Monthly Archives: March 2013

March 2013 Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE WHETSTONE FIRE DISTRICT

BOARD MEETING, March 26th, 2013

 

Call to Order/Roll Call/Affirmation of Quorum

Chairman Evans called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  The meeting was held in the Whetstone Fire District station classroom, 2422 N Firehouse Lane, Huachuca City, Arizona.

 

Present: Rick Evans, Chairman

Ken Leffler, Clerk

Jerry Hopper, Board member

Wayne Lewis, Board member

Mary Foote, Board member

Peter Bidon, Fire Chief

 

Absent:

It was determined a quorum existed with all five board members present.

Review, Amendment and Possible Approval of Public Session Minutes for February 26th, 2013

Mary Foote made the following motion, seconded by Jerry Hopper and approved with five ayes:

Move to accept the public session minutes for February 26th, 2013

Call to the Public

Rick Evans advised one member of the public who wished to address the board state law prevents action at the time of the board meeting however items of concern may be placed on the agenda for future meetings.

Anndrea Blackshear addressed the board with her concern that when she arrived home on Sunday, March 24, at 5:40 pm, her neighbor, Peter Bidon, had a fire going in front of his home. She said the Whetstone Fire District burn permit process states burning is allowed between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, depending on weather conditions. Although it was very windy outside she decided it was not her business and went into her house. At 9:50 pm she woke up because her house smelled like smoke and her nostrils were burning. Outside Peter Bidon still had a massive fire going in the front yard with flames as high as 8 to 10 feet. The fire was much larger than earlier.

Mr. Bidon had a propane tank on a dolly lighting small fires to burn the grass. According to weather reports winds were 10 to 26 mph for Sunday. That evening there was a strong breeze blowing sparks onto her property from the fire. At this time she called 911 because the brush is very dry and she felt that the fire could threaten her property. She said she does not know Peter Bidon and has never spoken with him.

She is at the meeting to review information about the course of events. The 911 operator she called transferred her to a female she assumes to be at Whetstone Fire Department who never asked her name or number for future contact. The female operator asked for the property address, the callers address and if the caller was west or east of the fire location. Standing outside, a minute or two after the 911 call she heard the chief’s wife yell “you better put the fire out now because the bitch next door contacted 911 and reported the fire, the sheriff’s department and Whetstone Fire are on their way to our house”.

She assumed that the Whetstone Fire Department alerted the Bidon’s by telephone so Peter Bidon could get the fire put out, which he promptly did. The two vehicles dispatched by Whetstone Fire District – one small truck and a larger truck – didn’t go to Peter Bidon’s house because his wife, Melissa, walked down the road and stopped them in front of her property. The larger fire truck backed into another property as if to turn around and head back to the fire station but stopped and went back toward Peter Bidon’s property presumably because they saw her walking toward them. They spoke to Melissa Bidon for a couple minutes, never going to the property to put out the fire, stir the fire or anything else. Before the fire trucks left Melissa shouted “you can all go into your house the show is over”. At 10:11 she contacted the fire station at 456-1717 with no answer. She has lived in Whetstone 25 years and is appalled at the behavior of the fire chief who lit a fire irresponsibly and let it continue to burn at 10:00 at night and didn’t speak to his employees but his wife talked to them.

Her questions are: why did the fire chief’s wife go out and he didn’t go out and speak to his employees? Why didn’t they come all the way to the house? As a public figure in the community why would he violate his own burning permit?

The policy states that intentionally violating the law can result in punitive damages. The board of directors has the responsibility to regulate the chief’s actions even on his off time. Ignoring his behavior will place everyone in the community in a legal liability situation because if the board gets sued the resident’s taxes go up.

Her request is that the board responds to her in writing. She does not trust the Whetstone Department to help her in case of a fire or medical emergency at this time.

Rick Evans stated they will conduct an investigation and meet with her again.

Discussion and Update of PBW Fire District Consolidation Process

Chief Bidon stated he met with the auditor, Karen; she went to the PBW fire station and took some files, signed some papers. Chief Bidon is waiting to get a report back from her.

Review, Discussion, and Possible Approval of the Financial Report

Chief Bidon said that we received some back taxes from 2007, 08, 09, 10 and 11 from foreclosed homes being auctioned off. Still in the black; last month deposited almost $19k. We are still getting ambulance revenue and received a large check from state land. Still in the high 90’s collection rate for taxes in our district with money set aside for any catastrophic event.

Ken Leffler motioned to accept the financial report as presented, seconded by Wayne Lewis and approved unanimously with five ayes:

Move to accept the Financial Report

Chief’s Report

Total calls for the month of February, 48; 27 EMS, 8 fire, 1 HazMat we assisted Huachuca City with as well as a structure fire that may have been at the beginning of March and 1 brush fire in Tombstone where we covered their station. Mandatory EMS and fire training was done accordingly. The new ambulance gets headsets on Thursday and will be in service Thursday evening or Friday. Chief conducted vehicle extrication training in Tombstone last Saturday. The railroad training was postponed until April. One volunteer resigned a couple more were let go for lack of participation and two more were recently hired. The depositions are completed. Chief has been working on the budget keeping the high cost of fuel in consideration. Still working on the consolidation effort. Spoke with Richard Searle, county board of supervisors, who recommends PBW fire board abolish their district and annex into Whetstone Fire District in order to prevent IRS issues from becoming our problem. More information will be known when Karen finishes the audit.

Wayne Lewis motioned to accept the chief’s report as presented, seconded by Mary Foote and approved unanimously with five ayes:

Move to accept the Chief’s Report as presented

Board Members Comments

Ken Leffler asked about the plaque for the rock. Chief Bidon stated Cathy is working on getting the plaque.

Ken Leffler asked if the generator if fully operational. Chief Bidon stated he is waiting to get it secured safely. Ken Leffler stated he would take a post, weld a plate on it, anchor the post to the ground and chain the tank to the post. Chief Bidon said that is what he is going to do starting tomorrow.  Rick Evans offered 3-inch pipes. Further discussion followed regarding the best way to secure the post.

Rick Evans requested the board go into executive session.

Adjournment

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Ken Leffler and approved unanimously with five ayes:

Adjourn the meeting.

 

___________________________                                     ____________________________

Chairman Rick Evans                                                                Diana Jones, Administration

 

February 2013 Board Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF THE WHETSTONE FIRE DISTRICT

BOARD MEETING, February 26th, 2013

Call to Order/Roll Call/Affirmation of Quorum

 

Chairman Evans called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  The meeting was held in the Whetstone Fire District station classroom, 2422 N Firehouse Lane, Huachuca City, Arizona.

Present:  Rick Evans, Chairman

              Ken Leffler, Clerk

              Jerry Hopper, Board member

              Wayne Lewis, Board member

              Mary Foote, Board member

              Peter Bidon, Fire Chief

Absent:   

It was determined a quorum existed with all five board members present.

Review, Amendment and Possible Approval of Public Session Minutes for January 22nd, 2013

Jerry Hopper made the following motion, seconded by Ken Leffler and approved with five ayes:

     Move to accept the public session minutes for January 22nd, 2013, with correction of typo.

 

Call to the Public

 

No members of the public wished to address the board.

Review and Discussion of the Assessed Value of the District 2013/2014

 

Chief Bidon reported the District went down in value one million from 19 million with a revision of 18,165,468 to 18,008,683. Chief Bidon is currently working on the budget with the goal to keep us at 295. Possible preliminary budget will be ready in March. Chief Bidon will work the budget various ways to continue existing in the same manner without compromising equipment testing.

Executive Session to Review and Discuss the Status of the Case from 2008

 

     Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Ken Leffler and approved unanimously with five ayes:

     Move to go into executive session.

Review and Discussion of Vehicle Status

 

Chief Bidon stated Medic-323 is at the prison getting striped following the NFPA standard. Chief Bidon will make it a priority to look into the state procurement program for getting new trucks.

 

Review, Discussion, and Possible Approval of the Financial Report

Chief Bidon said that we are in the black, have not gone into the line of credit; although, spending has been curbed until we receive more money. Chief Bidon offered to have Cathy email each board member a copy of the financial report that was absent from the meeting. All members of the board declined to receive the report.

Ken Leffler asked how much we have in the black. Chief Bidon said we are about 45,000 in the black and consistent with 10,000 to 15,000 per month deposits.

Chief’s Report

 

Total calls for the month of January, 67; year to date, about 110, averaging two a day. Ten fire calls; a couple were mutual aid, brush fires, car fire, and one structure fire off of Allen. Huachuca City assisted with the fire on Allen. One HazMat call where a battery exploded on the highway after falling from a vehicle. Total of 22 EMS calls, two were mutual aid interfacility transports.

Training: base hospital tape and chart every month, firefighter training, making sure captains have all the documentation and training records from 2012 for future ISO.

Medic-323: goes in for installation of headsets when it comes back from striping. Gets an inspection from ADHS and should be ready for use by the middle of March.

Plumbing problem: pipe replaced, floor covered, another back up possibly from grease. Ken Leffler came out and snaked the line and per his recommendation we had the septic tank pumped.

Rail car will be here on the March 19th for free training from Union Pacific.

New volunteer response directive states volunteers must respond to a minimum of 10% of the calls generated per month and must meet 50% of training per month and meet a total of 80% of the trainings per year. Ken Leffler stated Chief Bidon does not need to apologize for the directive as the volunteer position is still a job. Rick Evans stated that ISO counts training hours, having people on the roster who are not coming in for training affects the average per person training hours.

Department personnel are required to complete free pipeline training online. El Paso gas lines run the length of our area on the south and north side of the district and beyond.

The department Fire I and II instructors will be sent off for free training on the new requirements for Fire I and II evaluators. The first class is March 19. Rick Evans asked if the Fire Chief’s Association is running the certifications spear heading the training. Chief Bidon answered, yes. Chief Bidon also stated he has submitted a memo to be on the training committee.

Daniel Sulger, volunteer firefighter medic here in the 90’s passed away. We provided an engine for his service and will represent him on the district’s website memorial page.

We are stalled on the consolidation effort waiting for the financial report. Chief Bidon will contact our attorney, Terry Bannon, to get answers regarding issues like the 1099’s not being distributed, whether or not it will become our problem after consolidation. Ken Leffler stated this board does not want to get caught up in any problems.

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Ken Leffler and approved unanimously with five ayes:

     Move to accept the Chief’s Report as presented.

Board Member Comments

Ken Leffler asked about the plaque for the rock. Chief Bidon stated Cathy is working on getting the plaque. Rick Evans mentioned McNeil’s as a local business where we can have the plaque made. Chief Bidon stated he believes Cathy is already working with McNeil’s and will contact the business to check status on the plaque.

Adjournment

 

Wayne Lewis made the following motion, seconded by Jerry Hopper and approved unanimously with five ayes:

     Adjourn the meeting.

 

___________________________                                     ____________________________

Chairman Rick Evans                                                                Diana Jones, Administration

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