Grants keep coming for fire district

David Darnell was sworn in as the new position #1 director at the Illinois Valley Fire District Board of Directors’ July 10 meeting, which was held at their administration building on Caves Hwy.
After the swearing in, IVFD Chief John Holmes began his monthly report by acknowledging the “kind words” the Cave Junction City Council directed at the fire department.
“Monique Allen, Councilor Ethan Lane, Councilor Jean Ann Miles and Councilor Jesse Dugas acknowledged the fire district and what we’re doing here and what we have done for the community,” recounted Holmes.
“It’s just really nice to hear those praises, so I wanted to bring that back and say that we do appreciate you guys on the city council. That’s why you have my support. Anything you need, you know where to find me.”
Lane was in attendance at the fire district meeting.
Holmes went on to congratulate firefighters Sullivan, Meyers and Marler for becoming part of an Oregon State Fire Marshal program that would see their shifts rotate and have them assist Rural Metro at times. The chief also talked about new shifts for firefighters LeMasters,Vetter, Harmon and Jarrett through such initiatives as the wildlands staffing program.
Other news shared by Holmes included that IVFD was awarded $984,500 for the fire hydrant and sewer project in Cave Junction. Holmes thanked Representative Lily Morgan and OSFM for facilitating the grant.
“The money’s coming into the district, which is an amazing feat right now,” attested Holmes.
The chief said he had plans to meet with the Oregon fire marshal to discuss the grant in Salem the next day.
Holmes said the district has been approved for $1,777,236 over the following fiscal year. Still pending are the AFG, fire prevention services, DDQ and Volunteer Firefighters Assistance Program grants.
“Hopefully soon we’ll hear if we get approval or denial on those,” Holmes said.
The chief said he found out 10 minutes before the meeting that there was a total of three fires being fought in the region. In light of that, he updated the board on training exercises being conducted within the district in the near future.
Holmes said he attended the Rogue River Fire District Board of Directors meeting recently and was asked to be part of a multi-agency fire coordination group for the Rogue Valley.
The chief would like to have the newly-appointed Josephine County emergency manager attend an upcoming fire district meeting to introduce himself to the board.
During board elections, Richard Bouchard nominated himself for president of the board, taking the reins from Jerry Lamb. He was appointed without objection. Director Michelle Binker became vice president, while Cheryl Johnson was elected board secretary. There was no dissent among the directors regarding these appointments.
Lamb’s closing message as president was, “This board has been a good worker. Thank you so much.”
CJ City Councilor Ethan Lane, the liaison between IVFD and the city, gave a brief update that centered on the notion of an air show taking place in Josephine County. It is not clear yet which of the county’s two airports would host the proposed show, but Lane believes most of the pilots would prefer the I.V. Airport because, until the Merlin airport receives its planned renovations, it has the longer runway of the two. Lane stressed that the air show is purely conceptual at this point and no decisions have been made.
Toward the end of their meeting, the board watched a slideshow video relaying call statistics from the past month and featuring photographs from notable accidents and fire rescues, such as crashes on Redwood Hwy and an emergency landing at the I.V. Airport.
Below find the calls IVFD responded to from June 12 to July 10:
Medical – 48
Fire – 7
Traffic Accidents – 13
Smoke Investigation – 13
Open Burn – 13
Fire Alarms – 2
Medical Aid – 2
Assist the Public – 31
The next IVFD Board of Directors’ meeting will be Monday, Aug. 14 at 4 p.m., taking place at the Caves Hwy admin building.