconded the motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

  1. New Business

6.1. Presentation by Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. – See Appendix A for details of their organization and proposed services, and a possible agreement (MOU) with Portal Rescue.

6.2. Driveway easements

6.2.1. Helen Snyder approached the Board with a request to approve a legal easement over our entrance road to the properties formerly owned by Mary Willy. Her property has been divided into two parcels, and title companies are hesitant to write policies without legal easements.   The legal easement to the properties in question was apparently partly washed out during Hurricane Odile, though that route could be improved to facilitate access.

6.2.2. Jackie recommended against awarding legal easements. Our entrance route is just a single lane and poorly visible to traffic along the paved road.  Liability could be incurred from accidents involving, e.g., cyclists or hunters, and road improvements might be required of us if an easement were to be formally granted.  Further, the former Willy properties could eventually be further divided among multiple owners, to whom the easement would then transfer.  There is an additional alternate route, but Ted Troller has donated a portion of his property to the Historical Society, and legal access via that route would require independent easements from him, the Society and (for a slim wedge) Portal Rescue.

6.2.3. Jackie advanced a motion, seconded by Carolyn, to decline the requested legal easement, and the vote was unanimously supportive of rejecting the easement.

6.3. Use of the new helipad by a pickleball ‘club’ (sport described here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqLRRNOpe8U )

6.3.1. Painting of the center court (green lined in white) as a pickleball court would help to center helicopters during landings. Between uses, equipment (net, paddles, ball) would be stored in a locker near the fire bay.

6.3.2. Concerns included liability waivers and a possible need to notify helicopter companies.

6.3.3. Victor will provide a standard waiver form, with one copy to remain at Portal Rescue.

6.3.4. Victor moved to allow the helipad to be used by pickleball club members who have signed waivers, and Susanne seconded his motion. The vote was unanimously in favor.

  1. For the Good of the Order

7.1. Blood drives

7.1.1. We collected 27 units of blood on March 19.

7.1.2. The next blood drive will be held on Thursday, May 13, with 17 of 30 slots already filled.

7.2. Online meeting tool

Beginning with our next meeting, we will have to choose a new meeting tool, because webex (which has previously cost nothing through Cary’s company) will have a new per-use cost.  Cary will investigate whether we might use another local organization’s underutilized Zoom contract, and if not, will look into costs of alternatives.  Given that we meet just in alternate months, a monthly fee may serve us better than an annual contract.  Perhaps we can use Google Meets.

7.3. We will have to have a ribbon-cutting (and a party!) at the helipad when Victor returns.

  1. Elections

8.1. Votes were held for board members representing both active members (elected by active members only) and community members (elected by both community members and active members).

8.2. Active members of the Board will include EMT Carolyn Nordstrom and firefighter Victor Shawe, as well as (automatically) the EMS and Fire Chiefs (Jackie Lewis and David Newton).

8.3. Community members will include Cary Booth, Dinah Davidson and Ali Morse.

8.4. All votes were favorable and unanimous, and each board member will continue in the offices s/he formerly held (see below).

8.5. Susanne Apitz will continue to cover the Treasurer’s duties until Ali Morse returns in very early April. Many thanks to Susanne for stepping forward last fall when we urgently needed her as Treasurer.

Portal Rescue Board (elected March 20, 2021)

President: Cary Booth                               EMS Chief: Jackie Lewis

Vice-President: Victor Shawe                   Fire Chief: David Newton

Treasurer: Ali Morse

Secretary: Diane W (‘Dinah’) Davidson

Member at Large: Carolyn Nordstrom

Appendix A

Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. (CCHCI) gave a presentation concerning the services they can provide (indeed, already are providing) to rural communities within the County.  As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), their eight mobile units, nine stationary clinics and 350 employees, enable them to reach patients who are poorly served either because of their isolated locations, or their inability to afford insurance and medical/dental care.  Their unusual business model enables FQHCs to look actively for people who need help and serve them both year round and wholistically, with attention to food and housing needs as well as primary medical care emphasizing illness prevention.  Vaccinations, Covid tests, and pharmacological deliveries are also possible, and if necessary, mobile units can further reduce transport barriers by serving patients at their homes.

The 1965 Civil Rights Act defined access to primary care as a civil right for everyone, and the FQHCs continue to have bipartisan support.  Health services are available independently of citizenship status, and unlike other government provided services like food stamps (covered by the Public Charge Rule), they do not ‘count against’ non-citizens who may eventually desire to apply to become legal permanent residents.  Infectious diseases are not selective in their hosts, and entire communities benefit from protecting us all from scourges like TB.  (Dinah’s observation: One can imagine that our geographic area will eventually also be exposed to emerging diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, zika, etc.  The Copper Queen Clinic in Douglas already sports signage warning of these diseases.)

The whole of Cochise County is considered to be composed of ‘high needs communities’, and one in four county residents uses CCHCI services.  Until now, this non-profit organization, governed by a community board comprised of users they serve, has had no presence on the east side of the Chiricahuas.  The organization, which already serves 30,000 people in 110,000 visits/yr, hopes to gradually expand in our area, including also San Simon.  In each new area, they typically start by parking one of their mobile units at the local fire station for one or two days per week and gradually increase their presence, eventually moving into a stationary clinic.  They are constantly searching for medical personnel willing to become involved at isolated locations, and they could eventually provide training and jobs with benefits for residents living nearby.  At other locations, they have trained community health workers (lay health care providers, with no formal education) in specific skill sets, e.g., contact tracing.  Such individuals understand the local culture and have credibility in their respective communities.  If they were to locate here in Portal, they would be willing to see NM patients as well, though CCHCI cannot accept NM Medicaid, and NM residents are already served by the Animas clinic.

Over 700,000 patients are served by FQHIs in AZ.  Treatment costs are on a sliding scale, depending on household income and family size, and for households at less than 200% of poverty level, a minimum fee of $10 is imposed.  The primary source of income for the organization is billed insurance, and CCHCI has never lost money.  It is growing and constantly building new teams.

With Frances Grill’s support, CCHCI would like to start in Portal by filling gaps in the Walker Clinic’s services.  The Walker clinic has limited hours, on limited days, and does not accept uninsured patients or all types of insurance.  CCHCI would continuously assess local needs and eventually be able to serve as a medical home, with consistent personnel over time offering regular screenings, acute care, and other primary care services, but not urgent care.  Appointments would be required, but time would also be saved for same day care.  Tele-help would also be available Monday through Saturday and Sunday through Saturday for pediatric patients.  A doctor would be available 24/7 for advice.

CCHCI would seek an MOU with Portal Rescue to station a self-contained mobile unit here 1-2 days per week (perhaps overnighting) and use of space and restrooms.  Space would be rented at a nominal cost, and their personnel would monitor spacing in a low volume waiting area (appointments every 30 min) and would clean the facility afterwards.

The Portal Rescue Board will continue to discuss this electronically, and CCHCI could start with a needs assessment in the Portal-Rodeo area as early as the coming summer.  They are actively looking for personnel (perhaps birders?!) to locate here.


Presentations were made by the following individuals:

Dr. Jonathan Melk, MD, FAAP, CEO, pediatrician

Dr. Darlene Melk – Director of Mobile Programs, MD, FAAP, pediatrician

Susan Lange RN, BSN – Director of Community Programs (community outreach)

Go to https://cchci.org/ for website – lists all hours and clinics, operations.

Board Meeting (Virtual, January 20, 2021)

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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reports

4.1. Vice-President (Victor Shawe)

4.1.1. 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.

4.1.2. 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).

4.2. Fire Chief (David Newton)

4.2.1. 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.

4.2.2. Training

Attendance has been okay at three training sessions.

4.2.3. Equipment

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

4.2.4. Grants

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

4.3. EMS Chief (Jackie Lewis)

4.3.1. Calls 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. The availability of John Yerger and ET Collinsworth has taken some of the pressure off stalwarts Carolyn Nordstrom and Barbara Roth.

4.3.2. Training 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 4.3.4. below). Tucson Medical Center has been offering continuing education classes via ZOOM. Five Portal Rescue members participated in the cardiac arrest and documentation sessions.

4.3.3. 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).

4.3.4. 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

4.4. Treasurer (Susanne Apitz)

4.4.1. Checking account 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. The new year (2021) has also brought a good start on donations; revenues are $3305, and expenses, $215.56. 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.

4.4.2. The helipad will be costly, and given the extreme drought conditions, we can perhaps anticipate a big fire year.

4.4.2. Balance sheet Edward Jones The total value of our EJ accounts is $113,148.31. Money Market = $8,507.18 Five CDs (including Muma funds) with different maturity dates (1,2 and 3 yrs) total $104,641.13. Washington Federal The total value of these assets is $80,694.19 The checking account currently holds $47,051.55 The Rainy Day Fund holds $33,642.64, including $627.27 YD interest.

4.4.3. 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.

4.4.4. 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.

4.5. Member at large (Carolyn Nordstrom passes)

4.6. President (Cary Booth passes)

    1. Old Business

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.

5.2. Helipad

5.2.1. 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.

5.2.2. It was moved (Victor) and seconded (Dinah) that we approve $8,000 for helipad construction.

5.2.3. The focal area will be fitted with forms by the end of the month and ready for pouring of concrete on February 1.

5.2.4. 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.

5.3. Decision on where to move the Checking Account (Edward Jones vs Ally Bank)

5.3.1. 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.

5.3.2. Jackie suggested that we keep the WF CD, which matures in 2025, despite moving checking to EJ.

5.3.3. 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

6.1. Fundraising

6.1.1. 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.

6.1.2. 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.

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.

6.3. Draft and approve 2021 budget

6.3.1. 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.

6.3.2. Jackie moved that the Board accept the budget as drafted (see Appendix A), Susanne seconded her motion, and the vote was unanimously in favor.

6.4. FF and EMT shirt order

6.4.1. 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.

6.4.2. 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.

6.4.3. 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.

6.5. Bricks for the helipad

6.5.1. 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.

6.5.2. 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.
  2. Adjournment
    The meeting was adjourned at 21:13 pm.

Board Meeting (Virtual, November 24, 2020)

Board Meeting (Virtual, September 17, 2020)

Board Meeting (Virtual, July 29, 2020)

Board Meeting (Virtual, May 6, 2020)

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.

  1. Call to Order

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

  1. Adoption of Agenda

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

  1. Approval of Minutes

3.1 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.

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

  1. Reports

4.1. Vice-President (Bill Wilbur)

4.1.1. 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.

4.1.2. 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.

4.2. 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.

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

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

4.2.5. 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.

4.2.7. 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.

4.3. EMS Assistant Chief (Jackie Lewis)

4.3.1. 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.

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

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

4.3.4. 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.

4.3.5 Barbara Roth is now licensed in New Mexico.

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

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

4.4. Treasurer (Jackie Lewis)

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

4.4.2. 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.

4.4.3. 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).

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

4.4.5. 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.

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

4.6. President (Cary Booth)

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

4.6.2. 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.

  1. Old Business

5.1. 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.

5.2. 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.

  1. For the Good of the Order

6.1. 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.

6.2. 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.

  1. New Business

7.1. Welcome to our new Active Members (all Radio Operators): Susanne Apitz, Bonnie Bowen, Dinah Davidson, and Bill Wilbur.

7.2. Nomination and election of Portal Rescue Board Members for March 2020 – March 2021

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

7.2.2. 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.

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

7.2.4. Victor Shawe agrees to serve as Vice-President.

7.2.5. 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.

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

7.3. 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.

7.4. 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.

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

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

Special Board Meeting – February 24, 2020

Portal Rescue Inc.
Meeting Minutes
January 15, 2020

Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Bill Wilbur, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, Victor Shawe, and Dinah Davidson, active members Susanne Apitz, Lee Dyal, Henry and Amy Essary, and Carolyn Nordstrom

1. Call to order 18:05 pm (Cary)

2. Adoption of agenda

2.1. Jackie requested one addition to new business: purchase of printed shirts for ROs and drivers.
2.2. Dinah so moved, and Bill seconded the motion, which was adopted unanimously.

3. Minutes of board meeting for Nov 13, 2019, found at: https://www.portalrescue.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/November-2019-minutes-fin.pdf

3.1. Jackie moved for acceptance of the minutes, Bill seconded her motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

4. Reports

4.1. VP Report (Bill Wilbur)

4.1.1. Bill thanked Lee for intuitive input on ambulance bay doors. We will be working with Greer Millworks tomorrow, starting at 7:30 am (with David). Bill will relieve David in the afternoon, and Lee will also be available for help. The crew will start with the south door and work on the vertical operation of both doors. Bill recommends setting the doors to open just a foot or so above the vehicles so gravity holds them down and keeps them from jumping their tracks. (Note added on 01/16/2020: as usual, the crew forgot some parts and will have to return.)
4.1.2. Mouse patrol: Bill sealed two large openings with copper-based foam that mice hate. Repairs to doors should help too. Trapping can begin, and traps should be checked at least every two days. We thank Bob Downs for volunteering for mouse patrol while he is in Portal.
4.1.3. The new floor acquired some new divots at the New Year’s Day event. Bill will buy an epoxy kit and match the floor color.
4.1.4. Bill’s radio should be back online Friday after arrival and installation of a newly ordered battery.
4.1.5. Exit lights have not been found and are not in the building. Did someone perhaps take them home?
4.1.6. Classroom lights: a committee composed of David, Bill and others they may recruit will get after this soon.

4.2. Fire Chief (David Newton)

4.2.1. There have been no operations since our last board meeting.
4.2.2. A joint training exercise for EMTs, fire-fighters and ROs was well attended in December.
4.2.3. Individual radio operations training was provided to Linda Wadsworth, who was not here for training last spring.
4.2.4. No progress has been made toward moving the pump and tank off Brush 8 onto the F450. That truck may also need new tires: 7 (includes a spare) at $300 each.
4.2.5. David has submitted an application to the annual VFA 50:50 grant program, requesting $1700 for equipment and supplies. If the proposal is successful, they will ship the requested items and invoice us for half the cost.
4.2.6. In response to a request for an inventory of radios, Portal Rescue uses three kinds of hand-helds. We have two unissued Motorola radios and two new batteries costing $60 each. We have two or three unissued Bendix King radios used by fire-fighters; batteries cost $50 each, and we should probably order six more. We have one unused Vertex radio currently in use in the RO office; its batteries cost about $35. David can get used Vertex radios with an extra battery for about $200, and new Vertex radios with an extra battery for about $300. Bill has returned an additional Vertex radio because it was not useful at his residence.($90, or $200, with charger, or $300 with two batteries) – 1 unissued but used in the RO office, and its battery is old. Bill will bring back a hand-held radio that is out of range and not useful at his residence. There have been no requests for Bendix King batteries lately, but David may order more in anticipation of failures.
4.2.7. SEACOM provides an alerting app for cell phones to be directly tied into their system. They are hashing out details for Portal and Bowie. Radio will remain the primary means of dispatch, with cell phones secondary.
4.2.8. A new laptop is needed for the RO office. The existing laptop runs Window 7 (no longer supported by Microsoft) and is probably too old to accommodate an upgrade to Windows 10.

4.3. EMS Chief (John Yerger, report presented by Assistant Chief Jackie Lewis)

4.3.1. First, John thanks EMTs E.T. Collinsworth, Joan Galanis, Jackie Lewis, Carolyn Nordstrom and Barbara Roth for their continued service in 2019. We sincerely need every one of them in 2020, and for as long as they are able to serve!
4.3.2. We have responded to three calls since our last meeting, and in 2019, to approximately 35-40 EMS calls, a number average or slightly above the 10-yr average for the Portal/Rodeo area. Not evidenced in this total are some distant calls where Douglas arrives before or simultaneously with Portal Rescue. With just two individuals per ambulance, Douglas Fire medical staff still appreciate our extra hands for on-scene help, e.g., with set-up of helicopter landing zones.
4.3.3. Curtiss and Tom Snyder deserve a big “Thank you” for pulling the Douglas ambulance out of snow and mud on one of these calls.
4.3.4. Recent EMS dispatch issues are being resolved (see Fire Chief’s report).
4.3.5. Four large O2 tanks must be picked up from Douglas Fire. Bill will get these in his truck when we go to the bank in Douglas tomorrow.
4.3.6. A vehicle check was done in December, and another must be scheduled soon.
4.3.7. With just six EMTs on our roster, and at least four of those available seasonally or part-time, we have a desperate need for more EMTs. In order to continue providing the same level of responsiveness that we have in the past, we MUST secure new EMTs. There should be a class in Animas, NM, beginning in April, a rare opportunity for a local EMT class. Please direct interested parties to John, or to any past or present EMT for encouragement to enroll, and have them contact John for details.
4.3.8. John is not sure when he will return.

4.4. Treasurer (Jackie Lewis)

4.4.1. Portal Rescue budgeted $71,000 for 2019 expenses, took in $46,399, and spent $53,070. Despite higher than average maintenance expenses, allocation of funds from other budget categories precluded a need to tap the Rainy Day Fund.
4.4.2. Cash assets on hand total $167,977.
4.4.3. The checking account balanced to the penny.
4.4.4. The money market CD maturing on 1/16/2020 will be rolled over into another CD bearing a slightly lower interest rate.
4.4.5. Details of 2019 income and expenses will be presented in our upcoming Newsletter (thanks Editor Pat Espenak!) and reviewed publicly during the March annual meeting.

4.5. Member at large (Victor Shawe) – nothing to report.

4.6. President (Cary Booth)
Refreshing of the website has been on hold while Cary has been out of town.

5. New Business

5.1. The Annual Community Meeting of Portal Rescue was scheduled tentatively for Thursday, March 5 (potluck at 5:00 pm, meeting at 6:00 pm). Cary will contact active members by email to encourage attendance for voting on board members.
5.2. Cary, Bill, Jackie, and Dinah will meet tomorrow at 4:00 pm at Washington Federal Bank in Douglas, to remove past signatories and add current signatories on the CD that matures on January 16. Jackie moved to roll over the CD, and Dinah seconded her motion, which carried unanimously.

6. Old Business

6.1. Jackie proposed that new Portal Rescue shirts be purchased for drivers and ROs and be labeled appropriately as “Driver” or “Radio Operator”. A Tucson shop will do small numbers of shirts. A head count included 7 ROs and 2 Drivers who are not currently FFs. Jackie will circulate a design. She proposed to buy 12 shirts and moved that a maximum of $300 (actual target = $240) be allocated for this purpose. David seconded her motion, which carried unanimously. It was agreed that Jenny Knapp should receive a “Portal Rescue Supporter” shirt.
6.2. Working from last year’s budget the Board arrived at a figure of $45,750 for 2020, but will await Henry Essary’s estimate for work on the well head before finalizing this figure through an email vote.
6.3. The Board reviewed the revised drafted updates of our Bylaws and made several minor changes. Jackie moved that the draft revised on Jan 15, 2020, be presented to active members for a vote. Victor seconded her motion, and the vote was unanimous. The draft will be emailed to active members in advance of a vote on acceptance.
6.4. A special meeting will be held on Monday, February 24, at 6:00 pm (at least a week prior to the Annual Community Meeting) to first consider new applications for active membership and then allow active members to discuss and vote on changes to the Bylaws. The first part of this meeting will be open to the public, but community members will be dismissed prior to consideration of Bylaws.
6.5. Member applications for ROs and Drivers are ready and may be filled out in advance of the February 24th meeting. Jackie will circulate these via email to individuals who may wish to consider applying.
6.6. Suggested changes to website
Cary moved to table discussion of website changes until a subsequent meeting. Jackie seconded his motion, which carried unanimously.

7. Addenda (none)

8. For the Good of the Order

8.1. Blood Drive: 32 people have signed up for the January 16 blood drive. (Note added after meeting: there were 10 cancellations. Donors will be offered long-sleeved-shirts and have their names added to a national Red Cross drawing for a Super Bowl ticket.
8.2. Soup’s On update

8.2.1. We need to swap out the faucet and replace sink tile in the bay prior to the event.
8.2.2. PR personnel in PR t-shirts will be offered free lunch in exchange for drawing tickets for door prizes. Walker Family Medicine has agreed to be a sponsor of the Soup’s On event, and AirMedCare (aka LifeLine) has been asked but not yet confirmed.
8.2.3. Jenny has asked that PR member pictures be placed on the wall, but this is not yet definite.
8.2.4. The bay must be cleaned before February 15, including pressure washing to clean oil from bay floor. Bill will bring his pressure washer.

9. Adjournment
At 20:10 pm, Bill moved to adjourn, and Jackie seconded his motion, which carried unanimously.

Portal Rescue Inc., Meeting Minutes – November 13, 2019

Portal Rescue Inc.
Meeting Minutes
September 23, 2019


Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Bill Wilbur, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, Victor Shawe, and Dinah Davidson, active member Carolyn Nordstrom, RCO Bonnie Bowen, and community member and calendar caretaker Barbara Miller.

      1. President Cary Booth called the meeting to order 6:09 PM.
      2. By unanimous consent, the Agenda was approved after adding discussion of skylights under Old Business and delaying Old Business until after For the Good of the Order.
      3. By unanimous consent, minutes from the May 15 meeting were approved after adding two items (trophy and large fluorescent lantern) to the list of prizes won by Portal Rescue’s representatives (Carolyn Nordstrom and Barbara Roth) at the July 4th
      4. Reports

4.1 President’s Report (Cary Booth)

4.1.1   Profuse thanks to Jackie and Bill for coordinating the classroom renovation.  A complete (we hope) list of volunteers is attached as an Addendum.  We are fortunate to have such generous community members and project leaders.

4.1.2   Board members should reach out to Cary for one-on-one tutorials for using Google G-Suite Basic.  Most board members have accessed this account at least once by now.

4.1.3   Cary has acquired adapters to bump up resolution on the projector.

4.1.4   Cary has set up a phone system so that absent board members can hear our proceedings adequately.  (John has not joined tonight, because we were late in getting information to him.)  This online conferencing / sharing solution uses Cary’s existing account so costs us nothing.  Absent members can join through Internet or phone.  A remote microphone helps absentees hear board members though not audience members.  The system accommodates multiple simultaneous participants.

4.1.5   Project status updates       Skylights (Victor) – Victor has obtained two quotes for materials to replace 6 skylights in the fire bay.  Recognizing the trade-off between light transmission and durability, Victor chose durability and volunteered to pick up panels and all accessories from Mueller, Inc., in El Paso to avoid the $250 delivery fee. Counting $75 or so for his fuel, this would keep total costs below $500.  Jackie moved to go ahead with this plan, David seconded her motion, and the motion passed unanimously.       Well head (David) – Henry Essery has been too busy to get to this and it’s costly for him forego paid work in order to assign time and equipment to Portal Rescue.  It was suggested that we pay him, and Jackie said we could put this into the January budget because it isn’t urgent.  Henry also has the equipment needed to level the parking area and eliminate problems with the well head and drainage.  The box has sunk and may have to be reset.       Exit lights (Bill) – at least two boxes haven’t yet been located.  We will keep looking.  Boxes are 24” x 12” by 8”.       (David) – David is continuing his efforts to improve communications with SEACOM.       Classroom lights (Cary) – The bulbs haven’t all been changed out yet.  Bill will explain to Cary how to do this, and perhaps Cary can complete this job.  Fixtures must be re-wired and ballasts removed.  Lee Dyal has kindly left the scaffolding here.  LED stickers should be affixed so no one puts fluorescent tubes in.       Bay lights (Jackie) – Jackie and David will tackle this once floor space opens up in the bay.       Classroom window screens (Jackie) – Some are missing and others are torn and need replacing somewhere down the line.  Cary will handle this.       Before Soups On in February, we need to replace the plumbing and frame for the sink in the bay.  The counter surface should be water proof.  It was decided that we may want to use tiles, but leftover formica would be another option.

4.2   Vice-President’s report (Bill Wilbur)

4.2.1   Bill expressed thanks to those helping with replacement of the floor (see Addendum).

4.2.2 Ambulance bay doors remain unfinished because the upgraded springs were still insufficiently strong. Installers from Greer Millworks will return Thursday-Friday for a third and hopefully final try.  Bill will be here Thursday and will coordinate someone to substitute for him on Friday.  (Update after the meeting: a fourth try will be needed.  Maybe the installers just enjoy Portal?)

4.3 Treasurer’s Report (Jackie Lewis)

4.3.1 Jackie thanks Morgan Jackson for sending out postcards prior to the annual donation drive, and Morgan will also mail donation letters and update the donation ‘thermometer’ at the Post Office.

4.3.2 Our checking account balance is (as expected) low – just $6,602.20 in the active account. With the annual donation drive beginning soon (October 1), Jackie doesn’t expect to have to transfer funds to checking. The largest expenses for this month, totaling $1,872.69, were for replacement of the classroom floor, for paint, and for six chair dollies and chair repair parts so feet wouldn’t scratch the new floor.

4.3.3 The EMS training cost ($785.59) was donated, so it does not appear in deposits or as a withdrawal from checking.

4.3.4 We are well under our budgeted expenses, and Jackie expects current funds and those raised during the donation drive to fully cover expenses incurred through the end of the year.

4.4 Fire Chief’s Report (David Newton)

4.4.1 David congratulated the organization and community volunteers on completing the complex floor resurfacing and repainting jobs.

4.4.2 Since July 15, there have been no fire operations.

4.4.3 Training was well attended in July and August but poorly attended in September. Victor volunteered that the September emergency drivers training exercise had been very valuable for him.

4.4.4 David finished a course in emergency driving. The F450 ran well up and back on his trip.

4.4.5 We have acquired a used thermal imaging camera that will be usable for mop-up.

4.5 EMS Report (Assistant Chief Jackie Lewis)

4.5.1 We have had two EMS calls since the July 15 board meeting.

4.5.2 Vehicle checks have been completed, but no monthly meetings were held. The September meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morning (September 24).

4.5.3 Jackie completed her 2-yr recertification class (Sept. 16-18).

4.5.4 The Animas EMS Chief (Jared Fraley) will teach a CPR class for Healthcare Providers on Saturday, September 28 at 4:00 PM, here in Portal. Portal Rescue will cover the $25 cost for PR EMTs.

4.5.5 We already have the envelopes, brochures and most of the stamps for the donation drive, but there will be printing costs.

4.5.6 The Muma CD with Edward Jones expires on 10/15. Jackie advocated for just rolling over this insured CD for 3 yrs, paying 1.95% at EJ, because she hasn’t found better paying CDs that are insured.  The Board approved the CD option.

      1. Old Business

5.1 RCO versus Radio Operator? For purposes of updating the website and documents, which terminology can we agree to use consistently?  David advocated for using “Radio Operator”, and board members agreed.  On the radio, we mainly use “Portal Rescue Communications”.

5.2 Revisions of Active Member application forms: forms for Driver and Radio Operator (formerly RCO) were finalized. Revisions to other forms were tabled for a later meeting.

5.3 Discussion of By Laws updates regarding definition of being “present”: This discussion was tabled until a later meeting.

  6. New Business

The Board formalized the email vote to approve purchase of chair dollies, chair leg inserts, and chairs for the PR classroom.  Chair inserts did not fit perfectly, but Jackie believes she can adapt them.  Bill moved to accept the expense of $332.22, David seconded the motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

  7. For the Good of the Order

7.1 The Chiefs’ luncheon (a full Thanksgiving dinner) will be held on November 20. Chris Wilbur has retired from supervising this event, and she needs to hand off the obligation and her instruction manual to a new organizer.  The person taking over need not be able to cook but must be a good organizer.  We need to solicit such a person first from among the EMTs, Fire-fighters, and RCOs.  Portal Rescue thanks Chris for her service over the years!

7.2 Oktoberfest is coming up on Saturday, October 26. Dinah (spelled off by Cary) volunteered to serve at the donation table and store the checks.  We also need to have an ambulance available nearby.  Perhaps Carolyn and Victor can help with organizing these things.

8. Addenda

See the addendum for the names of those working to renovate the classroom.

  9. Adjournment

At 8:17 pm, Dinah moved to adjourn the meeting, Victor seconded the motion, and with the full Board in agreement, Cary adjourned the meeting.

Addendum – Helpers with Classroom Renovation

Please add others as warranted ….


Bill Wilbur

Chris Wilbur

David Newton

Jon Lacey

Victor Shawe

Bud Johnson

Debb Johnson

Bonnie Bowen

Rolf Koford

Jackie Lewis

Winston Lewis

Deborah Herczog

Celia Reed

Mike Churchman

Bud Fackelman

Sara Stumbo

Linda Pretty

Lee Dyal

Carolyn Nordstrom

Cecil Williams

Dinah Davidson


Portal Rescue Inc. Meeting Minutes – July 15, 2019

Portal Rescue Inc. Meeting Minutes – May 15, 2019

Portal Rescue Inc. Meeting Minutes – January 16, 2019

1. Call to order 6:31PM

2. A move to adopt the agenda was made by Ray Mendez, seconded by Jackie Lewis. Motion carried.

3. Minutes of Board meeting were reviewed briefly. Ray Mendez moved to adopt the minutes, Jackie Lewis seconded. Motion carried.

4. Reports

4.1 Presidents’ Report (Bill Wilbur)
The Julians wrote a good Radio Operator guide when Radio Operators were first added to Portal Rescue. Bill is updating it, checking phone numbers and making other changes. For example, state agencies are consolidating under one number, as is Hidalgo County. Bill will get the updated phone list out early February.
Rescue 3 sale: Delayed due to government shutdown.
Bylaws: Bill has talked to a new lawyer; will get together with Board in Executive Session to discuss suggestions.

4.2 Treasurer’s Report (Jackie Lewis)
Those of you who watch numbers closely will see that there is a difference in the income reported tonight and what is posted in the newsletter. I received interest income information from Washington Federal after sending the final copy of my report to Pat Espenak for the newsletter. $619.67 interest was earned on a CD.
2018 year end income was $76,257 which is $6707 over our budgeted income. Expenses were $85,085 which is $15,535 over budget and $8,828 over income.
We started 2019 with $31,878 in checking and $200 in petty cash. $2,650 in donations have been received this month. Total cash assets for Portal Rescue are $174,875 with a few written checks outstanding.

4.3 Fire Chief (David Newton)
Operations: There has been 1 fire call since Oct. 16, a mutual aid request at Milepost 389 late one night. Chief Newton and another firefighter took a tender to assist Sunnyside Fire to help with a semi that caught fire.
Training: Training was well attended in November and December.
Other: Brush 6 has been out of service for almost a year. We’ve had this 1989 truck for 9 years. Chief Newton recommends getting a new truck and keeping the good pump currently on Brush 6.
Grants: In December Newton submitted a VFA grant. He wanted to order equipment with it that was in GSA catalog. The total cost is $2400; we would be reimbursed half as it’s a 50/50 grant. There is a delay in receipt.
Driver instruction: Firefighters have prepared training plans and checklists for operating emergency vehicles. Newton purchased small traffic cones for the training.
There is a new group of Portal Rescue members called Drivers. It has been suggested that these drivers take an online course. Jackie suggests it would be a good idea for all, including EMTs and Firefighters, to take the ocurse. The drivers should also get hands on training. Bud suggested a post-trip checklist for after fires.

4.4 EMS Chief (John Yerger)
There were 32 EMS calls in 2018. (We’ve had only 3 attended EMS calls since the last Board meeting; 1 unattended that was in New Mexico due to lack of available personnel.) This was a nearly 20% increase over 2017 (26) which was itself a busier year than most. It’s too early to say if this is a trend or an anomaly, but it certainly demonstrates the need for a robust team of EMTs. Last year’s retirement of one EMT in the Sulphur Canyon area and the loss of our two most responsive EMTs (who attended ¾ of all EMS calls) has demonstrably hurt our response times and overall capabilities, particularly in Rodeo and what I’ll call “southern Portal.” All remaining EMTs live close to the station, which is an advantage when retrieving Rescue 4 but creates a geographically imbalanced response by personal vehicle (often faster). The EMS Chief, Board and perhaps even the community needs to engage more seriously in retention efforts if we are to keep Portal Rescue EMS functioning at a high level. Suggestions are welcome. Nearby EMT classes are rare, and obviously there is a finite number of local people to recruit. In positive news, we’ve had 2 EMTs renew their certifications recently (Barbara Roth and Joan Galanis) – huge thanks to them!
Training has been well-attended recently.
In other good news, EMTs in Arizona may soon be allowed to administer epinephrine by draw-ing it up from a vial, eliminating the need for costly EpiPen autoinjectors. EpiPens famously shot up to $600 for a set last year. Although we can now secure them for half that cost, and have sometimes obtained grants for EpiPens, a vial of epinephrine is only $18. EpiPens typically ex-pire after just one year, so if ADHS implements this measure, we can hope to see a $1200 line item eliminated from in Portal Rescue’s expenses.
TMC has suggested a few minor edits to our Drug Box SOG. I’ll submit a revised version for inclusion in the Portal Rescue Policy Book after I obtain approval from our Prehospital Coordinator. There is also a sizable new skills verification that EMTs will be required to complete by July 1. Our EMS team will be working together on this over the next few months.
Shane Burchfield has offered to serve as a driver for Rescue 4 whenever he is available. I enthusiastically accepted his offer. I am of the opinion that anyone who is not an EMT or FFT should at minimum take an online EVOC, as an easy and basic measure to safeguard against potential liability in case of a vehicle accident. NOTE: This is in addition to our in-house vehicle training.
Finally: Rescue 4 needs a few minor repairs (lights or electrical connections, oxygen system leak). I need help. [Bud Johnson voiced an offer to help – thanks Bud.]

5. Old Business

5.1 Background checks
David talked to an investigator who was recommended by Dennis McAvoy. She had done background checks for the Cochise county fairgrounds. A criminal/civil background check costs $125 per person. She needs SSN and consent from each person. Driver’s A 20- month driving record available online for $3 (in AZ).
Ray Mendez proposes that we move forward with driving / background checks. A blind study of background checks from an investigator and online to compare results is suggested.
Motion: Require a driving record be provided online for all EMT’s, firefighters, and drivers. Newton will survey fire chiefs to decide on a policy to move forward. Ray Mendez will be the guinea pig for the background check. Portal Rescue authorizes funds for the background check.

6. New Business

2019 Budget — Jackie Lewis
Budget of $71000, Motion made by Jackie Lewis; Ray Mendez seconded. Approved.

7. Addenda

8. For the Good of the Order

8.1 Soup’s On February 18, 19, 20 Chris organizing raffle list and starting publicity. Call if you can bring bread, soup or dessert, or want to volunteer to work.

8.2 Blood Drive January 17; space available. There is a critical blood shortage.

8.3 The blood drive on March 22 will be called the Greg Wayman Memorial Blood Drive. Spread the word to try to get more donations.

9. Adjournment. Moved by Jackie Lewis, seconded by Ray Mendez Meeting adjourned at 8:04PM.

Portal Rescue, Inc. Meeting Minutes – May 23, 2018

Portal Rescue, Inc. Meeting Minutes – January 17, 2018

Portal Rescue, Inc. Meeting Minutes – November 2, 2017


Portal Rescue, Inc.

Meeting Minutes

May 17, 2017


1.0  CALL to ORDER:

The regular meeting of the Portal Rescue, Inc. was called to order at 6:44 by President Bill Wilbur. 5 Board members present. 4 Active and 7 Community members present. David Newton added a 6.6 to New Business.


Motion to approve Agenda by Jackie Lewis and seconded by Ray Mendez.  Motion to accept Agenda as modified by Jackie Lewis and second by Ray Mendez. The agenda was unanimously approved as amended.

3.0  APPROVAL of March,2017 MINUTES:

Jackie Lewis adds bank required paperwork to the minutes.

Motion to approve minutes by Ray Mendez and second by David Newton. The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously distributed.



PRESIDENT BILL WILBUR: Thanks the volunteers for their hard work and dedication to Portal Rescue and the community for their support and feedback.



YEAR TO DATE INCOME: $19,729.56 ($42,770.44 under budget)

YEAR TO DATE EXPENSES: $17,916.23 ($44,583.77 under budget)

Majority of income and expense since last meeting have come from fire income and fire pay.

Fire Income:( not budgeted): $5,477.21

Fire Pay (not budgeted): $2,704.64

Office supplies are over budget from non-budgeted purchase of projector and back up lamp (532), tax prep (150), classroom cleaning for Soup Kitchen (260).

Separate line item was created for NM EMS Training Income and NM EMS Training Expense after budget was set. No amounts budgeted for either column although we have received donations and have incurred expenses for NM EMS.

We have lost $240.24 in interest on the CDs during the first 4 months of 2017. Rick Beno noted that this loss is only incurred if we cash out the CDs before the maturity date.

Checking Account as of 5/16/17: $63,213.43

Rainy Day Fund 2: $31,157.18

Petty Cash: $200.00

Total Assets: $199,594.38

Reminder: Requests for reimbursements need to have the date that the is filled as the purchase dates may differ. Chief signatures need to be on the reimbursement forms before they are turned in to the Treasurer.

2016 Tax Return was picked up yesterday and mailed in today. The paperwork had been given to an assistant and not completed on time. We can expect a letter requesting penalties but Larry Moss will write a letter to tax bureau and we should not have to pay.

We’ve received a notice of non-renewal for Workman’s Comp from Travelers Insurance. Our insurance agent will be contacted to assist. We will, once again, be required to get 3 letters of deferral before Travelers Insurance will provide Workman’s Compensation Insurance to Portal Rescue.



FIRE CHIEF: David Newton

Since March 8, 2017

OPERATIONS: On March 31st in the early morning we responded to a field fire started by a downed power line. On April 1st we responded to a wildland fire North of Sulphur Canyon. On April 13th, Newton and Jerry Racicot participated in a prescribed burn put on by the Palominas Fire District. On April 17th we responded to a small fire off of Killian Rd.

TRAINING: March and April trainings were well attended. One new person took the Basic Wildland course in Benson in late April. One person took the intermediate Fire Behavior Class.

VEHICLES: Brush 8 failed to start today. This is the 2nd time this has happened. The fire pump on Brush 9 needs to be replaced. It is unexpectedly stopping. It uses a $ 500.00 semi-trash pump.

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. The county finally has the Sheriff’s system working, so I’m told the fire dispatching channel will be fixed by mid – June. We’ve received the equipment we were funded to buy for our VFA Grant and are awaiting an invoice from the state.


EMS CHIEF: Jerry Racicot

CALLS: Portal Rescue EMTS responded to 5 EMS calls since our March meeting, 3 of the calls originated in Hidalgo County.

EQUIPMENT: Rescue4 received maintenance including the alternator being replaced and the A/C system being re-charged. Rescue 3 is still out of service.

TRAINING: Our April meeting was well attended. EMTS will have the opportunity to attend the Southwest Trauma Conference in August. The conference will yield EMTS 12.5 hours of Continuing Education training hours. EMTS are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of Continuing Education in order to re-certify.

NEW VOLUNTEERS: With the possibility of EMTS retiring this year, we will need to consider holding another EMT class this fall. I have had 1 person express 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.


5.1 RESCUE 3 REPAIR or REPLACE: After much discussion, it was decided that Rescue 3 should be repaired if Portal Rescue wants to keep a second EMS Rescue Vehicle. Jerry received an estimate from Lance for approximately $5,000 and a second estimate is in order. Terri Farley would call Smith Ford in Lordsburg, New Mexico to get an estimate on approximately how much it would cost to repair and haul to Lordsburg.

5.2 FORM A REVIEW COMMITTEE- SOGs: After a discussion and much input it was decided that Bill Wilbur, Ray Mendez and John Yerger would be the Review Committee. Active members are encouraged to give comments, suggestions and any other input. There will be a 2- week time-frame to have comments, suggestions or any other input posted.

5.3 CREDIT CARD REVIEW: After many questions from if the cards will be insured to who will be enforcing the charges made? Comments like it’s hard to be able to give a credit card over the phone, to what do other Fire Departments use resulted in Ray Mendez will do further research on this matter.


6.1 FUELS REDUCTION: Ray Mendez reads Jerry Racicot’s report which states: As an example to the community, I suggest that we reduce the fuel load around the Portal Fire Station. A safe defendable space of approximately 100’ around the station is my minimum suggestion. If a fire did start on the southern side of our station, it may be difficult to defend. I had spoken with the Douglas Wildland Crew about performing the work with minimal to no charge to Portal Rescue. If this is something the board considers implementing, I would be happy to reach out to the Douglas Crew again to see if they would perform the work for us.

Rick Beno asked about cutting trees, and David Newton says only brush. Jackie Lewis suggests using Fire Wise guidelines. David Newton said not to worry about getting work done for free because the Department of Corrections are cheap enough anyway. Jackie Lewis says we can ask for volunteers also. Lee Dyal asks if homeowners can use the same wildland crew? David Newton said yes, they could. The community requested supervision to make sure the trees were not cut down. Going to have Jerry set this up.


6.3 2 BATTERY OPERATED EXIT LIGHTS FOR CLASSROOM: Jackie Lewis reported that the cost should be less than $100.00 to purchase exit lights with battery back-up flood lights. Bill Wilbur will get estimates for electricians to do the lighting and hardwiring. Suggestion was made on solar operated motion detector path lights as well. Jackie Lewis will research this item.

6.4 AFG GRANT DESK REVIEW: David Newton stated that there is an audit, pagers are still in question, and all paperwork should have been turned in back in August of 2016. Bill Wilbur stated this was out of our hands and for David to get a letter from the county about all the difficulties we have had.

6.5 WORK COMMITTEE CEILING TILE REPLACEMENT: Bill Wilbur stated that Mike Woods came and looked at the roof and there are several screws missing, rubber washers are rotted. Mike Woods suggested replacing worn screws with the next larger size. This will be just replacing the bad or missing ones not a total roof. Mike Woods will do the replacing of screws and classroom ceiling tiles. Jackie Lewis brought up signs that had not been put up around the firehouse and Mike Woods will do this also. Lee Dyal has a scaffolding that he’s offering to let us use for this project.

6.6 NEW FIREFIGHTER: Eric Desfachelle has successfully completed his training! David Newton makes a motion to add Eric Desfachelles as a new firefighter and Jackie Lewis seconded. Motion passed.


7.1 REQUEST TO ADDRESS THE BOARD- Stevie Wayman: Stevie Wayman was not present and Greg Wayman read a letter from Stevie. Stevie wanted it known that she did not retire from Portal Rescue but she quit. Her complete letter is on file.


8.1 BLOOD DRIVE JUNE 16, 2017. Contact Jackie Lewis

8.2 RODEO 4th OF JULY PARADE/ DINNER/ DANCE/ FIREWORKS. Anyone interested in participating in parade or wanting to donate items, cash, gift cards, food, fireworks please contact Aimee Essary @ 575-557-2202

8.3 Greg Wayman had a request for a garden party for the Friends of Cave Creek on June 27th, 2017.


Meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. Jackie Lewis made the motion to adjourn and Ray Mendez second. Motion passed.

Minutes submitted by: Terri Farley

January, 2017 minutes

Correction: “Soup’s On” lunch event dates are Feb. 20, 21, and 22.

Portal Rescue
Wednesday September 21, 2016

1.0 Call to Order:

President Bill Wilbur called the meeting to order at 6:36 pm. All Portal Rescue Board Members are present. There were 16 community residents present and 6 active members.

2.0 Adoption of Agenda:

1.0 Addition of the May 18, 2016 meeting minutes for approval.

2.0 Motion to accept Agenda as revised by David Newton, seconded by Greg Wayman. Motion passed.

3.0 Acceptance of Minutes/Corrections:

1.0 Motion to accept May 18, 2016 meeting minutes by Jackie Lewis, seconded by Rick Beno. Motion Passed.

2.0 Motion to accept July 20, 2016 meeting minutes with corrected date by David Newton, seconded by Jackie Lewis. Motion passed.

4.0 Reports:

4.1 President Bill Wilbur:

He hoped everyone enjoyed the surprise retirement party for Jeff Gee. Jeff retired from Portal Rescue after 23 years of service.
Bill comments at tonight’s meeting; Portal Fire -“Now and the Future“.
Meeting will be open for remarks from everyone present. The Board Members will be recognized 1st to address, with Community next. Discussions to be followed by Motions.

4.2 Treasurer Report Rick Beno:

Budget– $93,553 this year
Expenses $76,307.87. Most of expenses are purchase of new/used vehicle.
Total dollars left from Budget $17.242.13
Total of all funds (Muma, CD’s) $186,281

4.3 Fire Chief David Newton:

Since July 27th
On August 6th we had a lightning strike near Zent Rd. Dyal, Rivers, Lawson, Koford, and myself responded with Brush8, Brush 9, and Tender 1. We had mutual aid from Rodeo Fire ad additional help from Sunnyside, and Douglas, Elfrida, Bisbee, and AZ State Forestry.
On August 20th after fire training, we had a bee call which Koford, and myself handled, and after we returned to the station we turned in the initial report and provided support for the search for a lost Boy Scout.
We have had one regular training which had okay attendance. We have a
night training scheduled for this coming Monday.
Last month I was offered the opportunity to place a firefighter on the crew of AZ State Forestry Engine 363 on very short notice Jerry Ricicot was willing to participate and returned with 2(two) weeks of valuable experience and training on a large wildfire in California at no cost to Portal Rescue.
A tire and steering damper on Brush 8 has been replaced. Brush 6 performed well on the bee call ad on the drive up to Rustler Park for the Boy Scout incident. Brush 5 still has fuel oil entering the crankcase. Brush 9 is out of service with a fuel injector supply line problem.
I finally got the tone specification for our pagers and have programmed one of them. Continuing problems with the county man I am waiting for a test.

4.4 EMS Chief Jerry Racicot:

Portal Rescue responded to 3 EMS calls in the previous 2(two) months. We have a EMT class scheduled for October, we need at least 7 EMT students in order for college to train or we need an agreement to pay the difference for tuition. Currently we have only 3(three) interested candidates for the calss. Portal EMT’s now have training on our EKG machine and will soon have training on Narcan, an anti-opiod medication.

5.0 Old Business:

5.1 Portal Rescue members responsibilities and insurance while attending and supporting outside events.

1.0 Discussion.
Tabled from May meeting. Portal Rescue members responsibilities and insurance coverage at community functions. 1) as a community member (supporter, parent, leader, paying participant , etc)- duty to act – VFIS insurance covers as soon a you begin patient care, 2) as a requested first responder on site – should have policy in place and must have a letter of request that states the requesting organization, date, time, and location of the event, contact person and phone number, the insurance company, contact information and policy number of the insured and that Portal Rescue is added as an additional insured for the event – covered by requesting organization and then by VFIS as soon as patient care begins. The Board determined that a form be developed for the requesting agency to be able to fill out with all necessary information. Jackie will run it through VFIS to make sure all information necessary is requested. A policy page will also be drafted.

5.2 Does Portal Rescue sponsor fire line EMTs and/or firefighters, (non resource(contract) versus resource),

1.0 Discussion.
Community expressed that Portal should only serve Portal and Rodeo first. Community stated the purpose, by-laws, Portal and Rodeo first and if there is enough manpower then consider sending EMTs or firefighters in or out of state. John Yerger, a Portal EMT and Firefighter
stated he feels it’s important to serve Portal/Rodeo area first according to the Purpose of Portal Rescue by-laws but in order to serve this Purpose Firefighters must somehow gain the experience and judgment necessary to safely defend the community from fire. Fire Chief David Newton stated that it is possibly safer to work on highly managed fires and that firefighters gain valuable experience and training on out of state fires. Treasurer Rick Beno that we, Portal Rescue, are not an employer. We, Portal Rescue, are a volunteer fire and rescue. EMS Chief Jerry Racicot stated he gained valuable experience. After a lengthy discussion a call for a motion was made.
Motion, Do we continue Cooperator’s Agreement with the Arizona State Forestry? Motion Passed.
Motion to have Fire Chief David Newton check manpower strength before considering sending firefighters in state or out of state by David Schurian, second by Jerry Racicot. Motion passed.
Payment for Firefighter Jerry Racicot for out of state fire.
Policy states that when invoices are submitted payment will be paid. President Bill Wilbur stated that he would call for a special board meeting or at least regular board meeting to review possible policy changes.

6.0 New Business

6.1 Approve full payment of tuition for EMT student.

Jerry Racicot stated we now have only 4 people interested in becoming EMTs.
Cochise County College needs 7 students to send instructor and have class. Cost to be $8400 for 7 students. Coshise County College will send instructor for those 4 students. Bill Wilbur stated Portal Fire is willing to pay for all perspective 4 EMTs .
Motion to make full payment for EMT class for Portal/Rodeo students only. Outside students will pay for own class tuition. Motion made by David Schurian, second by Jackie Lewis, Motion passed.

6.2 In light of VFIS Financial Health Questionnaire, reconsider purchase of prepaid credit card motion passed July 2016.

1.0 Issue of VFIS credit card procedures. Per VFIS, vanilla card is not compliant. Comments from Board and Community generally stateded that most companies use own cards/invoice for repayment.

2.0 Motion by Greg Wayman to Table policy of issuance of prepaid credit cards until next Board meeting. second by David Schurian. Motion passed.

6.3 Resignation of Treasurer:

1.0 Motion to accept resignation of Treasurer Rick Beno by Greg Wayman seconded by David Schurian. Motion passed.2.0 Secretary Greg Wayman presented out going Treasurer Rick Beno  with a Certificate of Appreciation.

6.4 Vote for New Board Member:

1.0 Nomination for John Yerger for new Board Member. Unanimous Passed.

6.5 Vote for new Treasurer.

1.0 Nomination for Jackie Lewis for Treasurer. Passed.

6.6 Bank accounts signature cards at Washington Federal, Douglas, AZ

1.0 Bank accounts signature cards will include President Bill Wilbur, Treasurer Jackie Lewis, and Secretary Greg Wayman for account number–_____________________________________

7.0 Addenda:

8.0 Good of Order:

8.1 Donation Drive begins October 1st.Morgan Jackson is working on the letters

1.0 E-mails and mailings out.

8.2 Oktoberfest:

1.0 Fire Chief David Newton will man the table.

8.3 Red Cross Blood Drive:

1.0 Blood Drive is November 11, 2016.

8.4 Chief Lunch:

1.0 Chief Luncheon by Portal Rescue is Wednesday, November 16, 2016.

9.0 Adjourn:

9.0 Motion to adjourn passed.

1.0 Next meeting November 16,2016 at 6:30 pm at Portal classroom.

Portal Rescue Board Meeting
Wednesday, July 28, 2016

1.0 Meeting called to order by President Bill Wilbur at 6:40pm. Bill Wilbur, David Schurian, Rick Beno, Jerry Racicot, David Newton and Jackie Lewis present.  Greg Wayman absent.

2.0 Adoption of Agenda. Jackie moved to adopt agenda with said changes, David Newton second, passed.  2 Additional training for firefighters moved to 8.0 for the Good of the Order.  Add 6.3 Vehicle replacement considerations and 6.4 Furnishing lead personnel with financial needs.

3.0 Adoption of May meeting minutes was postponed to the September 21st meeting as a copy was not available.

4.0 Reports

4.1 President Report – Bill Wilbur: Bill will be out of commission for at least one month following knee surgery scheduled for August 9th.  He has received apologies from residents for calling in false alarms.  No apologies necessary!! We’d rather have a false alarm than not to be notified at all in case of an emergency.  We need more volunteers for EMT and Fire.  How can we increase the search?  Thank you to those who are currently members.  Your time is valued.

4.2 Treasurer Report – Rick Beno: Year to date revenue – $70,996, Year to date expenses – $72, 361.  $104,544 in CDs.  Muma CD matures in October and plans for it will be decided at the September meeting.  $185,800 total cash assets.

4.3 Fire Chief Report – David Newton: Since May 18, 2016

4.3.1  Operations: May 30 mutual aid to Rodeo FD for a wildland fire and then a vehicle fire on Foothills Road, May 31 Portal Peak fire – 3 days, June 9 Sulpher Draw fire, June 27 Krentz fire, July 7 Sulpher Canyon fire (yucca), July 17 Emigrant fire, July 21 house fire

4.3.2 Training: We’ve had three monthly training days since last Board meeting.  They had okay attendance and we worked on basic water handling skills with our 3 new firefighters.

4.3.3  Vehicles: Tender 1 and Brush 8 got new tires.  Brush 6 is back in service after replacement of several ignition parts.  Brush 8 now has a hose reel and has seen service on several fires.

4.3.4 Grants: I recently completed a twice-yearly financial report for our AFG (pager) grant.  Implementation remains stalled while the Sheriff’s Office continues to work on a radio transition.

4.4 EMS Chief Report – Jerry Racicot:

4.4.1 There have been 5 EMT calls since last meeting.

4.4.2 EMS supplies have been updated. Several items have been ordered to assist with possible firefighter needs while working on fires.  Epi-pen grant is being completed on line.

4.4.3 Douglas Police Dispatch has asked Portal Rescue to determine how far south EMTs will be able to be sent on a 911 call. Halfway point for Douglas Fire is milepost 402.  Tex Canyon Road at milepost 398 is being considered and will be discussed with Douglas Police Dispatch before any confirmation is made.

4.4.4 Retirement: I’d like to thank Jeff Gee for his many years of service as a Portal Rescue EMT.  Jeff has decided to retire from EMS service as of July 2016.  Jeff became and EMT in 1993, he served as EMS Chief for many years.  We appreciate all that he has given to our department and our community.  He will be missed.

4.4.5  Acknowledgement: I would like to extend a heartfelt hug of appreciation to our EMTs.  The last few months have been incredibly difficult for some on our team.  We have had very difficult calls, that will leave a life-long impression on many of us.  Through these difficult times, we have supported each other and kept our team strong.  We will continue to answer the call and provide for the needs of our community.  For this, I thank each of our EMTs for their hard work and dedication.  I am humbled by the efforts of our Portal Rescue EMS team.

5.0 Old Business

5.1 RCO Software Update: It has been determined that the desktop donated by Pi Irwin many years ago is unable to be updated.  It will be retired.  The laptop computer will be set up for the RCOs and will be connected to the HP Laserjet printer via USB cable.

5.2 Are printers up to date?: Laserjet is connected.  Inkjet is not wireless as thought and will need to be connected via USB cable to the laptop to print.

6.0 New Business

6.1   Portal Rescue as sponsor for fireline EMTs:  Currently 2 EMTs are applying to be fireline EMTs.  Understanding is that the EMT will be dispatched personally and not dispatched through Portal Rescue and will travel to fires in a privately owned vehicle.  However, a sponsor agency is needed to submit fire pay requests, receive the fire pay and then disperse it to the EMT.  Is Portal Rescue responsible for the insurance for EMTs working on the fires?  Chief Newton will try to find out.  The vote to have Portal Rescue act as sponsor was tabled until the next meeting when the answer about insurance will be available.

6.2   Moved to 8.0

6.3   Vehicle replacement options:  Is it time to retire Brush 6?  It seems that it is unreliable.  Chief Newton feels that it is not yet time to find a replacement for Brush 6.  It needs to be driven, as do all of the Portal Rescue vehicles, to work out the kinks.  Firefighters are encouraged to drive the vehicles.  Please let Chief Newton know when you are going out or make a radio call when you leave the station.  Do the same when you return to the station.  Let Chief Newton know if there were any issues with handling or operations of the vehicle.

6.4   Furnishing lead personnel with financial needs:  Several active members do not have available funds (cash and/or credit card) for prepayments or emergencies that may arise when on an active call.  Credit cards have been miss used in the past and the Board does not feel they are an option.  Can we purchase prepaid cards?  By-laws state that financial transactions must have signatures of two signing members; except that the treasurer shall have single party signing authority for financial transactions of the Board with established vendors as defined in the Treasurer’s Duties documented in the Policy Manual.  The credit card transactions do not follow these set guidelines.  Jackie Lewis made the following motion:  A check may be written to the Chief with two signatures in order for them to purchase the prepaid credit cards.  The prepaid credit cards will be a monitored petty cash account with receipts required for all transactions.  The accounts will be monitored.  David Schurian second.  5 in favor with Rick Beno opposed.

6.5   Rick Beno voted no given that he cannot think of anything good about this proposal.  Portal Rescue is not a bank.  We do reimburse promptly for expenses that occur when involved with Portal Rescue business.  This prepayment for expenses would set a precedent of funding that violates our standard operating procedures, and his personal code of operation.  Rick does not feel that he can in good conscious write these check requests in advance of expenses occurred,  and as such will retire following the meeting on September 21st.

7.0   Adenda:  None

8.0   For the Good of the Order:

8.1   Additional training classes for firefighters.  Bill will put together a proposal with the Chiefs providing information on training opportunities for firefighters and EMTs.

8.2   Agenda must be made available to the Board one week prior to the meeting so members can come ready for efficient discussion of the motions.  It must also be made available to the public at least 24 hours (preferably 48) prior to the meeting.

9.0   Adjournment:  Jerry moved to adjourn the meeting.  Jackie second.  Meeting adjourned at 8:29pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Jackie Lewis, Secretary Pro-tem

Portal Rescue Inc. Board Meeting
Saturday, March 16, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.
Portal Rescue Classroom

1          Call to Order. President Bill Wilbur called the meeting to order at 6.33 p.m. Seven Board members and thirteen active and community members were present.

2          Adoption of Agenda. The published agenda was adopted with the addition of item 7.1 and the correction of the date of the last Board meeting. Motion proposed by Jerry Racicot, seconded by David Schurian, and passed unanimously.

3          Acceptance of Minutes. The minutes of the meeting of January 20, 2016 were accepted. Motion proposed by Jackie Lewis, seconded by Jerry Racicot and passed unanimously.

4          Reports

4.1 President: Bill Wilbur

Bill welcomed Delane Blondeau, Jeanne Williams and Barbara Miller, who were pioneering members of Portal Rescue, and he acknowledged their great contributions. Bill also thanked the current Board members for their support. Bill said it had been a good year thanks to the support of residents both of Portal and of the outlying areas. It had been a pleasure for him to serve and he looked forward to doing so in the future.

4.2 Treasurer: Rick Beno

Rick reported on our revenue and expenses:

Revenue (imported from 2015 and year-to-date): $50,658.81

Expenses (year-to-date): $40,050.67

Summary of Assets: Currently our investment and  checking accounts, including petty cash and earned interest, total approximately $194, 326.41.

4.3  Fire Chief: David Newton

“Operations:  There’ve been several fires since our last Board meeting, one of which was outside our small response area and  I was able to bill State Forestry for $4800+.

Training: monthly training had okay attendance in February.

Vehicles: Brush 9’s tires were approaching 20 years old and had started to throw chucks off the sidewall so we replaced 5 of its tires.  (One was new a couple of years ago). White Brush 6 broke down while being backed into the station.  In recent years it has been unreliable, so I am not sorry to see it out of service.

Grants: The pagers from the AFG grant have arrived and I am testing them.  95% reimbursement has been received from FEMA.”

4.4  EMS Chief: Jerry Racicot

“I want to thank all of our EMTs for their hard work and dedication providing emergency medical care for our community. They spend many hours per month training and honing new skills to be prepared for what they may encounter.

We currently have 9 EMTs on the roster and are seeking volunteers to be trained in a new class in the Fall.

Last year we responded to 13 calls, so far this year we have responded to 4.

This year we will add new skills to our toolbox as well as some new equipment. The Cochise County Sheriff’s office has donated an EKG machine, which will allow us to provide early charting of cardiac rhythms. This will help doctors of cardiac patients to have an early record of cardiac rhythms. We will equip a fire brush truck with medical and rescue equipment, and it will be parked at a southern location. This will allow us to respond more quickly to those patients who live south of Portal. These patients account for about 20 percent of calls.

Many of our neighbors in Rodeo have asked about Portal Rescue responding to medical calls in Hidalgo County. Yesterday I met with representatives of Hidalgo county EMS; we are trying to work out the details for Portal Rescue to be dispatched to these areas. I am optimistic that we will soon be able to provide care for our Rodeo neighbors.”

5          Old Business

5.1  Retiring members.

David Newton announced that Ken Joens and David Johnson who had served both as active members and Board directors have now retired. Their service has been greatly appreciated over the years and gift certificates will be presented to them.

5.2  Signs for site.

Bill Wilbur said that he had ordered signs advising the public that emergency services are not available at the PR building and that people in need of urgent assistance should dial 911. The signs will be up on about March 26th.

5.3  What to do with old White Brush 6?

After noting that White Brush 6 is virtually inoperable and not worth repairing, the Board debated methods of disposing of the vehicle and finally agreed sell it to to Larry Rivers as-is, for $600.  The motion was proposed by Jerry Racicot, seconded by Rick Beno, and passed by the Board with one  abstention.

5.4  Update, Hidalgo County residents calling Cochise County Dispatchers for PR assistance

Jerry reported that he and David Whipple, coordinator of EMS services for Hidalgo County, are currently discussing various means of enabling Hidalgo county dispatchers to call on Portal Rescue for assistance.

6          New Business

6.1  Grant submission for new vehicle

Bill reported that Kinder Morgan might supply us with a surplus vehicle from their fleet, with the intention of it becoming a brush truck. Negotiation continues. Lee doubted that we could use an addition truck at this point but we’d like the option to ask for it later. David reported that a vehicle from KM might be superior to Brush 9. Board felt we should continue pursuing this possibility.

6.2  New vehicle

Bill reported that a new Ford truck has been purchased in California. The seller is currently seeking bids for a transport company to bring the vehicle to Portal.

6.3  New firefighter

David Newton proposed and Jerry Racicot seconded a motion for the Board to approve Tim Lawson as a new firefighter.

6.4  Election of Board

Bill Wilbur, Jackie Lewis, Jerry Racicot, Rick Beno, David Newton, David Schurian and Greg Wayman were nominated and elected by acclamation.

6.5  Election of officers

Bill Wilbur was elected as president, David Schurian as vice president, Greg Wayman as secretary and Rick Beno as treasurer.

        For the Good of the Order

7.1 Blood drive. Jackie reported that the new date for the Blood Drive was May 11th.


Jackie Lewis, seconded by Jerry Racicot, proposed adjournment and the meeting was adjourned at 7.41 p.m.


Portal Rescue Inc. Board Meeting

Wednesday Jan. 20, 2016

6:30 p.m. in Portal Rescue Classroom

1          Call to order. President Bill Wilbur called the meeting to order at 6.38 p.m. Seven Board members were present.

2          Adoption of agenda. The published agenda was adopted. Motion proposed by David Newton, seconded by Jackie Lewis and passed unanimously.

3          Acceptance/correction of minutes. The minutes of the 12-16-15 Board meeting were accepted. Motion proposed by Jerry Racicot, seconded by David Schurian and passed unanimously.

4          Reports

4.1 President: Bill Wilbur

Bill reported that he had been making extensive enquiries, in several states, about vehicles of all types to replace White Brush 6. He had contacted Ritchie Bros., O’Reilly Chevrolet, Duncan Valley Electric and Grant Valley Electric and other sources to find an appropriate vehicle and he outlined various possible vehicle purchases to the Board.

4.2 Treasurer:

Rick Beno reported:

Revenue (2015 year): $55,603.00

            Expenses (2015 year): $29,000.00

Summary of Assets: Currently our investment and checking accounts, including petty cash and earned interest, total approximately $213,670.00.

4.3 Fire Chief: David Newton

Operations: In late December Tender 1 and two firefighters ran a mutual aid response to an early morning structure fire in New Mexico.

Training: Monthly training in December was well attended and was decent in January too.

Grants:  Regarding the AFG mini-grant, David filed our end of year financial report and obtained one quote for the required equipment.  A second quote will arrive soon and he can then purchase the fire-pagers.

Vehicles: We have restored the drafting (suction) capability to Brush 5.

Garage: The skylight cracks have extended and are leaking a bit again.

Retirements: After years of service to Portal Rescue, Ken Joens and David Johnson have retired.

4.4 EMS Chief: Jerry Racicot

Calls: EMTs have responded to one call since December; the patient was transported via air ambulance.

Training: Seven Portal Rescue EMTs completed their refresher course in January. During the refresher course, Portal Rescue hosted six EMTs from other departments.

Equipment: Portal Rescue would like to thank Sgt. David Noland and the Cochise County Sheriffs for their generous donation of EMS equipment to our department. Items donated include an AED, cardiac monitor and rescue equipment.

Hidalgo County: Noting that Hidalgo County and Portal Rescue have a mutual aid agreement, Jerry asked Hidalgo County commissioner Dar Shannon why Portal Rescue is not being dispatched by Hidalgo County. Ms. Shannon has promised to find out. Jerry suggests that Hidalgo County residents contact Ms. Shannon or Mr. Whipple to voice their concerns.

5          Old Business

5.1 Vehicle donations

Bill suggested we wait to see what our utility companies can donate before purchasing a vehicle to replace Whitebrush 6. If the utilities don’t offer us anything, we need to decide what type of vehicle we should buy. Some of the existing equipment (pump) could be transferred to the new vehicle, other equipment (tank) would need to be acquired. Board members noted that a truck with a diesel engine, 150 gallon tank, single cab (8 foot box, 9 foot bed), 4WD, would be suitable. Some Board members considered that $30,000 would be an appropriate price for a truck (including equipment).

5.2 Update on White Brush 6. The vehicle is almost fully loaded with medical equipment but not rescue equipment, and is stored at Jerry’s house. The vehicle is in poor condition. If it stalls, it might not start. The Board’s aim is to dispose of the vehicle and replace it.

5.3 GPS Units in vehicles. Jerry said that we were getting an iPad for one rescue vehicle and would not, therefore, need a GPS unit for that vehicle. Rick stated that his GPS unit was effective and useful in the Portal area. Item tabled for future discussion.

5.4 Gift certificates for retirees. The Board had previously decided that retirees should receive certificates of recognition together with the offer of a dinner for two. Some members of the Board expressed disquiet with the notion that members of a voluntary organization should receive items with a cash value in addition to the certificate. Other members pointed out that the decision had already been made and should be followed now. Jerry Racicot proposed and Jackie Lewis seconded a motion that retirees Ken Joens and David Johnson be granted certificates and free dinners for two at venues to be chosen. A majority of the Board voted in favor and the motion was carried.

5.5 Finalize budget for 2016

After discussion the Board arrived at the following budget:

Revenue $94,550

Expenses $94,550

Jackie Lewis proposed and Jerry Racicot seconded a motion to accept the budget. Motion carried by a majority.

5.6 Review EMT locations

Jackie Lewis presented a map showing the current location of all EMTs and the sources of EMT calls over the last five years.

5.7 Question about FEMA grant for radios.

David Newton is in the process of deciding which vendor to select for fire pagers, to be paid for from a FEMA grant we have received.

6          New Business

6.1 Finding a new secretary

As Harold Farmer will not be available to run for the office of secretary next year, Board members will look for a person who might replace him. Anyone willing to volunteer for this essential task, please contact Bill Wilbur.

6.2 Alice Newton’s book, Paradise Revealed. Alice has sold as many copies as she can and has invited Portal Rescue to store and sell the remainder, possibly at the Soup Kitchen. Profits would continue to go to Portal Rescue (Wilderness EMS Plan). Jackie Lewis proposed and Harold Farmer seconded a motion to accept Alice’s offer. Motion carried unanimously.

7          Addenda

8          For the Good of the Order

8.1 Soup Kitchen: Feb. 15th , 16th & 17th

Plans for the Soup Kitchen are progressing smoothly but Chris Wilbur would still appreciate offers of soup, bread, desserts and assistance.

9          Adjournment

Jackie moved adjournment, seconded by David Schurian. The motion was passed unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 9.00 p.m.


Portal Rescue Inc. Board Meeting

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

6:30 p.m. in Portal Rescue Classroom


1          Call to order. President Bill Wilbur called the meeting to order at 6.45 p.m. Six Board members were present.

2          Adoption of agenda. The published agenda was corrected, then adopted with the addition of item 6.4. Motion proposed by Jackie Lewis, seconded by Jerry Racicot and passed unanimously.

3          Acceptance/correction of minutes. The minutes of the 9-16-15 Board meeting were accepted. Motion proposed by Dave Schurian, seconded by Jackie Lewis and passed unanimously.

4          Reports

4.1 President: Bill Wilbur

Bill thanked Morgan Jackson, Rick Beno and Jackie Lewis for their help with the donation drive; Jennifer Racicot for organizing the Chiefs’ luncheon, Dave Schurian for getting a donation for the new truck; and Bonnie Bowen, Barbara Miller, Keri Esten and Eco Wear and Publishing, Inc. for developing the new phone book.

4.2 Treasurer:

Rick Beno being absent, Jackie reported on his behalf.

Revenue (year to date): $49,495.82

Expenses (year to date): $27,896.20

Summary of Assets: Currently our investment and checking accounts, including petty cash, earned interest, and undeposited donations total approximately $210,000.

4.3 Fire Chief: David Newton

Operations: One structure fire in late November. Smoldering wire under an addition to a manufactured home.  Residents smelled smoke and turned off power before smoke alarms went off.  Damage limited to that smoldering wire.Thanks to Rodeo Fire Department for their mutual aid.

Training: Training in October had a good turnout—we worked on short staffed responses.  Training in November was poorly attended.

Grants:  David has not yet moved forward with the awarded AFG grant (for pagers).

Thanks to Jennifer Racicot for putting on the successful  Chiefs’ Meetings in November.

4.4 EMS Chief: Jerry Racicot

Calls: EMS responded to 5 calls since last meeting, including a Search and Rescue call north of Portal.

Training: We will hold a joint fire/EMS training on Saturday, Dec. 19th, followed by a potluck for all Portal Rescue personnel. Most EMTs will participate in a refresher course, Jan. 4th-6th , 2016.

Equipment: We are up-to-date with all of our equipment and current on our supplies.

Future: I am looking into the possibility of using an iPad in Rescue 4. We are the last agency that does paper patient care reports with our base hospital. The iPad would also enable us to have the locator book, GPS, and other technical manuals with us on any call that Rescue 4 goes to.

5          Old Business

5.1 Vehicle donations & the state of White Brush 6. Bill has approached Columbus Electric about a potential donation of a vehicle but, so far, has failed to get much of a response. Bill’s efforts continue and he is open to suggestions of other companies we might approach. Jerry reported that White Brush 6, kept at the Racicots’ home is still not working right. It could be replaced by a light EMS and fire vehicle that is reliable and could be parked near his house, where it would be accessible to EMTs in that area. Item tabled for more information.

5.2 Update on shirt order. Jackie reported that the shirts celebrating Portal Rescue were now available and were in all sizes.

5.3 Purchase of signs for the Portal Rescue site. Bill reported that he was ready to order reflective, aluminium white signs with green lettering, reading “Call 911 and request Cochise County Dispatch for Emergency Service.”

5.4 Update on Portal Rescue assisting in Hidalgo County. Jerry noted that Arizona EMTs cannot practice in New Mexico unless they also have licenses valid in that state. Jerry is contacting relevant EMS personnel in Hidalgo County to find ways of getting round this obstacle and extending our help to people in New Mexico.

5.5 Update on Hidalgo County residents calling Cochise Dispatch for Portal Rescue assistance. Jerry explained that although New Mexico residents cannot request us to go into New Mexico, Hidalgo County EMTs can request assistance from us in terms of a mutual aid agreement. Portal Rescue can respond to such requests and would be happy to do so more often than is the case at present.

6          New Business

6.1 Portal Rescue information dissemination. Bill reported that Portal area residents have asked when our firefighters will come to extinguish fires inside houses. Board members noted that Portal Rescue firefighters cannot enter conditions that are immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH). What they can and will do depends on their technical qualifications and on the risk to persons and property.

6.2 Old information found on Internet re: Portal Rescue. Bill said that he would make efforts to get obsolete information removed.

6.3 Newsletter.The newsletter is coming out in January and material will have to reach Pat Espenak by about January 15th.

6.4 Rough draft of budget for 2016. The Board reviewed 2015 expenses and estimated how much would be needed next year. The final budget proposal would be presented and voted on in January.

7          Addenda

8          For the Good of the Order

9          Adjournment

Jerry Racicot, seconded by Jackie Lewis, moved adjournment. Motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8.40 p.m.



Portal Rescue Inc. Board Meeting

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

6:30 p.m. in Portal Rescue Classroom


1          Call to order. President Bill Wilbur called the meeting to order at 6.35 p.m. All seven Board members were present.

2          Adoption of agenda. The published agenda was adopted with the addition of 8.1 and 8.2. Motion proposed by David Schurian, seconded by Jackie Lewis and passed unanimously.

3          Acceptance/correction of minutes of Board meetings of 6-10-15 and 7-25-15. The minutes of the 6-10-15 meeting were accepted. Motion proposed by David Schurian, seconded by Jackie Lewis and passed unanimously.The date of the 7-25-15 meeting was corrected and the minutes accepted as corrected. Motion proposed by David Newton, seconded by Rick Beno and passed unanimously.

4          Reports

4.1 President: Bill Wilbur

Bill reported on the status of repairs to the Portal Rescue buildings. Bob Dearing had inspected the roof and with “Brad” Bradford replaced missing screws and placed sealant. Ceiling tiles still have to be replaced. The crack in the skylight has also been repaired.

Spontaneous updating of Windows 10 interfered with Bill’s use of the locator program during a recent EMT call. Responders need to be aware of this potential hazard; however, Bill is working on the problem with Microsoft.

Bill suggested that we warn residents to have a landline as well as a cell phone because cell phone reception in a recent call was spotty and the number of the phone misled EMTs into thinking the call originated in New Mexico. Another problem with the caller’s reliance on her cell phone was that it took her 911 call to Hidalgo County instead of Cochise County.

4.2 Treasurer: Rick Beno

Rick reported that donations are coming in and, thanks to David Schurian’s efforts, a $2,000 donation was made for vehicle repairs by Sulphur Springs Electric Coop.

Rick reviewed income and expenses, year-to-date. Currently we have two bank accounts, one in Chase Bank and one in the Washington Federal Bank. The Chase account, which we intend to close, is being used for expenses only, the Washington Federal for deposits only.

            Revenue: (Washington Federal): total $24,179.92.

            Expenses: (Chase): total $21,000.

Summary of Assets: Currently our investment and checking accounts, including petty cash and earned interest, total $190,626.39.

4.3 Fire Chief: David Newton

Since 25 July 2015:

Operations: False alarm on July 30th.

Training: OK turnout for training in August.

Vehicle Maintenance: Tender 7 is suffering from the effects of old gasoline.  Red Brush 6 was refueled.

Grants: David has not yet applied for reimbursement of our Volunteer Firefighters Assistance grant. Our Assistance to Firefighters grant was funded and a FEMA grant specialist has briefed David on the purchasing and reporting requirements associated with the grant.

4.4 EMS Chief: Jerry Racicot

Calls: Portal Rescue had responded to 4 EMS calls since the last Board meeting.

Vehicles: Rescue 4’s air conditioner was recharged and tested. We have decided to keep testing it every quarter instead of taking it to Tucson for further repairs.

Training: 5 EMTs refreshed their CPR and EPIC-TBI cards thanks to training donated by Dennis McAvoy. On Thursday September 17th, EMTs will attend airway training at the Rincon fire station. Portal Rescue will be holding a re-certification class at the station in January. All EMTs have to re-certify every two years.

5          Old Business

5.1 Vehicle donation discussion. David Schurian is pursuing the possibility of donations from Arizona Power Corporation and various other promising sources.

5.2 Update on shirt order. Jackie Lewis reported that a local supplier’s prices (Sheri Ashley) are the same as those online, so recommended that we keep the purchase local. The Board agreed and felt that the shirts should be acquired as soon as possible so that they would be available for Oktoberfest, the Chiefs’ Meeting and the Soup Kitchen.

6          New Business

6.1 Possible Move of Rescue 3 to a more central location. David Schurian suggested we store Rescue 3 in a location where it might be available more rapidly to EMTs who lived far from Portal Fire Station. Jackie mentioned that moving the truck to New Mexico might raise licensing difficulties and that the vehicle needed to be locked and kept in a locked bay because thieves might think narcotics were stored on it. The Board discussed mapping the location of EMTs, the location of most of our calls and possible storage locations for Rescue 3. The Board noted that a power source and heating were also required for suitable storage. Jackie agreed to research the location and types of calls and the location of EMTs and try to report back in December 2015 or January 2016.

6.2 Large donor recognition. David Schurian suggested putting a thank you note in an appropriate newspaper. After discussion the Board considered that other means of expressing our gratitude, such as hand-written letters from the Chiefs, would be more workable.

6.3 Approval of updated County Mutual Aid agreement. David Newton recommended we sign this document. David Schurian, seconded by Jackie Lewis, moved that Harold Farmer review the agreement and if it looked acceptable to him, the Board would sign it. Motion passed unanimously.

6.4 Installation of signs on the doors of the EMS building stating: “The building is not staffed, call 911 for emergencies.” Jerry Racicot proposed, and Jackie Lewis seconded a motion to install such a sign. The motion was passed by a majority. Bill agreed to order the signs.

7          Addenda

8          For the Good of the Order

8.1 The blood drive will be held in the Portal Rescue classroom on Oct. 28th, with two appointments every 15 minutes, starting at 10.30 a.m. (30 appointments in all). Walk-ins will be taken if all appointments are not filled.

8.2 The Chiefs’ Meeting will be held on November 18th . All Portal Rescue members are invited to attend. Volunteers are needed to clean the classroom beforehand as well as prepare food, serve and clean up after the meeting.

9          Adjournment

Jerry Racicot, seconded by Rick Beno, moved adjournment. Motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 8.10 p.m.


Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

Portal Rescue Classroom


1          Call to Order

President Bill Wilbur called the meeting to order at 4.07 p.m.  Seven Board members were present.

2          Adoption of Agenda

The published agenda was adopted with addition of item 7. Motion proposed by Jackie Lewis, seconded by Jerry Racicot and passed unanimously.

3          Acceptance/Correction of Minutes

Deferred until next meeting.

4          Reports

4.1 President: Bill Wilbur

Bill Wilbur thanked the Board members for their cooperation during his recent illness. Bill noted that Painted Pony Resort in New Mexico had thanked Portal Rescue for their recent assistance. The performance of Portal Rescue stood out, even though Hidalgo County Sheriff’s department also attended. Google Earth was a great asset to RCOs on this occasion.

4.2 Treasurer: Rick Beno

Rick reviewed income and expenses, year-to-date. Currently we have two bank accounts, one in Chase Bank and one in the Washington Federal Bank. The Chase account, which we intend to close, is being used for expenses only, the Washington Federal for deposits only.

Revenue: (Washington Federal): total $23,416.92

Expenses: (Chase): total $18,013.08

Summary of Assets: Currently our investment and checking accounts, including petty cash and earned interest, total $188,906.83

4.3 Fire Chief: David Newton

“Since June 10th:

Operations:  There was a false alarm on July 4th.  Brush 5 was in the Rodeo parade.

Training: We had one training with okay attendance.

Vehicles: We changed the oil in Brush 5 and replaced a couple ignition parts on white Brush 6.

Grants:  VFA—All items have been purchased.  We will request reimbursement from the State in a couple weeks. Portal Rescue should receive about $530.

AFG—A a few days ago we received an email from a man in FEMA Grants telling us we had to get our direct deposit documents in order immediately.  He takes this as a hopeful sign that we’ll be funded ($11K) for our proposed pager purchase.”

4.4 EMS Chief: Jerry Racicot

“Calls: Portal Rescue responded to 3 calls, including 1 in New Mexico.

Training: The July meeting was well attended; we covered standing orders and brain injury procedures. A Tucson Medical Center representative visited Portal station in June for a training exercise which every EMT attended. We will be updating our CPR training in September, with Dennis MacAvoy volunteering his time to teach the course. An EMT refresher course will be held at Portal Station in January 2016.

Vehicles: The air conditioning on Rescue 4 has been repaired by Lance Shultis.

SATNET: Two EMTs will be attending Southern Arizona Trauma Network Conference next week.”

5          Old Business

5.1 Portal Rescue building repairs: Bill Wilbur had inspected the damage himself and also contacted Scott Stamer, Bob Dearing and Jeff Gee for their assessments. Jeff thought that skylight repairs might cost as much as $1500. The crack will be repaired with “Through the Roof”, a clear waterproof sealant. Bob offered to inspect and report on the skylight damage and damage to the side of the building. Bill will work on the side of the building and is waiting for Bob’s report before organizing repairs to the roof. Roofing screws will need to be replaced with larger screws and new waterproof washers. Additional screws will be added to reduce flex caused by the winds.

5.2 What the Board could be doing

5.2.1 Update Portal Rescue bulletin board: Jerry Racicot said that once he obtained the necessary camera he would take action shots and portraits of members.

5.2.2 The Fire-wise program will be coordinated with the Forest Service by Friends of Cave Creek Canyon. FOCCC, not Portal Rescue, will be the main sponsor for this program. At some point Portal Rescue will need to provide a contact person for them. Jerry said that FOCCC would hire a prison crew to do the labor. No action is required from Portal Rescue at this point.

5.3 2015 Donation Drive committee: Jackie reported that she and Morgan Yerger are co-chairs of the committee. Morgan will work on potential donor lists and donation letters.

5.4 Power backup (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for the radio repeater: Rick reported that the unit has been bought and installed and appears to be working.

5.5 GPS for rescue vehicles: Rick reported that he had bought a Garmin 2689 GPS for personal use which cost him about $270. He is considering recommending it for the ambulance and, if he does so, will teach a class on it.

5.6 What to do with White Brush 6: David Newton is waiting to see if the latest repairs are effective. If not, we should replace the vehicle. Dave Elbrock has offered to keep Portal Rescue in mind if he is able to donate a utility vehicle.

6          New Business

6.1 “I Support Portal Rescue” T-shirts.  Jackie reported that some community members and members of other fire departments have asked to buy these shirts.  The shirts will display the current design with “I Support Portal Rescue” on the pocket patch and the AZ map on the back.  Jackie explained the relative costs of ordering or pre-ordering shirts from various potential suppliers. Dave Schurian, seconded by Jerry Racicot, moved to order a minimum of 100 shirts. Motion passed unanimously.

7          For the Good of the Order

7.1 Red Cross Blood drive

Portal Rescue is coordinating this event. Jackie Lewis reported that the Red Cross hoped for at least 14 donors and could take as many as 30. The event will be held from 11.00 a.m.-2.00 p.m. August 26th. Appointments must be scheduled with Jackie: Tel. 558-2287.

7.2 Internet Connection

Rick reported that Howard Topoff had suggested we install an internet connection in the Portal Rescue classroom. Rick said it would cost about $500-$600 per year. He asked the Board to think about the proposal for future discussion.

8         Adjournment       

            Jackie proposed, Rick seconded, a motion to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 5.00 p.m.



Portal Rescue Inc. Board Meeting

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

6:30 p.m. in Portal Rescue Classroom


1          Call to Order

President Bill Wilbur called the meeting to order at 6.35 p.m.  Six Board members and one community member attended.

2          Adoption of Agenda

David Newton proposed that item 5.3 be moved to 6.7, and that 5.1 be rephrased. Rick Beno, seconded by Jerry Racicot, moved to accept the agenda as modified. The motion was carried unanimously.

3          Acceptance/Correction of Minutes

Jerry Racicot, seconded by Rick Beno, moved to accept the minutes, as posted, of the March 21st, 2015 meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

4          Reports

4.1 President:  Bill Wilbur

Bob Zimmerman of the Southern Arizona Grotto of the National Speleological Society contacted Bill to say that the Grotto wanted Portal Rescue to be more aware of issues affecting Crystal Cave. The Association would, therefore, provide us with the phone numbers of some of its members for inclusion in our Radio Communications Operator handbook.

Randy Norrick was concerned that individuals in Rodeo who telephoned 911 had difficulty in calling for assistance from PR. This was an ongoing problem that will be raised at a future Board meeting.

 Bill mentioned that he had overheard Border Patrol agents praising PR members for their efficient response to the recent accident at mile marker 404 on Highway 80. Bill congratulated the responders.

4.2 Treasurer

Rick reviewed income and expenses (year-to-date) 2015. Currently we have two bank accounts, one in Chase Bank and one in the Washington Federal Bank. The Chase account, which we intend to close, is being used for expenses only, the Washington Federal for both expenses and deposits.

Revenue to date (Washington Federal): total $20,067.69. 

Expenses to date (Chase and Washington Federal):  total $10,403.26.

Summary of Assets: Currently our investment and checking accounts, including petty cash and earned interest, total $194,842.04.

4.3 Fire Chief: David Newton

Operations: none

Training: one monthly training session was well attended

Grants: David has purchased all the items for the VFA grant and is awaiting delivery and invoicing. He has not received any word yet on the AFG grant (pagers), but AFG has until September to reply.

RCOs: six new Radio Communication Operators attended a long training session.

Vehicles: White Brush 6 continues its stalling ways.  Perhaps the latest attention will fix it.

4.4 EMS Chief: Jerry Racicot

Operations: Portal Rescue personnel responded to 2 medical calls and 1 medical assist to a rollover with Douglas Fire.  Portal Rescue EMTs exhibited excellent leadership and teamwork in dealing with these difficult incidents.

Training: EMT meetings have been well attended in the last couple of months. We have added “scenarios” to our training which allows EMTs to practice with equipment and “patients”; this helps to build confidence and familiarity with our operations.

Supplies: Jackie Lewis was able to obtain a grant to replace our Epi-Pens last month. This is a large savings to our budget as the Epi-Pens are very costly. Thank you Jackie.

Vehicles: Rescue 4 was taken to the Benson DMV by Jeff Gee and Dennis McAvoy in order to correct a clerical error with the vehicle registration. We thank them for their efforts. Rescue 4 was also taken to have the air conditioner recharged and is now back in service.

Dates: The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Portal Fire Station on Wednesday August 26, 2015, 11 a.m. -2.00 p.m. Please put this on your calendars and consider donating.

5          Old Business

5.1 What the Board Could Be doing: David Newton listed the repairs that need to be made to the PR buildings. These include cracked skylights in the fire garage, a window falling out in the main building, corroded neoprene washers in the roof (causing leaks), damaged metal trim on the side of garage, and the dropped ceiling in the classroom. Rick Beno, seconded by Buzz Schurian, moved that we ask Scott Stamer for a quotation to effect the necessary repairs. Motion passed unanimously.

5.2  Update Portal Rescue bulletin board. Reed Peters has suggested that PR members’ photos appear on the bulletin board. The Board felt that this was a good idea and that photos of training exercises could be included.

5.3  Donation committee. David Newton proposed that we form a committee to brainstorm ideas to maintain and expand our donor base. The Board noted that JoAnn Julian, previously in charge of fund raising, had offered to help train whoever took over the job. As a first step, JoAnn would be asked for her advice and resources. David and Buzz agreed to be on the committee.

6          New Business

6.1 Expenses to be approved by the Board prior to expenditure.

Rick Beno, seconded by Harold Farmer, moved that payment of uncategorized expenses should get prior approval from the Board either at a meeting or by e-mail. An example of such an expense was the purchase of door prizes to be given at the annual meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

6.2 Power backup (Uninterruptible Power Supply) needed for the radio repeater. Rick Beno, seconded by Jerry Racicot, moved that the necessary unit be purchased. Motion carried unanimously.

6.3 Relocation of repeater. The Board discussed a possible relocation of the repeater to improve reception but felt the current placement was adequate.

6.4 GPS for rescue vehicles. Rick explained how useful the latest GPS might be for the rescue vehicles. Buzz Schurian, seconded by Jerry Racicot, moved that we purchase an up-to-date GPS for $350.00 max. Rick would investigate and make the purchase. Motion passed unanimously.

6.5  Mobile Radio Communications Operator unit. The Board discussed various ways of possibly improving communications in the field but decided that therewas no need to make any changes to the existing system.

6.6 What to do with White Brush 6 – maintain or replace? Elbrock and VTC would be approached to find out whether they might help replace the vehicle.

6.7 Monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly Board meetings. The Board decided there was no need to change the existing bi-monthly frequency of meetings.

6.8 New Portal Phone Book Bonnie Bowen described plans for publication of the new

phone book in early 2016, the proceeds of which will go to Portal Rescue. Publication costs would be met by the sale of advertisements. Updates to existing entries and new entries should reach Bonnie by mid-July. Emails about the phonebook can go to PRphonebook@gmail.com; her personal email is bonnie.bowen@gmail.com.  Her home phone is 558-0083.

7          Addenda

County Mutual Aid repeater on Antelope Pass. This radio repeater no longer works, but it is important that it be repaired and maintained because: 1) It is how we communicate with the Cochise County Sheriff in the field;  2) It is essential for our dispatch plans which will be upgraded later this year; 3)  It provides clear radio communications for Sheriff’s Deputies when they’re in this area. Jerry Racicot will contact Sheriff Dannels.

8          Adjournment

David Newton, seconded by Buzz Schurian, proposed adjournment. The motion was carried unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 8.20 p.m.



Saturday March 21st, 2015, 11.00 a.m.

Portal Rescue Classroom

1. Call to Order

Jerry Racicot called the meeting to order at 11.00 a.m.. Six Board members, six active members and sixteen community members were present.

2. Adoption of Agenda

The published agenda was adopted, with a change to the wording of item 6.1 and the addition of items 9.1-3. Motion proposed by Dave Schurian, seconded by Rick Beno and carried unanimously.

3. Acceptance/Correction of Minutes

Jackie Lewis moved, seconded by Dave Schurian, to accept the minutes of the Jan. 7th, 2015 meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

4. Reports

4.1 President: Jerry Racicot

Jerry reported that we have fourteen firefighters and nine EMTs (three trained in prolonged care). He thanked members for their contributions and the community for their support.

4.2 Treasurer: Rick Beno

            Windfall: Rick reported that O’Leary Squier had made a $5,000 donation to Portal Rescue, which has just arrived and is not reflected in the reports.

            2014 final report: Rick re-presented his report. Revenue amounted to $49,847.06 and expenses to $37,336.65.

            Summary of Assets: Currently, our investments consist of $40,930.37 (Edward Jones), $60, 977.73 (Southeast Arizona Credit Union), $45,327.05 in checking (Chase Bank) and $43,337.00 in checking and CDs (Washington Federal Bank) Including petty cash and earned interest, assets total $ 191,112.15 .

            Budget for 2015: Our budget is $53,700.00. To date we have received $12,337.00 in revenue and incurred $6287.80 in expenses.

4.3 Fire Chief: David Newton

Since Jan. 7th.:

            Operations: One vehicle wet down a helicopter landing zone.

            Training: We trained on recovering vehicles in January and had a well attended training session in February when each firefighter was tested for competence in using a radio. Robert Walton attended a two day fire-wise assessor class in early March.

            Grants: We applied for a Volunteer Fire Assistance grant for fittings, headlamps, and radio chest harnesses. The VFA grants are 50/50. The results of our Assistance to Firefighter Grant application will be announced some time between April and September.

            Other: Thanks to Chris Wilbur and all who helped with the Soup Kitchen.

4.4 EMS Chief: Jackie Lewis

            “2014 Report: During our monthly training sessions we reviewed base hospital standing orders, participated in an extrication exercise, and performed equipment reviews and vehicle and inventory checks. Eight EMTs renewed their certifications. Jackie is out of sync. and will renew this year. Two EMTs were certified for advanced airway and seven for Albuterol administration for assistance in breathing emergencies.

            We responded to twenty-four emergency calls and one medical assist** that was not called in through . Our responses included: 7 medical by ground transfers, 2 medical refusals, 3**medical by helicopters, 5 trauma by ground transfers, 4 trauma by helicopters, 4 other, 2 snake bites.

            2015 Report (to date): here have been two calls and one cancelled call to date. Six EMTs attended the January, and five the February training sessions. Jeff and Jerry were certified, and ET Collinsworth re-certified in Wilderness Training.

            Five community members have expressed interest in becoming Radio Communications Operators and we will schedule a training class. If you are interested and have not yet let Jackie or Susanne know, please talk with us today.

            Community Health Day: Please join us on Saturday, April 25th, for Community Health Day, beginning at 10 a.m.. We will cover some basic health care topics, teach you continuous chest compressions and perform blood pressure and glucose checks. You can bring in expired medication (no opiates) and needles (in sealed, puncture-proof containers) for disposal. Several door prizes will be awarded and a community potluck with follow.”

            EMS Chief Resignation: Jackie said that she would like to thank everyone for their support during her past five years as EMS chief. She is keeping her EMT certification but is turning the reins over to the newly elected EMS chief, Jerry Racicot.

The Board applauded Jackie for her long service as EMS chief.

5. Old Business

6. New Business

6.1 What the Board Could Be Doing

David Newton said the Board was doing a lot of things well but could be doing more; for example, repairing our building and working towards an increase in donations and outside funding. Rick Beno mentioned the need to be proactive about recruiting both project leaders and new active members. Jeff Gee suggested that we offer an EMT class every three years to make sure that we have sufficient EMTs when existing personnel are, for whatever reason, no longer available. We should also make efforts to continue recruiting firefighters.

            Several people supported the idea of making Portal a “fire-wise community,” a project which would increase our safety and help secure fire reduction grants. Reed Peters suggested that our bulletin board at the Post Office display pictures of the active members so that the community would know who they were and could thank them. The Board will revisit these suggestions in May.

Jeff Gee noted that Pete Miller had for years taken charge of recycling the aluminum cans we collect. The Board thanked Pete.

6.2 Nominations and Elections

The following community and active members were elected to the Board. Community members: Bill Wilbur, Harold Farmer, David Schurian. Active members: David Newton, Jerry Racicot, Rick Beno and Jackie Lewis.

7. Executive Session

Board members were appointed to the following positions: Bill Wilbur, president; Dave Schurian, vice-president, Rick Beno, treasurer, Harold Farmer, secretary.

8. Addenda

9. For the Good of the Order

 9.1 Recognition of Rene Blondeau

Pi Irwin nominated Rene for the Honor Roll in recognition of his long and faithful service to Portal Rescue. Rene was a co-founder of Portal Rescue and a longtime EMT and firefighter. He did an enormous amount of physical, legal and organizational groundwork for Portal Rescue, including fund-raising and recruiting volunteers to build the large garage next door to the classroom. Rene never really retired from Portal Rescue. Jerry Racicot noted that Rene’s name is already on the plaque. He and Jeff Gee spoke in enthusiastic support of the nomination, which was heartily welcomed by all.

9.2 Calendar Sales.

Vicki Beno reported that her 2015 calendar had realized $1,705.00. She still had calendars available for anyone who wanted to purchase them. She thanked Rick for his support over the long life of this project, and also thanked the many women who were featured in the calendar.

9.3 Announcement for the Yergers

Morgan Yerger won’t be able to clean, move or pack because of her car accident and will need assistance with these tasks over the next two weeks. Jackie Lewis asked volunteers to contact her (Jackie).

10     Adjournment

Jackie Lewis, seconded by Rick Beno, proposed adjournment. The motion was carried unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 12.10 p.m..



Wednesday January 7th, 2015, 6.30 p.m.

Portal Rescue Classroom


1.0              Call to Order

Jerry Racicot called the meeting to order at 6.33 p.m.. Seven  Board members were present.


2.0 Adoption of Agenda

The published agenda was adopted, with the addition of item 8.3. Motion proposed by Jackie Lewis, seconded by Bill Wilbur and carried unanimously.

3.0 Acceptance/Correction of Minutes

Bill Wilbur, seconded by Rick Beno, moved to accept the minutes of the October 6th, 2014 meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

4.0 Reports

4.1 President:  Jerry Racicot

Jerry Racicot thanked all Board members and active members for working so hard last year and all donors for their generous contributions to Portal Rescue. Jerry reported that a community member had suggested we get a volunteer to recruit more firefighters.

4.2 Treasurer: Rick Beno

Rick Beno reviewed income and expenses up to end of 2014. Revenue amounted to $48,493.67 and expenses to $35,938.26.

Summary of Assets: Currently, our investments consist of $40,880.48 (Edward Jones), $60,824.23 (Credit Union) and $83,563.61 in checking (Chase Bank). Including petty cash and earned interest,  assets total $185,348.32,at the end of 2014.

4.3 Fire Chief: David Newton

“Since Oct 6th:

Operations: Oct. 14th, Rick Beno eradicated a bee hive threatening a home owner.  Oct. 16th, we mopped up a tiny roadside fire started by a rogue tractor trailer and stomped out by passersby.


Brush 5 spent a few weeks up in San Simon having its fuel density compensator bypassed. We’re hoping this will solve the fuel in oil problem we’ve observed.

Engine 2 ate a v-belt that powers the air brakes and was immobilized in our parking lot. Fixed in a couple days.

Training: October training was good, but only four attended.  Three firefighters attended November training. December training was cancelled.

Jennifer and Jerry Racicot completed a six-day Rope Rescue Course and are now both certified rope rescue technicians, level 1 and 2.

Grants: A 95%/5% $11,000 AFG grant application for fire pagers was submitted to FEMA on Dec. 2nd.  Decision in March. We received final reimbursement of $1,079 for our VFA grant.


Bob Walton and I drove Brush 5 up to San Simon school on Oct. 23rd for their annual bus evacuation drill.

I’ve tested a cell phone alerting system. It works well, but without a dedicated “dispatcher” it will be too cumbersome to initiate at the start of an incident.

We provided traffic control at the Rene Blondeau burial.

In November Portal Rescue hosted the monthly Cochise County Chiefs’ Meetings.  Thanks to all who helped, but especially to Chris Wilbur who saw that the arrangements and feast came together from start to finish.”

4.4 EMS Chief: Jackie Lewis

“There have been eight calls since the October Board meeting.

Five EMTs attended the October training. November training was cancelled. Seven EMTs attended December training. IV certified EMTs completed the required number of IV starts for Tucson Medical Center to continue their certification.

Rescue 4 has new batteries and a new starter. Rescue 3 has the batteries from Rescue 4. Joe Meenach has been doing road checks and Lance Shultis has been doing the repairs.

Jeff Gee and Jerry Racicot have registered to attend the Wilderness EMT training in Flagstaff in March. Total tuition is $700 per person. We will reimburse attendees for gas, lodging and meals. John Yerger would like to attend but timing is not agreeable with the new baby’s expected birth date. If he can find another class he will attend it later in the year.

We’re attempting to set a date for the Community Health Day. Saturday, March 28 or Saturday, April 25. Tentative 10am – noon with lunch following.

I will be moving walkers, wheel-chairs, crutches, etc. from Mary Willy’s garage into the ambulance bay attic. I will be the contact for entrance so people can borrow the items.

Joe Meenach and I attended San Simon Bus Safety Day.

I will be approaching Mylan Speciality to see if we can get Epi-pens donated again. They will cost $1600 if not donated.”


5.0 Old Business

5.1 Scheduling of training for Radio Communication Operators

Doug and JoAnn Julian, Maya Decker and Gerry Hernbrode have retired as RCOs. Suzanne Dyal will wait until we have new volunteers before scheduling a training session.

5.2 Status of Certificate of Deposit

Rick Beno, seconded by Jackie Lewis, moved that we invest the difference between the amount in the Chase Bank checking account and the amount budgeted for 2015 in a 5-year term CD offered by the Washington Federal Bank. Motion carried unanimously.

6.0      New Business

6.1  Approval of Standard Operating Guideline for responses by Emergency Medical Services

Jackie Lewis, seconded by Bill Wilbur, moved that the Board approve guidelines drafted by Jerry Racicot and Jackie Lewis. Motion carried unanimously.

6.2  Application for Assistance to Firefighters Grant equipment

David Newton, seconded by Jerry Racicot, moved that the Board approve the application. Motion carried unanimously.

6.3  2015 Budget

Rick Beno presented a draft budget for 2015:

Revenues: grants $1200, donations $33,000, fundraising $8,000, interest $1,500, rent $500, fire income $0, misc. rev. $0, Rainy Day draw $8,450. TOTAL $51,550

Expenses: office $1,000, utilities $3,000, chiefs’ meetings $1,000, EMS supplies $2,000, EMS equipment $3,000, EMS training $6,000, fire supplies and equipment $5,000, fire training $2,000, fire pay $0, vehicle ops $8,000, radio ops. $2,000, insurance $14000, dues $250, structure maintenance 2000, misc. exp. 500, fundraiser exp 800. Rainy Day account $1,000, TOTAL $51,550.

Dave Schurian, seconded by Harold Farmer, moved to accept the suggested budget. Carried unanimously.

7.0      Addenda


8.0 For the Good of the Order

8.1 Articles for 2015 Newsletter

need to be submitted to Pat Espenak by January 10th, 2015.

8.2 Soup Kitchen

Chris Wilbur will be coordinating  the Soup Kitchen, which will held on Feb. 16-18.

8.3 Annual meeting and potluck

will be held on Saturday March 21st at 10.00 a.m-noon, with the potluck immediately following the meeting.


9.0      Adjournment

Bill Wilbur, seconded by Dave Schurian, proposed adjournment. Meeting adjourned at 8.23 p.m..


Portal Rescue Inc. Board Meeting

Monday, October 6, 2014

6:30 pm in Portal Rescue Classroom

All community members and active Portal Rescue members are encouraged to attend

1.0              Call to Order at 6:30 by President Jerry Racicot.  Harold Farmer not present.

2.0              Adoption of Agenda with change of Communications, RCO updates from new business to old business.  Motion by Jackie Lewis, seconded by Bill Wilbur.  Passed.

3.0              Acceptance of minutes of July 16, 2014, Board meeting as recorded.  Motion by Bill Wilbur, seconded by Rick Beno. Passed.


4.0 Reports

4.1 President:  Jerry Racicot

Community members have been asking why we don’t respond to all calls.  Chiefs are developing an action plan to avoid missed calls.  We need more volunteer EMTs and firefighters so we can try to make sure someone is available when a call comes in.

4.2 Treasurer’s Report: Rick Beno

Year to date income is $20,473.  The donation drive has just begun and has already brought in $3,794.  Year to date expenses are $30,605. Vehicle operations and insurance account for the majority of the $3,457.59 September expenses.

A $25,000 CD matured and has been placed in the checking account for now.  CDs and savings accounts are paying minimal interest but options are being looked into.

4.3 Fire Chief: David Newton

Since July 16th

Operations:   none.

Training: Training in July was poorly attended. Training in August was well attended.  Training
on Sept 20th was cancelled because many (including myself) could not get out.

Vehicles:  Tender 7 got a new battery.  Brush 5 had the parking brake fixed – thanks to Lee Dyal and Lance Shultis.  White Brush 6 is still drivable.  300 gallons of diesel was delivered on Oct 1 at a cost of $1167 ($3.89/gal)

Grants:  Our VFA grant has ended and I have applied for reimbursement of $1097.

FCC License:  Was granted on July 21st and expires in August 2024.

It is my intent to add all the firefighters to the Firebar phone list and I will be contacting each of them to arrange that.

4.4 EMS Chief: Jackie Lewis

There have been 7 EMT calls since last Board meeting.

Training:  3 EMTs attended the August meeting and 7 attended the September meeting.

Jerry Racicot and Jackie Lewis certified for King Airway intubation.  All EMTs need to attend an airway lab in order to recertify now.  Information has been sent to all EMTs about three more airway labs that are being offered in the next two months.

Calendar:  October 18th is our next EMT meeting.  We will review standing orders.

October 23rd – San Simon School Bus Evacuation Drill.  Currently, Joe Meenach and Jackie Lewis will attend.  We need more members to attend.  Noon to 2:30pm.

October 25th – Oktoberfest.  We will try to have Rescue 4 there with at least 1 EMT.  Many of the EMTs are already involved in the activities with Sew What.

November 19th – Chiefs’ meeting and Thanksgiving lunch.  All EMTs, firefighters and Board members are encouraged to assist and attend.  If you can help cook, set up or clean up please contact Chris Wilbur at 558-5858.

5 Old Business:

5.3 Communications, RCO updates.

Radio Communication Operator (RCO) handbooks were given to Jerry Racicot and David Schurian (all other Board members present have one).  Susanne will be asked to coordinate a training session.  Bill Wilbur is going to verify phone numbers in the additional resources pages.  We will update handbooks prior to the training.  New RCOs are needed.  If you would like to participate please contact David Newton at 558-1155 or Jackie Lewis at 558-2287.

6.0       New Business

6.1 Deposit of Portal Rescue funds into CD at new bank.

An internet bank was located that would accept business accounts.  A $25,000 minimum is required to purchase a 5 year CD with a 2.3% interest rate.  Board members discussed the risks and determined that this was not an acceptable option.  The motion is tabled and will be brought forth if another option comes available.

6.2       Appointment of new person to handle Portal Rescue contracts.



7.0 For the Good of the Order

The 2015 calendar Women of Portal, Rodeo and Paradise is available for purchase. Vicki will have copies for sale at Oktoberfest.   All proceeds go to Portal Rescue.  Thank you, Rick and Vicki Beno for working on this project.

Alice Newton’s photo book of the Chiricahuas will also be available to purchase at Oktoberfest.  All proceeds go to Portal Rescue and are earmarked for Wilderness EMT Training.  Thank you, Alice.

JoAnn Julian will be at Oktoberfest with documents and the computer to update the locator book.

8.0              Motion to adjourn by David Schurian, seconded by Bill Wilbur.  Meeting adjourned at 7:45pm.

Minutes submitted by Jackie Lewis.



Wednesday July 16th, 2014, 6.30 p.m.

Portal Rescue Classroom


1.0         Call to Order

Bill Wilbur called the meeting to order at 6.35 p.m. Five Board members were present.


2.0         Adoption of Agenda

The published agenda was adopted, with the inclusion of item 5.7 in the Treasurer’s Report. Motion proposed by Rick Beno, seconded by Jackie Lewis, carried unanimously.

3.0 Acceptance/Correction of Minutes

The minutes of the May 21st meeting were accepted. Motion proposed by David Newton, seconded by Rick Beno, carried unanimously.

4.0 Reports

4.1  President: Jerry Racicot

Because the President was unable to attend, his report was deferred to the next meeting.

4.2  Treasurer: Rick Beno

Rick Beno reviewed income and expenses to date.

Revenue: $0 grants; $8,198.88 donations; $6,940.04 fundraising; $507.43 interest income;  $219 rent; $0 fire income; $150 misc. revenues.

Total: $16,015.35

Expenses:  $516.23 office supplies; $678.69 chiefs’ meeting; $330.88 EMS supplies; $1,455.60 EMS training; $1,538.82 EMS equipment; $1,418.93 fire supplies; $426.46 fire training; $0 fire pay; $1,887.41 vehicle operations; $1,208 radio operations; $9,789 insurance; $304.63 structure maintenance; $250 dues; $289.03 fund-raising expenses; $1,519.11 utilities; $507.43 Rainy Day account; $0 miscellaneous expenses.

Total $22,120.22

Summary of Assets: Currently, our investments consist of $66,119.25 (Edward Jones), $60,671.12 (Credit Union) and we have $39,573.33 in checking. Including petty cash and earned interest, our assets total $166,443.70.

Workers’ Compensation:

Although our insurance brokers (All Workers Compensation) had quoted a highly competitive rate to us, after we canceled our policy with CopperPoint the brokers immediately raised the quoted rates to an even higher level than CopperPoint. CopperPoint refused to take us back. We were then forced to get insurance from NCCI, a company which cannot refuse a policy; however, the rate they charged is slightly higher than that set by CopperPoint.

4.3  Fire Chief: David Newton

“Since May 21st.

Operations:   Tiny wildfire off Portal Rd. on May 31.

Training: Training in June was well attended.

Vehicles:  Brush 6: Dyal washed accumulated foam concentrate out of the vehicle bed and Beno greased the hose reel. Brush 5 is temporarily out of service while the parking brake is being replaced.

Building maintenance:  June 21 – Walton and Newton cleaned out the gutters on the classroom.

Grants: Our VFA grant period was extended due to a delayed shipment of a shut-off valve from our supplier.

FCC License: In mid-June I asked Action Communications to renew our 10-year radio frequency license.  They quickly submitted the renewal application and it is currently being processed by the FCC.”

4.4  EMS Chief: Jackie Lewis

“There have been five EMS calls since last meeting. We did not provide patient care at two of the calls; one had no patients, the other had Hidalgo County EMS on scene.

Seven EMTs attended training and the presentation by Dr. Ottman on June 18th. The July meeting was canceled due to the low number of EMTs available to attend. Next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, August 16th at 9 a.m.

Four EMTs are scheduled to attend the trauma conference at the end of July. The lodging budget will be over the approved amount by approximately $50 per night because of taxes and the required resort fee. Three rooms will be paid for. The total budget will be approximately $300 over approved rates for this conference. This increase has been discussed and authorized in the past, so I have not brought it to the Board for approval.  The issue can be revisited if necessary.”

5.0 Old Business

5.1         Donation drive: Finding a person willing to train with and replace JoAnn Julian, who will retire from organizing the donation drive after this year.

Jackie reported that so far she had not found a replacement for JoAnn but JoAnn would be available this year.

5.2         New brochures for donation drive due in October.

Jerry Racicot is waiting for proofs with the new design, which Bill will forward to Kerry (the printer). Jackie suggested that if we haven’t got a proof from the designer by August 1st, we’ll need another plan. (Last year five hundred brochures cost $115 plus shipping.)

5.3       Publication of air ambulance insurance plans.

The last helicopter flight leaving Portal cost nearly $50,000; however, three helicopter companies offer air ambulance insurance or membership plans to defray expenses. Portal Rescue does not get to choose which helicopter will be available for any given call. Please research all three plans and see which plans best fits your needs. Here is the contact information:

LIFELINE (based in Douglas) has a plan based on membership of the service. Members do not need medical insurance to join. Medicaid recipients are not eligible.

http://www.mtcmembership.com or 1-866-751-45151-866-751-4515

PHICARE (based in Safford) offers two membership plans: one for those with medical insurance, another for those without.

http://www.phicares.com/states/arizona/join.shtml or 1-888-435-97441-888-435-9744

LIFENET/OMNI ADVANTAGE, now known as LIFE SHIELD Alliance (based in Willcox) offers an insurance plan for those with medical insurance.

http://www.lifeshieldalliance.com or 1-855-896-90641-855-896-9064

5.4       Cost of new Portal Rescue members’ T-shirts.

Jackie Lewis reported that the consignment of new shirts will arrive by 27th August and will cost approximately $750 in total, part of which will be met by active members purchasing extra shirts.

5.5       Updating/creating RCO protocols terminology used during incidents.

This item was deferred till the next meeting.

5.6 Approval of March 19th, 2014 minutes.

David Newton proposed, and Rick Beno seconded, a motion to accept the attendance numbers as described in the minutes. The motion was carried unanimously.

5.7 Further comments on Workers’ Compensation insurance.

(See Treasurer’s Report above)


6.0       New Business

6.1       Cochise County Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Cochise County wishes to obtain resolutions of support from the county communities by 8-1-14. Harold Farmer proposed and Jackie Lewis seconded a motion to support the resolution. Motion carried unanimously.

6.2       Update Reimbursements to New Government Rates

Jackie Lewis proposed and David Newton seconded a motion to raise the accommodation and subsistence rates. The accommodation rate would be $86 per person per night, which amount could be increased at the Chief’s discretion, the Chief’s signature being required for increases. The daily rate for three meals would be $51 ($9 breakfast, $13 lunch, $29 dinner).

7.0       Addenda

8.0         For the Good of the Order

8.1 Art for Kids

Chiricahua Gallery thanked Portal Rescue for the use of the classroom for Art for Kids on 21st-23rd July.

8.2       Calendar

Vicki Beno has finished her 2015 calendar on The Women of Portal, which will be sold for $20 each, in aid of Portal Rescue. The calendar will be on sale for Oktoberfest.

9.0      Adjournment

Jackie Lewis, seconded by Rick Beno, proposed adjournment. Motion carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 8.00 p.m.



Wednesday May 21st, 2014, 6.30 p.m.

Portal Rescue Classroom


1.0         Call to Order

Jerry Racicot called the meeting to order at 6.32 p.m.. All seven Board members were present.


2.0         Adoption of Agenda

The published agenda was adopted, with the addition of item 8.1. Motion proposed by Harold Farmer, seconded by Jackie Lewis and carried unanimously.

3.0 Acceptance/Correction of Minutes

Acceptance of the minutes of the March 19th meeting deferred to next meeting, pending  details of the number of community members who attended. Jerry Racicot would look for the sign-in sheet.

4.0 Reports

President:  Jerry Racicot

4.1  President’s report

The President had little to report. He was looking into ways of getting Douglas police to improve their communication with Portal Rescue, following receipt of a 911 call.

4.2  Treasurer: Rick Beno

Rick Beno reviewed income and expenses to date.

Revenue: $0 grants; $5,983.88 donations; $6,821.24 fundraising; $338.46 interest income;  $119 rent; $0 fire income; $0 misc.

Total: $13,262.58

Expenses:  $516.23 office supplies; $678.69 chiefs’ meeting; $227.54 EMS supplies; $697.38 EMS training; $1,538.82 EMS equipment; $1,180.03 fire supplies; $426.46 fire training; $0 fire pay; $1,358.21 vehicle operations; $1,046 radio operations; $4,396 insurance; $304.63 structure maintenance; $150 dues; $289.03 fund-raising expenses; $1,130.62 utilities; $338.46 Rainy Day account; $0 miscellaneous expenses.

Total $14,278.10

Summary of Assets: Currently, our investments consist of $66,101.35 (Edward Jones), $60,520.05 (Credit Union) and we have $44,662.68 in checking. Including petty cash and earned interest, our assets total $172,644.08

4.3  Fire Chief: David Newton

“Since March 19th

Operations: None.

Training: The March Wildland Refresher and May training were well attended, but April’s training was poorly attended.

Annual qualifications: Seven firefighters passed the Pack Test and six of them qualified as wildland firefighter type 2s, an increase from the two wildland firefighter 2s we had last year.

Equipment:  A new 1000 gal. pumpkin has been placed on Brush 5.  Three new line packs and some hose has been received.  All these items are on our VFA grant.

It’s been quiet.”

4.4  EMS Chief: Jackie Lewis

There’ve been three calls since the last Board meeting.

Training was attended by five EMTs in April and six in May. Dr. Ottman will be in Portal in June.

Pat Owens and Chris Wilbur have retired from being EMTs. Pat served for eight years and Chris for two years.

The Southern Arizona Trauma Network Conference is at the end of July. The room rate before taxes and fees is $97 per night. The registration fee is $210 and, with two lunches and two dinners per person, the estimated cost is $600 per person. Portal Rescue will reimburse two nights at full cost, even though it will be over the government rate (which Portal Rescue has adopted).  Members will not have to pay out of pocket expenses. Attendees must register by June 30th.

Repair of the water pump in Rescue 3 cost $529. Repair of the fuel sending unit in Rescue 4 will cost about $300-350 when we decide to have it done.

Jackie will be at the Friends of Cave Creek Canyon garden party with Rescue 4 on May 24th.

5.0 Old Business: none


6.0       New Business

6.1 Donation Drive: Replacement of organizer

JoAnn Julian is retiring as organizer of the donation drive after this year’s drive. Rick said that donations had increased dramatically as a result of JoAnn’s work. He hoped we could find someone to sustain the level of donations achieved under her leadership. JoAnn is willing to coach a potential replacement this year. The new organizer would need to be available August through October.

6.2  Donation Drive: New brochures

Jerry said that JoAnn had reminded us we needed to print and update more brochures by the end of August. Jerry would review the brochures. Further discussion of this item is deferred till the next meeting.

6.3 RCO Protocols

Dave Schurian suggested getting some form of written instruction as a resource for RCOs (radio control operators). Jerry said we did have a manual but it needed to be updated and so did the procedures for communications between firefighters, EMTs and RCO operators. Susanne, David Newton and Jackie would review the manual to determine what changes and/or additions were necessary. Jerry would review and update the list of firefighters’ telephone numbers. Jerry said he and Susanne would set new training dates for RCOs.

6.4 Cost of New Portal Rescue T-shirts

Jerry displayed a newly designed logo for the T-shirts. He has asked for a more durable shirt than those in the last batch. The cost of new shirts for EMTs and firefighters would be about $750 plus tax for 48 pieces and an extra $2 per EMT badge for those shirts worn by EMTs. Jerry, seconded by David, proposed that we give one short-sleeved shirt to each firefighter/EMT and that firefighters/EMTs pay for any extra ones. The motion was carried unanimously.

6.5 Publication of Air Ambulance Insurance plans

The last helicopter flight leaving Portal cost nearly $50,000; however, three helicopter companies offer air ambulance insurance or membership plans to defray expenses. Portal Rescue does not get to choose which helicopter will be available for any given call. Please research all three plans and see which plans best fits your needs. Here is the contact information:

LIFELINE (based in Douglas) has a plan based on membership of the service. Members do not need medical insurance to join. Medicaid recipients are not eligible.

http://www.mtcmembership.com or 1-866-751-45151-866-751-4515

PHICARE (based in Safford) offers two plans: one for those with medical insurance, another for those without.

http://www.phicares.com/states/arizona/join.shtml or 1-888-435-97441-888-435-9744

LIFENET/OMNI ADVANTAGE, now known as LIFE SHIELD Alliance (based in Willcox)

offers a plan for those with medical insurance.

http://www.lifeshieldalliance.com or 1-855-896-90641-855-896-9064

6.6  Workmen’s Compensation (WC) Insurance: Hypothetical wages

Rick informed us that he had been told the following by CopperPoint Mutual, our WC insurer: Arizona law requires firefighters and EMTs to have WC insurance. For WC purposes, workmen must be considered wage earners (even if they are actually unpaid volunteers). The state assigns “employees” (i.e. firefighters and EMTs) a hypothetical minimum wage of $4800 per annum, for which the annual premium is about $70 each, and assigns “officers” a hypothetical minimum wage of $52,000 per annum, for which the premium is $750 each.

The office-bearers in Portal Rescue (i.e. President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) are considered “officers” for WC purposes. They can reject coverage as officers unless they are also firefighters or EMTs. Thus Jerry and Rick cannot reject coverage but Bill and Harold can (and have). Worse, Jerry and Rick are required to pay for coverage on the “officer” scale, rather than the “employee” scale. Alternatively, they could resign either as “employees” or as “officers”.

Premiums are due at the end of June.

After much discussion, the Board did not think it could find a way to avoid these higher rates within the next month. As an interim measure—and a means of retaining Jerry and Rick as both officers and employees, Harold, seconded by Bill, proposed paying the higher premium for them for the next year. The motion was carried unanimously.

6.7  Workmen’s Compensation Insurance: Coverage of Board members

This was treated under the previous item.


7.0       Addenda

8.0 For the Good of the Order

8.1  VTC Communications update—dropped calls

Jackie advised anyone who cannot make a call from Portal to complain to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). People who experience difficulties in receiving calls to Portal, should ask their callers to contact the FCC. In each case, details of the call will be required: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints

For problems with 911 calls, contact the Cochise County communications officer.

8.2  Plaque

The plaque has been inscribed and replaced. Bill Wilbur reported that the jeweller did not charge us because he had been a pupil of the nominee, E. “Boots” Deiss.

8.3 Arizona Corporations Commission website—

David Newton reminded us the list of office-bearers needed to be updated. Harold agreed to do it.

9.0      Adjournment

Dave Schurian, seconded by Bill Wilbur, proposed adjournment. Motion carried unanimously. Meeting adjourned at  8.30 p.m..



Wednesday, January 29th, 2014, 6.30 p.m.

Portal Rescue Classroom


1.0         Call to Order

Jackie Lewis called the meeting to order at 6.37 p.m.. Six board and four community members were present.


2.0         Adoption of Agenda

The published agenda was adopted, with the addition of items 5.2, 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3. Motion proposed by Bill Wilbur, seconded by Jackie Lewis and carried unanimously.

Rick Beno, seconded by Bill Wilbur, moved to take items 6.3 and 8.1-3 first. Motion carried unanimously.

3.0 Acceptance/Correction of Minutes

Jackie Lewis moved, seconded by Reed Peters, to accept the minutes of the December 18th, 2013 meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

4.0 Reports

President: Jerry Racicot

The President wasn’t able to attend the meeting and deferred his report.

4.2  Treasurer: Rick Beno

Rick reviewed income and expenses up to end of 2013.

Revenue: $2,600 grants; $38,662.62 donations; $7,444 fundraising; Interest income $948.48; rent $575; fire income $1623,62; misc. $125.98.

Total: $51,979.70

Expenses:  $957.11 office supplies; $2,067.33 EMS supplies; $3,973.38  EMS training; $5,785.37 EMS equipment; $5,735.92 fire supplies; $1,444.97 fire training; $550 fire pay from Enterprise fire; $3,802.17 vehicle operations; $1,079.76 for radio operations; $8,474 insurance; $1569.51 structure maintenance; $110 dues; $1212.59 fund-raising expenses; $2,529.28 utilities; $948.48 Rainy Day account; $676.40 misc. expenses.

Total $40,906.27

Summary of Assets: Currently, our investments consist of $65,911.94 (Edward Jones), $60,371 (Credit Union) and we have $45,669.11 in checking (including petty cash and earned interest).  Assets total $172,032.06 at end of 2013.

4.3   Fire Chief: David Newton

“Operations:  A SAR incident on Dec 19th in Horseshoe Canyon.  A shed fire on January 2nd.  Thanks to all who turned out.

Training:  We had one fire training on roadside fire response. Jerry Racicot conducted some vehicle familiarization with two prospective firefighters.  One of our prospective firefighters will complete her basic wildland training this weekend.

Maintenance:  Replaced the pump battery on Brush 5.  Added a remote brake fluid reservoir to Brush 5 so that we can monitor the fluid level. A portion of the water piping in Engine 2 has developed a leak.

Countywide CWPP:   The first full draft has been released to the working group.

VFA Grant: The 2013 (yes 2013) VFA grant guidance has been released. I’ll be submitting our proposal Jan. 31st.”

4.4  EMS Chief:  Jackie Lewis

“We’ve had one call since the December meeting.

8 EMTs attended the January training.

All agencies were told at the meeting with our base hospital on Tuesday that (SOPs) standard operating procedures will be required to be in writing for many of our standard operations.  These changes are being set by AZDHS (Arizona Department of Health and Safety) in accordance with new legislation and national certification requirements.  I will be requesting input from EMTs and possibly Board members for completeness and accuracy as I get the SOPs prepared.

I’m still waiting to hear if we qualified for the Epi-pen donation.  They haven’t scheduled a committee meeting yet.”


5.0 Old Business

5.1  Finalization of 2014 Budget

Revenues: Grants $1,200; donations $30,000; fundraising $8,000; interest $1,000; rent $500; fire income 0; misc. 0; Rainy Day Draw $6,950.

Total $47,650.00.

Expenses: Office $1,600; utilities $3,000; chiefs’ meetings $1,000; EMS supplies $3,500; EMS equipment $3,000; EMS training $7,000; fire supplies & equipment $5,000; fire training $2,000; fire pay 0; vehicle ops $6,800; radio ops $2,600; insurance $10,000; dues $250; structure maintenance $2,000; misc. $500; Rainy Day Account 0. Total $47,650.

The proposed budget entailed about $7,000 deficit spending. Rick Beno proposed, Jackie Lewis seconded, the budget be approved. Motion carried unanimously

5.2  Cost of pencils which would publicize Portal Rescue’s services.

Jackie reported that, for the quoted price, a fourth line of writing could be inserted on the pencils.  It would read “donations greatly appreciated.” The cost would be a little over $109 for 572 pencils. Bill Wilbur proposed and David Newton seconded approval of the purchase. Motion carried unanimously.

6.0       New Business

6.1  Soup Kitchen Lotto Tickets

Board agreed to continue the past practice of purchasing Lotto tickets for a prize in the Soup Kitchen raffle.

6.2  Volunteer Firefighters Assistance Grant request.

David Newton listed the items on which the Grant would be spent, if approved. (The grant would cover 50% of the cost of these items and Portal rescue would cover the rest.) David proposed that the Board approve the manner in which the grant would be spent. Jackie Lewis seconded and the motion carried was carried unanimously.

6.3 Use of Portal Rescue Classroom by Chiricahua Gallery at reduced rent.

Jerry Aerts explained that the Gallery, which engages in community enrichment programs, wishes to use the classroom for probably three classes in March-April on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Jackie Lewis proposed, Rick Beno seconded, that no fee be charged. Motion carried unanimously

7.0       Addenda

8.0         For the Good of the Order

8.1   Donation of book profits to Portal Rescue

Alice Newton offered to donate to Portal Rescue the profits from sales of her photo book on the Portal area, and wished the funds to be earmarked for EMS Wilderness training. The Board agreed to do so and thanked her.

8.2  Overview of Cochise County Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

The county’s CWPP working group recommended* wildland fuel modification of 30,202 acres in our area, at an annual cost of $317,000 for two years. David Newton noted that these funds would be obtained by grants but someone other than himself would need to organize and lead the project. The CWPP would be discussed at the annual meeting when more community members were present.

8.3  Brushfire notification.

Bill Wilbur said local residents needed to be reminded they should call Portal Rescue at 558-2206 if they intend to burn brush.

9.0      Adjournment

Rick Beno, seconded by Bill Wilbur, proposed adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 8.10 p.m..