10/16/17 LMRFD fire board meeting — FUBAR

It seems impossible for LMRFD to produce accurate minutes.

The LMRFD fire board meeting, as usual, started with Charlotte Kiffer pointing out mistakes in the minutes and corrections that had to be made.

Can’t a board member proof the minutes and email with corrections to be made BEFORE the meeting?   They always sit there READING docs at the meetings.

It was later addressed that docs are submitted to them on Friday or Monday just before the meeting and changes will be made to allow the board members to be better prepared.

Eric Terrill motioned to vote to approve the minutes AFTER the corrections had been made, next month because NOTHING is ever done RIGHT.

Apparently Charlotte was asking for a reason, as she later requested an executive session to discuss staff issues after pointing out the constant problems with the minutes and mistakes NOT being corrected as indicated in the meetings and not all items being added to the agenda.

According to the chief, they printed the old version and the changes were actually made. Shit happens everywhere, but at LMRFD that’s just how they do business.

Incredibly, they have to consult with the lawyer about scheduling this executive meeting, wasting MORE money on legal fees.

Charlotte Kiffer asked about year to date income, expenses and budgets.

The accountant also attended the meeting and Charlotte had quite a few questions for him.

LMRFD apparently hired an administrative assistant who has been on medical leave for a long long time. Finally they contracted with a temp agency for 750 hrs and now Victoria has been helping out.

So far, they paid almost $4,000 for 120 hours.  That’s $33.33 per hour.  For WHAT?

For legal expenses, they budgeted $10k/year and it’s almost all used up.

The accountant didn’t have all the info right there and strangely, NONE of the board members ever submit these questions ahead of time to him.   It’s always putting people on the spot, nobody has time to research. Chaos.

Chief’s report

September calls:

46 EMS calls, 29 transports and 17 refusals. There is no pay to LMRFD unless actual stabilization, nothing for checking vitals and hand holding.

All calls: 74.  I’m assuming that means 18 calls for fires or other incidents requiring a fire truck.

8 calls in the Meadview area, 3 to the same address.

Complaint

A complaint stating that a call on 93 had been refused by LMRFD had been investigated, but it was determined that LMRFD did nothing wrong.

Fuel card

Apparently LMRFD utilizes a fuel yard (18 cents less at Maverick) by the school, but they need to get fuel at the Meadview Gas n Grub for the fire trucks up here and the ambulances have to be able to refuel while out on multiple runs.

The fuel yard is used by KUSD, the County and all sorts of organization and Director Terrill had a number of questions regarding accounting and possible fuel theft.

The logs for the individual trucks are in the vehicles and the chief has stacks of papers. They will now keep track on a new piece of paper to account for all fuel used from the fuel yard.

The fuel card is from Voyager:
https://www.voyagercsifleet.com/secure-online-application/

Strangely, they charge a FEE for the purchases, the chief didn’t know how much, but he thought less than 3%.   I get a 2% cash back bonus, but it’s not a Visa / MC and I suppose they provide some service.   Couldn’t find ANY info about fees at the website, it’s NOT a consumer card.

The tax increase

According to Charlotte, they paid “big bucks” for getting the tax increase on the ballot and pamphlet, but now people got their ballots, but have no pamphlet as it was supposed to be mailed separately. The chief will look into it.

Of course THAT is what the administrative assistant should be doing and I have NO idea why the district has to suffer while waiting for someone on leave for years?

The door at the MCA was locked again!

The meeting was disrupted by someone knocking on the door as AGAIN it was locked.  I just requested that this issue be put on the agenda for the next monthly meeting.

Not only is it legally required that meetings be open to the public, but I’ve had my hat stolen at the MCA when they locked me out!  I had knocked too, but nobody opened the door.

Two people had left early, one was Gladys Burk and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if she kicked out the wedge that kept the door open.   You can read on Facebook how she killed off a community pot luck at the MCA:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1408889389432466/permalink/1952827528371980/
Evil people and liars run Meadview!

2018 fire board meetings will be on the 4th Monday of the month.

The accounting report is always provided at or close to the meeting date. Bobby Porzio suggested to wait until after the New Year so that we don’t have to reschedule the Thanksgiving and Christmas meetings.

Items missing from the Agenda

Discussion of the agenda being incomplete and clearly the chief is overworked, as he talked about how he does the agenda. I suppose Victoria (the temp) is not helping with that and he really needs the administrative assistant.

Ed Bennett applied for the board vacancy

Since Steve Berg resigned nobody had wanted the job.  It’s a thankless job and doesn’t pay a dime (Idiotic state law).  And that’s SO wrong, how can you expect competent people to work 20 hours/week for nothing?   I don’t think our board members spend a lot of time on LMRFD aside from meetings and that’s why it’s FUBAR.

Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Another COMPLAINT — ambulance was sent to wrong address

During the call to the public, a resident complained because an 85-year-old man on oxygen fell at the Meadview Dollar store. The ambulance was delayed by 10 to 15 minutes because 911 apparently told them to go to the Dollar store in Dolan Springs.

The resident stated that he stood next to the employee who called 911 from her cell and she TWICE stated that it was Meadview.

The chief will investigate, review the dispatch tapes and report back.  One more thing for him to do …

Notably, the injured old man refused to go to the hospital because last time he had to pay for a $300 cab ride back home.  The chief then said that it’s a common issue and even people on their death bed refuse to be transported because they don’t want to get any bills.

Earlier it they had discussed that ambulance revenue is down and the accountant said that’s a statewide issue, but nobody knows why.

It’s so unfortunate that our President is so incredibly DUMB, he’s destroying Obamacare.   If we’re very lucky, the state will do “something” to keep AHCCCS going.   If not, just wait to see what happens to the LMRFD ambulance revenue when people don’t have insurance anymore.   Trump knows how to bankrupt corporations and now his idiotic policies may eventually bankrupt LMRFD.

One thing’s for sure, KRMC is going to be in serious trouble without Obamacare, more and more people will move away and our BOS does absolutely NOTHING.

I’m going to have to contact some AZ legislators about changing the law to allow for separating fire districts.   If LMRFD could get rid of Meadview, a giant drag on the budget and only adding to the already unmanageable work load, it would have a much better chance of surviving.

And Meadview could look into doing it’s on thing again — just have to make sure the Meadview Morons (cliques) don’t get involved.

Lastly, Ellen complained about missing minutes at the website, apparently June is still missing, I remember trying to look up the date of a meeting and couldn’t find the minutes.  Other times pages have been missing.

FUBAR.

 

10 Responses to 10/16/17 LMRFD fire board meeting — FUBAR

  1. Pretty accurate reporting! However, it wasn’t I who complained about the still missing June minutes. I did request the archived minutes, of which those back to December of last year are now showing. It had been a couple of weeks since I checked. My primary requests were 1. for the financial statements to be posted on the website and 2. that a separate line item be prepared on the financial statement for ambulance revenue, breaking it out from “other revenue” which includes grants, fire billings, and any etc.

    I personally don’t agree with your take on Obamacare, as it wreaked havoc on the ambulance billing at the LMRFD, substantially decreasing our revenue, as well as substantially increasing the cost of providing health insurance to our employees. It is a bloated nightmare collapsing of its own inefficiencies, having nothing to do with President Trump. Arizona had a fine Medicaid program in AHCCCS before Obamacare. Obamacare FORCED many people onto AHCCCS who otherwise might never have had to go there, which in turn FORCED AHCCCS to reduce services and require subsidies, in order to survive. Arizona is among those states suffering the most under Obamacare, with the greatest increases in health insurance costs to consumers who pay for their health insurance.

  2. Re: “46 EMS calls, 29 transports and 17 refusals. There is no pay to LMRFD unless actual stabilization, nothing for checking vitals and hand holding.” We were told by the Chief at the meeting that it is “illegal” to charge for calls to check blood pressure, etc.” This is becoming a point of contention. It is in fact illegal NOT to charge! It has ALWAYS been LMRFD policy, following A.R.S. 36-2239 guidelines, to charge for ALL ambulance runs even if they resulted in a refusal, if there was ANY assessment or treatment, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDING BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS. Very clearly stated on the LMRFD website for years! (Still there last time I looked; I am sending a screen shot to your email) If anything, it is illegal NOT to charge for all ambulance runs, (with limited exceptions allowed for “public assists”, not resulting in any assessments or treatment.) A.R.S. 36-2239G very clearly states “An ambulance service SHALL charge”..etc. (I am sending copy of the entire ARS to your email.) It doesn’t say, “an ambulance may, or can, or depending upon who it is”, etc…it says SHALL…and goes on to list the defining factors, which are all fulfilled every time our ambulance goes on a call.

    This is not a good time to change policy and begin giving away our ambulance service! The taxpayers of the district are being asked to cough up more dollars for the next 5 years to cover the cost of a new ambulance so it can be run up and down our barely passable roads for no charge? …to do blood pressure checks? Outrageous! I wonder how many of those 3 repeated calls to Meadview were for blood pressure checks, etc., for no charge? That’s a lot of miles, fuel, wear and tear on the ambulance, and it ties up our entire fire/EMS coverage for an extended period of time. It costs us, the taxpayer, around $2000 every time they put tires on an ambulance! People need to be aware that the ambulance service cannot survive that kind of management. People are invited to come in to the station 24×7 to be checked out for no charge. Admittedly, there is frequently no one at the station, but that situation isn’t going to improve either, if we don’t make every effort to collect the legally allowed/ required billing for services rendered!

    We’ve learned at the last couple of meetings that ambulance revenue was down, while ambulance expenses were up for the last fiscal year, with more runs reported through Kingman Dispatch than there are reports in the LMRFD reporting system. So far this fiscal year, that is since June 1, 2017, LMRFD ambulance revenue, projected to be at 50% of total revenue, is only at 30%. Yet we hear boasts of only a 17% loss in collections! I guess if only the fast, easy to collect runs are reported and billed, it makes ambulance collections look good, while ambulance revenue drops and ambulance fuel and maintenance/repair expenses rise. Good for a performance evaluation but not for the taxpayers ultimately making up the difference!

  3. Wow, that’s incredible! Good work, Ellen! I wondered why there was no charge if no transport, but thought it’s always been that way.

    And I also wondered about those 3 repeat calls to Meadview to the same address.

    And I REALLY wondered why we don’t have the ambulance revenue issue analyzed — the board is in a daze.

    So what’s the next step? Did you already ask to put it on the agenda for the next meeting?

    • The Board is working on it. They were as shocked as I when the Chief made that statement. It will be on the agenda for the next meeting. Chief shut me down at the special meeting in Dolan during call to the public when I began presenting the facts. I will not be shut down at the next one.

  4. I just looked for the minutes, but they’re not there. I didn’t go because I thought the meeting was only about swearing in Bennett and check signing etc.

    So, as I was looking at the minutes from the previous meeting I couldn’t even figure out how to get to the pdf file so I could download the minutes and eventually I realized that these are PICTURES.

    PICTURES of computer generated documents.

    I could cry.

    Not downloadable, not searchable — because that’s not required by law.

    How can so many people so incredibly stupid?

    Maybe NOT stupid at all, but deliberate to keep the fools who pay for this nightmare from finding out what’s going on.

    I’m tempted to put in my NEXT records request for all the minutes since 2009. It’s been over a month since my last records request and I haven’t gotten a thing. NOTHING.

    • I’m asking that website issues be on the next agenda as well. There are numerous issues that need to be addressed. We’ll get it straightened out eventually. Chief has been limping along with inadequate office assistance for nearly a year. It’s no excuse, but it is fixable.

  5. Of course it’s fixable, only takes time. I’ve met Victoria and she’s nice, but I truly wonder about this employment situation. OVER $30/hour! Why not pay a local with SKILLS $20/hr?

    And this horrible contract with the temp agency. This is all so wrong. The Meadview MCA has NO problem finding office staff, but I believe they pay a decent wage (used to, about the only thing they do right).

    Charlotte asks good questions about expenses etc., but she has no common sense, she’s a penny pincher — not what’s needed when you have to solve problems.

    Why do *** I *** have to pay over $90 for the records of calls for the last year? The board should have demanded a running list and look at income and expenses separated by Meadview / Dolan from DAY ONE.

    To me, it’s INSANE to run an underfunded understaffed district with NO CLUE what’s going on.

  6. Christine, you said: “To me, it’s INSANE to run an underfunded understaffed district with NO CLUE what’s going on.” It must be remembered that the LMRFD had access to qualified, experienced management and administration, either by consolidation with NACFD or by contracting with another fire district for our Chief and Administration services. A few very loud people in the LMRFD insisted upon having a Board, Fire Chief, and Administrative office back where it was before. This, in spite of the additional costs of doing so, and in spite of the historically proven difficulty in obtaining board members and qualified personnel to work out here. The few succeeded in shutting down all other options. Our new Board and Fire Chief started from square one, taking their required training, which cannot begin to cover all of the details of running a fire district. They are learning and adjusting as they go. The Administrative department, which goes largely unappreciated, is normally the core and backbone of the operation. It has not been available for nearly a year. We are very fortunate, under the circumstances, to have any fire or ems service at all. If not for a very dedicated Fire Board, Chief and fire/ems personnel, in addition to outside accounting and ambulance billing services established by Administrator John Flynn, it would have been gone a long time ago. All are doing the best they can with what they have to work with.

  7. John Flynn should be in JAIL for how he abused, raided and fleeced LMRFD. And the proof is in the pudding.

    Flynn NEVER ONCE provided any analysis whatsoever. If I missed it, I’ll apologize. He never once answered my questions, never once provided call details, never once addressed any billing issues, never once did anything useful aside from firing people and spending $12K month and do nothing Chief Moore and himself. I asked the BOS for his contract got nothing.

    If Flynn had done the job you’d expect of someone getting paid HALF of his pay we wouldn’t be in this situation.

    • But you weren’t there the first year and a half to see his and Chief Moore’s efforts. John Flynn did provide detailed analyses, projections, and a plan to bring the LMRFD back to solvency, in spite of some on the County BOS calling for the dissolution of our fire district. I know. I worked closely with them to achieve that goal. He and Chief Moore discussed at length in the monthly meetings, progress made, setbacks encountered, and any adjustments to the plan. If John Flynn had not accepted the County’s request to serve as Administrator and present a plan to restore solvency, the LMRFD would have been shut down immediately, its assets sold, the taxpayers on the hook for a number of years more while its debts were paid. and there would be no possibility of having any fire or ems service in our communities. Because the previous administration had run the LMRFD into nearly a million$$ debt, with over spending on leases for 3 “staff” vehicles (chiefs), new gurneys and monitors, and over loading personnel expenses to the tune of 110% of our TOTAL BUDGET, he was forced to sell off anything and everything that wasn’t immediately needed, in order to meet the benchmarks required by the County to keep our doors open. Of course, personnel and wages were cut drastically. Mr. Flynn worked hard to negotiate the LMRFD OUT of numerous leases which it could not make monthly payments on. He did so without incurring legal ramifications for the District that bailing on a lease would normally do; he did so and preserved a semblance of a credit rating for the District, which has proved critical as it has moved forward as a stand alone District. Also, with his many years of experience as a Fire Chief and having successfully restored other fire districts from insolvency, he had knowledge of the inner workings of a fire district and was able to restore order and credibility with the timely filing of endless reports required by numerous regulating agencies. John Flynn and Chief Moore together cost a fraction of what the previous chiefs cost the District. I know they worked very hard on our behalf. I couldn’t begin to recount the headaches and roadblocks they encountered and overcame to keep our fire district alive. The thanks they got was gossip and slander by a few who never even attended a meeting or called to ask any questions during the entire recovery period. At last calculation, the cost of John Flynn’s management and Chief Moore’s oversight combined was less than our current cost of Chief and Administration Dept. In a year and a half of new management and administration, there has been no improvement on what John Flynn and Chief Moore left us with. The problem is not and was not with John Flynn or Chief Moore. They are the ONLY reason we still have a fire district to complain about!

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