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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 1 January 2020  

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  FFPD new personnel sworn in at November meeting
  By Pete Gawda

   Swearing in of new personnel, designs of the new administration building and ambulance rates and policies took up a large part of the November meeting of the Falcon Fire Protection District. All board members were present except for Cory Galicia who participated by telephone.
   
   New personnel
   At the beginning of the meeting, board member Mike Collins administered the oath of office to Robin Anderson, the district's newest chaplain. Then, Chief Trent Harwig administered the oath of office to firefighter Aaron Dawkins and EMTs Jonathan Bauer, Stephanie Cook, Yusuf Ghodgeri, Valerie Knoche, Charles Miller and Justin Thurston.
   
   Outside the building, the two new four-wheel drive Ford ambulances the EMTs will use were on display. Harwig said that last November the voters approved a tax increase to provide ambulance service. He said the new EMTs almost doubled the size of the district's staff. In March, Harwig said he plans to purchase a third ambulance and hire more EMTs to staff it.
   
   Administration building
   The board discussed the new administration building with Adam Thesing of YOW Architects, consultants on the project. Harwig said since the last meeting the changes suggested at that meeting had been incorporated into the plans. The board looked at drawings of the new building from several angles, and proposed floor plans. In addition to administrative offices, a new community room will seat 50 people at folding tables. A vestibule will allow for entrance to either the community room or the offices. There will be four restrooms: two for the community room and two for the offices.
   
   Board member Joan Hathcock wanted the building to look good without what she called “frilly” exterior features. She liked the front but did not like other features of the exterior. Options discussed were smaller furnaces in closets, housing the furnaces on the rafters or using rooftop units. When asked about a crawl space, Thesing said it would not be practical with a building that size. The drawings showed a hip roof. Thesing said a wood frame hip roof would be cheaper than a flat metal roof. The board asked Harwig to contact a contractor to compare the costs of metal versus wood. Thesing was asked to remove the bump-out on the side facing Highways 24.
   
   Pension board
   Harwig said the pension fund was doing well. He said the fund makes money on top of what is being paid out. The pension board approved a resolution for warrants for payment of benefits. They decided to meet next August if necessary; for certain they will meet next November.
   
   Treasurer's report
   As of October, 83 percent of the year is over, and Harwig said the district has received 99 percent of anticipated revenues. Expenditures are 87 percent across all funds. Harwig expected to underspend the general fund. There had been several expenditures in the ambulance fund, including the purchase of two ambulances. Although ambulance transport fees for December would not come in until next year he expected to finish the year under approved expenditures. “The district is in good shape,” Harwig said.
   
   Chief's report
   There were 494 reserve hours in October, the highest this year The chief said he would start hiring part-time and full-time firefighters.
   
   Unfinished business
   Bids will be received for the Old Meridian Road and Highway 24 project in January and construction will start in February. The project is expected to take 18 months. Harwig said any contractor would have to coordinate with the fire department before submitting a bid. At all times during the construction process, the contractor would have to ensure ingress and egress to Station 3.
   
   Ambulance policies and billing rates
   The board discussed proposed ambulance policies and billing rates, including how to handle delinquent payments, the use of a collection agency and hardship cases. Following a discussion, the board agreed that since ambulance service would begin Dec. 1, or perhaps sooner, they would approve the suggested rates and policies effective immediately. The rates and policies might have to be modified in a few months, as experience warrants.
   
   The next board meeting will be held Dec. 11.
  
At the Nov. 20 board meeting of the Falcon Fire Protection District, the district's two new 2019 Ford ambulances with four-wheel drive were on display. Submitted photo
 
At the Falcon Fire Protection board meeting Nov. 20, FFPD Chief Trent Harwig, left, swears in the new EMTs: (left to right) Jonathan Bauer, Stephanie Cook, Yusuf Ghodgeri, Valerie Knoche, Justin Thurston and Charles Miller. Photo by Pete Gawda
 
t the Nov. 20 meeting of the Falcon Fire Protection District Board of Directors, Chaplain Dick Glasgow, center, placed a pin on the uniform of newly sworn-in Chaplain Robin Anderson. At right is Director Mike Collins, who had just administered the oath of office to Anderson. Photo by Pete Gawda
 
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