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  1. #1
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    Default say good buy to afg

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=46&id=64458

    Proposed AFG Changes Could Ax Rural Depts.

    SUSAN NICOL KYLE
    Firehouse.Com News




    If approved, the match for departments serving populations of 20,000 or fewer would jump from 5 to 15 percent, while those with populations between 20,000 to 50,000 would be 15 percent, up 5 percent from what they pay now.

    The largest departments, however, would see a 5 percent decline in the funds they would have to promise. Right now, it's 20 percent, but their share would be just 15 percent.

    The proposal by the IAFF, IAFC, NFPA and CFSI surfaced Wednesday during a House subcommittee hearing on the Fire Act grant program reauthorization.

    The NVFC was not consulted, and other groups including the International Association of Arson Investigators did not sign off on the 15 percent proposal.

    The IAFC also introduced a proposal to create a waiver of the match for economically challenged departments.

    A training officer from rural Nebraska who said he couldn't allow firefighters to participate in live fire exercises because their gear was inadequate told the legislators the 15 percent proposal for small departments would make it almost impossible for the majority to participate.

    Ed Carlin said until last year, firefighters handling a 350 square-mile district in rural Nebraska depended on a 1948 pumper with a rusty tank that wouldn't hold water.

    But, that changed when the department was awarded an AFG grant. They now have a mini-pumper. Before applying, however, they had to come up with the five percent matching funds.

    Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) who said departments in his district call the AFG program their "lifesaver," also has reservations with the proposed changes.

    "I am concerned about the Unified Fire Service's proposal to replace the program's current needs-based focus with one where statutory set-asides limit program flexibility based on department type. I fear this redistribution of AFG funds will put many rural and all-volunteer departments at a severe disadvantage when it comes to obtaining the necessary equipment."

    He also said it worries him that priority would be given to larger departments.

    "Populations and call volume isn't the only determinant of need, and we must be cognizant of the unique role our volunteer firefighters play in serving their communities, and not limit an extremely critical source of funding for their departments."

    Another proposal would divide the pot -- 30 percent each for career, combination and volunteers. The remaining 10 percent would be up for grabs by all departments.

    Grant applications are peer reviewed, and the AFG program has long been lauded as one of the most-effective in the federal government.

    Kevin O'Connor, assistant to the IAFF general president, told the committee career departments should be getting more funds.

    He said while since the program's inception in 2000, there has been an effort to insure that all departments would have a shot at a grant. "But, in our attempt to assure fairness, we over-compensated and created a situation in which the grants are skewed disproportionately against professional and combination departments," O'Connor said.

    He pointed to records showing career departments have received 10 percent, compared to 68.6 percent to rural companies.



    Thanks a lot you God dam=ed union *****h0les! I hear from a lot of guys in unions on how they represent all firefighters not just their members. well this article really shows who they are for. People ask me why I am anti-union well here is a prime example.


    If you are a member of a small town fire dept. like me you better get calling your congressman this is complete BS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2426 View Post
    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=46&id=64458

    Proposed AFG Changes Could Ax Rural Depts.

    The proposal by the IAFF, IAFC, NFPA and CFSI surfaced Wednesday during a House subcommittee hearing on the Fire Act grant program reauthorization.

    The NVFC was not consulted, and other groups including the International Association of Arson Investigators did not sign off on the 15 percent proposal.
    Enough said

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    AFG has been a wonderful tool in the fire service for all the departments that have received funding for gear, safety, apparatus, etc. Let's not forget that AFG is not intended to be a replacement for local funding for a communities needs.

    Before you guys start throwing the "union" and "volunteer" card, why not go back and look at the funding matches:

    If approved, the match for departments serving populations of 20,000 or fewer would jump from 5 to 15 percent, while those with populations between 20,000 to 50,000 would be 15 percent, up 5 percent from what they pay now.

    The largest departments, however, would see a 5 percent decline in the funds they would have to promise. Right now, it's 20 percent, but their share would be just 15 percent.
    Population under 20,000 - New match is 15%
    Population >20,000 but <50,000 - New match is 15%
    Population for >50,000 - New Match is 15%

    I'm sorry, but a community that can't bond, or otherwise fund a 15% match for a $200,000 fire truck has some serious issues. We're talking about $30,000 over the course of a 20 year life span. That's $1500 per year. There are many opportunities for rural funding such as other grants and 0% interest Rural Development loans to offset the initial expenditure.

    Furthermore, I know of a few smaller manufacturers that bill a nice truck for under $150,000. Granted you're not going to get your fancy LED lighting, electronic discharges, eighteen different pre-connects, pre-installed hydraulic or PTO generator, etc. But they still make a nice engine for a rural company. There's a lot of "extra" that's added into these grants, when things could be consolidated or worked on a regional level that many RURAL companies overlook.

    I came from a rural, very budget-limited department. A 15% match will not kill the volunteer fire service like you two are referring. No where in that article does it say "The IAFF wants the money just for the union members. We do not care about the safety of our Volunteer brothers. After all, they are just taking union jobs!" What it does say is that almost 70% of the money is funding rural companies. Career services have seen a total of 10%.

    Why was the NVFC not consulted? Was it because the IAFF and other trade organizations worked together on this proposal? Why did the NVFC not have something in their back pocket to lobby with? The issues go deeper then "Career versus volunteer", and it's really sad that the first two replies have to go down that path.

    And PVFD - before throwing union comments, perhaps you should look at the pushes for safety and progression in VT's fire service in the last few years. The IAFF locals and the PFFV have been the driving force behind the political battles because the volunteer representation doesn't want equal standards and requirements for both. The volunteers have lost out because they don't want to "play ball".

    (And I'm not a member of an IAFF local )
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    Ultimately Congress will have its say regardless of the organizations who crafted this recommendation.

    We will just have to wait and see when the dust settles.

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    Whoever thought the fire service would complain because they had to pay 15% of the cost for a new truck, or turnout gear, or SCBA?

    Gee, I remember when we had to pay 100%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue View Post
    AFG has been a wonderful tool in the fire service for all the departments that have received funding for gear, safety, apparatus, etc. Let's not forget that AFG is not intended to be a replacement for local funding for a communities needs.

    Before you guys start throwing the "union" and "volunteer" card, why not go back and look at the funding matches:



    Population under 20,000 - New match is 15%
    Population >20,000 but <50,000 - New match is 15%
    Population for >50,000 - New Match is 15%

    I'm sorry, but a community that can't bond, or otherwise fund a 15% match for a $200,000 fire truck has some serious issues. You can not bond for equipment (perhaps if your a fool) which is 80% of the FG. We're talking about $30,000 over the course of a 20 year life span. That's $1500 per year. There are many opportunities for rural funding Name them. such as other grants and 0% interest Rural Development loans to offset the initial expenditure. Captain Clueless - Can NOT use other federal funds for the local match.
    Furthermore, I know of a few smaller manufacturers that bill a nice truck for under $150,000. POS toy and what does that have to do with anything. Granted you're not going to get your fancy LED lighting, electronic discharges, eighteen different pre-connects, pre-installed hydraulic or PTO generator, etc. But they still make a nice engine for a rural company. There's a lot of "extra" that's added into these grants, when things could be consolidated or worked on a regional level that many RURAL companies overlook.

    I came from a rural, very budget-limited department. A 15% match will not kill the volunteer fire service like you two are referring. Maybe it will maybe it won't Not your call. For that $50k PPE grant now need $15k for match not $5k. Big difference in pancake breakfasts.No where in that article does it say "The IAFF wants the money just for the union members. We do not care about the safety of our Volunteer brothers. After all, they are just taking union jobs!" What it does say is that almost 70% of the money is funding rural companies. Career services have seen a total of 10%.

    Why was the NVFC not consulted? Was it because the IAFF and other trade organizations worked together on this proposal? Why did the NVFC not have something in their back pocket to lobby with? Because the the IAFF 9and unions in general) OWN Obama and the dems. The issues go deeper then "Career versus volunteer", and it's really sad that the first two replies have to go down that path.

    And PVFD - before throwing union comments, perhaps you should look at the pushes for safety and progression in VT's fire service in the last few years. The IAFF locals and the PFFV have been the driving force behind the political battles because the volunteer representation doesn't want equal standards and requirements for both. The volunteers have lost out because they don't want to "play ball".

    (And I'm not a member of an IAFF local )
    The money quote IS "Kevin O'Connor, assistant to the IAFF general president, told the committee career departments should be getting more funds." Major issue is that the UNION FD spend the bulk of their budget on PAYROLL. Cut the pay 10% and more than enough to fund the items they might ask for on a FG. Which is more important new TO gear or more pay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    The money quote IS "Kevin O'Connor, assistant to the IAFF general president, told the committee career departments should be getting more funds." Major issue is that the UNION FD spend the bulk of their budget on PAYROLL. Cut the pay 10% and more than enough to fund the items they might ask for on a FG. Which is more important new TO gear or more pay.
    So career firefighters should take a cut in pay so you can have new turnout gear?

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    Assitance to Firefighters slashed and SAFER doubled.

    Rural AFG match increased 10% and urban match decreased 5%.

    Anyone else seeing a trend here?

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    We thanks to some of you "brothers" above i guess my rural dept should not even exsist. Reality check here. All the fire depts in my county have N0 tax base, their yearly budget are all under $10,000 We can not get bonds. Me fire dept just had a pie supper and we had a orgasm becuase we made $285.00. We cover 30 sq miles with a 76' ward lafrance, 69' military 2.5 ton brush truck and a 2,000 military 5 ton and we are considerd up town around here.

    WAKE UP PE0PLE call your congress person and explain the REAL RURAL AMERICA
    Last edited by volfireman034; 07-09-2009 at 10:57 PM.

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    Neiowa,

    Take your 10% paycut first and give it to your employer to help them weather these tough economic times then I'll do the same.

    Just sit your butt in your station's bar and kick down a couple of suds while waiting for a run to come into your social club so you can take your parade rig out for a spin.

    Why should my tax dollars get sent to an area that obviously does not give a crap about their fire protection (they are not unable to pay but unwilling)? The only ones who care are those who volunteer, those they cover could care less because it'll never happen to them.

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    Billy G is reporting that the IAFC absolutely denies what was published as being accurate and they have countered with a response (below). The IAFC is requesting an immediate correction from Firehouse.com.

    "This morning, Firehouse.com released an article that erroneously indicated that the IAFC supports raising the FIRE grant program's local match for smaller departments. The IAFC does not support raising the match for jurisdictions serving smaller populations".

    Fairfax, Va., July 9, 2009... This morning, Firehouse.com released an article that erroneously indicated that the IAFC supports raising the FIRE grant program's local match for smaller departments. The IAFC does not support raising the match for jurisdictions serving smaller populations.

    According to the current statute, fire departments with a population of greater than 50,000 have to meet a 20 percent match. A jurisdiction with 20,000 to 50,000 residents has to meet a 10 percent match, and a jurisdiction with 20,000 or fewer residents only has to meet a 5 percent match.

    The IAFC joined with the IAFF, CFSI and NFPA in support of a proposal to reduce the match for communities of greater than 50,000 from 20 percent to 15 percent. The IAFC does not support increasing the match for the smaller jurisdictions, and has made that clear in both its testimony before the House Science and Technology Committee and in meetings on Capitol Hill.

    The IAFC also has recommended that Congress create a waiver for jurisdictions that cannot meet these local match requirements. To quote Chief Johnson during yesterday's hearing before the House Science and Technology Committee, "According to the existing statute, most jurisdictions must meet a 20 percent match, while jurisdictions serving smaller populations must meet matches as low as 5 percent. Some jurisdictions cannot meet these requirements due to the economic downturn, but still need training or need to replace antiquated equipment. The IAFC recommends that Congress create the authority for DHS to waive the local match requirement for these needy departments."


    http://www.iafc.org/displayindustrya...ticlenbr=39771

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5 View Post
    Neiowa,

    Take your 10% paycut first and give it to your employer to help them weather these tough economic times then I'll do the same.

    Just sit your butt in your station's bar and kick down a couple of suds while waiting for a run to come into your social club so you can take your parade rig out for a spin.

    Why should my tax dollars get sent to an area that obviously does not give a crap about their fire protection (they are not unable to pay but unwilling)? The only ones who care are those who volunteer, those they cover could care less because it'll never happen to them.


    Psss ..... Neiowa is a volunteer

    "station's bar and kick down a couple of suds " Would this be covered under the waiver ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Originally Posted by Res343cue View Post
    AFG has been a wonderful tool in the fire service for all the departments that have received funding for gear, safety, apparatus, etc. Let's not forget that AFG is not intended to be a replacement for local funding for a communities needs.

    Before you guys start throwing the "union" and "volunteer" card, why not go back and look at the funding matches:



    Population under 20,000 - New match is 15%
    Population >20,000 but <50,000 - New match is 15%
    Population for >50,000 - New Match is 15%

    I'm sorry, but a community that can't bond, or otherwise fund a 15% match for a $200,000 fire truck has some serious issues. You can not bond for equipment (perhaps if your a fool) which is 80% of the FG. Are you sure you can't? If I'm not mistaken St. Louis has done some fleet replacements via bonds.

    I came from a rural, very budget-limited department. A 15% match will not kill the volunteer fire service like you two are referring. [COLOR="Red"]Maybe it will maybe it won't Not your call. For that $50k PPE grant now need $15k for match not $5k. Big difference in pancake breakfasts.[/color'] You might want to get a new calculator. 15% of $50K is $7500 and 5% is $2500.

    The money quote IS "Kevin O'Connor, assistant to the IAFF general president, told the committee career departments should be getting more funds." Major issue is that the UNION FD spend the bulk of their budget on PAYROLL. Cut the pay 10% and more than enough to fund the items they might ask for on a FG. Which is more important new TO gear or more pay.
    Yes, the IAFF is once again the bad guy because they felt the volunteer fire service getting 700% more AFG funding wasn't right.

    As for cutting our pay 10% to fund items we'd ask for from AFG............

    As already suggested, cut your pay too. If my department cut our salaries by 10%, 1) it wouldn't cover the cost of a new fire engine, 2) given our overall financial situation and the city's historical underfunding of our department, all that would happen is we'd be making less money and not have anything in return.

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    Cool

    So now the IAFF want certain towns to be able to bypass the rules. This means they still want to get a bigger share of the money and want to be able to have seperate rules to do so.

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    If volunteers want to be considered and treated as equals, they should have equal matching percentages. Plain and simple.


    and yes, I am from a volunteer department.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    If volunteers want to be considered and treated as equals, they should have equal matching percentages. Plain and simple.


    and yes, I am from a volunteer department.
    Good point. You hear all the time that volunteers do the same job, are just as qualified, blah blah blah. So this shouldn't be any different, no?

    And yes, I'm volunteer too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    We thanks to some of you "brothers" above i guess my rural dept should not even exsist. Reality check here. All the fire depts in my county have N0 tax base, their yearly budget are all under $10,000 We can not get bonds. Me fire dept just had a pie supper and we had a orgasm becuase we made $285.00. We cover 30 sq miles with a 76' ward lafrance, 69' military 2.5 ton brush truck and a 2,000 military 5 ton and we are considerd up town around here.

    WAKE UP PE0PLE call your congress person and explain the REAL RURAL AMERICA
    Maybe pour yourself another cup of coffee and think about how government works?
    1. Your tax dollars are what funds the AFG.
    2. The AFG program cost money, so on top of the amount needed to fund the AFG grants, taxes are raised to pay for the program implementation and administration.
    3. If the AFG was gone, theoretically (don't trust the government to give it back) your taxes should go down. This means everyone in your rural area will have more money to give to local taxes to fund required items such as FD equipment.
    4. You taxpayers helped fund my breathing air compressor, station exhaust system, laptop computer, power point projector, and SCBA upgrades. My local tax dollars helped fund programs in your area. We all helped large city FD's buy needed equipment.
    5. This is big government getting bigger by the day (by program)

    This program should be abolished, funding some basic things like public safety is the mission of local government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    This program should be abolished, funding some basic things like public safety is the mission of local government.
    I'm going to have to agree with you here RFD.

    For years my agency has been applying for the grant. After several failed attempts we hired a professional....to no avail. Finally we hired a consultant who told us we were too financially secure and would probably have little chance to ever be considered for an AFG.

    Now I know there are a number of struggling fire departments out there, and the AFG has become their Lottery ticket, but having the citizens of my community (including myself) pay for your fire protection is a bigger load of crap than LAfireeducator's response plan.

    It should be abolished, with funding provided solely on a local basis, OR, once you receive a grant you are no longer elegible for one until everyone else has received one.

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    Posted by FF2426
    Thanks a lot you God dam=ed union *****h0les! I hear from a lot of guys in unions on how they represent all firefighters not just their members. well this article really shows who they are for. People ask me why I am anti-union well here is a prime example.
    Wow... with this "attitude".. I can see why the rift between career and volunteer will never heal.

    Posted by PVFD27 in reply to this from 2426
    Proposed AFG Changes Could Ax Rural Depts.

    The proposal by the IAFF, IAFC, NFPA and CFSI surfaced Wednesday during a House subcommittee hearing on the Fire Act grant program reauthorization.

    The NVFC was not consulted, and other groups including the International Association of Arson Investigators did not sign off on the 15 percent proposal.
    Enough said
    Maybe the NVFC was too busy dealing with the arson issue to take part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Assitance to Firefighters slashed and SAFER doubled.

    Rural AFG match increased 10% and urban match decreased 5%.

    Anyone else seeing a trend here?
    I basically posted this same observation in the grants forum. To those paying attention to the political agendas, the answer is obvious. All roads are leading to the same end result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    If volunteers want to be considered and treated as equals, they should have equal matching percentages. Plain and simple.


    and yes, I am from a volunteer department.
    While I agree with your logic, there is faults with that line of thought. I have a budget of $60K for a department protecting just over 3,000 people in 70 square miles. I've seen departments in Firehouse Magazine's annual run surveys with similar stats with budgets as much as 4-5 times higher than that, and more.

    A big part of this is due to property values in our area. While my house is valued at $85K where I live, if it was in the town to the north it'd be worth $100K or more. Move it to the city where I work and it's $120K or more. Take it to some places in this country, and it's probably worth $250K. Problem is, the price of apparatus and equipment isn't based on cost of living ratios for the department making the order.

    Perhaps they need to look at matching percentages based on factors such as cost of living, budget, or some other means.

    The program has it's pros and cons, but I'm afraid it's going to be torn apart by special interest and bureaucracy. It may have it's issues, but it's the best the fire service has, and probably the best we've ever had.

    They could cut it out all-together (like the Heritage foundation recommended) and send it all to some 200 acre swath of land to protect some kind of field mouse because the lobbyist got their dirty grubs in a politician's pockets, or any other special interest.

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    Having read these posts and others on the fire grant forum, one would wonder. However, I came from a very rural department that did not have squat, and everything we had was hand me downs for years. No tax base, no industry, alot of area to cover. We did the best we could with what we had the you know, the people still appreciated us doing what we could with what we had. But again, we trained alot to improvise for the lessor of the equipment.

    Nowdays, Paid departments like volunteer departments have abused the system of the AFG to purchase some really expensive equipment that probably is overboard or overkill in both areas, while departments that still need help because of the lack of funding in their areas whether it is because of budget shortfalls or lack of a tax base in their respected areas.

    But to increase the funding share by rural departments is one way to allow more financially secure departments to reap more awards consecutively again and again. Some departments in this country can not afford to allocate x amount of money to hope that they get the AFG, they have to pay for bills to keep running, but the one time they may be able to secure enough over a 2-3 year period the cost now went up even more.

    We also have to consider the cost increases of the equipment that steadily goes up each year in conjuction with the departments share as well, and we can see that this amount may be impossible for small rural departments to allocate.

    Now granted, their are more volunteer fire departments in the country than paid. So the outcome should be weighted more in their favor in how many awards are given by percentage. Simple math there folks. More Volunteer departments apply as compared to paid departments because of the total number of volunteer departments.

    But to raise the the amount is wrong. Dropping the amount for paid departments should not be an issue though. See no problem with that.

    The problem I see now and have since the start is that because I can write a grant better than my neighbor I receive more grants while they receive none. To me that still is wrong. I know departments need more than an engine or gear or SCBA. But alot of departments need something, and if we continue to allow departments to be awared year after year because they can write the grant better or have the extra money for grant writers the system will remain flawed in my eyes.

    You win this year, you sit at least a year. More departments would benefit that way in my eyes. But even others do not believe that system would benefit more, because why?



    STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Looks like some of you boys are gonna have to start doing what we do to raise some money. Cook BBQ chicken every weekend for a whole or half a summer. Makes us about 60,000+ dollars a year. God bless tourist!!!...lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Posted by FF2426


    Wow... with this "attitude".. I can see why the rift between career and volunteer will never heal.

    Posted by PVFD27 in reply to this from 2426



    Maybe the NVFC was too busy dealing with the arson issue to take part.
    More than likely, they are covering their own *****es brother, more members, more $$.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TVFD73 View Post
    Nowdays, Paid departments like volunteer departments have abused the system of the AFG to purchase some really expensive equipment that probably is overboard or overkill in both areas, while departments that still need help because of the lack of funding in their areas whether it is because of budget shortfalls or lack of a tax base in their respected areas.
    All the more reason to kill the entire program. Cut the federal taxes and raise the local. Why launder the money at the federal and state levels to get your grant? The paper-pushers in Washington DC has no clue about what is really needed. Only thing he cares about is getting his overhead cost out of the program so he can keep his job.

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