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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

032719 PHSB Minutes

Mountain Iron

Public Safety and Health Board Meeting Minutes

Mountain Iron Community Center

March 27, 2019

 Meeting called to order by Chairperson Al Stanaway at 6:30 PM.

Request by Chairperson A. Stanaway to have the meeting lead by S. Skogman.

  1. Skogman presided over the remaining meeting.

Members present:  Steve Hunter, Margaret Ratai, Steve Skogman, Margaret Soyring and Al Stanaway.  Also present:  MIFD Liaison Firefighter Captain and Head Safety Officer Justin Blazewicz, Asst. EMD Director Jim Hipple, Craig Wainio, Administrator and St. Louis County Sheriff Sergeant John Backman.

Introduction to Board: Mountain Iron Fire Department (MIFD) Liaison, Firefighter Captain, Head Safety Officer, Justin Blazewicz.

Motion by A. Stanaway and second by M. Ratai to approve the February 26, 2019 Minutes and Consent Agenda.  Request by M. Ratai to correct the distributed Agenda day of the week from Tuesday to Wednesday.  Motion carried with Agenda correction noted.

Communications: None

Committee and Staff Reports:

First Responders Report by Assistant Emergency Medical Director, James Hipple

  • City Council approved the appointment of James Hipple as MIFD Assistant Medical Director, and Rebecca Myer as First Responder at the March 18, 2018 meeting.
  • March calls to date: 27. Response: 15, 55%.  Averaging 21 calls per month.
  • Development of Call and Response electronic report with additional documentation in process.
  • Discussion about two Mountain Iron First Responders that answered the Wal-Mart March 22nd  911 call with their AEDs and provided cardiac support.  Off duty Lifeflight RN initiated the 911 call.  Virginia Ambulance Service also responded.  Patient transferred to a Duluth hospital via medical helicopter that landed in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Patient survived.
  • MIFD firefighters can take the First Responders/EMT course and have dual department roles.
  • Recruitment continues.

Fire Department Report by Captain Justin Blazewicz, MIFD Liaison

  • City Council approved appointment of Mark Madden as Assistant Fire Chief and Captain Justin Blazewicz as MIFD Liaison to the Public Safety and Health Board at March 18th
  • City Council approved appointment of MIFD Liaison to Public Safety Board as Captain Justin Blazewicz and alternate, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Madden with additional alternate to be determined by Fire Department Officers at March 18 meeting. MIFD Liaison position represents the Fire Department at all Public Safety and Health Board meetings, participates in Board discussions, has no voting privileges, receives all Board correspondence, communicates between the Board and MIFD Chief, Officers and members. 
  • New computer tablets are in use, Internet access and Wi-Fi accessibility at Fire Hall, new computer software being used. Officers and designated firefighters have been developing electronic data reports and documentation based on recommendations from Officers and McGrath Report.  Fire Chief, Asst. EMS Director, Head Safety Officer have city email accounts to use for department business. 
  • 2018 MIFD Calls and Response Report – Total Calls: 66, False Alarms: 5, Working Calls: 61, Responders/Working Calls: 298, Responders/False Alarms: 12, Total Responders: 310, Responder/Call 4.70, Responder/Working Calls: 4.89, % Member Response: 27%
  • March MIFD Calls and Mutual Aid Report to Date: Total Calls: 12, False Alarms: 3, Working Calls: 5, FF/Working Calls 25, FF/False Alarms: 16, Total Responders: 41, FF/Call: 3.42, FF/Working Call: 5.00, % Member Response: 31%.
  • March Mutual Aid Calls Report to Date: Total: 4, Fire Hours: 13, Mt. Iron Call Man Hours: 22, Mutual Aid Man Hours: 32, Total Call Man Hours: 54, Mutual Aid Hour %: 59%. Total Calls for Year to Date: 13.
  • Request by A. Stanaway to have a written Fire Department report per meeting.
  • Interview date for Firefighter Candidate Andrew Carlson to be schedule. MIFD Liaison J. Blazewicz will communicate with Chief Knapper and Personnel Committee Chairperson J. Prebeg to establish, date, time, location. Recommendation by M. Ratai to hold the interviews at City Hall Conference Room which providers more privacy than the Fire Hall.

Sheriff’s Office Report by St. Louis County Sheriff Sargent John Backman:  No report

Unfinished Business:

  • Committee-of-the-Whole Mountain Iron City Council held o Tuesday, March 5, 2019 to discuss the McGarth Report and Fire Department issues. In attendance were MIFD members and Public Safety and Health Board members with M. Ratai absent.
  • MIFD Exhaust Ventilation System was discussed at the Committee-of the-Whole March 5th Public Works will be addressing the ventilation issue, as updates are also needed on their side of the building.
  • Board had an informal review of the McGarth report on March 13th. M. Ratai absent. Future meeting with Virginia FD is planned for April 17th. Time and location TBD.

New Business:

  • Request by C. Wainio, Administrator, to send the Emergency Management Ordinance to the City Council for approval. Board has reviewed and approved the 2018 updates by Hundrieser Consulting, LLC Motion at the November 20, 2018 Ordinance meeting. 

Motion by M. Ratai and second by M. Soyring to have Chapter Number 33, Emergency Management Ordinance Update 2018 by Hundrieser Consulting put on the next City Council agenda for review and approval. Motion carried. 

  • Discussion held on the MIFD Training Officer position. MIFD Officers have requested the position be a job share between a seasoned Officer and a younger department member. The seasoned Officer would provide mentoring. The wages would be divided between the two.  These changes would provide more officer onsite training and assist with make-up trainings, additional help with complex training programs, transition plan for seasoned officer retirement.  Discussion held about percentage of wages, need for Personal Committee review and approval before City Council approval.  Recommendation to have MIFD Liaison bring wage, percent of time for each person, term limits and any needed changes to Training Officer Position Analysis discussion back to the Officers for review with written recommendations for April 24th meeting.  Board will review recommendations and move changes to the Personnel Committee for approval.   Board recommends MIFD Officer(s) be present at Personnel Committee and City Council meetings to answer any questions.
  • City of Mountain Iron Position Analysis for Mountain Iron Fire Department positions were sent with the Agenda packet upon request of S. Skogman: Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, Firefighter Captain (Head Safety Officer), Firefighter Captain (Secretary/Purchasing Officer), Firefighter Captain (Truck Inspection Officer), Firefighter Captain (Wild Land Officer), Assistant Emergency Medical Director.

Request by M. Ratai to have the date positions were approved on each analysis.  Discussion held that estimated date was 2015.    M. Ratai will contact C. Wainio for missing Position Analysis:  Training Officer, Firefighter, First Responder and forward to the Board.    J. Blazewicz will add the MIFD Position Analysis to the SOG upon receipt of dates approved.

Discussion held requesting Board to review the MIFD Positions knowledge, skills, abilities, training and experience criteria.  Discussion held on MIFD Officer term limits, officer stepping down from position to firefighter.  Motion by A. Stanaway and second by M. Ratai to have the Personnel Committee review the MIFD Position Analysis for each position with input from the MIFD Officers and staff.  Discussion held about Personnel Committee removing 2-year time limit for each office’s term.  Recommendation by A. Stanaway to have MIFD address this issue first and send any written change requests to the Personnel Committee.  Voice vote: Yes- S.Hunter, M. Ratai, M. Soyring, A. Stanawy, No – S. Skogman.  Motion carried.

  • Skogman provided the Board with his working notes and overview of the Situational Awareness Matters “ Building Tomorrow Leaders … Today! Recruitment & Retention Best Practices presented by Dr. Richard B. Gasaway, Ph. D.  in Eveleth on 2/25/19.  M. Ratai will provide MIFD Liaison additional contact information about speaker and available training topics.  Gasaway Consulting Group, LLC, St. Paul, MN.,

Open Discussion:

  • Recommendation by M. Ratai to purchase 5 AEDs that were budgeted. Hipple will place order.
  • Discussion about MIFD membership and participation at Anytime Fitness. Members are not meeting the contract requirements for attendance and it has been difficult to receive payment from members that do not fulfill the monthly attendance.  Recommendation by S. Skogman to discontinue the contract.  MIFD Liaison J. Blazewicz will bring the issue back to the MIFD membership for response.  Add discontinuation of Anytime Fitness contract to April Board agenda.
  • Discussion about Resolution 19-07 Public Safety Board Item 10, Annual Report, adopted by City Council on April 16, 2007.


  • Ordinance Meeting on April 9th, 6:00 PM, City Hall. Review Chapter 93: Animals,

Chapter 96: Nuisances draft updates presented  Weeds, Open Burning

  • Next Board meeting scheduled for April 24th at 6:30 PM, City Hall.

Motion by A. Stanaway and second by M. Ratai to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 7:36 PM.

Respectfully Submitted by:

Margaret Ratai


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