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    Default Who's been talking to Janet?

    Come on fess up, who's been talking to Janet Napolitano?

    " Napolitano said that feedback she has received from fire departments and local governments indicates that staffing is a more pressing concern than equipment and training."

    I would doubt any small rural departments would be in on this. Another Washington disconnect.

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    No....actually they got this one right....paid and volunteer. Maybe not for your town...but far and wide many cities are facing layoffs and reduced manning,,,,and many volunteer numbers are dwindling do to training requirements and the level of commitment needed to staff a functional fire district........I think they are on the money with this one.
    IACOJ Member

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    Default Janet

    I always thought our volunteer dept. had an average of 2500 residents and comprised over 72% of all fire depts. in the US. If true this will never help us. Maybe split the grant funds in half but let depts. decide on only one grant, safer or not both.
    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by penman View Post
    I always thought our volunteer dept. had an average of 2500 residents and comprised over 72% of all fire depts. in the US. If true this will never help us. Maybe split the grant funds in half but let depts. decide on only one grant, safer or not both.
    Ed
    penman i agree fully as stated in other posts in here the safer thing is not the great help it was thought to be. if they can not aford to pay now at the end of the safer award where will they get the money to keep them hired?
    Randy Meyer Chief S.T.F.P.D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefmeyer301 View Post
    penman i agree fully as stated in other posts in here the safer thing is not the great help it was thought to be. if they can not aford to pay now at the end of the safer award where will they get the money to keep them hired?
    We would have to close the schools, our largest budget item by far. Maybe then we could ask for a safer school grant. Not funny but you have to keep a sense of humor or just sit in a corner and cry. Volunteers feel for our full time brothers who face layoffs and understaffing. But by cutting the AFG grants we are again forced to use old, tired and unsafe equipment. Of course we have fewer fires but we at least need the basics, not the fanciest nor the most expensive but 1965 vehicles just don't make it safely on today's roads. We can't let these grants become a volunteer versus fulltime versus call or we all lose and politics wins again. One man's rant.
    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by penman View Post
    We would have to close the schools, our largest budget item by far. Maybe then we could ask for a safer school grant. Not funny but you have to keep a sense of humor or just sit in a corner and cry. Volunteers feel for our full time brothers who face layoffs and understaffing. But by cutting the AFG grants we are again forced to use old, tired and unsafe equipment. Of course we have fewer fires but we at least need the basics, not the fanciest nor the most expensive but 1965 vehicles just don't make it safely on today's roads. We can't let these grants become a volunteer versus fulltime versus call or we all lose and politics wins again. One man's rant.
    Ed
    Very well said 'Penman', but you forgot to include one other item with respects to declining volunteer membership, it is harder to recruit volunteers to departments that have outdated and old looking equipment. Especially PPE's and vehicles/apparatus. It is much harder to acquire fresh blood if your tools and trucks match the old blood. No one wants to join a losing team or step on a sinking boat. But I'm sure Janet understands this. LOL

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    She's hearing that because no one else is speaking up. Of course most larger municipalities have lobbyists that handle the face time so of course the fire service is represented entirely by a small minority of people. I have more departments with paid personnel where the hurt is equipment and vehicles because they've done the responsible thing and hired enough people to make staffing metrics.

    And like Randy mentioned, who's going to pay in Year 6? Just like the COPS program there will be pink slips galore when the obligations end for a lot of departments. Can't see a reasonable person thinking that E-town NJ is going to be able to keep all 64 from their award way back, knowing the economy in that area surprised they still haven't defaulted. I know a bunch of departments that already said to the people they hired that they're out in 5 if things don't pick up. Even with the 2 years of free money I have a pile of SAFER apps from past years to resubmit but no one can get permission for a 5 year financial obligation for personnel.

    If they want to create jobs, and I mean American jobs and sustain the economy keep the money in equipment, vehicles, and stations. They're all American made products, and they will keep more people employed for a longer period of time than SAFER ever will. It's something we can continue to export to other nations as finished products as these manufacturers expand. We're in this mess 1) because banks had to give loans to people that never repaid any other loan in their life, and 2) we don't make anything here but instead ship raw materials overseas only to buy back the inflated price finished product. Simple economics.

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    screw it I'm writing her.

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    Well just one more time big union and paid departments get ther way over small rural dept.s that don't even have money to buy equipment thats not 30 yrs old already.

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    I don't know where this person got her information from but the slowing economy must not be present to her. Many states and counties are facing budget problems and don't have enough money to support these extra people. Many governments are having people take days off with no pay. The money hopefully will go back into equipment and vehicles if we get ahold of our senators and congress people and let them know what we think. These people help us get grants now they need to make sure the money stays there so they look like they did something worth while again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    screw it I'm writing her.
    Secretary Janet Napolitano
    Department of Homeland Security
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    Washington, DC 20528

    Maybe we can educate her

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterboy1 View Post
    Come on fess up, who's been talking to Janet Napolitano?

    " Napolitano said that feedback she has received from fire departments and local governments indicates that staffing is a more pressing concern than equipment and training."

    Political BS. Payback for the MILLIONS donated to the dem party that got them elected. Big "Labor"

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Political BS. Payback for the MILLIONS donated to the dem party that got them elected. Big "Labor"
    Bingo neiowa!
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Political BS. Payback for the MILLIONS donated to the dem party that got them elected. Big "Labor"
    jam24u is right. Please don't get into the Dems/Rep game and finger pointing. This will just sidetrack the problem and turn off many others. Take a minute from the forum and E-mail your legislators and get your side heard.
    Ed

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    "They're all American made products"


    Think again. Mostly sold by American companies by American salesmen.

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    Last I checked I watched trucks being made in a factory here, especially customs and even commercial chassis. Only 1 gear company that I know of that's not US. Fittings and hose made here last I checked. Haven't read any tags lately on things but sure seemed like a lot of Made in the USA on things.

    Not everything is, but same difference, the companies are all American anyway so profits stay here, keep Americans employed, and if they do expand and need more salespeople, office staff, or even construction contractors to handle additional office space or storage those all make for US jobs in all those fields too. Beats putting the grant programs together to help irrigation in 3rd world countries. Nothing wrong with helping out people, but I say aim for taking care of our own first then worrying about places with other flags being saluted.

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    I'll be honest. Manpower is more important than new equipment. I have adequate gear, trucks, hose, tools, etc. I don't have the people to use them.

    Granted, SAFER is not going to change that 1 bit. My town played the COPS program and got bit. They won't make that mistake again.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I understand manpower is critical for the paid departments, but the volunteer departments need the equipment. The grants should not be reduced just becauase the lobbyists of the careeer departments demand the money be put in for the SAFER grant. Both grants need to be looked at without the political BS and everyone in Washington would realize that both of them are equally important to the fire service. Fund both of them but don't screw the volunteer departments.

    Mark W
    New Hartford Volunteer Fire

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    True... staffing is vital....
    .. even though the majority of firefighters are still volunteers...

    So can someone please explain how a short term staffing grant will fix anything?

    If a department can't afford the staff now, what is going to magically happen in the next four years that makes them think they will be able to pay for them then?

    This is starting to sound like IAFF has a stronger lobby than NVFC.

    Hey.. let's just raise everyone's taxes, and let the federal government run all the fire departments... there's no way THAT could fail....

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    I have 4 new members with no turnout gear. They are volunteers. I will lose them, meaning less manpower, not because they aren't getting paid but because they can't participate in training or calls because they have no gear.

    How many departments have been turning down SAFER grants because they realize that they are a short term fix to a long term problem? A lot that I have seen thus far.

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    That's why apps have gone down over the past few years with SAFER, it's not the magic fix that anyone thought it would be. Short-term thinking kills more projects than Union Carbide did fish.

    Plus people seem to be forgetting that if the department did layoffs or has current vacancies that they must be filled on the local dime before SAFER positions can be funded. One of mine had to hire 3 to fill the vacancies and show DHS the payroll records before they were allowed to move on hiring the other 4 from the SAFER award. Layoffs will kick out a lot of people. It's not just free money and that's what people forget first about the SAFER grant, that it is temporary and the calculate is 66% of the funding over all 5 years is local money. Fed share only covers 34% of the overall costs for that time period. It's meant as a hand up not a hand out.

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    This discussion is good, but we must act now. I am a two hatter and I realize the importance of the AFG over the SAFER. Write your congressmen. I have already fired off a letter to my rep. and am working on the letters to my senators. I suggest you all do the same. Let's get together and make ourselves heard. Democracy doesn't work on it's own, you must work democracy. For, by, and of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by celsokid View Post
    I have 4 new members with no turnout gear. They are volunteers. I will lose them, meaning less manpower, not because they aren't getting paid but because they can't participate in training or calls because they have no gear.

    How many departments have been turning down SAFER grants because they realize that they are a short term fix to a long term problem? A lot that I have seen thus far.
    Possibly some of the grant applications were like people asking for a ladder truck to use on brush fires.

    We asked for money for recognition projects, tuition reimbursement, and training.

    Zac is a great example of how it has worked for us. He had NO interest in the Fire Service. None at all. We waived a bit of tuition money in front of him, got him involved with the fire service, now he is an animal. Always at training, and makes pretty much all the calls. Does a great job, and has a great attitude. We used the SAFER to hook him, now he will be a lifer in the Fire Service.

    Little things help also. We are poor down here. I mean really. I have to worry about where we are going to get fuel sometimes. 6k to run a department covering 200 square miles? And no contributions of insurance, maintenance, fuel etc from the state or local governments.

    I asked for money to buy coats. I call them brag coats. Red, with a nifty patch on them, and our new engine embroidered on the back. The firefighters love them! They look like a see of red at classes. Can't walk through Walmart without seeing at least one of them. The firefighters love the recognition.

    I could never have afforded to buy those without SAFER, and now my firefighters feel more appreciated. Appreciated = retention.

    You honestly can't find 4 sets of turnouts? None of your neighboring departments can help with a set? Heck, if that is the case, send me their sizes and I will see what I have. Between all of us, we will get them outfitted!

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    Have we forgotten that volunteer departments can also use the grant for Firefighter recruitment and retention. So let us make lemonade out of our lemons

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    R&R is limited to 10% of the funding and probably won't be above that mark for a while. SAFER is for 90%+ guaranteed minimum responses and can't do that with 100% volunteer when compared with that level of staffing already paid and in house. In the volunteer world we hope enough people show up, but unless they are in house we can't come close to guaranteeing minimum staffing levels on the next run.

    Like I mentioned, I have a lot of career departments in bad shape on equipment because they put the investment in the personnel. Which is also the reason it's really easy to get them funded for equipment because they're doing the right thing with personnel.

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