New website in works for Fire District

The Keizer Fire District held their monthly board meeting on Tuesday, March 19 to discuss general business, as well as their plans for a new website.

In the early stages of the meeting, board member Betty Hart announced that Taylor Russell is now the new president of the Keizer Volunteer Firefighter Association.

Board members Chet Patterson and Greg Ego, along with Informational Technology Specialist Joshua Ritter, have spent time over the last couple months looking at the KFD website and weighing options on how to go about what changes to make.

Patterson acknowledged that the current website meets the general requirements for people that are handicapped. However, Patterson also wants that accessibility to be more prominent on the new website.

According to Patterson, the most used source for news and information about KFD is their Facebook page, instead of their website.

“We want to distinguish who is visiting our website, or how many people are visiting our website, versus what other information gets out and where do the folks who want information on the fire district get it,” Patterson said.

“It’s going to be an ongoing process internally.”

Patterson proposed a couple of different options regarding the website.

An elite, more dynamic website would cost $12,000 in the first year. But a more updated website with professional photos and website training available to staff members and volunteers would be budgeted around $6,000 per year — the current website costs $550 to run per year.

“I support spending some money to clean it up and get some new pictures, but not a total overhaul,” Ego said. “I don’t think the fire district lives and dies by the website.”

Board member Ron Christopher was also in support of the $6,000 option, but a final decision was not reached.

Later in the meeting, Chief Jeff Cowan addressed the fatal mobile home fire that took the life of 62-year old Mate Mezei on March 3rd. The fire also badly injured Mezei’s wife, Maria Mezei, as well as neighbor Dan Garcher, who was able to rescue Maria from the fire.

Garcher and Maria Mezei had to be sent to the burn unit at Emmanuel Hospital in Portland.

Cowan took a trip to the hospital to personally thank Garcher for his heroism. Cowan also suggested to the board that Garcher should be presented with a life-saving award.

In other business:

• KFD received $141,500 in ambulance revenue in the month of February.

• Chief Cowan will receive his evaluation from the board at the April meeting.