Portal Rescue-Agenda - Minutes


Special Board Meeting – August 24, 2021


Attending: Board members Cary Booth, Victor Shawe, Dinah Davidson, Jackie Lewis, David Newton, Carolyn Nordstrom, and Active Members Bonnie Bowen, Michele Lanan, Alina Downer, Andrew Waser and John Yerger.


  1. Call to Order

President Cary Booth called the Special Meeting to order at 6:14 pm.


  1. Adoption of Agenda

Cary moved to amend the Agenda by adding an update on the contract with CCHCI, and Carolyn seconded his motion, which carried unanimously.


  1. Discussion of Possible Donation of Rescue Vehicle to Portal Rescue

    1. Hidalgo County has offered to donate a rescue vehicle that could be used as a back-up for Rescue 4; their offer is contingent on having that County approve the donation. The vehicle is a 1997 Ford F350 that drives beautifully (per Jackie) but needs a radio, two new batteries, a new spare tire, lettering, and a back-up camera, which David calculates would sum to about $1200. Outfitting of a second rescue vehicle with EMS equipment and supplies should cost under $1,000. We would not buy another (very expensive) power cot, but a manual stretcher will fit in the donated vehicle. The power cot could be moved there if Rescue 4 were to be out of service.
    2. The question is whether to accept this donation, given these needed expenditures, added insurance costs (minor), and additional work for EMTs doing vehicle checks. EMTs have volunteered to try to alternate vehicles to the degree possible so they remain informed about the condition of both vehicles. A newly acquired “Rescue 3” would be used when high clearance is not required and patient weight does not require the power cot. Winston Lewis (once qualified as a driver) and Andrew Waser have volunteered to do under-the-hood vehicle checks.
    3. Arguments in favor of accepting the donation (no one argued against):

      1. As the population of the Portal-Rodeo area increases, the number of EMS calls is increasing (Dinah).
      2. Recently, a second vehicle would have been useful for multi-vehicle accidents (Carolyn) and would be helpful when we have multiple calls within a narrow window of time (Alina). (Rescue vehicles must be thoroughly cleaned between calls.)
      3. Recently, Rescue 4 was out of service for repairs, and we could not transport patients in Brush 8 (Michele).
      4. EMTs are not concerned about extra vehicle checks (Michele, John).
    4. Jackie moved that we accept the donation, and Carolyn seconded her motion, which carried unanimously.


  1. Revisiting Classroom Policy

    1. We currently allow classroom use under restricted conditions*, but the Covid-19 situation is evolving due to rapid spread of the Delta variant.
    2. Dinah proposed that, in view of the fact that community transmission is now occurring in the Portal-Rodeo area, we should revert to closing the classroom again for all but our carefully supervised blood drives, and for Portal Rescue training and business. Victor seconded this motion, and the vote in favor was unanimous.


  1. Update on Revisions to the CCHCI MOU

    1. CCHCI has responded to our revisions but deleted the statement of purpose, so that the purpose of the arrangement remains vague.They also clarified that they would not be leaving their mobile facility overnight because it is needed elsewhere.
    2. Cary circulated the latest version of the MOU in an email to board members, and he requested that any comments be sent to him by tomorrow afternoon before he replies to CCHCI.Both Jackie and David requested that the organization acknowledge that the purpose of the arrangement is to determine whether there is sufficient interest for them to establish a permanent facility.
    3. Alice Wakefield sent a comment about repetition of a phrase, and this will be corrected.


  1. Adjournment

There being no further discussion or agenda items, Cary adjourned the meeting at 18:43.


*(from May 2021 minutes) “Portal Rescue classroom will be open to groups of 15 people or fewer. Masks are required if social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks will be optional if social distancing can be maintained. No eating in the classroom.”







Howard Topoff 2011