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Approved Jan 21, 2009 - Emergency Services Advisory Board Minutes



Santa Rosa County
Emergency Services Advisory Committee
January 21, 2009
2:00 p.m.


Members present:

Stephen Cozart
Joe Diamond
T.J. Doherty
Jason Kimbrell
Werner Panchenko

Members absent:

Ryan Jenkins

Staff present:

Brad Baker
Deb Grinde


approved as submitted


for meeting held on September 17, 2008 approved as drafted with no exceptions.

Persons to Appear

- None

Reports and Statistics

Fire Dept Statistics


– None

Old Business

Public Information

Public Forum

R. Collins, Pace, FL

th meeting (July) will be smack in the middle of hurricane season.

New Business

B. Baker advised this committee that there have been a couple disasters within Santa Rosa County since the beginning of the year:

Train Wreck Avalon Fire district

Large Structure Fire City of Milton district

Plane Crash East Milton district

He stated that some forms of interoperability did surface through all of these incidents. It has been a busy season already.

T.J. Doherty asked whether the next meeting is open to discussion.

S. Cozart responded that it is a ruling of the chair and there will be no discussion.

Meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

Next meeting date and time will be:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 2:00 PM

  1. Mr. Collins would like to know if all of the current budgets are on the website. B. Baker will check tomorrow and update the website if any are missing.
  2. Mr. Collins would like to know if there is a deadline for the audits. B. Baker stated he was not aware; the Clerk’s Office completes them. They were to be submitted to the Clerk by November 15, 2008.
  3. Mr. Collins would like to know when the audits will be placed on the website. B. Baker stated that any that have been received are on the website at this time.
  4. Mr. Collins would like to know who composes the agenda. He also stated that the topics are too generic. A two-line explanation of each line item would be helpful and would eliminate excuses. The BOCC agenda is more specific.
  5. Since there has not been a meeting since September, how was it determined that the next meeting would not be held until April. S. Cozart stated that the ruling of the chair is that we will go to quarterly meetings and that is when the meeting will be held.
  6. Mr. Collins stated that the number of items on the Disaster List will take us until 2012 at the rate the meetings will be scheduled. J. Kimbrell stated that at the time the schedule was last discussed there was some instability in the Midway and Holley-Navarre districts. After reviewing the last 12 months of activity, he feels that the efficiency of the committee, the knowledge of the committee as a whole supports a quarterly meeting.
  7. Mr. Collins stated that with only one meeting scheduled prior to the start of the hurricane season, he questions whether the disaster issues will be reviewed and understood by that time. J. Diamond stated that the train wreck that occurred in his district demonstrated to him that a disaster plan is in place, we only need to respond to the variables.
  8. If the quarterly meeting schedule is adhered to, the meeting after the April 15

J. Diamond asked B. Baker whether all of the audits have been submitted to the Clerk’s Office. B. Baker stated that they have all been submitted.

S. Cozart stated that it is very important to get the information out, especially since there was a change in the taxes and as an effect of that funding. He reviewed the county emergency management website and stated that the format of that site does show a lot of the public information that we feel needs to be on the site. He did agree that some of the issues need to be made more current. He believes that this committee should help with distributing the information. He stated, however, that this committee should not be stepping all over what the Public Information office is charged with doing. They are good at what they do and we should defer to them.

S. Cozart stated that even though the information is brought to the media, it does not mean that the media will pick up on it. He stated that it may be that some people may not want to see any of this type of information. There is not a lot that this committee can do to change this. We can only make the information easily available to the public.

J. Diamond suggested that the Public Information Officer (PIO) attend our meetings to learn of our concerns.

T.J. Doherty found much of the information (fire stats) in the District 5 newsletter. He had previously signed up for fact information on the county website.

S. Cozart stated that there have been fantastic results from the recent tax increase (MSBU)! We show dramatic results and maybe she should come to the meetings to understand what we believe the public needs to know.

T.J. Doherty stated that we need to review as a day to day issue with electronic capabilities. At the same time we need to review the issues as post disaster issues with no electronic capabilities. The county must have a game plan to disseminate information to the public in a communication impaired environment.

T.J. Doherty believes that just providing the information to the media and depending on them to disseminate the information to the public is not sufficient; he believes that it is ultimately the county’s responsibility to disseminate the information to its citizens. R. Collins suggested some ways to spread the information rapidly. The Community Emergency Response Teams (C.E.R.T.) can also canvass the neighborhoods with information.

R. Collins, Pace, FL

  1. Suggests the media have a monthly column from the county as a Public Service Announcement (PSA) including Fire, EMS or Emergency Management subjects. These columns should be regular and not sporadic.
  2. Publish a brief blurb about a specific apparatus on the website on a regular basis. Explain the newest and most recently purchased equipment purchased with the tax increase funds. Include other purchases such as airpacks, radios, etc. The citizens want to know how their money is being spent!
  3. Generate a PSA with results of the accomplishments of this committee. Keep it very simple and at the lowest level of understanding.
  4. The fire departments’ boards of commissioners must be updated. One of the sites lists a member who has passed away.
  5. The Fire Dept Executive Group may or may not be currently listed on the website; they are a group of people who determine how dollars are being spent. What is the reason for spending the funds? Where are their meetings being held? There should be a link to this group in order to know who is involved, where their meetings are being held, when they are being held, what their charter includes, etc. B. Baker stated that there is a link to the group on the Fire department web page. Are the minutes to the meeting posted on a web site? B. Baker has the minutes available and will begin to advertise their meeting schedule along with the county’s monthly meeting schedule.

J. Diamond suggested that R. Collins email the list of questions he would like answers on. R. Collins stated that a copy of the draft minutes should be submitted to J. Tsubooka prior to the next meeting. B. Baker clarified that a large amount of information has been posted in various areas of the county websites and included in district newsletters, and that J. Tsubooka has issued many releases; it is not as if information is not being disseminated, the latest release being January 14. S. Cozart stated that he believes that we could do more than what we are doing.

J. Kimbrell stated that there should be a needs assessment completed. Determine what citizens need what information. Indicate who the points of contact (POC) are at each location, e.g. RSVP, narrow down the efforts and maximize the board meetings for each agency, including fire districts, on a monthly basis. This would disseminate a lot of information to a lot of people at one time.

R. Collins, Pace, FL

Mr. Collins agreed that a needs assessment will help to determine how to get the information out. An example is the television activity that will occur on February 17. The least technically savvy people (senior citizens) will feel the greatest impact. The television is most of the time their only source of information. They are not in tune to the day to day activities that surround them. Our needs assessment should start at the lowest level of understanding.

S. Cozart stated that we should start with a needs assessment. Inviting J. Tsubooka to our next meeting and speaking to her about this subject will help to start the needs assessment. It will be included on our agenda for our next meeting.

Disaster Preparedness

S. Cozart stated that the tour of the EOC helped to answer some of the questions regarding the list of Disaster Preparedness provided by T.J. Doherty. He asked T.J. Doherty what issues might still be unanswered considering the tour, the information sharing, and the command structure that exists.

T.J. Doherty stated that he believes these issues still need to be reviewed by his own experience within Santa Rosa County. The county, and more specifically emergency management, needs to manage any disaster that occurs within the county. We need to look at the different issues, such as public information dissemination. And so an example is having the PIO at our next meeting; she can explain to this committee how information will be provided to the citizens. He wants to know if the people that are going to execute these things know specifically what they are going to do.

B. Baker stated that depending on the topic selected, we can bring in a person to cover that subject. He would pick the most appropriate person to address the issue. He does believe that the list will not be addressed in the matter of only a meeting or two.

T. J. Doherty stated that his intention was that we would cover a subject per meeting; however, given eleven or twelve topics it may take some time to complete this list of issues. They are ideas, that as we go forward in time, to review and have a more in-depth understanding of each issue. S. Cozart stated that we can predetermine at each meeting what subject will be covered at the following meeting.

The next meeting will be communications and J. Tsubooka will be invited to speak.

T.J. Doherty stated that, as an example, communications interoperability would not be included under that particular category.

MSBU Audits

This committee has received audits for Allentown, Bagdad, Jay, Munson, Pace and Skyline. They are completed and have been reviewed by the Clerk’s Office.

S. Cozart stated that the new budgets are more detail oriented and it looks as though all of the departments’ audits seem to be in compliance. This batch seems to be complete and acceptable. He will be curious to see the audit for Navarre Beach as they had many discrepancies in previous audits.

J. Diamond asked whether this committee viewed the budgets for this year. S. Cozart stated that this committee did not. B. Baker stated that he will get copies of the new MSBU budgets and will post them on the website. S. Cozart requested copies of the 2007-2008 budgets for our information. J. Diamond asked whether the planned budget and performance to that budget might be available. B. Baker will bring to the next meeting.

This committee reviewed reports for October through December. S. Cozart reviewed the reports covering the "No Response" statistics for the months of October and noted that there were zero ‘No Response’ calls! November and December also had great performances. The statistics are exceptional. S. Cozart questioned B. Baker as to whether or not Bagdad VFD had any problems recruiting or staffing new members. B. Baker stated that he will investigate the specific details of the calls missed by that district; it is possible that Lifeguard was in closer proximity.

Lifeguard Response Statistics

J. Kimbrell reviewed Lifeguard’s Response Reports for December and stated that they responded to more than 1,000 calls. He indicated that their response time exceeded the county’s expectations. He also stated that Lifeguard is at a record setting pace so far this year. The statistics reflect a team effort between the dispatch center and Lifeguard’s ground crew. They initially expected the call load to be at or near 1,100

requests for service per month and they are currently averaging 1,200 calls per month! And they continue to exceed their own expectations.

T.J. Doherty questioned whether this committee was no longer getting a monthly report for Lifeguard. B. Baker said that he would bring the Lifeguard reports to the next meeting. He explained the method of tracking Lifeguard’s performance including any delays that occur.

J. Kimbrell confirmed that it was determined that the statistics would be available on the Lifeguard website and that not providing them at this meeting was an oversight. T.J. Doherty would like to see a tracking of the total number of calls at this committee’s meeting.

T. J. Doherty asked which fire departments have paid firefighters.

Paid Departments: Holley – Navarre

(Full time) Midway


Navarre Beach

Paid Chief and day time staff: Skyline


Paid Chief Avalon

All MSBU districts receive stipends.

Midway does not cover the Gulf Breeze municipality. Gulf Breeze has a volunteer department with a paid Chief (city employee). We were no longer able to track their statistics when they began dispatching their own calls.

J. Diamond requested that the statistics include more detailed reporting regarding the ‘on scene’ times for the fire departments vs. EMS. B. Baker stated the stats could reflect that information.

R. Collins, Pace, FL

    1. Some ideas include:

    Notice in the Press Gazette, Pensacola News Journal

    RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program)

    Senior Citizen meetings

    Veteran Services (military)

    COAD, recently renamed Safer Santa Rosa

    Non-profit groups

    Interfaith Ministries

    Ferris Hill Baptist – shelter

    • Lifeguard‘s statistics are displayed on their website. However, there are no statistics for the fire departments displayed on the county websites.
    • Senior citizens may not have a computer and, consequently, may not know what is being done for them for their benefit.
    • He suggests that the county PIO should work along with the ESAC Committee and attempt to get the information into the papers, meeting places of senior citizens, e.g. Bagdad Senior Citizen Community Center. We need to get the information to the people who are not in tune, who cannot get to a website, etc. This should be addressed by the county, by the ESAC Committee and by staff. Four (4) ‘No Response’ calls are only described as unbelievably great!