Complete_Membership_Newsletter - 1 Jan 10
MICO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
Best Little Fire House in Texas … by a Dam Site!
From the desk of the Pr esident
Mico VFD President ~ James M. Wilbourn
As we enter a new decade in our lives, I would like to thank the Members for allowing me to be your President for
the next two years. 2010 will institute new and exciting changes in our Fire Department and we would like to invite you to
join us on this fantastic ride and become a Member of a great group of people.
You have a new Executive Board to look after the needs of the Community. We have been discussing a new fire
house for many years and we really need to make it happen because we‘ve run out of room to store the new vehicles and
equipment. Just imagine a bright new building to store our new pumper, brush truck and any apparatus that may be
coming soon, a nice meeting room for the Department‘s and Community‘s use, storage areas for firefighting equipment,
and a well designed kitchen to make our fundraisers more efficient and enjoyable. Think of the possibility of new
substations in the west and northeast of our service area – that too may come to fruition within a few years. These
substations would allow faster response times to homes and properties in these areas.
We look forward to our yearly events that help bring our Community together – isn‘t it wonderful to see old friends
and make new friends as we gather around a delicious meal! Our next event will be the 46 th Annual BBQ Fundraiser in
May. Let‘s make it our goal to break the record number of funds we raised last year. We will also reinstitute the Labor
Day weekend Fish Fry and of course have another successful Community Christmas Party in December.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the courageous Volunteer Firefighters for their dedication to our
Community and the unprecedented time spent training in order to protect our homes and lands. The MVFD is
establishing itself as the most outstanding Volunteer Fire Department in Medina County thanks to our dedicated
Firefighters and Volunteers.
All of these events are successful because of YOU our fantastic Members and Volunteers. It is YOU who offer to
perform work of your own free will. YOU make the MVFD the success it is. I call for you to become a Member if you
aren‘t one already and I ask that you volunteer to serve on the Committees we have established in our new Bylaws. A
COPY OF THE MVFD BY-LAWS ARE AVAILBLE UPON REQUEST. Embrace and help this entity formed to keep you and
yours safe. I look forward to seeing both old and new Members at our Business Meetings to provide input, opinions and
ideas. See you all on the second Tuesday of each month.
Chief ’s C ircle
Mico VFD Chief ~ Gerald Dyson
I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas and a wonderful New Year celebration! We had a very nice Community
party at the fire house and I am very thankful to all who attended. Many, many thanks to those who organized, setup,
cooked and cleaned up – they did a wonderful job! There were many folks from our Community, and even a few from the
surrounding ‗burbs‘, who enjoyed a wonderful meal, friendship and conversation. Even Santa found his way to the delight
of the children.
Now that the holidays are over, let's not forget our obligation to be fire safe. With the burn ban lifted, you are still
required to notify the Sheriff's dispatcher immediately before any controlled burn. Please make the call to (830) 741-6153
and let them know who you are and that you are going to have a controlled burn. They'll ask for your address and phone
number, and will provide any other information you may need. It takes less than a minute and will prevent unnecessarily
dispatching the Fire Department to put out your fire.
Remember, the MVFD is YOUR Fire Department. We desperately need new Members, Firefighters and
donations. Our Fire Department is governed by the people living in our service area, and currently there is only a small
portion of that area represented. Our membership donation is only $10 per year and our business meetings are on the 2 nd
Tuesday of every month at the main Fire Station, at 7:30 pm. Please join us and help us live up to our motto of "The Best
Little Fire Station by a Dam site!"
I want to extend a heartfelt THANKS to each of the Mico Firefighters! They've all done a fantastic job this past
year. We had excellent turn outs at all of our calls, whether they were fires, car wrecks, deck collapses, or boating
incidents. Everyone has trained and performed exceptionally!
I am looking forward to the New Year and the whole new world of opportunities that are going to present
themselves. I am very honored to be YOUR fire chief.
Meet the Board
President: James M. (Jim) Wilbourn is a native Texan hailing from Pasadena. He moved to San Antonio in 1967
and with his wife, Mary, moved to Ranchland Oaks in 2003. He has degrees in Psychology from Austin College and St
Mary‘s University. Jim worked 37 years as a civilian Research Psychologist for the Air Force doing research for Basic
Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base his last 12 years. He currently teaches Psychology at San Antonio College
as an Adjunct Professor where he has taught since 1972. Jim enjoys the quiet country living and all the wonderful people
in the area. He will dedicate himself to helping the citizens of Mico and the Mico Volunteer Fire Department.
Vice President: Stanley Phillips is a veteran of WWII, first with the Army and then the Air Force. After
separating from the military, he went to work for City Public Service and retired after working 33 years. He and his wife
Cappie moved to the Medina Lake area in 1999 and promptly joined the MVFD and received his fire fighting training under
Mr. Shockey. Stanley has been very active in the Department – he has been a firefighter, treasurer for 4 ½ years and has
always volunteered for all the fundraisers. His goals for the Department are to be a successful, well equipped, well
trained small fire Department without losing sight of who we are and where we are.
Treasurer: Jerrie Bishop moved to the Mico area in July 2004 with her husband Al. They spent the next two
years building their retirement home. After moving into their new home they decided it was time to do something for the
Community and joined the Mico Volunteer Fire Department. Jerrie has attended fire fighting school and also took part in
the Emergency Medical Technician training. In March of 2009, she became a Member of the MVFD Board as Treasurer.
Jerrie enjoys mingling with the people of Mico and likes to hear the stories of the development of the Community. She
hopes to serve the Community for a few more years and then turn over her duties to the younger fire fighters.
Secretary: Michael Ivey grew up in East Texas and attended the University of Texas at Austin. Mike has spent
over 25 years working in Human Resources in the manufacturing sector, primarily automotive parts and heavy vehicles.
He is currently the Senior Manager Human Resources for TKHoldings, a tier one Original Equipment Manufacturer of
safety equipment (air bags and seat belts) for the new car industry. After moving here in 2007 from North Carolina, Mike
and his wife Elena, reside in the Ranchland Oaks subdivision.
Fire Chief: Gerald Dyson is originally from the north, enough said about that. He came to San Antonio in 1981,
courtesy of the U.S. Air force for basic training and returned permanently in 1985. During his Air Force career, he worked
in various computer positions, primarily at HQ level for U.S. Joint Service Commands in the U.S. and Europe. In 1995, he
and his wife, Susan, bought land in the Medina Lake Ranchettes subdivision. In 1996, he was transferred to Washington
DC for a tour with the White House Communications Agency where he finished his Air Force Career, retiring on
December 31st, 2001 and returned to Mico. Upon retiring from the Air Force, he started working full time for the Capital
Group Companies as a network analyst and has since held positions as server technology planner and (currently)
systems engineer. Since he became active with the MVFD in 2008, he has become certified as a Basic Firefighter, EMT
Basic, Pumper Operator and HazMat Technician. He has attended firefighting and arson courses locally and regionally as
well as at Texas A & M and the National Fire Academy. Jerry was elected as the Mico VFD Fire Chief in April 2009.
Get to Know Your ESD (Emergency Service District)
By Dorothy Ahr
The Mico area belongs to the Medina County Emergency Service District #1(MCESD#1). The MCESD#1 territory
covers Castroville, LaCoste, Mico and Rio Medina. This ESD was voted in by the voter‘s in 1993 and is managed by a
five-member Board that is appointed by the Medina County Commissioners for two year terms. This is done on a rotating
schedule with three appointed in even years and two appointed in odd years. The current Board Members are:
Rep in District
Joseph E. Peters, Jr.
Polly Edlund serves as the MCESD#1 Coordinator
The MCESD#1 Board normally meets the first Thursday of the month (7PM) at the Castroville EMS Building. The
public is encouraged to attend the meetings to stay informed on how your ESD is working for you.
About Your Fire Department
The MVFD would like to extend our deepest wishes for a Happy, Blessed, Healthful, and Prosperous New Year! We give a
warm "Thank You" to all of our Supporters, both Volunteers and Donors, because without you we would most certainly not exist.
Welcome all New Neighbors to "The Medina LakePlex"!
Living lakeside in the hill country is heaven on earth. After moving in and settling down, many newcomers finally come to the
realization “What if I have a fire or medical emergency?" "Who will come to my rescue?" …. "WHO?"
You received this newsletter, because you are within the Mico Volunteer Fire Department's Fire and Rescue coverage area. It
is our desire to keep you informed of the activities of your Fire Department. It is very important that you know the MVFD is YOUR Fire
Department. Please keep this newsletter handy. For those who do not have email, this is the only means of sharing the information
with all concerned.
The MVFD is composed of all "Volunteers". The Firefighters, Rescue Teams and Supporting Members are people just like
you. Caring, loving, hardworking individuals – most of whom hold a full time job and have family and friends they love and care about.
All these wonderful, considerate people have extended their friends and family circle to include you, your family and friends in the
Community. We care and want to help you. Be it a fire, vehicle accident, medical emergency or just being a friend. The MVFD is here
Our Community is growing – we are in desperate need of more volunteers. The MVFD has been very blessed to have some
longtime volunteers throughout the Department's lifetime who have worked hard, given their all and continue to do so, but need some
help. We are welcoming new volunteers to assist in all areas. We'd like to meet you – preferably, not during an emergency. Please
consider giving of yourself and also contributions and support to your Community. Here are just a few ways you can help:
Firefighters . . . Above all else, we need help protecting lives and property. The MVFD provides all training, uniforms,
equipment and Workman’s Comp Insurance. Involve the family. Currently we have five husband/wife firefighter teams. We also have
a new membership just for Junior Members who are encouraged to learn and participate. PLEASE help us protect your family and
friends in the Community.
Monetary . . . The MVFD depends on gifts, donations and grants to train our firefighters/rescuers, buy equipment, fire trucks,
and a desperately needed new firehouse in which to store them. Please give generously, especially when you see our Firefighters on
the road with a Boot Drive Fundraiser. Your gifts are Tax Deductible.
Business Meeting . . . OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Your attendance on the 2nd Tuesday (7:30 pm) of every month is very
important. Have your voice heard and give suggestions and ideas. Keep up-to-date on what your MVFD and Board are doing for the
Community – know how we use your donations.
Membership . . . Your support as a MVFD Member is vital to the Community. Membership is only a $10 donation per adult.
Or, you can be a Sponsor Member for a minimum $100 donation. The Junior Member donation is only $5. As an adult Member you
have the right to vote for the Board who conducts the daily business and other important issues and changes within the Department.
[NOTE: all memberships are based on the calendar year, Jan 1st – Dec 31st and are due on Jan 1st. Members that join after June 1st
may participate and vote in all matters with the exception of the nomination and election of the Board.]
Volunteering . . . The MVFD needs you to help with our fundraisers – the BBQ in May and Fish Fry in September – and the
Christmas Party in December that we have just for fun and fellowship. We need planners, organizers, booth operators, cooks, servers,
sign makers, and setup/cleanup crews. This Newsletter needs writers, composers and articles. This is a great way to meet your
neighbors and have family fun with our Junior Members urged to join in as well. Let's keep our Community safe . . . get involved.
Donate or Sell/Lease Land . . . The MVFD coverage area is growing rapidly and we need land (about one acre) for future
substations. Our coverage area is remote and we need new substations on both sides of the river and the southeastern edge (near the
CR 2615 and CR 371 area) of our coverage area. We also need adjoining land for extending our firehouse.
Water Storage Tanks . . . The MVFD desperately needs access to water throughout the Community, for use during fire
emergencies. If you have a water storage tank on your property, please consider allowing us to add a Fire Department connection to it
so we can utilize it for our fire trucks. Please contact the MVFD if you would like to help with this desperately needed service.
Access to your Property . . . It is imperative that the MVFD has clear access to your residence and that the address is
prominently displayed. Many times we are called to an emergency and cannot find the address or get to the scene because of
obstructions on the property such as overgrown brush, low hanging limbs, small gates, vehicles, etc. If you have an electronic gate,
please provide us a code to open it, so we don’t have to cut our way in – this will save valuable time if your house is on fire.
Although we are a small Community, our hearts are HUGE! We want to provide you with the best possible protection, but we
need your help. Please consider helping in even the smallest way, it will be deeply appreciated by the entire Community and will help
make the Mico area the most desirable place to live in Texas (WE already know that it is!).
HELP US HELP YOU . . . Call us at 830-751-2658 and leave a message. A Member will return your call as soon as possible.
YOUR Mico Volunteer Fire Department
Dancing Bear Ranch
Medina Lake Ranchettes
Bear Springs Ranch
Laurel Canyon Ranch
Mountain Valley Ranch
Red Wing Estates
Rio Medina Estates
High Mountain Ranch
Bruce Haby Subdivision
Rio Medina Ranchettes
Rio Medina Acres
Mico VFD Fire Service Area (shaded area)
Mico Volunteer Fire Department
Active Member: $10.00 (each) – For firefighters and all others who choose to have a vote and support
Junior Member: $5.00 (each) – For Junior Members who want to be firefighters and independently
support the department, but do not have voting privileges. Junior Members must be 14-18 years of age
and have written approval to join the department from a parent or legal guardian.
Sponsor Member: $100 minimum – For individuals and businesses that choose to make larger financial
Note: All memberships are based on the calendar year, January 1 st through December 31 st. All dues are
due on January 31 st of each year or on the date of application for membership. Members that join after
June 1 may participate and vote in all matters with the exception of the nomination and election of the
Board of Directors. Of course, the Department accepts donations any time.
Primary Mailing address:
Local Address (optional):
I prefer to receive newsletters by:
Print and fill out this form, make check payable to “Mico VFD”,
PO Box 6353, Mico, TX 78056
We appreciate your support!
In 2009, the MVFD was blessed with two additional fire trucks courtesy of our Medina County Emergency Services
These trucks, a brand new 2008 Ferrara Custom Pumper and a 1995 converted military 2½-ton
(deuce), bring our fleet of fire trucks to eight. We have our fire trucks strategically located on both sides of the
river so we can provide the best possible service to YOU.
And, even though some of our fire trucks are very old,
they still enable us to get water onto the fire very quickly, which can often save a life or property. Several of
these fire trucks are being kept at firefighters homes because we don’t have substations for the trucks to live in.
If you have property that you would be willing to donate for a substation, please call the Chief at 210.376.7832, or
drop an email to him at [email protected], or drop a note to the Mico Fire Chief, PO Box 6353, Mico, TX
78056, and we’ll take a look to see if your property is a viable site for a substation (do we sound desperate yet?)
MVFD FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR 2009
WAY TO GO!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION!
Mico VFD Honors Mr. Alton Seekatz
The Mico VFD honored long-time Mico resident, Alton
Seekatz with a blanket embroidered with his contributions
to the fire department.
Alton's grandfather farmed the land around the Medina
River before the dam was built. In June, 1924, at the age
of 14, Alton and his parents moved to the lake to help his
grandparents manage their land. At that time, fires were
fought using wet burlap sacks and 55 gallon drums of
water. As time passed and people moved to the area, a
more organized fire department evolved.
The old school house across from Alton's home on CR 271
was used for the first few meetings of the Mico VFD. In
June, 1963, Alton and his wife Lema donated land to be used
for a fire department/community meeting/voting place.
The firehouse was equipped with a siren which someone
would activate. Everyone within hearing would head for the
department. Someone would call around and make sure
everyone was contacted as to the location of the fire. They
had acquired an old water truck which they made into a fire
truck. Landowners provided places where the truck could fill water when needed. In the early years, it
could take days to extinguish a pasture fire and there were many places the truck could not access. Wives
were also involved - they would supply food and drink for the firefighters.
In 1992, Alton and Lema allowed part of their land to
be used as a heliport so that accident victims could be
airlifted to the hospital in San Antonio.
Jayne Bourquin, Daughter
You are the
of the Mico
You are a blessing to
Happy 100th Birthday
Because of You
We Stand Strong
Community Featur es
Past to Present
Happy 100th Birthday Alton Seekatz
By John and Ann Dale
No one has contributed more to the MVFD than Alton Seekatz. Alton contributed the land on which the MVFD
stands in June 1963, he was a founding Member and physically helped to build the structure. He has attended our
meetings, supported our existence and done everything he could to enhance our being. On December 20, 2009 Alton
celebrated his 100th birthday. We in the MVFD and the surrounding area say…
Thank you Alton, for the many things you have done.
Present to Futur e
2009 Buoy Awards
By Roberto Pachecano
On November 14, 2009, the Medina Lake Preservation Society publicly recognized five residents of Mico and five
residents of Lakehills for their Community service and leadership.
Alton Seekatz, Bea Knight, Anne Dale, Cappie Phillips and Stanley Phillips from Mico, along with Loy Ed Alanis,
Betty Baxter, Bob Caswell, Barbara Engel, and Eddie Leibold from Lakehills were presented with the 2009 Buoy Award.
The Buoy Award is an award created to acknowledge the contribution of citizens living in the Medina LakePlex who help
keep the Community ―afloat‖. Recipients of the Award must have demonstrated through unselfish giving of time,
resources, creative vision or leadership, a willingness to advance the Community‘s best interest and to showcase its
positive characteristics. The Buoy Award is a unique wooden sculpture crafted from cypress driftwood gathered from the
Medina River after one of its storied floods. The significance of using the remnants of this indigenous tree to make the
sculpture underscores the spirit of reclamation and preservation. Hi-Energy Realty sponsored the 2009 Buoy Awards
Dinner and Gala.
Congratulations to the 2009 Buoys!
Real Estat e
In the Mico/Medina Lake Area
by Michelle Reichle
Real estate in 2009 has seen us in a buyer‘s market. Many sellers are now pricing for this market, but buyers
have not been afraid to make low offers. Properties ARE still selling however the load process that used to take 30 days
is now averaging 45 to 60 days as underwriters scrutinize each loan stage more closely. On a positive note, the
Government‘s tax credit for existing and first time home buyers of up to $8,000 is available until April 30, 2010 and this is
―spurring-on‖ sales in the area. I know we are all ready to see our beautiful lake full again as this factor, I think, has
affected lake property sales. So let‘s join our thoughts together and wish for rain for 2010! Happy New Year to everyone…
Featured Neighbor hood
There are so many new subdivisions and neighbors coming into the area, we would like to feature a different
neighborhood in each of our newsletters. Would you like to write a short paragraph about your area? We‘ll be happy to
feature your article in this part of the newsletter.
If you don‘t live in a subdivision, we still want to know how special you area is and all the exciting things that
happen. No, we don‘t want to know about the wild hogs tearing up your brand new yard…we‘ve all had that experience,
but how about telling us about the interesting and creative people around you or those who are special because of their
contributions to our Community. We look forward to seeing your article.
By Theron Mund
Ranchland Oaks is a community of 109, 3-to-10 acre, home sites found on FM 1283 between Bear Spring Ranch
and Kings Gate. Developed by the Ranchland Oaks Joint Venture in the 1990s, four units were platted. All properties
within the Subdivision are highly restricted exclusively to family residential use. Currently we have 35 homes with two
being built. This is a close knit community with neighbors helping neighbors when in need. What we most enjoy is the
quiet atmosphere, seeing wildlife (except the wild hogs), and the short fast journey into the amenities of San Antonio. The
Ranchland Oaks Homeowners Association works to improve the beauty of the subdivision and assure restriction
requirements are met. It is led by Theron Mund, President; Garry Murphy, Vice President; Marla Beavers, Secretary;
Mary Wilbourn, Treasurer and Richard Mason, Director. Ranchland Oaks supports the Mico Volunteer Fire Department
and wishes to thank them for their diligent service.
Beginning in our next newsletter, we will feature an article highlighting a local entertainer or artisan and an article
on children‘s education, activities or special events. If you know of a local entertainer or artisan that you would like to have
featured, or if you would like to write a short article of interest to children, please send an email to Susie Dyson at
M VFD 2009 C hrist mas Part y Pics
Enjoying the delicious Christmas dinner
Santa‘s visit was fun
David W King III and Edwina King
President MVFD Jan 1st 2008 to Dec 31st 2009
Thank you for your great leadership
Looks like Harry and Lillyan
Cappi and Stanley enjoyed themselves too!
In fact, everyone who attended had a wonder time with Community friends. Thanks to all of Santa‘s helpers who pitched
in to cook the delicious turkey and ham and the Community‘s pot luck dishes were spectacular.
M ico VFD C alendar of Event s
Unless otherwise noted, ALL meetings & events are to be held at the
MIC O VFD Base Station, 7121 CR 271, Mico TX — Email: [email protected]
Scheduled Events for 2010
1st & 3rd Tuesday (7 – 10 PM)
3rd Saturday (8 AM – 4 PM)
Saturday – May 8
Mico VFD Firehouse (11 AM – 4 PM)
Monthly Business Meeting
2nd Tuesday (7:30 – 830 PM)
Mico VFD Firehouse
Saturday – September 4
Mico VFD Firehouse (11 AM – 4 PM)
Friday – Dec 10
Community Christmas Party
Mico VFD Firehouse (6:30 PM to ?)
Call A ctivit y — At-A-Glance
YTD Status Report for 2009
Calls for 2009:
Average # of Responders per call:
Average response time:
Average time to ON SCENE:
OUTDOOR BURNING RULES
Before burning – Call it in!
(830) 741-6153 it’s the Law!
"The gangs not all here, but THANKS just the same to "All" our MVFD Firefighters / Rescuers"
You are a Blessing to your Community for your heroism, dedication and hard work.
"WE APPLAUD YOU"
Mico Volunteer Fire Department
e-Mail and Online
Do you have a new neighbor?
Please share this newsletter with them, invite them to become
a member of the Mico VFD, and attend our monthly Business
Public Information Officer: Mark Suwienski has just completed DHS/FEMA
training as a Public Information Officer. He has accepted the position as our
department’s PIO. As the PIO, he will perform advanced professional work in
public relations activities; the collection, preparation, and dissemination of
information and materials to the Fire Department, Emergency Services
District, public, and other agencies; and the writing of copy for press releases,
newspaper articles, newsletters, pamphlets, and other publications, etc. His
work will be performed with latitude for initiative and independent judgment.
We look forward to seeing Mark perform in his new role.