County Fire Department News 5/21/19

This is a guest post by Tom Daly.

Highlights from today’s (5/21/19) TMFPD Board of Fire Commissioners meeting and other intel.

Commissioner Lucey was once again absent.

Fire Marshal – The resignation of Fire Marshal Beaver will result in a vacancy for a few months while a search ensues for her replacement. Previous 2017 finalists for the position are being contacted. The position will be held open until November 2019 for budget reasons.

Deputy Fire Chief – Operations – This position is also vacant given the retirement of DFC Gorgon last month. An internal candidate will likely be selected by August to fill this vacancy.

Fleet – New water tenders are in service at TM#32 East Lake and TM#40 Mogul. One of the new Type 1 structure engines will also be assigned to TM#40 when outfitting is completed at month’s end. For FY2020 the district will acquire one Type I structure engine and one Type III brush engine.

TM#37 Hidden Valley Station – The site for the replacement apparatus bay will need a boundary adjustment with an adjacent Reno owned parcel. The Board authorized staff to pursue this agreement with Reno. The City has agreed and resolutions at the City Council and County Commission meetings will be processed in June and July. An architect was selected today to address the renovation to the crew quarters (former house adjacent to the current station) and the new apparatus bay (two bay two vehicle deep structure elevated slightly to account for the adjacent flood zone).

FY2020 Budget Highlights – The budget was approved with some cost modifications made by Chief Moore from the draft budget presented in April. The District proposes to seek its first debt service in January 2020 in the form of a medium term (10-yr) bond for $4.7 million to finance the renovation/expansion of stations and the acquisition of rolling stock (two engines). TMFPD will pay a fixed fee of $875K/yr., for three years to the WCSO for dispatch services. The FY2020 Budget is expected to have a 19% ending fund balance with revenues slightly less than previously anticipated based on very recent State of Nevada financial projections. Commissioner Jung requested staff to prepare an impact statement for the next Board meeting for annexations by other jurisdictions, primarily Reno, on TMFPD revenues (mainly property taxes).

Performance review – Chief Moore’s performance review will be postponed until June or July.

State legislation –

  • SCR#2 calling for a study of Washoe County Fire Services has not had a hearing in the Senate nor has it been co-sponsored in the Assembly.
  • ACR#4 calling for a study of wildfires in Nevada has passed the Assembly and is being considered in the Senate and will likely pass.
  • SB#239 Calls for utilities (NV Energy) to prepare wildfire plans and to undertake programs to remove brush under their power lines among other issues. Passed both houses and is on the Governor’s desk for action.

Open House – There will be an open house, the first of three, at TM#39 Galena Forest on June 1st from 10am-noon to discuss wildfire prevention including fuel reduction projects and funding opportunities, Code Red sign-ups (reverse 911 call protocol) and NV Energy’s proposal to shutdown power in selected grids during high windstorm events. (address 4000 Joy Lake Road)

Fire Chief’s Report – There was considerable discussion regarding the call disparity within the District with Sun Valley and Spanish Springs accounting for 50% of all calls district-wide and the staffing difference, as the South Valleys have five stations to the North Valley’s four. Sun Valley #45 responds to about 10 calls per day and Spanish Springs #46 to about 7.5 calls per day (CY2018 call data). This issue will be addressed in July with the production of the District’s ‘Strategic Plan’ (all facets of the District’s operations and funding) now in process. Also, a ‘Deployment Report’ (manpower/stations) will be available in September. Chief Moore reported on the automatic and mutual aid responses for TMFPD to Sparks FD and Sparks FD responses to TMFPD at the previous request of Commissioner Hartung. Commissioner Jung requested a monthly report on this subject for all involved jurisdictions. Chief Moore reported that the neighborhood with the highest number of Priority 1 (life threatening) medical calls is Arrowcreek.

Union demands in negotiations – IAFF 2487 wants an educational pay incentive for those having an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. While there was discussion there was no Board action or public comment.

The next TMFPD Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday June 18th at 0900.

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