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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

PHSB 112818 Minutes

Mountain Iron

Public Safety and Health Board Meeting Minutes

Mountain Iron Community Center

November 28, 2018

 Meeting called to order by Chairperson Al Stanaway at 6:30 PM.  Members present:  Steve Hunter, Margaret Ratai, Steve Skogman, Margaret Soyring and Al Stanaway.  Also present:  Fire Chief Gerry Knapper, Firefighter Justin Blazewicz (left at 6:45 meeting for First Responder call and returned at 7:20) and at 7:00 PM Sergeant Sheriff John Backman.

Motion to approve consent agenda and October 24, 2018 minutes by S. Skogman with second by M. Soyring.  Motion carried.

Communications: none

Public Forum: none

Committee and Staff Reports:

First Responder Report by Fire Chief Gerry Knapper and Justin Blazewicz

  • Jeff and Stephanie Cielocha have moved out of the community and resigned.
  • 2 calls in November prior to meeting
  • Fire Chief Gerry Knapper will contact Jeff Cielocha about the status of the Wal-Mart Grant request for additional AEDs

Fire Department Report by Chief Gerry Knapper and Justin Blazewicz

  • Inventory ad testing hose has been initiated. Currently there is no method to dry the hoses in the existing fire hall floor plan.  Recommendation by S. Skogman to discontinue the project until spring and configure a better method to dry the hoses.
  • Status of grant for extractor and turn out gear written by C. Wainio, Administrator, unknown. Stanaway will meet with C. Wainio to check on the status. 
  • Chief Knapper meet with C Wainio to discuss termination letter for Training Officer D. Rowe. C. Wainio sent letter. D. Rowe contacted C. Wainio to be reinstated as firefighter and Training Officer and no consultation from Chief Knapper. Chief Knapper has sent C. Wainio an e-mail requesting a meeting with C. Wainio and D. Rowe to review duties and expectations if Rowe were to be reinstated.  To date there is no response to the e-mail. A. Stanaway will discuss the situation with C. Wainio and the reasoning to reinstate the above firefighter without Fire Chief input.
  • Shaun Danley has resigned from department and returned his gear.
  • Department training plan will be developed for 2019 with input from the Fire Chief, Assistant Chief and Captains.
  • Repairs forthcoming that will be within the 2018 budget.
  • Truck 185 passed the pump test. Waiting for window parts.
  • PERA form: Request for a Cost Analysis of Benefit Level Change in Statewide Volunteer Firefighter Retirement Plan has not been completed. A. Stanaway will contact C. Wainio, Administrator, to complete, sign, and submit before the end of 2018.
  • Blazewicz reported that the MIFD Relief Association pays $100 per year for the account to be audited. MIFD will change the Relief Association name to “Firefighters Special Fund”.  The checking account changes will be made at the bank and with City of Mountain Iron.  Two signatures will be required to write a check.  M. Soyring will include the changes in the updated MIFD Ordinances.
  • Trainings:
  • Two firefighters will be sent to the one-day ice rescue technician certification course at the Stearns Company in Sauk Rapids on February 23 or 24, 2019. The company has been contacted to send an additional two firefighters on the second day.
  • Fire Instruction and Rescue Education are scheduling a NFPA 1001 Basic Fire Training class for January 2019 with dates TBD in Mountain Iron. The course is 160 hours that includes 75 hours of hands-on training and the remaining hours online or classroom with the course participants choosing the course schedule to meet their needs.  A minimum of 10 participants is needed.  To date MIFD has two participants and other fire department have been contacted to register for the course.  Training is required to be MN state firefighter certified.  Course is refundable if the minimum participants are not obtained.
  • A training to complete the new fire reports will be held at Chisholm FD on December 6th. Cost is $10/person.
  • A First Responder training for $1200 for 2019 can be planned if the money is in the 2019 budget.
  • PTSD Firefighter training scheduled for January 14th. Skogman noted that the SLC Sheriff’s Department has a Critical Incident Group to assist with PTSD events.
  • MIFD Annual Progress Plan has been initiated to identify training needs and goals.
  • Motion sensor lights have been installed and all but two of the other ceiling lights. Notation by S. Skogman that he sees the motion sensor lights on all the time.  This could be from the heaters.  Chief Knapper will investigate further.
  • Duct work doing done the center wall is not connected to anything.
  • McGarth Consulting Shared Service Study with MIFD and VFD cancelled on November 27th due to weather. Reschedule date TBD.
  • MIFD toured the Iron Range Tykes Day Care Center.
  • MIFD Standard Operating Procedures being reviewed and updated.
  • Chief Knapper will contact the Salvation Army to schedule department members for bell ringing. L&M site will be requested.

Sherriff’s Office Report by Sgt. John Backman

  • No report.
  • Skogman requested the area by the new high school be resigned.
  • Skogman initiated a discussion about calendar parking in downtown Mountain Iron. Sgt. Backman noted that warnings should be given initially to violators.

Unfinished Business:  none

New Business:

  • Ordinance Meeting held on November 20, 2018.
  • Public Safety and Health Board will be added to Title III Administration, Chapter 31: Departments, Boards, Commissions and Authorities.
  • Soyring has contacted Laura Korpi, Mesabi Range College EMT/First Responders instructor for a First Responder job description and guidance for the role that will be incorporated in the updated MIFD Ordinance for First Responders.
  • MIFD Ordinances updates in progress by M. Soyring.
  • Public Nuisance, Animals ordinances reviewed and updates in process by M. Ratai.
  • Next meeting: January 15th at 6:00 PM.

Open Discussion:  none


  • No Board Meeting will be held in December.
  • January

Motion by A. Stanaway and second by M. Ratai to adjourn the meeting, Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 7:31 PM.  Next meeting January 30th at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Margaret Ratai

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