Fire District responds to 77 calls in October

by Richard Uhlhorn

Chelan Fire and Rescue held its monthly commission meeting on Wednesday, November 18 and Fire Chief Mark Donnell reported that the District was right on target at 84% of its 2020 budget. “The expenses are going out, but all of our revenues are not in yet,” said Donnell.

Donnell also said that the annual carryover is likely to be better than the $515,000 projects. “It may be considerably higher than that,” reported Donnell. He also told the commission that staff has been asked to curtail expenditures. “We won’t have any capital expenditures until April of next year.”

The current weather has slowed activity down, but the District has responded to 77 callouts in October with 65 percent of those calls related to emergency medical services. “There have been no major incidents in October.” There was also no fire loss in October.

On the operational side of the District has cancelled all in-person training for the rest of the year.

It was noted that the new all-wheel drive off-road wildland truck is a huge asset for the District. “It will be huge benefit in the long haul,” said Donnell. Commission Chairman Phil Moller stated that the machine is a piece of equipment the District has needed for a long time.

Moller also asked if there is an Offroad Woods Driving Class for the new vehicle. Assistant Chief said that was a great idea. Commissioner Russ Jones asked what the center of gravity was like. He was told that the District’s mechanic, John Goyner was careful about how firefighting equipment was mounted on the chassis.

Asher said the District is first in line for another DNR grant. “We hope to come up with another chassis,” he said. The District’s match would be $12,500.

Unfinished business:

Chief Donnell said that the draft Strategic Plan would be on the next meeting’s agenda for adoption. “It’s about who we are and where we want to take the District,” stated Donnell.

The District continues to negotiate with the City of Chelan for Fire Protection. “It is small baby steps,” said Donnell. “It’s taking a lot longer than I anticipated. The City is overwhelmed right now.” Fire Hydrant maintenance is just one issue on the table and Donnell stated that has been priced at $25,000.

Out of 130 applicants for National Testing, the District is providing 10. Asher said that only a few completed the Chelan Fire application and stated that if they couldn’t even do that simple thing, what would they do with the testing.

The District will be looking at needs for the future in the next meeting and it was suggested that a Citizen’s Advisory Group be named to help with the District’s future needs. Moller said, “It would be beneficial for us to roll in the public.”

New business:

The commission unanimously accepted its annual resolution (2020-11) for the one percent tax increase for 2021 which will bring in an additional $21,367.26 added to the $2,136,726.92 budget.

Marine 71 will be decked out with Christmas lights and lead a boat parade towards Manson and circle back to Chelan starting on November 27 and 28. “We are inviting any boater to join us. We will meet at the boat company.”

Association report:

Dan Crandall reported that the group would retain its current board and officers through 2021. Crandall has also said that he has arranged to have interviews at KOZI beginning in January.

This past month, with no fund raising this year, the Association reported giving $500 to the local VFW association and upped their donation to the Food Bank to $1,000 to insure that there is enough food for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

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