Tahoe Douglas to refine equipment use policy
The Tahoe Douglas Fire District will clarify its policies on allowing employees to use its equipment, Chief Scott Baker said Monday.
A Carson Valley resident asked about the chipper, which spent five weeks at a neighbor’s house.
The chipper was checked out, and the question prompted the district to look at its policies, Baker said.
District employees have been able to check out nonemergency equipment for personal use on a case-by-case basis.
In a letter to district trustees, Baker said employees must be qualified to use the equipment, but there is no actual written policy on the use.
He confirmed that the brush chipper is not a piece of emergency response equipment and is used during the summer to help district property owners establish defensible space around their homes without charge.
“Since the chipper was in winter storage, its use by one of our employees was granted,” Baker wrote. “Due to the winter weather, the chipper remained at the employee’s residence for an extended period of time and was returned to district winter storage when time and weather permitted.”
He said that the district’s insurer won’t let them check out the machine to residents.
Tahoe-Douglas Fire District is an improvement district with its own tax rate and an elected board.
The new policy will allow the district to refine its procedure, Baker said.
“We understand the concerns, and we’ll work to tighten it up,” he said.
Baker said the district isn’t very large and is short on storage space.
The fireboat is stored over the winter months at one of the battalion chief’s homes in Carson Valley.
He said hopefully the storage issue will be rectified soon.