Portal Rescue Board Meeting Minutes


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Board Meeting – January 6, 2023

Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Dinah Davidson (remote), Alina Downer, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, Victor Shawe


1. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 6:01 pm.

2. Approval of Agenda

Jackie proposed adding the topic of new brochures under New Business, and the Agenda (so amended) was approved unanimously after a motion by Cary and a second by David Newton.

3. Approval of Minutes of the December Meeting

No changes were proposed, and the minutes were approved unanimously as written following a motion by Cary and a second by Victor.

4. Reports

a) Fire Chief (David Newton)

i) Operations: none

ii) Training

(1) Attendance was good at both the December 17th discussion/training and the January 4 All-Responders training.

(2) Brian Whitehorn has completed all his basic firefighter training, and David will ask the Board to confirm his membership in Portal Rescue.

(3) At 1:00 pm on January 21, the Killer Bee Guy (https://killerbeeguy.com/ ) will be here to train us for dealing with bees where they are a threat. At 2:30 that day, he will present a forum to the community.  His website offers a number of videos of bee removal, including here at the Historical Society building in Portal.

iii) Vehicles

One battery was replaced on Brush 5, and now a second one is weak.

iv) Grants (and volunteered help)

(1) AFG

(a) David secured 7 quotes from 4 different vendors for purchase of mobile radios with this grant. The quote David favors came in below other estimates, allowing us to spend the remainder of the grant on other equipment.

(b) AFG will be open for new grant applications on January 9. We could apply for external training funds, but no one may be available to go.  Alina, Matthew and Michele might be interested in Wildlands EMS training, but we wouldn’t hear about funding until September-October.

(2) Tribal gaming grants

(a) The Cochise County Attorney will not allow the County to act as a pass-through for gaming grants.

(b) A community member has volunteered to set up a meeting with the elected Douglas City Mayor, who can consult with the City Manager to determine whether that city would be willing to act as a pass-through for us.

(c) Dinah suggested that we explore this option for work on (or replacement of?) our aging repeater.


After the meeting, David relayed to the Board a January 11 notification that Portal Rescue had been selected to be part of the AZ Department of Environmental Quality Pilot Program for removal/replacement of firefighting foam containing PFAS (a forever chemical).  They will remove our approximately 35 gallons of AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) and replace them with a type of foam lacking PFAS.  The offer to do this for free resulted from David having filled out a form a few months ago.  Thank you, David!

vi) Fire Station Alerting Program

At the Dec. 15th meeting, David was assured that there would be no substantial change for us as Douglas Dispatch becomes a backup for the entire SEACOM system.  Technicians will be setting up the east side of the County, department by department, with completion projected for February.

vii) Building maintenance

David thanked Victor Shawe for fixing the ambulance bay window, which was falling out.

b) EMT Chief (Jackie Lewis)

i) Calls

In 2022, Portal Rescue responded to 55 calls, several involving more than one patient, and we have already had one call in 2023.

ii) Training

(1) Tentatively, a refresher class may be offered in February.

(2) Carolyn mentioned and will advertise two upcoming classes for new EMTs: one starting January 17 in Douglas, and another in Cliff, NM (January also) and attended by three people from Animas. Both meet twice a week and require substantial travel.  Just one of the 5 people Carolyn contacted expressed tentative interest.

iii) Equipment and vehicles

(1) We have received the new power cot for Rescue 233 and will send the two Stryker manual cots to Coast Biomedical Equipment, because they credited us $800 on our new purchase {see sections 5)b) & 5)e) below}. Strapping will arrive by Jan 12th, and David and Jackie will prepare the Strykers for return shipping.

(2) Rescue 233 should be fully stocked and ready to go by the end of March.

c) Treasurer (Alice Wakefield, absent; emailed report current as of 01/05/2023)

i) Alice will submit a report for the newsletter (per Jackie)

ii) Assets Washington Federal

The total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund: 60-month CD, maturity date: 01-15-25 = $34,767.56.

iii) Edward Jones (all accounts)

(1) The total value of our EJ accounts is $ 168,771.33, components as below

(a) Money Market ($82,305.55) – includes matured 10/18/2022 Wells Fargo CD ($15,000)

(b) Bonds & CDs ($86,465.78)

(i) Two bonds (Citigroup Global and Canadian Imperial Bank)

1. Citigroup – 14,251.50, maturity date 1-20-2024

2. Canadian Imperial Bank – 14,258.70, maturity date 1-24-2024

(ii) Two CDs

1. Bank Hapoalim – 29,604.60, maturity date 5-18-2023

2. Sallie Mae – 28,350.98, maturity date 7-24-2023

(2) A buy order for a $15k, 12-month CD @4.65% was submitted to our financial advisor at Edward Jones on January 4, 2023.

iv) Four checks are outstanding – all written on December 19, 2022, and totaling $2,803.02.

v) Portal Rescue’s financial assets total $204,253.89, including $715 in petty cash, and all investments.

vi) See Appendix 1 for income and expense tables.

d) Vice-President (Victor Shawe)

i) Victor called attention to the difficulty of finding unmarked residences, especially at night, in areas with which responders are unfamiliar. Volunteers responding POV may lack geolocation equipment and those resources can be inaccurate in our area.

ii) Victor suggested that Portal Rescue purchase reflective address signs for residences whose owners approve. The County might be asked to contribute toward the $2.50 cost of individual labels, and property owners can contribute if they wish.

e) Member-at-Large (Alina Downer)

i) Alina will get together with the two Chiefs, who have authority over documents that she will turn over to Cary for converting them to digital form. Suggested updates and changes will be approved by Chiefs prior to voting by the Board.  Approval by TMC will be needed for some documents.  The group will also inventory documents to see what might be missing and, e.g., only on personal computers.

ii) Jackie will contact Rick Beno about updating the locator book, which Dinah said needs to be updated, including with new phone numbers. Jackie, David, Dinah and Susanne currently have copies.

iii) Cary urged us to write up duties and expectations of board members (Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President), and Cary will do this for President.

f) President (Cary Booth)

Cary has uploaded the scanned documents in electronic form and will continue to work on this.

5. Continued Business

a) Outdoor lighting

One of the new, $250-lights has been received, and David will install it after the meeting.  We will see if this light is more durable than the light it replaces.

b) Cardiac monitor

i) Williamson Valley Fire Department (WVFD) hasn’t been able to update us on the brand and availability of a donated monitor, because they must first ensure that their departments are supplied with necessary equipment.

ii) Jackie obtained two quotes and leans toward the slightly more expensive one ($16,650 vs. $16,300, because the company (Coastal Biomedical Equipment) was easier and more straightforward to work with. Their offer was good through mid-to-end of January and included free shipment, inspection and calibration for $250.  The instrument comes with consumables but not training; Carolyn and Jared can train others.  If we purchased this instrument and the WVFD donation came through, then we would have one for the second rescue vehicle, and one available should the other be sent in for repair or recalibration.

iii) $1300 has so far been earmarked by donors for the monitor.

c) Points and Perks

i) This subcommittee met on December 19 to consider how many points would be awarded for things like local and external training, calls, special projects, etc.

ii) It was decided that completion of five years should be required for vesting, with the award being paid out after 10-15 years (not settled yet).

iii) To receive payments in individual years, firefighters must accrue 15 points, 9 of which must be for training. No comparable requirements have yet been set for EMTs or Radio Operators.

iv) David received the responses (italicized below) to a number of questions he posed to LOSAP.

(1) If an individual were to qualify as both an EMT and Firefighter in a single year, can s/he receive duplicate payments? LOSAP hasn’t seen this question before and will have to research the matter.

(2) Can individuals add personal funds to their accounts in years when qualifying for organizational funds?

(3) Do payouts come directly from VFIS or through Portal Rescue? They come directly from VFIS.

(4) Can individuals take only partial payouts in the payout year (perhaps for tax reasons)? They can take payments in 2-3 installments, and judicious timing might enable them to take payments in different tax years.

(5) What is the annual schedule of contributions from Portal Rescue? Payments will take place in January for points accrued in the prior year.

(6) If a volunteer leaves the organization permanently before vesting, how is his/her account handled? Funds accumulated in the account would be distributed evenly over those remaining in the system, or they could be applied to offset future organizational contributions.

(7) If a vested member declined payment (inconceivable to LOSAP!), what would happen with contributions made to their accounts. Funds would have to be taken out, taxes paid, and then a donation made, in order for them to go to others in the system.

v) Jackie asked about the possibility of an annual opt out. David will inquire.

vi) We have not yet brought to the Board a motion regarding the % of Portal Rescue funds to be allocated to the LOSAP program annually. Stay tuned.

(vii) Alice sent a request that a description of the LOSAP program and procedures be added to our Bylaws, but it was decided that the description instead be written up in the form of a policy.

viiI) Note: a member of the subcommittee will be away from January 19 – February 13.

ix) Alina will census volunteer interest in exercise equipment and evaluate available space.

d) Budget (Appendix 2)

i) Jackie updated the 2023 budget to account for purchase of the new cot in 2022.

ii) The SATNET conference would cost $500/person x 6 EMTs. Carolyn’s wilderness training last year cost $2700, and if anyone wants to attend in 2023, we can amend the budget after learning this.

iii) Wilderness EMT training costs $1,000/person/week, as also (typically) does of out-of-area fire training.

iv) Jackie moved to adopt the 2023 budget, totaling $95,425 as amended (Appendix 2), and Victor seconded her motion, adopted unanimously without further discussion.

e) Heart monitor

Dinah moved to purchase the heart monitor from Coastal Biomedical Equipment, and Victor seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

f) Auction of Red Brush 6 (nothing new)

g) Phonebook fundraiser (Bonnie Bowen, report emailed in advance)

i) The phone books were received from Gloo Factory Printing on Dec 22, 2022, and first sales occurred Dec 24 at the Portal Post Office during Farmer’s Market and Christmas caroling. As of 1/6/23, we have sold ~150 phone books and have distributed complimentary copies to more than half of our advertisers.  We have about 300 books available for future sales at the Portal Library, the Portal Store, and Rodeo Cafe.  We will also sell them at upcoming Farmer’s Markets, Sew What Forums, the Chili’s On, and other community events.

(1) Total costs to print 500 books                                               $2,371.50

(2) Revenue anticipated from advertising ($215 outstanding) $3,250.00

(3) Profit to Portal Rescue from advertising       $   50

(4) Proceeds from sales as of 1/6/23                        $1,700.00

(5) Total profit to date 1/6/23                      $2,578.50

ii) The Board thanks Bonnie and all of her helpers for the hard work and excellent product. Turnover in community membership, and changes in phone numbers, made phonebook update urgently necessary.

6. New Business

a) Insurance

i) Decisions must be made before the end of this week, when our policy renews. Changes will appear as a binder, rather than rewriting the policy, so long as they total < $50.

ii) The cost of vehicle insurance will rise somewhat with addition of Rescue 233, as well as comprehensive and collision coverage for 2 vehicles currently with liability only.

iii) The Board decided to decline insurance for fraud.

iv) The Board opted to add insurance for portable equipment in vehicles and specified the deductible of $1K rather than $500, which costs $167 less annually.

b) Earmarking of donations

Because tracking of earmarked contributions is difficult and comes with legal issues, it was suggested that this should be possible only with major expenses (e.g., the cardiac monitor and the LOSAP program).  Because no vote was taken, it may be necessary to revisit the matter.

c) Acceptance of new firefighter

David moved that the Board accept Brian Whitehorn’s application to become an Active Member as a firefighter.  Alina seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

d) New brochures

i) New brochures are essential, because so few remain, and because new content is desirable.

ii) A new picture of volunteers will be taken at an all-responder training session on bees (January 21).

iii) The word “Rodeo” will be replaced with “Portal Area” on the brochure cover. Although we respond to calls in the Rodeo area and have a mutual aid agreement with Rodeo, Portal Rescue does not directly cover Rodeo now.

iv) Phone numbers must be updated.

e) Annual Community Meeting

i) The meeting will take place as a potluck at 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 11.

ii) Elections will be held independently for Active Members and Community Members.

iii) We may sing “Happy (35th) Birthday to the organization.

7. For the Good of the Order

a) The Blood Drive will be held on January 12; seven time slots remain open.

b) David announced that we have been recertified as a Firewise Community again for this year.

c) Chili fundraiser – Reminder! Saturday, March 19 at 4:00 PM.  SAVE THE DATE!

d) Community open mic (no takers)

8. Adjournment

Cary adjourned the meeting at 8:07 pm.

Appendix 1.  Income and Expenses

a. Donations

January 2,100.00
February 830.00
March 1,990.00
April 2,367.03
May 480.00
June 2,605.00
July 100.00
August 1,430.00
September 465.00
October 11,470.00
November 13,051.50
December 10,656.00
Total                                        47,544.53


b. Interest to Date

January 68.07
February 24.21
March 21.86
April 24.21
May 23.42
June 32.67
July 243.98
August 181.57
September 79.84
October 23.24
November 167.38
Total 890.45


c. Miscellaneous Income to Date – $259.28 in December

d. Phone book ads income:

July                                 1,295
August                                    835
September                                    435
October                                    180
December                                      55
Total                                2,800


e. Rental income for 2022 – $75

f. Summary of 2022 Expenses

Category Chief’s Meeting Dues EMS Supp & Equip EMS Training Fire Pay Fire Supp & Equip Fire Training Fundraising Exp Insurance
Budget 2022  $300.00  $150.00  $5,000.00  $3,000.00  $-  $4,500.00  $1,000.00  $2,000.00  $13,000.00
January  –  – 681.40  –  –  –  –  – 2,624.00
February  – 22.78 147.40
March  – 358.98 1,314.82
April  – 152.90 589.04 1,877.00
May 49.26 180.00 150.12 447.40 1,548.93 2,238.00
June 33.85  –
July 60.34 53.59 2,048.00
August 76.34 32.53 167.00
September 100.00 296.79  –
October 73.09 852.97 1,874.00
November 42.41 621.44 216.36  –
December         48.56 1837.13      2780.6       575.56      897.71  –
Total 140.23 280.00 4365.16 3228.00  – 5114.84 897.71 216.36 10,828.00
Remaining $159.77 -$130.00 $894.12 $-228.00 $0.00 -$614.84 $102.29 $1,783.64 $2,172.00


Board Meeting – December 9, 2022

Board Meeting – September 22, 2022

Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Dinah Davidson (remote), Alina Downer, Jackie Lewis (remote, sporadic), David Newton, Victor Shawe (remote).   Active member: Bonnie Bowen

I. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 3:12 pm.

II. Agenda

A. Cary asked that the agenda be modified to include a vote to accept the recently approved grant award for radio equipment [see III.A.4.b) below.

B. Bonnie Bowen asked to include mention of a change in the schedule of classroom use by Sew What (see VII below).

C. Cary moved to adopt the agenda as modified, Dinah seconded his motion, and absent any objection, the amended Agenda was adopted.

III. Acceptance of Minutes from July meeting

Cary moved to approve the minutes, Alina seconded his motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

IV. Reports

A. Fire Chief (David Newton)

1. Operations

Brush 236 stood by at a vehicle roll-over on Foothills Rd. on September 12 until released by a Sheriff’s Deputy.  David thanked Andrew and Alina for responding to the incident.

2. Vehicles

a) Brush 9: A coolant hose chewed by rodents has been replaced.

b) Status of Rescue 233 (the new rescue vehicle): new shocks were installed, refrigerant was added to the rear air conditioner, decals have been removed, a radio and antenna were installed, the shore power inlet was replaced, and the back-up camera is about half installed. Thanks to all members who have helped with these modifications.

3. Training

a) Attendance has been okay at some sessions and poor at others.

b) A new training scheme will provide opportunities for all responders (radio operators, EMTs, and firefighters) to attend and work together at the first Wednesday training session of each month.

4. Grants

a) Our FEMA AFG grant request for funds to replace vehicle radios (now 18 yrs old) has been reviewed favorably and recommended for funding in the amount of $17,400.

b) Board members voted unanimously to accept this award, per a motion advanced by Dinah and seconded by Jackie. Our share is 5% of project costs, and replacements must occur within 2 years.

c) David attended a procurement webinar yesterday and will attend a Post Award Orientation this coming Monday.

d) The Board thanks David for his time and effort on behalf of the organization.

B. EMT Chief (Jackie Lewis)

1. Calls

PR EMTs responded to four calls in July and three in August.

2. Personnel

a) ET Collinsworth has retired after serving 30 years as a Portal Rescue EMT. Thank you, ET!

b) We have a new TMC rural EMS coordinator and will have a new base hospital director in the next few months.

3. Supplies and equipment

a) Bee suits were ordered for the rescue vehicles.

b) Jackie thanked David for installing the back-up camera and coordinating A/C work and the replacement of shocks by Lance Shultis. (Thanks Lance!).  Old lettering is gone, but adhesive still must be removed before new lettering and high visibility chevrons are added.  Donated supplies still must be inventoried and organized.

4. Training

a) Our newest EMT, Matthew Downer, has been working on learning packets.

b) An IV certification class has been scheduled for Monday, October 24.

C. Treasurer (Alice Wakefield, absent; report unavailable for review at meeting (see Appendix A)

D. Member at Large (Alina Downer)

1. Alina has looked over documented SOPs on our procedures and will continue working over the next few months to produce electronic copies of key essentials. These documents, formerly held in binders in the radio room, will be helpful for new Active Members.

2. EMTs have not yet reviewed alternate landing zones in relation to David’s map.

3. When Carolyn returns, she will continue researching heart monitors and attempt to get a formal quote. Our base hospital believes we may be able to acquire older equipment from the State.   (See also section IV.B below.)  We must continue to monitor grant deadlines, which tend to fall in spring.

E. Vice-President (Victor Shawe) – nothing to report

F. President (Cary Booth)

1. A few weeks ago, Cary scanned, into editable form, the documents that Alina retrieved. He will add them to our Google Drive as pdfs, rough OCR documents, and Word documents.  Alina will assess which of the SOPs have been approved by the Board and which still require approval.  With communications procedures changing frequently, the RCO book is especially out of date.

2. Cary will notify the community about the need for a new newsletter editor.

V. Continued Business

A. Hosting November CCEMS/CCFA (Chiefs) meeting

1. At a recent county Chief’s Meeting, David asked about the possibility that we could request RSVPs from those intending to come to the November meeting in Portal. There is precedent for this, because an official list was needed for a meeting held at the Douglas prison (not a perfect parallel!).

2. Jackie volunteered that she could cook for 20-30 attendees, and other community cooks may pitch in. Thank you, Jackie!

3. David moved that we schedule the meeting for November 16, and Victor seconded the motion. Without objection, the motion passed.  Cary will notify CCHCI about the conflict in classroom use.

B. Acquisition of a new or used cardiac heart monitor

1. All companies apparently offer grants, but we need to compare equipment from various manufacturers before making a decision. Dinah mentioned that Chiricahua Community Health Center, Inc. has one that we might investigate.

2. As a potential source of funding, David brought up possible grants from one of 4-5 different Native American tribes benefiting from gambling. These tribes are required to distribute a percentage of gambling profits to public service organizations, but the money must be transmitted through municipal or county governments and cannot go directly to non-profits.  David will write to Cochise County to determine whether they might be willing to mediate such proposals and funds transfers for us.  If so, proposal submission should be relatively easy.  (After the subsequent Chief’s meeting, David met with Daniel Duchon, the County Emergency Services Director, who agreed to move this forward for us.  Unfortunately, funds could likely not be available until fall of 2023, but this is something to keep in mind for the future.  Thanks, David!)

C. Auction of Red Brush 6

1. David will design and email to board members a notice outlining the bidding procedure.

2. Following board approval of notice, emailed bids will be entertained, and the status of bids will be updated weekly. 1-2 days will be set aside for vehicle inspection by interested parties.

D. Valuing our active members

1. As background, Dinah reviewed observations that, although our served population is increasing, the number of volunteer EMTs is in decline, without obvious replacements in sight. Recently, three EMTs have been lost – in whole or in part – through retirement or relocation, and two others often travel for weeks or months at a time.  New EMT Matthew Downer will be here intermittently.  Jackie will step down as Chief in March.  This leaves a great deal on the shoulders of remaining (and younger) personnel.

2. Dinah argued for some sort of compensation to show that the community values contributions of our current EMTs. (Some experienced personnel have already declined any such payments.) Although firefighters train regularly, they have opportunities to benefit from compensation sporadically.  In contrast, EMTs not only train extensively, but respond to frequent calls, clean vehicles and write reports afterwards, and conduct regular (required) vehicle checks.  They have no opportunity to benefit financially from their service, and few work opportunities exist in the community beyond low-wage odd jobs.  Even fewer jobs can accommodate sporadic, sudden absences while personnel attend to patients.  Although both firefighters and EMTs are on call 24/7, EMTs are more likely to be summoned at night.  Our busiest EMT is also a firefighter and board member.  How much can we ask of people while providing no health insurance or retirement, and no compensation or other validation of their worth?

3. Without calling for an immediate decision, Dinah and David presented ideas for further discussion in December (see Appendix B). Additional ideas are welcome, so long as they meet requirements of the Fair Labor Law, which precludes paying volunteers by number of events attended (calls, fires, training sessions).

4. Bonnie urged that, no matter the mechanism, we need to embrace a “culture of caring” for those who serve us and sacrifice on our behalf.

D. Phonebook fundraiser update

Bonnie reported that the new phonebook, a Portal Rescue fundraiser, is almost ready to print.  (Hurray for Bonnie!)  She has received approximately 300 email responses, and leading to a net gain of 200 numbers.  Many former entries for folks no longer here have been removed.  There are not as many ads as last time.  Front and back covers are still being designed.  The book will be the same dimensions as prior books, or perhaps smaller, and will cost $15 each.  Bonnie plans to have the new books ready for sale at Oktoberfest.

VI. New Business

A. Acquisition of Portal Rescue patches

Jackie moved that we order 100 PR patches, reserved for active members and other member departments and, instead, send stickers to donors.  With no objection, the Board accepted that decision.  Michele will be requested to choose a background color.

B. Scheduling of next board meeting

1. Hosting of the Chief’s meeting precludes our meeting in November.

2. The next board meeting will be held at 6:00 PM on December 8, with options for in person and virtual attendance.

3. Because Bonnie maintains the classroom schedule, she requested direct notification of all scheduling in order to avoid conflicts in classroom use.

VII. For the Good of the Order

A. The Donation Drive is coming up soon. Jackie will organize preparation and mailing of letters.

B. The next blood drive will be held on Thursday, November 10. Jackie will be away in the interim and may need some help with advance preparation.

C. Community open mic

Bonnie noted that Sew What?’s usual Wednesday meetings would now conflict with CCHCI classroom use for medical appointments, so SW? meetings will be held on Mondays.  This change will start on November 14.

VIII. Adjournment

Cary adjourned the meeting at 7:53 pm.


Appendix A (Treasurer’s report, current as of 15 September, 2022)

  • Assets
    • Washington Federal: the total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund’s 60-month CD, maturing 01-15-25) is $34,603.20
  • Edward Jones (all accounts)
    • The total value of our EJ accounts is $146,618.43.
    • Components
      • Money Market – $45,603.43
      • Three CDs and two bonds: total = $101,014.99
        • CDs: Wells Fargo – $14,990.25, maturing 10-18-2022, Bank Hapoalim – $29,438.40, maturing 05-18-2023; Sallie Mae – $28,186.84, maturing 07-24-2023
        • Bonds: Canadian Imperial Bank – $14,207.25, maturing 01-24-2024; Citigroup – $14,192.25, maturing 01-20-24
  • Portal Rescue financial assets total $181,987.62, including $766 in petty cash, and all investments.
  • Donations YTD – $10,472
  • Expenses YTD
Chief’s Meetings Dues EMS Supp & Equip EMS


Fire Pay Fire Supp &


Fire Training Fundraising Insurance
49.26 280 1536.71 3028.90 8954


Legal Misc


Office Exp Radio Ops Structure


Utilities Vehicle


Investment Account Rescue 233
145.17 879 2807 67.11 2383.70 2250.26 30,000.00 1219.76



  • From Jackie:  As shown, the Muma CD matures next month.  We can only spend the interest and must decide how to reinvest the principal.  The initial vote can be by email.  Interest rates are rising, and if Alice can look into current rates, she may be able to steer us to something with higher interest rates.

Appendix B – suggestions for compensating active members (further discussion to occur at December meeting)

Note: The Fair Labor Law precludes paying volunteers by number of events attended (calls, fires, or training sessions).

Dinah outlined how a $2,000 award could be made annually as an ‘honorarium’ (a mechanism suggested by Bonnie Bowen) after a nomination and vote by the Board.  This amount exceeds the $600 the IRS forgives from income taxation, so 1099 paperwork (a trivial matter) would have to be filed by both our organization and the recipient.  The recipient would also have to pay into Social Security and Medicare but would eventually receive some return benefits.  The amount, while not Earth-shattering, could urge members to increase their level of participation and produce good feelings about how much their efforts are appreciated.  If the total amount Portal Rescue could afford were to be spread thinly across more members, it might have a lesser effect, but the award could not be given to the same active member for more than three consecutive years.  Announcing and advertising this recognition could help to raise the visibility of Portal Rescue in the community and lead to greater appreciation of services PR provides.

David presented an additional idea, designed to value and reward length of service to the organization.  Our insurer, VFIS, offers a LOSAP (Length of Service Award Program).  LOSAPs are commonly used by volunteer fire departments to encourage long-term volunteering.  These programs typically pay out after 15 to 25 years of active service.  Encouraging long-term volunteering is desirable because it takes so long to gain experience as a responder.  David said he would contact VFIS to get details on the program.   As an aside, the State of New Mexico has a pension program for their volunteer firefighters.  The State of Arizona has no such equivalent.

Board Meeting – July 14, 2022

Attending: Cary Booth, Alina Downer, Jackie Lewis and David Newton (in-person), and Dinah Davidson and Victor Shawe (remote)

I. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 3:01 PM

II. Agenda

Dinah requested insertion (in section VII) of a new topic for the September meeting agenda. Cary moved to adopt the agenda as modified, and David seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

III. Minutes

Cary moved to approve the minutes without amendment, Jackie seconded the motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

IV. Reports

A. Fire Chief (David Newton)

1. Operations since May meeting

a) On June 8th, SEACOM requested that we investigate a reported fire at mile post 394. The fire turned out to be the Deer Creek Fire, which had been reported five hours earlier and was being handled by the Forest Service.

b) On July 10, two vehicles and three firefighters went to the Dick’s Tank fire as requested by State Forestry. Thanks to Alina Downer and Aaron Smith for answering the call and providing the initial size-up for State Forestry.

2. Training

Attendance was good at one training exercise and poor at several others.

3. Vehicles

All vehicles are currently in service.

4. Radios

a) All of our Motorola radios have been serviced and reprogrammed.

b) The engineer from Lone Mountain said our antennas are fine, but he noticed the first hint of our repeater aging.

c) IFC Radios in Phoenix may send us six Bendix King radios that, although pre-owned and traded in, may be newer than some we use now.

5. Grants

There is no word on our Mobile Radio Grant. Awards have been delayed because of the “Build America Buy America Act”

6. Equipment for the county’s Fire Station Alerting program

It is here, but we are 34th of 36 sites in line for installation, tentatively scheduled for December.

B. EMT Chief (Jackie Lewis)

1. Calls

a) Portal Rescue has responded to 10 calls since May 21. EMTs encountered no patient on one call and two patients on another.

b) Carolyn, Alina and Michele have been the core attending EMTs for the majority of calls this year. We can’t thank them enough for their service. Bonnie and Dinah are greatly appreciated as radio operators. Thank you also to David, Andrew, Rolf and Aaron for assisting with logistics at several EMT calls.

2. Rescue vehicle acquisition and paperwork review in June

Jackie picked up the Playas Ambulance from Lordsburg on June 15th. The new Rescue 3 is now AZ registered, with the license plate added and the insurance card and proof of registration in the glove box. David is working on some repairs and will install the radio and back up camera. The vehicle will not be used until the radio is installed and supplies are stocked and organized in the patient compartment.

3. Logo and shirts

Thanks to Michele, who has updated Fran Zweifel’s original artwork for the PR logo. (The Rod of Asclepius now has rattles on the snake!) The design was applied to new shirts for EMTs and radio operators. Many thanks to Jeanne Williams and Carolyn Nordstrom for donating the shirts!

4. Equipment grant

Our Base Hospital (TMC) has strongly urged us to acquire a new and expensive cardiac monitoring system, and our contact (Andy Shanks) with the TMC Foundation assisted with grant writing and submission.

5. Workman’s Compensation

The 2021/2022 workman’s comp annual audit was filed online today.

6. Training

Alina, Michele and Jackie attended the trauma conference in Tucson and will share key points with EMTs who were unable to attend. Michele also attended the “Stop the Bleed” class, and Alina and Jackie attended the class for burn victims.

C. Treasurer (Alice Wakefield) – report current as of 11 July, 2022

1. Assets

a) Washington Federal
The total value of our Washington Federal account (60-month CD – Maturity Date: 01-15-25; Rainy Day Fund) is $34,441.39.

b) Edward Jones (all accounts)

(1) The total value of our EJ accounts is $145,143.41. Components of this total are: Money Market ($43,663.89); 2 corporate bonds and three CDs ($101,479.52):

Canadian Imperial Bank – Bond – $14,486.55 – Matures 1-24-2024

Citigroup – Bond – $14,231.70 – Callable 1-20-2023

Bank Hapoalim – CD – $29,510.10 – Matures 5-18-2023
Sallie Mae – CD – $28,252.67 – Matures 7-24-2023

Wells Fargo – CD – $14,998.50 – Matures 10/18/2022

(2) Callable bonds can return the face value of the bond on the date of the company’s choosing if money can be borrowed more cheaply elsewhere (unlikely in today’s environment). Cary will contact Alice to determine the maturity date of the Citigroup Bond.

c) Portal Rescue financial assets total $180,233.80, including all investments and $649 in petty cash.

2. Donations YTD – $10,472

3. Expenses to date

a) Details

Chief’s Meetings Dues EMS Supp & Equip EMS Training Fire Pay Fire Supp & Equip Fire Training Fundraising Insurance
 49.26  – 1640.37  –  – 2942.78  –  –  8615


Legal Misc Exp Office Exp Radio Ops Structure Maint Utilities Vehicle Ops Investment Account
 – 145.17 879 2744.30 50 1767.74 2220.73 30,000.00

b) Constraints on the Muma CD, maturing in October, require that it have interest segregated and then be rolled over, rather than used.

c) Repair and reprogramming of radios cost more than anticipated, but nothing had previously been done to Motorolas for 15 yrs.

d) No dues have been paid yet for Fire Chiefs’ meetings; they were paid in August and September of last year.

D. Member at Large (Alina Downer)

EMTs have been very busy [see IV.B.1.a)]. We conversed with potential new recruits at the FOCCC Garden Party (no follow-up available), and the arrival (soon) of someone trained in CA also holds promise.

E. Vice-President (Victor Shawe) – nothing to report

F. Cary

1. The appointment of a committee to organize a phone tree is tabled until December.

2. In May, Cary received an email requesting use of PR’s parking lot for off-(PR) premises events in Portal. He denied this request due to the potential for interference with medical and fire calls. Board members discussed the matter informally; although no motion was made and voted on, the Board was in consensus with his decision to deny the request.

V. Continued Business

A. Classroom use

Hearing no objection, Cary moved to maintain the current policy for classroom use (see minutes of May 2022), Jackie seconded his motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

B. Chief’s dinner (third Wednesday of November)

1. Portal Rescue has traditionally served a full Thanksgiving meal at the November Chiefs’ Meeting, but the combination of Covid precautions and high gas prices may keep attendance so low that the effort is not warranted this year. The May meeting in Benson (20 in-person, others by Zoom) was the first hybrid meeting of the year. Just 15-16 people attended the June meeting in Sierra Vista, 8-10 (including David) by Zoom.

2. Although the traditional dinner is appreciated, there would be no negative consequences for our small program not serving it, and David was hesitant because helpers would be needed indoors. Jackie volunteered that she can easily cater for 20 people, and David said that we could seek money from Lifeline to reimburse a caterer. IFC Radios would host the meeting on their corporate Zoom account, our two microphones would probably be adequate, and we have a projector.

3. It was decided to wait for a final data point on attendance after next week’s Chiefs’ meeting. If we go ahead, we should request RSVPs, get a head count, and perhaps limit attendance due to Covid. We can report our decision at the October Chiefs’ Meeting.

C. CCMHC, Inc.

Their personnel were here last week, with patient numbers still low. Community members didn’t know they were coming. Cary will contact them and suggest they should post intentions (coming or not) to the Google Group (via Alice’s email address) by Monday of each week.

D. Ambulance donation (and see IV.B.2. above)

1. Jackie has prepared a ‘thank-you’ letter to Hidalgo County EMS and will ask board members to sign it at the end of this meeting.

2. Lettering must be changed, including removal of “Playas” and “Ambulance”; we can only operate as Rescue Vehicle, not an Ambulance.

E. Phone book (no update)

VI. New Business

A. Cardiac monitor (and see IV.B.4. above)

David moved to approve submission of the grant application, and Victor seconded the motion, which carried unanimously. Successful applicants are expected to be notified tomorrow (July 15). (We later learned of a delay until early August.) If we receive the 100% grant, funding for the monitor will be available in January, 2023.

B. Red Brush 6

1. Several local people have expressed interest in buying the vehicle, initially purchased from Fry Fire Dept. David will put out a request to the community for sealed bids, due on a specified date, and board members will vote on submissions by email.

2. The engine turns over but will not start. There appears to be a problem with the fuel pump circuitry, and the new owner would have to tow the vehicle away.

C. Second helipad

1. Dinah has suggested that growth in our community may warrant installation of second helipad somewhere in our south valley service area. Recently, at the helicopter companies’ requests, patients from there have been transported (with a consequent delay) to the Station helipad.

2. David expressed concern that the low density of residences may make such a helipad less valuable than the one at the Station, which works well given the high density of residences in central Portal.

3. Jackie will emphasize to EMTs the availability of alternative landing zones, as detailed in the RCO handbook, and she will track how future incidents requiring helicopter transport from the southern service area are handled. Use of alternative landing areas often requires help from PR firefighters to manage and wet down the LZs.

D. Anticipated changes to the Board (thinking ahead to the March 2023 annual meeting)

1. After eight years as EMT Chief (and an astounding 21 years as a PR EMT!), Jackie will step down as Chief but is willing to remain on the Board as Treasurer if necessary.

2. After seven years (in two stints) as board Secretary, Dinah will resign but is willing to remain on the Board as the Member at Large if that position is available.

3. Alice Wakefield has expressed her intention to step down as Treasurer in March.

4. In January, Cary will put out an inquiry to solicit community and Active Members interested in service on the Board, especially for the positions of EMT Chief, Treasurer and Secretary. Reconstitution of the Board must follow the requirement that three members come from the community and four be Active Members.

E. Clarifying election procedures

1. A community member has requested that election procedures be clarified and match precisely how officers are nominated and assigned to specific positions.

2. It was decided that Dinah should meet with this person and write something for possible board approval to add to Standard Operating Procedures.

3. David will look for an old copy of our SOPs, Alina will help compile other historic documents, and Cary will see that a revised and complete copy of SOPs is uploaded to the website.

F. Schedule for the next board meeting
The September board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 22 at 3 pm. Once again, the meeting will be a hybrid of in-person and remote attendance.

VII. For the Good of the Order

A. Blood drive

The next drive will be held on Friday, August 19, with nine appointments currently available to be filled.

B. New item for September meeting

Noting that our personnel are our most valuable resource, Dinah requests the Board to consider the possibility of paying annual or semi-annual honoraria to Active Members on whom our services most depend. To prepare for the discussion, board members should look into requirements of both the IRS and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

C. Open mic (no response)

VIII. Adjournment

President Cary Booth adjourned the meeting at 5:02 pm.

Board Meeting – May 17, 2022

Attending (in person or remotely): Board members Cary Booth, Dinah Davidson, Alina Downer, David Newton, Victor Shawe, and Jackie Lewis (arriving late), and community member Dennis McAvoy

I. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 06:34 pm

II. Agenda

Cary requested addition of an after-action review of the BBQ.  He then moved to adopt the agenda as amended, and Victor seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

III. Minutes of the March 20 Meeting

Cary moved to accept the minutes without change, and Alina seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

IV. Reports

A. Fire Chief (David Newton)

1. Operations – none since the March 20 meeting

2. Training

a. Attendance was good at helicopter training

b. Five firefighters took and passed the yearly pack test. Thanks to Jackie, Dennis McAvoy and Rick Beno for their help with this process.

3. Vehicles and equipment

a. Brush 5 is currently out of service, but should return to limited service soon.

b. An engineer from Lone Mountain Communications will come to Portal Rescue on Friday to reprogram all our Motorola vehicle radios, to check the health of our Motorola repeater, and to test the Fire Station’s base antenna.

4. Grants

There is no word yet on Mobile Radio application, nor on when we will receive equipment from the County Station Alerting Project.

B. EMS Chief (Jackie Lewis – her report read by Cary)

1. May 15-22 is EMS week. Thanks to all of our first responders (EMTs, Fire Fighters and Radio Operators).  You are greatly appreciated.

2. PR EMTs have responded to five calls since the Annual Meeting: one ground transport, one refusal of transport, and three helicopter transports.

3. Alina and Carolyn took Rescue 4 to the Garden Party on May 14, where they assessed vitals of some attendees and interacted with community members. Alina reported that they spoke with two people who expressed interest in volunteering with PR – one as a firefighter, and another possibly as an EMT.  Conversations will continue.

4. Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) has approved EMT Basics to provide epinephrine via intramuscular administration, and EMTs are receiving training from our base hospital (Tucson Medical Center). After our current epi-pens expire in September, purchasing epinephrine through TMC (in vials and drawn through needled syringe) will cost less than 1/6th of our current epi-pen expense; we will no longer need to purchase two epi-pens in different doses.

5. AZDHS has also approved EMT Basics for monitoring end-tidal CO2 – a procedure that is recommended but not currently required. To comply, we would need to purchase a new heart monitor with 10 leads (current equipment has just 5), and Jackie has requested quotes from different companies.  New equipment costs over $30K, but refurbished/recertified machines (batteries, battery charger, cables, paper, case, etc.) are available for under $20K.  More information will be available at our next meeting.  The new equipment would permit more supportive care for patients with serious medical issues (calls for cardiac care and/or airway support requiring bag mask); such calls are common.  Arizona might eventually allow us to monitor cardiac events like New Mexico EMTs do.

6. The Arizona Trauma Conference will be held on June 30th and July 1st, with an additional afternoon of training on June 29th. The per-person cost is $255, plus the cost of any additional training session.  Included in the rate are breakfast and lunch Thursday and Friday, and dinner on one of those days.  Lodging would be required for three nights (Wednesday through Friday).  Hotels in the area are usually priced over pre-approved reimbursement rates.  The Board must approve full reimbursement of lodging rates for EMTs attending the conference or decide on a specific base rate per night.  David moved in favor of full reimbursement, and Cary seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.  Scholarships are available to cover registration fees, and David will pass the relevant information on to Jackie.

C. Treasurer (Alice Wakefield) Report current as of 16 May 2022

1. Assets

Washington Federal: the total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund) is $34,441.39.

2. Edward Jones (all accounts)

a. The total value of our EJ accounts is $152,509.42.

b. Components of this total are: Money Market ($50,654.58), two bonds (Citigroup Global and Canadian Imperial Bank) and three CDs of 2- or 3-year maturity dates ($101,854.84).

c. Three payments by check are outstanding: $1,017.48 (Lone Mountain Comm – radios), $180 (CLIA), and $145.17 (BBQ expenses, to Jackie)

3. Portal Rescue financial assets total $186,358.16, including $750 in petty cash, and all investments.

4. Year-to-date donations total $7,767.

5. Year-to-date expenses as below:

Chief’s Meetings Dues EMS Supp & Equip EMS Training Fire Pay Fire Supp & Equip Fire Training Fundraising Insurance
 –  – 1,396.06  –  – 1,393.85  –  –  – 6,739.00
Legal Misc Exp Office Exp Radio Ops Structure Maint Utilities Vehicle Ops Investment Account
 – 145.17 824.03 1,397.98 1,187.70 340.74 30,000.00

D. Alice completed and submitted our 2021 taxes electronically on 8 April 2022. Thank you, Alice, for saving us expenditure on an accountant!

E. Member at Large (Alina Downer)

Alina described her experiences at the Garden Party and responded to questions about the new cardiac equipment.

F. Vice-President (Victor Shawe) – nothing

G. President (Cary Booth)

1. An area resident brought up a lack of access to the postal/library area and beyond during musical events at the Café. The narrow road between the Mullens and Jensen residences can be blocked to emergency traffic when vehicles are parked on both sides.  A new rock wall under construction may help by precluding parking on one side.  Cary mentioned using parking cones on music nights.  It was recommended that residents take this up with owners of the Café.

2. Likely damaged by wind, the outer door to classroom is delaminating along its full length on the hinge side. Maintenance is deferred for the moment.

V. Continued business

A. Classroom rental (in relation to Covid)

The current classroom rental policy will be replaced starting immediately by a policy that confers more decisions and responsibilities on organizers.  Cary proposed the following motion, seconded by Victor and passed unanimously:

1. The classroom will be open for events with no restrictions.

2. To promote inclusiveness, organizers are strongly encouraged to request RSVPs and provide feedback to attendees regarding anticipated attendance so that individuals can assess risk.

3. Organizers are free to require more restrictive measures.

4. Classroom policy will continue to respond to changes in the Covid environment.

B. CCHC, Inc.

1. Regular Wednesday service by CCHC, Inc. starts tomorrow (May 18).

2. Cary met the doctor at the station on Sunday, gave her the building access code, reminded her to secure door when leaving, and showed her the cleaning equipment and supplies. WiFi was tested.  Power will be accessed at the corner of the ambulance bay.  David will turn on the water heater.

3. CCHC personnel have permission to use the fridge and microwave so long as items are removed when leaving. They will bring screens inside to establish a privacy area.

4. Victor volunteered to come up if any issues are encountered, and he will check the facility at end of the day.

5. Samantha (CCHC, Inc. organizer) inquired about how to solicit appointments from potential clients. She was encouraged to send out flyers.  Walk-ins are okay.

C. Change of accountant (see above regarding taxes)

D. Ambulance donation

No update, but there has been extensive red tape within NM State government.  Cary will check with Jackie to coordinate future communications and determine whether we may help in some way.

E. Phonebook

At the BBQ, Bonnie Bowen indicated that progress is slow but steady.

VI. New business

A. Chiefs meeting

The decision will be deferred until July (and no later), allowing David time to attend two more monthly Chiefs meetings and to determine whether attendance merits our holding the November meeting with full Thanksgiving dinner.

B. BBQ Review

1. Cary thought it went well and thanked all who made it possible.

2. Of the 70-some burgers, just four were left over.

3. It was generally agreed that we should make this a regular event, but that we need to think about ways of reducing congestion in the hallway, and to use paper (not plastic!) tablecloths.

4. The new stickers designed and donated (thanks!) by Michele Lanan were beautiful. In the future, we should send them out with acknowledgements of donations.  Jackie will give them to Alice.  We could also sell them for $5 at various community functions.

5. We still have about 50 shirts leftover.

C. Tree-trimming around antenna and power line

David has mentioned this to Shane Burchfield, who has equipment and consented to do the work this week.  However, it was decided to have Jackie call Columbus Electric to trim around the power line (and they did so on the following day).   We should also watch the Fiberoptic line that comes to the building through a bush.

D. Next meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for July 14, at 3:00 pm AZ time.  (Note afternoon timing.)

VII. For the Good of the Order

A. Blood drives

1. Twenty-five units were collected last week.

2. The next blood drive will be held on August 19, from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.

B. Community open microphone (no takers)

VIII. Adjournment

Cary moved to adjourn at 8:13 pm, and the motion passed by acclamation.

Board Meeting – March 20, 2022 (pdf)

Board Meeting – January 12, 2022

Attending by Internet or Phone: Board Members Cary Booth, Dinah Davidson, David Newton, Carolyn Nordstrom, Victor Shawe and Alice Wakefield; Active Members Bonnie Bowen, Michele Lanan, and Linda Wadsworth; Community Members Bob Downs, Harold Farmer and Barbara Miller

A. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 06:17.

B. Adoption of Agenda

Cary moved to add the opportunity for community input in the form of an open mic (see section I, below). Alice seconded his motion to amend the agenda, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

C. Approval of Minutes from November 16, 2021

Cary moved to approve the minutes with no amendments. David seconded the motion, which passed with one abstention (someone lost from the call).

D. Reports

a. Fire Chief (David Newton)

i. Operations – no operations since our last meeting.

ii. Training

The joint training with Firefighters and EMTs in November was moderately attended. Attendance was okay at the December training.

iii. Vehicles

Brush 5 has a radiator leak. All other vehicles are in service.

iv. Grants

1. We did submit the AFG proposal for nine mobile radios (estimated cost $20,500) by the deadline, which was subsequently extended until January 21.

2. This month, David will apply for the usual VFA grant for ~ $800 for wildland fire equipment.

v. David thanked Victor for organizing completion of the outdoor work (weed-eating, etc.) at the station.

b. EMT Chief (Jackie Lewis)

i. Calls
PR has responded to one AZ EMT call (in December) since our last meeting.

ii. Training

Carolyn noted that several good training sessions have been held since the last meeting.

iii. Jackie thanked all for filling in during her absence.

iv. Carolyn noted that Bonnie Bowen has helped immensely with logistics, office organization and evaluation of future EMS needs. Cary echoed the appreciation of Bonnie’s contributions.

v. Cary noted that David Whipple said (on 12/14/21) that they have all the necessary paperwork for transfer of the new Rescue 3 but are still waiting approval from the Hidalgo County Commissioners and NMDFA. He says it shouldn’t be much longer.

c. Treasurer (Alice Wakefield) Current as of 12 January 2022

i. Assets

1. Washington Federal: the total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund) is $34,282.11, including $162.06 interest in December.

2. Edward Jones (all accounts)

3. The total value of our EJ accounts is $158,862.48. Components of this total are: Money Market ($54,692.92), 2 new bonds (Citigroup Global and Canadian Imperial Bank @$15k each), and three CDs (including Muma CD) of 2- or 3-year maturity dates ($74,045.50).

4. Portal Rescue assets total $193,230.27, including $150 in petty cash, $59.74 in stamps, and all investments. Two outstanding checks total $237.22.

ii. Revenues and expenses for 2021

1. 2021 end-of-year revenues total $ $72,602.61 and expenses came in at $38,974.73

2. David remarked that PR had not previously invested in bonds and requested a description and the terms of those bonds. Alice indicated that the return of 1% was marginally better than that of the best CDs (0.65%). If a bond were to be called in, it wouldn’t mature at the advertised rate, but the original investment would return to us.

iii. Change of tax accountant

1. Alice reported that the FOCC accountant doesn’t do taxes, but that the Malpai accountant from Tucson will get back to us.

2. Carolyn noted that Harriet Shultis is using someone in Deming for the Historical Society.

d. Member at Large (Carolyn Nordstrom)

Comments on fundraising (deferred to below)

e. Vice President (Victor Shawe) Nothing to report

f. President (Cary Booth)

i. Chiricahua Community Health Center, Inc. (CCHCI)

1. The delay in start-up is due to a change in management personnel for mobile clinics. The new manager is still getting up to speed.

2. Monday would be the best day – after two days without any local medical clinic, and prior to the Walker Clinic’s Tuesday session. (Dinah worried after the meeting about Monday holidays, but visiting doctors seemed okay with Monday in discussions last March.) Wednesdays would also be okay.

E. Continued Business

a. Classroom rental

i. In view of Omicron peaking soon in the County, two community members spoke in opposition to opening the classroom for rental. Two others spoke in favor.

ii. Cary moved to retain the status quo, and Dinah seconded the motion, which passed on a 3:2 vote.

iii. Bonnie Bowen and David will get together for a post-event review of the vaccination clinic, which they oversaw (thank you!) in the classroom.

b. Pickleball

Victor indicated that he is moving forward on the pickleball court at the helipad by purchasing equipment. He will advertise this soon to the entire community.

c. CCHCI (see above)

F. New Business

a. Soups’ on

i. Two concerns will (or could) preclude holding this fundraiser as before. County inspectors of our facilities expressed concern about the lack of a hand-washing sink adjacent to the other sinks. County regulations will require that soups be prepared in a commercial kitchen.

ii. Carolyn, David, and Jackie have suggested that we could use one of the New Mexico facilities. Alice will speak with owners of the Chiricahua Museum, and Dinah will confer with Donna Meenach about use of the Rodeo Community Center. Alice suggested that an event there could be scheduled to coincide with the Gallery’s Spring Show (April 23-24), so as to bring more residents to both events. She also pointed out that New Mexico has a stringent public health order in effect through February, and that it could be continued.

iii. Barbara Roth has suggested two alternatives to an indoor Soup’s On event during Covid. Three or four soups could be made in quantity for each day and frozen, then sold along with breads and desserts as carry out, with tables set up outside. Soup sales could be held in a carnival-like atmosphere or be paired with a Renaissance Fair, which was very successful in the past.

iv. Bonnie Bowen posed the question of whether the current limitations on classroom use were instituted to protect the buildings or the community, and if the latter, whether it was kosher for Portal Rescue to sponsor any community event in the near future. A (rambling and unproductive) discussion followed and reached no understanding.

v. We can also explore fundraising options outside of Soup’s On, but discussion of this was table until a later meeting.

b. Phone book fundraiser (update)

Bonnie Bowen will get to this after the bird count and ordering supplies for EMTs. Thank you again, Bonnie.

c. Final approval of 2022 budget

i. Cary asked if there were any concerns about the budget put together at an earlier meeting. Jackie has reviewed it and thought that the budget for office supplies should be higher to cover fundraising. but we already have a budget category for fundraising. Jackie estimated fundraising costs at $400 for printing the 10-page letters, postage at $174 for 300 copies, plus some postage for thank you letters and bill payments.

ii. David thought that we needed to flesh out targets on the income side (specific fundraisers, donations, grants, etc.).

iii. Cary moved to approve the budget as amended after the budget meeting (adding $4,000 to fundraising [previously zero] and reducing the rainy day draw by the same amount. Alice seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

iv. Our Bylaws require two signatures on many of the checks Alice writes, and Alice would like to change this so she needn’t always chase down a second signature. Jackie is okay with a single signature with the present constitution of the Board, but thinks two signatures would represent a better business practice. David noted that an existing clause in our Bylaws permits single signature checks to established vendors and wondered if the Chiefs could be added to the list of established vendors, provided they submit proper documentation. Cary will look into this. Victor and Dinah volunteered to sign checks at Alice’s residence.

d. Upcoming board vacancy

i. Carolyn expressed her wish to stand down from the Board, citing the availability of new and valuable Active Members who have much to offer as board members. The Board recognizes and thanks Carolyn for her substantial contributions to Portal Rescue, both on the Board and (especially) as an experienced EMT.

ii. Cary asked David and Carolyn to solicit a volunteer replacement from among firefighters and EMTs. Carolyn has already investigated and had some positive responses, and Cary thanked her for her efforts. Nominations and votes will occur, as usual, at the March Community Meeting.

iii. Active members need to watch out for interests of first responders as their first priorities, and we do not expect them to take on additional projects. He further remarked that community members on the Board DO need to take on additional projects.

G. Scheduling of the March Annual Community Meeting

a. All members of the Portal-Rodeo communities, and especially Active Members, are encourage to attend and vote at the annual meeting, where board members are elected.

b. Pending availability of Jackie and Alice (her call dropped), the Board settled on March 19th at 2 pm, outside (or inside) the ambulance bay.

H. For the Good of the Order

a. Blood drives

i. Tomorrow’s blood drive has been cancelled due to unavailability of Red Cross personnel.

ii. The next drive will be Friday, March 18.

I. Community Open Mic (no one responded)

J. Adjournment

Cary adjourned the meeting at 8:07 pm.

Board Meeting – November 16, 2021

Attending by Internet or Phone: Cary Booth, Victor Shawe, Alice Wakefield, Dinah Davidson, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, Carolyn Nordstrom; community member Howard Topoff

I. Call to Order

Cary called the meeting to order at 6:06 pm.

II. Agenda

Hearing no requests for revisions to the Agenda, Cary moved to accept it without modification. Carolyn seconded that motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

III. Approval of Minutes

Cary moved that the minutes from the September 21 meeting be approved without modification. Victor seconded his motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

IV. Reports

A. Fire Chief (David Newton)

1. Operations

An investigation on the morning of Nov 11th revealed smoke apparently coming from a distant source north of us.

2. Training

a) Attendance on October 16 was okay, but that at valuable training on October 3 was poor.
b) Joint FF/EMT training is scheduled for this Saturday.

3. Vehicles

a) Oil changes have been completed on Brush 8, Brush 236, and Engine 2.
b) Brush 5 has a radiator leak and is not in service.
c) David has removed decals from Red Brush 6 prior to vehicle sale.

4. Grants

David may apply for a 95/5 AFG grant (deadline Dec. 17) for replacement of our (circa 2003) vehicle radios. A rough estimate for a request of $30,0000 would require a $1500 match from us. AFG is the program we used for our 2015 pager grant.

B. EMS (Jackie Lewis)

1. Calls

PR has responded to three AZ EMT calls, and Barbara and Carolyn have also responded to NM calls.

2. Jackie thanks all who have picked up extra tasks while she has had to be away (David with joint training, EMTs with monthly paperwork, ordering information and vehicle checks)!

3. Douglas Fire Department received a grant for self-training kits. Winston picked up 15 Continuous Chest Compression kits that can be used to train community members and students at local schools. The “new” CPR technique involves continuous chest compressions only, with no mouth-to-mouth contact required.

4. Jackie thanked David for installing the back-up camera on Rescue 4.

C. Treasurer (Alice Wakefield)

1. Assets

Washington Federal: the total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund) is $34,120.05, including $476.41 YTD interest.

2. Edward Jones (all accounts)

The total value of our EJ accounts is $159,210.10, including $264.59 in YTD interest. Components of this total are: Money Market ($85,036.44) and three CDs (including Muma CD) of 2- or 3-year maturity dates ($74,173.66).

3. Portal Rescue assets total $193,615.89, including $255 in petty cash, $30.74 in stamps (stamp status remaining for fundraising is unknown), and all investments. Three outstanding checks total $943.00.

4. Revenues and expenses

YTD revenues total $64,422.63, and YTD expenses have come in at $31,994.76.

D. Vice-President (Victor Shawe) – nothing to report

E. Member at Large (Carolyn Nordstrom)

Carolyn urged board members to explore their personal contacts, and (per Cary) David’s list of maintenance items sent to firefighters, to urge wider participation in PR tasks. As earlier, she pointed out that EMTs are currently required to perform tasks (e.g., vehicle maintenance) that could be done by others. Please solicit more volunteers to assist this community organization!

F. President (Cary Booth)

The anticipated vehicle donation (to become Rescue 3) is awaiting approval from New Mexico’s Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).

V. Continuing Business

A. Classroom policy

1. Community member Howard Topoff proposed that we again permit classroom rental and use by the public, but with a vaccination requirement for all participants. He pointed out that Douglas schools are back in session and that the risk of Covid 19 infection will never decline to zero.

2. A spirited discussion followed. Points in favor of continuing the current policy of classroom closure were: (1) that the classroom is small (not accommodating crowds at SewWhat? forums), (2) that it lacks air scrubbers, and (3) that many residents are elderly and/or members of ‘special populations’ particularly susceptible to Covid infection and its most severe effects. Participants in events could unwittingly transmit infection to the wider community. Also (4), windows and doors could not remain open in wintry air. Finally, (5), we live in a high risk, low vaccination area. Two board members expressed opposition to any vaccination requirement.

3. Victor moved that the current classroom policy* be continued, Dinah seconded his motion, and the vote was 6:1 to keep the classroom closed to public events other than blood drives.

B. PR’s agreement with Chiricahua Community Health Center, Inc (CCHCI)

1. CCHCI has not yet signed the MOA, though they did send proof-of-insurance. Cary will follow up on this to get a signed copy of the MOA and determine when they will begin to see patients in Portal.

2. Now that the Walker Clinic is back to its original Tuesday, Thursday, Friday schedule, we will suggest Mondays for the CCHCI clinic.

C. Vehicle donation (see above)

D. Change of Accountant

Alice has had no response to her emailed inquiry but will follow up.

E. Donation drive

Jackie thanks Morgan Jackson and Alice Wakefield for help with the donation drive.

F. Website update

Alice has been working on this, but can’t look at it now because the server is down. David notified our webmaster a few hours ago.

VI. New business

Schedule for next meeting: A virtual meeting was tentatively scheduled for January 12 at 6 pm, and board members will meet on December 15 at 6 pm to prepare a preliminary 2022 budget for consideration at the January meeting.

VII. For the Good of the Order

A. Blood drives

1. Please mark Thursday, January 13th on your calendars for the first blood drive of 2022. Scheduling is open at www.redcross.org .

2. The November 11th blood drive was tremendously successful!

Our goal was to collect 20 whole units and two Power Reds for a total of 22 pints. (For Power Reds, a special procedure permits safe donation of two units of red blood cells while returning plasma and platelets to donors.) From 32 donors, we collected 27 whole units and three Power Reds, or 11 pints over our goal! Our donors have potentially helped to save 64 lives during a pandemic and a period of severe blood shortage. The November drive was also record-breaking for both Portal donor numbers and collections, beating the old record (27 units) from earlier this year.

3. Over our five blood drives, we also broke our annual record for blood donations! During this pandemic, and a period of severe blood shortage, Portal donated a total of 127 pints and potentially helped to save 381 lives.

VIII. Adjournment

There being no objection, Cary adjourned the meeting at 07:14.

* Current classroom policy: The classroom will be available only for our well-monitored blood drives (windows and bay open) and usage by PR personnel for training, operations, etc.

Board Meeting – September 21, 2021

Attending by Internet or phone: Cary Booth, Victor Shawe, Alice Wakefield, Dinah Davidson, Jackie Lewis (call dropped early), David Newton, Carolyn Nordstrom; Radio Operator Bonnie Bowen; CCHCI personnel Morganne McKinney (Mobile Program Manager) and Dr. Darlene Melk (Chief Medical Officer).

I. Call to Order

Cary called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm.

II. Agenda

A. Bonnie Bowen requested discussion of a new phone book as part of New Business.
B. Jackie requested consideration of the fall donation drive and the Chief’s Meeting under For the Good of the Order.
C. Cary moved that these items be added and that the agenda be approved. Jackie seconded his motion, and the vote was unanimously in favor.

III. Approval of Minutes

Cary moved that July minutes be approved, Carolyn seconded his motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

IV. Reports

A. Fire Chief (David Newton)

1. Operations – none
2. Training

a) Training was well attended last Saturday
b) One Firefighter attended State Fire School in Mesa

3. Vehicles

a) David has removed decals from Red Brush 6 prior to vehicle sale.
b) He is still working on a back-up camera for Rescue 4.

4. Grants – nothing to report

B. EMS (Jackie Lewis)

1. Calls – EMTs have responded to six calls since our last meeting.
2. Five EMTs attended a zoom training session led by Dr. Vogelsang and Nena Duenas.
3. ET and Jackie completed their CPR recertification.
4. After incorporation of most suggested changes to the brochure, copies were printed and are now in Jackie’s possession.
5. PR has received a check for $150 as thanks for responding to a snake bite call.

C. Treasurer (Alice Wakefield)

1. Assets

Washington Federal: the total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund) is $33,958.75, including $315.11 YTD interest.

2. Edward Jones (all accounts)

The total value of our EJ accounts is $147,356.00, including $264.59 in YTD interest. Components of this total are: Money Market ($72,788.66) and three CDs (including Muma CD) of 2- or 3-year maturity dates (totaling $74,517.34). Two CDs matured in August ($28,000 & $2,000, plus interest of $28 & $2.99 respectively).

3. Portal Rescue assets total $181,654.71, including $255 in petty cash, $64.38 in stamps (but not including $174 in stamps for the fundraising drive), and all investments.

4. Revenues and expenses
YTD revenues total $47,931.21, and YTD expenses have come in at $26,495.28.

5. Alice raised the question of whether we should purchase new CDs, and Jackie suggested purchasing two $15K CDs or one $30K CD. However, Alice noted that we might have previously unanticipated expenses and need cash for equipping and servicing the new Rescue 3. A bill for over $700 just came in from Shultis Automotive.

D. Vice-President (Victor Shawe) – nothing to report

E. Member at Large (Carolyn Nordstrom) – nothing to report

F. President (Cary Booth)

Cary should hear back from our lawyer by September 22 about the MOU with Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. (CCHCI), and he will forward any requests for changes to their personnel.

V. Continuing Business

A. Classroom policy

Cary proposed that the current classroom policy be continued, Dinah seconded his motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous. The classroom will be available only for blood drives (well monitored) and usage by PR personnel for training, operations, etc.


1. Morganne asked whether the Board had any further trepidations. There being none, the Board asked for the next steps to be outlined. Dr. Melk also spoke.
2. Once the MOU has been signed by both parties, we should identify a consistent weekday and time for presence of their mobile unit. Monday or Tuesday would be good, depending on the Walker Clinic schedule. As long as CCHCI has staff, they should be able to be flexible, starting on Tuesday and moving to Monday as the Walker Clinic schedule changes. They are not worried about temporal overlap, because clienteles of the two organizations will likely differ. They can also make adjustments for holidays and Soup’s On (usually President’s Day and the two following days).
3. Once the agreement has been executed, it will take an estimated 4-6 weeks for the mobile clinic to be up and running. CCHCI is in the process of acquiring and training a new Nurse Practitioner (expected availability in November), but they could potentially start earlier with a current NP.
4. In response to a board member’s question about results of their community survey/needs assessment, Morganne noted that it was useful to evaluate the type of care most needed. CCHCI will broaden the survey to include residents of Apache.
5. Cary has Morganne’s cell number and will stay in touch with her.

C. Brochures

Jackie picked up the brochures which cost $140 for printing and $67 for design and layout. Many thanks to Dwight Metzger for donating printing. Jackie believes she and Morgan Jackson can fold and stuff envelopes in just two days.

D. Soup’s On – no updates

E. Change of Accountant

Alice is investigating whether she should try to handle tax preparation herself with online software for non-profits, or whether we should look further into using someone employed by the Friends or Malpai groups. Discussion – tabled until a future meeting – should focus on risk shift; it may be worthwhile to pay an accountant an estimated $200 to assume risks.

VI. New business

A. Barney Tomberlin’s passing

Cary read the bio that Jackie prepared for Barney’s addition to the Wall of Fame and then moved that Barney’ name be added. Dinah seconded his motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous (with Jackie missing due to a dropped call on her route home).

B. Acquisition of a new power cot for Rescue 3

Jackie supports this acquisition once we have the new vehicle in our garage, so that we can assess needs precisely. There was no further discussion at this time.

C. Updates to the website

1. Two years ago, Bonnie Bowen suggested some revisions to our website (www.PortalRescue.com ), but we have yet to respond to her suggestions.
2. Alice mentioned that the evacuation plan detailed there does not match the emergency information outlined by the State. It predated our local Firewise efforts. We could perhaps just provide links to pertinent State websites.
3. Also, much of the website information is duplicated at www.portalrodeo.com. We need to commit to regular updates to our site and to Howard’s site (for anything other than already regularly updated minutes). Alice volunteered to work on updates with the person maintaining our website. Cary will hunt for Bonnie’s emails and summarize tonight’s suggestions as well.
4. Jackie noted that Tim Lawson is our FaceBook moderator and has added Jackie as a co-moderator. She can post to Facebook if people have information they want shared.

D. Phone book

1. Bonnie is making gradual progress on the phone book. The new book will cost PR in the short term (e.g., printing ~$1400 last time, though perhaps donated this time) but should be profitable in the long term (ad revenue = ~$3700, and sale profits ~$6,000 last time).
2. Bonnie has received about 50 answers to her emailed request for responses from community members wanting their numbers to be listed (or not). Jackie acquired a CenturyLink book with landline numbers for new residents. Some people want their cell numbers added. Some folks are not around to respond but may want to be included.

VII. Schedule for November meeting

Cary suggested November 16 at 6:00 pm and will ask Jackie if that works for her.

XI For the Good of the Order

A. Bees at Library

Alice requested that Dinah relay information on a local bee expert who might
help with danger from bees in a tree near the library.

B. Blood Drive

The next blood drive will be held on Friday, November 5.

C. Chief’s meeting

The November Chiefs’ meeting, at which PR usually hosts a Thanksgiving dinner, has been canceled due to Covid precautions.

D. Donation drive

Jackie and Morgan Jackson are putting together a letter and hope to have it mailed by Oct 1.

VIII. Adjournment

At 7:08 pm, Cary moved to adjourn, Alice seconded his motion, and all were in agreement.

Appendix A – Barney Tomberlin – Contributions to Portal Rescue
Barney Tomberlin moved to Portal in 1986 from California where he was both a Firefighter and EMT. When he joined Portal Rescue in 1988 (or 1989, formal records are limited), he was an EMT, and two years later, he became a Wildland Firefighter. He drove the first old white fire truck that was parked in Ted Troller’s barn, including to July 4th parades. Barney served as Fire Chief for several years. He was able to acquire an engine donated from a California fire department. His old fire department in CA gave Portal Rescue all of the early hoses, turnout gear and lots of good equipment. Portal Rescue is grateful for Barney’s many contributions.

Special Board Meeting – August 24, 2021

Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Victor Shawe, Dinah Davidson, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, Carolyn Nordstrom, and Active Members Bonnie Bowen, Michele Lanan, Alina Downer, Andrew Waser and John Yerger.

  1. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the Special Meeting to order at 6:14 pm.

  1. Adoption of Agenda

Cary moved to amend the Agenda by adding an update on the contract with CCHCI, and Carolyn seconded his motion, which carried unanimously.

  1. Discussion of Possible Donation of Rescue Vehicle to Portal Rescue

3.1. Hidalgo County has offered to donate a rescue vehicle that could be used as a back-up for Rescue 4; their offer is contingent on having that County approve the donation. The vehicle is a 1997 Ford F350 that drives beautifully (per Jackie) but needs a radio, two new batteries, a new spare tire, lettering, and a back-up camera, which David calculates would sum to about $1200.  Outfitting of a second rescue vehicle with EMS equipment and supplies should cost under $1,000.  We would not buy another (very expensive) power cot, but a manual stretcher will fit in the donated vehicle.  The power cot could be moved there if Rescue 4 were to be out of service.

3.2. The question is whether to accept this donation, given these needed expenditures, added insurance costs (minor), and additional work for EMTs doing vehicle checks. EMTs have volunteered to try to alternate vehicles to the degree possible so they remain informed about the condition of both vehicles.  A newly acquired “Rescue 3” would be used when high clearance is not required and patient weight does not require the power cot.  Winston Lewis (once qualified as a driver) and Andrew Waser have volunteered to do under-the-hood vehicle checks.

3.3. Arguments in favor of accepting the donation (no one argued against):

3.3.1. As the population of the Portal-Rodeo area increases, the number of EMS calls is increasing (Dinah).

3.3.2. Recently, a second vehicle would have been useful for multi-vehicle accidents (Carolyn) and would be helpful when we have multiple calls within a narrow window of time (Alina). (Rescue vehicles must be thoroughly cleaned between calls.)

3.3.3. Recently, Rescue 4 was out of service for repairs, and we could not transport patients in Brush 8 (Michele).

3.3.4. EMTs are not concerned about extra vehicle checks (Michele, John).

3.4. Jackie moved that we accept the donation, and Carolyn seconded her motion, which carried unanimously.

  1. Revisiting Classroom Policy

4.1. We currently allow classroom use under restricted conditions*, but the Covid-19 situation is evolving due to rapid spread of the Delta variant.

4.2. Dinah proposed that, in view of the fact that community transmission is now occurring in the Portal-Rodeo area, we should revert to closing the classroom again for all but our carefully supervised blood drives, and for Portal Rescue training and business. Victor seconded this motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

  1. Update on Revisions to the CCHCI MOU

5.1. CCHCI has responded to our revisions but deleted the statement of purpose, so that the purpose of the arrangement remains vague.  They also clarified that they would not be leaving their mobile facility overnight because it is needed elsewhere.

5.2. Cary circulated the latest version of the MOU in an email to board members, and he requested that any comments be sent to him by tomorrow afternoon before he replies to CCHCI.  Both Jackie and David requested that the organization acknowledge that the purpose of the arrangement is to determine whether there is sufficient interest for them to establish a permanent facility.

5.3. Alice Wakefield sent a comment about repetition of a phrase, and this will be corrected.

  1. Adjournment

There being no further discussion or agenda items, Cary adjourned the meeting at 18:43.

*(from May 2021 minutes) “Portal Rescue classroom will be open to groups of 15 people or fewer.  Masks are required if social distancing cannot be maintained.  Masks will be optional if social distancing can be maintained.  No eating in the classroom.”

Board meeting – July 21, 2021

Attending via Internet or phone: Board members Cary Booth, Dinah Davidson, Jackie Lewis, Ali Morse, David Newton, Carolyn Nordstrom and Victor Shawe; RCO Linda Wadsworth; Community Member Alice Wakefield

1) Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 6:03 PM.

2) Adoption of Agenda

a. Cary, seconded by Ali, moved to modify the Agenda to include two additional items: discussion of adding Barney Tomberlin to the Wall of Fame plaque (see 6c), and two announcements coming from Debb Johnson (see 7b and 7c).

b. The modified Agenda was adopted (almost) unanimously, with Carolyn abstaining due to late arrival.

3) Minutes of Board Meeting on May 27, 2021 (https://www.portalrescue.com/board/minutes/#0521)

Cary’s motion to accept the minutes without change was seconded by Victor, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

4) Reports

a. Fire Chief (David Newton)

i) Operations

(1) On May 30, firefighters responded to a haystack fire, possibly resulting from spontaneous combustion of a bale with too much moisture. At the same ranch/farm, we also responded to a manure fire caused by welding some days earlier.

(2) On July 1, firefighters responded to a small fire located off Hidden Terrace Rd and involving a wet branch spanning power lines. Residents observed the fire start and stamped it out while it was still tiny.  Columbus Electric removed the branch and restored power.

ii) Training

(1) Training has not been well attended.

(2) We did have a well-attended Wildland Refresher led by Ed Castellon.

iii) Vehicles

There have been no changes to fire vehicles since our last meeting.

iv) Grants

No grants are currently active.

b. EMS Chief (Jackie Lewis)

i) EMT Calls

Between May 23 and July 18, there were no calls, but three calls came in on July 19th.  The first call was attended by Alina Downer, John Yerger, Carolyn Nordstrom and Michele Lanan, and the second, by Carolyn, Michele and Alina.  The third call was cancelled prior to patient contact.

ii) Rescue 4

(1) Rescue 4 is out of service (and still is, as of August 1). Brakes, exhaust and A/C will all be checked and repaired by Lance Shultis before the vehicle can be placed back into service.

(2) Brush 8 is outfitted with a jump kit, airway bag and AED.

(3) Douglas Fire Department has been notified of our non-transport status. We will need to remind coordinating agencies during each call that we will not be able to move the patient to a rendezvous point or landing zone.

iii) Training

(1) Five EMTs attended a Continuing Education class provided by Tucson Medical Center in the PR classroom in June.

(2) Jackie attended an EMT Refresher on July 5-7.

(3) EMT training is scheduled for Sunday, July 25 from 10 am-noon.

c. Treasurer (Ali Morse)

(1) Assets

(a) Washington Federal

The total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund) is $33,958.75, including $315.11 YTD interest.

(b) Edward Jones (all accounts)

The total value of our EJ accounts is $145,922.86, including $209.39 in YTD interest.  Components of this total are: Money Market ($41,539.50) and five CDs (including Muma CD) of 1-, 2-, or 3-year maturity dates ($104,383.36).

(c) Portal Rescue assets total $180,449.86 including $255 in petty cash, $63.25 in stamps, all investments, and an outstanding deposit of $250.

(2) Revenues/expenses

(a) Revenues to date this year are $13,895.84 and expenses have come in at $24,295.28

(b) Expenses exceed income by $10,399.44

d) Member at large (Carolyn Nordstrom)

Nothing to report

e) VP Report (Victor Shawe)

Victor thanks the Board as a whole for taking the MOU seriously.  Carolyn seconds that appreciation.

f) President (Cary Booth)

i) Some recent additional, and mostly formatting, changes were made to the MOU.

ii) Cary needs to get to the radio office to upgrade the laptop’s operating system and protect it against vulnerabilities. David volunteered that he has been doing this, but Cary will double check.

iii) Cary will put up a cork board to facilitate the posting of Portal Rescue business, relevant business cards, notes with contact information, and any other relevant communications that we have been posting on the wall above the RCO desk.

5) Continued Business

a) Vote on classroom use policy

Cary moved to maintain the current requirements for classroom use, as described in the May minutes, and Ali seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.  Dinah urged that we follow developments related to the highly transmissible delta and lambda variants and revisit the matter by email if necessary.  No one has rented the classroom since it was opened for use.

b) Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc.’s request to use Portal Rescue facilities

i) Cary has circulated to board members links to the government regulations cited in the MOU.

ii) Cary will circulate the revised document one more time before sending it to CCHCI.

iii) Victor moved that the document also be reviewed by our lawyer after CCHCI acts on our proposed changes, and Cary seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

c) Brochure update

i) Jackie has communicated with both Kerri (the prior designer/printer, in California) and Cary’s neighbor (Dwight, from Tucson) regarding the re-design and printing of the new brochure. Dwight has volunteered use of his bulk mailing permit if we can determine how to use it without sending the donation letter and brochure to everyone our zip code.

ii) Jackie reminds residents that cell phone calls go to NM. Cochise County Dispatch (not an emergency line) will take emergency services calls and question callers in the same way as 911 operators, but because cell phone calls to this number cannot be tracked by location, it is best to phone 911.

iii) Carolyn will help with photos for the brochure and ask Tim Lawson to take new photos. (He later agreed.)  Jackie will be working on the text.

D) Phone book

Kerri volunteers to help with the phone book.

e) Soup’s On

Barb Roth will coordinate the event, with Chris Wilbur serving as Co-Coordinator.  Several volunteers will take the same roles they have held in the past as committee chairs.  A few committees still need chairs.  Residents looking to participate in these minor organizational roles should contact Jackie.

f) Change of Accountant

i) Vicky Merritt at Edward Jones informed Ali that there are no CPAs in Douglas.

ii) Cary will contact Tom Davidson and Dwight for recommendations of CPAs handling non-profits. Alice will reach out to Reed, and Dinah to Tamara Winkler, about accountants used by FOCCC and Malpai, respectively.

6) New Business

a) Vote on new Treasurer

i) Alice Wakefield has expressed interest in the position, saying that, as a new arrival, she is looking for ways to contribute … “a small price to pay for living in this cool place”.

ii) Board members reviewed her bio, and Carolyn noted that Alice’s prior experience makes her “wildly overqualified”. Cary moved that the Board appoint Alice as Treasurer for the remainder of the term.  Dinah seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

iii) Alice will take over from Ali immediately and agreed to receive all recommendations for the PR accountant.

b) Bookkeeping methodology (continued use of Excel spreadsheet vs QuickBooks, a cloud-based business software application)

i) Alice recommends continuing to use spreadsheets but also asking the accountant what software they prefer.

ii) The Board thanks Rick Beno for setting up the spreadsheets used by PR and specific to our accounting needs. It is advisable to maintain back-up copies in case sheets become corrupted.

c) Honoring Barney Tomberlin

i) Jeanne Williams has suggested that Barney’s contributions to Portal Rescue as founder of the Fire Dept. be honored in September, by which time a bio could be put together, and Jackie could have his name added to the plaque. (The wall of fame is not a wall but a plaque inscribed with names of major – and deceased – contributors to the organization.)

ii) David moved to table the matter until the September meeting, Jackie seconded the motion, and the vote was unanimous.

d) Schedule Next Board Meeting

The next (again virtual) board meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, September 21 at 6 PM AZ time.

7) For the Good of the Order

a) Blood drives

i) The next blood drive will be held on Friday August 20, 2021, and 18 of 31 appointments are currently filled.

ii) Twenty-eight units were collected during the May drive.

b) Firewise table

Debb Johnson will staff a Firewise Table at Heritage Days on Saturday, September 11.  Information on firewise practices will be available there.

c) Wood chipper available

Debb also notes that Luis Mendoza has a wood chipper parked across from the Portal Café.  The machine, manned by three workers, is available for hire for $200 per hour.  Luis can bring the chipper to property owners and distribute the chippings on property or into trucks to be hauled away.  He says the chipper really eats up large amounts of wood and keeps three guys busy the entire hour.

8) Adjournment

At 7:25, Cary moved to adjourn, Dinah seconded his motion, and all members voted in support.


Bio for Alice Wakefield

Alice Wakefield retired in January after working 42 years in various positions in the Defense Department.  Most recently she was the technical director / program manager with oversight of a multimillion-dollar budget for research & development and sustainment of a 300-person center of excellence that specialized in worldwide modeling and simulation mission events.  Her expertise also included international relations and cybersecurity.  Eager to put that life behind, she is enthusiastic about developing ways to apply her skill set for the benefit of Portal Rescue.  She has experience in contract development, proposal evaluation, generating requirements documents, writing various technical documents, process definition, and design of experiments.  During her “off-time”, she has enjoyed photography, weather, birdwatching and other naturalist activities including monitoring and banding hummingbirds.  She is a member of the Board of the Hummingbird Monitoring & Conservation  Network.   Recognizing the value of creating a legacy for young people, she revitalized the children’s activities programs for the Friends of Cave Creek Canyon in Portal, Arizona.  Via a Google Groups venue, she moderates and provides daily informational content to resident subscribers of the Portal AZ – Rodeo NM area – now 475 members strong.   Mrs. Wakefield is also a showing artist at the Chiricahua Gallery in Rodeo.

Board meeting – May 27, 2021

Attending via Internet or phone: Board members Cary Booth, Dinah Davidson, Jackie Lewis, Ali Morse, David Newton, Carolyn Nordstrom and Victor Shawe; RCO Linda Wadsworth.

  1. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 6:04 pm.

  1. Agenda

2.1. Cary added three new agenda items: donated printing services, autopayment of utility bills, and a possible change to tax accounting services.

2.2. There being no other added items, Cary moved that the amended agenda be accepted. Victor seconded the motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

  1. Minutes of the March 20 Meeting

No changes were requested, and Cary moved for acceptance, Carolyn seconded the motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.

  1. Reports

4.1. Fire Chief (David Newton)

4.1.1. Operations

Today Tender 1 was used for dust abatement at the landing zone for the Warren Fire.

4.1.2  Training Training has been poorly attended. Four firefighters passed the Arduous level pack test.  Thanks to Eric Desfachelles, Alina Downer, Henry Essary and Andrew Waser. A Wildland Refresher Class is scheduled for this coming Saturday (May 19).

4.1.3. Vehicles Some fuel injector lines were replaced on Brush 9. Oil was changed on Brush 5, so the vehicle can now be started with less concern about fuel-thinned oil.

4.1.4. Grants

Equipment funded by our VFA grant has all arrived.

4.1.5. Radio dispatching

The conversion to primary dispatching via CMA2 has hit a snag after discovering that Douglas PD lacks a clear signal into that channel.  Options are being pursued.

4.2. EMS Chief (Jackie Lewis)

4.2.1. Calls

We’ve had 13 tone-outs for emergency medical services since our March meeting.  No EMTs were available for 3 of those calls.  Portal Rescue EMTs had no patient contact on 2 calls, because Douglas Fire arrived on scene first.  One patient was not home when EMTs arrived.

4.2.2 Training

EMTs have been working on self-learning packets from Tucson Medical Center and checking off skills on the required documentation for new-hires.  Once every 2 years, current EMTs can receive continuing education credits for reviewing the learning packets.

4.2.3. AED data download

Two calls required use of an AED (automated external defibrillator).  Jackie was only able to finally download the data using the old computer with Windows 7, so we cannot get rid of this computer yet.  Jackie has set it up with an external keyboard and put it in the blue bag with the infrared reader for the Philips Heartstart (HS1) AED.  This bag is in the RO office.  If/when we need to download data to the Windows 10 computer, we must purchase a new infrared reader.

4.2.4. Supplies

AED pads and airway replacements have been purchased and restocked.  Jackie will purchase replacements for expiring medications (epi-pens and Narcan) by the end of June.  Epi-pens (set of 2) are currently around $300 from Tucson Medical Center, down from the former cost of $600 per set.

4.3. Treasurer (Ali Morse)

4.3.1. Checking

On April 27, 2021, our Washington Federal account was closed, and its funds ($36,206.33) were transferred to our Edward Jones Money Market checking account.

4.3.2. Balance sheet Washington Federal

The total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund) is $33,799.96, including $156.32 in YTD interest. Edward Jones (all accounts)

The total value of our EJ accounts is $150,854.16, including $184.81 in YTD interest.  Components of this total are: Money Market ($46,367.02) and 5 CDs (incl. Muma CD) of 1-, 2-, or 3-yr maturity dates (totaling $104,487.14). Portal Rescue assets sum to $184,478.92, including $255 in petty cash, $74.80 in stamps, all investments and an outstanding deposit of $1,495.

4.3.3. Ali stated that she was unable to make mobile deposits with the Edward Jones iPhone app on her older model iPhone, with which other banking apps worked fine. Jackie and Dinah offered to help get donations to EJ’s Douglas office, but Ali said she will continue with her duties as Treasurer and make the deposits in person, if necessary.

4.3.4. Ali also expressed concern about her housing uncertainty after October and her personal responsibilities involving her mother’s care, suggesting that the board consider a full-time permanent resident for her replacement.

4.4. Member at Large (Carolyn Nordstrom)

4.4.1. Chief Newton has been updating firefighters (and as a courtesy, the Board) with fire information gleaned from air traffic. When David is away, we miss out on this very welcome information.

4.4.2. Carolyn suggested that we solicit folks to do good community fundraisers like the recent Sew What? rummage sale.

4.5. Vice-President (Victor Shawe) – nothing to report.

4.6. President (Cary Booth) – nothing to report

  1. Continued Business

5.1. Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc.

5.1.1. CCHC forwarded an updated link to their survey at Cary’s request, and the technical problem has been resolved, but we have not yet heard back from them.

5.1.2. Locals are encouraged to fill out the Survey Monkey form, so that CCHC can accurately assess needs in our community. See also item 5.3 below.

5.2. Classroom rental

After extended discussion of classroom rental during the improving Covid-19 environment, the following motion was advanced by Jackie, seconded by David, and approved by the Board unanimously: Portal Rescue classroom will be open to groups of 15 people or fewer.  Masks are required if social distancing cannot be maintained.  Masks will be optional if social distancing can be maintained.  No eating in the classroom.

5.3. CCHC’s proposal to use Portal Rescue facilities

5.3.1. See synopsis as Appendix to March 20 meeting.

5.3.2. A brief discussion focused on any limitations we may wish to impose on a CCHC proposal to station a mobile unit at Portal Rescue. No board member was opposed to considering a proposal.

5.3.3. Jackie will assess utility data to estimate costs associated with operating here. With these data in hand, Cary will follow up with CCHC.  (Jackie’s later assessment: Air conditioning costs for summer, the highest usage season, would be approximately $5.00 per day.  In the interest of serving the community, we might consider waiving a rental fee.

5.3.4. We will need to address the liability issue after evaluating a rider on the CCHC insurance policy, and also decide what limit we might wish to set on the length of the trial period.

5.3.5. The classroom and bathroom must be cleaned by CCHC personnel after each use.

  1. New Business

6.1. Brochure update

6.1.1. The brochure will be reformatted in order to allow submission of the donation form without loss of 911 info on reverse side.

6.1.2. Jackie will check phone numbers to assure they remain current.

6.1.3. We should be able to do this with donated printing.

6.1.4. The majority will be mailed to folks for whom we already have addresses. A major problem is how to contact new community members.  Brochures will be available at both Rodeo and Portal post offices, as well as local restaurants.

6.1.5. Carolyn suggested adding “Donations would be welcome …” and other welcoming language. We will also solicit new images and/or have new images prepared, with at least some representation of women.  This should all be done prior to our next meeting.

6.1.6. New brochures should be printed and in hand by mid-September.

6.1.7. A local resident with a printing service in Tucson has offered donated printing services. Cary will put the resident in touch with Jackie about the brochure and perhaps also tee-shirts.

6.2. Soup’s On

Board members discussed whether PR should try to hold the February Soup’s On fundraiser in 2022.  We can’t evaluate Covid-19 restrictions this far in advance, but if the event is held, we will need a strong leader to both coordinate the event and designate responsibilities.  Dinah will write up an email advertising the possibility of such an event and asking volunteers to contact Jackie by early September at the latest.  We need to have a full team in place by end of October.  Carolyn will try to identify newbies.

6.3. Chief’s meeting

David reminded the Board that Portal usually hosts the Chief’s Thanksgiving dinner in November, and we also need volunteers for that.  The Chiefs will begin meeting face-to-face, starting in Naco next month.

6.4. Autopay of utility bills

Currently, we pay VTC and Columbus Electric bills by check, but Ali proposed simplifying payments by setting up autopay with Edward Jones.  Victor moved that we do this, and Dinah seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.  Ali will make certain that payments are entered in the check register, and that a paper copy of the bill is filed in PR records.

6.5. Change of accountant

Recently, we’ve experienced delays in tax preparation, though our taxes are not very complicated.  Carolyn proposed that PR switch to using a tax accountant from Cotton City.  She has found her to be prompt and very professional.  Victor moved to go forward with this change if the accountant is comfortable with accounting for non-profits.  Dinah seconded his motion, and the vote was unanimously in favor. (Carolyn checked later and found that the person in question does not do accounting for non-profits.)

  1. Next board meeting

The next board meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, July 21.  Yet to be determined is the time of day and whether we will meet in person or remotely (the latter depending on board member locations).

  1. For the Good of the Order

8.1. Blood drives

The next blood drives are tomorrow and Friday August 20.

  1. Online meeting tool

Google Meet worked well, and we’ll keep using it.

  1. Adjournment

Cary adjourned the meeting at 8:17 PM.

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.