Garden Valley Fire Protection District announced some good news at the most recent Board of Directors meeting June 19. After covering routine business, Chief Bill Dekker reported that the district has successfully received a grant worth approximately $404,228.
The Assistance to Firefighters grant is funding from a SAFER program (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response). The funds are intended to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. The district applied for this grant in February, and expects the funds to be available in early September. This is a two-year plan, which requires regular quarterly evaluations, with the possibility of reapplying in 2014.
The intention of the funds is to save fire departments. The department will be able to have an apprentice program, bringing in graduates of accredited fire academies. The grant will cover wages and benefits. The expectation is that the pay will be $10 to $12 an hour plus benefits. These apprentices will be on 24-hour shifts, with a paramedic on each shift.
Chief Dekker also announced the application for another grant, which will cover new sets of protective clothing, as well as breathing apparatus.
The department has had personnel changes due to retirements. Consequently, it is looking forward to having new apprentices to fill in the ranks.
Discussion ensued regarding posting the minutes on the web, which is done by El Dorado Hills and Diamond Springs. It was voted not to post them, but to let the public know that everyone is welcome to come to the fire station and read or request minutes.
Communications continue in regard to consolidation of districts. Another letter on the topic will be sent to the Georgetown Fire Board for consideration. Budget items were reviewed and the final budget is due on Oct. 1.
The Garden Valley Fire Protection District board has three seats up for election in November — Karen and Richard Smith, and Wendell Smith. Karen and Richard have stated that they will file for their seats and remain if no one runs against them. Wendell is required to file, since he was appointed to his seat prior to the expired term. The filing period for the November election is July 16 through Aug. 10 by 5 p.m. Prorata costs are shared by all districts participating in the consolidated election process.
The Garden Valley Fire District has changed its meeting date from the second Tuesday to the third Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. The next meeting will be on July 17 at Station 51 on Marshall Road.