LEPC Meeting Minutes

February 3, 2010

Present: Tony Rohrwasser and Wesley Portroy, SBFD; Bob Graham and David Kramer, Emergency Management; Barry Coleman, LDS Church;  Jock Johnson, PVFD; Brad Lowther, HMVFD; Rick Alonzo, BFPD; Emma Field, Red Cross; Pat Warkentin, BFFD; Ken English, MSVFD; Tish  Lagerwey, CBP; Susan Bowman, Valence communications; Chris Schenck, Idaho State Police; Vickie Hamilton and Alan Hamilton, BVA; Lance Dehler, US Border Patrol; Rich Stephens, BC Sheriff; DeAnna Galbraith and Tina Wilson, BCCH;  Patty Perry, Kootenai Tribe; John Livingston, Anthony Cavallucci and Katherine Rowden, NWS; Darrel Kirking, PHD; John Moss, CCVFD.

 Next meeting: March 3, 2010 0800

I. Announcements: Tony Rohrwasser brought the meeting to order at 0800.
  Note: To be announced before next meeting, the meeting location MAY change. 

II. Brad Lowther, HMVFD – "Ice and Rescue"

In 1989, at a time when there seemed to be a National issue with multiple drowning incidents across the United States (rescue attempts resulted in the rescuer also perishing),  Hall Mountain (HMVFD) got involved because the HM Fire District has lakes. Initially, HM personnel practiced among themselves for 7 years and during this time they became aware of how difficult a rescue really is!

In 1987 HMVFD purchased an ice sled, making this Fire District the ONLY Fire District north of Coeur d'Alene to possess this specific type of rescue equipment. This sled can transition from ice to water and back through ice and more water – conditions prevalent at the time ice is unstable. Although the sled is ideal for ice and water conditions, it is NOT meant for open water rescues – its purpose is ice-oriented at a time when the ice is breaking up and unstable.

The sled weighs only 88 pounds – light enough to be very portable, yet it requires 2 people to carry and deploy it. It opens easily, will support up to 600 pounds, and comes equipped with paddles that have an ice pick to assist in navigating across ice. It has Velcro two-sided straps, used to assist lifting victims on to and securing them on the sled.

An accessory is an 18 foot telescoping pole that has jaws to grip a victim automatically. In addition to be able to reach out, this pole is designed to reach the bottom and automatically 'grab' a victim beneath the surface of the ice and water.


Make sure Boundary Volunteer Ambulance has been notified and is en-route.

Make sure the Dive Team is notified and en-route

Put Medstar on standby.

Make sure the Sheriff’s Office is notified.

Before Responders Arrive

Keep bystanders, relatives, friends of victim(s) away from the scene

Do not attempt rescue without proper equipment.

Keep victim talking, assure them help is on the way.

If victim goes under identify landmarks to show point last seen

Training includes not only the procedures for deploying the sled and recovery of victims, but also how to treat cases of hypothermia. Hypothermia is especially critical to recognize and treat, since rescuing involves not only recovery of the victim but monitoring and restoring to normal the victim's vital signs.

The ice sled, and trained responders, is available by calling the Sheriff's Dispatch (911) or via a direct line to (208) 267-7275.

III. National Weather Service

Several representatives including a Warning Coordination Meteorologist and a Service Hydrologist represented the National Weather Service (National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration – NOAA). Their purpose is to interact with the Emergency Management groups across northern Idaho and eastern Washington on atmospheric and hydrology/flood related issues and make sure that the NWS meets the needs of Committees such as the LEPC.

The NWS would like feedback regarding services they provide and events that occur. In addition to working with groups such as the LEPC, the NWS also works and has a strong relationship with numerous media outlets to help get out warnings, watches and advisories to the public.

Contact information: (509) 244-0110, (5092440554 Fax)


IV. Darrel Kirking – Panhandle Health District – Health Services

The rate of flu incidents regarding the H1N1 flu virus has slowed considerably. Early in September/October of 2009 the school absences attributable to H1N1 were as high as 20%. 27,000 vaccinations were given last season to people in the five northern counties.

966 vaccinations were administered in Boundary County by Panhandle Health District personnel, in addition to vaccinations administered in hospitals. These vaccinations were administered in 106 schools in the 5 northern counties, and because in some cases a second vaccination was warranted, 50 schools were repeat-visited, the last such visit December 12.

Initially there was a very limited supply of H1N1 vaccine available, but this has been improved upon and an active plan is being drawn up and revised in order to be more effective for the next flu season.

There were 22 deaths attributed to the H1N1 flu in Idaho State. There are 10,000 doses of the vaccine available for treating in this coming fall season. New seasonal vaccines will include this strain of H1N1 in addition to 2 more strains, in an effort to anticipate and be more effective in the next flu season.

V. Round Table:

Dave Kramer, Emergency Management:

We will attempt to schedule an ICS 300 class in Boundary County for April.  It will require at least 15 people to hold the class.  The ICS 300 training is required for NIMS compliance for Mid-level management.  Prior to being able to sign up for the ICS 300 class, the following online FEMA courses must be completed, ICS-100, ICS200 and NIMS IS-700.

About 12 members from Boundary County attended the two day winter survival training at Priest Lake, with instruction provided by the 36th Rescue Flight out of Fairchild Air Force Base, along with their survival instructors.  The 36th Rescue Flight is a regional SAR asset available to local, state and federal authorities under the provisions of the National SAR Plan.  Their helicopters can respond with a crew, which includes a military paramedic. They have a rescue hoist, forward looking infrared (FLIR) and night vision to assist in searches.  In the event that a pickup/recovery cannot be made for any reason (terrain/weather) the crew may elect to drop supplies or equipment to a survivor or rescue team.  To contact this team you may call AFRCC directly 24 hrs a day at 1-800-851-3051.   Their motto is “AIR FORCE RESCUE-THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE”.

Local County, City, Federal law enforcement Officers will be helping support a fund raiser for Idaho Special Olympics on March 20th called a Penguin Plunge.  Participants will raise funds for the chance to jump in the Kootenai River on this day and “earn” their Penguin Plunge “Freezin For A Reason” long sleeve T-shirt.  More information on this event will be coming out in the media soon.

Barry Coleman, LDS:  5-week radio training class for First Responders started February 2 at LDS church – classes Tues (5:30pm) and Friday (6:00pm). This is the same class weekly; if you miss Tuesday, attend Friday's class. Contact Barry for more information: email Barry at n7bec@yahoo.com

Emma Fields, American Red Cross: CPR class (for infants) is being taught Wednesday evening 2/3/2010 in Coeur d'Alene

Lance Dehler, US Border Patrol: If needed, there are now 3 dogs on duty and available;  contact the USBP Canine unit at 1-509-353-2583

Tony Rohrwasser, SBFD:  2 weekend hazmat classes: Feb 20, 21 / Feb 27, 28 Hazmat awareness class available - contact Tony if interested in scheduling

Bob Graham: A radiological incident was reported; the item was determined to be safe for disposal after testing by State and Federal Agencies.

VI. With no further business, Tony Rohrwasser adjourned the meeting at 0900.

 Note (again): To be announced before next meeting, the meeting location MAY change.  Email will provide details when available.

Minutes submitted by J. Moss CCVFD