2023-05-18 Minutes

Board of Trustees                                May 18, 2023 
West Blount Fire & EMS District 
The Board of Trustees for West Blount Fire and Emergency Medical Services District met at Fire Station No. 1 on May 18, 2023, for the special meeting called for the purpose to discuss and make a decision on hiring Fire Recovery USA for cost recovery on calls.  It was opened at 6:00 PM by Marty Stover, Chair.  Four trustees were present, plus JJ Ivey, Fire Chief.  There were no guests present.     

This program is a web-based system, allowing for reporting at the scene of the incident, and for checking on data pertaining to all reports submitted. There is 24/7 real-time information and status access through their RecoveryHub website.  There is no waiting for data or reports, they can be accessed from any computer, anywhere in the world.   This process will drastically cut back on the time required to get the reports ready and sent for collection. 

Each board member present called several departments on the list that was received at the regular meeting.  Marty Stover called seven departments and talked with five of them.   They all were satisfied and had positive statements about the company.  Some departments are able to pay two salaries a year with this revenue.

Jamie Huffstutler talked with five departments, all of them were positive.  He is very impressed with the company and the departments’ willingness to share their experiences, which were good, with him.

Dolores Fort talked with two departments.  Brent Wood, chief, said the Town of Kimberly had to set up an ordinance that included what and who could be billed.  Monetary receipts were dependent on what the insurance company would allow.  Amounts received ranged from $200 to $4,000 per incident.  Blountsville Fire Department’s chief, Sam Johnson stated they no longer use Fire Recovery USA because he kept getting pressured to bill the person after receiving the insurance money, and he said that was not an option.  He stated he went back to Ralph Mitchell with Fire & Rescue Billing Consultants.

Danny Smith had contacted Lakeview in Tuscaloosa, but had not heard back from them.

There will be training of each fire fighter for use of this app so they can fill out reports at the scene when necessary and feasible.

A resolution was presented for approval if we decided to do business with Fire Recovery USA.
Dolores Fort had objections with a sentence in Section 2 “In some circumstances, the responsible party(s) will be billed directly.”  The entire board present agreed that under no circumstances would the individual be sent a bill, even if their insurance company did not pay.  After discussion the sentence was amended to read “In some circumstances, at the discretion of the West Blount Fire District, the responsible party(s) will be billed directly.”

A motion was made by Jamie Huffstutler, seconded by Danny Smith, to adopt the amended resolution.  Motion passed. 

A motion was made by Jamie Huffstutler, seconded by Danny Smith, to enter an agreement with Fire Recovery USA.  Motion passed. 

West Blount Fire & EMS District Board of Trustees – May 18, 2023                Page 2

Monies received through this program will be shown as a line-item entry to keep it separate from other income, and be used to decrease the budget item for maintenance and repair, thus allowing more funds in the budget for fire fighter pay.   

A suggestion was made to contact David Standridge and request that a bill be written to help provide a pension for volunteer fire fighters statewide.  This will help them, and also help fire departments to get and keep more fire fighters.    

The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 PM.

Present            Not Present                          
Dolores Fort            Mark Giddy (vacation)    
Jamie Huffstutler                    
Danny Smith                        
Marty Stover                
JJ Ivey

                        Dolores Fort