The NAFRS, Northfield Area Fire & Rescue Service, Joint Powers board hired a consultant, Tim McGrath of McGrath Consulting, to do an Administrative Audit. The extensive report covers everything from Board meeting process to the Fire Chief’s role and beyond. Dundas Administrator John McCarthy, an ex-officio member, commented that there was controversy over one of McGrath’s recommendations. The recommendation is to hire a full time Fire Chief. McGrathFinal Report NAFRS 12-26. The resistance goes
back years when former Police Chief Mark Taylor was named Public Safety Director placing the fire department under his umbrella. At that time, it was also recommended that a full-time Fire Chief be hired. McCarthy added, “I believe that this department is big enough and strongly advocate a full time Chief because the duties of the Chief has changed over the years”. The Chief’s job consists of a lot more administrative duties. At a committee level they’re discussing hiring a full-time administrator separate from a Fire Chief. According to one member, the Joint Powers Board would have to change their bylaws in order to do that. Coming up on March 28th, NAFRS Chair Glen Castore,strongly opposes hiring a full time Chief. He’s scheduled to give an overview of the organization and review the 2018 upgrade of the fire station at the 2017 Northfield Chamber of Commerce General Membership Luncheon. The luncheon is open to anyone, you can purchase tickets through the Northfield Area Chamber. NAFRS meets the 3rd Thursday of every month. Last month they changed the start time to 8am instead of 9am and they are being held in the Police Station conference room. NAFRS Joint Powers Agreement
“Pay me now or pay me later” if social/emotional learning skills not taught
Social/emotional learning is a big topic within School districts, including Northfield. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann said the concern is that all student have those core skills. He had this definition, “social and emotional learning involves the processes in which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitude and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions”. In the past, those skills were acquired in several areas, including home. Hillmann says they are at the base of a pyramid for learning, without them, “it’s going to be very difficult for them to progress up that hierarchy needs and really fully embrace the academic opportunities that we have”. Hillmann said knocking down barriers to students success is paramount to learning. There is a question about what it might take away from the basics. Hillmann says, “I’m not sure we can afford to NOT do this”. In spite of what time it takes, he said, “are going to take that much more time to help kids get to academic proficiency because these pieces are holding them back”. Hillmann called it a “pay me now or pay me later” type situation. The District has been getting presentations of options on how to address the issue.
Child airlifted after 4-wheeler crash
A child was airlifted to North Memorial on Friday after falling out of 4 wheeler. Rice and Scott county deputies, New Prague and Elko/New Market police responded to the accident at 3375 Kanabec Ave in New Prague. According to the child’s parents, they were traveling in an enclosed Polaris Ranger with their 3 kids at about 25 mph when the 2 ½ year old opened the door. She fell onto the gravel and suffered a minor head injury. Aircare landed at Hwy 19 and Kanabec to take the child for further evaluation. Sheriff Troy Dunn reports that the girl will go home today. She suffered a mild concussion and abrasions.