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Frequently Asked Questions


Q&A Session Conference Call

April 10, 2008 - 6:00 PM MDT

(Call-in information has been distributed)

Supporting Materials available for download in PowerPoint format or as a pdf.

 


Questions - Board of Trustees:

Are the minutes of the fire district’s board of trustees meetings publicly available?

Are the meetings of the board of trustees for the fire district open to the public?

How are the trustees elected?


Questions - Department Activities:

How much time must I commit to if I volunteer for the department?

What are my responsibilities as a volunteer?

What is “mutual aid”, and what is our status with respect to coverage from these relationships?

How can I help out at a fire?


 

Responses - Board of Trustees :

Q: Are the minutes of the fire district’s board of trustees meetings publicly available?

A: Yes.  The minutes are kept in the offices of the Vidar Companies, 120 S. Fifth St., Suite A 200, in Manhattan. They may be viewed by contacting Erica Johnston at 406-284-4306 to arrange a mutually convenient time.

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Q: Are the meetings of the board of trustees for the fire district open to the public?

A: Yes.  They are usually held on the second Tuesday of the month at 8:30am in the offices of the Vidar Companies, 120 South Fifth St., Suite 200A, Manhattan, MT.  Please check with the acting chairperson (Nels Sanddal) at 587-6370 to see if there have been any changes.

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Q: How are the trustees elected?

 A: As the board is a governmental entity, responsible to and under the supervision of Gallatin County, the county organizes the elections.  Trustees hold their positions for three years.  The positions are staggered, so slots open yearly.  When it comes time for elections, the board posts public notices in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and sends out e-mails to GRR property owners, usually in January.  Interested parties must file suitable paperwork with the county, usually by the third week in February.  If an election is warranted, the county will mail ballots to homeowners who are registered to vote in Gallatin Valley; the ballots are usually due the first week in May, and results are announced as soon thereafter as practicable.   In the event that there are fewer candidates than there are open slots, the county has the option of appointing a trustee from within the ranks of registered voters who live within the fire district.

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Responses - Department Activities:

QHow much time must I commit to if I volunteer for the department?

A: You are required to attend two training sessions/meetings per month, plus an occasional Saturday session.  You are required to carry a pager with you (supplied by the department) whenever you are on or near the Ranch.

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Q: What are my responsibilities as a volunteer?

A: There are many opportunities for volunteer support, from working fires on the front line to providing support services for active firefighters.  There are also opportunities to support medical activities.  As a volunteer, you are covered by workers’ compensation for any injuries sustained while performing official department tasks.  Speak with the chief (Ross Johnson, 284-4380) for details.

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Q: What is “mutual aid”, and what is our status with respect to coverage from these relationships?

A:  “Mutual aid” refers to a response by the county dispatcher to a request for aid from the incident commander at a scene.  The request covers specifics as to personnel and types of equipment.   The fire district is at present not party to any mutual aid agreements, although the board is pursuing possibilities with all due diligence.

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Q: How can I help out at a fire?

A: Unless you are a member of the department, you cannot.  Indeed, as noted elsewhere (see Civilian Response Requirements), you put yourself and the rest of the department and others who officially respond to a fire scene at great danger if you attempt to help out.  If you are interested in providing support for firefighters, become an member of the fire department’s auxiliary; contact Chief Johnson (284-4380) for details.

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