Portal Rescue Board Meeting Minutes for 2007

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Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

December 19, 2007

1.0  Meeting was called to order at: 6:01 pm

Present were: Maya Decker, President

Rick Beno,  Vice-President

Shela DeLong:  Treasurer

David Johnson, Secretary

EMT Chief:   Jeff Gee,

Dennis McAvoy: Fire Chief

Jim Algots

Ken Joens

Roberta Ward

2.0   Adoption of Agenda

2.1 added to the agenda. “Voice broadcasting” presented by David Newton.

Motion to adopt the agenda made by Rick, seconded by Jim. Adopted.

2.1 David Newton presented to the Board a proposal to adopt a voice broadcasting system to help dispatch calls to EMT’s and Firefighters.

  • This system would provide a secure dispatching system for EMT and fire calls.
  • Non-profit organization costs include free setup and $35.00 per month charge plus .15 cents per call.
  • With Portal Rescue’s emergency call levels, this would cost approximately $620 per year.

No action taken at this time.

3.0 Acceptance of minutes for November 20, 2007

  • Maya made note that she will make copies of appendices of meeting minutes available for any community member.
  • That 5.1 Old Business, Engine 2, was not addressed at that meeting; waiting for bills to come in.
  • David added 2007 Budget Observations (draft 1) to minutes.

Minutes accepted as amended.

4.0 Reports

4.1 Maya Decker- President

  • Insurance bill is due February 1. She would like help with this insurance proposal. With the new building, and 2 new trucks, our insurance expenses may be as high as $10,000.00
  • Dates of the Soup Kitchen are February 11, 12, and 13.
  • Dennis volunteered to help with the insurance team. Dennis also stated that BFIS is the only company that insures departments like ours. The broker that we use is Clifton in Douglas.
  • Jeff Gee would also like to help with the insurance proposal.

4.2 Shela DeLong- Treasurer Appendix A, B, and C

Chase checking balance is $15,598.89

Edward Jones Rainy-Day Fund has $24,501.24 with $15,000.00 in the Muma restricted interest-only fund

  • Information on Engine 2. Repairs are expected to take four weeks before it is returned to Sierra Vista. Cost is not known at this time. Estimate of $10,000 is still possible.
  • Shela suggested that we move the Muma fund to a Certificate of Deposit from the money market it is now in.
  • Rick questioned a deposit of $7,000.00 that was transferred from the checking account to the Edward Jones account. The money was repaid following its use during a cash-flow shortfall when the 2007 insurance bill was due in February ‘07.

Shela stated that we have 3 major bills coming due:

  • Insurance bill of approximately $9000.00 to $10000.00. We hope it’s not higher.
  • Engine 2 repairs of approximately $8000.00 after the $1747.00 already paid
  • Reimbursement to the brush crew with repayment from the grant several months later.

Shela would like to propose that a Board vote be required on all grants before they are submitted.

There was much discussion on this point, to be brought up in Dennis’s report later in meeting.

4.3 Jeff Gee- EMS Chief

  • Jeff thanked Walter Schoepfle for all of his time and work compiling the 2007 summary of EMS calls. This summary will be included with the Portal Rescue newsletter.
  • Jeff has a community member who will print the rescue vehicles lettering at no charge, if we supply the material.
  • A thank you to Rick Beno for installing the radio in the new rescue vehicle.
  • Dennis is modifying the new rescue vehicle so that a new oxygen bottle can be fitted.
  • Rescue 4 can now be put in service and can now be used for emergency calls.
  • Jeff is arranging to have the EMT refresher course taught here; this should save some money on training for 2008.

Maya has the proof of insurance for Rescue 4 and the1989 International.

4.4 Dennis McAvoy- Fire Chief

  • Twenty-one Firefighters attended the monthly meeting on December 15, 2007.
    • Discussion included strategies for fighting a fire in Cave Creek presented by Chief Tomberlin
    • Update of Fire Fuels Reduction Plan
    • Concerns about Dispatch operations
    • Vehicle checks
  • Dennis went to Sierra Vista to check on the repair status of Engine 2. The engine should be complete by the end of January.
  • All parts have been received for Brush 5. Work on Brush 5 and Engine 8 will start when weather permits.
  • Brakes were found to be inoperative on Tender 7 during a vehicle check. Lance has been requested to do the repairs.
  • Dennis is requesting investigating using radios for dispatch when the store is closed. With permission from the Board, he will contact Action Communications.
  • A VFA grant will be available in January; Dennis will ask the Board’s approval to submit the grant application.

Discussion/action on Board’s decision on grant submission.

Maya feels that we are committing ourselves to a type of training, and the expense before the budget is resolved.

Ken made a motion to have Dennis submit the VFA grant application for $6000.00. Dennis seconded the motion

There was more discussion of the type and purpose of training and funding.

Maya brings the Board back to discussion of the motion.

Con: Maya would speak against the motion; we should table the decision until the budget is finalized.

Pro: Dennis stated the grant must be submitted before the budget will be finalized.

Pro: Training is important to keep our first responders confident. Jeff feels that it is better to get training and equipment for half price.

Pro: Dennis says we can always turn funds down if not needed.

Pro: Jeff restated the community survey said that we need more EMT’s, more Firefighters, and more training.

Con: Rick thinks like Maya that we should hold the decision until the budget is adopted. Rick does question the training at fire schools and conferences. He feels that attendees can bring information back and teach this information to the rest of the Firefighters and EMT’s. Rick also believes we should not risk firefighters to fight fires outside our area.

Pro: Dennis replied that most of our firefighting is done in our community area. Portal Rescue mostly provides water in a safe environment. He also commented that we don’t go out of state.

  • Maya suggested we get back on track. That the community already said they want more firefighters, more EMT’s and more training. It is up to us to decide what training is necessary. We are committed to training, but not to the point of bankruptcy.
  • Walter Schoepfle shared with the Board his positive experience at Arizona Fire School. He also expressed the need for continuing professional training.
  • Jeff expressed the fact that training is so necessary because our Firefighters do not get a lot of on the job training on fires.
  • Rick thinks we need local training for our own situation in the Portal area.
  • Maya asked about the prescribed burn in the Peloncillo Mountains as training.
  • Discussion of the motion was tabled until after the budget is adopted or the end of this meeting.

5.0 Old Business

5.1 Board review of 2007 budget to build budget for 2008 (projected on screen)

Rick presented a version of the 2008 budget. Appendix D After discussion it was decided to accept this template. Next we have to put a reasonable figure into each column.

  • This new budget template adds an accounts receivable column.
  • Rick felt that we should place the net (after firefighters are paid) of any income from state for our help in fires into the Rainy-day account until a two-year cushion is realized.
  • Maya is concerned about shifting greater dependence in our budget of revenue from the state for fire support than from donations and fundraising.

  • The Board is involved with discussing setting amounts into each revenue column.
  • The Board made a decision to reconvene January 7, 1 PM. to finish the Budget.

5.2 How to pay for Engine 2

The board decided to table this again, until the bills are received.

Action: Jeff makes a motion that Dennis should apply for the VFA grant. This grant is for $2000.00 for Arizona State Firefighting School  training, $2000.00 for personal protection equipment (PPE), and $2000.00 for Wildlands Fire training. Seconded by Rick, voted on by the Board. Unanimous for.

6.0 New Business

6.1 Portal Rescue mission statement.

It was agreed that the Purpose stated in the Portal Rescue by-laws reflected our mission:

  • PURPOSE:  The purpose of this organization is to provide fire protection and emergency medical services to residents of the Portal/Paradise (Arizona) and Rodeo (New Mexico) area, and to transients in that area.
  • 8.0 For the Good of the Order

    9.0 Adjournment

    Motion to adjourn the meeting by Jim, seconded by Roberta at 8:20 PM.


    Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting Minutes

    November 20, 2007

    1.0     Meeting was called to order at: 6:05 pm


    Maya Decker, President Rick Beno, Vice-President
    Shela DeLong, Treasurer                                                David Johnson, Secretary
    Jeff Gee, EMT Chief                                                         Dennis McAvoy, Fire Chief
    Jim Algots                                                                       Ken Joens
    Roberta Ward

    2.0     Adoption of the Agenda, with one addition. Rick would like to give a report. Agenda adopted

    3.0     Minutes from the October 17, 2007 meeting were adopted with the addition of Appendix A. This is information Jeff provided to the Community on the Fire Fuels Reduction Grant, as posted at the Library.

    4.0     Reports

    4.1    Maya Decker – President

    Wanted to limit her report to the budget discussion. She received a letter from Governor Janet Napolitano congratulating the Community on the dedication of the new building. Copies will be placed where everyone can read.

    4.2    Shela DeLong – Treasurer

    Reviewed the assets of Portal Rescue with the Board, Appendix B. Shela also discussed grant money that we are receiving. Shela had a conversation with Pat Cirincione, of Arizona State Land Department, who said grant dollars are drying up.

    4.3   Jeff Gee – EMS Chief

    Thanked Tony Godfrey for finding the new rescue vehicle. Jeff also thanked Tony, and Geoff Bender for the great job they did with the purchase, inspection, and delivery to its new home in Portal.

    4.4  Dennis McAvoy – Fire Chief

    •    Firefighters had a meeting on November 17, 2007. Ten firefighters were present. Discussion included upcoming training

    • Firefighters had a meeting on November 17, 2007. Ten firefighters were present. Discussion included upcoming training in Benson, safe vehicle operation, and preparation for the building dedication the next day.
    • Firefighters were called out on four fires. One was a false alarm and three were wildland fires.
    • Dennis has billed Arizona State Land for $24,743.06 so far this year – eleven fires in all.
    • The Portal Rescue firefighters hosted the monthly meeting of The Cochise Fire Chief’s Association, and The Cochise County Emergency Medical Service Council. About 50 people were in attendance from around the county.
    • Portal Rescue received a$5,000 donation from The Sky Gypsy Café and The Rodeo Natural Market. This donation is earmarked for the completion of the three fire trucks being built.
    • Dennis also secured exempt license plates, with no fees, for all Portal Rescues vehicles. This will save Portal Rescue thousands of dollars in registration fees for the life of each vehicle.
    • Portal Rescue will host a firefighter training class in the PR classroom Jan.12-14, and Jan.19-20.
    • Portal Rescue has been invited to participate in a prescribed burn in the Peloncillo mountains. Firefighters are asked to participate for training and to gain experience working with the Douglas U.S.F.S. fire team.

    5.0  Old Business

    5.1  Financing the repairs to Engine 2

    A move by Maya to come back to this after 6.1, 2007 Budget review is complete.

    6.0  New Business

    6.1  Board review of 2007 budget to build on 2008 budget

    Appendix C: Final Audit Report.  Problems 1 and 2 have been addressed. Problem 3 needs to be looked at closer.

    Appendix D: Expenditures Budget/ Revenues-2007

    Appendix E: Expense/ Revenue years 2005-2007 actual vs. budget

    Maya stated  “Looking at the budget to the year’s end, we don’t know about the amount billed in 2007 for Engine 2’s repair and Fire Fuel payouts to the crews.”

    Maya made three points about the Board’s work on the budget:

    • Board members should look closely for additional items that need to be a part of the budget.
    • That the Board should focus on the main job of Portal Rescue.
    • We must make sure that we don’t go bankrupt in the process.

    Action; Motion made by Jeff to accept the donation as earmarked for completion of three fire trucks. Seconded by Ken, voted and accepted by all Board members.

    Board budget discussion was focused on how much over budget Portal Rescue really is. Some

    Board members believe that grant dollars should be included as an accounts receivable line


    7.0  Addenda

    Appendix F and G. Rick presented a version of the 2008 Budget, while using 2007 figures as a guideline. Rick thinks that belt tightening is necessary.

    8.0  Good for the Order; none

    9.0   Adjournment: At 7:57. Motion by Jeff seconded by Shela, all in favor.


    October missing

    Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

    September 19, 2007

    1.0 Call to Order: at 6:01 PM by President, Maya Decker

    All Present: Maya Decker (President), Rick Beno (Vice President), David Johnson (Secretary), (Shela DeLong), Treasurer, Dennis McAvoy (Fire Chief), Jeff Gee (EMS Chief), Jim Algots, Ken Joens, Roberta Ward came later.

    2.0  Adoption of Agenda: adopted as presented, by all present.

    3.0  Acceptance/Correction of Minutes for August 14, 2007

    Minutes approved as corrected, after correction of spelling, changed to Ed Roose

    4.0 Reports

    4.1     Appendix   A   Letter to Board from Pi Irwin

    Pi Irwin thanked Helen Snyder for her outstanding work on the Audit Committee

    Helen Snyder reported on the Audit Committee’s findings. The Committee noted that Treasure’s position is quite a big task.

    The intention of the team was to balance the checkbook compare it to bank statements and to check for any mathematical mistakes.

    Another goal was to examine information in order to track budget expenditures month by month. The Audit Committee looked for a history of late payments and found no consistent pattern.

    Problems identified:

    • checks were not issued correctly,
    • checks not categorized to budget correctly,
    • missing checks, and checks voided and destroyed.
    • Online payments that leave no hard copy to track. It was noted that online payments, which require no signatures, could cause problems.

    There was no evidence of any criminal activity.

    The Audit Committee gave the Board the following recommendations.


  • We need to protect the integrity of past years’ records when assuming the position of Treasurer of Portal Rescue. Protect the organizational and individual financial information during tenure.
  • Enter transactions into Quicken by download from Chase Bank.
  • Manually itemize deposits and payments according to established budget categories, using ‘split’ and ‘category’ functions in Quicken. Add or alter established categories only with Board approval.
  • Pay bills and deposit donations within 21 days of receipt.
  • Pay bills using sequentially-numbered paper checks from checkbook. No online payments, Record identical information on check stub and memo line of check. Identify budget category in this information. Archive all register stubs, deposit slips and receipts, and voided checks.
  • Label paid invoices with date received, date paid, budget category, and check number. File hard copies by budget category, chronologically.
  • Create a record of each deposit by photocopying deposit slip and checks together on a page or pages.
  • Maintain an Excel file of donors’ names and addresses, amount or item given, date received, date receipt and thank-you sent. Record non-cash donations as well.  Send information to thank-you note volunteer.
  • Reconcile transactions with bank statement monthly. Check for bank errors.
  • Back up Quicken and Excel files after every use.
  • Prepare Treasurer’s report for monthly and annual meetings showing income and expenditures which track budget compliance.
  • Track budget and alert board to impending budget category overruns or shortfalls.
  • Prepare and file IRS and state tax returns.
  • In January, prepare 1099-MISCs for personnel paid more than $600 in the previous tax year.
  • Prepare quarterly Worker’s Comp reports and pay required amounts.
  • Assist in preparation of upcoming year’s budget.
  • Transfer all records (Quicken files, bank statements, invoice files, deposit records, tax records) – in good order to successor.
  • 18. Provide training for incoming treasurer

    Community feedback and comments to Audit Team members

    1. Felt good about focus groups in 2006 and imputed Board to train more Firefighters and EMT’s. 2. Feeling that spending is out of control, no one is on watching expenses.

    3. There is no advance planning for acquisitions of big equipment

    4. Present Board not following previous Boards policy.

    5. Board not enforcing prior authorization of purchases.

    6. There appears to be a trend of loose financial responsibility.

    7. Financial reports are not easy to understand.

    8. There is a lack of communication between Board and community

    9. There needs to be a return to budget compliance.

    10.  Non-emergency expenditures should be authorized by Board.

    11.  Free trucks aren’t really free, they come with costs to make them roadworthy, and yearly

    registration and insurance expenses.

    12. There should be written proposals for equipment requests, and Board should authorize them.

    13. That fire income is unpredictable and difficult to budget for.

    14. That we need a hotline for better communication

    15. That community members should come to Board meetings for information.

    16. That donations are one half of income and as such should be considered soft money.

    17. There is a feeling that the Board is unable to current correct problems.

    18. There is a concern that donations may not continue at historical levels, if problems continue.

    19. There is a need for a handbook of policies and minutes. so that future Boards and Treasurers then can have easy access and awareness of past Board actions on policy changes.

    The Audit Committee also recommended actions for the Board to approve

    1. Track year to current year budget to expenses.

    2.  Make it easier for new Board and Treasurer to learn procedures.

    3. To insure Board‘s decisions are followed from previous Board’s

    4.  Recommended Treasurers Duties must be adopted by Board

    5.  Board needs to take active control of money.

    6.  Board needs to standardize bookkeeping.

    7.  Board needs to ensure that the budget is followed.

    1. Board needs to enforce spending authorization, and needs to regain control.
    2. Board needs to adopt and enforce a policy of not accepting gifts that involve ongoing costs.
    3. Board needs to create a policy manual to ensure consistent fiscal policy from one Board to the next.

    4.2 and 4.3 Maya Decker President and Treasurer pro tem

    ( See Appendix B “PR Budget August 1, 2007”)

    Maya reviewed the budget and Treasurer’s reports through Sept 19, 2007

    Discussion of line items on expense and revenue

    • Revenues to date                $42380.38
      • Expenses to date                 $40630.47
      • Checking account balance $ 9734.55

    4.4 Fire Chief

    • Sept 5-9, twelve Firefighters went to Arizona State Fire School in Mesa.
    • Mid August to mid September Firefighters responded to a car accident, a structure fire, and a fire in the National Forest.
    • . On Sept 15, ten Firefighters attended the monthly meeting. Discussion included our experiences at AZ State Fire School. Improving communications with a phone tree to call Firefighters. We had some discussion on driver training. Later we inspected and did light maintenance on all the vehicles
    • Fire Chief McAvoy is receiving grant-writing aid from USDA Rural Development.
    • Summary on Firewise project information
    • We have received an offer from Bowie Fire Dept for a free brush truck.     Our acceptance is pending more information from Chief McAvoy about projected costs and the authorization of the Board.
    • Our Engine 2 is going to Fry Fire Dept for its pump test.
    • At request of Chief McAvoy, Ken Joens has agreed to be Assistant Fire Chief.
    • Dennis started discussion on a grant for Fuel Reduction Plan from Arizona State Forestry, Jeff will present detailed information.

    4.5 EMS Chief

    • Discussed broken alternator belt on rescue vehicle. It did not affect performance of vehicle for the short trip to the emergency call.
    • We’ve had a few EMS calls since last meeting, which we can’t discuss.
    • Sept 15 Portal Rescue had EMS training with a good turn out.
    • Discussion about Brush grant, AKA Fuel Reduction grant approved by AZ State Forestry for $52K. This grant is contingent on acceptance by the Board. Portal Rescue has to bank the grant. We will pay crew to clean yards and Portal Rescue has to wait for grant funds to refill our bank account. Jeff will hold an informational meeting to advise the community. He will have to see what needs to be done at each property. Then they will schedule the day that work is started.

    4.6 Fundraising

    Gerry Hernbrode reported that the Pie Festival was a big success, there was with wonderful cooperation from the Rodeo, Portal, and Paradise communities. This joint community effort raised $1,583 for Portal Rescue.

    4.7 Building dedication committee

    No report

    9.0 Adjournment at 8:23


    Minutes of

    Special Meeting of Portal Rescue Inc.

    August 24, 2007

    1.0  Call to Order: at 4:03 PM by President, Maya Decker

    Present: Maya Decker (President), Rick Beno (Vice President), Shela Delong (Treasurer), David Johnson (Secretary), Dennis McAvoy (Fire Chief), Jim Algots, Ken Joens, Roberta Ward.

    Absent: Jeff Gee (EMS Chief).

    2.0 Adoption of Agenda: Adopted without changes

    3.0  Scheduled Agenda Internal Audit

    Maya explained that this special meeting was called due to Ken’s expressed concerns about “allegations of faulty financial procedures” in an email to the Board. He also stated that he had heard complaints about late payments made by Portal Rescue, resulting in the loss of credit with Valley Mercantile and Columbus Electric. He is worried how this may affect our credit rating.

    Shela DeLong reported that she had recently spoken with two people at Valley Mercantile who identified themselves as the owner and the bookkeeper. They both said that there is no problem with Portal Rescue’s credit.

    Dennis stated that V.M. manager, Ed Ruse, asked him to put Portal Rescue purchases on his personal account, as P.R. was slow to be paid.

    In preparation for the meeting, Helen Snyder, chair of the internal audit committee, created a spreadsheet (document attached) which highlighted bill-date and pay-date of all invoices this year from files provided by interim treasurer, Maya Decker.  This was done in order to show payment history. When presenting this document, Helen mentioned that only hard copies of checks, no online bill-pay information was available for her review.

    David stated that the previous Treasurer had acknowledged a problem with slow payments and missed payments due to lack of time to get it done last winter.

    Ken stated that he had brought this to the Board’s attention because two community members had asked him to look into why they had not been reimbursed for EMS training, believing that Portal Rescue had received the state check.

    Maya stated she was concerned about the language used to request the audit. There was an implication that there were misdeeds with the bookkeeping, and that this inference would negatively impact the community’s confidence and donations. Maya reviewed some of the reasons behind some of the problems.  Her goal is to clear up accusations that are floating around, that may not be true.

    Dennis expressed concern regarding a January 2007 bill from LNCurtis.  Maya is aware of this L.N. Curtis bill and will give specific information about that bill as part of her review of the “six-bills” issue raised by Ken in our last meeting.

    Helen Snyder explained that one of our concerns is with the problem posed by online bill payments because there is no check number generated.  They leave no audit trail and no hard copies of checks. In addition, quite a few checks are missing because of past treasurer, Roberta Ward’s printer problems. Those checks that would not print out were shredded. Helen stated that the words used to request an audit were way too strong in that they implied improprieties when in fact the concern was actually about late payments.

    Helen recommended that an audit be conducted with every change of Treasurer. She also recommended that the Treasurer produce a report for the annual meeting which could be included in the newsletter. Lastly, she suggested that a Board policy manual be created which details previous Boards decisions. It can include a list of the Treasurer’s duties and all of the Board’s policy and financial decisions.

    Roberta explained why some checks were missing. She said that those checks which would not print out on her printer had all been shredded. Maya assured the Board that she had verified that missing check numbers had over the last two months never shown up as having been cleared in her daily on-line review of our checking account.

    Jackie Lewis mentioned that a couple of dates on the spreadsheet were incorrect.

    John Bush asked if the spending moratorium had been in place at the time of the late payments. The Board had to approve every expense before any payments were made. Maya thought that the spending moratorium had been lifted prior to this period.

    Ken commended pro tem Treasurer Maya and Roberta for staying current with Portal Rescue bills.  He requested that the audit include past two year’s books to look for patterns of late payments.

    Maya replied to last Board meetings question from Ken as to why six bills had been identified as waiting-to-be-paid, totaling $1,670.20. Ken had claimed that was inexcusable. She used the bill-pay spread sheet to demonstrate that five of the invoices brought under question by Ken, were actually current, and had been paid before they were due. The L.N. Curtis bill was a major exception.  Maya had contacted this company in June to inform them that our records showed that the bill had already been paid. They indicated that it was still outstanding. L.N. Curtis was paid after she was able to track down the mistake by examining the checks in the on-line bank statements to confirm that they had not been paid.

    Maya stated that the Portal Café has also now been paid in full for a group of receipts dating back to last year, but that we need to establish a better way to identify these expenditures.  During her review, she noted that many meal tickets did not notate who or why the meal was charged to Portal Rescue. Maya will draft a policy procedure to provide more information on these kinds of charges, including which budget categories should be debited.

    Roberta asked to have copies of the overhead spreadsheet emailed with the agenda.

    Ken stated that we now have a handle on our current situation, but that we should still investigate past bills, for no pays or late pays.  Rick Beno stated that if we owe money, our creditors would contact us.

    Maya stated that this Board and this community have every reason in the world to congratulate themselves and feel proud of what has been accomplished – we have a new building, and thanks to an anonymous donation, we have an opportunity to search for a new ambulance. We now have the opportunity to focus our attention on those positive issues. Her experience of having to also serve as treasurer has underscored the need to require base-level skills and training for those who serve as treasurer, and that we establish standardized bookkeeping procedures which are passed on to new treasurers by out-going treasurers during an overlapping time of service. We could even include providing equipment and programs that they need to do the job well.

    Gerry Hernbrode expressed that Jeff Bender had done the best job under very difficult circumstances and that he should be commended; everyone acknowledged Jeff with a round of applause.

    Walter Schoepfle questioned the simplicity of the spreadsheet as not explaining Portal Rescue accounting practices and budget.  Maya explained that this was not our regular budget or expense report, nor was it the audit report. This spread sheet was simply used to look to see if there was a pattern of late payment as was alleged in the August 14th meeting. The actual audit report will occur at next month’s meeting.

    Maya discussed the Board decision, made at the 14 August meeting, to have an internal audit by community members of Portal Rescue’s books. One person had volunteered to serve on the audit team at that time. Geoff Bender volunteered to assist the team. Several days after that meeting, it was revealed that the one volunteer, Kim McFarland, lived in McNeal and not in the Portal Rescue Service area. Since the Board motion had said “community member”, Maya said she needed to bring it back to us for a decision on the matter.

    Maya has since then, recruited Pi Irwin, Helen Snyder and John Bush to also help with this audit. She would like to recommend that the Board consider a one-time, non-precedent-setting motion to accept Kim McFarland’s offer to serve. That would give us a team of four. Maya also expressed her opinion that we wouldn’t want it to necessarily set a precedent for the future that non-community members be involved in other issues brought before us.

    She also informed us that Shela DeLong had reconsidered and decided to wait to take over the books after the audit has been completed.

    At its meeting of Aug. 14th, the Board had recommended that the internal audit be completed prior to the September Board meeting.  Pi will be back in town early September.

    David expressed concerns with having 10 people involved with the audit.

    Discussion around how the audit would work, and how many auditors would be needed. Audit committee should make most decisions and report back to the Board.

    Roberta thinks the Board needs more direction and that the Board needs to adopt a mission statement.

    Penny Johnston helped clarify the duties of the audit committee and consultants.

    John Bush withdrew from the audit committee, due to his new workload, but he will help with recommendations.

    ACTION:   Maya requested that John put his recommendations in an email to her.

    Maya asked for a motion from the Board to approve the audit committee which would include Kim McFarland.

    Ken said he thought that an audit by community members meant no Board members could serve on the committee, rather then meaning only those members who reside within the service area of Portal Rescue could perform the audit.

    ACTION:    Motion made by Ken to leave the motion as the board had decided this motion originally on 14 August 2007.

    ACTION:    Motion seconded by Rick on 14 August 2007.

    Helen Snyder stated that our by-laws define a community member as one who is a member of the Portal Rescue service area.

    Jeanne Williams stated that non-community members should not be allowed to vote. Jeanne stated that Maya has inherited a lot of responsibility for the problems of Portal Rescue.

    Maya reiterated her goal of putting things in order for community members, EMT’s and firefighters.

    Roberta suggested that we record all meetings; Maya informed her that we are recording this meeting.

    Delane Blondeau expressed concerns about the size of Portal Rescue; are we getting too big?  Can we afford our budget when we don’t have a dependable income?  For example, we do not charge for our services.  Delane stated that the community would like to see the Portal Board running as a happy family, working together.

    Maya expressed that we can now be in a maintenance mode, not a growth, mode.

    David asked for clarification of Ken’s motion.

    Ken stipulated that it was his understanding that the original motion by the Board was to have only Kim McFarland do the audit.

    ACTION   Rick withdraws his second.

    There being no other second by other Board members, the motion died for lack of a second.

    ACTION:   David made the motion to establish an internal audit committee of three members to include Kim McFarland, Pi Irwin, and Helen Snyder.

    ACTION:    Rick seconded the motion.

    Discussion on audit committee, with agreement that they are to decide among themselves how to manage their meetings and attendance.

    ACTION:    Vote on motion by all present. All affirmed.

    ACTION:    Motion to adjourn by Maya

    ACTION:    David seconded

    4.0 Adjournment:  5:12 PM

    Minutes submitted by David Johnson, Secretary, Portal Rescue


    Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

    August 14, 2007

    1.0  Meeting was called to order at: 7:02 pm

    Present were:  Maya Decker, President   Rick Beno, Vice President

    Jeff Gee, EMS Chief    Dennis McAvoy, Fire Chief

    Roberta Ward     Ken Joens

    David Johnson     Jim Algots

    2.0 Adoption of Agenda: Jeff Gee motioned, seconded by Rick Beno to adopt agenda without changes.  Passed

    3.0  Acceptance/Correction of Minutes for July 18, 2007: Accepted without changes.

    4.0  Reports

    4.1  President: Maya Decker

  • A thank-you note was read by Maya that was written to the EMTs.  Maya stated that this is what Portal Rescue is all about.
  • Review of Roberts Rules of Order.  If you have questions about reports or agenda items please raise your hand and wait to be acknowledged by the Chair.  Rick will Chair if Maya needs to speak.  Please keep questions or remarks to 1 or 2 minutes.
  • 4.2  Treasurer’s Report: Maya Decker, Treasurer pro tem – Financial Report

    • Year to date (7/31/07) Revenue is $19,172.26.  43% of budgeted income.
    • Year to date (7/31/07) Expenses are $26,168.10.  49% of budgeted expenses.
    • Community members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings where the budget is discussed.  If you want a copy, please request it from Maya.  Her email address is: Kingfisher@vtc.net
    • One of the priorities set by the focus groups and surveys of the community in 2006 was to get more EMTs and Firefighters and more training for them.  This requires more expenses.

    4.3  EMS Chief: Jeff Gee

    • Eight EMTs attended the Satnet Trauma Conference in Tucson on August 8th & 9th.  They received 12 hours of CE’s.  Thank you for donating your time to attend.  Portal Rescue received two new CPR manikins from the SATNET staff.   SATNET also offered scholarships for some of the EMTs.
    • Thank you, Pete Miller, who was cutting weeds and grass amid the hundreds of gnats.
    • Three EMS calls have been responded to since the last Board Meeting.
    • E.T. Collinsworth and Jeff Gee have been doing ride-alongs with Douglas Ambulance in order to continue to keep up their IV certifications.
    • The next EMT meeting is Saturday, August 25th at 9am.  Topics of training are:  triage, mass casualty, fast packs, trauma and IV support.  Ideas for the new ambulance requirements and committee will also be discussed.

    4.4 Fire Chief: Dennis McAvoy

    • Eleven members attended the July 21st meeting.
      • Four members attended the July 29th Fireline Safety Refresher Training.
        • Five of the eight EMTs that attended SATNET are also Fire Fighters.
          • Four of those five are Board members giving of their time to help make Portal Rescue the department that is has become.
        • Twelve Fire Fighters will be attending Arizona State Fire School in Mesa on

    September 6-9, 2007.  Portal Rescue has obtained two scholarships.  We have also received a grant from Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) for $3,650 to help pay for the other fire fighters.  Those attending have charged the $95 registration fee to personal credit cards.  Reimbursement forms and copies of registration will be turned in so they can be reimbursed as soon as possible.

    • Checks have been received for four of the fires that had been submitted for payment to ASLD.  The total is $20,133.62.
      • The next meeting is August 26th, 1pm at the Portal Rescue building.
        • Cochise County Health Department came to Portal to issue Fire/EMS cards.  The cards will soon be required by Homeland Security.  CCHD provided the $25 cards at no cost to Portal Rescue.
        • On October 20th Portal Rescue will sponsor the Wills for Heroes Program.  Attorneys from Tucson will come to Portal to write wills for all fire fighters and EMTs that request the service.  The program is a service of the 100 Club of Arizona and is provided at no cost.
        • All fire fighters and EMTs must have completed NIMS 100 & NIMS 700 courses by September 30th.

    5.0 Ambulance Search Committee

    A donation for $18,500 was made with the stipulation that it go toward a new ambulance.  Jeff has been receiving brochures and bids.  We can possibly apply for a FEMA grant to extend the money.  Committee members at this time are:  Jeff Gee, Tony Godfrey, Rick Beno, Dennis McAvoy and Bob Morse.  Anyone else interested should contact Jeff.  Rick spoke with a Boundtree Medical Supply representative at SATNET and they are willing to make a presentation for grant writing at next month’s Board meeting.  If Boundtree writes the grant we would be expected to stock the ambulance with equipment and supplies from Boundtree if the grand is approved.

    5.0 Old Business – None

    6.0 New Business

    6.1 Discussion/Action to appoint a community member to fill a Board vacancy

    Duane Jacobson and Shela DeLong have accepted nominations to serve on the Board.

    The first vote by written ballot of the Board members was a 4 to 4 tie.

    There was much discussion of how to break the tie as the By-laws don’t address the situation.  It was determined that since the President of the Board is elected by Board members that this is a voting position.  It was also determined that the By-laws will need to be amended to give instruction in case this happens again.

    Bob Morse motioned to have the community members vote to clear the tie.  Jan Gee seconded.  After discussion about having the community members vote during a meeting that was not an annual meeting the decision was made to have the vote.  A majority of the Board members and community members voted by voice vote in favor of having the community members present vote to break the tie. Forty paper ballots were distributed to community and Board members who wrote the name of their preferred candidate.  When the ballots were counted, Shela DeLong had 77% of the votes. Since the By-laws state that an empty Board position is to be filled by a majority vote of the Board members there was discussion to as whether the vote is acceptable.

    To fulfill the By-law requirements, Jeff Gee made a motion for the Board to vote again and keep in mind that the community had voted for Shela Delong.  Rick Beno seconded.  Helen Snyder asked that the Board vote by voice-vote instead of by secret ballot. The motion passed, and Shela Delong was voted in with one “nay” vote.

    6.2  Discussion/Action to elect a Treasurer – Letters of qualification were presented by Ken Joens and Shela DeLong.  The Board elected Shela Delong as Treasurer by a 5 to 4 vote.

    6.3  Discussion/Action to elect a Secretary – David Johnson was selected by acclimation as Secretary.  Thank you David for agreeing to take this position.

    6.4  Discussion/Possible Action to seek an audit – (see Appendix A for transcribed detail)

  • Maya introduced the item by stating that Ken Joens had sent an email on July 30th to Board members which claimed that “allegations of faulty financial procedures” had inspired him to request consideration of conducting an internal audit. She asked him to be more specific about what his concerns were.
  • Ken replied by saying that after his election in March, he began hearing about problems with Portal Rescue being late in paying their bills like reimbursing the class expenses of the new EMTs, that Valley Mercantile had cut us off from credit, and the we had fallen behind in paying Columbus Electric charges. He was concerned about a possible pattern of late payments.
  • As to reimbursement of all of the EMTs class expenses, Maya informed him that when the state of Arizona finally sent its check to us in late May, all of the rest of the EMTs were issued reimbursement checks within the first week of June.
  • Ken Joens motioned that he would like to see an internal audit performed by Dennis McAvoy, Jeff Gee and himself.  Roberta Ward seconded.
  • Discussion by Board and community members to determine whether an internal audit with Board members, external audit or internal audit performed by community member ensued.  Most were in favor of an internal audit performed by volunteer community members.
  • Discussion by Board and community members to wait until next month or proceed with the audit.  Most were in favor of proceeding.
  • Jim Algots put forth the motion that we (Portal Rescue) are committing to an internal audit by members of the community who have volunteered to begin in two weeks.  Volunteers are Kim McFarland with Geoff Bender assisting.  Dennis McAvoy seconded.  The vote carried unanimously.
  • A report will be given at the September meeting.
  • 7.0  Addenda – None

    8.0  For the Good of the Order:

    • Fran Zweifel reported that the 3rd Annual Pie Festival would be held on Saturday, September 8th, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm (AZ) at the Rodeo Community Center.  We still need more pies and need people to come eat them.
    • Jackie Lewis reported that the 2nd Annual Food & Wine Pairing would be held on Friday, October 5th.  More information to come.
    • Rene Blondeau reported that the lighting is finished in the new building.  A few of the light tubes will be kept for spares and the remainder need to go to a hazardous waste site.
    • Maya thanked everyone for attending – 45 people including Board members.
    • Bob Waldmire has a “get well” card for Dan Shultis for everyone to sign.

    9.0 Motion to adjourn by Jeff Gee, seconded by Rick Beno.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:13 p.m. by President Maya Decker

    These minutes are respectfully submitted by Jackie Lewis, Secretary pro tem

    Appendix A: Internal Audit Discussion

    Maya Decker, Board President: Board member Ken Joens emailed other Board members citing “allegations of faulty financial procedures” as a reason to request that we have an internal audit. Ken, we would like to hear specific information as to what you mean by that.

    Ken Joens: I would rather not be too specific but will probably have to be. Three weeks after the annual meeting I was asked to do what I could to help get money for a member.  A second person asked the same question three weeks later.

    Since then I kept my eyes and ears open and it appears that over the years Portal Rescue has developed or evolved into a slow pay mentality – that they have not in the past paid in a timely manner.  If this is true it could seriously jeopardize our Dunn & Bradstreet position.

    I have heard that Valley Mercantile no longer gives us credit.  I was told by four individuals that in the past here have been at least two occasions when we almost had the electricity turned off.

    In our July Board meeting, the first month that Maya acted as Treasurer pro tem, the Treasurer’s report reported there were some $1600 in unpaid bills, which I felt was inexcusable.  (From July 18, 2007 minutes “Six bills yet to be paid which totaled $1670.20.” [Issue addressed in subsequent special meeting of Aug. 24, 2007])

    Maya Decker:  As far as I know we are paid up to date.

    Misty Webster:  Portal Rescue owes Portal Store a little over $400.

    Maya:  Please give me copies of the tabs so they can be taken care of.

    Ken:  The checkbook should have documentation attached for each check written.  I would like to see when the bill was received and when payment was made.  Do we average 60 days, 90 days late or whatever. Is the problem that the bills go through the mail then from the president to the chiefs?

    I am requesting an internal audit to find out when the bill was received, when it was paid and how serious the problem is, if in fact there is a problem. (Issue addressed in subsequent special meeting of Aug. 24, 2007)

    An internal audit should be done by the Board before Shela takes the books so she can start with a clean slate.  We need to use Jeff and Dennis because they can look an any bill and tell us what it is for.

    Maya:  There is no excuse for late payments for utilities such as telephone or electric or to the Portal Store.  In some cases, as in reimbursement for EMT training, Portal Rescue was waiting for the checks from the state.  It did not come in until May 30th of this year.  By mid-June all EMTs received their pay.  For fire fighters it has been the pattern that Portal Rescue wait for the state check for the fire before we issue payment.

    Ken:  I am calling for an internal audit and I would like to see the President organize it so Jeff and Dennis are in on it.  And, I want to see the books for myself.

    Maya: I would like to propose an audit by a Certified Public Accountant – that is an external audit by someone impartial and professional as opposed to an internal audit.

    Dennis McAvoy:  The Cochise County Fair had an external audit and it cost $8,000.  Against external audit.

    Jeff Gee:  Against CPA because of the cost involved.  He and Dennis could perform the audit.  If an external CPA is needed he could contact the person who does his accounting.  For internal audit because it is cheap.

    Kim McFarland:  For an internal audit by community members not Board members.  A person not on the Board needs to reconcile the books.  A simple balance sheet of bills received and bills paid.

    Bob Morse:  It is illogical to have members of the Board audit the Board.

    Rick Beno:  Gene Turner is a CPA and would donate his time to perform the audit.

    Bob Waldmire:  It’s overkill to pay an outside person.

    Helen Snyder:  Glad that checks written to Portal Rescue are cashed in a reasonable time.

    Mitch Webster:  An audit is not necessary to speed up payment of bills.

    Geoff Bender:  The books were always open while he was treasurer.  No one spoke to him about problems with payment.  He will assist with the audit.

    Jan Gee:  An outsider, someone from the community should perform the audit, not Board members.

    Mike Williams:  Recommended an annual audit.

    Shela DeLong:  Has done audits and will assist. A community member not Board member to do audit.

    Geoff:  Cash flow is a huge issue.  There are times Portal Rescue is waiting for income (reimbursements, grants, etc.) to be able to pay expenses.

    Howard Topoff:  Call for vote.

    Maya:  There are two community members that can do the audit.  Gene Turner and Geoff Bender.  Corrected to Geoff Bender ASSISTING.

    Kim McFarland:  I am willing to help with this.

    Maya:  Board members are you willing to make a decision right now?

    Jeff:  I think we should wait until next month.  I know Kim and I know Geoff and I think Shela … (garbled audio)

    . . . (clear audio resumes)

    Maya:  I’ll entertain a motion that indicates that we are committing to an internal audit by members of the community who have volunteered to do so.  Jim Algots motioned, Dennis McAvoy seconded.  The motion was passed unanimously.

    Board determined the audit to begin in two weeks.


    Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

    July 18, 2007

    1.0 Call to Order: at 7:04 by President, Maya Decker

    All Present: Maya Decker (President), Rick Beno(Vice President),Tony Godfrey (Secretary), Dennis McAvoy (Fire Chief), Jeff Gee (EMS Chief), David Johnson, Jim Algots, Ken Joens.

    2.0 Adoption of Agenda:

    3.0 Acceptance/Correction of Minutes for June 20, 2007

    4.0  Reports

    4.1   President:  Maya Decker

    Maya read two letters from community members which objected to a Board decision to donate $100 from Portal Rescue funds to the families of nine fallen South Carolina firefighters (see attached documents). Jeff Gee made a motion for the Fire Chief and EMS Chief to each donate $100 back to Portal Rescue and was seconded by Dennis McAvoy. A total of $235 was received and sent to the families of the South Carolina firefighters. No monies were sent from Portal Rescue Inc. funds.

    Maya made an apology to fire fighter Chris Husband for citing the wrong last name in a recent flyer detailing Portal Rescue fire fighter assistance to the National Forest Service during the Tub Springs fire in late June/early July.

    4.2  Treasurer’s Report & Budget Review: Treasurer Pro Tem, Maya Decker

    Maya delivered a power point presentation on this year’s budget through June.

    • The bank balance is currently at $8,790.32, plus deposits of $2,796.26. Total $11,586.58. Six bills are yet to be paid which total $1,670.20.
    • Discussion was made about putting the Portal Rescue budget on the Portal website. Consensus from the Board was arrived at to not put the budget on the website. Community members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings where the budget will be discussed with copies available to members of the audience.

    4.3  EMS Chief: Jeff Gee

    • There will be some new training directives from Tucson Medical Center.
    • EMT training at the SAT NET conference in Tucson will be offered on Aug. 9-10. Five rooms for eleven people have been reserved for Portal Rescue EMT volunteers.
    • Portal Rescue now has two EMTS who are certified for Intravenous Fluid Resuscitation
    • Life Line helicopter from Douglas donated four landing lights, some hats, and T-shirts to Portal Rescue.
    • Work will soon commence on a new Landing Zone northeast off the fire station.
    • It has been an average year for EMS calls. Ambulance checks once a week are going well.

    4.3  Fire Chief: Dennis McAvoy

    • Training was conducted on 16 June on Tender 1 operations.
    • Portal Rescue responded to 4 Wild Land fires since last meeting. A great job was performed by the 17 firefighters and 4 dispatchers in containing the fires.
    • Severity Patrol was conducted for the US Forest Service.
    • 540 work hours were performed during the past month.
    • Two scholarships and a VFA Grant for $3,640 were received to attend this years State Fire Training School, which will be held in Mesa Sept. 6-9.
    • The Fire Chief is very proud of the members of Portal Rescue for a job well done during the past busy month.
    • So far this year, we have billed State Land for $22,000.

    5.0 Old Business

    5.1 Discussion/Action to appoint community member to fill Board vacancy

    and Treasurer vacancy. Up for consideration for Treasurer are: Shela DeLong, and

    Ken Joens.

    Vice President, Rick Beno, stated that the board should first appoint the new Treasurer and the replacement of a Board member should take place second. He questioned why we waited until our July meeting to act on this item. Maya responded by citing her email notice of June 17th that accompanied Roberta’s resignation which stated that in the spirit of openness intended by Arizona’s Open Meeting law it was best for proper notification and openness that all community members and board members receive adequate notice before electing a new Treasurer. Past Treasurer Roberta Ward stated she would still like to be a board member. Rick Beno made a motion to accept Roberta Ward to serve as board member, and to accept her resignation as Treasurer. It was seconded by Jim Algots. Motion was approved unanimously.

    Discussion was made about selecting a new Treasurer publicly and not in private. The discussion of selection of a new treasurer continued in the presence of the members of the public present. Board members Ken Joens, Maya Decker and Tony Godfrey stated they were willing to serve as Treasurer. Maya later withdrew her name. A paper ballot vote was taken with Board members writing the name of one of the two remaining candidates, Tony Godfrey or Ken Joens. The marked ballots were counted by community member, Barbara Miller. Tony Godfrey was elected Treasurer. He will serve as both Secretary and Treasurer

    Vice President, Rick Beno, has agreed to be the third signature authorized to sign Portal Rescue Inc. checks.

    5.2  Appointment of ambulance search committee (discussion/action)

    A letter was read by Maya from a community member who asked the Board to address certain questions as part of the process of deciding whether or not to search for a new ambulance. Discussion followed, and mention was made of the large donation that was specifically earmarked to go toward another ambulance. It was agreed that there was a definite need for a second ambulance.

    A committee was sought to conduct a search for an ambulance. The motioned was made by Jeff Gee, and seconded by Tony Godfrey. It passed unanimously. Committee members are: Jeff Gee, Dennis McAvoy, Tony Godfrey, Rick Beno, and Jim Algots. Meetings will be open to the public. We would also like to involve a member from the community. Any volunteers? Please contact committee member Jeff Gee at 558-2458.

    5.3 Travel Reimbursement guidelines adoption (discussion/action)

    Maya suggested we change gas receipts in exchange for cents per miles. Jeff Gee proposed that we stay with reimbursing gas receipts, but have careful oversight by the chiefs or the Board. This was approved. Hotel rate was discussed and it was decided hotels would be paid with a receipt with oversight and at the lowest rate possible. Meal reimbursement rates were increased to $8 Breakfast, $10 Lunch, $12 Dinner for a total of $30 per day. A new travel reimbursement form will be made available by August.

    6.0 New Business

    6.1 Possible creation of ad hoc committee for suggested fundraiser (discussion/possible action)

    Maya read email from Howard Topoff concerning Dave Utterback art prints. This matter was tabled until correspondence with Dave’s family could be received.

    7.0  Addenda (Public Input)

    7.1 None

    8.0  For the Good of the Order

    Jeff Gee mentioned that the new fire station building encroached on the helicopter landing zone. A new landing zone needs to be built at a different location. When funds become available.

    9.0 Adjournment: 9:23 pm


    Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

    June 20, 2007

    1.0  Meeting was called to order at: 7:02 pm

    Present were:

    Maya Decker, President  Dennis McAvoy, Fire Chief

    Rick Beno, Vice-President  David Johnson

    Jackie Lewis, Secretary Pro tem Jim Algots

    Roberta Ward, Treasurer  Ken Joens

    Jeff Gee, EMS Chief   Absent: Tony Godfrey, Secretary

    2.0 Adoption of Agenda: Ken motioned, Dennis seconded – agenda adopted without changes

    3.0  Acceptance/Correction of Minutes for May 16, 2007: Accepted with corrections – “Jim” Algots and Walter “Schoepfle”.

    4.0  Report

    4.1 President: Maya Decker

    4.1.1   Maya attended the Cochise County EMS Council in Sierra Vista on May 30, 2007.  She felt it was beneficial because she met so many “key players” in the area of EMS.  Portal Rescue received 100% of the EMS Council grant that was applied for and will be receiving the EMS equipment requested.

    4.1.2   Portal Rescue has received an anonymous donation with the stipulation that it be used toward another “ambulance” or emergency rescue vehicle that can navigate difficult terrain.  The $18,580 was placed in Portal Rescue’s money market fund.  Dennis made the motion to accept the donation with the proviso that the money goes only to an “ambulance” or emergency rescue vehicle.  Rick seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.

    4.2  Vice-Pres: Rick Beno

    Rick demonstrated how the computerized locator book will work.  GPS positioning is needed for each community home.  When Dispatch gets a call they will click on the family name for location and a form to fill out with the chief complain.  The document, which can be printed out and emailed to the EMTs, will have directions and any available medical history.  The EMTs will be listed in order of who is closest to the location in case phone calls are necessary to get enough EMTs to the scene.

    4.3  Treasurer’s Report: Roberta Ward & Maya Decker

    Roberta is regrettably resigning from the Portal Rescue Board as member and Treasurer.  She has been meticulous in keeping records on her computer, and we thanked her for her hard work on our behalf these past three months.
    Current budget status through May ’07 presented by Maya Decker:  We have only received 35% of our necessary budget revenues.  State Fire Service income so far is only 12% of the $18,000 anticipated by our annual budget. It is not likely that we will be able to earn the other 88% in the short fire season left before the monsoons begin. The remaining new building expenses are coming out of the general fund budget.  We expect to receive another reimbursement from the fire truck grant.  The budget income and expenses will need to be reexamined by the Board in the near future for the remainder of the 2007 budget year. Spending will need to be kept to the basic necessities.

    4.4  EMS Chief: Jeff Gee
    There were two calls today and several in the last week.  Jeff is very happy with the new EMT service on calls.
    We hope to have 10 EMTs attend the Southern Arizona Trauma conference in Tucson in September for the high standard of training they can experience there.
    Ambulance Status

    The ambulance is starting properly.  The air-conditioning unit needs to be recharged.  There is a small leak that cannot be fixed.

    4.4 Fire Chief: Dennis McAvoy

    4.4.1 Five members attended the meeting 6/16/2007 for Tender 1 orientation.

    4.4.2 Portal Rescue Fire has assisted at two fires, one at mile post 401 on Hwy. 80 and  the other in Cave Creek Canyon.

    4.4.3    Several donation checks were received.  Paperwork will be filled out for a doubled  matching donation and sent in to the participating company.

    4.4.3    Jeff motioned and Dennis seconded to send a $100 donation check to the  Charleston, S.C. firefighters family fund.  The motion passed unanimously.

    4.5 2007 Fundraising: Fran Zweifel and Gerry Hernbrode

    4.5.1 The 3rd Annual Pie Festival will be held on Saturday, September 8th at the Rodeo  Community Center.

    4.5.2 The 2nd Annual Food & Wine Pairing will be held on Friday, October 5th.  Time  and place to be announced.  Reservation are required and tickets will be $75 per  person.

    4.5.3 Gerry researched costs for reprinting the Portal Rescue Cookbook.  The best cost is  for $5.61 per book on a 100 count order.  We pay shipping.  We will continue to  sell the cookbooks for $15 each.  Dennis motioned and Ken seconded that we  commit to having the cookbooks reprinted.  The motion passed unanimously.

    5.0 Old Business

    5.1 Placement of donated bell

    The location for placement of the bell donated by Jim McClendon was verified.  A motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously to place it at the top of the driveway, between the two mesquites at the south side of the parking area, just west of the propane tank. The mesquites may be pruned to form small trees to frame the bell.

    5.2 Second reading and discussion of Guidelines for Travel Reimbursement

    Items under consideration and discussion were:

    • Paying actual state rates vs. $60 per night per diem
    • Meals actual amounts up to $8 per meal or $24 per day
    • Actual gas receipts vs. cents per mile
    • Does the meeting or training have prior authorization as Portal Rescue business?
    • No reimbursement for
      • Alcoholic beverages
      • Additional room charges for entertainment or mini bar
      • Telephone charges
      • Laundry

    A new draft will be attached to the copy of minutes for the Board Members to review.  The final discussion and vote for policy acceptance will be conducted at our July 18th meeting.

    5.0 Old Business continued

    5.3 Dedication of New Building

    The dedication of the New Building will be held on Sunday, November 18th.  Barbara Miller is the Dedication Committee Chair.  Please contact her to find out how you can help.  Her letter to the community is attached.

    6.0 New Business – None

    7.0  Addenda – None

    7.1 _________________________________________________________________________

    8.0  For the Good of the Order: Board action to fill the vacancy created by Roberta Ward’s resignation as Board member and Treasurer will be taken during the July 18th meeting.  Roberta and Maya will work together in the interim to cover the Treasurer’s duties.

    9.0 This meeting was adjourned at 9.39 p.m. by President Maya Decker

    These minutes are respectfully submitted by Jackie Lewis, Secretary Pro tem

    To the Community.

    You all remember the movies where there was a barn raising and all the people came for miles to spend the day working on this one individual’s barn.  The women provided all the wonderful food and the men raised the barn.  Well, we had a barn raising here.  It didn’t happen in one day but it happened because so many individuals in this fantastic community came together to work on our Portal Rescue garage.  And it is almost done.  At a Board Meeting in April the board and the community members present voted unanimously to celebrate and dedicate our building.  The Nov. date of Sunday the 18th will give the winter people the opportunity to be a part of this.  It will be potluck meal followed by a celebration.  The greater community will be invited and encouraged to come to this gathering.  We will be inviting our TMC partner and the president of Cochise College, who was instrumental in getting the EMT class to happen.  These are just two of a number of special guests who will be invited.  We will be honoring our EMTs and Firefighters and builders and Board members.  We want to make a real deal of this to show what a block buster of a community we have.  There will be lots of good food, entertainment and of course the official dedication.  Plus, even a dance at the end.  The potluck dinner will begin at 1:00 pm.  Committees are already working to make this very special.  So dig out your best recipes and put the date on your calendar.

    Need more information?  Contact Barbara Miller at:  barbamiller@vtc.net




    April 18, 2007

    1.0 Meeting called to order at 7:01 p.m.

    Board Members present:

    Maya Decker, President  Dennis McAvoy, Fire Chief Absent: Jeff Gee, EMS Chief

    Rick Beno, Vice-President  Ken Joens

    Roberta Ward, Treasurer  John Algots

    Tony Godfrey, Secretary  David Johnson

    2.0 The agenda was adopted with one addition to the Addenda as 7.1.

    3.0 The minutes for the annual meeting held on March 15, 2007 were accepted without


    4.0 Reports:

    4.1 Presidents Report: Maya Decker

    • Polish dinner was a huge success; eleven different polish dishes were served. A total of $885.00 was raised for Portal rescue. Job well done by many volunteers and coordinated by Zola Stoltz and her son-in-law Jacek Gawron.
    • Maya presented new donation thank you cards.
    • Men’s chili cook-off scheduled for April 29th is now postponed until Spring 2008.
    • New ideas offered by community members for Portal website suggestions were presented to the board. Check website for updates.

    4.2 Vice Presidents Report: Rick Beno

    • New EMT’s scattered all over the valley are having a hard time hearing the paging system. Dispatch will now page out twice: once on Channel 1, then again on Channel 2.
    • The ambulance (Med 3) was taken to Sierra Vista for repairs. It is currently out of service. Douglas Fire Department will respond to Portal until repairs are complete.

    4.3 EMS Chiefs Report: Jeff Gee was absent. No report.

    4.4 Fire Chiefs Report: Dennis McAvoy

    • During March, seven firefighters attended an Arizona wildland class in Prescott.
    • Portal Fire responded to two fires in the past month. One of which was a 13,000 acre fire in New Mexico.
    • The 2007 Wildland refresher class will be held at the Portal fire station on the 29th April, at 9:00 a.m. This is a required class for all firefighters.
    • Several Portal members had the opportunity to conduct a controlled burn with the United States Forest Service.

    4.5 Treasurer’s Report: Roberta Ward

    • We are still in the process of turning over all the files from the out-going treasurer to the incoming treasurer. Hereafter we will be able to give you a more thorough report
    • Several people would like reimbursements for expenses. A new reimbursement form is now available and should be submitted with expense receipts to speed up the payment process. They are now available at the post office in the Treasurer’s slot on the Portal Rescue mail stand.

    Old Business:

    5.1 Right of Way issue with Driveway:

    Maintaining Right of Way requires a private driveway sign for the Portal fire station. On the back of sign, we will put “Use caution when entering Portal Road”. The driveway will be closed for public use, one day a year. This is required to maintain Portal Rescue right of way.

    5.2 Building Completion update/Dedication rescheduling:

    5.2.1 What still needs to be done?

    • New building needs decisions and work. An example is the new building needs lights. Lights have been donated, but need modifications. Chief McAvoy and Rick Beno will look into the lighting situation. Board has voted to explore cost comparison of new lights compared to donated lights. New metal siding is need for exterior base of walls for the new station. The siding can be installed in-house at no cost. A motion was made for the Fire Chief to price tin siding and purchase at a reasonable cost, was seconded by Rick Beno and passed by all present.

    (At 8:01 there was an emergency call from our Portal Rescue Dispatchers which directed all EMTs to call the Portal Store. Three Board members [Rick Beno, Ken Joens, and Dennis McAvoy], and two audience members [Pi Irwin and Bonnie Sites] responded to the call. After their departure, the Board meeting continued.

    • Rene’ Blondeau volunteered his and Bob Dearing’s services to price and install new indoor light fixtures if they turn out to be less expensive than the modifications that would need to be done for the donated lights. The remaining Board members unanimously passed a motion to authorize them to do so.
    • “Since the new building is essentially done and has passed County inspection”, Rene Blondeau has submitted his resignation as coordinator of new-building construction. On behalf of the Board, Maya accepted his resignation and extended the heartfelt gratitude of the people of Portal, Rodeo, and Paradise for his years of tireless effort to help the whole community.

    5.2.2 Reschedule Dedication

    • All Board members present, and all community members present voted to move the new building dedication to November, possibly during Thanksgiving week. It was uniformly expressed that many of our citizens, including part-time residents, will want to be a part of the dedication ceremony.

    5.3 Quick review of community-formed goals from Five-Year Plan:

    Tabled until the May meeting.

    6.0 New Business:

    7.0 Addenda (Public Input):

    7.1 Jim Mclendon wishes to donate a brass bell to Portal Rescue in memory of his parents. The Board

    accepted his bell and the stone mount that he will build to hold it.

    8.0 For the Good of the Order: None

    9.0 This meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. by President Maya Decker

    These minutes are respectfully submitted by Tony Godfrey, Secretary




    March 15, 2007

    The Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors was held March 15, 2007 at the Portal Rescue Classroom.  A quorum present of the Board was present but the meeting was delayed until a quorum of Active Members was present. The meeting was called to order at 7:18 p.m. with 25 of 33 Active Members present.

    Board Members present:

    Fran Zweifel, President  Dennis McAvoy, Fire Chief

    Geoff Bender, Treasurer  Jeff Gee, EMS Chief

    Rick Beno    Maya Decker

    Barney Tomberlin   Jim Algots

    The agenda was adopted with no additions.

    The minutes of the February 21, 2006 minutes were not available and will be presented at a later date.

    President’s Report:  President Fran Zweifel thanked Pi Irwin for initiating so many Portal Rescue Actions during her term of presidency.

    The year in review recounted the President’s report that is printed in the 2007 Portal Rescue Newsletter.

    Some of the highlights are:

    – New building completion – approved on March 13, 2007 by the Cochise County Building Inspector.

    – EMT class which provided 11 new EMTs

    – Community Response Resource Team (CERT) training

    – Revision and distribution of the Evacuation Plan (available at the Portal Library)

    Upcoming fundraisers:

    Polish Feast on March 30, 2007 – contact Zola Stoltz at 558-1124 for reservations.

    Men’s Chili Cook-off on April 29, 2007.

    EMS Chief Report:  EMS Chief, Jeff Gee thanked all new EMTs.  He also recognized all current and previous Portal Rescue Members and CERT graduates.

    Fire Chief Report:  Fire Chief, Dennis McAvoy reported that 17 firefighters attended the monthly meeting on March 11, 2007.  Items of discussion included pack tests, red cards, fire season, upcoming training and NIMS requirements.  The members re-elected Dennis as Fire Chief.

    Eight firefighters will be attending the Arizona Wildfire Academy in Prescott the week of March 17th.

    The monthly meeting for firefighters has been changed to the third Saturday of the month and will begin at 1:00 p.m.

    Many thanks to all of the people that support Portal Rescue, the men and women that serve as firefighters and the faithful dispatchers that answer the emergency calls 24/7/365.

    The year in review recounted the Fire Chief’s report that is printed in the 2007 Portal Rescue Newsletter.  2006 has been a very successful year.

    Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer, Geoff Bender gave a wonderful “year in review” with power point assistant Rick Beno.

    2006 Financial Challenges:

    -Absorb the cost of building over donations – Done, including investment income – $2,444 over

    -Absorb 14 new EMTs and the inherent cot increases, namely radios and training costs – Done, 11   new EMTs trained and equipped

    -Continued optimization of assets – Done , Investment income for 2006 was $2,297.05

    -Continued surplus spending or No deficit spending – Not done, VFA Grant = deficit spending

    $12,000 was moved out of investments to cover requirements for the grant

    -Emphasis on developing fire income opportunities – Done, Resources in place = 2 new trucks

    Near completion, 11 new firefighters, advance training in progress.

    2007 Financial Challenges:

    -Outfit 11 new firefighters

    -Another rescue vehicle

    -Pad our endowment to cover one year of Operating Budget

    -Back up funds if fire revenue falls short of budget

    Administrative Issues

    -form a grant committee

    – Share the administrative wealth – more firefighters, more EMTs, more assets, more revenues

    And more expenditures = more WORK and more TIME

    Discussion Items:

    Appreciation to all builders!  Portal Rescue is unique.

    New building dedication is scheduled for April 21st if the Muma family is able to attend.

    By-law changes accepted with corrections made tonight.  Dennis motioned, Maya seconded and the changes were passed by all present.

    Election of New Board Members:

    Nominated for Active Members were – Rick Beno, David Johnson and Ken Joens.  Nominations were closed.

    The three nominated were accepted by acclamation of all 25 Active Members present.  EMS Chief, Jeff Gee and Fire Chief, Dennis McAvoy round out the 5 Active Members required to fill Governing Board positions.

    Nominated for Community members were – Maya Decker, Jim Algots, Tony Godfrey, John Bush and Roberta Ward.

    Elected community members are – Maya Decker, Jim Algots, Tony Godfrey and Roberta Ward.

    The elected Board members then elected the officers of Portal Rescue, Incorporated.

    They are:  President – Maya Decker

    Vice-president – Rick Beno

    Secretary – Tony Godfrey

    Treasurer – Roberta Ward

    Roberta has also agreed to be the grant administrator.

    The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m. by new President, Maya Decker.

    These minutes are respectfully submitted by Jackie Lewis, Secretary, Pro tem