Boundary County LEPC, February 1, 2012
Present: Rick Alonzo, BF City Council, Ken Baker, BVA, Susan Bowman, Valence Communications, Dale Duree, Industrial Commission, Cecil Garza, USBP, Bob Graham, County Emergency Management, Kevin Greenleaf, Kootenai Tribe, L.H.Y, SAR, Darrel Kirking, PHD, Denys Knight, LCPC Counselor, Leatha Lockhart, Red Cross, Mike Meier, BARC, P-ARES, John Moss, CCVFD, Wes Portrey, SBFD, Arthur Putnam, ARES-AEC, Chet Savage, PVFD, Rich Stephens, BCSO, Pat Warkentin, BFFD, Susan Wilson, CBP, Mike Weland, County PIO, Arnold Tuttle, PVFD, Jason Snider, Boy Scouts.
Dave Kramer opened the meeting and called forward Jason Snider to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Kramer then announced that beginning next month, meetings will be agendized, and that training ideas for meetings were welcome from each participant. He announced the third annual Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics, taking place at noon Saturday, March 3, with registration beginning at 10 a.m. at the Deep Creek boat launch, with an ice-breaking party the evening before at Mugsy’s. Contacts are Dave Kramer, Sue Wilson and Tish Lagerway.
Ken Baker, BVA, described the role of Boundary Volunteer Ambulance, a 501c3 non-profit, and announced a public hearing before county commissioners at 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 28, in the Extension Office to accept public input on the decision as to whether or not to form an ambulance taxing district and, if so, whether BVA will remain the ambulance service provider or whether a contract service will be hired. Baker said BVA responds to approximately 800 calls per year, which is stretching the abilities of their 25 volunteer EMTs and eight drivers, who man five ambulances and two rescue units, along with their equipment. He said ambulance units are based at South Boundary Fire Station 1, Hall Mountain and Moyie Springs in addition to units based in Bonners Ferry. Baker said that, because they’re a volunteer service, a handful of EMTs respond to 90% of the calls, as most have to work. He said the Association was formed to serve Boundary County residents in 1965, and it’s now managed by a five person board. If a taxing district is approved, he said, the initial goal is to build or obtain a facility suitable to their needs so as to provide room for equipment, training and office space, as well as sleeping quarters, as the intent was to hire three paramedics and have that stationed manned 24/7. If BVA retains the role should a district be formed, he said, they would always continue to rely on volunteers, especially for such tasks they perform each year as having a unit on standby at ball games and events such as the penguin plunge, for which the association is not paid (nearly three quarters of the calls they respond to each year are non-billable calls). He said that BVA currently receives $8,000 per year from the county, and the space they occupy in the extension building, and the rest of their funding is solely from billing. He said that, by Idaho Code, county commissioners are obligated to proved ambulance service, and that it’s one of the very few tax districts they can create without a vote of the people, and he encouraged everyone to attend the February 28 public hearing, to both support the formation of a taxing district and to show support to retain BVA as the county service provider.
During the round table, the following made comments:
There being no further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 8:55 a.m.