Followed by Board Meeting Business
By Randy Beaudette
Timberline Board of Directors hosted an open house and Bar-B-Que to introduce the newly elected Board members. Burgers and hot dogs were served up along with the various sides and condiments. Lieutenant John Carder’s famous banana bread was the featured desert.
Timberline Board of Directors called to order their regularly scheduled meeting May 16, 2016 at 7:45 p.m. at Timberline Station 7 at 14908 Highway 119. The meeting was attended by Board President Jim Crawford, Vice-President Rick Wenzel, Secretary Rik Henrikson, Treasurer Paul Ondr, and Member at Large Chip Smith. Also in attendance were Chief Glenn Levy and Administrator Jennifer Hinderman.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, a moment of silence was observed for fallen firefighters, and the meeting proceeded after roll call. There were no changes to the agenda.
There were no presentations, correspondence or public Comment. The minutes from the March 14th regular Board meeting agenda was approved.
President Jim Crawford presided over the swearing in of the newly elected board members Paul Ondr, Cheryl Taylor, and Chris Samuelson. Soon after, delegations of the different positions were assigned. The new positions are President Charles”Chip” Smith, Vice-President Chris Samuelson, Secretary Cheryl Taylor, Treasurer Paul Ondr, and Member-at-Large Rik Henrikson.
There were no changes to the agenda, presentations, public comment, correspondence/email, or legal issues.
Paul Ondr reported that expenses in April were normal and expected as outlined in the 2016 budget. Legal expenses spiked in April due to the election of the new Timberline Board members. Maintenance on the Chief’s truck was also noted in the April spending report. This was normal wear and tear. Tires and general service created a $1,947 expense. Secretary Cheryl Taylor raised the question about the $300 rent payment of Station 9. Timberline Fire owns all of the stations in their district. Station 9 is the only one that is rented and this is outlined in the current budget. A detailed report can be found on Timberline’s web site at: http://www.timberlinefire.com/SiteAssets/board-of-directors/Financials%20April%202016.pdf
As always Chief Levy has a full agenda and this month is no different.
January began a long and challenging journey of providing a Nationally Certified EMT class specifically for Timberline. This allowed a majority of classes to be held within the district and it gave every Timberline firefighter willing to dedicate the massive time commitment to this opportunity to achieve this very important certification. 20 Timberline firefighters and their families sacrifice hundreds of hours in this quest to provide a lifesaving service to the residents of Gilpin County. Chief Levy is excited to report that this process is nearly complete with astounding and remarkable results. Process completion is expected in about 30 days. In this process they have achieved record scores in both written and practical testing.
The success of this program did not lie solely on the shoulders of the students. Their success could not have been accomplished without the High Country Auxiliary’s donation of funds and meals, the great work of Paramedic Instructor Don Stroup of Health ONE, the support of the entire staff of Gilpin Ambulance, and the dedication of Timberline staff.
Board President Chip Smith wanted to recognize and commend Chief Levy for the countless hours he has dedicated to this effort. Without him, none of this would be possible and Timberline is truly blessed to have leadership of this caliber.
Future Utilization Template
While disasters don’t often occur in Timberline’s district, Chief Levy believes it only needs to happen to one person to truly be a disaster. With that philosophy in mind, prior to last month’s heavy snowstorm Timberline worked with all of their response partners to develop trigger points, contingency plans, and service levels to lessen the impact of the storm on our community. Preplanning collaboration, sharing resources, and implementing new communication and logistics processes will be the new standard for Timberline.
Chief Levy recommends that Timberline continue to work with response partners to develop, train and implement a formal “All Hazard Incident Process” for the future. Timberline Board concurred that this effort should be ongoing and encouraged Chief Levy to continue to develop this much needed plan.
Timberline has $25,000 budgeted for part time facilities maintenance, apparatus maintenance, and EMS support. This budget item is a big help in maintaining Timberline’s huge fleet of facilities and stations distributed throughout the district. While this is a huge help, Chief Levy states that this is not sustainable in the long term, especially since Timberline has an increased emergency service levels. Chief Levy is convinced that in the very near future, Timberline will need to look into increasing this line item on the budget or hire a full time firefighter who can perform a wide variety of district’s needs.
Chief levy recommends that Timberline is going to need to increase the current level of support as we move forward and he looks to the Board for some direction. President Chip Smith recommends that this subject be put under new business for the June 2016 meeting.
Timberline firefighters have always supported public education programs as one of our core values. The best emergency is the one that never occurs. Because of the nature of our response model, we are “invited” into the homes of our community members in the hopes of solving problems or lessen the impact that that event is having on them.
Over the past year there have been numerous incidents where members of our community or visitors to our district found themselves without food, fuel, diapers, or other essential needs. We have been robust in solving the immediate, but we have been looking for ways to make the solutions more sustainable.
Last month Levy came to the Board advising that he would be working with the Gilpin County Health and Human Services to see if there were ways Timberline could bridge community needs with their unique facilities, ability to provide 24/7 services, and our amazing personnel. This month Chief Levy is coming to the Board with two programs that he feels will make a huge difference to those Timberline serves.
Program #1: Emergency Food and Essential Products. There is currently no system to provide afterhours/ weekend food, diapers, or other essential basic items that may be needed. Timberline firefighters, Gilpin Ambulance or Gilpin Sheriff’s Department personnel often identify a need, but there is no system that links need with assistance. Timberline, in partnership with Gilpin Health and Human Services, are going to partner to provide non-perishable food boxes that can are available on Timberline apparatus and in Timberline stations for 24/7 distribution by any emergency personnel.
Program #2: Summer Youth Food Program. A large percentage of children who attend the Gilpin School are receiving food assistance. This program is not available during the summer when school is not in session. Timberline and Gilpin County Health and Human Services are going to partner to provide a weekly lunch distribution program. While all of the details are not yet ironed out, we are proposing opening up Fire Station 3 one day a week from 8 – 11 a.m. and staff it with Timberline firefighters and interested volunteers to distribute weekly
In addition to being able to ensure that no child in Timberline’s district is hungry, it will give us a great opportunity to provide fire prevention information, inquire about smoke detectors and offer free detectors and installation as well as other customer service needs.
Chief Levy passionately believes that Timberline has the opportunity to impact more lives and save more lives than those that are traditionally measured. He is requesting the Board support both proposals as they find unique and exciting ways to collaborate and serve the Timberline Community.
Timberline Fire responded to 52 calls in April. To-date we have responded to 170 calls in 2016, with several of calls being significant incidents. During the same time period last year we responded to 136 calls.
Chief Levy is excited to report that everything is looking great. “We have several improvements that are needed, but I am gathering everything that should be done and bundling them into a Capital Request for the Board to review. I’m hoping to have this available to bring to the Board at the June meeting.”
We have pumped out our waste holding tanks and septic systems and now have a long term plan in place. Station 2 has several roof leaks. We suspect they are from hail and heavy snow load. We have filed a claim with our insurance company and should know if it’s covered over the next few days.
911 Authority Board
With the election of new Board members, representatives to the 911 Authority Board were appointed. President Chip Smith was appointed as the Timberline representative, Paul Ondr was appointed as the alternate.
Fire Funds Refund
The resolution to refund Timberline members the Fire Fund portion of their property tax will be discussed and presentation to the Fire Board for approval will be on the June 2016 agenda.
President Chip Smith suggested a Timberline Board workshop that members should attend. An orientation workshop would familiarize the newly elected board members with policies and procedures associated with Timberline and wildland policy workshop.
Secretary Cheryl Taylor suggested that the Board address the issue of the Chief doing mitigation inspections for homeowners and insurance agents. Calls are fielded daily at Timberline headquarters for guidance regarding mitigation. Because Gilpin County does not have mitigation standards like Boulder County, Fire Chiefs of the three agencies in Gilpin County have to familiarize themselves with the various insurance company’s mitigation requirements, inspect the properties, and report back to the homeowner or insurance company. This takes a great deal of time and effort. In reality, it is the insurance agent’s obligation to inspect and recommend a mitigation plan. President Chip Smith recommends that this issue be addressed on the June 2016 regular Board meeting. As always, public comment is welcome and valued by the Timberline Fire Board.
The Timberline FPD Board adjourned at 9 p.m.
The next Timberline Fire Board Regular Meeting and Pension Board Meeting is June 13, 2016 7 p.m. at Station 4, 5927 Magnolia Road, Nederland, Colorado.