Burn Piles prohibited

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As of 6:00 AM Saturday, June 10, 2017, burn piles are no longer allowed in the Mosier Fire District, until the prohibition is lifted by Oregon Department of Forestry after fall rains set in.

Burning in a burn barrel or approved incinerator is allowed before 11:00 AM, with a valid permit, until June 30.

Please contact the Fire Chief with questions, or to request a free burn permit.

For an explanation of ODF’s phased burning and outdoor activities restrictions, please see our website.

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Hiring Temporary Training Officer

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Announcement:

Mosier Fire District is hiring a part time temporary Training Officer to lead and administer training for our dedicated fire and EMS staff and volunteers. Work 6 hours per week, delivering weekly classes on Monday nights; build and implement our training program from the ground, up; generate and implement a long term training schedule to meet our strategic priorities; report monthly on progress to meet training goals and priorities; manage department’s DPSST and other training records to meet regulatory standards. Support the growth and development of our small fire and EMS department and help us retain and invigorate our personnel.

 

Candidates must have significant Fire/EMS training experience, officer experience and Fire/EMS qualifications specified in the attached scope of work. Monthly salary is $500 per month. The assignment is for approximately one year.

 

To apply, email your qualifications and application by midnight 5/29 to:

 

jobs@mosierfire.com

Attn: Training Committee, Mosier Fire Dept.

RE: Training Officer part time temp position

 

Applicants, please note: you must email a completed employment application and list your certifications and qualifications as indicated on the scope of work. Your certifications must be active as of May 29, 2017 or you must have the majority of required professional certifications required completed by May 29, with an requirement underway and on track for completion by August 1, to be considered.

 

Must be willing to start immediately in early June with a weekly training schedule delivered Monday nights, ready to plan and implement an aggressive 6 month schedule. Details in Exhibit A – FINAL MFD Training Officer scope of work and specifics.

 

Qualified veterans and candidates living in the Columbia River Gorge will be given application priority.

 

Thank you for your interest!

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Board Candidate Statements

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POSITION 2

Craig Dorsay

My wife and I have owned 66 acres in the Mosier Fire District since 2001, on Proctor Road. I have a degree in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan concentrating in Forestry and Wildlife Biology, and a law degree from the University of Oregon where I specialized in Natural Resources Law.  I represent a number of governmental agencies on a wide variety of issues including natural resources management.  We have been working on our Mosier property to return it to a healthy and natural state, and I am extremely interested in coordinated and comprehensive fire protection for the entire Mosier Fire District.  I have served on the Fire District Capital Advisory Subcommittee for the last year and a half working to provide more effective and cost-efficient fire protection services for the District.  I appreciate Chief Appleton’s service to the district as a full time Fire Chief and look forward to continued improvement in fire protection coverage and services for the District.  I hope you will let me serve you in that capacity on the Fire District Board.

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Todd Reeves

I grew up in Mosier and currently own and manage Mosier WiNet, and also assist on my
family’s orchard. Prior to this, I worked for 18 years as a Tech Support Engineer in high tech.
I hold a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.
Growing up in Mosier, I spent a lot of time helping my dad, who was the assistant Fire Chief for many years.  I helped maintain the fire stations and equipment.  I’ve served as a volunteer responder and am vested in our fire protection district and keeping all of us and our property safe.

There is a lot of work ahead for the Mosier Fire Board, and I’m prepared to do the work both during and outside of fire meetings.  I feel I can work well with the existing board members and complement them with my hands on field experience.  Living in Mosier for much of my life, I feel I have a good perspective of our area’s needs and achievable goals to provide the best coverage possible with our tax dollars.
I was pleased when the board recently hired an outside consultant to perform a gap analysis following the train derailment.  Some urgent matters were raised, and I’m eager to work toward implementing their recommendations to make our community safer.  I am willing to listen and take all input, I want to hear what people have to say about what is working and where there are areas for improvement.

I want to be on the Mosier Fire Board to serve my community. My family has lived in Mosier for four generations, my wife and I are raising our daughter here.  Let’s get the best fire and emergency response resources possible for our safety and the protection of our property.

None of us can do it alone.  I ask for your vote in May, and your help and support as a board member.

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POSITION 3

Barb Ayers

I, like Mosier neighbors, evacuated in the Microwave Fire and the Train derailment. I am committed to helping support and grow our local fire and volunteer services at this critical time in our growth and development. I’ve been a Mosier homeowner for 11 years and resident for 10.
I am a Mosier Fire Board member appointed last fall, work as Emergency Manager for Hood River County and have served/ serve Mainstreet Mosier, Hood River Rotary, CGWA and United Way Columbia Gorge. I want to help and bring experience to help – CERT (Community Emergency Response Team,) volunteer programs, disaster preparedness, San Diego Fire-Rescue, small local government and non profits and Providence health.
I worry about us here in Mosier – we are small and need to work together to meet our public safety needs.
I’m not all business. I like to surf and do parades with my surf dogs, SUP and windsurf at Rocky Creek.

Mosier Civic Center conceptual plans

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17_0215 Mosier Joint Use Facility_Community Meeting Boards

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These are copies of the plans presented at a public open house on March 9, 2017.

They represent the work of a grant-funded feasibility study for a joint-use facility combining a City Hall, community spaces, and the main fire station for the Mosier Fire District.

These are conceptual plans only, not a finished design.  We’re not even sure we can build this yet.  Rather, the City Council and the Fire District Board are asking for public input on the concept — what uses can community members and our neighbors and friends imagine taking place here, and how can those uses combine with core functions, adding utility (and possibly sources of revenue to offset cost) within the scope of City and Fire District facilities.

The origin of this idea comes from the Fire District’s need for a new station.  We have looked into several possible locations in and outside the City of Mosier.  There remain good possibilities for a station outside the City, but this location is the only one in the City which has the space and characteristics we need.

In 2013, the City and the Fire District saw an opportunity to join together in a facility on what is now land leased from Union Pacific.  The City has been pursuing a purchase or donation of the land, and at the time (2013) the only allowed use seemed to be for municipal development.

That’s when the idea for a Civic Center began.  We saw an opportunity to create a facility that would mean much more than the individual parts.  Not just a fire station, not just a City office, but a resource and a gathering place for the whole community.

From the Fire District’s perspective, a Civic Center is most beneficial as a home for our family of Volunteers.  They will be the most important users of the facility.  By making their workplace the community’s living room, we increase the amount of time they spend together in proximity to their equipment.  They will train better, recruit more effectively, and be in position to improve and maintain our already impressive responses.

Please take a moment to study these plans.

Use the comment feature below to post questions and comments, and carry on the discussion started in the School Gym on March 9.

Thank you, Mosier!

New Storm Arriving This Week

 

As if our epic winter weather isn’t already epic enough, next week is shaping up with potential for heavy rain and possible flooding.

At the moment the forecasts indicate the worst of it will be at higher elevations and well to our west, but Mosier Creek, Rock Creek, the Hood River, and other local drainages could see very high flows just the same.

For the moment it’s impossible to predict how the coming storm will start.  More snow?  Freezing rain?  Or just rain?

The best guess is that we should be prepared to see considerable freezing rain before air and surface temperatures rise above freezing.

That is a recipe for serious problems:  extremely dangerous road and walking conditions, high likelihood of tree damage and downed power lines, and high potential for collapse of flat roofs and porches.

EXPECT RAPIDLY DETERIORATING ROAD AND WALKING CONDITIONS as soon as precipitation starts, in whatever form.

EXPECT PROBLEMS WITH POWER OUTAGES AND TREE DAMAGE.

PREVENT COLLAPSES AND OTHER HAZARDS BY REMOVING SNOW NOW, while it’s still fairly easy.

As the temperatures warm up and the heavy rain starts, local problems will be the result of clogged drains and ditches.

PREVENT LOCALIZED FLOODING BY IDENTIFYING CRITICAL DRAINAGE PATHS on your property, make sure they are clear, and have a plan to monitor and keep them clear as conditions become wetter.  Do not take risks on public roads, but let the proper authorities know if you see problems developing there.  Call Wasco County Sheriff non-emergency at 541-296-5454 for County roads, and contact your local road association for private roads.

We could also see avalanches and mudslides affecting roads and property.

As the heavy rain arrives, avoid travel if you can, and be sure you have what you will need in case you are cut off from communication and transportation for several days.  Medications?  Supplies?  Drinking water?  Heat?  Take care of those priorities now, before the party starts.

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Local and regional emergency planners are preparing to deal with these potential problems.

At the moment the forecast looks fairly benign for our small area — relatively light rainfall and relatively low temperatures, meaning that our biggest problem is likely to be freezing rain, and the potential for slides and flooding, though still an issue, will be moderated.

But regionally this will almost certainly be a very dangerous storm, and Mosier residents are advised to be ready for considerable disruption whether it directly affects us or stays at a reassuring distance.

The Mosier Grange will be open as a warming center in the event of a power failure.

Mosier Fire volunteers will do their best to facilitate communication and public service, in coordination with emergency managers.

One of the best things anyone can do to help prepare is to look out for one another.  Make sure to check on neighbors ahead of and during the storm.  And don’t take unnecessary risks.  Stay put at home if worse comes to worst!

Safety is everyone’s business!

Burn restrictions lifting October 6, 2016

 

As of 7:00 AM October 6, 2016, open burning will be allowed in the Mosier Fire District with a valid permit.

If you live outside the City of Mosier and in the Mosier Fire District and have had a permit in the past three years, you are OK to burn small piles and in burn barrels.

If you need a burn permit, please contact me.

Residents of the City of Mosier need to contact City Hall, at 541-478-3505.

Please use caution and good judgment.

Conditions are still a bit dry, so please review and comply with the terms of the permit brochure.

Most importantly:

— Make sure burn piles have proper clearance from dry fuels and things you don’t want to burn up, like your house.

— Keep piles small.  If you need to burn a pile larger than eight feet in diameter and four feet high, please contact the Fire Chief for inspection and approval.
— Do not burn on windy days.

— Have ready to use a hose, fire extinguisher, or tools to put out unintended fire.

— Make sure your fire is down to coals before dark.  Open flame at night often gets a visit from the fire department because your neighbors don’t necessarily know what’s burning.

— Do not burn plastics, trash, or anything but wood or brush.
Thank you one and all for another fairly uneventful fire season!

Safety is everyone’s business!

Second Public Comment in Opposition to Union Pacific Second Mainline Track Proposal

 

This is the text of a letter sent via email September 13, 2016 to the Wasco County Planning Commission.

Volunteers Kris McNall and Charles Young, Board member Phil Evans, and advisor Craig Funk contributed to this effort.

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Dear Chair and Commissioners,

This letter is the second public comment on the proposed Union Pacific Second Mainline Track from Mosier Fire District (MFD).

After further study of the proposal and its impacts, I am writing as MFD’s risk management professional, supplementing and amplifying comments made previously from the Board.

Our previous letter raised four categories of concerns:

  1. Railroad caused Wildfires
  2. Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Movement
  3. Pedestrian Safety and Emergency Access to the North Side of the Tracks
  4. Noise

The sum of my comments is that the west segment of the project, from Mosier Creek to the Hood River County line, poses unacceptable risk to MFD in each of these four categories and must be disallowed. The middle and east segments of the project described under Alternative C, Option 2, might be considered if the issues raised in our letter of August 25 are addressed in a transparent and verifiable manner. However, until a plan for mitigating risk is developed and agreed upon by local response agencies, we respectfully request that the commission deny all segments of the UPRR Second Mainline Track Project.

There are two main reasons for my focus on the west segment of the project:

First, the majority of MFD, including City of Mosier, is downwind of the west segment, so issues created by the project as a whole are magnified for this segment. Fire moves downwind, hazmat blows downwind. The west segment increases upwind risk to our school, downtown core, and many more homes than the middle and east segments. (See Mosier Fire District Map, attached; note that purple dots represent built properties, the reason the fire district exists, and that our prevailing wind is typically from the west-northwest.) Second, the west segment runs through the downtown core of Mosier so the proposed double track would directly affect access to the north side of the tracks and increase noise in the city.

In addition, the following operational and safety concerns were not fully explored in the August 25 letter.

Opposing train traffic at operating speeds creates the risk of accidents involving higher kinetic energy and greater potential damage from fire and/or hazardous materials release than if a single train has an accident. Placing that risk upwind of the majority of MFD, including the City of Mosier, and at the bottom of a slope which will accelerate fire behavior (http://www.hoodrivernews.com/news/2012/sep/28/milepost-66-fire-contained/), while cutting off our access via Interstate 84 and the Twin Tunnels Trail, sets the Mosier Fire District up for a disaster far worse than the one we narrowly escaped last June 3 (http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/sep/04/fire-chief-jim-appleton-lesson-of-derailment-ban-o/).

The City of Mosier and the Fire District are interdependent. The Fire District draws both its tax base and its volunteers from the Mosier area. Although technically outside the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission, the safety, vibrancy, and resilience of the City of Mosier must be factored into your decision and I aim to give you a basis to do so. Boundaries assumed by the Scenic Act aren’t relevant when assessing risk or fighting fires. Risk is risk, and the increased risk imposed by a double main line through and to the west of the City of Mosier creates an unmanageable responsibility for the Fire District.

The double main line would impact the City of Mosier with economic damages and permanent harm to a right of quiet enjoyment, in a way that has not happened since Interstate 84 was built sixty years ago, and, indeed, only a handful of times prior going back to the 1840’s. If the core of our community becomes less desirable both for residents and visitors, that negatively affects the fire district’s ability to provide services district-wide, and cannot be allowed to happen. It is a flaw of the planning process that these externalities are not factored at all into the proposal or your decision, and so the emphasis here necessarily focuses on safety, but MFD cannot ignore the consequences of harm to our tax base.

Mosier is deep into a planning process which stands to bolster transportation and development well into the foreseeable future, a new fire station and City civic center being but one example. All of this investment in our future will be put at risk by the added safety concerns, noise and other impacts of a double main line.

In conclusion, I uphold and restate our concerns for the project as a whole, while categorically rejecting the west segment for the reasons stated. In my opinion, it is not possible to mitigate the increased risk of the west segment of the project to render it acceptable. The remaining segments should be evaluated under the considerations raised in MFD’s August 25 letter. Under Alternative C, Option 2, Union Pacific achieves at least 60% of its efficiency goals while saving the cost and remediation requirements of the west segment, without significantly changing the negative impacts of idling trains in the City of Mosier. Moreover, Alternative C, Option 2 results in Union Pacific’s longest passing zone (15,682 feet) between Portland and The Dalles, clearly shifting any concept of “bottleneck” elsewhere.

/s/

Jim Appleton, Mosier Fire Chief