So, if the fire departments don't have funding for the fire prevention programs at their local levels in the first place, and as a matter of fact they are forced to cut them down, then where in the world are they going to find the matching funds in their strapped budgets for the cost sharing part of the fire grant? That being said, is there any wonder why there are not too many fire department applications for the Fire Prevention & Safety Grants (FP&S), year in and year out?
What good is it to have the federal funding for the fire prevention grant, or even attempt to increase the funding, as I have suggested in the paragraphs above; when the current provisions within the system, have made it almost impossible for the fire departments across the land to be able to fully utilize the fire prevention grants?
That defies logic to say the least. We must change that, and do that soon, if we are indeed serious about addressing the fire problem in our country.
I can't stress enough the importance of supporting CFSI's efforts in fighting the many battles on the Capitol Hill on behalf of the fire service. The 2010 reauthorization of the AFG Program is a challenge that demands our attention and requires all our support.
The current global economic recession and our country's political realities of today must remind us in the fire service that right or wrong, ready or not, "change" is upon us. And as a bare minimum, we need to adapt, even if all that we hope for, is to maintain the status quo and not lose grounds.
In my view though, it is even more important for us to take this opportunity to readjust our strategies, to enable us to provide the highest level of protection of our public, and maximize the rate of return on their investment on us.
It is important for us to recognize that we can't do that solely by being reactive and responding to fires as, we have historically done. We need to be more proactive. Can we do that? If our new Commander-in-Chief believes that "yes, we can"; then so should we. That is of course if we put our hearts in it. I believe that not only we can; we must. After all, it is our professional obligation.
- Working Together to Sustain Federal Support for Fire and SAFER Funding
- NFPA's Fact Sheet: The U.S. Fire Department Profile Through 2007 (PDF)
- NFPA's Economic Impacts report
- And Now for Something Completely Different
- AFG Program: Assessing Performance report (PDF)
- NFPA's Fire Loss Facts (PDF)
- Official Website for Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)
- 1947 Fire Prevention Conference
- America Burning Report (PDF)
- American Burning Revisited (PDF)
- America at Risk Report (PDF)
- Stats are More Than Inside Baseball
- Impetus for Change
- Full Sized Editorial Cartoon
AZARANG (OZZIE) MIRKHAH P.E., CBO, EFO, MIFireE, a Firehouse.com Contributing Editor, is the Fire Protection Engineer for the City of Las Vegas Department of Fire & Rescue. Ozzie served on the national NFPA 13 Technical Committee for Sprinkler System Discharge Design Criteria and serves on the IAFC Fire Life Safety Section Board of Directors. He was the first recipient of the IAFC's Excellence in Fire and Life Safety Award in 2007. To read Ozzie's complete biography and view his archived articles, click here. Ozzie has participated in two Radio@Firehouse podcasts: Six Days, Six Fires, 19 Children and 9 Adults Killed and Fire Marshal's Corner. You can reach Ozzie by e-mail at email@example.com.