Portal, AZ - Rodeo, NM

Serving The Communities Of Portal and Rodeo  (www.portal-rodeo.com)

Portal Rescue-Minutes-Agenda

Minutes - July 14, 2022

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

I.    Call to Order

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

II.    Agenda

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

III.    Minutes

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

IV.    Reports

A.    Fire Chief (David Newton)

1.    Operations since May meeting

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

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

2.    Training 

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

3.    Vehicles

All vehicles are currently in service.

4.    Radios

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

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

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

5.    Grants

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

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

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

B.    EMT Chief (Jackie Lewis)

1.    Calls

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

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

2.    Rescue vehicle acquisition and paperwork review in June

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

3.    Logo and shirts

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

4.    Equipment grant

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

5.    Workman’s Compensation

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

6.    Training

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

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

1.    Assets

a)    Washington Federal

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

b)    Edward Jones (all accounts)

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

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

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

Bank Hapoalim – CD – $29,510.10 – Matures 5-18-2023

Sallie Mae – CD – $28,252.67 – Matures 7-24-2023 

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

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

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

2.    Donations YTD - $10,472

3.    Expenses to date

a)    Details














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

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

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

D.    Member at Large (Alina Downer) 

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

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

F.    Cary

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

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

V.    Continued Business

A.    Classroom use

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

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

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

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

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

C.    CCMHC, Inc.  

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

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

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

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

E.    Phone book (no update)

VI.    New Business

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

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

B.    Red Brush 6

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

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

C.    Second helipad 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

E.    Clarifying election procedures

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

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

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

F.    Schedule for the next board meeting

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

VII.    For the Good of the Order

A.    Blood drive

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


B.    New item for September meeting

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

C.    Open mic (no response)

VIII.    Adjournment

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