1. #1
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    Default small volunteer program

    hey yall,
    I am with a small (12 member) volunteer department in east Texas. All departments in the county are volunteer outfits. Everyone but our deparment are in the local ESD, our Board of Directors decided to vote us out of the ESD in the late 80s/early 90s. Our budget is 15000 a year, but we also get another 7-8 from fund raisers that we do and other donations we get. Our trucks and equipment are very old and i was wondering where i can look for grants? Ive never even thought about grants before so i dont know where to start but i am hoping we can get some help financially so we can upgrade some of our equipment. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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    Good place to start is here. There are several opportunities out there, waiting around for the next cycle of the Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is one of the better ones out there. Unfortunately, you just missed the application period this year in May. You've got a good grant source down in Texas now and he posts here under the name BC79er.

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    At risk of sounding like a non-Texan, what exactly is an ESD? I'm assuming Emergency Services District, but have no clue what it is.

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    You can apply for grants from the Texas Forest Service also. They having funding about 3 times a year. You can apply for fire equipment, rescue equipment, trucks, PPE, and radios. Here is the link for the website.

    http://ticc.tamu.edu/hb2604.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    At risk of sounding like a non-Texan, what exactly is an ESD? I'm assuming Emergency Services District, but have no clue what it is.
    Yeah ESD stands for Emergency Services District

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    Quote Originally Posted by ke5yot View Post
    Yeah ESD stands for Emergency Services District
    OK, just trying to figure out what exactly that is. Is it some kind of funding entity or what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    OK, just trying to figure out what exactly that is. Is it some kind of funding entity or what?
    from what i understand its a tax everyone in a certain district pays and that funds the departments.

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    Only legally organized municipalities can collect tax money in Texas and in the unincorporated areas RFPDs (Rural Fire Protection District) and ESDs are formed corporations to act in place of a municipality. Basically it's a check and balance system to ensure proper usage of taxpayer funding. RFPDs & ESDs are voted in by the residents within the proposed boundaries, then board members are voted in. No one can be a board member and a management level officer in the department contracted by the tax board to serve the area. Most places that's chiefs, but the old department only had Chief and Assistant Chief positions so since Captains ran the stations we were considered management. LTs could be on the tax board since they were first-level managers.

    Whole lot more than you wanted to know I'm sure, but it's a decent system to make sure things get done. Technically the ESD can 'fire' the department and hire another one and in most cases the RFPD/ESD owns the stations, equipment, and vehicles, but by those same checks and balances they cannot be involved in daily operations. So if they want another regime in place they have to contract with another department, either neighboring or another formed non-profit. Technically here one can file a non-profit with the Secretary of State and be a fire department with nothing but people. Probably that way in other states too, just interesting how the whole thing fits together.

    ke5yot, shoot me an email at brianv@vickersconsultingservices.com. We'll get you hooked up.

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    You can get a lot of good DOD surplus equipment thru your State Forester (FFP or FEPP). You're fortunate that lots of military bases in Tx so you don't have to go far. Can certainly solve water hauling project and with some persistance many other equipment shortages.

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    We used to have TCFP (Texas Commission on Fire Protection) Emergency Funds twice a year, but I hear that money has been given to the Texas Forest Service. Go figure!!!!!!
    Last edited by THEFIRENUT; 06-29-2009 at 02:01 AM. Reason: Explination
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    Quote Originally Posted by ke5yot View Post
    hey yall,
    I am with a small (12 member) volunteer department in east Texas. All departments in the county are volunteer outfits. Everyone but our deparment are in the local ESD, our Board of Directors decided to vote us out of the ESD in the late 80s/early 90s. Our budget is 15000 a year, but we also get another 7-8 from fund raisers that we do and other donations we get. Our trucks and equipment are very old and i was wondering where i can look for grants? Ive never even thought about grants before so i dont know where to start but i am hoping we can get some help financially so we can upgrade some of our equipment. Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Boy, does your situation sound familiar. Whether you know it or not, you just took a major step in the right direction by finding this location. Once you get your grant efforts underway, be sure to check back here every other day at least. Take notice of those with high post counts and do not let it overwhelm you. you can do it.

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    Thanks for the explanation. I thought that might be what it was, but was curious to make sure.

    Out of curiosity, have you considered getting back into your ESD as a means to help the funding problem? Something to go along with grants?

    Didn't I read somewhere a while back where Texas has a funding program for departments based upon their ISO rating? Something where they will help fund equipment to improve your ISO rating, but you must perform and be working to increase the rating along the way?

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    Kind of but not really. The state programs are designed with that in mind since they tend to follow ISO's schedule for grading, plus we get extra points for CAFS in ISO ratings. Our schedule is actually 105 points out of 100 so our Class 1 starts at 85 out of 100 if we have CAFS since we get the extra 5 points for having a CAFS truck on the first due alarm assignment for structure fires.

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