1. ## Cost Benefit

I know it's early..
I'm getting my ducks in a row for this years AFG Grant.
I'm trying to find a good Cost/Benefit number to stay around.

Last year the cost/benefit per person for our tanker award was \$1.06.
This year when I ran the numbers for what were thinking about requesting, it came out to \$1.31 per person.

Is that still a good number to stay at?

Thanks

2. Originally Posted by PVFD100
I know it's early..
I'm getting my ducks in a row for this years AFG Grant.
I'm trying to find a good Cost/Benefit number to stay around.

Last year the cost/benefit per person for our tanker award was \$1.06.
This year when I ran the numbers for what were thinking about requesting, it came out to \$1.31 per person.

Is that still a good number to stay at?

Thanks
The figure is creeping up. A ROT is a cost of \$1.00 or less per person, but I have had grants awarded as high as a \$1.62/person. The other figure you should look at is the frequency of use vs. cost.

project cost/(average call volume X useful service life)

ex. \$250,000 (300 x 20) = \$41.67

The ROT is \$200 or less.

3. Increase your contribution above the 5%. Play with exactly how much to pay yourselves, but if you get the C/B to around \$1.00 and in addition you show that you are doing everything possible to fund as much as possible, that looks great in peer review. Plus it leaves a bit of money in the "system" for someone else.

4. How are you calculating this cost/benefit? Typically, I have seen the number represented as a Return On Investment (ROI). You want this number to be greater than 1, the bigger the better.

5. Originally Posted by ScareCrow57
How are you calculating this cost/benefit? Typically, I have seen the number represented as a Return On Investment (ROI). You want this number to be greater than 1, the bigger the better.
Per person cost:

project cost/(population x useful service life)

ex. \$250,000/(1,000 x 20)= \$12.50 per person

6. With all due respect, and nothing against the theory, in the four grants I have been successful at (scba & gear, hoses, and two trucks) I have never calculated let alone mentioning a cost benefit in dollars. I have compared cost benefit to potential firefighters and public saved and morale. The life of a firefighter has no pricetag that could be calculated.
Just my frank opinion.

7. Originally Posted by 4caster
With all due respect, and nothing against the theory, in the four grants I have been successful at (scba & gear, hoses, and two trucks) I have never calculated let alone mentioning a cost benefit in dollars. I have compared cost benefit to potential firefighters and public saved and morale. The life of a firefighter has no pricetag that could be calculated.
Just my frank opinion.
How true. I do the same thing also. The key during the PR is to keep them focused on the narrative without distractions. By mentioning a per person or frequency cost, keeps them from stopping to figure that out.

The issue will come, if the application does not get past the computer. The only figure that we can change/influnence (even though you do not see it) is the cost/benefit ratio. Are there too many items? Meaning that the project might be split over a couple of years to drop the project cost which in turn reduces the ratio. Can the department put more funds to the project? Instead of the required match ex. 5%, the department funds 15% reducing the ratio.

8. First of all, congrats 4caster on the grants, the other departments in our county should be contacting you for advice......anyway, all this talk about cost-benefits, and such, are insignificant imo, we have received 3 grants and are in the holding pattern for a 4th and i have yet to mention a cost-benefit in any narrative....and....we have yet to receive a call from any senator about an award, like other departments.......mabye there are 2 different AFG programs.....

9. I have written three successful AFG applications. Two were for equipment, SCBA and one for an apparatus. I am in the holding pattern for a tanker for my department right now. I have never mentioned specific numbers in my narrative. But I did show the reasons why that we needed to replace our airpacks and turnout gear for our department. The other two grants were for a sister department about 20 minutes north of mine. They received equipment grant in 06 and an apparatus in 07. I think if I don’t get a tanker for my department, they are going to have a Lynching party. LOL. Like I said we are still in the running this year for tanker, the waiting is driving me crazy.

10. The four that we were denied had no direct cost for the Cost/Benefit. The two that we received ('07 & '08) did. I think that we'll stick with success!

As a peer reviewer last year, it was definitely something that I looked for. That said, I also looked for not JUST C/B in terms of \$\$\$, but also in terms of the established AFG goals of reducing injuries and saving lives and property.

11. With that said, I will stick with including the cost benefit. Having a former reviewer say this should justify the cost benefit of including it!!! Is it Friday yet, cause I think I am talking in circles????

Kelly

12. Thinking about the cost benefit allows you to also guage how the grant will score in computer review as well. Cost benefit is figrued by the computer to some extent. Addtionally I think the point is illustrated well by DFD who, as he mentioned was a peer reviewer, and cost benefit crossed his mind.

Most people believe that you have to convince 2 out of 3 reviewers at peer when in essence you really only have to convince the one reviewer, who swings the vote in your favor. If that reviewer, like DFD, happens to be a number cruncher or wants to see that data and it is not provided, you have left a question in his mind and a chance that the vote goes south for you.

Psychologically a human mind remembers the last thing it reads and if you plant that seed, by providing the information, that may just be the one seed that sprouts for you in the form of a grant award.

When I conciously started thinking about cost benefit in regards to truck awrads, I went from getting 16-18 trucks funded per year to more than 45 a year being funded. Proof enough for me that this is most certainly on some of the reviewers minds!

13. Just for my own general knowledge, how do you figure Return on Investment? Is this the same thing as ROT which was mentioned earlier?

14. Originally Posted by Not2L84U2
Just for my own general knowledge, how do you figure Return on Investment? Is this the same thing as ROT which was mentioned earlier?
The ROI is a financial or investment tool. Not sure how it would be aplied to the AFG, but in its' simplist form it's the gain/cost of the investment.

ex. \$1,000 investment; \$50 interest (gain) 50/1000=5% ROI

The higher the % the better the return. Again, how you can apply this to the AFG, I'm not sure.

ROT (Rule of Thumb)

15. Originally Posted by onebugle
The ROI is a financial or investment tool. Not sure how it would be aplied to the AFG, but in its' simplist form it's the gain/cost of the investment.

ex. \$1,000 investment; \$50 interest (gain) 50/1000=5% ROI

The higher the % the better the return. Again, how you can apply this to the AFG, I'm not sure.

ROT (Rule of Thumb)
Thanks Andy!

16. Originally Posted by imafireman
With that said, I will stick with including the cost benefit. Having a former reviewer say this should justify the cost benefit of including it!!! Is it Friday yet, cause I think I am talking in circles????

Kelly
I try to be equal opportunity and talk in circles every day of the week.

As for cost/benefit--i like to be able to quantify for the same reasons mentioned. It also helps to be able to paint a picture with words on how safety is improved. NONE of these is of value if you don't have the need to pass into peer review.

earl

17. Since we are on this subject, what is the "ideal" amount the peer reviewers are looking for? We were awarded last year on a PPE/SCBA grant and nothing about that was in the application but our apparatus application has been kicked out last 4 years, so anything could help us in that field.

18. As someone that reviewed apparatus last year, I can only tell you what I keyed on... so, from a reviewers stand-point, here's some tips:

In the B/C the computer looks at what your numbers are, very mathmatical, and unless you fib about your numbers (you WILL get caught if you do), very cut and dry, as your numbers are what they are. In the narrative, you are past the computer, and now you get to "tell your story". Tell me about your Mutual Aid and Shared Municipal Services agreements. Your population is what it is, but in the narrative you get to tell me about the daytime influx of workers into your city, or the pass-through commuter traffic. How many people will this new apparatus REALLY benefit.

The biggest point losses that I graded last year were for departments that either weren't clear about what they wanted to do with the apparatus being replaced or just plain SAID that they intended to keep it in service (an AFG critical no-no). Then there were the departments that said that they had financial need because they only had an \$XX,XXX annual budget. But they didn't explain where the \$XX,XXX was going! List your expenses! Heat, lights, insurance, fuel, debt service, etc... SHOW ME that you can't afford a truck! (And I'm not even from the Show Me state!) If you can replace two with one, that's even better, even if the second vehicle replaced isn't "front line", and is only an old pick-up or utility vehicle with it's own safety and maintenance problems.

Then there were the departments that said that the vehicle that was being replaced was "unsafe" because it was a 1962. How did I know that it wasn't in classic, show-room condition? I didn't! Unless you told me about the rotted floor boards that the drivers seat is falling through, the lack of seatbelts and enclosed seated riding positions, or the failing brake system that since you can no longer obtain parts, has been welded back together by one of the members. Tie your safety problems into a bundle with established safety regulations, laws, and standards. Use NFPA, DOT, Motor Freight standards, WHATEVER standards help to justify your point!

Finally, tie it all together with a final statement of what will happen if the grant isn't funded, and what will happen if the grant IS funded! Leave me feeling good about doing the right thing in funding your apparatus!

You are fortunate in getting to present your case in a narative like this. It's like a Defense Attorney presening his summation, WITHOUT having to worry about what the Prosecutor may say in his summation. You get to say the last word before I decide, so put away your pencil and get out your box of 132 colors of Crayola and color me a pictuture that I appreciate, remember, and WANT to fund!

Off soapbox, flame away!

How's that for a Readers Digest version of Kurt or Brian?

19. DFD, could not have said it better. I might have to use that little "closing arguement"!

20. Originally Posted by ktb9780
DFD, could not have said it better. I might have to use that little "closing arguement"!
You are certainly entitled, Sir, after everything that I got from you two weekends ago in Bushnell's Basin! Be safe, Brother!

21. As an apparatus reviewer last year and after todays e-mails read, going back again this year. I have to totally agree with DFDCar1. Don't blah, blah me to death. Sell your story with legitimate, pertinant information. BS ing is not gonna cut it. The reviewers are smart and in many cases, have been in the grant writers seat as well.

22. You want to "paint a picture" for the PR while they are reading your narrative. Be concise and to the point. If you make a statement in the narrative apply a litmus test to it. Ask yourself "how, why, what, when or where". If the statement answers those q's then you probably explained yourself. If not elaborate.

But remember this;

"Just the facts, ma'am"

23. ## MAX C/B that may be awarded?

I know we don't want to beat this one to death, but I've tweaked my project down to the best of my ability. I don't think I have enough wiggle room to get to around \$1.00pp. Currently, I'm at \$2.08, and that's with 'offering' to pay 22% instead of the 5%. I'm pretty confident that if I make it past the computer, my narrative will be favorably reviewed. My big question, though, is will this make it past the computer???

I'm planning on asking for \$125,000.00 from AFG (and kicking in the remainder, up around \$35,000.00) for a 2,000 gallon tanker to replace my 1977 1500 gallon tanker (underpowered gas engine, bad air brakes, bad manual dump, etc.) that would be permenately be removed from fire service. I'm still working on estimates and such, but the figures are such...

Any ideas if I have a shot at the computer, or suggestions on how to polish it to make that blasted computer happy? Thanks all.

24. What is your call volume? You may be better off placing your frequency of use cost benefit here. If it is better, it may outweigh the per person cost benefit. I believe that is found by taking the cost of the grant divided by the number of calls. Take that answer and divide it by the 25 years of service life. Of course this will not help you past the computer.

Kelly

25. Well, I have to do some figures to be exact but I've got an avg of 51 by my last 3 years data. I cover approximately 20 square miles, with about 2,000 people (give or take) Extremely rural: the cows outnumber the residents (I'd be doing GREAT if I could count them as well!!!) Again, my numbers are poor whatever way I calculate it... I'm beginning to hate the FEMA computer even though I neve met it!

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