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Approved Sep 24, 2003 - Emergency Services Advisory Board Minutes


Santa Rosa County
Emergency Services Advisory Committee
September 24, 2003
2:00 p.m.


Members present: 

Joe Diamond                                                             Chris Rucker
Gerry Goldstein                                                         Don Vanderryt
John E. Reble                                                                       

Members absent:

Tony Simmons                                                          Lew Oliver

Staff present:

Sheryl Bracewell                                                       Dave Ling
Deb Grinde   

Agenda for this meeting approved with the following two additons:

New Business
MSBU report for upcoming budget year

Old Business
State Fire Marshal’s rule – Firefighter Occupational Safety & Health

Minutes for meeting held August 27, 2003 approved and accepted.  D. Ling noted that there is no pre-existing plan for gasoline distribution in the case of an emergency; however, in the event of an emergency one would be implemented.

Presentation by Chief Steve Rowell Munson VFD

Chief Rowell made a presentation to the committee regarding the Munson Volunteer Fire Department.  The Munson Fire Department, referred to as Station 19, covers approximately 332 square miles including many parks and recreational areas.  They have three (3) existing stations, however, the need for a fourth station has been demonstrated.  One of the major concerns is safe equipment.  Many calls take place off of the road.  Growth is occurring rapidly.  Chief Rowell gave a brief description of their equipment and stations.  The department is preparing to have three (3) EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) on their roster.  They provide mutual aid to twelve neighboring agencies.

The annual budget for Station 19 is $59,000.00, of which the greatest percentage is for insurance purposes.  That includes workmen’s comp, vehicle and building insurance.  No countywide insurance policy exists at this time.

There are many names on the roster; however, the station maintains an average of twenty-four (24) volunteers.

At one time ISO indicated that fire stations within a district should be within five (5) miles of each other.  There is some distance between the Munson stations.

The last increase to the MSBUs was approximately five (5) years ago.  Discussion ensued regarding budget issues including increased costs, increased populations, etc.  Munson is comprised of approximately 148,399 acres if property, 630 buildings, and 1,441 parcels.

The committee determined that a field trip would be scheduled for Wednesday, October 22, 2003 after the next regular ESAC meeting.

Old Business

Reviewed report submitted by Chief Reble.  Discussion ensued regarding the fact that monies allocated to address the recommendations of the EMS Task Force may have improved responses from some of the fire stations; established the fact that there is other root causes for problems at other stations.  C. Rucker suggested that a Chief from one of the stations whose needs were not met come to the next meeting to address their concerns.  Discussion then followed regarding ‘No Response’ percentages including the time of day, recruitment issues, types of calls, etc.  Request made that ‘No Response’ stats be differentiated between Medical calls and Other calls.  Determined that response minutes can be extended beyond 20 minutes.  Chief Reble will provide both August and September reports at the next meeting.

J. Diamond will invite either the Pace or Bagdad fire departments to make a presentation at the next meeting.

Fuel card availability
J. Diamond explained several different plans for purchasing fuel from local gasoline stations including set up fees, etc.  Mr. Diamond recommends CITGO; he will attend the Firefighter’s Association meeting and provide the agencies with the information he has gathered.

Fuel Survey
Did not receive the fuel survey back from East Milton, Skyline and Gulf Breeze Fire Depts.  G. Goldstein was to contact those agencies and reported that Skyline’s survey was completed and would be forwarded to the committee as soon as possible per M. Diamond.  Mr. Goldstein has been unable to contact either East Milton or Gulf Breeze.

Short discussion held regarding the fact that the Gulf Breeze Dept will most likely operate separately from the other stations before too long.

Firefighter Questionnaire
The committee has received eight (8) questionnaires to date.  The questionnaires will be reviewed as they are received.  The data will be gathered and reported as a whole.

FFI Training(160 Hour)
The class that was scheduled at PJC for start date of August 30 was cancelled, as there were not enough applicants.  Anticipating a class to begin in January, 2004.

Classes are on-going at Jay for Jay and the surrounding area; Allentown has displayed good participation. 

State Fire Marshal’s Ruling
FF OSHA Chapter 4 – A62 has been revised substantially regarding training and safety issues.  The State will accept the old 40-hour Volunteer Basic Certification as complying with the requirement, with current First Responder; DOD firefighters are exempt; must have FFI for non-DOD personnel.

Compliance for all related training and safety issues must be documented in order to be recognized as a fire department; the department must be capable of answering calls 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Reiterated concerns about ‘No Response’ issues in regard to servicing the citizens of Santa Rosa County.

Noted that inviting the individual departments to the committee meetings may positively affect their performances as we attempt to respond to their needs.

Noted that the committee should make it a practice to distribute the numbers and/or reports to the individual agencies.

Noted that we may want to address concerns at the monthly FFA meetings; Chief Reble advised that he will distribute reports at the monthly meetings.

New Business
Reviewed documents that were distributed for revenues and expenditures.  Mr. H. Walker explained that ninety-five percent (95%) is indicative of what the estimate of the actual collection might be.  The minimum funding level (Hold Harmless) has been increased to $60,000.00 for the slow growth areas of the county.  

Avalon, Midway and the Holley-Navarre Fire Districts receive their revenue from a direct tax.

Mr. Walker advised that MSBU dollars are set aside and labeled exclusively for those fire stations.

Taxes have increased from $15.00 per parcel or structure to $20.00 each and then to $30.00 each, which represents a 50% increase.

MSBU ordinances are re-enacted annually; discussion held regarding the subject.

Suggested that this subject be added to the agenda for the next meeting; issues to be included are:

Review of the MSBU tax rates and the ordinances that affect them
How did MSBU taxes come about?
Are the MSBU taxes able to be changed and how does that change take place? 

Richard Collins, Chumuckla Hwy, Pace, FL

Mr. Collins asked if a medical responder (non-firefighter) would be required to complete the FFI 160 hours of training.  Mr. Collins’ concern is that a medical responder would not require this training.

Mr. Collins also expressed concern about improving our fire hydrants and testing for existing hydrants.  Mr. Collins feels that our Life Safety Code (?) does not address hydrant inspections.  Mr. Collins feels that this subject be an issue that this committee should be concerned with and that it be on the agenda for the next meeting; he is also concerned that the county has no program for standardizing hydrant inspections.  He provided a copy of AWAA guidelines for hydrant maintenance. 

Chief Reble asked Mr. Collins if he would explain the role of “the Santa Rosa County Citizens Fire Advisory Committee.”  Mr. Collins advised that it is a group of citizens who talk about fire issues and he, in turn, brings these issues to the ESAC committee.  Mr. Collins refused to name any other members of the group, and could not offer any information about a published agenda for the Advisory Committee meetings, any published minutes for the Advisory Committee meetings, or the fact that the name of the committee includes ‘Santa Rosa County’.  Chief Reble asked Mr. Collins what qualifications he had to function in such capacity, to which he replied, “That is none of your business.”

D. Ling advised that the Northwest Florida Domestic Security Task Force would be meeting on Thursday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m. at the Crestview Holiday Inn.  Everyone is invited to attend.

Question posed to H. Walker regarding Munson VFD insurance rates; also requested information regarding individual agency policies and rates.  Mr. Walker promised to research the subject and get back with the committee regarding the same.  Suggestion made that this subject be included in a future agenda for further discussion. 

Noted that scheduled meetings for November and December will fall on eves of holidays.  Motion moved and carried that the meetings for November and December will be scheduled for the third Wednesdays of those months.

Meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

Submitted by D. Grinde