Montana's Official Website
Dear fellow professionals,

We had a meeting this past week (14th) at Fort Harrison concerning focus of efforts and how we can assist DES on establishing guidelines for reimbursement by developing ARMS, possible legislative changes needed and recognized training standards.

I have contacted all members that were not at the meeting to determine if they were still interested in being on the sub-committees, except D. Mulkey.  I left a message at his work and used the info Ralph gave me to attempt and initial email contact.

Mike had already forwarded me info on what he was asked to obtain; thanks Mike!

Here’s what we have thus far:

As interested in Bozeman meeting and assigned to each MSPOA sub-committee:

FINANCE AND ARMS:                                                   OPERATIONS & TRAINING STANDARDS/SHARED TRAINING
Chair: Blue Corneliusen                                                  Chair: Brian Heino
Jordan White                                                                 Ralph DeCunzo
Ralph DeCunzo                                                              Alan Hughes
“JJ” Jarrett                                                                     Alan Ronnenburg
Mike McCluskey                                                            D. Mulkey
Dave Schenk                                                                 Jeff Guckenburger
Alan Ronnenburg                                                           Chris Noon

DES Rep for meetings is Tamara “Tam” Kolar, Logistic Coordinator, (406) 324-4784/(406) 324-4780,

We discussed that face to face meetings were best, and should be held at DES Fort Harrison.  Chair will coordinate with their teams on when they should go and advise me of the schedule.  Meeting minutes will be taken and a copy forwarded once approved to “Tam” and Chris Noon (to be posted on MT SAR website) 

DES had contracted legal services for us with the A/G’s office and once that person is identified I will let you know who and how we will use their paid services.

DES advised us they were short of $$$ for reimbursement and a vote was taken and approved to halt all reimbursements for Equipment immediately until $$ numbers rebound back.  Missions and training will still be reimbursed.  Please pass this on to your organizations; I will advise Sheriffs.

Here is what DES would like each committee to do:


           Define what financial “snapshot” will be used to determine %’s for balance allocations
           What trigger point to suspend certain payments for equipment
           What trigger point to reinstate suspension
           Submittal process: required data, completeness, even submitted when there is no charge for stat    purposes, etc.
           Legislative considerations: How to more effectively utilize monies collected by F,W& Parks for search/rescue/recovery reimbursements
                                               NOTE: MTLP funds are dwindling quickly…; F,W&P is in excess of $500k


           Define Mission statement and goals for SAR website
           Define what a: mission is; equipment is; training is
           Establish minimum training standards are.  NOTE: MSPOA, a long time ago, adopted NASAR level III standards.  This/These should be re-evaluated to determine
                       If still applicable, what specific additional training is needed for our state, and what accreditation should be adopted if any.
           Whether DES funds, if limited, should be prioritized and used for Annual Rendezvous training, regional training, or area specific training respectively.
What criteria if any should be set for training reimbursement.  Example given: should a SAR unit that has not water be reimbursed for water rescue training…     Should parameter be set for what is considered reasonable mission reimbursements.  Example given: every time a search id call out a helicopter is placed on standby…

These were our initial challenges.  At some point a joint meeting should be scheduled to determine what level of achievement had been reached.  Please advise me if you received this, any observations of ideas that might help move the balls along!

Chat with you soon!
Pres, MSPOA    

Meeting Minutes & Comments from our President