Minutes of the Last Meeting
Held 19 October, 2021
Submitted by Dan Gower, Board Secretary
Meeting held on 19 October 2021. The meeting was called to order at 18:30 by Don Black. Members of the Board in attendance were Don Black, Dan Gower, Lou Henson, Mike Crabill, and Brooks Frederick and Bill Long. Also in attendance was Charlotte Hay, Lead Chair of the Auxiliary Committee.
The consent items were presented. Discussion was held briefly regarding the grants report. The Auxiliary report included a request by the auxiliary committee for someone in the fire department side to assume the chairperson role of the Bass Tournament as Melodie Bradbury has asked to be replaced. The Board requested that Bill Daly provide information regarding the ability to request items that could be used in the construction of the needed Water Supply Trailer (e.g., pump, hoses, and fittings) using the Texas Forest Service grant program. The consent items were approved unanimously.
Under Old Business, Don Black presented an update on the SCBA Fill Station and Air Storage system that is currently on order and being manufactured. The side-by-side evaluation of the two SCBA systems that the department considered was presented by Don Black. Under consideration were systems from Scott and from MSA. The overwhelming selection by those who were given demonstrations of the two systems was the MSA system. Discussion was presented regarding the pricing of the two systems and the additional items available. It was decided by vote to add Thermal Imaging Camera capability to the MSA product and accept the bid from that organization. This was approved by vote.
Bill Long presented an update on the purchase of the washer and dryer for wildland fire gear that will be installed at Station Two. The items are on order, paid for, and awaiting the supply chain to deliver the items.
The Board calendar showed that it was time for sending the request for grant money from Llano County for the mutual aid support. Lou Henson will make contact with the financial office at Llano County and submit our request.
For New Business Chief Gower presented the outlook and plan to execute the remainder of the budget for FY 2021. It was decided that the funds expended for the Cascade System (bottle fill) and for the Combi-Tool extrication device would be applied against capital expenditures. This leaves budget lines available for expenditure of needed repairs and tire replacement. Chief Gower indicated that the budget for 2022 is nearing completion and will be presented to the Board for approval at the November Board meeting.
Chief Gower presented a request from the Auxiliary Committee for permission to expend $150 for a morale building happy hour to celebrate the successful fund-raising efforts of the Sip and Stroll, Golf Tournament and Bass Tournament. After discussion the request was approved by vote.
Motion to adjourn was made, seconded, and passed at 19:40.
Submitted by Lou Henson, Board Treasurer
Calendar year thru 12 November
For the period 1 October, 2021 through 31 October, 2021
Through 31 October, 2021
Submitted by Dan Gower
Activity to Date
- Medical: 85
- Fire: 17
- Manhours: 608 (includes training)
- Water Supply is out of service indefinitely.
- Supply/Rehab is out of service awaiting fuel pump replacement.
- Fire Boat pump is inoperative and parts are currently unavailable; possibility of installing the portable pump currently at Station Two. Can be used for search/rescue/recovery in the meantime.
Submitted by Charlotte Hays
The Auxiliary held a November meeting at the First Baptist church. We voted on the officers for 2022-23. The nominees were approved and will be installed at the January meeting.
- Lead Chair – Mary Lopez
- First Vice Chair – Debbie Foster
- Financial Chair – Sharon Sanders
Since we alternate years for 2nd vice chair, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary the following officers will remain for 2022.
- Second Vice Chair – Melodie Bradbury
- Corresponding Secretary – Marna Glase
- Recording Secretary – Sue Jackson
Tickets for the dinner on Dec. 6th will be available for purchase at Honey’s Coffee shop on Friday Nov. 19th. Tickets are $15. All VFD and Auxiliary members and their spouses are invited. It will be at the Community Center. Happy Hour will be at 5:30, Highland Lakes Men’s Chorus at 6:00, and dinner at 6:30. Dinner will be catered by Debbie Alexander. The menu is chicken cordon bleu, scalloped potatoes, candied carrots, salad and rolls. Auxiliary Members were asked to bring an appetizer or dessert to share. It is BYOB.
Submitted by Bill Daly
Texas A&M Forest Service
- PPE Grant – request was funded for $ 20,000 at the October 13 funding meeting. Next step is to purchase qualifying PPE and submit invoices & proof of payment for reimbursement. The department is evaluating gear options at this time. Grant can be used for any combination of Wildland & Bunker Gear.
- Fire/Rescue Equipment Grant – Application submitted October 25, 2021 with the intent to use for a drafting pump & equipment to be placed on a trailer.
- SCBA Grant – we have accepted the grant detailed below and chosen the MSA SCBA system. The equipment is on order.
- County Communications Equipment Grant – Grant application will be updated to resubmit in the current grant application period which closes December 17, 2021.
A grant application was being prepared for $20,000 – $25,000 for PPE to submit in the October 2021 grant period. The grant period was closed (due to maximum # of applications being received) before we had the vendor quote necessary to submit our application. We will submit an application in their next grant period which opens January 6, 2022.
Federal Infrastructure Bill
The bill scheduled to be signed by the president on Monday, November 15 includes money for “Wildfire defense grants for at-risk communities.” Frank Serpas is checking on this.
2022 Budget Proposal
Submitted by Don Black and Dan Gower
A preliminary budget for FY 2022 will be presented for review. It includes changes to how both revenue and expenses are recognized and reported, as well as preliminary proposals for capital expenditures.
Appointment of a Fundraising Chairman
Submitted by Dan Gower
- Serve as the overall chair of our efforts to organize and execute the four fund raisers each year. Serving on the committee that he/she will lead will be at the minimum the four chairman/persons of the individual fund raisers (BBQ, Sip and Stroll, Golf, and Bass).
- Act as the liaison between the Board of Directors and the chairs of the four committees. As such, this individual must be familiar with and ready to support and/or explain any Board Policy decisions that affect any one of the events.
- Acts as the liaison between the committee chairs and the persons responsible for updating the website and the social media platforms. Understand the requirements of the online presence and the timelines necessary to effect needed changes prior to publication, going live for registrations, etc.
- Be ready and willing to work with all four chairs in enough detail to ensure that each committee is aware of the ground rules and needed information but not so much as to dictate their every move. Individual committees must be empowered to execute their event.
- Hold a kick-off meeting in December to finalize the dates of the four events, the location, and any information needed to be published at the beginning of the calendar year.
- Meet routinely as needed with the chairs of each committee in a timely manner prior to the date of each event.
- Convey Board decisions – work through confusion – establish clear lines of communication.
- Inform the Board of decisions and plans at the two-month prior mark and the one-month prior mark of each event.
State of the Department Report
Submitted by Dan Gower
The Chief distributed a document outlining his view of the state of the VFD. Overall topics addressed include:
- Bylaws and general departmental policies.
- Requirements for membership and training.
- Standard operating procedures and guidelines.
- Documentation and record keeping.
- Recruiting and retention.
- Fundraising, the Auxiliary, and awards.