Meeting Minutes August 2013

08/21/2013 REVISED 9/19/13


The regular meeting of the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Board was called to order at 6:00 p.m., by Chairman Paul Biondo, at 4123 Vance Road, Traverse City, MI 49685.


Roll call – 8 members, a quorum


Fife Lake – Linda Forwerck

Grant – Doug Moyer

Green Lake – Paul Biondo

Long Lake – John Linnerson-Trustee

Paradise – Tim Trudell

Springfield – Tom Gray

Union – Doug Mansfield

Whitewater – Ron Popp

Consultant Bill Sedlacek-Chief Ret.

Dave Milliron – Accountant

Becca Pruyne – H&SO

#4 Capt. Mike Stinson

Acting Chief Roger Gibson

Blair Chief Jim Carroll

#4 FF Patrick Pruyne

AGENDA:   Forwerck- Fife Lake asked to amend the Revised Agenda by adding “Applications” to Old/Unfinished Business.  Granted.  Popp-Whitewater asked to put “AIS” under Other Business.  Granted.  Motion by Fife Lake, supported by Union to approve the Revised and Amended Agenda.  All ayes.


MINUTES:   Motion by Springfield, supported by Long Lake to approve the 7/17/13 Minutes as presented.    All ayes.  Motion carried.   Dave Milliron asked if they could insert a starting date of 7/18/13 for Roger Gibson in the Motion to appoint Capt. Gibson as interim Acting Chief.   Motion by Union, supported by Whitewater to add Roger Gibson’s starting date of July 18, 2013

to the Motion to appoint Capt. Gibson as interim Acting Chief.   All ayes.  Motion carried.


FINANCIAL REPORTS:    Dave Milliron gave Financial Reports.  General Op Funds money market balance is $256,840.50.  Line item #934.002 DOT inspections overdrawn.  All cost controls are in balance.  (See Budget Amendment sheet)

Public Improvement Fund balance is $1,388.70

Grant Fund balance is $5.00

Budget Amendment – Increase Line Items #702.000, #934.000, #934.002 total increases are $50,600.00.   Decrease Line Items #702.001, #718.000, #716.000, #745.00 total decreases are $50,600.00.    Motion by Springfield, supported by Union to approve the recommended Budget Amendments.   All ayes.  Motion carried.


*See data sheet on Vehicle maintenance & repair cost given to Board from Dave. 


Motion by Union, supported by Paradise to approve the Financial Reports as presented.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


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CLAIMS:    Pre-paid Claims in the amount of $3,554.72.   Motion by Union, supported by Paradise to approve the Pre-paid Claims as presented.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


Open Invoices in the amount of $30,969.18.   Motion by Springfield, supported by Union to approve the Open invoices in the amount of $30,969.18.  All ayes.  Motion carried.


Capt. Mike Stinson had an invoice for $900.00 from Burch Tank & Truck to repair the Wildfire Slide-in unit that was damaged.  They received a grant to pay for the Slid-in unit.   Mike had it shipped direct to GTR Equipment to install on Wildfire.   GTR didn’t inspect unit when they received it, and it was damaged during shipping.  They told Mike they weren’t going to do anything about it.  Spartan ERV replaced broken equipment as a warranty.  They took the unit to Burch Tank to have the plastic tank welded.  Chris Magiera took photos of the damage.  Discussed options.   Board decided not to pursue GTR in court or by insurance.


PAYROLL:   $4,435.06 and $4,771.18.   Motion by Union, supported by Springfield to approve the payroll.  All ayes.  Motion carried.




Budget/Finance – no report

Equipment – nothing further


CONSULTANT SEDLACEK:     Sedlacek reported he has been taking care of what comes across his desk.   He has been doing interviews with the new applicants.


ACTING CHIEF GIBSON:   Roger said he had a whole page of stuff to talk about.


1.  Roger said they moved the trainings around and all training will be at RTC.


2.  Roger reported on an Officer meeting July 29 – Linda Forwerck attended.  One of the main topics were the Chief Officers in the stations, and they still want to be called “Chiefs” not Captains.   No changes have been made yet.   “Everybody wants to still be called Chief”.   The Board told Roger they have already implemented that.  Biondo said they took action a year ago.   Roger said no one has explained the benefit of being called a Captain.   There have been no hardware changes.  The “re-organization is on paper but not implemented.”   Chairman Biondo said the Captains run the stations.


3.  Roger said they discussed MFR and wondered if it needed to be mandatory that everyone have a medical license.   He said they lost people when it became mandatory that they have a medical certification.  He wants people to have a choice to be medical or not.  They would still have CPR, and basic first aid.   He said it is too much for some people to keep up with medical certifications.   Becca said MFR is required because they have medically non-licensed transporting vehicles.  When they went to  “rescues”  and licensed our vehicles as non-licensed transporting vehicles that is where MFR came in because it is a State requirement to even drive those vehicles.

Roger said he asked the officers how many times their trucks were used to provide medical, and they said they don’t because their ambulances take care of the medical care.   Becca said they had to have an MFR vehicle per station or nothing at all.

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Acting Chief Gibson cont’d:   Paul Biondo said they had 60 fire fighters and he wants to have a list of those who don’t want to be an MFR, because it doesn’t take much to become an MFR. Becca stated that every time our Engine/Rescues respond to a scene to help with medical that Engine responded as a medical unit also, and at a fire scene where a fire fighter helps with re-hab they have to be MFR.   Paul Biondo said they will keep this on their list and let the new guy handle it.


4.   Roger said he would like to have “Tanker Drivers” and the State of Michigan allows that.   “It would be another way to recruit people.   It would free up fire fighters.”


5.  Roger said they have more communication now, and people are coming to him with ideas.


6.  Roger said they need to inventory turn-out gear and get new gear.   (MIOSHA rules).


7.  Roger said they have old equipment.  He said the Brush truck in Kingsley is an old military truck and the tires need replacing – over 10 years old.   Mansfield-Union stated they just paid for all the DOT inspections and now Roger is saying the tires are shot?   Roger said their old military trucks are dangerous.   Union said he would rather pour money into those than their new ones.  The new stuff costs more to repair – even Brian at EVP said that.  (Becca said MIOSHA did inspect our tires and some were replaced.)

8.   Roger discussed “inspections.”  Record Keeping in Firehouse.  Roger said the Officers want the new firehouse program- internet based (“cloud based”) and no longer have a server.  Rural’s server needs replacing.  (per Ben Eager’s report).


9.   Roger said they need better record-keeping.  He said Becca just handed him a report on peoples training activities, and he can briefly look at that and see a lot of mistakes in it.

They should be able to push a button and get the monthly training report.   Becca said she has the signed training rosters and that’s where she got all the information.  Becca told Roger to fax her all the Required Training sheets.   Roger said this stuff keeps going to different places and they should be able to pull it out of one place.  Discussion.


10.   Roger discussed Knox Boxes.  He said nothing has been reviewed since Ron left.  He said Julie had some of it but it is very inaccurate and out of date.  He said if he had the new firehouse program he could go into it and pull up the reports to update them.


11.  Roger reported he and Linda have implemented an emergency preparedness emergency plan in Fife Lake.  He attends a lot of meetings around the State.  He is working with the County EOC.


12.  Roger spoke about the upcoming Fire Prevention Week and some participation with Metro.  The Stations have been turning in their planned activities.


13.  Roger said he is working on “box alarms” and Mutual Aid agreements.  Roger mentioned Blair Township and the amount of money they spend with Blair Township, and wondered how much more they can afford to pay.   Mansfield-Union said that has been set up and running and they will review it annually.


Linnerson – Long Lake asked about “tanker drivers” and whether they would be equipped.

Roger said they would be station members but not get points.   They could buy them some apparel.    Mansfield-Union said the public would question that.

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HEALTH & SAFETY OFFICER:    Becca reported she just handed out the Required Training Report.  (Spreadsheet)  Anything highlighted is required training from October 2012.  She didn’t have all the Pump Op figures yet.   Becca stated Linda called her asking for a copy of required training and Becca emailed it to her.  Becca said Station #10 has been good about getting the required training reports to her.  Becca stated she has had no response from Station #2 about getting the training rosters to her. Becca explained how to read the training spreadsheet.   The Board had asked for list of those who attended or did not attend the required training.   These required trainings are MIOSHA and Rural Policy requirements.    Mike Stinson stated MIOSHA says fire fighters need to be trained on anything they do in the field.  Becca stated they are doing better with physicals.    Trudell-Paradise asked how he could get his officers to turn in the work – his station officers are in violation – and wondered why this hasn’t been addressed – they need to “lay down the law”.   Consultant Sedlacek said they could lay down the law all they want, but if they make up their mind not to do it, they won’t.  Discussed Required Training and the firefighters who miss the trainings and how to get them to go to make-up training.  Roger said if they had “cloud” it would be easier….Popp said – “no, cloud isn’t going to replace lazy.”

Becca stated that when they started the required training it was her understanding by all the Chief Officers at the time that she keep track of all the required training records and they would turn in the rosters to her, but it hasn’t happened.    Roger stated “you can’t be having information sent to two different locations, the person at the end of the table requires the information to come to her office and then you require information to come to you…”  Becca said “Required Training only comes to me, all other training goes to Julie.”   Roger stated “required training has to go to Julie every month, you can’t have Julie demanding to get my training records in here, and have you demanding that they come to you, they have to come to one place, and one place only…”

Union-Mansfield complemented Becca on her required training report.


Becca reported she received correspondence from RRGP (Insurance Grant) stating Rural was denied the grant for water rescue equipment.

Becca reported that on September 11 she and Julie were going to attend a MIOSHA conference at the Holiday Inn.

Becca reported that Northflight created a new app for iphones and androids, for Mass Casualty Incidents.   We can ask them to launch the helo straight through Northflight dispatch.


RTC:    Becca reported an Instructor Meeting is set for September 5th at 6:00 pm.  The schedule will be out for Fire School by early September.


UNFINISHED/OLD BUSINESS:   *Mayfield Twp. Service Contract – Trudell-Paradise said he left John Ockert a message about it, but John didn’t call him back.   Chairman Biondo said they were supposed to pay us by today.   Discussed sending Mayfield a Notice.   Motion by Union, supported by Paradise to have Acting Chief Roger Gibson send a letter, a contract to sign and an invoice to the Mayfield Township Supervisor and the Clerk.  All ayes.  Motion carried.   (Dave will generate an invoice)


*Chairman Biondo Signed Contracts for Consultant Sedlacek and Acting Chief Gibson.





*Applications – Linda Forwerck made a spreadsheet dividing Applicants into Fire, CEO, and combination Fire/CEO, Michigan and out of state.   The Board discussed the interview committee and who they should get to sit in on it.  Popp-Whitewater wondered if the interviews had to be a quorum of the Board to comply with the Open Meetings Act.  Trudell-Paradise stated the interviews don’t have to have a Board quorum, only the final selection will need a Board vote.  The Board decided to ask Chief Jim Tuller-City Fire to help with interviews.   Linda said she would sit in but not interview.   Consultant Sedlacek would also sit in.   The Board asked Long Lake Trustee John Linnerson to be on the interview committee and he agreed.  The Board agreed they needed to do some “groundwork.”  The committee will make a list of questions and scenarios and use a rating sheet.  They will post the interview dates, and take two days to interview applicants.  They will allow 45 minutes per interview.  The Board does not have a way to provide benefits so they will search for a company who can handle the insurance and benefits.   As the rate of pay they will use what Consultant Sedlacek gets -$72,000 plus benefits and a Chief truck.  Consultant Sedlacek said he would check with MAFC for insurance.   Trudell-Paradise suggested they investigate Health Insurance companies, and told them to contact “Dolly – at Great Northern Benefits.

Motion by Paradise, supported by Grant to have Linda Forwerck, Chief Jim Tuller, John Linnerson and Bill Sedlacek conduct the interviews for CEO/Fire Chief.   7 Ayes, 1 Nay-Popp.   Ron Popp-Whitewater was concerned about the open meeting act for interviews.


Motion by Union, supported by Whitewater to narrow the field to the top ten (10) recommended candidates and post the interview dates in accordance with the open meetings act.   All ayes. Motion carried.    Chairman Biondo said not to send any “regret” letters yet, until they contact the top 10 applicants and get through the first round.


NEW BUSINESS:    Capt. Mike Stinson discussed SCBA Flow Test quotes.  Mike explained they no longer have trained/certified technicians to conduct tests so he has two companies, and 3 quotes for the testing.   Mike likes Argus-Hazco and recommends their 3 year contract.  OSHA says to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations about how often they do flow tests, and they have SCOTT who says it needs to be done every year.   Motion by Trudell-Paradise, supported by Popp-Whitewater to accept the contract with Argus-Hazco for 3 years.   All ayes.  Motion carried.  


*Linda – Fife Lake said they are working on the Plaque in honor of Marie Dean, and would like to present it to her family and wondered if they could use Paradise Township Hall or the Fire Station.   Trudell said Station #2 was fine.   Linda will let everyone know the date and time.


*Acting Chief Gibson said the next officer meeting is September 3rd – 7:00 p.m at Long Lake.


OTHER BUSINESS:    Ron Popp- Whitewater stated the Chairman of AIS Corporation contacted him because they expanded their facility in Whitewater Township and they elected to put a fire sprinkler system in.  Grand Traverse County is not allowing them occupancy of the building, because no fire department personnel have inspected it.  They are occupying with no permit.

County Codes sent him to Metro – Brian Belcher, and Brian said he had no jurisdiction there, but if Rural hires Metro, it may not fit Metro standards, and would have to be pulled out.  Rural contracts with Metro to review prints, and Brian does all commercial buildings with fire sprinklers in them.  Blair Chief Jim Carroll said Metro did an inspection for them.


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Other Business cont’d: 


Chief Carroll suggested Brian should receive a set of prints to go by before he does an inspection.  Discussion.  Mansfield-Union said just call Pat Parker.  The Secretary will send Ron Popp a copy of the Agreement with Metro.


Becca asked for clarification about who she is to answer to, such as changes to MIOSHA forms.

The inspection sheets she created were given to MIOSHA and MIOSHA approved them.  They had a “Chief” meeting she didn’t attend and the officers wanted to change the forms for checking equipment.  Becca doesn’t want to change the wrong things.    She spoke with and explained the forms to Roger, but they were changed anyway.

Roger said the information on the new forms they made is exactly the same as the old forms, except the equipment is all listed one sheet.   Roger said the biggest problem they have is “gear inspections” so the easier they can make gear inspections the better.   Roger stated that “right now, before they worry about this piece of paper one minute longer, we need to quit worrying about this piece of paper, we need to worry about the expired and outdated gear.”

Mansfield-Union said if it’s truly a big deal- cash in a CD and get it done.   Roger stated they “have lots of things to get done, if we find out there is gear out there from past members that has never been turned in…we have lots of things to do.”


No other business.   Meeting adjourned 8:37 p.m.