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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

PSHB 8-25-21 Minutes

Mountain Iron

Public Safety and Health Board Meeting Minutes

Mountain Iron Community Center

August 25, 2021


The meeting was called to order by Chairperson  Soyring  at 6:30 P.M.


  1. Members present: Steve Hunter, Margaret Ratai,  Margaret Soyring, MIFD Interim Chief Mark Madden, MIFD Liaison Alternate.  Also, present: St. Louis County Sheriff Sgt. Kevin Friebe, Councilor Ed Roskoski.  


  1. Consent Agenda
  2. Consent Agenda approval. Motion by M. Ratai and Second by S. Hunter. Motion Carried.
  3. Motion by and second by M. Ratai and second by S. Hunter to approve April 28, 2021minutes. Motion Carried.
  4. Communications: April 29, 2021 email from MIFD Interim Fire Chief Mark Madden was sent to Board members with a copy of the MIFD Call and Mutual Aid Report and report of First Responder COVID 19 statuses.

            May meeting cancelation from Chairperson Soyring.

            May 25, 2015 email from MIFD Interim Fire Chief Mark Madden  with copy to City Administrator  regarding needed Engine 19 modifications.



III.       Public Forum: None


  1. Committee Staff Reports
  2. First Responders: Currently three (3) active First Responders with five (5) in training that are waiting for “ride along” with the Virginia Fire Department and Ambulance.  Continue to actively recruit in the community and on the City website.
  3. Fire Department Report:
  • 2020 Call and Mutual Aid report was presented at the City Council December 19, 2020 meeting. A copy is in the Council packet. Total Department and Mutual Aid 2020 calls as of December 10, 2020: 63, Mutual Aid: 34, Fire Hours: 111, Mtn. Iron Man Hours: 157, Mutual Aid Man Hours: 263, Total Call Man Hours: 420, Mutual Aid Hour %: 63%. Total MIFD Call and Response Report as of December 10, 2020: 63, False Cancelled Alarms: 24, Working Calls: 39, FF/Working Calls: 157, FF False Cancelled Alarms: 81, Total Responders: 238, FF/Call: 3.95, FF/Working Call: 4.32, % Member Response: 33%.  Roster Total: 13.


  • 2021 Third Quarter thru August 5 Mutual Call and Mutual Aid Report: Total Calls: 5, Year to Date: 65; Mutual Aid Calls: 1, Year to Date: 33, Fire Hours: 6, Year to Date: 122.5, MI Call Man Hours: 14, Year to Date: 273.5; Total Call Man Hours: 32, Year to Date: 554.5, Mutual Aid Hour %: 56%, Year to Date: 51%.

            Call and Response Report: False Alarms Canceled: 1, Year to Date: 17; Working Calls: 4, Year to Date: 48; FF/Working Calls: 21, Year to Date: 234; FF/False Alarm Cancelation: 2, Year to Date: 64, Total Responders: 23, Year to Date: 298, FF/Call: 4.60, Year to Date: 4.64, FF per Working Call: 5.25, Year to Date: 4.98; Combined per Call: 4.60, Year to Date: 4.64, % Member Response: 25%, Year to Date: 24%. 

Roster Total: 21, 27 w/3 EMR only, 3 -FF Medical LOA, 1 EMR Medical LOA.


  • Training Participation:

Average per Event: 9.35, Attendees 187.00

Scheduled Events: 20

Logged Training Hours: 667.00

Average Training per FF: 31.78.

Trainings are up 31.76% .

Trainings have been scheduled with the MN Public Safety Training Group that also trains 8-9 other area departments and MN Firefighters Benefit Association free on-line training. If a member is unable to attend the MIFD in person training can arrange same training at another department and/or take online courses. Firefighters need 25 hours/year of training to be certified.  Currently MIFD is providing 60 hours of training in 2021.  Training records are being recorded electronically to monitor member status.

  • Officer positions have been filled. Officers are currently in training mode learning the day-to-day operations of the department, budgets, long range planning with delegation by the Interim Chief to the officers and then the line staff firefighters and First Responders. Job descriptions need to be updated in the Standard Operating Guide and a new Community Outreach officer position with a stipend added.  The City of Mountain Iron Personnel Committee will need to review the updates and present to the City Council in the 
  • Firefighter Laura Anderson is responsible for community outreach. She coordinated MIFD involvement at National Night Out. She has secured United Way Funding to provide new athletic shoes for up to 20 Mountain Iron – Buhl students that apply for the program that was featured in the Mesabi Tribune. Plans are under way for Trucks and Treats at the Mountain Iron Halloween Carnival and Fire Prevention Week.  Positive feedback from the MIFD gifts to students the last day of school and press in the Mesabi Tribune.   
  • The Relief and Auxiliary account at the former American Bank now Park Bank still have to be updated and the account name changed to Firefighters Special Fund. Chairperson Soyring will contact MIFD Financial Officer Dave Felton to provide guidance for the needed paperwork.  Future plans are to have the Community Outreach Officer manage the funds.  This change would allow donations to be placed in the fund for special projects.
  • Discussion about needed Fire Engine 19 modifications. The new Engine was ordered without a front or rear suction (inlet) for drafting from a drop tank.  There is only a side suction which limits having a drop tank behind the truck which has been needed to keep the truck safe in limited space areas.  

Research has been done for upgrades to Engine 19.   Estimates have been received from MacQueen Equipment to do the engineering and Pearson to modify Engine 19 for an estimated $150,000.00. Plans are to add this request to the 2022 budget and have the work done during Spring 2022.  Refer to May 25, 2021 e-mail from Interim Chief Mark Madden.

  • Discussion held on recent fires in the City of Mountain Iron.
  • Discussion held on the daytime response to mutual aid fires and staffing models. Recommendation by Interim Chief  with support from Chairperson Soyring to increase the number of department members from 25 to 35.  Currently PERA account is 300% solvent. M. Ratai will draft a proposed change to the Paid On-Call Fire Department and First Responders Ordinance with the membership increase and adding the Community Outreach officer  for review at the next meeting.
  • Fire hall has been cleaned and organized. There is still a shortage of space. Two used shipping containers will be placed behind the Fire Hall in the near future for cold storage.  Discussion about need for a new  larger fire hall.

Motion by M. Soyring and second by M. Ratai  to have the City Council establish a committee to explore building a new fire hall. Motion passed.  Chairperson M. Soyring will bring this request to Mayor Peggy Anderson for the next Council meeting agenda.  

  • MIFD plans to start billing the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for wildfire expenses.
  • MIFD currently does not have a contract with the MNDNR or US Forest Service to help fight the Greenwood and other fires in the Superior National Forest.  A future contract with these agencies is being explored.
  1. Sheriff’s Office Report:
  • No follow-up was done about the bear feeding incident reported at the April 28th
  • Friebe is working on blight complaints educating those involved to make the property compliant. Noted that ordinances and codes are confusing.  M. Soyring will send Sgt. Friebe clarification about the zoning categories as it pertains to blight.
  • Merritt Days had low calls. Staffed with four (4) additional officers on Friday night and three (3) on Saturday night.
  1. Other – Mesabi Human Society: no report


  1. Unfinished Business
  • Ratai will continue to follow-up with City Administrator Waino to have the 2020 Board minutes published on the City website. and three ordinances presented to the City Council in December.  The ordinances are The old versions are found under Codes on the City website.
  • City Administrator Wainio provided the Board members with a copy of the updated the Paid-On-Call Fire Department and First Responders, Animal Control and Nuisance requested by M. Ratai. Ordinances for the meeting that  Ratai will contact C. Wainio about the format needed to publish the Ordinances on the  City website and when the postings will be done.  





  1. New Business
  • Councilor Ed Roskoski stated that he was sent by the City Council to present proposed stripping changes to the MN Hwy 169 and County Hwy 7 and MN Hwy 169 and County Hwy 109 intersections. Maps and his proposed changes were presented to the Board. He noted his own and citizen observations of driver problems when driving from Cty Hwy 7 and 109 onto or across MN Hwy 169.

Chairperson Soyring noted that this issue is not within the Board’s jurisdiction and recommended that he speak to the appropriate staff at MN Department of

Transportation (MN DOT) and St. Louis County about his concerns.


VII.          Open Discussion- none


VIII.           Announcements

  1. Next Public Safety and Health Board meeting will be held on September 29th at 6:30 P.M. at the Mountain Iron Community Center.


  1. Motion by M. Ratai and second by S. Hunter to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried. Meeting

               adjourned at  P.M.


Respectfully submitted by:


Margaret Ratai



Addendum to the Minutes


   Fire Department Report:

  March 1, 2021 City Council meeting minutes:  Moved by Roskoski and second by Skogman to make the Fire Department report part of public record. Motion carried.


 Moved by Skogman and second by Prebeg  to direct City of Mountain Iron’s Administrator and Fire Chief to contact the Virginia’s City Administrator and Fire Chief to utilize/contract  usage and cost of  the Fire Marshall services. Motion carried.


Old Business:

   City Council December 21, 2021 meeting packets contained the Paid-On-Call Fire Department and First Responder, Animal Control and Nuisance ordinance updates. The ordinances were not posted on the City  Council website.

   December 21, 2020 City Council agenda: I. Public Health and Safety Board  1. Ordinances

   December 21, 2020 City Council meeting minutes: Moved by Stanaway and second by Skogman to accept the first reading of the ordinances as presented. Motion carried.


   January 19,2021 City Council meeting minutes:  Moved by Skogman and second by Roskoski to adopt changes to the ordinances presented by Public Health and Safety at the December meeting.

   Motion carried.








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