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  1. #1
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    Default Proposed AFG changes

    My personal opinion, these proposed changes are just gonna eliminate even more volunteers and many small combination departments. It seems the trend for the last few years has been geared toward the larger departments. I know of very few volunteer departments that even if awarded, could afford the match for two new trucks at the same time. I have written grants to the AFG program since the inception, and have been fairly successful. But I know for fact that many cannot afford to do the 15% match. I know of several that were awarded at the ten percent match and had members that took at loans against their own home just to have the match for the department. The majority of the departments have less than a 10K per year budget to cover all expenses.

    I am a career ff at a combination department, but I volunteer for the department that protects my home (100% volunteer). My career department encourages this. I guess this is why we are not IAFF, and never will be. But that is a different argument.

    I have already contacted my representative, and my senators about these changes. I would encourage all who are interested in keeping this program feasible for ALL departments to do the same and let them know how your department and community have benefited from the AFG program.

    Just my two cents, and with the economic depression we are in now, I should have probably hung on to it for a rainy day.


  2. #2
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    Cool

    The power of lobbying! This might do more harm than good and before long we all loose.

    mark stephens

  3. #3
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    He pointed to records showing career departments have received 10 percent, compared to 68.6 percent to rural companies.
    check the stats, if you don't ask you don't get. Most career departments aren't getting permission to apply because of the matching, so they don't. It has nothing to do with the awards process. Same reason more money to SAFER doesn't work for increasing ranks in major cities, they don't have the 5th year 100% match.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I think the paid departments should be getting a lot less money. They are being paid and therefore already being funded by some form of government. If they are so short on funds turn them back into volunteer departments. Yes, I know many may disagree, but that in a nutshell is my feeling.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Funny thing is I work with a lot of career departments in the under 20k and under 50k population ranges that won't agree with the % changes. Probably a lot more career departments in the under 50k than in the over 50k too. By the time the populations are added up it probably out numbers the over 50k populations anyway. Smells more like a large city b-tch session than anyone recommending improvements that will do more damage to more departments than it will help. They'll do something silly like this and then the same departments that aren't getting the money now won't be getting the money later because their city didn't let them apply (again).

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fightin23rd View Post
    I think the paid departments should be getting a lot less money. They are being paid and therefore already being funded by some form of government. If they are so short on funds turn them back into volunteer departments. Yes, I know many may disagree, but that in a nutshell is my feeling.
    I am from a small (All Paid) department from a population of under 12,000. Quite honestly the only difference between us and most local volunteer departments is response time. Most volunteers have more and nicer equipment. We are operating on a shoe string budget, and if not for AFG we would really be struggling for equipment and the overall safety of our department. So enough bashing of paid departments, we are all out there doing the same job. Why be critical of a municipality that chooses to protect it's citizens with a career department over some who choose not to put any funds into public safety.

  7. #7
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    Default Question????

    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.


    My question is what percent of the total applications came from career departments? I know that a majority of the departments in this country are volunteer. With this said wouldnt it be logical that a majority of the funding go to volunteer departments? That is just my two cents!!

  8. #8
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    Default

    That's exactly it!

    For 2009, only 13.8% of the applications were submitted by all career departments and 22.6% was made up of combination departments.

    The balance of 63.5% of applications were from all-volunteer or paid on call.

    This isn't rocket science.

  9. #9
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    Smile

    Thank You very much! I am sure when that statistic was presented the particular individual neglected to tell the whole story.

  10. #10
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    Default Brilliant idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Fightin23rd View Post
    I think the paid departments should be getting a lot less money. They are being paid and therefore already being funded by some form of government. If they are so short on funds turn them back into volunteer departments. Yes, I know many may disagree, but that in a nutshell is my feeling.
    I can see it now. FDNY, Boston, Miami-Dade, LA City and County , Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and all the other major career fire departments changing to volunteer.

  11. #11
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    Default

    shinds, let me guess: you don't want to pay 15% do you? After all your area doesn't have over 50,000 in population so you can't be an important area that deserves to pay less in matching. You're a small greedy area that should pay more according to Mr Connor

    App Stats 2008
    Career: 12.1% of applications submitted, requested 16.5% of total fed share submitted out of the $3 billion.

    Simple reasoning: it's called not asking, so not getting. The reason the matching is that way is because when you have more people there's a larger pool of money in the protected area, easier to raise a dime and make a difference through quantity. Smaller populations, smaller pool, yadayadayada. There's nothing wrong with the AFG the way it is except for some people having the 'deserve' mentality that comes out when we keep the birdfeeder out too long....

  12. #12
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    AFG was designed to help everyone. Not just the volunteers or the career guys. I think that per se everyone has. FDNY has recieved grants as well as the smallest towns in the USA with 6 members. The big cities are eligible for big money and the small departments are only eligible for half that of the big cities. I honestly dont know what the complaint is.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hotrodromeo View Post
    I honestly dont know what the complaint is.
    Lack of education in the program translating to jealousy.

  14. #14
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    Default

    Well the truth finally comes out. The bigger paid department members lives are worth more than the rural departments.

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    Default

    Unfortunately that is always going to be a major problem. Maybe some of these jealous complainers need to be a part of the solution instead of the problem!

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    Does anybody have an e-mail address to Mr. O'Conner? I would love to send him an e-mail. Like that would do any good. LOL

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    The interesting thing about statistics is that they do not lie. The people presenting them will only use those figures that provide them an advantage and ignore the rest. In this case, he is right career departments recieved 10% of the overall awards in 2006 (latest data available).

    But he failed to mention that career departments only submitted 10% of the overall applications (less than 2,000). He also failed to mention that 25% of the career applications (1 in 4) submitted were awarded.

    Volunteer departments submitted 61% of the overall applications which makes sense that they recieved 60% of the overall awards. But no different than the career side 25% (1 in 4) of the applications submitted were awarded.

    I think the bigger issue is that less than the majority of the 9 organizations, that recommend for the AFG, are speaking for the whole fire service. This is not a united front, this will cause problems. At least one Congressman sees this proposal as a problem hopefully the rest will realize it.

  18. #18
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    Default IAFC says Firehouse.com story is inaccurate

    The IAFC Cites Inaccuracy in Firehouse.com Article on FIRE Grants,
    Requests Immediate Correction

    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.”

    To read Chief Johnson’s written testimony, please go to Grants Testimony.

    The IAFC has asked that Firehouse.com correct its story, and Chief Johnson will talk with the Firehouse.com reporter tomorrow morning to make sure that the IAFC position is accurately understood.

  19. #19
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    Default

    This year I asked at our annual meeting for matching funds for our grant if awarded. 15k was denied at this time. We have a hard time coming up with the money at a 5% match. We would never be able to handle more. This would be a sad day for alot of departments that strive to get that money to relieve the purchase of major equipment. I'm glad we got our packs out of the way, now I just hope I can get a truck before these changes happen. Call your congressmen boys and girls

  20. #20
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    Default

    That still does not change the fact that they are complaining about percentages awarded and mis quoting of statistics.

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