Seeley Lake Fire Department

Email Us


Next Meeting:

The monthly Seeley Lake Fire Department Board to meet, Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 6:oo pm at the SLFD Fire Station.

Seeley Lake Rural Fire District
Seeley Lake, MT 59868
For November 17, 2015

Time: 6.00pm

Past Month's Meeting: December 15, 2015

Vice Chair Bruce Bourne called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Three trustees were present along with the Fire Chief and District Administrator.

Gary Lewis made a motion to approve the November 17, 2015 minutes. Bruce Bourne seconded the motion. Voting by voice, motion carried with none opposed or abstaining.

Volunteer members present were Rita Rossi & Michael Richards and community member, Connie Clark.

There was no public comment made at this time.

Correspondence included an accountant's compilation report; annual financial statement and depreciation schedule as of June 30, 2015 from Terry Sheppard, the District's Certified Public Accountant. The trustees had a number of questions in regard to the verbiage of the compilation letter/ report. After discussion, Lynn stated she will contact Terry for explanations and report back to the trustees at next month's meeting.

After discussion in regard to grant income vs. QRU expenses for the new LifePack 15, Bruce Bourne made a motion to approve the November 2015 financial report in the amount of $44,371.99. Gary Lewis seconded the motion. Voting by voice, motion carried with none opposed or abstaining.

    1. Call Volume – Bob reported there were 38 calls in November 2015 compared to 17 in 2014. Total calls for 2015 is 300 compared to 246 in 2014.
    2. Recruitment – Bob reported there's a possibility of starting another EMT and Firefighter One class in February so hopefully this will draw some new members into the department.

    3. Grants – Bob reported he and Rachel are still working on the AFG Grant which has been a lot of work. It's going to be hard to complete it as Rachel will be leaving town for the holidays and the application requires a lot of data input, so it may be better to wait until next year to apply as all the required data will be entered into the data base. This grant was to be used, if awarded, to purchase new SCBAs and turnout gear.

Bob reported a small grant of $1,500 from United Way has been awarded to the District and the fire company will match that amount to purchase smoke detectors for an upcoming smoke detector program. Bob is also waiting from the Community Foundation to see if they will award any money and Lynn contacted Duracell to see if they would contribute batteries.

    4. SCBA Update – Bob reported we may need to have a secondary plan in case the grant falls through.

    5. Stipend Update – Bob received a packet of information from Matt Jennings, the county attorney. Lynn made copies for everyone to review for additional discussion at next month's meeting. Bob stated the department may pay a stipend to its volunteers but there are limitations and parameters to consider.

In conclusion, each per call or per shift stipend should be at or below 20% of what the District would have to pay a full time professional staff for the same duties; total amounts for the year need to be below $3,000 so the volunteer will not lose credit for the state pension program; the District should consult a tax professional to understand any implications on taxation of a stipend paid to volunteers if any and lastly the District should periodically review any legal changes that may impact the attorney's opinion. Also included are examples to what other fire departments are doing.

    6. Chief's Updates – Bob reported on the following: Cory has been a huge help with the inventory and it's going very well. We will develop a numbering system to track the items. Bob is still working on the pagers and radios and has developed a program for tracking them.

Working on developing another EMT class to possibly start on February 23rd and the Firefighter One class to start in late February.

Developing a smoke detector program. Had a brainstorming meeting last night. This program will include teaching fire safety to fifth through eighth graders. Bob is researching what kind of smoke detectors to purchase through Rovero's. Our goal is to make sure all homes in the District, especially homes with children, will have smoke detectors. Matt Jennings is developing a waiver for community members to sign which eliminates the District from any responsibility if the detector fails. Hoping to get the information out to the community by mid-January.

Bob has been working with Great Falls Emergency Services in regard to medical directors needing a separate medical DEA license to oversee any fire department they're working for. Bob found that our medical director, Dan Gee, will need to obtain a separate license but should be exempt which won't cost the District anything.

Training is going well; providing Saturday training hours for those who can't make the regular training sessions.

     1. Policy Amendments – Bonnie tabled discussion on the below policy items until all trustees are present.
        a. Audit Findings/Policy Updates – 2013-1 Segregation of Financial & Accounting Duties Policy –
        b. 2013-5 Policies & Procedures Manuals –
        c. Fixed Asset Inventory –
    2. EMS Stipend Approval – This item was discussed under the Chief's updates.

    1. Special District Trustee Election Information – Lynn reported the next special fire district election will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. Our District has one position open which is Al Roger's. Candidate filing opened December 10th and there's been some changes; the Oath of Candidacy form has changed and obtaining signatures are no longer required. The close of candidate filing will be 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 8, 2016. Sometime in January, Lynn will submit a public notice in the Pathfinder to run for two weeks.
    2. Long Range Plans Discussion – Bob stated he would like to turn Station #2 into a training center for Firefighter One training. During last month's windstorm, some trees blew over onto the chain link fence damaging approximately 20 feet. We submitted a claim to our insurance company and have received $940 for the repairs but Bob was unsure if the property needed a secured fenced area. After discussion it was decided to have the fence repaired.
Bob stated he receives notices of when government surplus items become available and has found a 1987, Type 3, 6x6, engine for free if we want it. It has a good pump with a 1200 gallon tank and 20,000 miles. The engine is in New York and shipping costs would be approximate $4,000. Bob stated this could be a great tool to equip for contracting out during the wildland season. Bob will research this more and report back at next month's meeting.
Bob stated the department will be having a Christmas party on Wednesday, December 23rd starting at 1:00 p.m.

Reports; Audit Policies; EMS Stipend Approval

Upon motion duly seconded, the meeting adjourned at approximately 6:51 p.m. The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting will be held on January 19, 2016.

NOTE: Agenda is subject to change within 48 hours prior to start of the meeting.

For more information or to voluteer for the department, please contact us at 406-677-2400.