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  1. #1
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    Default Refusing to take a reduction.

    For everyone out there and obviously the Guru's, has anyone ever refused to take the reduction (after arguing it unsuccessfully) and not gotten the grant?







    Let me say:
    1. I understand why they are watching prices.
    2. We have accepted the reduction in the past.
    3. If we were to get another reduction we would probably take it also.
    4. I know that A LOT of departments have successfully argued the reduction.


  2. #2
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batt403 View Post
    For everyone out there and obviously the Guru's, has anyone ever refused to take the reduction (after arguing it unsuccessfully) and not gotten the grant?







    Let me say:
    1. I understand why they are watching prices.
    2. We have accepted the reduction in the past.
    3. If we were to get another reduction we would probably take it also.
    4. I know that A LOT of departments have successfully argued the reduction.
    I'm not an expert , but we were faced with a reduction last year and before responding to our 10 Q's we talked to the sales reps and made a determination of what $$$ we HAD to spend to get the scope of the requested projected completed. We made our argument to the grant specialist with a calm demeanor and facts of the cost to do a complete solution for the project. They reinstated the majority of the reduction and we made up an additional 5% in order to complete it. Any way you look at it if the program is going to only fund 90% of the project instead of 95% , it's still a great deal for us and we wouldn't be able to do it without that federal money.

    I don't think if you refuse to accept a reduction , it would be looked upon very favorably by the committee that gives out the dollars. They may well decide to just give your potential award to a needy department that scored
    just a little lower than you and is willing to accept a little less $$$.

    Just my personal thoughts on the matter.

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    I haven't had anyone refuse to take a reduction so not sure myself. Lots of not happy about it people initially, but like island said 90% off isn't as great at 95% but sure beats paying 100%. If you really need the stuff then anything less than 100% is a good thing, so normally I talk people down from mad into it beats getting a denial mode.

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    I would stongly echo bc79er's response as well. Anything over 50% is a win-win situation for your department and your taxpayers. Although I would certainly not consider taking a reduction that would not allow you to absolutely fail to complete the scope of a project, you need to keep in mind that if they are offerring a reduction they are also saying we understand it is not "optimal" for you either and they are not going to gig you on that. On the other hand, looking a gift horse in the mouth is usually not a good idea and tends to read as being greedy, not needy.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    I am in that position as we speak. I still think I should be awarded the exhaust system and feel that it was unjustly cut. however, instead of doing something dumb, I stayed away from the whole mess until I thought it thru clearly and chose to accept the skid unit. That will be a direct safety advantage to my crews and I owe them that.
    And if the taxpayers only get half of the equipment for free, then they are still much better off.

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    Kurt,

    I know that this is not going to be a popular road to take, but I'll take it.

    I think that we as a fire service can make by with A LOT less than what most of us apply for, or on what we purchase on a day to day basis.
    Let's use for example; A department has refused to buy an apparatus with air conditioning, stating the a/c is not needed to fight fires and does not benefit the pumping or water carrying capability of the truck. This department is not in the North where one could argue “the weather does not dictate the a/c” this department is in Missouri. Although, this train of thought is not a popular opinion with me or any of the folks that ride in these trucks in the summer, it is correct. Now everyone can make numerous arguments for the A/C and some of them are very good, the point is, it is NOT necessary to fight fires.

    Back to the subject, we had a grant for a gear/hose (AFG 2007) dryer get reduced to the point that it limited the purchase to one specific manufacturer in order to stay within the scope of the grant. This reduction was argued and it clearly stated in the narrative what was needed and why this type of item was needed. In the end, like everyone else, the reduction was taken.

    I have mixed feelings about this subject; I know that we (the fire service) have to be limited by the program. I also think that if a grant was applied for, the need was shown, the application scored high enough to make it past the computer, the peer review and made it into the position to be awarded, then we, should not be placed into the position of having to take some of the drastic reductions or take nothing.

    If AFG is going to reduce you to one specific manufacturer (and essentially they are, by reducing some of the amounts so drastically) then why not just turn the program into a copy of CEDAP.

    From the answers so far, I don't think anyone has said no to AFG and no we will probably not be the one's to test the water.
    Last edited by batt403; 12-16-2008 at 12:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaeld327 View Post
    I am in that position as we speak. I still think I should be awarded the exhaust system and feel that it was unjustly cut. however, instead of doing something dumb, I stayed away from the whole mess until I thought it thru clearly and chose to accept the skid unit. That will be a direct safety advantage to my crews and I owe them that.
    And if the taxpayers only get half of the equipment for free, then they are still much better off.
    Good choice guy and a wise one.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by batt403 View Post
    Kurt,

    I know that this is not going to be a popular road to take, but I'll take it.

    I think that we as a fire service can make by with A LOT less than what most of us apply for, or on what we purchase on a day to day basis.
    Let's use for example; A department has refused to buy an apparatus with air conditioning, stating the a/c is not needed to fight fires and does not benefit the pumping or water carrying capability of the truck. This department is not in the North where one could argue “the weather does not dictate the a/c” this department is in Missouri. Although, this train of thought is not a popular opinion with me or any of the folks that ride in these trucks in the summer, it is correct. Now everyone can make numerous arguments for the A/C and some of them are very good, the point is, it is NOT necessary to fight fires.

    Back to the subject, we had a grant for a gear/hose (AFG 2007) dryer get reduced to the point that it limited the purchase to one specific manufacturer in order to stay within the scope of the grant. This reduction was argued and it clearly stated in the narrative what was needed and why this type of item was needed. In the end, like everyone else, the reduction was taken.

    I have mixed feelings about this subject; I know that we (the fire service) have to be limited by the program. I also think that if a grant was applied for, the need was shown, the application scored high enough to make it past the computer, the peer review and made it into the position to be awarded, then we, should not be placed into the position of having to take some of the drastic reductions or take nothing.

    If AFG is going to reduce you to one specific manufacturer (and essentially they are, by reducing some of the amounts so drastically) then why not just turn the program into a copy of CEDAP.

    From the answers so far, I don't think anyone has said no to AFG and no we will probably not be the one's to test the water.
    Your opinion is duly noted and I certainly understand it, as it does have some valid issues to it. What I would suggest is that if you have such a strong opinion regarding it, that you work on trying to get the rules changed. Talk to your Congressman, write a letter to the sister organizations that comprise the rules committee on AFG. Change does not occur without dissent and I have at times dissented on other issues and practiced what I preach here. Sometimes they listended, sometimes they did not. I deal with a lot of grant programs both State and Federal and I still contend that, although not perfect by a long shot, the AFG program is still one of the finest, fairest and well adminsitered programs being run by DHS or the Feds altogther and I certainly hope it continues.

    I have always taken the position that if I could recover even one tax dollar back for the citizens of my community thorugh a grant, then I was doing them a service and I was always trying to serve the needs of the community and my department members.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Already working on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by batt403 View Post
    Let's use for example; A department has refused to buy an apparatus with air conditioning, stating the a/c is not needed to fight fires and does not benefit the pumping or water carrying capability of the truck. This department is not in the North where one could argue “the weather does not dictate the a/c” this department is in Missouri. Although, this train of thought is not a popular opinion with me or any of the folks that ride in these trucks in the summer, it is correct. Now everyone can make numerous arguments for the A/C and some of them are very good, the point is, it is NOT necessary to fight fires.
    I'll assume you're talking commerical chassis. Explain how you ordered a current chassis without air conditioning. A/C was an expensive option in 1965, option delete in 1985 that might "save" you some $. Today is integral part for the HVAC system and if a sales rep cuts the price quoted by $5 just to make you happy he is just trying to make your hobby horse smile. Get a new hobby horse issue. (Custom cab - yes add $5-6k for AC different situation).

    Had heat exhaustion in the summer? That A/C will make for useful rehab until the meatwagon arrives.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    I'll assume you're talking commerical chassis. Explain how you ordered a current chassis without air conditioning. A/C was an expensive option in 1965, option delete in 1985 that might "save" you some $. Today is integral part for the HVAC system and if a sales rep cuts the price quoted by $5 just to make you happy he is just trying to make your hobby horse smile. Get a new hobby horse issue. (Custom cab - yes add $5-6k for AC different situation).

    Had heat exhaustion in the summer? That A/C will make for useful rehab until the meatwagon arrives.
    neiowa,

    All custom cab trucks, 1991 Pierce Arrow with telesquirt, 1994 Pierce Arrow engine, 1995 E-One Cyclone?? with telesquirt and 1999 HME Engine.

    I did not order any of these trucks, my employer has ordered ALL of these trucks including the 1999 without a/c. The apparatus committee did get the last truck, 2007, with a/c, using the argument that "if we are so concerned about firefighter re-hab then why are we overheating these guys before we get them to the scene". This is the first and only engine we have that has a/c and this is a career department with four stations, five trucks and 7.X million dollar budget with $0.00 in debt.

    This was a point in response to what Kurt had said about "tends to read as being greedy not needy", it is all up to interpretation on what is needed in ones own eyes.
    I also stated, "Although, this train of thought is not a popular opinion with me or any of the folks that ride in these trucks in the summer, it is correct. Now everyone can make numerous arguments for the A/C and some of them are very good, the point is, it is NOT necessary to fight fires".

    This new 07 truck also has multi-plex, hydraulic generator and do I dare say aluminum wheels

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    In terms of rehab A/C sure as heck is. Don't know too many that knock out one bottle and then head right back in with the next one. Back in the younger days I think I did, but PA wasn't as hot as it is here in TX. Doesn't make what I did then any smarter, but point being gotta rest up and if there's no breeze or shade then it takes longer to rest up for the next go-round. Involves more resources that way, need twice as many bodies if each FF only takes 1 bottle's worth of interior work.

    Of course when I left MO this morning I think heat is more on the mind when it's 15 degrees out and snowing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    In terms of rehab A/C sure as heck is. Don't know too many that knock out one bottle and then head right back in with the next one. Back in the younger days I think I did, but PA wasn't as hot as it is here in TX. Doesn't make what I did then any smarter, but point being gotta rest up and if there's no breeze or shade then it takes longer to rest up for the next go-round. Involves more resources that way, need twice as many bodies if each FF only takes 1 bottle's worth of interior work.

    Of course when I left MO this morning I think heat is more on the mind when it's 15 degrees out and snowing.
    Knew that either you or Kurt were around with the snow and sleet.

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    I'd like to reiterate what was said earlier. When faced with a reduction, we went back to our bids and estimates, and provided a detailed breakdown of the costs.
    We included the 4 other bids that were $23K to $62K higher than the lowest bid that we chose.
    We then submitted to the Grants Management the revised proposal that if they can not fund the requested amount, that we be releived of the full spec as detailed in the narrative.
    Specifically, we stated that if they need to cut $30K from the cost of the brush truck, we would need their permission to delete CAFS, and go with a simpler foam injection system.
    After further review, they chose to award the full amount.

    I honestly beleive that if we didn't have the supporting data, along with all the other higher bids, that we would have been cut as well.

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    When we purchased a pumper in 1999, the sales rep said in 2000 that a/c would be standard, and when we ordered our new mini this year, (4400 Int Chassis) he said it would cost extra to have it taken off. There are more savings out there if you are willing to give up the bells and whistles and just get the truck you need and not the show piece that so many are asking for. I have been fortunate enough to help seven departments put new trucks in their house, and they are doing a great job. We have replaced trucks ranging from a 1957 model up to a 1978 model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by batt403 View Post
    Kurt,

    I know that this is not going to be a popular road to take, but I'll take it.

    Back to the subject, we had a grant for a gear/hose (AFG 2007) dryer get reduced to the point that it limited the purchase to one specific manufacturer in order to stay within the scope of the grant. This reduction was argued and it clearly stated in the narrative what was needed and why this type of item was needed. In the end, like everyone else, the reduction was taken.
    I really enjoy reading these threads when everyone can speak an opinion on a subject without people getting defensive and upset.

    My department has also faced the dreaded reductions. And I understand that it may seem like we are being forced to purchase a certain item, but I disagree with the idea of running it like CEDAP. There is nothing that restricts us from purchasing the more expensive item. We just have to add the extra amount to it. We ran in to this with our tanker project. The aluminum wheels on this truck will be the first set our department has ever had. Problem was, we had to find the way to go above and beyond the match money that is required. Took another sub sale and some talking with our auxilliary, but we are getting a unit that is pretty close to what we want. I just couldnt justify the extra 1300 for the LED lightbar. I guess what I am saying is that our department is so much better off now than what it was before this program. I get frustrated at times, but it seems that there is always a way to work everything out for the best.

    Stay Safe Out There!!

    Kelly

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaeld327 View Post
    I am in that position as we speak. I still think I should be awarded the exhaust system and feel that it was unjustly cut. however, instead of doing something dumb, I stayed away from the whole mess until I thought it thru clearly and chose to accept the skid unit. That will be a direct safety advantage to my crews and I owe them that.
    And if the taxpayers only get half of the equipment for free, then they are still much better off.
    Not to antagonize you , But if you read the PG it tells you that unless your station is manned 24/7 with living quarters, you will rate a lower score than those that are. I think we would all "LIKE" to have the latest & greatest systems that are available from the salesmen out there. The question the grant folks are looking at is "do they really have the need and justification to fund this expensive system in a part time usage building that does not have living quarters."

    We would like to have an exhaust capture system to help reduce the smell and noxious fumes in the station also. But we realized that we don't qualify under the grant program guidelines so we went with items that are.

    One of the issues i have with the program is that there are departments out there with 30 -40 yo engines running on a wing & a prayer with turnout gear as old or hand me downs, that don't get help but the guys with new gear ,packs & 2 q's bolted to the giant chrome bumper on their new 500k engine complain that they want more from the feds. It should be balanced out so that until every FF in this country has the basic life safety equipment there are no funds spent for " nice to have" items" .
    Last edited by islandfire03; 12-17-2008 at 08:15 AM. Reason: spelling correction

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    Quote Originally Posted by imafireman View Post
    I really enjoy reading these threads when everyone can speak an opinion on a subject without people getting defensive and upset.
    Amen. Probably the only site on the forums where people treat each others as professionals and respect each other no matter the opinions.

    We have been subjected to a number of reductions over the years. Always accepted the reduction and found other ways to complete the project.

    Our 2004 grant took the biggest hit in regard to a reduction. 50% of the requested SCBA cylinders were cut (20+). This was a candidate for an appeal, but sometimes opportunities come knocking at the door. A state equipment grant became available and the ability to purchase SCBA cylinders at a $150 discount to the state bid (the company bought a truck load of cylinders that were at the FDIC) got the project completed with out an appeal.

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