Portal Rescue Board Meeting Minutes for 2008

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Portal Rescue Board Meeting

December 17, 2008

1.0 Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 6:15 p.m.

2.0 Adoption of Agenda: The board adopted the meeting agenda without changes.

3.0 Adoption of Minutes: Minutes of the November board meeting had not yet been prepared, but Decker said they would be available for review at the January, 2009 meeting.

4.0 Reports:

4.1 President’s Report: Maya Decker

4.1.1  Community member Dori Brooks reported that the “That’s My Pan” fundraiser she conducted at the Portal Oktoberfest netted a total of $400 for Portal Rescue: 301.00 from profit of items sold; a $25 rebate from That’s My Pan for selling more than 50 items; and cash contributions of $75.00. Decker pointed out that Brooks had invested a lot of time on the fundraiser, an example of how “people in the community still working hard … to raise funds for Portal Rescue.”

4.2 Treasurer’s Report: Maya Decker

4.2.1  Decker said this report would be discussed along with the development of the 2009 budget as part of Agenda Point 5.0, Old Business.

4.3 Fire Chief’s Report: Walter Schoepfle for Fire Chief Barney Tomberlin

4.3.1 Incident Report: Schoepfle reported that PR responded to one fire call since the last meeting, a car fire in Rodeo. PR firefighters were on standby at the scene, but the Rodeo Fire Dept. handled the situation without needing PR’s assistance.

4.3.2 New Dispatch System: As of this day, PR has discontinued the use of 558-2222 as the emergency call line; community members should now use 911. Schoepfle said the system works well for users – i.e., those calling in an emergency – although EMTs and firefighters still want to do “some fine tuning and adjustments under hood to make it work to our satisfaction.” He noted that EMS calls will come from Douglas Dispatch and fire calls from the Cochise County Sheriff’s office. Sometime in early 2009, PR will have volunteer Radio Control Operators (RCOs) work from the station during calls for on-the-job training. Vice President Rick Beno added that, although some of the RCO training will be during real calls, PR will also have to conduct some training via scenarios or “mimicked” calls. He anticipates that this type of training will begin in January. In response to an audience question, Beno added that the 558-2222 number is still active, but that calls will be answered by an answering machine that will direct those with emergencies to hang up and call 911; the machine will not be programmed to take messages. Decker noted that plans to redirect 2222 calls automatically to 911 are on hold pending some additional work that needs to be done by Valley Telecom.

4.4 EMS Chief‘s Report: Jeff Gee

4.4.1 New Dispatch System: Gee thanked all PR EMTs for agreeing to serve as the “first line of defense” under the new dispatch system by accepting radio tones from Douglas Dispatch. He noted that the first EMS call made under the new system had “a few bugs, but no delay in patient care at all.”

4.4.2 EMS Training Equipment: Gee reviewed the status of EMS training equipment PR has purchased with a grant from the Southeast Arizona Emergency Medical Services (SEAEMS) Council. So far PR has received the IV training and Combi-tube training devices; two other devices should arrive soon.

Tomberlin added that PR had to date spent about $12,000 on fire and equipment under the 90/10 RFA Grant that we received earlier in the year. PR needs to spend an additional $8,000 to be spent in order to receive $18,000 in reimbursement under the terms of the grant. He reported that he extended the grant period from Jan. 1 to April so PR had more time to make purchases.

5.0 Old Business – Maya Decker

5.1 Review of the 2008 Budget:

5.1.1 Revenues and Expenditures: Decker recalled that the creation of the 2008 budget had presented many challenges because PR at the time was faced with a $15,000 bill for repairs and upgrades to Engine 2 and $26,000 that would need to be paid in advance to “brush crew” workers in order to be reimbursed under the terms of the Fire Fuels Reduction grant. To balance the budget with these expenditures, the board had had to set “outrageous” goals for revenues. However, she said, the organization has brought in those revenues: $103,000 gross, $15,000 of which was deposited into Portal Rescue’s “Rainy Day Fund” to replace withdrawals earlier in the year — making 2008 “a very unusual year.”

Although 2008 revenue projections seemed excessive at the start of last year, Decker pointed out that the organization exceeded those projections in three of four categories:

Fire Income: Projected – $18,000; Actual – $21,690.00.

Grant Money: Projected – $29,000; Actual – $35,000.

Fundraisers: Projected – $13,500; Actual – $17,000-plus.

The fourth revenue category, Donations, was projected at a “ridiculously high $22,000 in order to balance the budget,” said Decker. Actual donations equaled $13,500, which she pointed out is more than PR has ever received in any prior year. Decker added that expenditures for the year, projected at $87,000, will likely actually top $90,000.

5.2 Developing the 2009 Budget:

5.2.1 Budget Planning: Decker suggested items to consider as the board worked on the 2009 budget. She recommended that the board reduce the number of expenditure and revenue categories in order to simplify the budget process to make it more easily understood. She also asked for more realistic projections of EMS supply and equipment expense than those made in the 2008 budget.

5.2.2 New Budget Program: Decker introduced a new budget program Beno had designed that would allow tracking of individual expenses and revenues, as with a check register, and then produce reports from that register. The board entertained questions from the audience about this new program, including whether the program would allow PR to track the spending of “restricted’ funds – i.e., earmarked donations. The board discussed a proposed policy to refuse such earmarked donations in the future, so as to prevent donors from charting the course of PR expenditures and capital investments. Nevertheless, said Beno the new budget program would allow such tracking if such a donation were to be accepted.

Beno also noted that he added two new categories, Draws from the Rainy Day Fund and Replacement of Funds to the Rainy Day Fund, to track “deficit spending” such as that necessary in 2008 when $13,000 was drawn from that fund to cover the cost of Engine 2 repairs.

5.2.3 Current and Projected Revenues: Decker reported that PR’s Rainy Day Fund currently held $42,105, $15,000 of which is the base endowment that cannot be spent. She noted that, at the beginning of 2008, the earnings interest rate on that fund was 3.3 percent; now it is at less than 1 percent. Therefore, projected interest earnings for 2009 are likely to be much lower than the $1,200 projected for 2008. PR’s checking account currently holds about $12,000. Board and audience members discussed further the tracking of expenses and revenues with the new budget program.

5.2.4 Budget Meetings: The board discussed whether it would be necessary to hold a special budget planning session before its regular January meeting, and concurred that such a meeting would not be necessary.

6.0 For the Good of the Order: Gee noted that on a recent call, Douglas Dispatch was very impressed by PR’s new locator system and the reports that system produces for responding firefighters and EMTs. Douglas asked Beno, who designed Portal’s system, to create a similar one for Douglas.

7.0 Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 7:25.


Portal Rescue Board Meeting

November 19, 2008

  1. Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 6:01

  2. Adoption of Agenda: The meeting agenda was adopted without changes.



Presidents Report: Special Presentation on Portal Rescue Dispatch — Loni Webster & Walter

Shut-down of Current PR Dispatch System: Loni Webster read a statement from the Portal Store Dispatch Team (of which she is a member) explaining that the owners of the Portal Store regrettably could no longer provide 24/7 volunteer dispatch services. The Websters felt it was no longer possible for them to absorb the financial impact and emotional strain of this volunteer service. They plan to end the service in 30 days. Webster added that the Portal Store had explored options to sustain dispatch at store, but found no assistance available from the county, state, etc. She said they would work with new dispatchers to smooth the transition to another system.

Dispatch Process: Assistant Fire Chief W.S. reviewed how emergency calls are currently handled by dispatch at the Portal Store, including – as necessary – contacting EMTs and firefighters, providing directions to the scene, ordering helicopters, communicating with Douglas EMS, and communicating with other firefighting agencies. In short, he said, the dispatchers at the Portal Store have carried a lot of responsibility, and have done their job for five years without making any mistakes leading to mortalities, delays in treatment, loss of limb, or other major problem.

Portal Rescue firefighters and EMTs have been looking into various options for handling PR dispatch. Schoepfle pointed out that, if PR no longer uses volunteer dispatchers, 911 calls for medical emergencies will be routed to Douglas. However, Douglas dispatchers would be required to put Portal calls in the queue with those from the rest of its service area – i.e., it cannot respond to Portal calls first simply because we are an hour away. So this approach will result in delays to medical care for Portal residents. Schoepfle also discussed some of the dispatch/communication systems other emergency service organizations in the area are using. Most of them wouldn’t work in Portal because of a) the distances involved (especially the distance many PR members live from the station), b) the effects of the mountain range on wireless communications; c) liability issues; and d) costs that
would be prohibitive unless Portal becomes a fire district.

Possibilities for New Dispatch System: As PR members research solutions to the dispatch problem, they are focusing on two things: a radio-based system and a telephone (land-line)-based system. With the former, callers would use 911, which goes to dispatch in Bisbee, then Bisbee would send a tone to all PR radios. A member of the PR team would have to call dispatch to obtain details and confirm response. Essentially, said Schoepfle, PR members would be “auto-dispatching” themselves. However, he said, the radio-based system won’t suffice when the USFS or BLM wants to communicate with us regarding a fire, because they can’t call 911, an emergency-only line. While in discussion with Cochise County about a radio-based system, PR members are also looking into a phone-based system as a temporary solution, to ensure that in 30 days service won’t be interrupted.

Schoepfle suggested that a radio-based system is probably better in the long run, since a phone-based system would require someone to sit by the phone 24/7. The radio system will cost more, as PR would likely need better radios and perhaps an additional radio tower. The radio-based system – predicated on calls to 911 in Bisbee — may also make it difficult for Portal EMTs to serve New Mexico residents, as their 911 calls will go to Lordsburg. “Unfortunately 911 in NM will not communicate with 911 in Bisbee. Interstate communication between 911 systems does not happen.”

Schoepfle concluded that, “as we work through this we’re going to try to avoid surprising you at 30 days – saying [at the last minute], ‘this is what you got.'”

Audience Questions and Comments: The Board entertained questions and comments from the audience. The discussion covered a number of topics, including: the cost of a radio-based system; problems with cell phone-based or satellite-based communications; creating a “bomb proof” – i.e., foolproof dispatch system; privacy concerns; standards and liability issues for dispatchers; and becoming a fire district. The Board and audience also applauded the Portal Store owners for their five years of service.

Community Preparation: EMT Chief Jeff Gee proposed that, for the short-term at least, callers with an emergency should call 911, not 558-2222. For now, he said, Bisbee dispatch will call the dispatchers on the 2222 line; but eventually PR will have to stop using 2222. Gee emphasized that callers – even though upset – provide the best information possible to the 911 dispatcher. He also asked community members to make sure their 911 locator address – the green, four-digit sign provided by the county – shows up well and that their road signs are up and visible.

Treasurer’s Report – Shela Delong and Maya Decker:

Revenues: Donation and fundraiser revenues for this year were actually higher than last year. Maya: Previous years we averaged about $10-12K a year; this year we got $13,640. The $22K on the budget was just to try to balance the budget, a ridiculous figure. But we did very well. We had really good responses from community. Fire income $21,690. Maya need to correct something said earlier – that the fire pay was $8,000 plus – that came out of that total of $21,000.

Expenses: DeLong reported that all the funds withdrawn from PR’s “rainy day fund” earlier in the year to cover a large truck repair bill have now been replaced.

New Business Maya Decker:

Decker reported that Vice President Beno is working on a new Excel program for budget management. She asked board members to review budget documents she has emailed them to prepare for developing the 2009 budget in January. Decker noted that the board needed to “anticipate in 2009 … a serious drop in donations as we deal with difficult economic times.”

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 7:41


Portal Rescue Board of Directors



1.0 Come to Order: 6:03 p.m.

2.0 Adoption of Agenda: The board adopted the agenda as presented.

3.0 Acceptance of Minutes: The board accepted the minutes with the following change: the last sentence of Section 4.2.1 would be amended to reflect that the Vehicle Operations Budget will show the amount remaining from the $5,000 donation made in 2007 (i.e., would reflect what has already been spent), not the entire $5,000.00.

4.0 Reports

4.1 President’s Report – Maya Decker

4.1.1 Praise for EMT Services: Decker summarized two letters Portal Rescue (PR) had received in the last month applauding the efficiency and professionalism of Portal Rescue’s EMTs on recent calls. She noted that, in the past month, PR had received $1,500.00 in donations from people the EMS had assisted.

4.1.2 Regarding the October, 2008 Board Meeting, Decker reported that three, and perhaps four board members would be absent for the October PR Board Meeting. Secretary Bender made a motion to cancel the October meeting; Fire Chief Tomberlin seconded the motion. The board voted to cancel the October meeting.

4.2 Treasurer’s Report – Sheila DeLong

DeLong referred the Board to the printed summary of the Treasurer’s Report (attached).

4.3 Fire Chief’s Report – Barney Tomberlin & Tony Godfrey

4.3.1 Cochise County Fire Chiefs’ Meeting: Training Chief Tony Godfrey reported information learned at the Cochise County fire
chiefs’ meeting in Bisbee, which he and Assistant Fire Chief Mitch Webster attended on DATE. All the emergency medical helicopters that serve Cochise County now have global positioning systems (GPS), which will facilitate the response of the nearest helicopter to an emergency site. Other announcements at the chiefs’ meeting: Tom Warfield, Assistant Fire Management Officer with the Arizona State Forestry Division, is retiring; and Cochise County emergency responders need to be aware that the Johnson Mine north of I-10 near Benson is reopening, and will be using a sulphuric acid leach process.

4.3.2 State Fire School: Godfrey also reported on information he gained at the Arizona State Fire School, which he and some other PR firefighters attended earlier in the month. At the seminar, “Rural Volunteer Fire Department Management,” Godfrey gathered information on approximately 30 sources of grant funding that PR has never applied to. Godfrey also learned from VFIS Insurance Company, PR’s insurance agency, that the agency has a lot of training materials it will provide volunteer departments for free. Godfrey ordered training videos on driving emergency vehicles and on blood-borne pathogens.

4.3.3 Arizona Wildfire Academy: Godfrey pointed out that PR has $4,000 in grant funds for training purposes that the organization hadn’t spent to send firefighters to state fire school. He recommended that PR enroll as many firefighters as possible in the Arizona Wildfire Academy, to be held next March. Tomberlin added that we need to spend the training money by Dec. 31, 2008, and that a list of academy classes needs to be publicly posted and otherwise made available so firefighters can begin planning.

4.4 EMS Chief’s Report – Assistant EMS Chief Rick Beno for Chief Jeff Gee

4.4.1 Recent Calls: Beno reported that PR EMS recently received three calls in one, 24-hour period, two of which were only nine minutes apart. He said everything went very smoothly, and that “the team came together well.” Two PR firefighters assisted on the second call, he added.

4.4.2 Upcoming Training: Tucson Medical Center staff are scheduled to be in Portal Sept. 24 to provide a free, four-hour CE training to EMTs.

4.5 Dispatch Representative’s Report — Misty Webster

4.5.1 Recent Calls: Webster said the spate of EMT calls reported by Beno represented the first time the current group of dispatchers had handled two calls at the same time. She noted the benefit of having two ambulances now.

4.5.2 Donations from Portal Store Boxes: Between Feb. 16 and Sept. 17, 2008, the PR donation box on the counter at the Portal Store collected $400.00.

4.6 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon – Maya Decker

Decker reminded the board that PR’s First Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon would be held Sept. 27 at noon at the PR Building.

5.0 Old Business: No old business.

6.0 New Business:

6.1 The Use of the $5,000 Donation and Other Earmarked Donations: Earlier in the meeting, after the discussion of amending the August minutes to accurately reflect the budget itemization of the $5,000.00 donation made in 2007, Board Member David Johnson raised the question of whether that donation had been made to pay for renovation of two trucks or three. Decker reviewed the history
of communications about this donation, noting discrepancies between what the initial letter from the donors said – i.e., Tender X and Brush Truck Y – and what then Fire Chief McAvoy reported in the Nov. 20, 2007 meeting after the donation was accepted – i.e., Tender X, Brush Truck Y, and Engine Z. Subsequent communications, including a thank-you letter from Portal Rescue and another letter written by the donors at Portal Rescue’s request to clarify the situation have created further confusion.

Decker said she took “full responsibility for not having a discussion with and vote from the board about accepting a [donation] with provisos attached.”

Board and audience members then discussed how the funds had been used to date. Decker noted that Portal Rescue has only one checking account
from which to pay operating expenses, and that bills submitted for work on various vehicles often don’t specify the vehicle, thus making it difficult to track the expenditures.

After a lengthy discussion, audience member Helen Snyder noted that acceptance and use of “earmarked” donations has been a recurring problem in the organization. She suggested that the board establish a policy for accepting or refusing earmarked donations. The board agreed to develop a policy to put to vote.

7.0 Addenda: No addenda.

8.0 For the Good of the Order:

8.1 The Portal/Rodeo Phonebook: Decker reported that the Portal/Rodeo Phonebook, created earlier this year and sold to benefit Portal Rescue had earned $2,771.00 as of Sept. 17. And update to the residential pages would be out in the next two months.

8.2 Community Wildfire Protection Plan: Snyder reported to the board that in order to receive further grant money for brush removal (i.e., the Fire Fuels Reduction grant), PR is required to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Snyder said a committee would be needed with representatives from various sectors within Portal Rescue’s coverage area – i.e., Paradise, the Sulphur
Canyon area – to develop such a plan. She offered to lead the committee.

9.0 Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 7:12 p.m.


Portal Rescue Inc.

Board Meeting Minutes

August 20, 2008

1.0 Call to Order: 6:03 p.m.

2.0 Adoption of Agenda: The agenda was adopted with two revisions: adding a report on telephone book sales to Section 4.6, Fundraisers; and, including a discussion of ways to solicit additional donations from the community in Section 7.1, Addenda.

3.0 Acceptance of Minutes: The minutes from July 2008 were amended as follows: the heading for Section 4.25 should be amended to read “allocation” not “appropriation”; and the time of Buck Fire should be changed from June to July 4.

4.0 Reports

4.1 President’s Report – Maya Decker

4.1.1 Payment for Jack Wood Fire: Portal Rescue (PR) recently received payment for its participation in the Jack Wood Fire in June. Fire Chief Barney Tomberlin, while recovering from knee surgery, is working on the allocation of payments to firefighters and to the organization.

4.1.2 2008 Earnings from Fire Work to Date: So far in 2008, PR has earned $21, 718.12 for work on state or USFS fires, all of which the organization has received except the 2710.96 for the Buck Fire in July.

4.2 Treasurer’s Report – Shela DeLong

4.2.1 Changes to Budget Report: The Budget Report for August includes several changes  to reflect recent income received and decisions made at the July board meeting. The $11,860 received for work on the Jack Wood Fire and $6737.16 received in June for the Whitmire Fire has been moved from Accounts Receivable to Fire Income. The $5,000 donation made last year for work on fire trucks is now included in the Vehicle Operations budget for this year.

4.2.2 Changes to Telephone Service: VTC is now the long-distance carrier for PR’s business and emergency telephone lines; The AT&T service was cancelled because the base fee of $70/month, was too expensive. This change
should help reduce upcoming expenditures in the Telephone & Office Expenditures budget.

4.2.3 Accounts Payable: PR made a $2024.00 insurance payment in July with the last payment for the year of the same amount coming due in October.

4.2.4 EMT Supplies Budget: As discussed at the July board meeting, the $100.00 allocated for the 2008 EMS Supplies budget is inadequate. President Decker, having reviewed EMS supply costs in previous years, made a motion to set the budget for this category at $2,000.00 by moving $1,500.00 from the Vehicle Operations budget and $400.00 from the Fire Pay budget. EMS Chief Jeff Gee seconded the motion. However, after some discussion of whether reducing the Fire Pay budget would leave it in the red for 2008, Gee motioned for an amendment to the previous motion, whereby only $1,500.00 would be reallocated from the Vehicle Operations budget to the EMS Supplies budget, leaving the Fire Pay budget as is. DeLong seconded the motion, which passed by majority vote.

4.3 Fire Chief’s Report – Maya Decker (reporting for Fire Chief Barney Tomberlin)

4.3.1 State Fire School: Three or four PR firefighters had signed up so far for the annual state fire school, scheduled for Sept. 4-7 in Mesa. Portal Rescue has $3,600.00 from a Rural Firefighters’ Association grant to pay tuition for up to 10 firefighters to attend fire school. The money for the training portion of the RFA grant will be received after all the receipts for training expenditures are sent in.

4.4 EMS Chief’s Report – EMS Chief Jeff Gee

4.3.1 SATNET Conference: Seven PR EMTs attended the Southern Arizona Trauma Network (SATNET) conference in [early Aug?], where they received 12 hours of training and also networked with vendors and SATNET officials. Gee asked for money from three medical helicopter agencies that respond to PR emergencies to buy gravel for our new helispot.

4.3.2 Final Payment for Brush Crew: Gee has been calling the State Land Dept. and expects the final $12,000.00 owed to Portal Rescue under the Fire Fuels Reduction (brush crew) Grant (FFRG) to arrive soon.

4.5 Dispatchers’ Report – Misty Webster, Dispatch Representative

4.41 Slow Month: Dispatch did not have anything new to report, as Portal Rescue has received no fire calls and few EMT calls in the month since the last board meeting.

4.4.2 New Locator Book: Vice President Rick Beno, who has been working on an updated version of the PR Locator Book, demonstrated the new book is being designed to allow dispatchers to sort listings by area. As a result, if there is a fire in a particular part of PR’s coverage area – say, Sulphur Canyon — the dispatchers will be able to identify and call only those residents in the area affected. However, Beno said, better descriptions of specific areas within PR’s coverage area are needed. He is going have a booth at the Sew What Oktoberfest where residents can check their listings and amend them, including their location, as needed.

4.6 Fundraising

4.6.1 Pie Festival: Organizers of the Pie Fest on Aug. 30, proceeds of which benefit Portal Rescue, are expecting more than 100 pies to be donated.

4.6.2 Phonebook: Barbara Miller reported that as of the of the board meeting, sales of the Portal/Rodeo phonebook produced this year by Friends of Portal Rescue has earned $2,607.00 for PR.

4.6.3 New Donation: DeLong added that PR had recently received a $1,000 donation for fire and EMS services from the family of an EMS patient.

4.7 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon: Decker reminded all present that the PR Volunteer Recognition Luncheon, a pot-luck affair, would be held Sept. 27th at the PR building, and announced that Jackie Lewis had agreed to coordinate the planning and work involved. She asked for anyone willing to volunteer to help out with the luncheon to call Jackie Lewis at 558-2287.

5.0 Old Business

5.1 EMS Budget: This was resolved during the discussion of Treasurer’s Report (see 4.24 above.)

5.2 Transferring Funds to PR’s Edward Jones Account (the “Rainy Day Fund”): As of the date of the board meeting, PR’s general checking account held $28,447.47; few upcoming expenses were expected other than the payment of firefighters on the Jack Wood Fire. Decker recommended that PR transfer $15,000 to the Rainy-day Fund to replace the $15,000 withdrawn from that account
earlier in the year to pay for repairs to Engine 2.

Beno noted that PR is $13,000.00 behind the amount budgeted for donations in 2008; he suggested that if we transfer $15,000.00 to the Rainy-day account now, we may soon have to take some of it back out again. Board Member David Johnson suggested transferring $10,000.00 into the account now, and transferring another $5,000.00 when the $12,000.00 grant check from the FFRG arrives.
Secretary Lisa Bender agreed, noting that PR will need to start purchasing equipment and supplies covered under the $18,000 Rural Firefighters’ Association (RFA) Grant, in order to complete the expenditures and be eligible for reimbursement under the
grant by the end of the year.

Gee made a motion to transfer all $15,000.00 into the Edward Jones account now; Decker seconded the motion. Johnson made a motion to transfer $10,000.00 now and $5,000.00 later; Bender seconded the motion. Gee noted that, $3,600.00 of the RFA Grant was earmarked for State Fire School tuitions, and PR would not likely spend that much on those tuitions. Johnson replied that PR should
keep that $3,600.00 for other training purposes and not reallocate it to equipment/supply expenditures.

Decker accepted Johnson’s motion as a friendly amendment and asked for a vote on the motion to transfer $10,000.00 into the Rainy-day Account now, and another $5,000.00 when the FFRG payment arrives. The Board voted 7 to 1 in favor of the motion.

6.0 New Business – No New Business

7.0 Addenda – Donations

7.1 Seeking Additional Donations: Decker said it would not be productive to brainstorm during the board meeting about ways to boost donations to PR, and suggested that the board should agree to create a committee to deal with the issue.

Gee suggested that PR issue some sort of notice or advertisement of the need for donations. He noted that PR needs to have enough money in the Rainy-day Account to cover an entire year’s budget, which is not now the case.

8.0 For the Good of the Order: No additional commentary

9.0 Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 7:17.


Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

July 16, 2008

1.0  Call to Order: 6:06 p.m. Portal Rescue President Maya Decker was out of town, so Vice President Rick Beno led the meeting.

2.0 Adoption of Agenda: EMS Chief Jeff Gee suggested the nomination of a Portal Rescue Member of the Month. Beno said the question would be addressed as an addendum to the agenda. The Board accepted the agenda with the addendum.

3.0  Acceptance of the Minutes: Minutes from the June 2008 meeting are amended as follows: The correction to previous minutes regarding $1,800 in expenditures on a brush truck was still incorrect. The money was spent on Brush Truck 6, not Brush Truck 9. The Board accepted June minutes as corrected.

4.0  Reports

4.1 President’s Report: Vice President Rick Beno (Maya Decker is out of town on vacation)

4.1.1  Kudos to Portal Rescue Members: Beno read a letter Bob Morse had written applauding Portal Rescue (PR) firefighters’ and EMTs’ service in the area on July 5. On that day, he said, two firefighters were working on the Buck Fire in the southern Chiricahuas, a number of EMTs responded to a call in Sulphur Canyon, two other firefighters were in Rodeo to provide radio relay for those EMTs, and other firefighters were conducting a vehicle check at the PR buildings.

4.2 Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Shela Delong

4.2.1   Revenues: PR recently received the first of two payments due from the Fire Fuels Reduction (i.e., “brush crew”) Grant, $13,951.08, all of which was deposited in the general checking account. Since then, checks totaling $3,415 have been disbursed for various expenses, leaving $11,062 in the general checking account. The Edward Jones Money Market Account (a.k.a. “Rainy Day” fund) currently holds $26,291.

4.2.2 Expected Revenues: PR is awaiting the following payments: 1) approximately $19,000 for its participation in various fires on state and national forest lands, the applications for which have been submitted; and 2) approximately $12,000, the second and final payment from the Fire Fuels Reduction Grant.

4.2.3  Grants: PR was recently awarded a grant of $18,000 from the Rural Firefighters Association, but under the terms of that grant, the organization must spend the money first, then be reimbursed. PR also applied for money from a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant program, but has not yet heard about the awards.

4.2.4  Expenditures: To date, PR expenditures for EMS supplies totaled $1,136.92, significantly more than the $100 budgeted for the year.
Telephone and office expenditures to date are $560 over budget; DeLong said she was working to eliminate the long-distance service on the phone at the PR building. In May and June, PR paid a total of $2,796.51 to fill vehicle fuel storage
tanks. Although those expenditures were listed in the June Budget Report under Maintenance and Operations category, they should be listed in the Vehicle Operations category.

4.2.5  Appropriation of Funds: EMS Chief Jeff Gee suggested that PR put $10,000 of the brush crew payment into the money market account, since PR had spent $15,000 from that account to cover the costs of repairs to Engine 2. Board and community members then discussed the amount that needed to be kept in the general checking account, noting that monthly expenditures vary significantly depending on fires and other occurrences. Gee then suggested that at least $7,500 – half of what had been withdrawn from the money market account for Engine 2 – should be deposited in that account now. (See 4.2.7 below)

4.2.6  Changes to EMS Supplies Budget: Gee reported that much of the $1,136 spent went to finish outfitting Rescue 4, PR’s new ambulance; he said he doesn’t anticipate many upcoming expenses in this category, as both the vehicles and the supply cabinet were well stocked. The $100 budgeted for EMS supplies for 2008 was, he said, an arbitrary amount he suggested just to get the budget completed. In addition, he noted that some of the costs of outfitting Rescue 4 were covered by the $25,000 donation made for that vehicle in 2007. He suggested that PR leave the budget at $100, so that, at the PR’s 2009 annual meeting, attendees will see how the growth of the community has affected the budget. Board Member David Johnson responded that the budget report should be structured to show that the donation money from the previous years actually covered much of the costs for EMS supplies. Beno said the budget as now structured wasn’t deceiving, because the money for Rescue 4 is “buried” in the amount shown in the money market account, which in turn helped covered expenditures over budget in 2007 – namely, Brush 2 costs. Gee noted that there were other EMS supplies purchased, including IVs and Combi-Tubes, which a number of EMTs were recently certified to use. The $100 amount budgeted was just an initial budget amount, not realistic. David Johnson asked whether Gee could look at
expenditures in this category at the end of the year and come up with a realistic budget amount for 2009. Gee said he was working on that, adding that $550 in donations had been received so far this year for EMS services provided, and that supply costs
varied greatly from year to year.

4.2.7  Other Discussion: Board members and community participants discussed postponing the deposit of funds in PR’s money market account until other, expected revenues come in. Johnson suggested that the Board consider changing its fiscal year so that it began in September, after PR had received all the “fire pay” (i.e., reimbursement for work on fires) for the season. Beno said that topic would be put on the agenda for the next meeting. Community participant Helen Synder noted that changing fiscal year might require a change in the bylaws.

4.3  Fire Chief’s Report: Fire Chief Barney Tomberlin

4.3.1  No report for this meeting since Chief Tomberlin was out of town.

4.4  EMS Chief’s Report: EMS Chief Jeff Gee

4.4.1  Fire Fuels Reduction Grant: As one of its final tasks, the brush crew cleared and widened a footpath between the end of Cathedral Rock Road and Poorwill Road, creating an additional evacuation route for the residents of both roads. Bob Chew has agreed to pay for a culvert that is needed for the connecting road. A complete report on the work of the brush crew this year will be posted at the Portal Post Office. Portal Rescue will apply for the Fire Fuels Reduction Grant this year; if awarded, the brush crew will begin work this winter.

4.4.2  Training: The Southern Arizona Trauma Network (SATNET) annual training will be held in August; PR has received enough scholarships for this program to send all its EMTs while paying for only five. The Southeast Arizona Emergency Medical Services Council (SAEMS) has awarded PR a Provider Grant to cover two training devices – a dummy for practicing use of the Combi-Tube intubation
device and a dummy arm for practicing use of intravenous lines. SAEMS will purchase and ship both devices.

4.4.3   EMS Supplies Budget: Gee had nothing further to report on this, as it had been discussed during the Treasurer’s Report.

4.4.4   EMS Calls: Since the last Board meeting, PR had responded to eight medical calls: two patients were transported by helicopter, the other six by Douglas ambulance. Four of the eight patients were undocumented aliens.

4.5  Dispatchers Report: Dispatch Representative Misty Webster

4.5.1   Jack Wood Fire: During the Jack Wood Fire in Horseshoe Canyon in June, PR dispatchers and Fire Chief Barney Tomberlin received — on the PR emergency line, the dispatchers’ home phone lines, the PR business phone, and Tomberlin’s home phone line — over 100 phone calls. Most of the calls were from residents asking if they should evacuate, where to go, and if PR could help them evacuate. Gee and Snyder responded that the level of calls indicated a need to provide some sort of “refresher” to the community on the evacuation plan, and perhaps even update the plan. Snyder suggested that PR might be able to use the Portal website during fires to provide updated information from the U.S. Forest Service and other evacuation recommendations, thus relieving Dispatch of some of the burden of communications. Board members and meeting participants discussed the
particulars of the Jack Wood Fire and residents’ responses to it.

5.0  Old Business: No old business

6.0  New Business: No new business.

7.0  Addenda

7.1  Member of the Month: Gee recommended that Bob Morse, resident of Portal and former PR firefighter be nominated “Volunteer of the Month.” During the Jack Wood fire, Morse spent two entire nights at the PR building handling dispatch duties to help the regular dispatchers. The Board unanimously approved the nomination.

8.0  For the Good of the Order: No additional commentary.

9.0  Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 7:25 p.m.


Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

June 18, 2008

1.0  Call to Order: 6:02 PM

2.0  Adoption of Agenda: Approved by all present. Roberta Ward, a member of the community, asked for information about Portal’s Fire Evacuation Plan; President Decker said the question would be addressed as an addendum to the agenda.

3.0  Acceptance of the Minutes: Minutes from the April 16, 2008 meeting are amended as follows: $1,800 was spent on Brush Truck 9, not Brush Truck 6; Bill Wilbur is not a Portal Rescue firefighter; and Lance Shultis’ name was misspelled (i.e., Schultiz). Board accepted April minutes as corrected.

4.0  Reports

4.1  President’s Report: Maya Decker

4.1.1  USFS Severity Patrol: President Decker reported that she was trying to arrange for a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) representative to meet with the Portal Rescue (PR) Board to discuss the extent of that agency’s fire severity patrol in Cave Creek Canyon and other parts of the Chiricahuas. Fire Chief Barney Tomberlin noted that it was unlikely that PR would be able to get a USFS representative here during peak fire season.

4.2  Treasurer’s Report: Maya Decker (reporting for Treasurer Shela Delong, who was out of town)

4.2.1  Revenues: Decker reported the balances in PR’s accounts: $4,449.88 in the checking account, $11,876.60 in the Rainy Day Fund, and $15,000.00 in the Kay Muma Fund, for a total of $26,876.00. She said the organization expects to soon receive $14,000.00 from the Fire Fuels Reduction Grant (FFRG) in reimbursement for “Brush Crew” work, and a $6,737.16 payment for PR’s work on the Whitmire Fire in the Peloncillo Mountains in May.

4.2.2   Expenditures: Decker reported that PR paid off the $14,684.19 bill for repairs to Engine 2 in May from the Rainy Day fund as authorized by the Board in its April meeting.

4.2.3   Planning: Decker advised PR Board members to consider, for future discussion the issue of how the forthcoming payments from the FFRG and the Whitmire Fire be allocated between the organization’s checking account and the Rainy Day Fund. Tomberlin noted that some of the funds from the Whitmire Fire must be used to pay firefighters who worked on that operation before the rest could be allocated to PR accounts. Board member David Johnson suggested that, in future discussions on allocation of revenues, the Board consider the advantages of keeping only a minimal amount in the checking account and allocating more funds to an
interest-bearing account. Decker and Tomberlin replied that a certain amount must be readily available in the checking account for unexpected expenses – e.g., truck repairs.

4.3  Fire Chief’s Report: Barney Tomberlin

4.3.1  May Activities: Fire Chief Tomberlin noted that the organization dealt with two fires in May: one in “downtown” Portal on May 21, and the Whitmire Fire from May 21-23. He said that payment for PR’s work on the latter fire, which ultimately covered 3,600 acres, was expected to arrive within the next week.

4.3.2  Grant Award: Tomberlin announced that the Rural Fire Assistance Grant Program administered by the Arizona State Forestry Department and the U.S. Department of the Interior recently awarded Portal Rescue $18,000. Under this “90/10” grant, PR will be reimbursed for 90 percent, or $16,200, of $18,000 it spends on training and equipment. When PR applied for this grant in March, it requested $22,000 to be allocated as follows: $4,000 for firefighters to attend Arizona Fire School training programs; $3,750 for personal protective gear; $8,000 for new fire shelters — now mandated by the USFS to replace existing, outdated
shelters; $1,250 for other equipment, including radios; and $1,000 for miscellaneous supplies. Under the terms of the grant, PR must spend the money and apply for reimbursement by Dec. 31, 2008. Tomberlin noted that PR will be reimbursed for 90 percent of expenditures even if the organization spends less than $18,000.

4.3.3  U.S. Forest Service News: Tomberlin said he received a notice this afternoon from the USFS office in Douglas that two prescribed burns planned in the southwestern Peloncillo Mountains had been postponed until June 22.

4.4  EMS Chief’s Report: Vice President Rick Beno (reporting for EMS Chief Jeff Gee, who was out of town)

4.4.1  Fire Fuels Reduction Grant: Vice President Beno reported that the brush crew had only one more day of work to complete; then Gee, who is the crew chief, would apply for payment of the remainder of the grant award, about $12,000. The brush crew worked at more than 60 homes this year to reduce fire fuels on those properties; Gee plans to have a detailed report on the project for the July Board meeting.

4.4.2  EMS Activity: PR EMTs responded to six calls in May, and one thus far in June.

4.4.3  Training Activities: Beno noted that the SATNET Trauma conference is scheduled for Aug. 7 & 8 this year. Program Director Clint Brown awarded PR several scholarships, making it possible to send all our EMTs to the conference and only pay tuition for five. Three PR EMTs are now certified to administer IVs: Rick Beno, E.T. Collingsworth, and Jeff Gee; in addition, six EMTs, Jeff, E.T., Lee, Ken, Walter and Rick, are certified in the use of the Combi-Tube airway. At the ext PR EMS meeting on June 21, EMTs will review diagnosis and treatment of hyperthermia. The next Tucson Medical Center pre-hospital training session held in
Portal will take place in July.

4.4.4  Other News: EMT Walter Schoepfle continues work on a database to compile information on past EMT calls, which will help the EMS department track trends and better serve the community. Beno noted that three of the firefighters on the Whitmore Fire in May were also EMTs, providing a valuable resource for U.S. Forest Service crews on the fire.

4.5  Dispatchers’ Report: Dispatch Representative Misty Webster

4.5.1  Dispatch Activity: Webster reported that dispatchers handled one EMT call, two fire calls, and a few “assist” calls (requests for EMTs to assist patients who had fallen, etc.) so far in June. She said radio communications with PR firefighters and EMTs in the valley were improving, and that those who couldn’t receive clear radio transmissions contact the dispatchers by

4.6  Fundraisers: President Maya Decker

4.6.1  May Fundraisers: Decker reported that the Chili Cook-Off in May netted $1,228.00. The Birdlovers’ Silent Auction, held during the cook-off, garnered about $400 of the total raised. Decker extended thanks to the family of Mike Williams for donating items to the silent auction. Decker said the Portal Birdathon, also in May, netted $1,618.00.

4.6.2  2008 Totals To Date: The money from May fundraisers, combined with the $2,517.00 garnered so far from sales of the new Portal/Rodeo Phone Book and the $6,237.00 raised by the Soup Kitchen in February total $11,600 earned by 2008 fundraisers to date, Decker noted.

4.6.3  Future Fundraisers: The next and final PR fundraiser planned for this year is the Pie Festival, scheduled for Aug. 30 at the Rodeo Community Center. Last year’s Pie Festival earned $1,400.00, Decker said.

5.0  Old Business: Review and Revision of EMS Supplies Budget: President Maya Decker

5.1  Decker said review and revision of the 2008 EMS supplies budget would be postponed until the next meeting, due to EMS Chief Jeff Gee’s absence from this meeting.

6.0  New Business: No new business.

7.0  Addenda: Fire Evacuation and Severity Patrol

7.1  Portal’s Fire Evacuation Plan: In response to a request made during the adoption of the meeting agenda, the Board discussed how to remind the community dissemination of Portal’s Fire Evacuation Plan. Decker said she could email a copy of the plan to anyone who requests it. She also noted that the brush crew had created an egress from Cathedral Rock Road to Poorwill Road; before that work, property owners on Cathedral Rock Road could only evacuate via Cathedral Rock Road’s egress onto Portal Road. However, she said, a culvert needed to be placed to complete the connection to Poorwill Road.

7.2  USFS Severity Patrol: Tomberlin explained that the USFS Severity Patrol Program in the Chiricahuas this summer consisted of Forest Service agents in two trucks, one starting on the east side and one on the west side of the mountain range each day. He outlined their routes and schedules. These crews can be pulled off severity patrol to assist in local fires. In addition, USFS agents are manning fire lookouts at Barfoot Park and one other location in the Chiricahuas this summer, he said.

8.0  For the Good of the Order: No additional commentary.

9.0  Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m., motion by Maya Decker, seconded by Rick Beno.


Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

April 16, 2008

1.0  Call to Order: 6:03 PM

2.0  Adoption of Agenda: Approved by all present.

3.0  Acceptance of the Minutes: Minutes from the March 16, 2008 PR Board Meeting and Annual Elections accepted.

4.0  Reports

4.1  President’s Report: Maya Decker

4.1.1  President Decker expressed Portal Rescue’s appreciation to Bill Wilbur for posting notices of upcoming organizational meetings at four sites in Rodeo, NM: the Post Office, Rodeo General Store, Rodeo RV Park, and the Mountain View Laundromat. Decker said she would mail hard copies of minutes to anyone who requested them.

4.2  Treasurer’s Report: Shela DeLong (Any resident who wishes a hard copy of the April budget may request one from Shela by contacting her
at 558-2334)

4.2.1  REVENUES: Treasurer DeLong reported that Portal Rescue was currently expecting $29,650 in revenues from grants, most of it from the
Fire Fuels Reduction Grant. Funds from FEMA and RFA grants, which Portal Rescue applied for and expects to receive awarded were not included in this calculation. In addition, in March the organization received a $100 donation to the Emergency Medical
Service, and $1,384 from fundraisers. DeLong noted that upcoming fundraisers –sales of the Portal/Rodeo Phonebook, the Bird-a-thon in May, and the Chili Cook-Off also in May – will bring in additional revenues.

4.2.2  EXPENDITURES:  Maintenance and Operations: DeLong reported that Portal Rescue had already exceeded, by $177.50, its $400 expenditure budget for
Maintenance and Oper-ations; EMS supplies accounted for much of the expenditures over budget. She recommended that Portal Rescue increase the budget for this expenditure category. Board members agreed to study expenses in this category for an additional
month and revisit the issue at the May Board meeting. Vehicle Operations: Of the $5,000 donation earmarked for the repairs and upgrades to Brush Truck 6, $1,426 was spent in March,
DeLong reported. This truck will be kept near Sulphur Canyon to serve as the first- response vehicle in that part of Portal Rescue’s coverage area. In addition, said DeLong, the organization recently received a $13,000 bill for pump repair and other
repairs to Engine 2. DeLong said the repair company had agreed to accept the amount in two payments. President Decker noted that the Portal Rescue checking account currently held only $8,553, because a) the organization has paid workers on the Fire Fuels
Reduction Program before receiving the grant funds from the state; and b) PR recently paid $951 for brake cylinder repairs to Engine 2 performed after the pump work was complete. After discussing whether to withdraw money from the organization’s
investment account or pay the bill in two installments of $6,500, the Board voted unanimously to pay half now and the second half as soon as possible in May.

Portal Rescue vehicles for a FEMA database. (See Appendix A)

4.3  Fire Chief’s Report: Barney Tomberlin
At the request of Cochise County, Tomberlin and PR Assistant Fire Chiefs Geoff Bender and Mitch Webster recently updated the list of

4.3.1  Twenty Portal Rescue firefighters attended the joint Wildlands Firefighting Training on March 29.

4.3.2  Tomberlin and Portal Rescue EMS Chief Jeff Gee recently accepted from Wal-Mart a $500 donation in the form of two, $250 gift cards; these
will be used to purchase incidentals such as batteries, drinking water, etc. for their departments.

4.3.3  Tomberlin reported that Portal Rescue members were meeting on Thursday nights at Portal Rescue to continue work on Brush Truck 5,
including upgrades and changes to the vehicle’s electrical and plumbing systems. EMS Chief Gee expressed appreciation to Bob Dearing, a community member who has put in many hours on his own and with PR members to prepare the truck.

4.3.4  Portal Rescue recently traded a trailer which we no longer use for a diesel fuel tank from Larry Rivers. Tomberlin said the tank resides
on Jeff Gee’s property, has a 500 gallon capacity, and now contains 200 gallons. There is also a 500 gallon gasoline tank that has 200 gallons in readiness for the coming fire season.

4.4  EMT Chief’s Report: Jeff Gee

4.4.1  Gee reported that the brush clearing planned under the Fire Fuels Reduction Grant was about half done. The crew had removed brush from 35 homes so far and planned to visit another 25-35 properties. He expected that Portal Rescue would receive part of the grant money within the next few weeks.

4.4.2  On April 14, Gee submitted an application for a grant from the Southeast Arizona EMS Regional Council. He asked for $1,600 to cover the costs of training EMTs; in addition, he requested funds for aids to train EMTs in the use of an Automatic External Defibrillator, administration of intravenous lines, and the use of a Combi-Tube. In addition, said Gee, some of the grant money might be used to pay for a new gurney for the organization’s new ambulance, Rescue Vehicle 4.

4.4.3  Gee reported on several issues regarding readiness to respond to medical calls. He thanked firefighter Lance Schultis, who was working to repair a fuel line on Rescue Vehicle 3. Work on Portal Rescue’s new helispot is almost complete, and Gee plans to ask all three med-evac agencies, LifeNet, LifeLine, and CritialAir, for donations of $500 each to pay for gravel for the helispot.

4.4.4  Gee and Portal Rescue EMT E.T. Collinsworth recently certified to administer IV lines; EMT Rick Beno was scheduled to take the IV certification course in May. EMT Walter Schoepfle was scheduled to attend Disaster Event Training in Tucson later in April. Six EMTs – Gee, Collinsworth, Schoepfle, Beno, Ken Joens, and Lee Dyal — have been certified in the use of the Combi-Tube, an advanced device for ensuring the patient has a patent airway. Gee noted that effective IV administration and use of the Combi-Tube were both “very important advanced skills to have in a rural area.”

4.5  Fundraising: Maya Decker:

4.5.1  Decker reviewed upcoming Portal Rescue fundraisers, the Bird-a-thon to be conducted on May 10 in conjunction with the National census on Birds, and the Chili Cook-Off on May 31st. Kim Gee is the lead organizer for the cook-off. Decker noted that she was planning to visit businesses in Douglas to obtain pledges from them for the Bird-a-thon. Gee suggested that Portal Rescue also submit articles about these fundraisers to the Douglas newspaper. After some discussion, the board voted unanimously that, in the course of these publicity efforts, Portal Rescue would promote May as “a fundraising month” for the organization.

4.5.2  Decker reported that the Sew-What Pie Festival, another event held to raise funds for Portal Rescue, was scheduled for Aug. 30 in the Rodeo community center. More information on this will be available soon. Delane Blondeau is preparing posters for that event.

5.0  Old Business

5.1  First Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon: Decker recommended that the First Annual Volunteer Recognition Potluck Luncheon, which the board had originally voted to hold on April 26, be postponed until some time in September, noting that Portal Rescue members had too many organization-related activities in March and April to make the original date feasible. The board voted unanimously to hold the luncheon at 12 noon on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008.

6.0  New Business

6.1  2008/09 Schedule of Portal Rescue Board Meetings: The board voted unanimously to continue to hold its meetings at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month.

7.0  Addenda: Portal Rescue’s Relations with Rodeo: Firefighter Bill Wilbur commented that, in his experience, many residents of Rodeo, NM, are not aware of the ways in which Portal Rescue serves their area, and discussed ways in which to raise awareness. Decker noted that the number of fire and EMS calls to Rodeo is reported every year in Portal Rescue’s annual newsletter. Further
questions were raised about the process by which Portal Rescue and the Rodeo Fire Department cooperate in response to fire calls. Tomberlin explained that, since being elected Portal Rescue Fire Chief, he had met three times with Rodeo Fire Chief Ramon Escobar, and that the two chiefs were working on a mutual aid agreement. In the meantime, joint training sessions in addition to the one held March 29 were being planned. Tomberlin and Gee stated that a number of steps were being taken to ensure a fully cooperative relationship between Portal Rescue and the Rodeo Fire Dept., including clarification of protocols for responding to calls.

8.0  For the Good of the Order: No additional commentary.

9.0  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.; motion by Maya Decker, seconded Barney Tomberlin

Appendix A: Vehicle Inventory FEMA Report


Vehicle Fleet

Portal Rescue

Unit Name

Engine Type






Tender 1

Type 3 Tender





Engine 2

Type 3 Engine





Rescue 3






Rescue 4




Ford-F350 4×4


Brush 5

Type 4 Brush



Kaiser Military 6×6


Being Equipped

Brush 6

Type 6 Brush



Ford-F250 4×4


Tender 7

Type 3 Tender



FMC Ford


Tender 8

Type 3 Tender





Under Construction

Brush 9

Type 6 Brush






Portal Rescue Incorporated

Board Meeting and Annual Board Elections

Minutes of March 19, 2008

1.0  Call to Order: 6:09 PM

2.0  Adoption of Agenda: Approved by all present.

3.0  Acceptance of the Minutes: Minutes from the Feb. 20, 2008 PR Board Meeting accepted.

4.0  Reports

4.1  President: Maya Decker

4.1.1  President Decker commented on the challenge of leading this organization and commended numerous area residents for their extensive commitment of time, energy, and labor to Portal Rescue. Decker recognized Past President Pi Irwin for comments she wished to make on the evolution of the organization. Irwin recalled that, in focus groups and a community survey conducted during her
presidency in 2006, respondents had identified top priorities for the organization: recruiting more firefighters, more EMTs, and more Active members in outlying areas. She commended the organization for accomplishing all these goals.

4.2  Treasurer Shela DeLong: Review of 2007 Budget and Presentation of 2008 Budget for Feb. 2008. (see Appendix A for details of Feb. Budget)

4.2.1  2007 Budget: Projected Revenue, $49,121; Actual Revenue: $56,203. The additional revenue came primarily as a result of a)
the department earning more on state and federal fires than had been projected; and b) a $5,000 donation earmarked for retrofitting fire trucks. Projected Expenditures, $49,700; Actual Expenditures, $53,000. Greater than projected expenditures
primarily due to a) pay to firefighters working on state and federal fires (this expenditure is offset by greater than projected fire pay from state and federal fires); and b) greater costs for training of firefighters than had been budgeted.

4.2.2  2008 Budget: Projected Revenue, $87,000; Projected Expenditures, $92,000. Part of the disparity between
revenue and expenditures is due to the fact that most of the department’s outlays for retrofitting fire trucks will occur in 2008, but the $5,000 donated for this purpose was made in 2007 and therefore cannot be included in revenues for 2008. The marked
increase in revenues and expenditures for 2008 compared to 2007 is also due to a $26,000 grant the department received from the state to pay for fire abatement (i.e., brush crew) work.

4.2.3 “Rainy Day Fund” and Kay Muma Endowment: President Decker, Treasurer DeLong, and past treasurer Geoff Bender explained that the intent of the department’s “Rainy Day Fund” is to provide funds to cover budgeted expenses for an entire year in the event that donations, fundraisers, grant awards, and other sources of income fall short. They also clarified that the $15,000 endowment from the estate of Kay Muma is structured solely to generate interest income; the endowment money is not available for expenditures, but the interest income is deposited in Portal Rescue’s general operating account. In accordance with
the wishes of the estate, the money is in an insured money market account; as of the end of December 2007, the interest rate on that account was 3.88%

4.3  Fire Chief: Barney Tomberlin

4.3.1  On March 29, Portal Rescue firefighters will attend a joint training with the Rodeo Fire Dept. only nineteen of our firefighters are slated to attend this training.

4.3.2  Tomberlin and Portal Rescue assistant fire chiefs Mitch Webster and Geoff Bender attended the March 26 Cochise County Fire Chiefs’ meeting in Douglas. Participants at the meeting discussed the need for all fire departments in Cochise County to be prepared for an early and intense wildland fire season this spring and summer.

4.3.3  Portal Rescue Firefighters Lee Dyal, David Newton, Walter Schoepfle, and David Johnson participated in a U.S. Forest Service controlled burn in the southern Peloncillos for 2 days in early March.

4.3.4  Tomberlin turned the floor over to Tony Godfrey, Portal Rescue Fire Training Officer. Godfrey reported that he had submitted an application to the state the previous week for a Rural Fire Assistance grant. Portal Rescue applied for funds to purchase wildland firefighting gear, new fire shelters, and other miscellaneous equipment; as well as to pay for at least 12 firefighters to attend the AZ state fire school in Sept. 2008. This grant will cover 90% of costs and Portal Rescue will pay the other 10%; the department should hear about the grant award in late April or early May. Godfrey also reported that he would soon obtain donated equipment from the Tohono O’odham Reservation Fire Department consisting of 15 fire shelters, Nomex wildland firefighting gear, and tools to Portal Rescue.

4.4  EMT Chief: Jeff Gee

4.4.1  Gee pointed out that Portal Rescue’s property, buildings, trucks, equipment, and gear are worth about $1 million. He noted that, for the most part, this growth has been achieved for about 20 cents on the dollar, by obtaining grants and donated equipment, as well as community labor and other support.

4.4.2  Gee reported that of the18 people who started the EMT basic training class held here in the spring of 2006, 14 graduated (a record number, he says, for the average volunteer EMT class). Of those, several have since retired for various reasons. Portal Rescue now has 11 active EMTs. While this is a good roster, Gee suggested that Portal Rescue prepare to respond to attrition by offering another basic training course in Portal this winter, preferably with at least 10 students. He noted the Portal area needs to have about a dozen committed EMTs to ensure adequate coverage; a minimum of two are required to respond to a call, and periodically some EMTs are out of town or otherwise unavailable.

4.4.3  Gee recognized current and retired EMTs at the meeting.

5.0  Old Business

5.1 President Decker noted that, at the last meeting, the Board unanimously approved a motion to hold an annual potluck recognition luncheon for Portal Rescue firefighters and EMTs. The Board unanimously voted to hold the first luncheon on Sat., April 26, 2008. Decker asked for volunteers to assist with the organization of the event.

5.2  Proposed Changes to Portal Rescue Bylaws:

5.2.1 Board member Rick Beno summarized the proposed changes to the Portal Rescue Bylaws: Making a member of Portal Rescue Dispatch, chosen by the dispatchers, an automatic member of the Board of Directors; clarifying how the Fire Chief, EMT Chief, and Dispatch Representative are elected to the Board; redefining the officers of the Board — President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer; and delineating those on the Board who have authority to sign for Portal Rescue financial transactions – the President, Vice President, and Treasurer.

5.2.2  Discussion and Comments: A community member noted that making a dispatcher an automatic member of Board of Directors would reduce from 3 to 2 the total number of Active members who were elected to the board by fellow Active members. Active member Ken Joens asserted that the board was out of order for voting on the amendments to the bylaws because Portal Rescue had not complied with the
stipulation in its bylaws that requires 7 days prior written notice to Active members about proposed changes to the bylaws. Joens said almost half of the active members had not been notified in writing, contending that the notice posted at the Portal Rescue Bulletin Board at the Post Office was insufficient notification. Decker responded that on March 12, in addition to posting the proposed changes on the Portal Rescue Bulletin Board, she sent a notification by email to 114 households in Portal, Paradise, and Rodeo – 26 of which were the households of active members. March 12 was seven days prior to the annual meeting and therefore complied with our bylaws. She went on to cite the Arizona Revised Statues governing incorporated agencies, which state that email or public posting satisfies the definition of written notice *(see note at end of minutes regarding steps that have since been taken to ensure that Portal Rescue public notices will also be posted in a timely fashion at the Rodeo, NM Post Office bulletin board).

5.2.3  Past President Irwin suggested that the 21 active members present at the meeting could vote as to whether they wished to proceed with vote on bylaws amendments or not. A community member suggested that to address the notification issue in accordance with the AZ Revised Statutes, a special meeting could be held to address the proposed amendments to the bylaws. Active member Jackie Lewis mae a motion to proceed with the vote on the amendments and not have a special meeting; active members Barney Tomberlin and Chris Husband seconded the motion. By a vote of 20 for and 1 against, active members voted to proceed with the vote on bylaws amendments instead of having a special meeting. After some additional discussion, the active members adopted, by a vote of 17 for and 4 against, the amendments to the bylaws.

6.0  Election of PR Board of Directors (Ballot Counters: Pi Irwin, Alice Newton, Susanne Dyal, & Pat Owens)

6.1  Active Member Positions: Five Active members were nominated for the two Active member positions on the board; one declined to serve.
Of the nominees, Rick Beno and David Johnson were elected.

6.2  Community Member Positions: Seven community members were nominated for the four community member positions on the board. Of these,
Maya Decker, Shela DeLong, Lisa Bender, and Paul Irvine were elected. Decker thanked members of the 2007 Board of Directors for their service.

6.3  Election of Officers of Portal Rescue Board of Directors: Decker announced that Portal Rescue Dispatchers had elected Misty Webster
to serve as their representative on the Board. By voice vote, the Board of Directors nominated and elected officers: Maya Decker, president; Rick Beno, vice president; Shela Delong, treasurer; and Lisa Bender, secretary.

7.0  For the Good of the Order: Fire Chief Tomberlin announced firefighters meeting on Sat., March 22.

8.0  Adjournment: 8:46 PM; motion by Maya Decker, seconded by David Johnson.

Respectfully Submitted by Lisa Bender, Secretary Portal Rescue Board of Directors April 7, 2008

* Bill Wilbur has graciously offered to post notices in Rodeo P.O., Café, and Laundromat.


Portal Rescue Incorporated Board Meeting

February 20, 2008

Present were:

Maya Decker, President Jeff Gee, EMS Chief

David Johnson, Secretary Jim Algots

Shela DeLong, Treasurer Ken Joens

Barnet Tomberlin, Fire Chief

Absent: Rick Beno, Vice-President and Roberta Ward

1.0 Call to Order at 6.01 PM

2.0 Adoption of Agenda approved by all present

3.0 Acceptance of the Minutes

David gave notice to resign as Secretary. He would like to remain on the Board but not as Secretary. Minutes were accepted as presented.

4.0 Reports

4.1 President: Maya Decker

  • Thanked everyone for the great job done at the Soup Kitchen.

  • Would like to see a Ways and Means committee to coordinate timing of future fund raisers as well as recruit chair people to make sure they happen.

  • Reminds the Board of a men’s chili cook-off that has been talked about as a possibility for April.

  • Maya requests community members to step forward to plan events and provide leadership for fundraising

  • Asks for all newsletter submissions to be submitted to Lisa Bender by Feb. 29th

  • Reminder of the Annual Meeting next month on March 19.

4.2 Treasurer: Shela Delong Revenue/Expense Appendix A

  • Soup Kitchen raised $6,237.00, $810.00 of which was

  • Spoke to Arizona State Land about our submitted grant. No decision has been made.

  • $8000.00 has already been paid to the Brush Clearance crew as part of our matching Fire Fuels Reduction grant.

  • Engine 2 was being tested and Shela will be contacted with a progress update.

  • Our checking account balance, cleared through
    8, is $17,698.00.

  • Shela made a motion, which was seconded by Jeff Gee, to hold a potluck luncheon to honor current and
    Active Members of Portal Rescue. It should continue as an annual tradition. A committee will be formed to make this happen. Voted on by all present, all 7
    in favor.

  • Ken asked about Firefighters receiving their 1099 Misc for fire pay.

4.3 Fire Chief: Barney Tomberlin

  • Barney asked the Board to vote to ratify all firefighters as Active Members and made a motion to
    that effect.
    Maya seconded, all present in favor.

  • 26 firefighters attended the January meeting

  • Barney Tomberlin was elected Fire Chief by the Firefighters

  • Barney announced his appointment of Mitch Webster, and Geoff
    Bender as Assistant Fire Chiefs.

  • Barney met with Rodeo’s Fire Chief, Ramon Escobar, to discuss how the Rodeo and Portal departments
    can work better together.

  • Barney is working on the Wildlands Firefighter refresher course, to be held in Portal or close by.

  • Barney spoke about our need to get our Fire vehicles on contract with AZ state land.

  • Barney introduced Tony Godfrey who will serve as Portal Rescue’s Training Officer.

Tony gave the Board a preview of his thoughts
and plans for training.

  • Portal and Rodeo fire departments should train and work together, especially since both departments respond to our areas structural fires.

  • Tony will teach Structural Firefighting l & ll.

  • He will offer a Hazardous Materials class that should be required training for all Firefighters and EMTs.

  • Equipment and clothing are being sought from several fire departments in the state.

  • Vehicle driving class for all firefighters.

  • Additional training for vehicle extractraction will take place.

  • Training will also include incident command instruction.

  • The Tohono O’odham Nation will help to supply us with Wildland Firefighting equipment.

  • The mice need to be removed, and kept out of, the new engine house because they will chew & destroy very valuable

  • Training books will need to be purchased for $30.00 each.

Barney asked Tony to give the Board his fire background

  • Tony was involved with different aspects of firefighting for 20 years

  • He was with Bisbee FD for 12 years as Captain, and as Training and Safety officer

  • Tony was with Northwest Fire in Tucson, and from there went to Casa Grande as a Firefighter and Arson Investigator.

  • Tony holds certificates in Firefighting training, and Hazmat training.

  • Tony has taught at Cochise College, Central AZ College, and AZ State Fire Marshall School.