Fire Board Meeting

Posted on: May 16th, 2016

Notes on the April 21, 2016 Gold Hill Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting, by Gretchen Diefenderfer

Next Board Meeting is Thursday, May 19, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Rich Lopez.   Board members Rick Geesaman, Bobby Vrba, Paul Garabedian, and Boyd Brown attended as well as Chief Chris Finn and community member Gretchen Diefenderfer.


Calls – Chris reported that he has met with the School. They had a kid who fell and cut his head and they decided to take him in a car themselves (they had called 9-1-1), with the plan being to meet up with the ambulance on the way down to evaluate him. In the case of the school, School District rules put the teachers in charge of making these decisions. The School District is writing up their protocols and the Fire Departments will meet to go over them and have also given the school the parameters on the information Dispatch needs. The kiddo was fine.

In general, when 9-1-1 is called, our EMTs and Emergency Medical Responders will be on the scene as quickly as possible to assess and stabilize the situation and provide emergency care until the ambulance arrives, as well as call in a helicopter if necessary. Our concern with private citizens taking someone down, either to meet up with an ambulance or to drive all the way to the Emergency Room, is that, if the situation deteriorates, there is no one to care for the patient during transport and no way to communicate with anyone about what is happening.

Training and Maintenance – Training with the 3 departments continues on a monthly basis. The training schedule is posted at Maintenance on the trucks and equipment is ongoing.

County Emergency Operations and Mobilization Plan – Chris wanted to make sure this was signed and sent in. Rich will double check.

Road Issues – There is a chunk of road between County 52 and Mount Alto where fire trucks can’t make it. Chris will go out, take measurements and meet with the County about work on this, since this is a County Road.

New Fire Truck – Chris thought he had found a truck, but it will not meet our needs and a new one will cost $300,000 plus. He will continue to look, as will Bobby, but he recommends the board form a committee to start writing specs, get the proposal sheet forms from various companies that build trucks, and meet with their salesmen. Paul, Bobby, and Rich will work on this.

Chris will not be at the board meeting in May, and Rich will not either.


Election matters – Oaths of office need to be administered, and filed various places. Gretchen, our Designated Election Official, originally thought we could do that at this meeting, but it has to be done within 30 days after the date of the election, which was May 3 (and was cancelled since we had no more candidates than offices to fill). We will take care of this at the next meeting. The transparency notice has been updated and all copies will need to be filed, posted and sent to our lawyer.

Cisterns – Rick will meet with the County to get their direction on navigating Special Review or getting a waiver and expedited permits. He will also attend the next Town Meeting to present the latest plan to locate a 30,000 gallon cistern in the Town Meadow. They are now thinking that if they locate the cistern uphill it could provide fire fighting capabilities to all the houses on Hill Street as well as the houses down Gold Run Road – basically that whole side of town – but would entail more work in the meadow. He will speak with the nearby property owners first and then the Town Meeting. It will be expensive – cisterns cost $40,000-$50,000, the plumbing and fixtures around $10,000, and the excavation, etc. could be $20,000 – but will provide much needed water supply in case of a fire.

Dry Hydrants – Rick estimates that the materials will cost approximately $2,000 for each one. He met with Andy Reed, the Supervisor of the Lefthand rebuilding project to widen the road and stabilize the creek so that we can work together on our 3 possible dry hydrant locations.

Address Signs – Rich will distribute those in Lefthand. Bobby distributed some at the last town meeting, and can do that again at the next one, or people can contact any board member.