- Board of Directors
- Annual Meeting
- Board Retreat
- MSFCA & MSFDA Meetings
A complete list of minutes can be found under the “Archive” tab
Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
April 5, 2013 - Breezy Point, Minnesota
Call to Order – The meeting was called to order by Randy Polzin at 12:24 pm., and Randy spoke about former board member Dave Marks who passed away recently. The board observed a moment of silence in memory of Dave.
Attendance – Board members in attendance included: Randy Polzin, Bill Mund, Tom Brace, Tim Oland, George Esbensen, John Fruetel, Bruce Roed, Steve Flaherty, Mark Hovland, Paul Miller, John Berg, Marty Direnberg, Jay Wood, Dale Specken, Bob Brown, Marty Scheerer, John Strongitharm, Bill Thonnes, Gary Conrath, Tim Pohlman, Steve Jurrens, Jeff Juntunen, Jerry Rosendahl, Dan Nath, Ulie Seal and John Taylor. Others in attendance included: Nyle Zikmund, Olin Phillips, Bruce West, Mike Richardson (Region 1 alternate), Chip Lohmiller, Wayne Kewich and Tim Farmer. Board members unable to attend the meeting included: Tim Butler, Greg Martin, Jena Noah and Jeff Anderson.
Approval of Agenda – President Polzin asked if there were any additions to the published agenda. A motion was made by Marty Direnberger, and seconded by Steve Flaherty to approve the agenda as distributed with the addition of 6d, a nomination & elections update, and 17a regarding a longevity award for Robert Scheidt. The motion passed.
Consideration of Minutes of the Previous Meeting – A motion was made by Dan Nath and was seconded by Paul Miller to approve the January 26, 2013 board meeting as published. The motion passed.
Presidents’ Report – Randy Polzin indicated he had no report at this time and all his issues are already on the agenda.
Vice Presidents’ Report – Bill Mund mailed out his report prior to the meeting and had nothing to add.
Executive Directors’ Report – Tom Brace gave a brief report:
- This would be the last meeting he will supply a board member information packet due to the extensive use of email reports prior to the meetings.
- Thanked the directors for attending and for their time and expertise over the year.
- Second notices for dues were mailed out.
- Minnesota Fire Chief Magazine subscriptions are coming in strong even with the increase in the subscriptions.
- MNFAC partner billings for the lobbyists have been mailed and are coming in nicely.
- There is a lot of interest in the Rochester Conference especially from possible exhibitors. Tom noted that he is receiving requests from exhibitors to have some time during the conference to educate the attendees.
- Tom attended a memorial service at the fire museum for a firefighter who passed in 1927, and the family members were very appreciative.
Committee Action Requested
Finance Committee – Nyle Zikmund, finance committee chair, reviewed the 2013 financials and balance sheets which included the 2012 conference income and expenses, and a donation from the Minnesota FAIR Plan for a new fire safety education trailer. The new accounting system does not have past data, so comparisons are hard to make, but Nyle noted there were no major “outliers” (items which seemed out of the norm) identified. Nyle highlighted the associations’ investment account which is designed for strong preservation of reserve funds and increased returns on those funds. A motion was made by Paul Miller, and seconded by Bruce Roed to accept the financial reports as emailed and explained. The motion passed.
Legislative Committee 2013 Session Update – Nyle Zikmund distributed a list of legislative issues and their current status. Nyle thought that there was a good possibility that the governor’s proposed budget will be approved as the income projections are being exceeded.
Constitution and By-Laws Committee – The board was provided with a number of proposed changes to MSFCA Constitution and By-Laws via email. Ulie Seal reviewed the proposed changes to the bylaws line by line for board comment and questions. There were a number of suggested changes, and Ulie stated that he would incorporate the changes and present them later in the weekend, as well as a resolution supporting the bylaws changes for board consideration.
Nomination & Elections Committee Report – Past Presidents Marty Scheerer, Bob Brown and Jeff Juntunen met and reviewed the nomination of Wayne Kewich for the position of MSFCA Vice President, recommended that Wayne’s name be forwarded to the membership for consideration.
2013 Fire Officer School – Mark Hovland reported that there were 201 attendees (nearly double that of the previous year) even with a winter storm which caused people to leave a little early. Mark noted that the committee is considering the possibly of purchasing insurance to deal with weather concerns in the future. They are planning to limit the number of courses offered in the future to better utilize the classroom facilities. The Alexandria Technical College was contracted to handle the registrations and logistics and the final accounting will be done soon. Mark reviewed the demographics of those attending. Bill Thonnes presented Bruce Roed with a plaque to recognize his extraordinary work on behalf of the conference. The 2014 Fire Officer School will be held on February 7 - 9 in Alexandria, Minnesota.
The board was asked to consider an instructor compensation policy which has a conflict with the current ethics policy (Policy #104) when board members provide the instruction. Mark indicated that the instructors worked 12 hours at the conference, and he felt that there is a need to compensate them fairly. Dale Specken explained the difference in compensation between the annual conference and the officer’s school. The wording “Improper personal benefit” is currently included in the ethics policy, and there are some interpretations that instructors who are also board members cannot be paid. There was discussion as to the difference in paying the expenses versus instruction time. A motion was made by Bill Mund, and seconded by Marty Scheerer to authorize the 2014 fire officer school committee to pay instructor expenses, and an instruction fee of up to $800. A motion to amend the motion was made by Bill Mund, and seconded by George Esbensen, to authorize up to a maximum of $1,000 in instruction fees. The amendment passed. After further discussion on the original motion, it passed with one opposed. President Randy Polzin will refer issue to the policy and communications committee, and to direct them to develop a specific policy regarding instructor compensation.
Update on MSFCA/MSFDA Discussions (realignment/mergers/shared services) – Randy Polzin, Bob Brown, Bill Mund, Nyle Zikmund, Mike Johnson and Tom Brace are serving on a committee which is discussing future relations with the Minnesota State Fire Department Association. Randy noted they have been meeting very frequently and have now contacted a non-profit group MAP who identified some areas for improved cooperation for the organizations. The associations met with MAP for Nonprofits which provides management consulting and services to help nonprofit clients more effectively achieve their missions. Randy noted he received comments from throughout the state that it is about time these discussions are occurring. Bill Mund noted that the MSFCA board needed to have in-depth discussions regarding this issue at the retreat.
Report on the Associations’ Marketing Initiative – Randy Polzin noted that every committee had marketing expenses proposed in their budget requests, and that the associations’ messages are not well coordinated. The association was spending about $28,000 a year on marketing. The firms; Added Value and Bellmont Partners, made proposals to the committee for a marketing study, and the committee is recommending that a contract ($13,000) be entered into with Bellmont Partners. The website, magazine, and other marketing strategies will all be analyzed and considered for coordination and improvement, and will develop a five year strategic plan with estimated costs for consideration by the board. Bellmont Partners will be making a presentation at the retreat tomorrow and will be meeting with the board members individually.
Progress Report on 2012/2013 MSFCA Goals
- Fire Service Day at the State Capitol attendance/effectiveness - The association did a poor job this year and this will be discussed during the retreat.
- MBFTE & Fire Training - A white paper was developed on training issues, and the MBFTE is implementing them one at a time with about one-half of the items resolved.
- Local control of emergency medical Primary Service Areas (PSA) - This goal did not get addressed, and the EMS Committee has now taken the issue under consideration with Tim Butler and Wayne Kewich co-chairing a subcommittee.
- Future of the regions and duties of the regional representatives - Talks are taking place with the MSFDA which could deal with this issue
- Electronic balloting for MSFCA officers - In process
- Association involvement in local politics and fire services decisions - Randy has had a number of discussions with the Association of Townships, and he is currently working on legislation for independent taxing districts for his home department.
MNSCU Live Burn Policy – The Minnesota State College and University System Fire Training Consortium forwarded a policy dealing entitled “Structural Burn Training Procedures for the Minnesota Technical College System.” It was unclear why the MSFCA was being asked to adopt a college policy, and there was extensive discussion. A motion was made by Bill Mund and seconded by Marty Scheerer to send this issue to the legislative committee for their recommendation on any need to change current state laws related to burn training. The motion passed.
Fire Service Day with the Twins – Bill Mund worked with the Minnesota Twins and other fire organizations to establish the “Fire Service Day with the Minnesota Twins!” The event will be held on June 29th and tickets can be ordered on-line at www.twinsbaseball.com/fireservice. Bill Mund asked that the directors get the information out to their regions.
IAFC, Great Lakes Division Report – George Esbensen emailed his report to the board prior to the meeting and he highlighted the following:
- They are working with the MSFCA on an IAFC Membership Drive which offers reduced membership dues.
- Fire-Rescue International will be held in Chicago this year and George urged people to attend.
- There is a downloadable document available for the IAFC entitled “Taking Responsibility for a Positive Public Image.”
Fire Service Foundation Update – George Esbensen noted that Sunday, September 29, 2013 will be Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Day and he encouraged everyone to attend. April 15th is the deadline to submit scholarship applications and there is $35,000 available in the account. There is $20,000 in construction funds remaining and the plan is to improve the “green space” around the memorial, and the foundation will seek additional legislative funds to cover the entire cost of $120,000. The firm of Leo A. Daly provided free architectural services for the memorial and won an award for their work.
Minnesota Fire Chief Magazine Editor’s Report – Jena Noah was unable to attend the meeting, and she submitted a report to the board via email. Tom Brace noted that Jena is very good at making and holding to deadlines. Fire prevention poster contest winners are awarded cash prizes which are sent to the local fire chief for distribution, and some of the checks may not have been delivered. Magazine revenues are down slightly, and sales commissions are also down, so the total income remains fairly consistent.
Department of Natural Resources Report – Tim Oland passed around a “Standardized Equipment Rate Schedule” which can be used for reimbursement for both state and federal responses. These rates have also been used for other large events like the Sartell paper mill fire. Tim asked the board members to review the rates and get back to him if there were any concerns. Olin Phillips gave a short talk about the state of the Minnesota Forestry Service and DNR which included $26 million in response, which is the highest in twenty years. This year’s drought is of great concern especially with regard to peat fires which are very expensive to extinguish. There has been a lot of billing of responsible parties, with one party being charged $2 million. No significant injuries last year during fire responses. The slow spring is helping to delay the season this year.
Consider a Contact with Bellmont Partners – A motion was made by Dale Specken, and seconded by Steve Flaherty to approve a contact with Bellmont Partners in the amount of $13,000 to provide consulting services to study marketing of the MSFCA. The motion passed.
Review of Revised Bylaws Changes – Ulie Seal led a discussion on the proposed bylaws changes which were suggested by the board earlier in the meeting. A motion was made by Jerry Rosendahl, and seconded by Jay Wood, to approve a resolution by the board of directors supporting adoption of the recommended changes. The motion passed.
State Fire Marshal Division Report – State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl noted the he had emailed his report with nothing to add.
Minnesota Board to Fire Training and Education – Bruce West provided a list of the fire departments whom have used MBFTE, and those who have not used the funding. Bruce asked the MSFCA directors help in contacting the agencies who are not using the funding and encourage them to begin using the funds.
Regional Director Report – Regional Directors submitted their written reports to the board via email, and Randy Polzin asked if there were any additional items to share with the board, and there were none.
Good of the Association
- Bill Mund noted the he would be facilitating the retreat and the board would work on the issues which were emailed to the members prior to the meeting.
- Rochester is now a first class city (according the last census), and Bill Mund noted that the association bylaws give them a seat on the board of directors. Bill noted he discussed this with Chief Martin, but he could not attend this weekend, but will attend in the future.
Meeting Recessed – The board meeting was recessed at 4:15 pm.
Meeting Called back to Order – President Polzin called the board back to order at 2:28 pm on Saturday, April 6, 2013.
Changes in Attendance – John Fruetel was unable to attend on Saturday. The following joined the retreat and board meeting on Saturday: Mark Dunaski, Assistant Commissioner Minnesota Department of Public Safety; Terri Zikmund, Certification Board; Kris Eide, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director; and Mona Dohman, Commissioner Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Consider a Longevity Award for Robert Scheidt – A motion was made by Marty Scheerer, and seconded by Jay Wood, to present a longevity award to Robert Scheidt. After discussion, the motion was withdrawn as there is an association’s policy which will be followed in time for a presentation at the 2013 conference.
Fire Equipment Certification (FA-1) Form – Jerry Rosendahl noted that Bruce Roed has been dealing with the State Auditor’s Office on the Fire Equipment Certification (FA-1) Form which must be filed by March 15th each year. Jerry noted there are some departments who have not filed, and other departments have indicated they do not comply with some of the requirements (most likely due to the form being very outdated) The State Auditor’s Office has asked the State Fire Marshal Division to assist in revising the FA1 form to reflect current minimum standards for a fire department. Bill Mund requested that the issue be emailed to the shared services group and request that they make a recommendation for any changes. Bruce Roed indicated he will do so. Tim Oland asked that the list of departments who reported non-compliance be sent to him as the DNR provides grants for this type of equipment. The FA1 form will be emailed to the entire board for their suggestions for changes by June 1, 2013.
Call for Adjournment – A motion was made by John Berg, and seconded by John Taylor to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 2:55 pm.
A complete list of minutes can be found under the “Archive” tab
Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association
Annual Meeting - October 19, 2012
1. Call Meeting to Order – President Randy Polzin called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM, and led the membership in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
2. Welcome – Duluth Fire Chief John Strongitharm welcomed the MSFCA to the City of Duluth.
3. Recognition of Special Guests:
- Shane Schmidt, President Minnesota Fire Department Association, Secretary Ed Hoffman, Treasurer Tony Bronk, Officer at Large John King, and DeeDee Jankovich, Support Specialist.
- Ramona Dohman, Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and Assistant Commissioner Mark Dunaski. - Commissioner Dohman addressed the membership and noted her goal of strengthening relationship with the fire service and other public safety agencies. She discussed issues related to the fire safety account, and how important it is that all of the monies collected be available for fire service training and other needs without having to get legislative approval each year. She spoke about the Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial dedication ceremonies and how impressed and honored she was to have the opportunity to participate. Commissioner Dohman noted that Governor Mark Dayton really wanted to attend the conference, but was not able due to a scheduling conflict.
4. President’s Report – President Randy Polzin noted that it was an extremely busy year and he gave a lot of credit to the Executive Committee for their hard work and weekly meetings, many of which were conducted via electronic communications. Some highlights for the year are: Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial is now a reality, a new training facility at Camp Ripley, Statewide Mutual Aid System exercise in March, (used six weeks later at the paper mill fire and northeast floods), training board issues are being worked on, the fire service day at the capitol is scheduled for February 5, 2013, another $200,000 in shared services grants has been approved, working on policies (i.e. awards, website policy, partnerships with other organizations and/or private industries, electronic voting is being explored and will become a reality in the future (with approval of the membership via bylaw changes), the director of fire training is now designated as the State Fire Marshal.
5. Executive Director’s Report – Executive Director Tom Brace reported that as of the membership meeting there are 560 conference attendees (not including significant others and vendors) which is a very large group. Vendors are very important to the conference, and without their participation and support the conference would not be possible. The Minnesota Fire Chief Magazine is now making a profit and is a quality publication which is highly valued. The association is in good financial standing and undergoes audits on a yearly basis. The association has established a reserve fund to protect itself from unanticipated expenses.
6. Fire Service Foundation Report & Presentation – George Esbensen reported there is a shortfall of about $25,000 for the construction and dedication of the Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial. George noted that a limited edition of 150 collector helmets has been produced to raise funds, and the #2 helmet is being raffled at the conference. There are 300 Minnesota fire departments that have not contributed to date. The last Sunday in September is now designated for the annual fire service memorial day. Bob Brown and Mark Hovland passed the boots through the meeting, and the monies collected will be donated to the memorial until all expenses have been paid.
7. State Fire Marshal Report – State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl recognized President Polzin for all of his efforts this past year. Jerry has posted his report on the state fire marshal’s website. There were 56 fire deaths in 2011 which was much greater than the preceding years, and there have been 36 deaths so far this year. Jerry emphasized that fire prevention education is the key to reducing fires and deaths. Kitchen fires are a leading cause of fires, and there are multiple training props available across the state to educate citizens on how to prevent the fires. There are 17 departments which have not been reporting their fire data, and the SFMD is working to get them to report. Denise DeMars was recognized for her many years of dedicated work at the State Fire Marshal Division. The division is committed to increasing fire service training and is planning a Mini-NFA Weekend at Camp Ripley.
8. Magazine Editor's Report – Bill Mund spoke of behalf of Jena Noah, Minnesota Fire Chief Editor-in-Chief, who is always looking for photos and articles. Articles do not need to be a polished as there are people on the Communications and Policy Committee who are willing to assist. Jena also wanted to remind the membership of the fire prevention posters contest, and she encourages every department to participate.
9. Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education – Executive Director Bruce West thanked departments for the opportunity to attend regional meetings. A tremendous amount of training is now available statewide. This year a NFPA 1001 training initiative can be used to train firefighters at all levels for free. Bruce encouraged everyone to participate, and noted that 533 of 785 departments are taking part in the funding process. Training agencies can direct bill so departments do not have to up front the monies and seek reimbursement. Textbooks and training videos are fully reimbursable. There are free Gross and Mass Decontamination classes, and the MBFTE will soon be rolling out an Incident Safety Officer class. Grants are provided to support special classes and seminars. Marv Calvin was presented with a plaque recognizing his work on the Minnesota Board of Fire Training and Education by Jim Fisher, Chair of the MBFTE.
10. MnSCU Fire Training Consortium – Kathy Schwantz describe a new program in the MnSCU System which is known as the Fire Training Consortium. The purpose of the program is to provide consistency in curriculum, pricing and processes. This has already been applied to the NFPA 1001 and 1403, and there are many changes being made to improve their programs. The voucher dollars will expire on July 1, 3013, and the voucher funds not expended will be transferred to the local colleges to expedite use of the money. The voucher funds can be moved to another college if the local department requests. Marv Calvin is the Consortium’s first Fire Service Liaison.
11. Legislative Committee – Nyle Zikmund emphasized that it is important that members attend the fire service day at the capital next year.
12. Emergency Management Committee – Scott Gerber discussed the interstate mutual aid plan, and explained that the MSFCA Board conducted a tabletop exercise with the IAFC evaluators and passed. Minnesota is now designated as a green state (ready to respond when necessary). The Emergency Management Committee is finishing a Gap analysis regarding areas of the plan that need to be strengthened, and will prepare a report to the IAFC on current gaps. Anyone wishing to become a member of the Fire Chiefs Assistance Support Team (FAST) should fill out the forms which can be found on the MSFCA website.
13. Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Association of Minnesota – David Vaughan gave a presentation about the VFBA’s organization, mission, benefits and procedures.
14. Old/Unfinished Business – President Polzin called for any old or unfinished business and there was none.
15. New Business – Bill Thoennes discussed the plans for 2013 Fire Officers Training School which will be held February 9-10, 2013 in the Alexandria, Minnesota.
16. Good of the Association – President Polzin asked for any items for the good of the association, and announced that $772.04 was collected by “passing the boots.” Randy also noted that the 2013 Conference will be held October 16-19, 2013 at the Mayo Convention Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
17. Adjournment – A motion was made by Jerry Rosendahl and seconded by Luke Stemmer to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 2:54 PM.
A complete list of minutes can be found under the “Archive” tab
MSFCA Retreat Goals for 2013-14
#1 Executive Director’s Position
- Current Executive Director Contract expires on December 31, 2014.
- The MSFCA is now a $700,000 a year operation.
- Clerical work is taking up a lot of time - need support.
- The position should have time to establish new partnerships and seek grants.
- How would future partnership with MSFDA affect a new position?
- Should the person be empowered to speak for the association?
- The person does not necessarily need to have fire service background.
- Media questions can be technical - if person does not have a fire service background - must have a designated contact for these questions.
- Would need to have financial policies to guide and account for spending - currently providing quarterly statements to the board for tracking purposes.
ACTION: A motion was made by Marty Scheerer, and seconded by Dale Specken to have the executive committee look at a strong executive director and administrative staff. The motion passed. The executive committee will develop job descriptions for those positions. The board wants the executive director to take some of the burden off the association officers who are active.
#2 Fire Service Day at the Capitol
- Very low turnout at the event this year.
- Don’t continue to do what we are presently doing as it is not working.
- Have had success in the past.
- Legislators expect the firefighters to attend - MPFF will most likely continue.
- Can lobbying the local legislators be done easier and more successfully at a local level?
- Continue the present event and have a strong program of local lobbying.
- MPFF does a better job of briefing its members who attend the event.
- Photo opportunities and personal contact are important to the legislators.
- Combine a board meeting with the event?
- Focus on an in-district meeting with the legislators in the fall?
- Can the regions provide a one hour time slot at their meeting for a legislative briefing by the association’s legislative committee and lobbyists? Educate the members on successes and the importance of contacting their legislators.
- MPFF issues which are not on the “official” list of fire service day issues - do not surprise the other attendees with a separate list of issues.
- January board meeting might be a good opportunity to provide a briefing if combined with the day at the capitol - need to brief firefighters (not just board members).
- An opportunity to provide the briefing electronically via Skype or YouTube?
ACTION:Goals for the future of the Fire Service Day at the Capitol will be crafted jointly by the executive and legislative committees.
#3 Bylaw Changes & Electronic Balloting
ACTION:Resolved in the board meeting with a resolution passed by the board recommending the bylaws changes be approved by the membership.
#4 Merger/Consolidation/Realignment with MSFDA (and possibly others)
- At the October meeting in Duluth, MSFDA approached the MSFCA regarding a possible Merger/Consolidation/Realignment.
- A committee was appointed by each association, and the two committees have met four times.
- Met with MAP for Nonprofits and were told that the associations are well ahead of the point where they (MAP) are normally contacted.
- Asking the board to discuss pros and cons to give the committee direction.
- Volunteer fire service needs to take the next step forward and will need to be more united to accomplish higher goals.
- The associations will most likely need to agree to a name change.
- The association has significant assets which need to be considered.
- Governance of a new association will be an issue (who the board members are).
- MSFDA is about an $80,000 a year operation.
- Perception is the MSFCA is taking over - but the MSFCA is strong and growing at this time and does not necessarily need to change the existing model.
- Shared areas - conferences, “volunteer issues,” back office.
- Need a stronger message from the MSFDA regarding the desire to form a closer relationship the MSFCA?
- Will need a commitment from the entire MSFDA board to proceed - there is not a consensus on their board at this time.
- All comments regarding the joint discussions should be directed to DeeDee (email@example.com) at the MSFDA who is the designated contact.
- Fire and other state organizations have been contacted to gauge their interest in a united group - and there may be a meeting of other interested groups in the future.
ACTION: Continue with the current discussions.
#5 Fire Training Funding - FFI and FFII - Need due to Demographic Changes Coming
- $1.7 million currently allocated in the MBFTE for the NFPA 1001 program (Firefighter I & II) - and it is very successful with 1,300 participating in the program.
- $2.7 million is available for the next fiscal year - and the MBFTE will have to allocate monies, but will most likely not be funded.
- Voucher dollars (MnSCU) are going away.
- Can fire department turnover be better quantified? Bruce West uses 6% for his estimations.
- Firefighter ages: 4% over 60 years, 18.6% - 50 years, 45% - 40 years, 27% - 30 years, 5% under 25 years of age.
- Would years of service be a better indicator for gauging turnover?
- Chiefs are delighted that this basic training is being provided to them without charge, and departments that have never had formal training are taking advantage of the program.
- The ability to set up an account for each department? (Voucher system used this process.)
- Dollars need to be used to justify continued funding.
- There are a large number of classes, conferences, and seminars being offered currently - and this is probably affecting attendance figures.
- Clearing house for training, with internet access and a search feature - State Fire Marshal’s Office is working on this https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/sfm/Pages/default.aspx.
ACTION:Monitor current programs and usage.
#6 Broken Regional System - Should we focus on County Chiefs meetings?
- This has been an issue for some time and has been a frequent retreat issue.
- The attendance is sporadic throughout the state.
- Short educational sessions seem to work, as well as a social aspect (dinner, prize drawings, etc.).
- Identify county fire chiefs meetings statewide (could be called other things i.e. emergency managers group).
- 67 chiefs groups were identified during the memorial fund-raising project.
- Could the regional directors attend every chiefs meeting in their region? Identify persons who attend the individual regions and have them bring MSFCA information to these meetings.
- Newer fire service members do not appear to put importance on attending the regional meetings.
- Prior to the October meeting, call a regional chiefs meeting to discuss issues so information is fresh, and do not require director to attend the regional meeting?
- The bylaws state that the MSFCA president appoints directors, and they usually take the recommendations of the region.
- Use electronic means to poll the members of a region regarding their board director - this is not prohibited by the bylaws. The MSFCA president makes the appointment regardless of the process used to identify the person.
- The discussions with the MSFDA may have a major impact on this issue and may not even be geographically based (possibly divisions i.e. chief officers, training officers, etc.).
ACTION:Gauge the developments of discussions with MSFDA & the study by Bellmont Partners prior to any action on regions. Develop a program to provide a regional chiefs meeting prior to the conference which would provide data and standard messages.
#7 Web Page
ACTION:Bellmont Partners will be looking into this issue.
#8 Paying Instructors (MSFCA Members) at Fall and/or Spring Conference
ACTION:Addressed at board meeting with a direction to develop a policy & action to allow the officers schools to proceed in 2014.
#9 Use of Social Media
ACTION:Bellmont Partners will be looking into this issue.
#10 PSA Issue
- There are many changes coming in health care which may have a great impact on departments which provide EMS services, and could be an opportunity for the fire service.
ACTION:Refer to the sub-committee of the EMS Committee.
#11 Community Paramedic/EMT
- Could help to fund some fire service staffing with dual missions EMS/FIRE.
ACTION:Refer to the sub-committee of the EMS Committee.
#12 Fire Safety Account/MBTFE Money used for OT wages, EMS Training etc.
- The MBFTE has received a position paper on this issue.
- The MBFTE allows departments to separate out CPR and auto defibrillation costs from their EMS training for reimbursement.
- It is important that this type of funding comes out of the amount allotted per firefighter, and is used at the discretion of the local department.
ACTION:Meet again with the MBFTE to thank them for their support and clarify positions.
#13 Survey membership regarding Organizational Satisfaction of Leadership and Direction
ACTION:Bellmont Partners will be studying this issue.
#14 Residential Sprinklers & IRC Code
- Code Committee should be addressing this issue.
- The Fire Marshal Association of Minnesota has put a letter together opposing changes in the residential sprinkler codes.
ACTION:Refer to Code Committee which is scheduled to meet in about two weeks.
Brian Bellmont gave a presentation regarding the Communication Audit which their firm has been contracted to provide for the MSFCA.
#15 Prevention - Stove Top Extinguishers mandatory in Residential Properties
- New issue which has not been brought to the Code Committee.
ACTION:Bill Mund will contact Tim Butler to get a better explanation.
#16 State Wide FD Deployment - should we pre-determine resources?
- Ulie Seal updated the board on the statewide mutual aid system (PowerPoint presentation provided by Ulie Seal?)
- Gap Analysis - Contact information - Memory sticks, and/or updates on statewide resources available via the website?
- Box alarm system - could be a real issue this year due to projected drought (need to provide protection in the region and not take all of their resources.)
- Need to ensure that the organizations that have participated in the process are the ones who are dispatched.
- Go packs - annual updates on what is to be included in a go pack. Need to identify what is important.
- Use Dropbox (internet application) to get information out to the directors and make forms and information available anywhere.
- Credentialing - need to have responders credentialed? Yes there is a need to establish a standardized identification card.
- Everbridge Mass Notification (electronic notification) will be utilized to notify the entire board about incidents.
- Standardized accountability system (PAR system) for use at a large incident.
- Pick ID system for use across the state, and make the system and equipment specifications available for voluntary compliance and standardization.
- The EM is working on Field Operations Guide (FOG) updates and on Go Kits for the Fire Chief Assistance and Support Team (FAST.)
ACTION: A motion was made by Mark Hovland, and seconded by John Strongitharm to have the Emergency Management Committee review PAR systems and make a recommendation on the best two to three systems on which to standardize. The motion passed.
#17 Licensure - Specific to Fire Chiefs on-going education
- June of 2014 the first go round for the MBFTE and the AHJ will need to document 72 hours of continuing education in the past three years. The MBFTE will be working on specific requirements for officers for 2017 recertification.
- Misunderstanding about what are the specific requirements (FFI & FFII.)
ACTION:Bruce West will develop a communication from the MBFTE clarifying the requirements.
#18 Military Leave Overtime Pay to Backfill - legislation to support funding to cover costs
- There is legislation being proposed that the state would reimburse local governments for the costs of backfilling for military leave.
Wrap Up of Retreat- Randy Polzin and Bill Mund suggested that the board considered creating two year goals to match the terms of the President. Develop goals the first year, and in the second year of the president’s term, have a shorter retreat to review goals and update the board. It was also suggested that a two year budget should also be considered.
A complete list of minutes can be found under the “Archive” tab
MSFDA-MSFCA JOINT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Winter Meeting Minutes
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Radisson Hotel - St. Cloud, Minnesota - 10 a.m.
1. Call to Order
MSFDA President Dan Winkel and MSFCA President Bob Brown called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. A moment of silence was held for Don Deutsch.
2. Discussion on developing regions- Bob Brown and Dan Winkel
President Brown began the meeting by having everyone introduce themselves. He explained the topic for this morning was to discuss methods of improving regional attendance. He raised the question “how do we expect information to be shared?” “Is it from the Boards to the Region or from the Region to the Boards?” Dale Specken and his MSFDA counterpart both interact and that is the expectation for all regional reps from both organizations.
Blogs, my space etc are all next generation’s ways of communicating according to Jerry Rosendahl. President Brown stated that our Magazine published in a timely manner was another means of communication. Jim Hansen commented on packets of material that he hands out at regional meetings and other opportunities. Judy Thill wanted a list of best practices to be handed out to add value to the meetings. Some regions reported that 70-75% of their departments were attending and that activities like meals, and raffles helped attendance.
A discussion was held regarding e-mails vs. surface mail. President Winkel asked the question “Are we getting feedback from e-mails?” Some of the membership felt that a surface letter was better. One region thought that all meetings should be held in a central location within the region. Comments were made that 2 meetings/year were not enough and 6/year were too many. SFM Rosendahl commented that there is an e-mail list of all the people who report MNFIRS to his office.
Tom Brace reported that controversy has a way of bringing out more attendance at Regional meetings. The League of Minnesota Cities has a list of fire chiefs and fire departments. While this is a very good list, it is not complete.
Training at Regions needs to be of interest to younger firefighters and needs to be made fun if you want them to jump in. Marty Scheerer suggested “grab someone and make them attend”. There is also a need for streamlined presentations once you are able to get them to attend.
There is also a need for a job description for regional reps. This could take the form of a general outline so that a new director would have “the tools for being a director.”
Marty Scheerer suggested a magazine article that solicited e-mail addresses and explained how to join a Region. President Winkel discussed the Smoke Eater and thoughts MSFDA has in the future regarding their relationship with that publication. Marty commented that the print media was failing and the future might be newsletters electronically. The problems with Dial Up were discussed in greater Minnesota as a problem with the above mentioned idea.
Marty informed the group of our communication director position for the MSFCA which would be as a paid contractor. President Winkel stated the “we are waiting for the new regional map from the SFM Division and also commented on that fact that some departments migrate to neighboring Regions that they feel more close to then their own.
This concluded a very thoughtful discussion regarding strengthening our Regions.
3. Minnesota Fire Service Foundation- Zikmund
There is a need for a MSFDA representative, a need to replenish the scholarship fund and internally fundraise. Each one of the three organizations has been requested to donate $3000 for 3 statutes. Our site at the State Capitol is still secure.
4. MnFAC Report-Zikmund
The MPFF licensing bill was discussed. There are questions regarding the definition of Full Time as it pertains to firefighters. They are not doing the grandfather provisions and feel that they are losing ground to Police Officers. Ulie Seal stated that this is a bill about jobs and jobs lost.
The “two hatter” issue was discussed and the NVFC is going to wait and see. It appears that the IAFF was an early Obama supporter.
Several additional comments were made regarding the licensing bill which included the news that bill is jacketed and will be introduced next week. DPS Commissioner Campion after being briefed on this bill stated “We are not going to get crosswise with the volunteers.” The $75 fee would be paid by the individual according to Tom Thornberg, MPFF President.
The issue of flashing lights was discussed with a report that WI would like to repeal their law. The push for a bill in Minnesota is coming from the Pickwick Fire Department and does not have any support by the MnFAC representatives.
Chief Zikmund feels that the Civil Immunity Bill will pass. He also suggested the need for a study of Ethanol Plant Fires re Rep. Bunn and SFM Rosendahl.
Nyle discussed the Residential Code and the Sprinkler Coalition. He stated there is a need to educate the fire service and wants to have about 15-20 minutes at regional meetings to explain exactly what is being proposed.
Chief Zikmund is looking to build a data base of trainers. He reported on a 60-70% rate of failure for the Haz-Mat Ops test and reminded everyone that he does not set the standards. On line testing was discussed and the big challenge for the fire service is to get trained. Marty Dirnberger expressed concern with “this has got to stop” with what he identifies with industry and vendor driven NFPA standards.
5. Certification Board-Nyle Zikmund
There are 19 people on this Board. Nyle and Terri Zikmund started on September 2007 and got the books in November of that year. They had a balance of $8600 but owed the Pro Board $6500. Their program was built by Monica Correll and they are in need of a new server in their home. They are using a 10-12 year old lap top and they are asking for $2500 from each of the two organizations represented.
MSFCA started this program in about 1998 and Firefighter 1 has been the bread and butter of the program. Four skill stations are planned as there are currently five. Chief Mund stated that “you are going to pay one way or the other.” There is a need for a dedicated server at the Zikmund home office. A decision was not asked for today. MSFCA will discuss this request at their retreat on March 20, 2009.
6. Fire Service Day at the Capitol
An estimate of about 200 registrants was reported. There will be an 8:00 am briefing at the hotel before departure to the Capitol. The same shirt as last year could be used with the main issue for 2009 the Fire Safety Account.
7. NVFC Update
The Sheraton in Bloomington MN will be the conference hotel. It was reported that it took between 20-25 thousand dollars to host a conference. They will bring a staff to help with the registration. Minnesota is responsible for one dinner. The conference will be September 22-26, 2010.
8. Fire Service Advisory Committee
Revenue appears to be running from 10.5-10.8 million dollars. The authorization to spend is for 8 million. The Fire Training Board reported 250 applications received with maybe 200 more applications to be received before Monday March 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm. That would be about one-half of the fire departments in the state. There appeared to be a question of what was meant by “in their hands or postmarked.”
9. State Fire Marshal Briefing
SFM Rosendahl spoke about the decision to not adopt the 2009 IFC, IRC, and IBC. He indicated that he had taken “some personal heat” on this issue. Jon Nisja of Jerry’s staff had indicated that it would cost $120,000 to update the Fire Code alone. Jerry stated a need for educational training at various regions on the issue of sprinklers.
SFM Rosendahl reported on a bill that would reduce fire drills from five to two. They have already been reduced from nine to five. The SFM will be “sharing a concern” on this issue.
A question was raised as to how much money will be taken out of the Fire Safety Account. Several different opinions were discussed with an added concern that the 2% pension money may also be at risk.
PFC Class B Foam issue was talked about and the Chiefs Magazine Article was cited. If you train with it, do not use it over the city well. MNFIRS was discussed with about 100 Fire Departments mentioned who had not sent in their data. Region 8 and Region 12 have a 100% reporting. SFM Rosendahl needs help in getting reports in. DNR requires MNFIRS reporting to receive money from them. Some fire departments regard the MNFIRS requirement as an unfunded mandate. The wonderful person who manages this Program(Nora) for the SFM was reported to be “nervous”.
A question by Rep. Bunn regarding Ethanol Emergencies may lead to a report of said subject by the State Fire Marshal.
10. Joint Fast Team
A brief history of the Fast Team was reviewed. President Brown indicated that he had spent a great deal of personal time on Luverne Fire Department support. The basic tenant of the Fast Team is to help the Fire Department manage their loss. The regional representative from both organizations will work together under this joint effort.
11. Statewide Mutual Aid Plan
This program is a work in progress with a draft available in June of 2009 for review and comment. This group has been meeting monthly. The concept is to use local mutual aid then call the State Duty Officer for additional help if needed. Randy Polzin met with Ann Gergen of the League of MN Cities regarding changes in Chapter 12. This process is for a major event and will not do away with local programs. The Fire Map program is no longer accurate.
12. DNR Report
Gene Mannelin reported that DNR was reducing its staff in 23 SW Minnesota Counties. Tom Romaine of DNR has about 18 months left in this territory. Gene presented a Montana Bill that dealt with the issue of lying to investigators.
Joint Executive Committees MSFDA/MSFCA
Thursday- October 1, 2009
SBM Station III
In attendance were: MSFDA President Dan Winkel; MSFCA President Bob Brown; MSFCA Executive Director Tom Brace; MSFDA Executive Board Members, Shane Schmidt, and Tony Bronk. MSFCA Executive Board Members Marty Scheerer, Randy Polzin, Jeff Anderson and Jeff Swanson. Nyle Zikmund, Mark Hovland, and Tom Cvar were invited guests.
1. Presidents Brown & Winkel- Welcome
President Dan Winkel (MSFDA) and President Bob Brown (MSFCA) welcomed their respective executive boards to the meeting at Noon, Thursday October 1, 2009 at SBM III.
2. Nyle Zikmund Report
Nyle reported that there were between 7 and 8 Resolutions that have been passed at regions opposing the new group. MPFF Thornberg has been asked to become involved in the Licensing bill implementation as it is their bill. The Volunteer Pension Plan is up and running and they will have a booth at the Conference. The legislature will start on February 1, 2010. MnFAC will have a list of about 14 issues to be worked on. Some of the bills of interest are Income Tax Credit, Civil Immunity and retired FF license plates. The major bill will be to capture more of the unallocated funds in the Fire Safety Account. We need to capture at least one-half of the amount that is not allocated. Whatever is captured still will have to be appropriated by the legislature. It was stated that by late January the Governor will present the supplemental budget.
The Training Board was quoted as being able to handle the new licensing bill with out additional appropriations. The Haz Mat program is now coming out of the Fire Safety Account. A discussion was held regarding making the fall regional meetings a legislative meeting where the regional members can meet with their elective representatives that had been invited by the fire service. President Brown wants to make the regional meetings more of value to the attendees. Shane Schmidt stated that the chief needs to be at regional meetings. It was recognized that out of the regional meetings should come elected board members that are willing to serve.
Tony Bronk reported on different ways an individual or department could join this organization. His department joined for $10/member and found this to be the best value. Individuals can also join although the cost is higher.
4. FIRE SERVICE DAY AT THE CAPITOL-TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2010
For 2010, we will use the Kelly Inn to avoid the problem and costs of busing delegates to the Capitol. Our main goal will be to capture all or some of the unallocated monies in the Fire Safety Account. There may be an opportunity for individual associations to each have a separate page in a booklet to be left with legislators. We will use the same red shirts as last year.
An excellent presentation was given at Metro Chiefs on this subject. A very real possibility exists that you may not go to a fire if you did not have enough staff based on this flu. Clearly, “Life will be different”. The green, yellow and red system of ranking was discussed with the belief that there needs to be an orange zone factored into this equation. The extreme category will be determined by a Governors Emergency Declaration.
6. Job Descriptions for Board Members
Tom Cvar and Rex Lentner will make an attempt to draft a job description. Ann Warling was credited with creating a packet for new board members that was very useful. Doug Noah may have material for job descriptions that can be used for this task.
7. Training Board
A discussion was held regarding a joint letter that was signed by the presidents of the “big three”. The issue was the administrative costs that were charged by the private contractors. It was stated that there was not enough information shared by the Chair of the Board and a lack of detail necessary to make an informed decision. Tom Brace suggested that it would be interesting to see what was charged by the Post Board and the Private Detective Board on a per member basis as a comparison.
8. Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Joint Executive Committee will be on December 10, 2009 at the Bloomington Sheraton at Noon for lunch. A final decision will be reported on regarding a joint board meeting in February 2010.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:05 pm.
Board of Director Meeting Minutes
Annual Meeting of the MSFCA Membership
Board Retreat Minutes
Joint Meetings of MSFCA & MSFDA Boards
|February 2007 (Cancelled)
Joint Meetings of MSFCA & MSFDA Executive Committees