1. #1

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    Angry Proposed Afg Program Changes!!

    I'm Sure All Of You Read The Recent Article On The Web Today That Several Organizations Want To Change The Afg Program (iaff,iafc,nfpa And The Cfsi) Because They Feel The Bigger Departments Are Getting Enough Fundage From The Grant Its Self And The Little Departments Are So Called "hogging" The Funds. Most Smaller Rural Departments Are Self Funded And Cant Make It On Just Bingo's Or Street Fairs Alone Thats Was The Whole Reason For The Afg Program Most Of The Bigger Career And Combination Departments Are Funded By Thier Municipality And Dont Have To Use Bingo's Or Other Fundraising Events To Buy Safety Equipment Or Apparatus. My Department Serves 25,600 People We Are Self Funded By Bingo Once A Week Our Newest Piece Of Apparatus Is A 1994 Gmc Pumper. It Makes Me Furious That Mr. Kevin O'connor Assisten To The Iaff General President Says That "career Departments Should Be Getting More Funds" And That "but In Our Attaempts To Assure Fairness, We Over Compensated And Created A Situation In Which The Grants Are Skewed Disproportionately Against Professional And Combination Departments". It Seems To Me He Is Insinuating That We As A Rural Volunteer Firefighter Are Not Trained As High? Or Not Have As Much Experience? There Is 2 Combination Departments Within My County And I Am Trained Higher Than The Chief's Of Both Departments!! As Well As All 15 Of Our Firefighters Are Trained To Firefighter 1 Pro Board Or Above!

    This Is Just Me Blowing Off Steam But I Would Like To Hear Everyone Else's Thoughts Or Opinions On The Matter And I Dont Want To Seem Like I Am Putting Down Career Firefighters Because I Am Not I Am Just Stating That A Firefighter Is A Firefighter Regardless Of Rank,race,creed,religion,career Or Volunteer The Same As A Fire Department Is A Fire Department Regardless Of Career,all Volunteer Or Combination

    Thanks

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    Unrelated to your post, But Typing Like This is Really Annoying and Difficult To Read, so just something to think about for future posts(I realize I'm pretty new to the forum, but not to forums in general, it's just common etiquette).

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    There Is 2 Combination Departments Within My County And I Am Trained Higher Than The Chief's Of Both Departments!!
    Well, You Is The Man!
    Cry us a river.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t1tan19 View Post
    Unrelated to your post, But Typing Like This is Really Annoying and Difficult To Read, so just something to think about for future posts(I realize I'm pretty new to the forum, but not to forums in general, it's just common etiquette).
    I just can't imagine hitting the shift key for every word! My little finger would be sore after a post like that!

    But as for the real problem, being from a state (commonwealth) that has more volunteer departments per capita than any other state I think this is a slap in the face to all volunteer companies, big or small.

    These grants were a god send to most of us, including Birdsboro, and we base our requests on how much we can afford with the match. Sometimes it means cutting back on the number of air packs or sets of gear just to stay within budget. Increasing the match amount will only force us to cut back even more.
    Steve Dragon
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    Quote Originally Posted by CVFD9CAPTAIN View Post
    I'm Sure All Of You Read The Recent Article On The Web Today That Several Organizations Want To Change The Afg Program (iaff,iafc,nfpa And The Cfsi) Because They Feel The Bigger Departments Are Getting Enough Fundage From The Grant Its Self And The Little Departments Are So Called "hogging" The Funds. Most Smaller Rural Departments Are Self Funded And Cant Make It On Just Bingo's Or Street Fairs Alone Thats Was The Whole Reason For The Afg Program Most Of The Bigger Career And Combination Departments Are Funded By Thier Municipality And Dont Have To Use Bingo's Or Other Fundraising Events To Buy Safety Equipment Or Apparatus. My Department Serves 25,600 People We Are Self Funded By Bingo Once A Week Our Newest Piece Of Apparatus Is A 1994 Gmc Pumper. It Makes Me Furious That Mr. Kevin O'connor Assisten To The Iaff General President Says That "career Departments Should Be Getting More Funds" And That "but In Our Attaempts To Assure Fairness, We Over Compensated And Created A Situation In Which The Grants Are Skewed Disproportionately Against Professional And Combination Departments".
    So the volunteer departments getting 700% more of the funding seems "fair" to you?

    It Seems To Me He Is Insinuating That We As A Rural Volunteer Firefighter Are Not Trained As High? Or Not Have As Much Experience?
    How in the world did you arrive at that conclusion from talking about funding distribution?

    There Is 2 Combination Departments Within My County And I Am Trained Higher Than The Chief's Of Both Departments!! As Well As All 15 Of Our Firefighters Are Trained To Firefighter 1 Pro Board Or Above!
    Big deal. 85% of my career department is FF2 Pro Board or above.

    This Is Just Me Blowing Off Steam But I Would Like To Hear Everyone Else's Thoughts Or Opinions On The Matter And I Dont Want To Seem Like I Am Putting Down Career Firefighters Because I Am Not I Am Just Stating That A Firefighter Is A Firefighter Regardless Of Rank,race,creed,religion,career Or Volunteer The Same As A Fire Department Is A Fire Department Regardless Of Career,all Volunteer Or Combination

    Thanks
    Well, it might not be your intention, but you are kind of knocking the career guys.

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    Let me guess, either of those Chiefs are english teachers.


    IMO most paid departments are much busier that a typical vollunteer department, and I know there are many exceptions. We probably run more runs in a day that a lot of departments run in a month, that means more wear and tear on the equipment.

    What has annoyed me the most in all these years of the AFG grants is seeing very wealthy communities getting this money. Problem is that politics is politics and none of us are going to do anything about it.

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    If your intent was to paint a huge target on yourself, congratulations. Otherwise, you need to go to the self-help section of your local bookstore and buy one of everything.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by johnny46; 07-10-2009 at 01:02 AM.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by engineeremtp View Post
    What has annoyed me the most in all these years of the AFG grants is seeing very wealthy communities getting this money. Problem is that politics is politics and none of us are going to do anything about it.
    Yes I agree the whole intent of the AFG was to help the smaller departments and over the last several years it seemed to sway towards the wealthy Dept's. It all seemed to change when they started allows Dept's to double dip for having multiple stations. All this did was increase larger dept's chances to get funded while were still flipping pancakes just to make what they have for a monthly kitty.
    What needed to be done was have larger dept's hand down equipment and trucks to us needy.
    If truck can pass inspection then it gets handed down.This way the Grant would help even more.
    But No these larger dept's have figured out if the buy older trucks to lower it's fleet age they have a better short because they have the call volume to hide that pretty parade truck behind POS trucks they bought to get age lowered.
    I'm sure we would take a 1999 truck over our 1967 International with a 380GPM pump anyday of the week

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    We recieved an afg grant two years ago that replaced some seriously out dated ppe and airpacks. We could barely afford the matching on that, and have since applied for one to replace the 1984 pumper that hasnt passed a pump test in the last 5 years now, To raise the % would completely take us out of the running for a new truck.

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    I think some of you guys need to get out of your bubble. Have you actually seen the equipment used by larger municipalities? A lot of them are using trucks that might not be the oldest, but they have had the tar beaten out of them.

    Also, big doesn't equal wealthy although some posters here thinks it does.

    You can say you aren't putting down career guys, but its clear you are. No where did he insinuate vollys aren't as good as career firefighters, the IAFF did say they didn't think that paid and combo depts weren't getting a fair share.

    Why do volunteer departments serving smaller populations deserve to match less than larger depts? I don't see any fairness in that. It looks like now all depts have to match 15%. Sounds fair to me.

    I know it is difficult for smaller depts to raise money for large purchases because you can only squeeze so much money out of jurisdiction, but large depts aren't immune to these issues. How is it wrong to have everyone pay the same percentage?

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    Here's another thought to ponder with this discussion and I'm not saying I specifically agree with the entire proposal................

    We're in some pretty tough economic times and everybody is having to tighten the belt so to speak. Just yesterday on here a poster suggested that career firefighters should take a 10% pay cut in order to fund equipment that our departments would apply to AFG for.

    Others are clammouring about how we should basically "suck it up" when it comes to all of the budget cuts and layoffs many of our departments are facing.

    So, I offer this.........

    1) Although the prospect of paying 15% vs 5% really sucks, it's still a whole lot better than paying 100% or simply doing without.

    2) With the increased match, the program has the potential to help even more departments. The government paying out 10% less for each grant means more grants can be awarded. So a few more departments that would've been turned town get a grant. That's good, right?

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    One would assume that's a good thing, yes.

    I think its all B.S. anyway. There are plenty of good causes out there that go unfunded as the program is now, and that isn't going to change.

    I don't think those folks reviewing the applications are our "Peers". That's just not what I would call them. Hopefully they can FINALLY find it in thier hearts to approve one of my volly company's applications.

    15% or 5%, I don't care. It most likely will have no impact on me or my department when we will continue to have to pay 100% for everything we purchase.

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    Not sure if anyone else got this via The Secret List...

    IAFC MEMBER ALERT-Contact: IAFC Government Relations Department
    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: http://www.iafc.org/displayindustrya...ticlenbr=39771

    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.
    Career Fire Captain
    Volunteer Chief Officer


    Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    So the volunteer departments getting 700% more of the funding seems "fair" to you?
    You should educate yourself before speaking.

     No more than 45 percent of the $507.4 million available for AFG awards
    ($228,330,000) may be granted to career organizations and departments.
     No less than 34 percent of the $507.4 million available for AFG awards
    ($172,516,000) must be granted to combination organizations (organizations
    and departments with both paid career and volunteer active duty members).
     No less than 21 percent of the $507.4 million available for AFG awards
    ($106,554,000) must be granted to all-volunteer organizations

    Volunteer Organizations only get 21% of the money.

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    Of course this exact discussion points out why the Federal Government shouldn't be in the business of wealth redistribution. Stop all the grants and giveaways, cut federal taxes, and let the localities fend for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northeast68 View Post

    I don't think those folks reviewing the applications are our "Peers". That's just not what I would call them. Hopefully they can FINALLY find it in thier hearts to approve one of my volly company's applications.

    15% or 5%, I don't care. It most likely will have no impact on me or my department when we will continue to have to pay 100% for everything we purchase.
    Did you ever think it's not the program? I have won 4 out of 7 apps for my volly department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carterlakecapt View Post
    We recieved an afg grant two years ago that replaced some seriously out dated ppe and airpacks. We could barely afford the matching on that, and have since applied for one to replace the 1984 pumper that hasnt passed a pump test in the last 5 years now, To raise the % would completely take us out of the running for a new truck.
    Let's be honest though. Is it really the national government that is responsible for your lack of funding capability?

    I just find it funny that people want to bitch because the feds are willing to pay 85% of the cost of a lot of equipment for a lot of departments.

    It wasn't that long ago this program didn't exist and we all had to pay 100%!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post

    Volunteer Organizations only get 21% of the money.
    Maybe it is because they protect less than 30% of the US population, at best.
    Last edited by FDAIC485; 07-10-2009 at 11:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDAIC485 View Post
    Maybe it is because they protect less than 30% of the US population, at best.
    We protect only 30% of the population true, but we cover 80% of the land.

    My county has 4 fire departments. The Forest Service has 1 hand crew and 2 engines here too. We cover an area the size of the whole State of Delaware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WebFire View Post
    Did you ever think it's not the program? I have won 4 out of 7 apps for my volly department.
    I certainly have thought that...and I get what you are saying. This go around, we were assigned a mentor from the program. So everything we have submitted has been reviewed by this "Pro". We'll see what happens with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kd7fds View Post
    We protect only 30% of the population true, but we cover 80% of the land.

    My county has 4 fire departments. The Forest Service has 1 hand crew and 2 engines here too. We cover an area the size of the whole State of Delaware.
    And what is the value of property vs. the value of the opposing 20%.

    Perhaps it would be best if the Federal government would stop offering the program all together.

    FTM-PTB

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    Just got this sent to me.

    1-800-435-0005 www.isfsi.org
    email: isfsi@aol.com

    IAFC Disputes Grant Story on Firehouse.com

    There has been much discussion regarding a story featured in Firehouse.com regarding testimony given by the IAFC to a House subcommittee that would cut funding to rural departments. The IAFC has issued a statement denying this position. As of this writing, the story is still live on Firehouse.com.

    The ISFSI participates in the grant criteria meetings that set priorities for the grants, but was not asked to participate in this testimony. In fact, the Society was not consulted in anyway regarding this matter. The Society supports reduction in local shares across the board, but particularly in underfunded communities. "We believe we need to focus on getting the funding to where it is needed the most. Urban departments with a dwindling tax base and smaller communities that have a limited tax base should be the priority. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss this with the other fire service organizations at our grants meeting in late July," says ISFSI President, Eddie Buchanan.

    Go to the ISFSI website for more info.
    Steve Dragon
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    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

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    Thumbs down Scrap the whole thing!

    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
     No less than 21 percent of the $507.4 million available for AFG awards
    ($106,554,000) must be granted to all-volunteer organizations

    Volunteer Organizations only get 21% of the money.
    Do you understand "No less than"? They could get as little as 21% or up to 66% as the two absolutes are combo's getting 34% minimum, vollies getting 21% minimum, and career jobs getting "no more than" 45%.

    But I must say the best thing overall is to completely scrap the program. Your taxpayers can better fund your FD locally. Your tax dollars pay for this program, without the program, you have those dollars in your wallet to help fund local needs. Your dollars go further when they don't take a percentage to pay for the bureaucracy of implementing the program. This goes for most every federal grant program. The downside is that FD's would have to prove to their community their needs, vs. taking "free money" and spending it with a minimal match.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    You should educate yourself before speaking.
    Maybe you should take your own advice and while you're at it work on reading comprehension too?

    I was using info from the original article which stated "He pointed to records showing career departments have received 10 percent, compared to 68.6 percent to rural companies. "

     No more than 45 percent of the $507.4 million available for AFG awards
    ($228,330,000) may be granted to career organizations and departments.
     No less than 34 percent of the $507.4 million available for AFG awards
    ($172,516,000) must be granted to combination organizations (organizations
    and departments with both paid career and volunteer active duty members).
     No less than 21 percent of the $507.4 million available for AFG awards
    ($106,554,000) must be granted to all-volunteer organizations

    Volunteer Organizations only get 21% of the money.
    "No less than 21 percent........to all-volunteer organizations" means they get at least 21%, not only 21%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Northeast68 View Post
    I certainly have thought that...and I get what you are saying. This go around, we were assigned a mentor from the program. So everything we have submitted has been reviewed by this "Pro". We'll see what happens with that.
    Thumbs up!

    Too many get frustrated and blame the program when they don't win one. A lot time you can talk to them about it and you just know they aren't doing it right.

    Good for you to seek some help. Good luck!

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