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    Angry FEMA Pulls Grant From Md. Rescue Squad

    WWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    FEMA Pulls Grant From Md. Rescue Squad

    POSTED: 3:17 pm EDT April 12, 2008
    UPDATED: 3:27 pm EDT April 12, 2008

    BETHESDA, Md. -- The federal government has rescinded a grant for about $250,000 from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the squad doesn't qualify as a fire department. It said grants can only go to departments that have a range of firefighting services.

    Ken Rehbehn, vice president of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase squad, said he was stunned by the move.

    The squad has 64 firefighters and was called to some 200 fires last year.

    U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland has written to FEMA to object to the decision.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    WWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    FEMA Pulls Grant From Md. Rescue Squad

    POSTED: 3:17 pm EDT April 12, 2008
    UPDATED: 3:27 pm EDT April 12, 2008

    BETHESDA, Md. -- The federal government has rescinded a grant for about $250,000 from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the squad doesn't qualify as a fire department. It said grants can only go to departments that have a range of firefighting services.

    Ken Rehbehn, vice president of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase squad, said he was stunned by the move.

    The squad has 64 firefighters and was called to some 200 fires last year.

    U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland has written to FEMA to object to the decision.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.
    Then I wonder what this thing is used for. BCCRS provided great services at the Pentagon on 9/11 and would/will provide great support the next time the DC area is hit. This is just another bad move by FEMA based on ignorance, and to do it in their own backyard is really disturbing.
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    The grant wasn't an AFG grant, for which EMS agencies are eligible, but a SAFER grant.

    More information, as provided in the Washington Post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Washington Post
    EMA Rescinds Grant to Md. Rescue Squad

    By Mary Beth Sheridan
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, April 12, 2008; B01

    The federal government yanked a $246,500 grant from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, ruling that it does not qualify as a fire department, despite the 64 firefighters who work there and the nearly 200 blazes they were called to last year.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the grants are limited to departments with a range of firefighting services, such as spraying water onto a burning building and rescuing victims.

    The Bethesda-Chevy Chase squad said FEMA does not understand how volunteer fire organizations work.

    "What is a fire department? This is the open question," said Ken Rehbehn, vice president of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase squad.

    Rehbehn said that some towns split their firefighting and rescue units between departments but that they work together to fight blazes and save those in trouble. In many larger departments, the services are under one roof.

    The issue has mushroomed beyond a local rescue squad to involve the region's congressional representatives. U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) wrote to FEMA objecting to the decision. He said he plans to take up the issue with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

    Van Hollen said revoking the grant illustrated the problems at FEMA. "If they spent less time on bureaucratic nonsense, and more time protecting communities, we'd all be better off, and avoid the kind of botched response we saw in Hurricane Katrina," he said in an interview.

    The Bethesda-Chevy Chase squad learned in January 2007 that it had won a grant from the federal program known as Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER). The program supports the hiring of professional firefighters and recruitment of volunteer firefighters.

    FEMA rescinded the grant in September.

    "We didn't have proof of a fire-suppression agreement with any locality in Montgomery County or elsewhere," James McIntyre, a FEMA spokesman, said in an interview. Essentially, the squad could not operate independently of the Montgomery County's fire department in responding to blazes, FEMA argued.

    Rehbehn said he was stunned by the decision. The squad is chartered as a fire department in Maryland, and 64 of its 148 responders are certified as firefighters. The rest are certified for emergency medical functions, he said.

    Thomas W. Carr Jr., chief of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, said in a letter to FEMA that the Bethesda-Chevy Chase squad "operates as an integral element of the County's fire/rescue service and has personnel directly involved in fire suppression activities."

    Squads sent to burning buildings conduct interior search-and-rescue efforts, turn off utilities and seek ways to remove smoke, he wrote. The squads also are trained to handle backup hoses and other jobs.

    FEMA turned down the squad's appeal this week, saying that the grant program was limited to departments that had formal arrangements with a jurisdiction to extinguish fires.

    "While this distinction may appear unreasonable, it is necessary to sustain the structure and legal compliance of the SAFER program," FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison said in a letter to Van Hollen.

    He said eligible departments do various tasks, such as taking hoses off a firetruck and spraying water at a blaze, along with rescuing people. Paulison said an impartial third party with firefighting experience had been asked to study the decision, and had agreed with FEMA.

    Ken Yazge, president of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase squad, said it had hoped to use the grant to recruit more volunteer firefighters. Montgomery County is urging the squad to have at least four people on all fire apparatus, instead of three, the previous standard. "It increases our need for more firefighters," Yazge said.

    Rehbehn, his colleague, said many people assume that rescue squads mainly operate ambulances and do not realize that some also are heavily involved in responding to fires.

    "Firefighting is an integral component of our mission," he said. "For FEMA to point to a definition of fire suppression that narrowly hinges on delivery of water is amazing."
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    The grant wasn't an AFG grant, for which EMS agencies are eligible, but a SAFER grant.

    More information, as provided in the Washington Post:
    I guess only Engine Companies are eligable for the grants. If that is the case, alot of area FIRE departments should lose the grants that put four guys on trucks and rescues.
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    Did these guys bother to read the program guidance for this grant before applying?

    Under "Ineligible Applicants":
    Ambulance services, Emergency Medical Services organizations, rescue squads, auxiliaries, dive teams, urban search and rescue teams.

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    Hmmmmmmmmm..........This is an interesting one. I think this may bring into play the "letter of the law" and the "spirit of the law." While Catch22 did bring up that the guidance for the grant precludes "Rescue Squads", is it possible those are the types of entities that only provide EMS? As we all know, depending on your locale, nomenclature is different. BCCRS definitely operates as part of a fire department and performs firefighting functions. But for example, the "Middle of Nowhere Rescue Squad" may only provide ambulance/EMS services. Hope everything works out for them.

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    BCC is part of Montgomery County Fire & Rescue, which is a combination system. They have a lot of EMS-only members, but they also have more firefighters than many small-town and rural "pure" FDs.

    BCC's rescue squads (here referring to the apparatus and FFs aboard it, not the organization) are dispatched to fires just like every other rescue squad in the county. In addition to search, they perform ventilation, utility control, etc. - which are indeed classified as "fire suppression" activities. Also, ambulance or medic crews which happen to be staffed by firefighters will function as two-out. Squad or ambulance crews also may be assigned to perform fire attack as well.

    So "rescue squad" (here referring to the organization) does not mean they only do EMS and extrication. The same thing applies to Wheaton, the other "Rescue Squad" in MoCo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sts060 View Post
    BCC is part of Montgomery County Fire & Rescue, which is a combination system. They have a lot of EMS-only members, but they also have more firefighters than many small-town and rural "pure" FDs.
    If that's the case, it opens up a whole new aspect. Montgomery County F & R should have been putting in the application. Here's the entire list of ineligible applicants for the recruitment and retention of volunteers:
    • Career fire departments are not eligible to recieve assistance under the Recruitment and Rentention Activity
    • Federal fire departments and fire departments under contract to the Federal Government whose sole responsibility is the suppression of fires on Federal installations or lands.
    • For-profit fire departments and organizations (i.e., do not have specific nonprofit status or are not municipally based).
    • Fire stations that are not independent, or are part of, controlled by, or under the day-to-day operational direction of a larger fire department or agency.
    • Ambulance services, Emergency Medical Services organizations, rescue squads, auxiliaries, dive teams, urban search and rescue teams.
    • State and local agencies, such as a forest service, fire marshals, hospitals, and training offices.
    • Non-Federal airport and/or port authority fire departments whose sole responsibility is suppression of fires on the airport grounds or port facilities, unless the airport/port fire department has a formally recognized arrangement with the local jurisdiction to provide fire suppression on a first-due basis outside the confines of the airport or port facilities.

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    There is an interesting opinion on the JEMS e-mail server about a similar situation.

    Seems that all finances and grants dispersed by the Feds for Fire and EMS are being lobbied HARD by the IAFF and IAFC to be controlled by the same organization that disperses money under AFG and SAFER so that it only goes to the fire service.

    What this basically says is that EMS grants are great so long as they go to the fire departments that run EMS but screws over thir-service and county-based EMS services as well as those run by police departments.

    This nonsense runs right along those lines.

    While true they are not a fire department, the fact that there are fire service organizations fighting actively against federal grants for EMS agencies is asinine and disgusting.

    I can see not giving grants to for-profit companies, but this crap is stupid.

    I also agree that BCCRS should have read the rules better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    If that's the case, it opens up a whole new aspect. Montgomery County F & R should have been putting in the application. Here's the entire list of ineligible applicants for the recruitment and retention of volunteers:
    • Career fire departments are not eligible to recieve assistance under the Recruitment and Rentention Activity
    • Federal fire departments and fire departments under contract to the Federal Government whose sole responsibility is the suppression of fires on Federal installations or lands.
    • For-profit fire departments and organizations (i.e., do not have specific nonprofit status or are not municipally based).
    • Fire stations that are not independent, or are part of, controlled by, or under the day-to-day operational direction of a larger fire department or agency.
    • Ambulance services, Emergency Medical Services organizations, rescue squads, auxiliaries, dive teams, urban search and rescue teams.
    • State and local agencies, such as a forest service, fire marshals, hospitals, and training offices.
    • Non-Federal airport and/or port authority fire departments whose sole responsibility is suppression of fires on the airport grounds or port facilities, unless the airport/port fire department has a formally recognized arrangement with the local jurisdiction to provide fire suppression on a first-due basis outside the confines of the airport or port facilities.

    Did any other "Fire Departments" that are part of Montgomery County Fire Rescue get awarded part of the grant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by XCAPT1 View Post
    Did any other "Fire Departments" that are part of Montgomery County Fire Rescue get awarded part of the grant?

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    Nope, none received SAFER grants.

    I'm also pretty sure that BCCVRS technically isn't apart of MCFRS(montgomery county fire and rescue). They hire/pay their own 'career' personnel to respond to calls along with the volunteers they have. They also have a dedicated line in DC that people pay, and when they call that number they get a BCC ambulance.

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    BCCRS - Good folks that provide a good serive. That said, they are not an eligible applicant.

    Should the law be changed? Maybe, but right now they are not eligible.

    Also, the reason the IAFF and IAFC are lobbying hard to keep that money in the fire service, they were the ones that initiated the legislation. After it was passed everybody else decided they wanted it. Maybe other groups should be eligible, but the program was designed to help firefighters and fire departments.

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    I talked with RFRDxplorer, whose dad is a retired lieutenant from BCCRS, about this - Didn't have much to say other than the fact that they're upset.

    I find it pretty... well I don't even know the word - It's definitely a kick in the *** for the members of the department...
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    Ya needless to say......we are a bit salty.

    i think that is wrong, regardless of any connection I have with them. Many are trained firefighters and on many fires actually grab a line and go in to put the fire out. Not stand around outside with their thumbs up their *****!


    Yes they are a part of MCFRS. How else would they be dispatched? (ok, NIH is dispatched too, but besides that) They do hire there own paid people but they at least used to have some MCFRS guys work during the day.


    They are not controlled in day to day operations by a larger agency. They are controlled by their own chief and board of directors.

    On large fires back in the day the squad was the only dept in the county to have 60 min bottles and they would either go up to the fire floor and just sit against the wall waiting for the engine companies tanks to go out, then they would take the line as the engine was leaving and finish what they couldn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    Ya needless to say......we are a bit salty.

    i think that is wrong, regardless of any connection I have with them. Many are trained firefighters and on many fires actually grab a line and go in to put the fire out. Not stand around outside with their thumbs up their *****!


    Yes they are a part of MCFRS. How else would they be dispatched? (ok, NIH is dispatched too, but besides that) They do hire there own paid people but they at least used to have some MCFRS guys work during the day.

    They are not controlled in day to day operations by a larger agency. They are controlled by their own chief and board of directors.

    On large fires back in the day the squad was the only dept in the county to have 60 min bottles and they would either go up to the fire floor and just sit against the wall waiting for the engine companies tanks to go out, then they would take the line as the engine was leaving and finish what they couldn't.
    BCC is disaptched by MCFRS, but they are not technically a part of them in a way the other organizations are. BCC has MCFRS medics, that they pay for(as far as I know). There are multiple stations that aren't a part of MCFRS that respond to MCFRS calls(50, 51, 52, 53, and 54). As for BCC grabbing lines and putting the fires house, that rarely happens. Their jobs to search, and cut off utilities, and most of the time thats what they do. I'm sure theres been times where they've taken a line that someone left, but thats certainly not the 'norm'.

    I agree that BCC is deserving of a grant, but the fact of the matter is they applied for a grant that clearly stated they weren't entitled too. FEMA had every right to take it back.
    Last edited by somebody509; 04-15-2008 at 03:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    Also, the reason the IAFF and IAFC are lobbying hard to keep that money in the fire service, they were the ones that initiated the legislation. After it was passed everybody else decided they wanted it. Maybe other groups should be eligible, but the program was designed to help firefighters and fire departments.

    I am not talking about the established programs, I am talking about new funding set up within the last year that the IAFF and IAFC have fought to bring in under their control.

    And those AFG grants are not only for fire departments. The SAFER grant is (while I totally disagree with this grant program) however.

    AFG is for emergency services in a community, yet only 2% of the funds were sent out to EMS agencies while the fire departments got the remaining 98%. Sorry if I am not blinded by the "good intentions" of the IAFF and IAFC and that I do not trust them to do what is right. It is a power grab, plain and simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie View Post
    I am not talking about the established programs, I am talking about new funding set up within the last year that the IAFF and IAFC have fought to bring in under their control.

    And those AFG grants are not only for fire departments. The SAFER grant is (while I totally disagree with this grant program) however.

    AFG is for emergency services in a community, yet only 2% of the funds were sent out to EMS agencies while the fire departments got the remaining 98%. Sorry if I am not blinded by the "good intentions" of the IAFF and IAFC and that I do not trust them to do what is right. It is a power grab, plain and simple.
    When the AFG started, it was a fire service grant program and is still not simply for "emergency services in a community". If it was, then the PD would have their hands out too.

    Personally, I have mixed feelings about the inclusion of EMS only organizations into the AFG program. EMS definately needs more funding too, but should it come at the expense of the FDs? Why should EMS get a slice of the fire services "pie" instead of one of their own?

    Are you sure that it's simply a power grab and attempt to channel funding away from EMS and to the FDs or is it an attempt to have the program administed by the people who have been handling two of the "best run/most successful" federal grant programs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by somebody509 View Post
    BCC is disaptched by MCFRS, but they are not technically a part of them in a way the other organizations are. BCC has MCFRS medics, that they pay for(as far as I know). There are multiple stations that aren't a part of MCFRS that respond to MCFRS calls(50, 51, 52, 53, and 54). As for BCC grabbing lines and putting the fires house, that rarely happens. Their jobs to search, and cut off utilities, and most of the time thats what they do. I'm sure theres been times where they've taken a line that someone left, but thats certainly not the 'norm'.

    I agree that BCC is deserving of a grant, but the fact of the matter is they applied for a grant that clearly stated they weren't entitled too. FEMA had every right to take it back.
    So why seperate (or duplicate) organizations? Sounds like territorial inefficient BS. Merge with the FD if they need/need the grant $.

    In most of the US the FD handles rescue or the call in a mutual aid FD to handle. What's different in the NE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    When the AFG started, it was a fire service grant program and is still not simply for "emergency services in a community". If it was, then the PD would have their hands out too.
    The PD has the COPS grants started under Bill Clinton which was supposed to put "100,000 more police officers on the street." It did not, now the IAFF is clammoring over SAFER grants which will fall flat on their face as have the COPS grants. Not that staffing your local department is the federal government's responsibility anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Personally, I have mixed feelings about the inclusion of EMS only organizations into the AFG program. EMS definately needs more funding too, but should it come at the expense of the FDs? Why should EMS get a slice of the fire services "pie" instead of one of their own?
    Why not? Oh yes, the only good EMS is fire-service run EMS. The only way to provider EMS is when it has firefighters on the ambulance. That's right, I forgot that until just now.

    You are not paying attention to the convesation. There is a new program offered up by the feds in a house resolution that calls for increased EMS funding which makes most fire department staffing look like you are drowning in people and equipment.

    This new program which is to disperse funds to agencies that provide EMS regardless of whether they are fire-based or not has the heads of the IAFF and IAFC clamoring to administer it since they already do it over the AFG and SAFER nonsense. Like I said, I just don't trust them.

    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Are you sure that it's simply a power grab and attempt to channel funding away from EMS and to the FDs or is it an attempt to have the program administed by the people who have been handling two of the "best run/most successful" federal grant programs?
    Of course it is a power grab. The grant programs may be the best run, but I think that they are a gross waste of federal taxpayer dollars that are paying for your department's staffing and equipment that your community leaders are not buying. Again, I think it is not the fed's responsibility, but people love a socialist movement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    So why seperate (or duplicate) organizations? Sounds like territorial inefficient BS. Merge with the FD if they need/need the grant $.
    Because EMS makes up about 60%-80% of most fire department's operational runs. There is no need to have every fire department run EMS. In many cities (Boston, Denver, Pittsburgh, and others) EMS is separate and runs exceptionally well. Why would you mess with a great and functional system?

    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    In most of the US the FD handles rescue or the call in a mutual aid FD to handle. What's different in the NE?
    Because what works for you may not work for other places. If the BCRRS has been doing so well for years why change it? Oh yes, must increase FD staffing and manpower at all other costs.
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    seems like a clunky system. What do they gain by not being part of the county system?

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    BCCRS is a part of the Montgomery County system. Each and every station (only one is completley career with no LFRD affiliation, station 35) operates under MCFRS. However, each volunteer oraganiztion or LFRD (Local Fire and Rescue Department) operate with their own volunteer cheifs, officers and member including board and administrative members. All stations and personnel follow, operate and are joined together by common and complete SOPS, guidlines, training standards, apparatus policies and any thing else. The department has about 1400 career personnel and alot more volunteers who all operate under a joined system, much like the counties surrounding (PG, Frederick, Howard, Fairfax VA). Each LFRD can apply for grants for apparatus and other things that they see fit. Station 5 applied for an apparatus grant for a new tower/quint. BCCRS employes their own personnel, have their own volunteers and 2 career county employed ALS providers from 600 to 1800 M- F. BCCRS and Wheaton squad have first dues the size of Battaltions and respond with EMS service and Squad service. BCCRS is first due to Bethesda, Chevy-Chase, Glen-Echo, Cabin John Park and parts of DC. The sqaud runs as all other squads on the county with the same job responsibilites. Seach and Rescue, utility control, RIT team, etc. BCCRS has a fleet of about 4 BLS units, 3 ALS units, 2 rescue sqauds, various ALS chase cars, chief cars and an air cascade unit.
    So in a sense, each station/LFRD in the county works under a joint system that operates the same, whether they be career or volunteer personnel. But this allows each LFRD to apply for grants for stations (since all are LFRD owned but station 35), apparatus (althoug the county provides about 85% of all apparatus), SAFER grants, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie View Post
    The PD has the COPS grants started under Bill Clinton which was supposed to put "100,000 more police officers on the street." It did not, now the IAFF is clammoring over SAFER grants which will fall flat on their face as have the COPS grants. Not that staffing your local department is the federal government's responsibility anyway.

    Maybe they will, maybe they won't. We'll just have to wait and see. No, staffing our local departments isn't the federal government's responsibility, but neither is a lot of the other things that they are involved with.

    Why not? Oh yes, the only good EMS is fire-service run EMS. The only way to provider EMS is when it has firefighters on the ambulance. That's right, I forgot that until just now.

    No, but obviously you believe that the only good EMS is non-fire service EMS. I know that both are not true and I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you know that too. My guess would be that my screen name prompted your little rant. For the record, I don't work fire based EMS. I work both single role fire and single role EMS.



    You are not paying attention to the convesation. There is a new program offered up by the feds in a house resolution that calls for increased EMS funding which makes most fire department staffing look like you are drowning in people and equipment.

    I am paying attention to the conversation. I'll admit that I am not aware of this new program yet. However, I think you're skipping over my point. You're whining about EMS' 2% of the AFG program, a program initiated to assist the fire service. So, to a point EMS should be happy that they are even being considered for these grants now. Did they need to try and muscle in on this program instead of trying to get one of their very own?

    This new program which is to disperse funds to agencies that provide EMS regardless of whether they are fire-based or not has the heads of the IAFF and IAFC clamoring to administer it since they already do it over the AFG and SAFER nonsense. Like I said, I just don't trust them.

    You don't have to trust them, but last I checked, neither the IAFF nor the IAFC actually administer the AFG and SAFER "nonsense".

    Of course it is a power grab. The grant programs may be the best run, but I think that they are a gross waste of federal taxpayer dollars that are paying for your department's staffing and equipment that your community leaders are not buying. Again, I think it is not the fed's responsibility, but people love a socialist movement. Once again I agree that it's not the federal government's responsibility. I also agree that this stuff should be being addressed at the local level, but the simple fact is that it's not in many communities for various reasons. However, I strongly disagree with your assessment of it being a "gross waste of federal taxpayer dollars". I've seen first hand the benefits of this program in my department and many others in my area and overall it's been anything but a "gross waste of federal taxpayer dollars".
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    Last edited by FireMedic049; 04-16-2008 at 12:11 AM.

  24. #24
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    1) You are right, the Feds do a lot of stuff that they shouldn't necessarily be doing. So why do one more?

    2) Your screen name had jack shyte to do with what I posted. I make that statement all the time. Just because fire-based or third-service works well in one place does nto mean that it will/should be in another.

    3) EMS should be happy? Whatever. I amjust saying that it should be appropriate. EMS in 60% to 80% of most fire department's run responsibilities and the money should reflect that. Not necessarily saying it needs to be sent to EMS agencies (certainly not to for-profit companies) but it should be reflected as such.

    4) You are right, many communities do not fund public safety appropriately. My problem is people sucking off of the public taxpayer teet. It baffles my mind that federal collective tax dollars pay for your fire hose, TIC, or new engine in Ohio (or wherever) instead of in my own community. At least this program ought to be run by the state. This is what I mean by a mismanagement of money. Everything does not need to be run at the Federal level and it irritates the hell out of me when this occurs.

    Bugs the hell out of me when a fire chief or a union president or whatever says that my local community will not pay for it so I should go to the Feds for it.

    I have seen it benefit my own fire department(s) as well, but I have also seen it wasted at some.

    And while the IAFF and IAFC do not administer the programs, a large number of members to the boards are appointed by both (as is my understanding) and they are both heavily lobbying to have the latest and greatest program put in under the same auspices instead of a separate EMS only board comprised of hospital based, fire-service based, adn third-service based representatives. This is what I have a problem with.

    We are really not all that far apart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by somebody509 View Post
    BCC is disaptched by MCFRS, but they are not technically a part of them in a way the other organizations are. BCC has MCFRS medics, that they pay for(as far as I know). There are multiple stations that aren't a part of MCFRS that respond to MCFRS calls(50, 51, 52, 53, and 54). As for BCC grabbing lines and putting the fires house, that rarely happens. Their jobs to search, and cut off utilities, and most of the time thats what they do. I'm sure theres been times where they've taken a line that someone left, but thats certainly not the 'norm'.

    I agree that BCC is deserving of a grant, but the fact of the matter is they applied for a grant that clearly stated they weren't entitled too. FEMA had every right to take it back.
    Now not to step on anyones toes here, but despite the fact that you live there, I know how they operate and am positive that they do see a good bit of fire attack. So trust me on this one.

    So why seperate (or duplicate) organizations? Sounds like territorial inefficient BS. Merge with the FD if they need/need the grant $.

    In most of the US the FD handles rescue or the call in a mutual aid FD to handle. What's different in the NE?
    Not to bash you, as this is my observation from observing fire departments all over the country, but I am willing to bet that the entire Montgomery County Fire Service operates smoother than any other similar system anywhere in the country. (excluding of course areas like Balto County, PG, AA, arlington, fairfax, etc, where it is more or less the same).

    I WISH that around here things were run half as smoothly as they are down in MoCo. And territorial bs is hardly the case. If they need more units on any particular call, they just call in what equipment they need, not like many places in the world, where you say I want 1 engine from X Fire Dept, 1 engine from Y fire dept, a truck from Z fire department, and a rescue from billy bob fire dept.

    There system is amazingly efficent.

    And I'm not sure if it was brought up on this thread or not, but their budget of over $1 million is made up entirely from donations and grants. They get ABSOLUTELY NO TAX MONEY.
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