Portal Rescue Board Meeting Minutes
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.
- Call to Order
President Cary Booth called the Special Meeting to order at 6:14 pm.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
a. Fire Chief (David Newton)
(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.
(1) Training has not been well attended.
(2) We did have a well-attended Wildland Refresher led by Ed Castellon.
There have been no changes to fire vehicles since our last meeting.
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.
(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)
(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.
(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.
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.
- Call to Order
President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 6:04 pm.
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.
- 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.
4.1. Fire Chief (David Newton)
Today Tender 1 was used for dust abatement at the landing zone for the Warren Fire.
22.214.171.124. Training has been poorly attended.
126.96.36.199. Four firefighters passed the Arduous level pack test. Thanks to Eric Desfachelles, Alina Downer, Henry Essary and Andrew Waser.
188.8.131.52. A Wildland Refresher Class is scheduled for this coming Saturday (May 19).
184.108.40.206. Some fuel injector lines were replaced on Brush 9.
220.127.116.11. Oil was changed on Brush 5, so the vehicle can now be started with less concern about fuel-thinned oil.
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)
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.
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.
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)
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
18.104.22.168. Washington Federal
The total value of our Washington Federal account (Rainy Day Fund) is $33,799.96, including $156.32 in YTD interest.
22.214.171.124. 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).
126.96.36.199. 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
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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).
- For the Good of the Order
8.1. Blood drives
The next blood drives are tomorrow and Friday August 20.
- Online meeting tool
Google Meet worked well, and we’ll keep using it.
Cary adjourned the meeting at 8:17 PM.
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.
- Call to Order
President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 2:11 pm.
- Adoption of Agenda
The Agenda was adopted after Cary proposed inserting item 7.2 for a change in online meeting tool.
- 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.
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)
On January 30th, a vehicle fire at milepost 393 ignited a roadside fire. Thanks to John Yerger and Rolf Koford for responding.
Attendance has been okay. We’ve tested our extrication tools and drafting out of a ‘pumpkin’ (temporary frameless tank).
188.8.131.52. Brush 236: Andrew Waser replaced the hose reel swivel, and it’s working well. A good set of wheel chocks has been added.
184.108.40.206. Brush 9: This coming week, Lance will inspect leaking fuel near lines coming out of fuel injector pump.
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
220.127.116.11. Revenues for 2020 were $54,527.16, and expenses came in at $30,956.98. Revenues exceeded expenditures by $23,570.18.
18.104.22.168. 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
22.214.171.124. 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.
126.96.36.199. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
- Call to Order
President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 18:08 pm.
- 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.
- 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.
4.1. 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)
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.
Attendance has been okay at three training sessions.
The replacement swivel fitting for Brush 236 is in hand, but not yet installed.
David will be submitting the request for our annual 50:50 VFA grant by the February 12 deadline.
4.3. EMS Chief (Jackie Lewis)
188.8.131.52. 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.
184.108.40.206. The availability of John Yerger and ET Collinsworth has taken some of the pressure off stalwarts Carolyn Nordstrom and Barbara Roth.
220.127.116.11. 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).
18.104.22.168. 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
22.214.171.124. 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.
126.96.36.199. The new year (2021) has also brought a good start on donations; revenues are $3305, and expenses, $215.56.
188.8.131.52. 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. 184.108.40.206. The helipad will be costly, and given the extreme drought conditions, we can perhaps anticipate a big fire year.
4.4.2. Balance sheet
220.127.116.11. Edward Jones
18.104.22.168.1. The total value of our EJ accounts is $113,148.31.
22.214.171.124.2. Money Market = $8,507.18
126.96.36.199.3. Five CDs (including Muma funds) with different maturity dates (1,2 and 3 yrs) total $104,641.13.
188.8.131.52. Washington Federal
184.108.40.206.1. The total value of these assets is $80,694.19
220.127.116.11.2. The checking account currently holds $47,051.55
18.104.22.168.3. 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)
- 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.
5.2.1. 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.
- New Business
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.
- 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.
- 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.
The meeting was adjourned at 21:13 pm.
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.
- Call to Order
President Cary Booth called the meeting to order at 6:19 pm.
- Adoption of Agenda
Dinah moved that the agenda be adopted without change, Victor seconded, and the agenda was adopted unanimously.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Portal Rescue Inc.
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.
4.1. 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.
At 20:10 pm, Bill moved to adjourn, and Jackie seconded his motion, which carried unanimously.
Portal Rescue Inc.
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.
- President Cary Booth called the meeting to order 6:09 PM.
- 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.
- 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
4.1 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
22.214.171.124 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.
126.96.36.199 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.
188.8.131.52 Exit lights (Bill) – at least two boxes haven’t yet been located. We will keep looking. Boxes are 24” x 12” by 8”.
184.108.40.206 (David) – David is continuing his efforts to improve communications with SEACOM.
220.127.116.11 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.
18.104.22.168 Bay lights (Jackie) – Jackie and David will tackle this once floor space opens up in the bay.
22.214.171.124 Classroom window screens (Jackie) – Some are missing and others are torn and need replacing somewhere down the line. Cary will handle this.
126.96.36.199 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.
- 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.
See the addendum for the names of those working to renovate the classroom.
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 ….
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.
4.1 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.
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.