The Geneva County Volunteer Firefighters Association met last night in Malvern for their regular meeting. On the agenda was updating the members on the status of the communications grant. Mark Shehee, Chief of the Bellwood VFD reported that we were waiting to hear back from FEMA for the go ahead on some amendments to the grant. Once these amendments are approved we will be ready to move ahead with the bid process. Also on the agenda was discussion of possibly grouping the rural departments together in an attempt to get lower insurance premiums. A vote was taken and everyone was in favor of getting a quote on group rates. Other business included a report from Bobby Light with the Alabama Forestery Commission about vehicle tag changes and thatthey have the air packs that some departments requested earlier in the year. Bobby and Wayne are working out a way to get the air packs out to the departments. Some of the bottles will have to be returned when they are no longer needed. In new business, as it was the December meeting, elections were held. For the office of President for the 2011 year there were two nominations. Roger Wise and Robert Herring, Jr. The vote was taken and Roger Wise was elected to serve as President. Next the office of Vice-President was up for nominations. Receiving nominations were Andy Hovey and Robert Herring, Jr. When the votes were tallied Andy Hovey was the winner. The last office up for nominations was the Secretary. There was only one nomination made and without any challengers Linda Moore was once again re-elected to serve as the Secretary of the association. The next meeting will be at the Samson VFD on February 14th at 7pm. Please plan to have someone from your department at the meeting.
Geneva County Interoperability Committee Meets
Members of the Geneva County Interoperability Committee met Monday September 20th with at the Geneva County Forestry office with a representative from Falcon Direct to view a presentation on their county wide communications plan. Burch Falkner with Falcon Direct gave the committee an overview of his company's plan to build and install a communication system that would allow all fire, rescue, law enforcement, school systems and hospitals in the county to communicate on the same network. After the presentation members began discussion on this system, and decided it was in the best interest of the county to request S&P Communication in Opp to adjust their earlier proposal to see if it more closely met the needs of the county and the requirements of the FEMA grant received by Bellwood VFD earlier in the year. Jeff Lowery, Committee Chairman, was tasked with contacting S&P to request this information as quickly as possible. The committee will meet again when the proposal from S&P is received. Other members present included, Margaret Mixon Geneva County EMA, Bobby Light Geneva County Forestry Service, Michael Dean Flat Creek VFD, Mark Shehee Bellwood VFD and Roger Wise Flat Creek VFD.
The association will be obtaining the files from Bobby Fullers office on Sept.24th.You are encouraged NOT to submit any more bills to be paid out of tobacco tax monies to Fuller's office as of today, September 17, 2010. Black Fre Dept. and also Coffee Springs were absent at the chiefs' meeting so when you get this, you will have to go to the Hughes Center in Hartford to recieve your vouchers and instructions on what your dept. needs to do.Kenneth asked that the depts to go ahead and start sending your bills with vouchers to the center.Remember you can fax or mail to the center.If you have any questions or concerns please call Kenneth at the center. The number for the Geneva Co. Family Resources Center (at the Hughes Community Center) is 334-588-0060, the fax # is 334-588-0061.
This is a reminder that your account has to be completed and rolled up No Later than September 2, 2010. All questions have to be viewed and answered again this year. Then at the end of the questions you must submitt Roll up. Margaret
FedEx and UPS virus emails
State agencies have apparently become the target of an older email scam which attempts to convince email recipients to open an attached .zip file. The email appears to be from either FedEx or UPS and urges the user to open an attached invoice file. The .zip file, supposedly the invoice, contains a virus.
This file should NOT be opened.
Our email system appears to be stopping some of these attempts and our email administrators are working to attempt to block them all.
If you do receive an email like this please delete it immediately.
This is a FYI for the counties. The same applies, do not open the attachment and delete it.
Baron T. Holley
Infrastructure/Helpdesk Branch Director
AEMA IT Section
There is a class for IS-300/400 in Huntsville if any of you are interested. I am soeey we do not thav the money to do the 400 class here in Geneva County. But will keep you all posted of any class near Geneva County.
Margaret Mixon, CLEM Director
I spoke with Andy Hovey today and Fred Hamic advised that his petitions must be turned in by Sept.1st so if you have your hundred I would advise you to have them turned in by that date.I contacted Margret Mixon today and she advised that she had the grant application I sent to her to present to Homeland Security to hopefully replace the cascade system in Hartford.
The Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) is now open. The information is below for this program if you have any questions please contact Robert Thomas at (334)353-3062.
Revised Hours of Operation for the Help Desk
During the SAFER application period, the help desk will operate Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. To 5:00 p.m. Applicants who have questions regarding the SAFER Grants opportunity should contact the help desk at 1-866-274-0960 or via e-mail.
The SAFER application period opened August 17, 2010, at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. DHS will accept applications through September 17, 2010, at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
The SAFER Grant e-applications are automated and accessible through the web site at www.firegrantsupport.com and the U.S. Fire Administration Web site at www.usfa.dhs.gov/.
The Program Office
AFG Program Office | 800 K Street N.W. | Washington | DC | 20472
The cascade system is out of service in Hartford for a unknown period of time. I spoke personally with Chief Larry Williams to make him aware of the situation and reaffirmed that any department in need of bottle refills are welcome to come to station 2 on South Park and have them filled. Central has been advised and has the following contact numbers for our station : 615-3520— 673-0812— 793-0258. Keep in mind if you have a large incident/or structure and need mobile air—you may want to request Taylor Fire Department and request their mobile cascade system. If anyone needs further info. please call me at 334-726-7125.
UNTIL Thurs July 8th 06:30 Southeast AL is under a FIRE WEATHER ADVISORY, & also on Thurs July 8th (tomorrow) from 2-7 pm, we will be under a FIRE WEATHER WATCH, that can/may be downgraded & cancelled, OR UPGRADED TO A FIRE WEATHER CONDITION WARNING!! The criteria for FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS IS:
1) Atmospheric temps 90 degrees or greater
2) Winds 20 ft high @ 10 mph
3) Relative Humidity dropping to 30% or LESS
4) KBDI (never heard of it) conditions of 500
We already have been having very high temps & heat indices this spring/summer, BUT in view of this info, I feel we can expect to be responding to all types of outdoor/structore/motor vehicle fires!!
We NEED to bear in mind the following:
1) During responses to fires, MVA, & other outdoor scenes where we may be in the sun especially for a LONG time, BE SURE TO STAY HYDRATED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!!
2) Trade out personnel/take rest breaks as much as possible!! You will be more easily fatigued in heat related situations!!
3) Set up some sort of shade, or use a tree, overhead compartment door of an apparatus, etc. to provide the shade if at all possible!!
4) Remember if you are in firefighter, SWAT, Haz-Mat activities WHERE YOU ARE IN BUNKER GEAR, SWAT OR OTHER GEAR, HAZ-MAT SUIT(S), you will sweat MORE THAN usual, & LOSE FLUIDS FASTER than if you are not wearing these garments!!
5) IF you or a colleague/comerade experience ANY signs/symptoms of heat related illness (fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, confusion, muscle cramps, pale clammy, or hot, red, dry, skin, or if you stop sweating & feel "cold"), GET OUT OF THE HOT environment & INTO A COOL ENVIRONMENT ASAP!!
Remember, we all need to watch ourselves AND each other, & take care of each other in these situations!! Some people handle heat better than others, especially if someone is NOT used to this type of heat & humidity!! ****Also, if you have EVER had a heat-related illness in the past, you WILL be MORE susecptible to heat related illnesses in the future!!!!****
Also, expect that SOMEBODY is goning to do something ridiculous & there will be some sort of a fire, MVC, HAZ-MAT, etc., so stock up on the water & Gatorade/Powerade!!
You can get The Weather Channel on your desktop if you do NOT have it, or get Notify that the Weather Channel advertises, so you will have access to whatever weather related info/advisories/ warnings as I do.
This info also applies to farmers, other outdoor workers, & ANYBODY that is going to be out in the heat, especially if they are NOT used to it!! Also the "very young," & "older people" are more prone to serious effects of heat illness!!
Stay safe, talk to you soon!!
Linda C. Moore,
I have not received any rebuttal information from B.Fuller as of today. Moving forward I have reviewed the latest by-laws we have and it states about using a accountant or a CPA so we are not bound from using one or the other....it will be a individual choice of each dept.what they wish to do. Now comes the logistical issue....how to we go about changing ? I have had requests from Ben of someone in Geneva and Kenneth referred me to someone at the Hughes center in Hartford. My idea of what seems right would move all accounts to one bank establishing 1 master account for tobacco tax income set up a individual account for each dept. including the general account for the association.When the funds come into the master account it would be divided equally between the depts and the association as it comes in.The bank should have on line banking so each member can review its account any time from any were.The bank should/could provide each dept. if they wish a debit card for his/her depts account to use at there own discretion.The association could have a debit card for the association which would be held by the treasurer. Also I feel like the bank could set up a way to view the associations general fund so each Chief can view activity as he/she wishes.Now for the use of a CPA or accountant....they would have access to your account and them only so they can pay your bills and provide financial statements required as you deem sufficient.The association general fund and any other associated funding will be through a CPA or account that is lic. and bonded.Now comes the issue of what bank to use....each dept will have its own preference who the association needs to use so we have a issue .I need help with drawing up a criteria of what the bank should offer us....best rates...free checking...etc.so we can present it to any of the community banks for consideration.This info.will go before the executive committee for review and consideration and the decision who we use will be made that benefits the departmentst equally.The bank will handle all of the transitions from were ever the association currently has accounts established and record current balances and transfers and provide them for association review.When all has been handled we will request by certified mail a date for collecting all of the files at Bobby Fullers office be made available for pickup at a determined time and place.Whomever the association will use for its accounting purposes will be responsible for storage and security of said files at all times.We will retain a company to remove all of the files and transport them to the designated accountant at the expense of the association out of its general account.The accountant for the association will be required to review current and past activity of the previous accountant and report it to the executive committee.The accountant will be required to work directly with the bank of choice and visa versa to make sure all transfers have been doing correctly.
I contacted a Miss Hatcher with a idea which could provide us a great asset if it can be done:I asked her if wiregrass electric could/would be interested in donating used equipment that they are no longer using such as the four wheel drive pickup they had for sale in front on the office.She advised that she would see if it was a option and get back with me.I am in the process of gathering info. on reimbursement of both gasoline and diesel fuel we purchase as taxed....or some of use do to get back what we are not required to pay...I believe the rate is 16/19 cent per gallon depending on which fuel type.It might not seem like much but every penny helps...I will update when I find out more information.If someone has already been doing this please pass on to us the process.I spoke with a gentleman today from the regional land and water rescue unit formed in Houston County.The organization provides water recovery,water rescue,land based search and rescue which includes a horse posse to expedite areas which horses can be used.I have several members who are interested in learning more about the organization and possibly joining.They have volunteers Florida and Georgia so take in mind its regional team not just a Houston County team.I plan to meet with a member of the organization next Tuesday and hope to have more info. to pass on to you. Please inquire if you may have any members who would like to join and they take anyone they do not have to be trained because training is provided by the staff...so its a win...win situation.The auto/mutual aid committee is moving forward with drafts as we speak and Jeff and I spoke on the interoperability committee is planning a meeting in the near future to evaluate a contingency plan for the new communications system.As you can tell we are moving forward and the most important thing is that we are moving....moving forward to better our association our fire depts and our communities were we call home.
The Interoperability Committee Meeting will have a meeting on June 23, 2010 at 4pm at the E-911 building. If anyone would like to attend, please feel free to do so.
Updated Contact Information for Alabama Fire College and PSC Region 3 Representitive Derrick Swanson
Date: Friday, May 28, 2010, 11:22 AM
The FIre College has provided the Regional Staff with toll free numbers. My contact numbers are as follow:
• 877-359-7211 rings to 205-799-1388 (If the 877 number does not work please use the 205 number and let me know so it can be fixed.)
• Linc # 77*6021
I hope all has been well but if you need anything please call. Happy Holidays!!!
Derrick Swanson, MSM
Southern Region Coordinator (Region3)
Alabama Fire College & PSC
191 Red Eagle Drive
Wetumpka, AL 36092
Q&A with Burch Faulkner
I have been asked two very important questions about your purposed communications system.First is will any brand of radio be compatible with the repeater system or will all equipment have to be of the same manufacturer?
There are no restrictions to a particular manufacturer.
Second is how will bleed over be controlled because our current systems have what we call " skip " from as far away as Tallahassee .
New frequencies will be used. Bleed over is not applicable.
I have some questions pertaining to the base stations at the fire depts...will the cost presented include a tower of some sort to place antenna on or what is the plan to address it.
FEMA will not pay for towers. We CAN include installation on an existing tower or water tank. In some cases, the cost of the tower can be covered in the cost of the repeater.
On your brand of mobiles do you have smart chargers for the radios you sell to enhance battery life...the type that will draw down portable battery and recharge it properly?
All P25 radios use smart chargers and high capacity Lithium-Ion batteries
On the portable radios in the grant can I purchase say two extra batteries per radio?
Spare batteries can be included.
Do you sell a multi-charger for the brands you sell and could it be included in the grant?
Yes we do and yes it can.
Hello Mr. Herring,
Thank you for taking the time to speak to me yesterday, about attending your next Geneva County Volunteer Firefighter's Association meeting on June 14th. I look forward to meeting you and everyone attending the meeting. As I stated on the phone call, I am a EVT Certified Technician with over 15 year of experience working on diesel engines, fire apparatus, and generators. I am also a factory authorized Ferrara Fire Apparatus service center for Southern Alabama, Georgia, and Northern Florida. My contact information is bellow and I have also attached a brochure.
Raymond Garrison, Owner
Southern Service & Supply
325 Freedom Dr.
Midland City, AL 36350
ALL Fire Chiefs,
PLEASE note the meeting DATE & TIME of Monday March 22, @ 6:30 pm at the E-911 Center!! We NEED for you to be there, & if you have mayors, town council/board members, etc. that have questions, bring them!!!! THIS issue is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE!!!!! THIS is a "do or die issue!!!"
Linda C. Moore, Sec.-Treas Geneva Co. Vol. Firefighters' Association
Local and county reps met today with EMA and discussed the stipulations on how the Homeland Securities funds will be spent.It was unanimously agreed upon to use the funds for the 700mhz re banding of all public safety radios within the county.Now comes the logistical nightmare of counting each portable and mobile used by each fire dept. within the county.What the association has to have from each dept. is as follows (1) if your system is already 700mhz compliant like Slocombs still list all radios as follows (1) if all your radios are of the same make and model please just list how many you have and (1) make,model and serial number for the lot of them.If you mixed matched radio cache you must list each different make ,model and serial number for each different type radio.The same process must be done with all apparatus mounted mobiles.Please list any portables that are know to be more than 5 years old.This problem will not go away so we must just do what we have to do to get this done.We have a month from today to bring back the information gathered and report it back to EMA.We already know that the funds allotted will not scratch the surface to address the re banding in the county so we must show just how short its going to be.Please start now on collecting info. and remember if you can contact the company you buy radios from you can get all your info. from them.Once you have collected your info.you need to email LindaMoore a copy and email Ms Mixon a copy and be sure to save your own.This information will be due before the next scheduled meeting and association members that do not turn in information before then will be own there own to fund re banding and replacing radios that cannot be re banded.Here's a idea....go to the Internet and do a search for them it took about 10mins on the Internet to find all my radio info. and we use 3 different brands