1. #1
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    Default Anyone see anything NEW in the 2009 guide

    I have read through a 2-3 times.

    I see the info or lack of on the 210Million for Stations.
    As well as the vendor fairness and purchase/bid stuff.

    I did not see anythine new, Anyone else?

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    Even more emphasis on training.

    To me, there was even too much on the 210 million for the station grants, its a different grant program! I expect to see lots of information when that is released.

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    They changed a lot of priorities on things. Vehicle mounted exhaust systems are the lowest priority in that category now, generators took a nose dive.

    They did clarify that any regional project has to include why it's is critical for interoperability. Training and communications are more obvious, but the onus will be on the applicants to explain why other projects are regional and critical for interoperability. Like LDH for water supply, MDTs, accountability systems, etc. PPE and SCBA are still not allowed as regional.

    There is another change that's probably going to have a big effect across the industry. If it does happen, early in the week will hold more on that. Not my place to comment now, but it shouldn't be happening that's for sure.

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    Default question about new things

    I have a couple of questions about the conflict of interest paragraph.

    If I am reading this right, then if my dept. gets a grant for a truck and we want to buy a Pierce truck, then I can't get the Pierce salesperson to help me with my specs, and I can't put their spec out.

    Is that how you read this? How will my dept. ever be able to write a technical truck spec without help? This is very worrisome.

    Kurt,
    If you help, consult, write or in any way help with my grant application, will this prevent me from buying from Chief Suppy since you won't be able to bid on it?

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    Brian,
    How is the conflict of interest paragraph going to effect you since you are a partner with MES and provide free grant writing assistance to their customers? If I am reading the PG right, then if you help their customers, they won't be able to buy from MES.

    You have helped so many departments, I hope this doesn't keep you from helping us.

    I have never posted before, but I have been a regular reader of your blogs. I want you to know you have helped my dept. a lot.

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    another thought -

    If I am reading the PG right, if my dept. gets a grant, the Pierce salesperson (or any other truck salesperson) can't help me with my specs. If they do they could not bid on the truck.

    how will we ever get technical truck specs written without help?

    What about Kurt and Chief Supply? How will this effect them?

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    ATV's and other specialty access vehicles are eligible under "Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition"; must be requested as an "other" vehicle in the drop down menu.

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    IMO....Atv's, Brush Trucks, Quick Attack Vehicles shouldn't even be eligible vehicles......I still haven't figured that out.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    ATV's and other specialty access vehicles are eligible under "Firefighting Vehicle Acquisition"; must be requested as an "other" vehicle in the drop down menu.
    And "All vehicles requested under “other” will receive the lowest priority." (Guidance page 13, paragraph 1)... So I don't know if I'd waste an application attempting to get an ATV awarded.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    There is another change that's probably going to have a big effect across the industry. If it does happen, early in the week will hold more on that. Not my place to comment now, but it shouldn't be happening that's for sure.
    BC79er - This is the second thread that you've hinted this on... All we've been able to gather is that there is a "big" 2008 award going to be anounced next week that will upset tha apple cart? Is that an accurate assessment?
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

    George S. Patton

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDCar1 View Post
    BC79er - This is the second thread that you've hinted this on... All we've been able to gather is that there is a "big" 2008 award going to be anounced next week that will upset tha apple cart? Is that an accurate assessment?
    He just likes to get our curiosity up and mess with us a bit.

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    I wish I was messing since unfortunately it's not a good change in the short term. Might work out longer term but depends on other happenings.

    Steel, why wouldn't Brush Trucks and Quick Attacks be eligible? FDs covering 90+ % of the country need/have them. Per NFPA and ISO they're more needed than aerials since so much of the land mass of the country doesn't fit the needs definition on aerial devices. Houston and a few other large cities still have brush trucks. I mean if we want to talk not so needed let's run out HazMats, Air/Light, Command, Boats, and the rest that have a single digit % need. All those that be accomplished with trailers at a much lower cost and last longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    They changed a lot of priorities on things. Vehicle mounted exhaust systems are the lowest priority in that category now, generators took a nose dive.

    They did clarify that any regional project has to include why it's is critical for interoperability. Training and communications are more obvious, but the onus will be on the applicants to explain why other projects are regional and critical for interoperability. Like LDH for water supply, MDTs, accountability systems, etc. PPE and SCBA are still not allowed as regional.

    There is another change that's probably going to have a big effect across the industry. If it does happen, early in the week will hold more on that. Not my place to comment now, but it shouldn't be happening that's for sure.
    OK, I know this will seem stupid, but where are you reading the '09 Guidelines at? Did I miss a link that was posted here?

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    posted yesterday at firegrantsupport.com. I posted a whole new thread on it with the link, and added it to the other forum threads asking about where they were.

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    not saying they aren't needed...we have one and could use another...but, strictly going by financial need, most if not all departments can afford a workable brush truck... there are some $80,000 - $110,000 brush trucks running around out there that are out of line....we need a quint/aerial, now that is an apparatus that most all departments need help getting....

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    True, but that's the cost benefit angle. For the price of that quint @ $600k that could be 3 basic pumpers or tankers, or 10 brush trucks. Obviously the coverage is better on 3-10 departments getting awards and most times adds up to more residents, square miles, FFs, etc than the single aerial award would cover.

    Same reason I tell people that some things are such a long grant shot you have to buy them and then use those costs as proof you can't get something else. Until the stimulus most departments didn't even have a grant program they were qualified to apply for stations/renovations, so paying for buildings is a reason that one can't buy trucks. Buying an aerial which then keeps the department from buying gear, SCBA, etc, because there were no/little opportunities for the big truck is the main financial reasoning in those apps. I have quite a few that have trucks and stations handled because the costs on those are so high that grant options are minimal, and in the 10 year delay sometimes to start a truck order the prices could go up real quick, like with the latest NFPA 1901 changes. They can't afford to wait for pricing to dang near double on apparatus prices or construction costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDCar1 View Post
    BC79er - This is the second thread that you've hinted this on... All we've been able to gather is that there is a "big" 2008 award going to be anounced next week that will upset tha apple cart? Is that an accurate assessment?
    How big of an award?

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    It's not an award. I wish it was. And for no one else to mention it tells me no one is reading the entire PG from the beginning because it's not that far in...

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    Brian,

    Are you refering to page ii ?

    "... it has become apparent that some Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) recipients have not adhered, or are not totally adhering, to the proper procurement requirements when spending grant funds. Anything less than full compliance with Federal procurement policies jeopardizes the integrity of the grant as well as the grant program."
    "There's no such thing as a bad day,
    Some are just better than others." JFR 1914-1997

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    RIght idea, but keep going.

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    "In order to ensure objective vendor performance and eliminate a real or apparent unfair competitive advantage, anyone that develops or drafts specifications, requirements, statements of work (including the grant application), invitations for bids, and/or requests for proposals shall be excluded from competing for such procurements."

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    Hmmm, I am thinking it has something to do with performing audits and an attempt to audit everyone, but can't see that being possible with the already immense workload the FPS people have.

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    Additionally, if a vendor or manufacturer drafts, writes, edits, critiques, or provides any direct consultation on a grant application that vendor or manufacturer cannot submit a bid for that purchase. Likewise, if a vendor or manufacturer drafts, writes, edits, critiques, or provides any direct consultation on a specification to be used for the solicitation for the purchase of a specific product, that vendor or manufacturer cannot submit a bid for that purchase.

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    Points for Bugle. What this means is any grant resource that works directly for a vendor or manufacturer will constitute a conflict of interest and is subject to the above ruling.

    We fit a loophole because we are a grant writing company even though we have relationships with vendors, and as the PG says in the next paragraph grant writers are agents for the applicants and no conflict as long as agents aren't involved in the bid process, which we never have been.

    The ruling was supposed to be that as long as bidding was done legally it does not matter who works on the grant. Apparently, that didn't happen. While this does nothing to my company I think it is a very bad interpretation of the open procurement laws and believe it is completely wrong and it should be changed, but don't see it happening for this year. Hopefully we can change it for 2010.

    This means that if a vendor or manufacturer's direct employee gives you a sample narrative or bid specs that constitutes a conflict and they can't bid on an award for that department otherwise DHS will not transfer payment or pull the award.

    So the bad news is what is probably coming in the next couple of days related to these changes. I hope it doesn't happen but some things look inevitable.

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    There is nothing in the Code of Federal Regulations that says companies cannot provide grant assistance. As long as everyone follows the procurement process and doesn't rig the bids, I don't see how they can stop companies from assisting departments. Sounds like someone at AFG is trying to create their own rules.

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