The Pryor Times

Local News

March 22, 2013

Firefighters agree on mutual aid

Cabin Creek Fire Department was home to the Firefighters Association meeting on Monday.

A great deal of discussion concerned mutual aid, that is multiple departments responding to wrecks that involve extrication. The agenda listed the item as, “discussion and action regarding extrication terms/agreements with MESTA and Fire Departments.”

Jason Miller, chairman of the association, began a discussion about which departments have the correct equipment and available manpower to make the system work.

“I think this is the best way to handle it,” said Miller. “I think it’s best to work together for the safety of the people.”

Attendees agreed that it is better to have too much help than not enough.

“To be honest, sometimes it takes two sets of tools on some of these wrecks. I don’t think it would hurt to automatically page two departments out, we can always address it at another meeting if we think it becomes excessive,” said Ted Key, Chouteau Fire Chief.

The consensus was that it would be beneficial if dispatch was trained in such a way that two fire departments were automatically paged.

“I wish Rick was here, I’d like to run it by him before we make a decision,” said Pryor Fire Chief, Tim Thompson. Rick Langkamp is the director of Mayes Emergency Services Trust Authority.

“I don’t think he would have a problem with mutual aid if it was all inclusive,” said Miller.

“I don’t have any problem with it,” said Assistant Chief Ray Vaughn of Locust Grove Fire Department. “If they get there and realize they don’t need us, they can just call and turn us around.”

Several departments agreed.

Since all departments present were supportive of having automatic mutual aid, the association will inform Langkamp.

Next on the agenda was the discussion of the association’s desire to achieve 501(c)3

status.

It was reported that a certified accountant had not been found willing to complete the paperwork pro bono.

“Our CPA said it would be about $750 for his fees and another $850 for the IRS portion,” said Miller.

“I say, if the money is there we need to do it. Even if it is going to drain the account, we need to fix it,” said Trish Fleming of Strang Fire Department.

If 501(c)3 status is obtained, individuals wishing to donate money to the association could receive a tax write-off.

Without it, donations are not tax deductible.

The association is going to gather quotes from several professionals before the next regularly scheduled meeting.

“Discussion on the rehabilitation equipment that will/is purchased by the local Emergency Planning Committee,” was the next agenda item.

“Rehab equipment was purchased by Emergency Management and a Medical Reserve Grant from Homeland Security,” said Mike Dunham on behalf

of Mayes County Emergency Manage-ment, and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

“With that grant, we got a 10x20 tent, a misting fan, and five cooling chairs with arm emerson,” said Dunham of the $5,200 grant. “We haven’t set up any protocol yet, we just want to make people aware that it’s a resource we want to use to help us here in Mayes County.”

The equipment will be kept in a trailer at the Pryor Fire Department so that it is accessible to any department in the county.

 

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