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    Default 2008 SAFER Grant Opening May 27

    Wow, talk about unexpected. The 08 SAFER grant will be opening on May 27. Program Guidance is available on website. Gentleman start your engines!!
    Last edited by ktb9780; 05-12-2008 at 01:17 PM.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Default A little to soon for me!

    I have been kicking around the idea of applying for my local volunteer/poc department. I've read the last years guidance and have had a few ideas. Does anyone have some great ideas for me or winning narratives. We are a department that is in a rural setting. Cover 1,300 (700 in our city) people inside a 42 square mile area. Thanks!

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    Email heading on what they sent is misleading, the app period opens May 27th, closes June 27th. They were just announcing the PG is available, despite what the heading claims.

    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY OPENS APPLICATION PERIOD FOR STAFFING FOR ADEQUATE FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES (SAFER) GRANTS

    May 12, 2008 - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted today the Program Guidance document for the FY2008 SAFER Grants at the website for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program - www.firegrantsupport.com. Under the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2008, Congress appropriated $190 million for SAFER Grants.


    Beginning May 27, 2008, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin accepting applications for SAFER Grants. The deadline for receipt of the SAFER Grant applications will be 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 27, 2008.

    The applications will be automated and will be accessible from the website for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program at www.firegrantsupport.com.

    The SAFER Grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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    Thanks for correcting that BC79er, just noticed my own error myself there.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Default Advanced Courses

    The program guidance says that the following is eligible under SAFER:


    "Tuition assistance for higher education (including college tuition) and professional certifications. Note: Coursework or certifications in this category should be above and beyond what the department typically funds for required minimum-staffing firefighter certification."

    Would this include training for courses and equipment beyond Firefighter 2, for example for an escape system for a volunteer department? I think not, as it would be hard to justify this as impacting recruitment or retention. If not, how do you justify "certifications" or tuition for higher education as impacting recruitment or retention? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    The program guidance says that the following is eligible under SAFER:


    "Tuition assistance for higher education (including college tuition) and professional certifications. Note: Coursework or certifications in this category should be above and beyond what the department typically funds for required minimum-staffing firefighter certification."

    Would this include training for courses and equipment beyond Firefighter 2, for example for an escape system for a volunteer department? I think not, as it would be hard to justify this as impacting recruitment or retention. If not, how do you justify "certifications" or tuition for higher education as impacting recruitment or retention? Thanks.

    Well lets see if I can put that into persepctive for you. Do you remember the show" Northern Exposure" where the Dr got stuck in a town in Alaska because he was repaying the goverment for the tuition they gave him to go to med school? Same principle here. We will pay you x-amount of tuition assistance in exchange for an agreement by your to serve us for x-amount of years. Did that help you guy?
    Kurt Bradley
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    So, what you are saying ktb is, we can send all of our members to Med school in exchange for a pledge to serve x more years? Sweet! Gynecology here I come!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    So, what you are saying ktb is, we can send all of our members to Med school in exchange for a pledge to serve x more years? Sweet! Gynecology here I come!!!
    As far fetched as that may sound, I kid you not that a program, as portrayed by that TV series, in fact does exist here in the US. You might also recall that the US Army has been recruiting volunteers for years by offering college education tuition assistance.
    Kurt Bradley
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    I have read the PG, but was wondering if uniforms, and station wear would be considered in this? We, as many other VFD have the same problem of keeping interest up. With incentives like uniforms,and station wear along with proper addvertisement of volunteers needed, this would increase "active"members turnouts, and bring in new members to the department.

    Would a program like this have a chance at being funded through the retention and recrutment portion of the safer grant?

    Thanks,

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverad0 View Post
    I have read the PG, but was wondering if uniforms, and station wear would be considered in this? We, as many other VFD have the same problem of keeping interest up. With incentives like uniforms,and station wear along with proper addvertisement of volunteers needed, this would increase "active"members turnouts, and bring in new members to the department.

    Would a program like this have a chance at being funded through the retention and recrutment portion of the safer grant?

    Thanks,
    The simple answer is "yes" but, don't lose sight of the overall goal here for SAFER and that is compliance with NFPA1710/1720. You are first going to have to show that indeed a problem existst in the first place, as it relates to not enough people on the scenen within the stated time limits. Then you are going to have to show how your plan increases that number and decreases the response time. Finally, you have to have a plan to "sustain" your program beyond the terms of the grant itself; in other words, where is the money going to come from after the grant money runs out.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Default SAFER Ideas

    I would like to ask a few questions on SAFER. I read the PG but very quickly. We are a volunteer/poc ($10/call) department of about 22-24 with full staffing at 27. We cover 42 square miles and have roughly 1,300 people in that area and run an average of 75 calls a year. I would like to do uniforms plus a uniform allowance program. Also I would like to do a lounge. What is elgible for the lounge (TV, DVD, Chairs?). Also could we apply for a grocery fund. We use to eat at the meetings then when we had to make some changes with accounts it could no longer happen. I would like to bring that back because having pop and burgers/brats brings people there. If there is any other ideas as well I would appreciate them. Thanks in advance!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMNFirefighter View Post
    I would like to ask a few questions on SAFER. I read the PG but very quickly. We are a volunteer/poc ($10/call) department of about 22-24 with full staffing at 27. We cover 42 square miles and have roughly 1,300 people in that area and run an average of 75 calls a year. I would like to do uniforms plus a uniform allowance program. Also I would like to do a lounge. What is elgible for the lounge (TV, DVD, Chairs?). Also could we apply for a grocery fund. We use to eat at the meetings then when we had to make some changes with accounts it could no longer happen. I would like to bring that back because having pop and burgers/brats brings people there. If there is any other ideas as well I would appreciate them. Thanks in advance!
    Too many question for one post but if you would like to call me at 800-992-0272 Ext 3111 (ignore recording and just push 3111 when it answers it will come straight to me) I would be glad to discuss it with you guy.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Kurt,

    Ill need chief approval to send you the assistance form. When I see him and get it approved Ill send it back. Looks like the Illinois small equipment grant is NOT going to help us get new radios...oh well. Im sure we can figure something else out.

    On to SAFER. Can anyone confirm for me that SAFER grants are getting awarded with preference to depts. that are close to meeting 1710 or 1720 vs. a dept. that has leaps and bounds to go to be compliant? My evidence of this rediculous strategy is below. To me, it appears as if the FEDS want to pat themselves on the back and say look at what we did, dept. X is now NFPA 1710/1720 compliant. What about the depts. that are nowhere near compliant.....oh well they need more manpower before we consider giving them a grant for more manpower. ???????

    Cases in point...

    We are in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. Over the past 2 years (off the top of my head) 3 depts. have got SAFER around here.

    The first dept. is Missouri, South of St. Louis. They got a SAFER to add 9 positions. They can technically be considered combination because they have 4 volunteers. This gave them 18 career personnel per shift covering 3 stations. They have purchased two new quints and a large rescue pumper in the past two years.

    Second dept. is right across the river from St. Louis. They got a SAFER to add 3. That allowed them to go from 54 career to 57 career working 24/48 covering 3 stations.

    Third dept in my county got a safer to hire 3. They are combination with 24 (27 after safer) career covering 2 stations. Their community is the most affluent and fastest growing in the county. How can they demonstrate a financial need?

    Then there is my dept. We have 16 career including the chief that cover 2 stations and 40 square miles. We are a combo dept. with 5 career per shift with POC having night duties if they are available. We have no minimum staffing language so if three people call off we are stuck with 1 career at each station. We are at our maximum tax levy for a fire district in Illinois as well. We did sign an auto aid agreement recently but that dept. staffs ONE career at each station, thats it. How can we get turned down 3 years in a row for SAFER while the above depts. get blessed?

    rant over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFPD2005 View Post
    On to SAFER.* Can anyone confirm for me that SAFER grants are getting awarded with preference to depts. that are close to meeting 1710 or 1720 vs. a dept. that has leaps and bounds to go to be compliant?* My evidence of this rediculous strategy is below.* To me, it appears as if the FEDS want to pat themselves on the back and say look at what we did, dept. X is now NFPA 1710/1720 compliant.* What about the depts. that are nowhere near compliant.....oh well they need more manpower before we consider giving them a grant for more manpower.* ??????? Cases in point...We are in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.* Over the past 2 years (off the top of my head) 3 depts. have got SAFER around here.* The first dept. is Missouri, South of St. Louis.* They got a SAFER to add 9 positions.* They can technically be considered combination because they have 4 volunteers.* This gave them 18 career personnel per shift covering 3 stations.* They have purchased two new quints and a large rescue pumper in the past two years.Second dept. is right across the river from St. Louis.* They got a SAFER to add 3.* That allowed them to go from 54 career to 57 career working 24/48 covering 3 stations.Third dept in my county got a safer to hire 3.* They are combination with 24 (27 after safer) career covering 2 stations.* Their community is the most affluent and fastest growing in the county.* How can they demonstrate a financial need?* Then there is my dept.* We have 16 career including the chief that cover 2 stations and 40 square miles.* We are a combo dept. with 5 career per shift with POC having night duties if they are available.* We have no minimum staffing language so if three people call off we are stuck with 1 career at each station. We are at our maximum tax levy for a fire district in Illinois as well.* We did sign an auto aid agreement recently but that dept. staffs ONE career at each station, thats it. How can we get turned down 3 years in a row for SAFER while the above depts. get blessed?* rant over.
    There are basically 6 funding priorities that need to be met for hiring: Meeting national standards, training, call volume & population, FF health measures, Meeting the 4-FF Standard and Other priorities. The closer you meet these catergories the higher the consideration that you recieve.The highest priority is to departments that complete the project in the most economical manner.

    How many FF's are you looking to hire?

    A couple of red flags popped up based on what little info you provided about the department. First is the current manning issue of 5/shift. What happens if all 5 call out? What provisions would be set in place if you did get the additional FF's to prevent this from happening and reducing manpower to 1 in each station?

    The other issue is district funding. If the district is at the max. tax levy, how does it plan on meeting the share requirements for the life of the grant? Does the district meet the following to apply per the PG?

    The long-term nature of the eligible activities under these grants makes it essential that an applicant’s local governing body be involved in the application process. As such, each applicant must certify in their application that their governing body has been informed of the applicant’s intention to submit a SAFER grant request; that the local governing body acknowledges the commitment required for the grant if awarded; and that appropriate financial support will be secured for the applicant’s cost-sharing obligations. The commitment from the local governing body is critical to the success of any grant awarded under this program. As such, DHS may require that applicants provide documentation from the local governing body that affirms this support.

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    Default Do The Math, FIRST!

    Folks I want to caution everyone, and this is why I tell most of you that a SAFER application is not something that you start and put together in just the 30 day application period.


    A $761,000 2007 SAFER Award had to be turned down because someone did not do the math first, according to the article. Apparently the grant writer got a resolution signed off on and still they refused the award. I am sure the grant writer was overjoyed that the application succeeded and thought they would be a hero, only to have it thrown back in his face.

    This is a crying shame and is why I tell all of you to have a resolution passed with all the costs clearly represented to your governing boards so that we avoid this from happening. Looks like someone else will benfit for a late round award.

    Press release here: http://www.wacotrib.com/news/content...firegrant.html
    Last edited by ktb9780; 06-02-2008 at 03:47 PM.
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    Doesn't that just put a tear in your beer...

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    Funny, was just leafing through the LPs I got from the wife's grandmother and pulled out the 4 album Hank Sr set....

    But on subject a lot of people do get signoff from the powers that be and still have to turn it down. Look where the overall state of things is compared to this time last year when the 2007 app period was. Gas was under $2.50/gallon, foreclosures were limited to hotbeds (Vegas, FL, CA). Local economies have changed drastically in some areas.

    Although after reading the story looks like someone didn't pass on the full story of the obligation once you take the current stated budget into consideration. Big jump to double it in 5 years without taking raises and inflation into consideration.

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    You must be right BC79ER, I guess after a second look at the requirements and the changing economic situation they could not do it. I am sure the grant writer is sick about that one.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Another sad state of affairs reported today again in Falls River, MA where the state of the economy is forcing the Director of Public Safety into budget cuts which means he is probably also going to have to return his SAFER award.

    http://www.wickedlocal.com/fall-rive...in-grant-money

    A word to the wise in these uncertain times folks; check closely with projected losses to your local tax structure and or proposed budget cuts that may result. These can be deciding factors in acceptance of an award from SAFER if the cuts go to deep and reduce your operating budget below allowable limits for SAFER.

    Ironic isn't it? SAFER exists to help those struggling with economic conditions which keep them from complying with adequate staffing and as the economy sinks further into a full depression, it prevents us from even using the very grant which was designed to help us out.
    Kurt Bradley
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