During the regular meeting of the ESD board on March 17, BVFD accountant Elaine Hanks reported net department income for the month of February as a little over $9K. For the year to date, the department had income of $38,400 less than expenses and total income for the fiscal year of just under $124K with expenditures of $167,254. Total assets of the department are just under $770K. Harvie Lindeman explained, “It looks like we have more money than we do because we have ordered equipment that has not been received or paid for.” ESD board member Wayne “Dirt” Dworaczyk asked for a rough idea of how many grants are expected and was told between $22-$25K.
Fire Chief Ron Sallmann reported 21 calls for the month of February, most grass fires started by hay fires. Average response time was 6 minutes, 21 seconds. The department has received two new gas detectors and one cyanide detector through a contract which includes calibration and maintenance for $1800 per year. The department has reached an agreement with the city of Blanco to use water from the first water tank south of town. Blanco owns 20 percent of the water in a tank at Stallion Estates, where the department plans to put a hydrant. The department will need to reach an agreement with Canyon Lake Water Services to use that tank. The department has five new applicants but cannot equip them until the bunker gear and SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) devices arrive, hopefully by the end of April. The department is holding weekly training sessions with an average of six fire fighters at each one. In other news, the department’s annual fish fry will be held April 5 at Yett Park from 4 to 8 p.m. with entertainment and exhibits. The department’s safety education program includes Facebook information and daily Tweets about wind conditions and other events. The department has also received a $10K check from Sam’s Club through a FEMA grant for a pallet of smoke detectors, which will be available at the fire station. After some discussion, the board voted to approve the purchase of new extrication equipment for $41,048. A second set will be purchased with money from the fish fry in the next fiscal year. The board also voted to allow the fire department to dispose of non-functional brush truck #22 as salvage.
Blanco EMS Director Mike West reported income of $59,899.10 for the month of February, including patient revenues of $19,444.10. Once again, the cost of medical supplies has risen, totaling $4,067.55. “We do shop the medications we are supplying,” said West in response to a question. The cost of fuel has risen, up to $3,470.09, and salaries average about $11K every two weeks. Net income for the month was $5,028.84. The Corps dispatched 49 calls in February, with a total of 298 for the fiscal year. Average response time from dispatch to time arriving at patient is five minutes, 56 seconds. Transporting patients from the nursing home on a non-emergency basis has netted the department additional revenue. Training activities have included four medics going to a cadaver lab to practice intubation techniques, an EPC class in Johnson City, an EMS Safety course scheduled for April 5, and an EVOC Course April 6 in Johnson City. West reported that 1 ½ units are in service, with one needing a new battery, which he planned to replace the following day. Plans for the Lavender Fest “Burger Burn” in June are ongoing.
ESD treasurer Mary Ann Millard reported total current assets of $504,687.54 and total assets of $66,837.54. Bills were paid to Verizon for approximately $318.83, to the Johnson City Bank for $2,047.68, and to VFIS of Texas for $953 for insurance.
In other business, board members voted to approve a list of month-to-month events and due dates developed by Ann Hall for the ESD board, VFD, and EMS . The sheet was to be given to each board to look over and approve.
Darwin Labarthe reported,” By all indications we are making progress toward being the safest, healthiest community in Texas,” a goal of the five-year strategic plan which was developed with input from the community and fire and emergency services personnel. He said a meeting with Ron Sallmann, Mike West, Harvie Lindeman, and Doug Becker was successful in establishing the need for shared priorities, setting timelines, and determining where shared resources of the two providers intersect. “Thank you for your input,” he told the providers; “it’s a very good start.”
Finally, ESD treasurer Mary Ann Millard requested providers to have their itemized budgets ready to present to the board at the June meeting. The next ESD meeting is scheduled for April 21, 2014, at 6:30 p.m.