GHFPD Minutes of the 7-17-14 Board Meeting

Posted on: August 3rd, 2014

Gold Hill Fire Protection District, Board of Directors Meeting 7/17/14 – Minutes by Gretchen Diefenderfer, acting secretary in the absence of Dave Sturtz.

Next meeting will be Thursday, August 21, 2014, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Center

The meeting was called to order by Chair Rich Lopez.  Attending were Rich, Rick Geesaman, Bobby Vrba, Chief Chris Finn, and citizens Paul Garabedian and Gretchen Diefenderfer, who agreed to take the minutes.

Replacement of Board Member –

The first order of business was to fill the vacancy on the board created by Donal Maloney’s leaving.  Boyd Brown had indicated to Chris and Rick that he would be willing to serve and Rick noted that he would do a fine job, Leslie Finn had said she’d serve if they couldn’t get anyone else, and Paul Garabedian was there, full of enthusiasm.  He has lived in Gold Hill for 2 years, 3 months and is married to Diane Mehsling.  They came from East Bridgewater, MA and he served on the Board of Appeals there. He owned his own business for 24 years as a builder and framer, and feels he knows how to manage money.  He wanted to do something for the town and cannot be a firefighter.  After some discussion, the board voted unanimously to confirm Paul as the newest member of the board and Rich administered the oath of office – essentially to support the Constitution of the U.S and the State of Colorado and faithfully perform the duties of the office of director!  His contact info is: 192 Dixon Road, Boulder, CO 80302 – day phone: 720-382-0089, night: 970-391-8698 – email:  Thanks, Paul!

Minutes – Bobby moved that they approve the minutes of the last meeting, Rick seconded, and they were approved unanimously.

Chief’s Report –  

            Calls – Chris reported that our calls have been mainly abandoned, smoldering campfires on National Forest Service land in the Rocky Point area, plus one at the top of Sawmill Rd with a big hike in.  Chris’s present policy, since many of these campfires are at the end of jeep roads, which are barely jeep roads (especially since the rains of last September), is to request that the USFS be called. The USFS now has a Prevention Unit who will respond. The other option is for us to gather a crew to walk in. If a fire is fully involved, our department will have a second tone sent out and we’ll go.

He added that we are supposed to be reimbursed for fires on USFS land, but it hasn’t been happening since things changed from the Colorado Forest Service to the Colorado Dept. of Public Safety. Rick moved that the Board approve this policy, Bobby seconded and it was unanimously approved.

The brush truck is almost fixed, and will be able to make its way into more difficult to access areas.  Paul suggested that we might want to get an ATV with a small water tank to go into really difficult to access areas.  Chris added that if a campfire gets bigger, the Sheriff would be here, too, and can call for a chopper.

We also had a call for a Fire/Carbon Monoxide alarm.  Everybody needs to check for bird’s nests, etc., in vents, also check your batteries on your detectors.  Chris does not recommend unvented portable heaters.

Trainings – Bobby reported that the 3 departments (GH, Fourmile and Sunshine) had a great training with 5 engines and a Porta-pond.  Chris has 3 training officers now, Donal Maloney, Dave Sturtz, and Dave Steinmann.

Recruitment – We have a potential new guy, a Boulder County Ranger/EMT.  Some time ago we talked about a recruitment poster.  Rich will check on this – thinks Dave Sturtz may have it in his computer.

Maintenance – Bobby is putting in new windows as they become available at Resource.  Volunteers helped with weatherizing the barn doors.  Batteries have been replaced in the tender and 5433 (the new brush truck – 5431 has become a parts truck for 5433).  Tracy McConnell, x-Chief of Lyons and a CDOT mechanic is working with us now on maintenance.  The “Grey Mare” (old grey pick up) is used for spotting – there is a box with maps, binoculars, and radios in a box by the barn doors to grab when we need to check on a smoke report, etc.  Bobby will be fixing the door on the Grey Mare.

The SCBAs are due for their yearly check.  A mobile truck comes up – costs $200 for the first one and $100/unit after x 13 units.

New Truck Search – is ongoing.  Chris has brokers searching for us.  We’re looking to replace Engine 1.  We need a 4WD with a 500gpm pump, and a 500 gal. tank with CAF (compressed air foam) and it needs to be small enough to fit in our barn and get up steep, narrow driveways– not easy to find.  If we can’t finds one, we might have to increase our budget and have one built by one of the local companies.  We have $100,00 budgeted (in the bank now, since we have been saving for this).

Dry Hydrants – Chris has talked with Ted Plank, County Road guy, about the original plan for a dry hydrant above Rowena.  Since the flood, the County is working on their plan for realignment of Lefthand Creek, and will probably be able to help us with the installation in conjunction with this work, so Chris is thinking about possibly putting in 5 or 6.  Ted will let us know when the final plan is approved and work begins.  Rich will send an email to the people in Lefthand about locations/easements.

Chris also asked for help.  We had a problem on a call with a citizen who would not move a vehicle when requested to allow the Fire Truck easier access.  Rick will address this.

Budget – Chris will bring in his rough draft of the proposed budget for next year so planning can begin early on any new ideas/plans.

Other Business –

            Rest Room Alternatives –Rich checked with the County Health Department and they indicated no problem with our having a Porta-San for our occasional meetings as long as it is not open to the public (the plan is to lock it) or too close to a creek.  He will talk to Peter Swift, Chair of the Town Meeting, about this option as well as the need to move the Safesite shed, which amounts to a fire hazard because it impedes access around the back of the barn.

Dick Marchman tribute – The family has asked that contributions be made to local fire departments in his honor.  Our department will send a card – he was a highly respected volunteer firefighter and will be missed deeply.

Pancake Breakfast – Thanks to everyone. It was a big success and Leslie will be putting out a report.

Rick moved that the meeting be adjourned, Bobby seconded and it passed unanimously.