Board Meeting 19 October 2021

Consent Items

Minutes of the Last Meeting

Held 21 September, 2021

Submitted by Dan Gower, Board Secretary

The meeting was called to order at 6:30pm by Don Black. Members of the Board in attendance were Don Black, Dan Gower, Lou Henson, Mike Crabill, Bill Long and Brooks Frederick. Charlotte Hays and Mary Lopez were present from the Auxiliary Committee.

The consent items were presented. Minutes of the August meeting should reflect that the financial reports are only cropped when printed – and not when viewed online. Motion was made and seconded to accept the consent items. Approved unanimously.

Old Business

The first item of old business was updating status on several projects. The extrication tools purchase was discussed, and Mike Crabill indicated that the correct chain hooks for the extrication tool would be delivered along with the “train-the-trainer” classes to be given on October 14, 2021. Chief Gower will provide 6 to 10 names for that class.

Update discussions held regarding the FEMA AFG purchase of SCBA gear. Only one bid is in house. Brooks Frederick indicated that another vendor failed to present a bid for another product. Within the next two weeks both vendors will present examples of the Scott and MSA gear for evaluation along with a bid from the second vendor.

Discussion was held regarding the purchase of the washer and dryer for Station 2 enabling the washing of wildland gear after a fire. Bill Long has the items selected and will purchase them in the next two weeks for installation. Use of the department credit cards for that purchase was discussed.

New Business

For New Business Don Black presented his research on upgrades to the cascade bottle-fill station that will accommodate the higher-pressure bottles in the new SCBA apparatus. Discussion was held concerning the cost, the design, and inclusion of the NCC-2 Fragmentation Cabinet. Decision was tabled pending the cost of a six-bottle rack versus the four-bottle rack necessary to outfit the new system. The six-bottle rack will enable some of the old bottles to be used for “shop air”.

Discussions were held with the Auxiliary representatives regarding the Christmas Party. The uncertainty of the availability of the civic center was of concern given that it is the desire of the Board to hold the Christmas Party. An alternative plan for a location other than the civic center was discussed and the use of Station One was approved as a “Plan B.” The Christmas Party will be held December 6, 2021.

Motion to adjourn was made, seconded, and passed at 19:40.

Treasurer’s Report

Submitted by Lou Henson, Board Treasurer


Calendar year thru 9 October

Cash Flow

For the period 1 August, 2021 through 31 August, 2021


Through 30 September, 2021

Chief’s Report

Submitted by Dan Gower

  • This is proving to be a record year for response to 911 calls. As of 15 October we have successfully responded to 133 medical calls (average is usually <90) and 25 Fire Calls including a structure fire save!
  • Significant work being done on budget for 2022 in concert with the Board. Re-aligning of firefighter roles is occurring as we bring on new members and older members retire. Concern remains with the low numbers of firefighters available for actual fire attack role. Work continues on re-designing training program as well as developing a basis for a record’s keeping program to document personnel records, training, maintenance and response.
  • Very proud of this organization’s fund raising efforts during CY2021 – significant funds raised through giving campaign, fund raisers, and successful grants. Grants this year have totaled over $100,000 for equipment (SCBA and PPE).
  • Weekend of 15-17 October I will finish the SFFMA Fire Chief Development program classes.

Auxiliary Report

Submitted by Charlotte Hays

  • No report submitted at this time.

Grant Report

Submitted by Bill Daly

Texas A&M Forest Service

  • We were awarded a grant for $20,000 for Personal Protective Equipment (structural and/or wildland). There is a 10% matching funds requirement.
  • Texas A & M Forest Service Large Brush Truck Grant- Our position in line for this grant has changed. I previously reported “We are now #41 on the list for a large brush truck, however, this month (May2021) we will reach the maximum point rating (120) and position. Among those with maximum points, grants will be funded by date application was submitted and we will leapfrog to # 12. Stephanie with TFS says our truck may be funded October 2021. If not it should (she said definitely) will be funded October 2022.” On the funding list posted August 18, 2021 we were #14 in line for the grant. However, on October 1, 2021 (12 days before the October 13 funding meeting) the following program change went into effect- “The rating cap of 120 has been removed. This will allow applications to continue earning longevity points until approved…”. With this change, on October 1 we went down to #40 on the list. 10 Large Brush Trucks were funded at the October 13 meeting. In a conversation with TFS Grant supervisor Mary Nowak on 10/19 she believes we are probably now about 5 years out on this Grant.
  • I recommend we put in an application for a Texas A & M Forest Service Fire & Rescue Equipment Grant at this time if it is determined there is something on the list of eligible items we are in need of. Attached is the list of eligible items. Grant amount is $20,000 with a 90/10 cost share.
    • Self Contained Breathing Apparatus
    • Thermal Camera
    • Cascade System
    • Extrication Equipment
    • Gear Bags
    • Computers (limit of two per department)
    • Hose, Nozzles, and Ladders
    • Emergency Lighting
    • Portable Tank
    • Generator
    • Ventilation Fans and Saws
    • Flashlights
    • Small Engine (Pump)
    • Fire Pump
    • Communication equipment
    • Automated External Defibrillators
  • I am in the process of gathering data & preparing an application for the Firehouse Subs $20,000 grant for PPE. Grants are considered quarterly and an application period is open now.

Old Business

SCBA HP Air Storage and Fill System

Submitted by Don Black

The vendor submitted an updated quote including the six-tank short storage rack (allowing space for two of our existing tanks) per the Board’s request, as well as some minor customization to the fragmentation cabinet to accommodate two extra fill whips for SCUBA and CGA. The final quote was $15,460.82.

Board approval for up to $16,000 was requested and granted unanimously via the website messaging system. The order is now with the vendor and we are discussing details of the final configuration prior to assembly and shipping.

Replacement SCBA Evaluation and Bids

Submitted by Don Black

Per direction from the Board, representatives from both Scott and MSA gave presentations on their respective products and submitted demo units for review. An evaluation committee consisting of Brooks Frederick, Mike Crabill, Dan Gower, Bill Long, Bill Daly, and Don Black reviewed and tested both systems. This not only allowed a direct comparison, but also formed the basis for specifying the exact configuration to be quoted by each vendor.

Differences in standard features, available options, and simply the way each vendor quotes their products makes simple side-by-side comparison challenging. I have tried to break down the major parts of each below.

General Notes

  • Telemetry. Wireless telemetry systems provide Incident Command with the ability to remotely monitor the status of each unit and issue recall notifications. Location homing and automated accounting and maintenance are also possible. Both manufacturers agreed that this capability is likely to be included in the next NFPA standard, and that it added minimal up-front cost but could not be retrofitted. For that reason it was decided to have it included in both bids.
  • Voice Annunciator. This is standard with MSA and includes a speaker on the left strap that is powered by the central battery. With Scott, it is an option that is added to the faceplate and requires separate batteries. Because of the added bulk and complexity, it was excluded from the Scott bid.
  • Radio Interface. Bluetooth linking to some radios is standard with MSA and operates through the built-in microphone in the regulator. Scott implements this as another option to the faceplate voice annunciator, meaning it was also excluded from the quoted Scott configuration.
  • Emergency Replenishment. Per NFPA, all new SCBA include a quick-fill (AKA trans-fill) connector by which a standardized high-pressure hose can be connected to either a donor pack or a RIT system for emergency air replenishment. For this reason, the “buddy breathing” connectors were eliminated from both bids in favor of continuous regulator hoses.

3M Scott X3 Pro

As Quoted: X3 Pro SCBA (2018 Edition) with Snap-Change Cylinder Connection, 4.5, Standard Harness with Parachute Buckles, Standard Belt with No Accessory Pouch, E-Z Flo C5 Regulator with Continuous Hose, No EBSS accessory Hose, No Airline Connection, No Spare Harness Kit, SEMS II Pro, No Case
Unit Cost: $5,928.40
Total (12): $71,140.80

Cylinders: Snap-Change, Carbon-Wrapped, Pressure 4500, 45 Minutes
Unit Cost: $1,064.52
Total (24): $25,548.48 – 10 Free = $14,903.28

Faceplates: Vision C5 Facepiece, Medium Face Seal, Kevlar Headnet
Unit Cost: $301.50
Total (15): $4,522.50

Trans-fill Hoses: TBD
Flow Test: (12 x $20): $240.00

GRAND TOTAL: $90,806.58

MSA Safety G1

As Quoted: G1 4500 psig with Quick Connect Cylinder Connection, Serviceable Harness with Chest Strap, Metal Band Cradle, Adjustable Swiveling Lumbar Pad, Solid Cover Regulator with Continuous Hose, Speaker Module Left Chest, Digital PASS with Full Telemetry Module, Bluetooth, Rechargeable Battery
Unit Cost: $6,238.00
Total (12): $74,856.00

Cylinders: Quick-Change 4500, 45Minute, Low-Profile, Carbon Fiber
Unit Cost: $985.00
Total (24): $23,640.00

Faceplates: Facepiece Medium, Medium Nose Cup, cloth, 4pt, G1
Unit Cost: $299.00
Total (15): $4,485.00

Trans-fill Hoses (2 x $93): $186.00
Flow Test: TBD
Spare Batteries: (3 x $283): $849.00
Six-Bay Battery Charger: $520.00
Fill Station QC Adaptor (2 x $359) $718.00
Thermal Imaging: (4 @ $128): $512.00

GRAND TOTAL: $105,766.00

New Business

Llano County Mutual Aid Request

Per the Board Calendar

Submit the annual financial information letter to Llano County requesting mutual aid funds.

Budget Review

Submitted by Don Black

I have asked the Chief to look at the remaining budget for 2021 and brief the Board on projected expenditures through the rest of the year. We can also discuss thoughts for the proposed 2022 budget which will be presented for review and comment at the November meeting.

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