Our Secretary, Don Woodmancy has stepped down from the VHRU and Board, It was decided at our last Core Meeting to nominate Robert Boerner, Laughlin Team Leader to assume the role of Secretary on the Board of Directors. Bob will also remain the Laughlin Team Leader.
The 2009 VHRU Holiday Donation Program was a success. The VHRU was able to help a number of families by donating money from our Treasury. The list of donations as follows:
- Salvation Army - Mesquite- $500.00
- Emergency Aid of Boulder City - $500.
- Colorado River Food Bank, Laughlin/Arizona- $500.00
- Amy Lyons, NV Energy,( Utility Bill) Green Valley Baptist Church- $300.00
- Clark County Treasurer, Real Estate Taxes re: Sandra Sorenson $469.00.
- NV Energy, Ken Rainey - Donation-Child Seekers $200.00
- NV Energy, Willie May Hunt - Donation- Child Seekers $150.00.
- Rev. Ralph Williamson Pastor - Donation to families-Child Seekers $150.00.
- Las Vegas Metro PD $500.00 (Families of the four Police Officers killed in December)
A total of $3,269.00 was donated to help the needy.
Three full scale activations took place in Pahrump in December, working under the direction of the Nye County Emergency Services Unit. All the activations were Point of Distribution (POD) situations. The VHRU was assigned traffic control and security at these events. A well done was received from the Nye County Emergency Manager for our assistance. Thanks to those members from Pahrump who helped and those who drove from Las Vegas and Moapa to assist.
The 2010 Raffle tickets were mailed to all members. This year we will be raffling off two hand guns and a cash prize. A member donated a 9 MM Beretta, FBI National Academy Commemorative automatic and a .38 caliber Revolver. The cost for a raffle ticket will be $20.00 or 5 for $80.00. We hope to add funds to our Treasury to continue our annual donation program for the upcoming holiday season. Additionally, we will try to put aside some funds toward a building program in the future.
The National Level Exercise involving a nuclear bomb detonation in Las Vegas has been cancelled. No news on any new initiative involving a large state exercise to be run by the Department of Homeland Security in Nevada this year.
The State Director of Homeland Security and his Department in Carson City has been dissolved. All the Homeland Security issues will now fall under Frank Siracusa, Emergency Management. The VHRU also is under his leadership and this is good news for the VHRU. We will try to get more involved on a State level with Homeland Security initiatives.
In December a meeting was held with the Director of Emergency Management, Frank Siracusa. Also, at this meeting were the Deputy Director Kamala Carmazzi, Chief Financial Officer, Phil Weyrick and Program Manager Elaine Fisher. The VHRU budget was discussed and a request was made for additional funding.
As part of the North Las Vegas exercise held in November 2009, the VHRU was asked to fine tune it’s radio communication skills and utilize all our frequencies during a crisis situation.
On February 13, 2010 the VHRU will conduct a 2010 Communications exercise for the VHRU Core Leaders and Back up Squad Leaders. This exercise will focus on switching frequencies and utilizing both our base radios in our Command Trailer, which will meet the above concern. A report of our radio test will be sent to the North Las Vegas PD to be included in their final report on their exercise.
The plan would be to have each member stay in his/her residential area and we will hold a radio test on the main channel and switch to the channel appropriate to those members in the field.
Two of our Core Leaders, Peter Griffiths and Billy White will represent the VHRU at Metro’s upcoming “All Hazards Training” Metro PD seminar on the 30th of January.
We will be holding CPR classes again as well as ICS 100. As soon as we have dates and locations to do the training, an e-mail message will be sent out to all members. It’s important that all members have at least the basic ICS 100 certification. The ICS class takes about 1 ½ hrs and the CPR class about 1 hour.
The VHRU received a check as a donation for $365.00 from the National Security Technologies Corporation. Apparently if an employee of that corporation donates time, the employer will send money to a charity of the employee’s choice. Our Pahrump member, Ross Lanko donated 73 hours with the National Security Technologies, which resulted in a donation of $365.00 to the VHRU. Thanks to Ross Lanko for his dedication and support of the VHRU.
Ted Farace along with Laughlin Team Leader Bob Boerner, Arizona Team Leader Ben Bacchi and Arizona member Kurt Jackson attended a meeting in Lake Havasu City Arizona. They met with the Police Chief, Dan Doyle to discuss our organization and offer our assistance. A draft MOU and documentation on the VHRU organization was sent to him for his review and consideration.
The VHRU has two members living in that City and our organization will start to recruit more members to join from that community in the near future.
Frank Burton has been in contact with the Deputy Chief of Police in Bullhead City. It appears he is interested in completing our MOU in the very near future. We will need this document in place before we can offer our services during the upcoming 2010 Colorado River Regatta.
Ted Farace has a meeting scheduled next week with the Administrator of the Clark County School District to review our draft MOU. Additionally, he will be meeting with the Las Vegas Southern Nevada Emergency Management representative to discuss the VHRU operation.
A recent meeting was held with Bud Marshall, Southern Nevada Regional Supervisor for DPS- Emergency Management. The discussion centered on the VHRU participation in the recent North Las Vegas exercise. Also, discussed were our mission statement and the details of our mock exercises that were held in the past few years. Bud Marshall has agreed to attend our March meeting as our guest speaker.
Our application was submitted and approved to march in the St Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade will kick off on Saturday, March 13th at 10:00am. At 8 am we will line up our trailer and vehicles as before and go to the El Dorado Casino on Water Street and have breakfast and then return to our spot ready to March.
The parade committee is asking us make a donation to St Rose Hospital instead of paying for the spot in the parade. The Core Leaders agreed and we mailed a check for $100.00 as a donation to St Rose Hospital.
On Tuesday, February 2, Ted Farace and Paul Wagner met with the Clark County School District Administrator, Dimitry Theodora to discuss our MOU with the School Police. It was agreed that he would submit our draft MOU to his Legal Council for review and get back to us. If necessary, Frank Bruton would meet with the District’s Legal Council to discuss this further.
Good news, it appears we will have a signed MOU with Bullhead City Arizona. This will be the first of many agencies in Arizona we will have agreements with in the future. The Assistant City Attorney has been in contact with Frank Bruton and they have finalized our MOU. We are waiting to get the signed document in the mail. A copy of this signed agreement will be sent to Kingman and Havasu City as an example to help get their MOU’s approved.
The Metro Downtown Area Command (DTAC) program (utilizing Metro PD surveillance cameras to dispatch on duty officers to crime situations) is going into its 33rd week. We still need more volunteers. Anyone who wishes to help by donating 4 hours, please call Ted Farace or send him an e-mail.
On Saturday, February 6, 2010, the Pahrump Teams held its first monthly breakfast meeting. For the past two years or so, the Laughlin/Arizona Teams also have breakfast meetings on the first Saturday of each month.
These meetings in the outlining areas help keep the flow of information to those members who can’t make a General Meeting. Once we build the Mesquite Team, we will try the same approach in that area.
This month we have four new members. Our goal is to increase our membership and we need to recruit more members this year. Every year we loose some members, either they leave the state, drop out or pass away. Five of our members passed away last year. Members were asked to try to find some suitable candidates to join the VHRU.
Two of our Pahrump members have completed the course requirements and passed the exam to be certified as HAM Radio Operator. A base HAM radio will be purchased in installed in our Command Trailers soon. We need to find additional members in Vegas and elsewhere who wish to become HAM operators. If any one wants to get certified, contact our Vice President. Paul Wagner.
The River Run is approaching and we now have a commitment from Las Vegas Metro PD. The River Run will be from Thursday, April 22, thru Sunday April 25th. Laughlin Team Leader Bob Boerner will attend these meetings and keep us informed.
This year we are again looking for VHRU members to volunteer to go down to Laughlin and assist Metro PD. If you are interested, please see Frank Bruton and give him your name in order to give Metro PD our numbers. Metro needs to make arrangements for lodging and food for the VHRU volunteers.
Our recent Radio Communication test on February 13th involved all the Core Leaders and back up Squad Leaders. The test went very smooth with some minor communication gaps. We had 43 Core Leaders and our Two Communication Consultants, Curt Geiger and Jim Duggan participate. A copy of our exercise was sent to Carson City in our quarterly report as well as to North Las Vegas Emergency Manager, Sgt Dan Lake. This exercise will fill the requirement based on the comments made after the North Las Vegas exercise in November 2009 regarding the use of our radio frequencies.
In the near future we will be installing a new VHRU channel, courtesy of Curt Geiger our Two-Way Radio Consultant. This new channel will be off his repeater allowing us better transmission and reception.
During the March meeting we will be asking every member who has a radio assigned to bring it to the meeting to be programmed for this new channel. Programming will be done by Curt Geiger during and before the General Meeting in March.
Janet McDonald, our Mesquite member, has agreed to become the new VHRU Public Information Officer (PIO). Our thanks go to Janet for assisting in this role.
The VHRU organizational chart will be changed and uploaded to our website.
Ted Farace received a call last week from the Fort Mojave Tribal Nation, which is based in Nevada, California and Arizona regarding our MOU. They have a few minor changes they wish to make on the draft MOU. Frank Bruton will review this and if acceptable, we are ready to sign this new agreement.
Tonight we have with us Bud Marshall, Southern Nevada Regional Supervisor, Department of Public Safety Emergency Management Division. Mr. Marshall will discuss his responsibilities and how this may interact with the VHRU. Please welcome Mr. Marshall.
Squad Leader Jerry Benson has agreed to be the VHRU Sergeant at Arms. His responsibility will be to assist the Board, maintain order at meetings, conduct special assignments for the Board as directed, i.e. contact those members in arrears to collect their dues.
The Arizona Team has been approved for an Adopt-A-Highway permit within the city limits of Bullhead City Arizona. Our thanks go to Dan Christian and Ben Bacchi for taking the lead on this project. The contact person responsible to coordinate the cleanup and notifying the State will be Dan Christian with Ben Bacchi as his backup.
The Pahrump team held its first Saturday breakfast meeting on March 6th. Nine Pahrump members were in attendance. The Nye County Emergency Services has extended an invitation to all VHRU members to participate in any upcoming training they will hold in the future. Our thanks go out to them for their offer
The Laughlin/Arizona teams met at the Riverside for their monthly breakfast meeting. At that meeting, Team Leader Bob Boerner and Arizona Team Leader Ben Bacchi discussed purchasing VHRU shirts and Jackets with the Arizona logo. Ordering new Shirts and Jackets made with an Arizona logo was approved by the Core Leaders at our last weeks Core Meeting. Once the new shirts and jackets arrive, they will be switched with those members in Arizona, collecting the Nevada Jackets, which will to go back in inventory. The VHRU vests will be ordered in early October with the Arizona Logo.
The idea of having an Arizona Logo might help attract Arizona individuals to join the VHRU.
On March 11th, Bob Boerner and Ted Farace attended the first meeting of the Laughlin River Run hosted by Metro PD.
Metro’s budget has been cut due to the financial crisis they are facing and as a result, the coverage of uniform officers will be down from last year. They only allocated 6 hotel rooms instead of 12 to the VHRU. We have 24 members who volunteered, 12 from Las Vegas and the balance from Laughlin and Arizona. Additionally, we are not sure if Metro will be purchasing food tickets for the VHRU volunteers this year. We have requested 10 unmarked Metro vehicles to use as well as 10 Metro hand held portable radios. In addition we will have 8 VHRU members assigned in the eight Casino Surveillance rooms.
An e-mail note was sent to the Backup Squad Leaders to bring their hand held radios to this month’s General Meeting. Curt Gieger our Communications Consultant, along with Jim Duggan will be there to program our radios to a new VHRU channel. It is expected this new frequency will give us better transmission and reception than the Clark County Mutual Aid Network. This frequency is owned by Curt and he is allowing us to use it as a donation.
The St Patrick’s parade went well. We had 24 members with 4 others who marched with the Chicago Police Association. The group looked good and we took some photos of our march, which will be uploaded to our website, www.vhru.com. Thanks to those members who came from Pahrump and Laughlin.
Last Monday a meeting was held with the Metro Downtown Area Command (DTAC) Sergeant, Michele Royal who is now responsible for the Camera Surveillance program. Sergeant Royal was given an overview of what the VHRU does and how the surveillance program works. It appears there was no transition on this assignment from one Metro Sergeant to another. Sergeant Royal appreciated the orientation.
This will be our 38th week of operation and if anyone tonight thinks he/she would like to help, please see Ted Farace after the meeting.
Update on the Fort Mohave Tribal MOU. Discussions have been held to work out a few issues on our pending MOU. Frank Bruton and the Tribal Legal Council, Mr. Wolff will discuss these. We are hoping to get this resolved and signed by next months General Meeting.
Ted Farace contacted the Red Cross as a follow up from the North Las Vegas exercise back in November. Ted was asked to contact that individual to discuss the VHRU supporting the Red Cross, mainly at shelters in a crisis situation.
Please visit our website, www.vhru.com and see the new link to our “Honor Roll” page. You will now see the images of those members who have passed away. Also, some images from 2009 events have been added. The “Year in Review - 2010” under the “Newsletter Page” covers January and February, if you missed those meetings.
On your table is a flyer from Metro on an upcoming Bike Run to help the Metro families who lost loved ones in December 2009. The funds will be used to help defray expenses for a trip to Washington DC by those family members to honor the lost officers.
For everyone’s information, our organization donated $500.00 in December to help those families.
The Laughlin River Run took place on April 22 to April 25th. The VHRU members were assigned 10 unmarked Metro vehicles to use for surveillance. Metro radios were also assigned to the VHRU who also staffed the various Hotel Security Surveillance Rooms. A total of 30 VHRU members participated.
Our VHRU Command Trailer was staged at the Clark County Fire Department facility directly across fro the Metro Substation. This year we found the radio communications was better from that location. Thank you to all who participated, a well done.
The Linda Farace Memorial Scholarship fund is available to members who have been with the organization for two years or more and in good standing.
If you have children, step children or grand children you are eligible to submit an application to be considered for a $1,000 award. We will be awarding 5, $1,000 awards this year. If you submitted a request last year and received an award you are not eligible to submit one this year. If you were not selected last year you can submit again.
Please go to our web site, www.vhru.com and go to the navigation bar and scroll down the Memorial Scholarship Fund and find the application. You must submit a letter from the College or University, for the person you are submitting, indicating acceptance for the fall seminar. Please mail your application to the VHRU 9811 W. Charleston Blvd suite 2-142 Las Vegas 89117. The drawing for the award will take place in August. The money will be sent directly to the College or University for credit to the individual’s account.
CPR and Incident Command Systems (ICS 100) training was provided back on April 10, 2010 at the Italian American Club. A total of 43 members participated.
We have scheduled another training class for both CPR and ICS 100 this Saturday, May 1st at this location. The times for the CPR class are, 9 am and 11:00 am. If you are interested, please see Frank McCabe.
It’s our goal to have every VHRU member FEMA certified in the basic ICS 100 course. This course take about 1 ½ hours to complete.
The ICS class will start approximately 12:30 pm on the 1st following the CPR classes.
For those who attended the ICS class on April 10th, the test sheets were sent to North Las Vegas PD to be processed through FEMA. Once we receive the certificates, they will be mailed to all who participated.
Additionally, to better enhance our training, we recently purchased a Lap Top and Projector to be used for the FEMA ICS Classes. The cost of this equipment will be reimbursed by the State from our Grant funds.
The Arizona Team has completed the first road cleanup (Adopt-A-
Highway). In the near future the Arizona Department of
Transportation will place the VHRU sign on the road within the
Bullhead City limits.
The Pahrump Team and Core Members from Las Vegas conducted road cleanups in both Pahrump and Red Rock Canyon this month.
A dozen of our Motorola hand held point to point radios were
donated to the North Las Vegas Police Department. These radios
will be assigned to the North Las Vegas shelter’s for communications within the shelter during a real emergency situation.
The VHRU must conduct mock exercises as part of our State Grant
Program. These exercises help fine tune our operation and we are in the planning stage of one with the Henderson Police Department. The scenario will be based on the 1988 PepCon Chemical explosion in Henderson where a number of people were killed. Additionally, we will try to solicit the Henderson Fire Department to participate or to be an observer during the exercise.
The scenario will focus on a number of tanker cars containing dangerous chemicals that are stored on railroad sidings just off of US 95 and I-215 in Henderson. If a tanker car is damaged and toxic fumes were omitted; this could cause many casualties and could result in another explosive situation. The exercise is scheduled for Saturday June 12th. We will conduct this exercise on Saturday morning followed by lunch at the Fiesta Henderson after. Please mark your calendars.
As part of our Grant funding we will be purchasing two large monitors and a couple of white boards for the Las Vegas Trailer. We hope to have them installed, prior to the June 12th exercise.
We have as our guests this evening, our member Frank Mahoney from the Nevada Center for Missing Loved Ones to discuss his program and seek our help.
Prior to tonight’s presentation, Squad Leader, Dean Ishman and Ted Farace met with Frank and Dan Robert from the Las Vegas Voice newspaper to review the progress of the State Silver Alert Program. Mr. Mahoney gave an overview of what his organization is attempting to achieve.
We are in the planning stage of a spring picnic to be held in Boulder City on Saturday, June 26th. A flyer has been distributed this evening with the details. We also invited members of the Chicago Police Association and the New York Ten 13 Club to join us as our guests.
The picnic was approved by the Core Leaders last week and both of the above organizations have been given a copy of our flyer to share with their members.
Our thanks go to VHRU Boulder City Member, Ed Horvath, who Obtained the necessary Park Permit, on our behalf. Team Leaders Charlie Licata, Fred Sansone and Squad Leader Hector Pelaez have offered to be on a committee for this event.
An e-mail will be sent out in June to all informing those who could not attend this evening.
There will be No June VHRU Meeting.
The Linda Farace Memorial Scholarship Fund is now open for members to submit applications for awards. If you qualify, please complete the on line application and mail it to the VHRU as soon as possible for consideration.
Thank you to Frank Bruton our Treasurer for his generous donation this year of $1,000 and to Ted Farace for his $5,000 donation to support the Scholarship Fund.
A meeting was held with the North Las Vegas Police Department, Sgt. Lake invited the VHRU to participate in the up coming Communications Rodeo to be held on Wednesday June 30th at UNLV. The Rodeo brings all the Emergency Command Vehicles in Southern Nevada both Fire and Police to one location to show off their equipment. We are planning on bringing our Vegas Trailer to this Rodeo.
Thanks to Frank McCabe for installing two monitors for use when we are in the field. One monitor will have the Street Maps and the other for our log information, which will be recorded on an Excel spreadsheet. A new lap top computer was also purchased along with two White Boards to be used in the trailer during activations or exercises.
Please mark your calendars for Saturday, June 12th at 9 am; we have scheduled a mock exercise in Henderson near the Fiesta Hotel and Casino. Ted Farace recently sent a letter to Chief Chambers, Deputy Chief White and Captain Thompson of the Henderson Police Department, outlining the planned exercise. I also copied Mike Cyphers, Henderson Fire Emergency Manager to see if he can attend as an observer. The Salvation Army will bring to our staging area their mobile canteen to serve us hot coffee and donuts prior to and during the exercise.
The south parking lot behind the garage will be our staging area.
For those members coming from Laughlin/Arizona, Pahrump and Mesquite, rooms will be available at the Fiesta so they can participate at the start of this exercise schedule for 0900 hrs. Immediately following the exercise all those who participated will eat at the Fiesta Buffet.
The Wash up meeting on the Laughlin River Run was held two weeks ago. Attending on our behalf were, Bob Boerner and Ben Bacchi. Thanks were given to the VHRU for our help. The statistics this year as follows; No motorcycles were reported stolen. Five Felony arrests and one Gross Misdemeanor as well as 28 other minor Misdemeanors. This was a big decrease from the previous years.
Las Vegas Metro PD, Lt. Paul Page, Superior Officers Union President has donated a copy machine to the VHRU. Frank McCabe and Ted Farace picked up the machine and we hope this will last us for a few years.
The raffle has been a big success and we owe the membership big thanks for their support. We have collected as of today, close to $10,000.00 less the prize money, printing tickets mailing costs, gun photos. We have collected for the organization over $8,000.00.
At the last week’s Core Meeting, it was decided to give an additional cash prize. We will be giving away this evening one $500.00 cash award and two $250.00 cash prizes in addition to the two handguns.
The winners are as follows:
Member Richard Torres, won the Commemorative Automatic
Robert Stasak won the .38 cal revolver
Victor Brody, Steve Grodin and Jay Conlon won cash prizes
JUNE (No meeting – Henderson Exercise)
As required by law, annually Nevada Corporations must hold a meeting to elect officers. Treasurer Frank Bruton chaired this meeting during our Core meeting last week. Frank presented to the Core Leaders the officers up for re-election. The minutes of these elections will be made part of the VHRU Corporation files. The VHRU Officers will remain the same, Ted Farace President, Paul Wagner Vice President and Robert Boerner, Secretary.
The Henderson PD exercise in June in and around the Fiesta Hotel Casino and was well attended by our members. In addition to two Henderson PD Captains and one Lieutenant, we had 70 VHRU members deployed during this exercise.
The Henderson PD brought their Mobile Communication Vehicle (MCV) to the exercise and we had the opportunity to use the Henderson PD vehicle as our dispatch radio platform during this exercise.
Some changes have been made in the leadership of the Arizona and Laughlin Teams. Joel Barez will be stepping down as the Tri State Coordinator and will remain a member in the Arizona Team. Bob Boerner will take over the role of Tri State Coordinator, coordinating the Laughlin and Arizona members. Bill Stehle will become the new Laughlin Team Leader. Replacing Bill as Squad Leader will be, the back up Squad Leader, Arnie Wetzstein. We should have a new backup Squad Leader to replace Arnie in the near future.
Bullhead City PD has finally resolved the MOU situation and it appears we will be signing one with them in the near future. Bullhead City PD needs the VHRU to assist during the upcoming River Regatta scheduled for August 14th. Once this is signed, it will be the first MOU we will have in another state. This will help other Arizona Police Departments achieve the same goal to utilize the VHRU.
Bob Boerner and Ben Bacchi representing the VHRU attended the River Regatta meeting this month at Bullhead City.
The Laughlin Arizona Teams conducted their road clean up in Bullhead City last week. This was the first time the road clean up took place in Bullhead. The Arizona Department of Transportation will now place a VHRU sign along the road, just across the river from Laughlin. We now have two road locations in Arizona that we are responsible for.
The Vegas road clean up in Red Rock Canyon is scheduled for Friday, July 30th at 10 am. We have always gone out to the Core Leaders only to help with the clean up. We only need a few members to assist. If you want to come out, you are welcome. After we complete the Vegas clean up we will drive out to Pahrump to assist the Pahrump Team with their clean up.
On July 14th, the “Communications Rodeo” event at the Las Vegas Speedway was held. We deployed our Vegas trailer and we had a limited number of VHRU members in attendance. We didn’t go out to the membership on this exercise it was basically a radio communication test of our capabilities and other agencies who participated. We had a problem with our newly installed HAM radio. The antenna had a short, which has now been corrected. We also used our four (4) satellite phones during this drill.
In preparation for this Rodeo the VHRU supplied the Henderson PD a Cark County Mutual Aid Base Radio for their Communication Vehicle from our inventory. This radio will be permanently installed in their Vehicle in the near future. This will give them the capabilities of reaching us on our network.
The North Las Vegas PD and Las Vegas Metro sponsored this event and they are planning at least two a year, which we will be included.
The Downtown Area Command (DTAC) Surveillance assignment has entered into our second year. Over the past year we have helped this program develop into a successful project. Unfortunately a few of our members had to drop out for various reasons. We are in need of new VHRU members who would like to join our Surveillance Team and try this program. We want this to continue to be a success. Anyone with Ted Farace about joining the team.
Sorry to report we have lost another member, Thomas Morris. Tom passed away in July as a result of a condition he has been fighting for the past two years. Our condolences went to the family. He name and photo will be added to our Honor Roll page on our website.
The River Regatta took place on Friday night and Saturday, August 13th and 14th. We had 34 members assisting from Vegas, Mesquite, Pahrump, Laughlin and Mojave County Arizona. (Photos on our webpage, www.vhru.com)
Two days before the River Regatta started, we signed a MOU with Bullhead City, only for the River Regatta. We will continue to work on this MOU to make it a permanent agreement going forward.
Our assignments covered parking and traffic control on Friday night and on Saturday the day of the Regatta, spotter duties along the Colorado River on both sides, Arizona and Nevada. We were assigned 11 posts and used both VHRU Trailers to handle communications and administrative duties. Three VHRU members were assigned to the Bullhead City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Bullhead. Their role was to forward information from our members on post to the Incident Commander for a response.
Unfortunately one California man lost his life because he wasn’t wearing a life jacket. This individual was not registered as a Regatta participant. Approximately 9,000 individuals participated with over
3, 000 floats. We will be assisting again next year.
September 11th is just around the corner and we must not forget this date. A Memorial Celebration and BBQ will be hosted by the New York Police Department Ten13 Club. Everyone is invited as their guests, wives friends etc. for this short Memorial Celebration followed by the BBQ. The time is 11 am at the Police Memorial Park, Cheyenne Avenue behind the North West Metro Command and Police Academy.
If you plan on attending, please wear your VHRU shirt. We hope to have a good turnout from our organization. Thanks to the New York Club for remembering this day.
The awards for the Linda Farace Memorial Scholarship Fund have been announced. The following are those selected to receive the award of $1,000. The check was sent directly to that College or University for the applicant submitted.
John Ragan ( Son, John Ragan)
Bob Hildgerman ( Step Daughter, Marissa)
Lou Marcano ( Son, Brandon)
Mike Donovan (Grand Daughter, Samantha)
James Langstaff ( Grand Daughter, Ashley)
Two of our members attended a three day class on “National Domestic Preparedness Coalition, Operational Value of Threat, Risk and Vulnerability” presented by the Department of Homeland Security. Thanks to Tom Hewitt and Bill Stehle from our Laughlin Team for representing the VHRU at this seminar.
Update on the past Metro North Las Vegas PD Communications Rodeo event. Ted Farace attended an After Action Meeting and we were thanked by Las Vegas Metro and North Las Vegas PD for our help handling security and traffic control during this exercise. The exercise lasted 4 ½ hours and we were able to communicate to only a couple of the units attending. The goal is to have all these communication vehicles equipped with the Mutual Aid frequencies so they can talk to us directly. There will be another exercise in March 2011 and we will be asked to participate.
Our organization has been working under Las Vegas Metro’s supervision at their Downtown Area Command (DTAC) for over one year. Our duties involve watching surveillance cameras on and around Freemont Street and dispatching police units to make arrests or assist citizens. Recently Ted Farace suggested to Metro to install a second monitor, which will give us the opportunity to better utilize our people when more than one volunteer works on the same tour. This suggestion is pending with Metro PD.
We need additional volunteers to work this program. The tours are 4 hours Monday to Saturday. If you can spare those hours one day a week, please see Ted Farace. This is a great program and we need to keep it under the VHRU.
We have been trying to obtain a location to hold our CPR and ICS training class. I was given a name at the Clark County Emergency Management office to see if we can us their training room. As a result of conversations with this administrative person, the new Clark County Emergency Manager, Irene Navis asked to meet with Ted Farace to discuss the VHRU.
On Friday, August 27th, Ted had the opportunity to meet with her in her office in the County Office building located on Grand Central Parkway. Ms. Navis will check on availability of a meeting room for Saturdays and get back to us.
Discussions have started again with the Fort Mojave Tribal Nation regarding an MOU. A copy of the River Regatta MOU was sent to them for their review. It was agreed by their Legal Counsel to use this format and will sign an MOU.
We sent in our $25.00 fee to march in the Veterans Parade (Thursday, November 11, 2010). We are awaiting the location where we will stage our trailer. The plan is to meet at the Stratosphere Hotel on Las Vegas Blvd for breakfast before we line up to march. Everyone will be informed once we have more information.
We are in the planning stage of an exercise which will be held in Nye County, jointly with the Nye County Emergency Services Division.
Paul Wagner and JJ Lynch from Pahrump will coordinate our participation. This will involve security at the Nye County Emergency Operations Center, Staffing utilizing our radio network inside this center and in the field assisting with evacuations and street closures. We will have available rooms for those members wishing to participate from Mesquite, California, Laughlin and Mohave County Arizona.
Saturday, November 13th has been selected as the date for this exercise. More information will follow once the scenario has been developed.
Ted Farace had the opportunity to speak with a representative from the Eco Insurance Group (Insurance Brokers), which represents the Civil Service Employees Insurance Group. They offer discount auto insurance and homeowners insurance to all civil service employees across the country including full time retired law enforcement officers.
Ted asked Treasurer Frank Bruton to review the material I received for our consideration. If there is a substantial savings, the Board will ask a representative to come to one of our meetings to discuss his insurance plan.
Thank you to Team Leader, Angelo Bevilacqua for making this connection for us.
We though it would be a great idea to have the Southern Nevada Health District come to our General Membership Meeting and offer our members Flu shots. On each table this evening is a sheet of paper to be completed by those who wish a Flu shot. Please print your name and check if you are over 65. We will try for the October meeting for this to happen.
Bob Boerner, our Tri State Coordinator held a local Team and Squad Leaders meeting in early September at their breakfast get together. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss ways of improving the Laughlin, Arizona VHRU teams.
Our member Ed Horvath, Boulder City Team brought to the organizations attention that there will be a ceremony on October 14th and 16th dedicating the new bridge across the Colorado River at the Hoover Dam (Bridging America). Ted Farace contacted the person at the National Park Services in Boulder City to set up a meeting.
As a result of that call, Paul Wagner and Ted met with the individual responsible for coordinating volunteers her in her office in Boulder City. Also attending the meeting was two representatives from the Park Ranger Police Agency.
The meeting went well and we left feeling the Police would like to use the VHRU during the dedication on Saturday October 16th. A follow up e-mail was to the National Park Services Agency and we were informed that they are still discussing our involvement and hope to make a decision soon. As of this date I have not heard back from them. We will let everyone know whether they will use the VHRU or not.
Dick Cancellier, South West Squad “B” has stepped down in that position. We thank Dick for his time and help. Backup Squad Leader Al Fields will assume the role of the new South West Squad “B” Leader. Welcome Al and thanks.
The New York Ten 13 Club had a decent turnout on 9/11 for their Memorial Ceremony. About 100 people were there and remained for the BBQ. Thanks to Charlie Licata for cooking the sausage and peppers, well done Charlie.
The VHRU had a few members in attendance. Next year let’s hope we can get more VHRU members to make this important event. In attendance were the Las Vegas Metro Sheriff, Doug Gillespie and Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown.
Thanks go to the Board of the New York Ten 13 for honoring those individuals who lost their lives in 2001.
Our CPR training was held in the training facility of the Clark County Government building last week. We had 8 members in attendance. The facility is very well equipped and we will be looking to use this again. We are hoping for October 23rd as our next training class when we will offer Incident Command System 100 (ICS) and CPR.
Yesterday Ted Farace attended an 8 hour meeting with the North Las Vegas PD, Las Vegas Metro PD and other agencies as part of a planned exercise set for November 16th.
This exercise will focus on the responsibility of the City Manager and City Council members as a result of a crisis situation (Scenario distributed this evening). A number of events will be occurring on this exercise around the same time, power outage, plane crash, shooting of two Metro Officers at the South Point Casino, stretching resources away from North Las Vegas and an accident involving a school bus and a truck with toxic chemicals.
No deployment will be made to these situations but the hospitals will be activated (all 14 in the Las Vegas Valley) to accept injured from the fire, plane crash and the accident with the school bus. The plan, as of yesterday, was to have a VHRU member assigned to each of the 14 hospitals to coordinate the actors (volunteers) being taken to those facilities for treatment. Additionally, they may need some VHRU members to act as victims. This will depend on how many volunteers the North Las Vegas PD can get to participate. Further meetings on this upcoming event will take place in early October.
Please visit our website, www.vhru.com if you haven’t attended a General Meeting in awhile. The “Newsletter Page” has been updated with the information from all our Agenda’s this year. Additionally, images have been added on the River Regatta in Arizona and the Medal of Honor Memorial in Pahrump.
Sad news, Ed Cooper of the Laughlin Team passed away on Saturday, October 23rd after he lost his battle with Cancer. Ed was an original member of the VHRU since early in 2003. His career was with the LA County Sheriff as a Deputy and with the City of Santa Ana California as their City Attorney. Condolences were sent to his wife on behalf of the organization.
We normally don’t invite sales people to our meetings but tonight is an exception. The Board felt this would be of value to our members and invited Matt Neely representing the ECO Insurance Group. Matt would like to say a few words about their Civil Service Employee Insurance Program for homes and autos. Just so you know, I have changed both my home and auto policy and saved closed to $700.00 annually. Thanks to Team Leader Angelo Bevilacqua for bring this insurance group to our attention.
If you are interested, there is a form at your table to add your name and phone number so Matt can call you to discuss your insurance needs and furnish quotes.
Just to remind everyone that the Chicago Police Association will be holding its annual Holiday Party on Sunday, December 5th at the Willows Country Club located on Horizon Ridge just east of Green Valley Parkway. The cost is $25.00 per person. If anyone is interested, let Ted know so he can arrange tables.
In addition, the Laughlin/Arizona Holiday Party will be held on December 9th. More information on this party will be forthcoming once it’s finalized by the Laughlin-Arizona teams. All are invited to both.
At our last Membership Meeting we proposed having the Clark County Health District come to our General Meeting and offer Flu shots. We only had a few members that were interested and as a result the Health District indicated that we don’t have enough people to make it worth while for them to come to our meeting. Those who wish a Flu shot will have to make their own arrangements.
Veterans Day Parade is fast approaching. Our place in the parade will be the same as last year, Group 3 on 4th Street. We will meet at the Stratosphere Hotel at 8 am for breakfast and then line up to march. An e-mail will go out to all at the end of the month. Please respond to the e-mail so we can get a head count for the breakfast at the Stratosphere Hotel.
Frank Bruton, Ted Farace and Bob Boerner met with the Assistant Chief in Bullhead City on October 8th to address a number of issues including the MOU. At this meeting it was asked if the PD would allow the VHRU to install a Repeater on their Communications tower to give us better reception and transmission in and around Bullhead. Also discussed was the sample MOU we used for the Regatta. Bullhead City Chief Williamson was going to discuss this with his counter parts in the Kingman and Havasu City PD. Bullhead City has agreed to cover the cost of Liability Insurance for the VHRU ($2,000,000 in coverage). Once this is achieved, the feeling was the MOU will be signed. Frank Bruton will research the cost of such a policy.
The Deputy Chief was very complementary of the VHRU and the help we provided. They are expecting an additional 10,000 people next year, which will bring the total participants to 25,000
Yesterday, Ted Farace received an e-mail from the Deputy Chief Williamson indicating he couldn’t convince the City Risk Manager to sign the MOU as it was drafted back in August. Frank has contacted an Insurance broker who informed us that there is no policy on the market for Liability Insurance for volunteers. At this point it doesn’t look like we will be signing a MOU with Bullhead City or assisting them next year with the Regatta. If something changes, we will let everyone know.
The second of meetings for the upcoming exercise in North Las Vegas was held on October 18th. Paul Wagner represented the VHRU at this meeting. Paul will give everyone an overview of what occurred and what is planned for the VHRU members.
We were given permission to use the Training Facility at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Vegas for our training classes. We scheduled the training for CPR and ICS on this past Saturday, October 23, 2010. An e-mail was sent out to all members for their information to seek attendance. This was our last training session for this year. Unfortunately our ICS Instructor was unable to make the class and it will be rescheduled for a later date.
The Arizona teams with help from the Tri State Coordinator conducted their road clean up on October 13, 2010. Thanks to Dan Christian for organizing the clean up.
Metro PD contacted Ted Farace regarding the VHRU assisting in a Las Vegas Metro PD Communications test. This test will be on their new radio system, “Desert Sky” and is expected to take place on December 2, 2010. All the substations will be equipped with a base radio and some hand held portables. We will staff the substation (2 members) to utilize the base radio for the teat and deploy a few members in unmarked Metro Units in the various commands with a hand held radios to participate in this test. The test is expected to take no more than three hours. The first kickoff meeting with Metro is scheduled for November 2, 2010.
The Nye County Exercise scheduled for Saturday, November 13th is still on schedule. Tonight we handed out the scenario for this exercise, which was drafted b y Paul Wagner and JJ Lynch along with representatives from Nye County Emergency Services. Paul Wagner will be coordinating this exercise along with Squad Leader JJ. Lynch. For those members attending this drill from California, Mesquite, Laughlin and Arizona, they will be afforded a room in Pahrump on Friday night. We need to obtain those members names so I can book rooms. Please let me know as soon as possible if you will participate. Gas allowance will be made available to those traveling to Pahrump.
The turnout for the Veterans Day Parade was not very good. We only had 12 members marching. Next year we will be calling every member to see if you can march. Out of respect for all our military veterans, we should have a much better turnout next year or we will not participate in future parades.
The Nye County Exercise on November 13th went very well with 37 members participating. A number of our members came from Arizona, Laughlin, California and Mesquite. During the event, the locations in the scenario were a long distance from the staging area so the organization reimbursed those members for the additional miles they drove. The Nye County Emergency Services folks were please with our assistance.
The Nye County Board of County Commissioners will be hosting a Nye County Volunteer Appreciation Day on December 21st at 1000 hrs. All the VHRU members who assisted in the various simulated events are welcomed. More details will be sent out to those members on e-mail in early December.
The North Las Vegas exercise on the 16th was also a success from our point of view. We had 51 members participating, 15 or so as victims at St Rose Hospital in Henderson and the balance of our people were assigned to 13 other hospitals handling security and assisting simulated causalities arriving for treatment. Ted Farace was in the NWAC of North Las Vegas PD as a coordinator for the VHRU response. Present with me were over 30 other individual from local government, police, fire, hospital representatives, Red Cross and emergency services through the valley.
The North Las Vegas PD held a hot wash at that location on that day and there were no issues with the VHRU participation. An “After Action” report will be generated in the near future, which will be shared with the membership in January
On December 2nd at 0900 hrs, four (4) VHRU members will respond to various locations in the valley to test the new Metro “Desert Sky” Radio network on the Nevada Highway Patrol frequency. I have already filled those four positions by members who volunteered.
On December 7, Metro will be conducting the same radio test at 12 locations around the valley. We filled the necessary 12 member positions to assist with this test and those members will be issued a Metro radio this evening along with their instructions. After we have our meal, those members who offered to help will be asked to stay for a short briefing.
In early December, Paul Wagner, Vice President, Bob Boerner, Secretary and I will fly up to Carson City to meet with the State of Nevada Chief of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to discuss our goals and funding needs for 2011. These funding needs will include equipment costs for repeaters for Nye County and rent allowance for space.
This will be the last meeting of the year and we would like to have an open forum tonight to discuss where our organization will be going in 2011 and if any suggested changes that are needed in the future.
On behalf of the Board and myself, I want to thank everyone for their support and help during this year. We wish everyone all the best for a safe and healthy Holiday Season.