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    Default Reasons to be rejected prior to peer review? Any responses are appreciated :)

    Last year we made it to the peer review (then rejected), but I'm really afraid we're going to get rejected by the computer this year.

    Anybody know what gets you rejected by the computer? We are a BLS volunteer service. Do you think we have any chance?

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    We are a small volunteer fire dept. Last year we were rejected due to not having an 'Established' driver training program. That is no longer a problem, so we'll see this year if we make it to peer review.

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    For AFG, applications totalling approximately 200% of available funding move on to peer review after the computer scoring is done. Simplified, in English here's an example:

    ...if there's $1,000,000 available and 5,000 applications, the computer scores rank the applications from 1 to 5,000. Then, starting at #1, applications are moved to peer review until the total request for applications going to peer is $2,000,000. Then...those are read and scored by our peers, ranked and the top $1,000,000 of requests gets funded.

    There may be some disqualifation by computer before scoring (two apps for same dept comes to mind), but in reality it's not a computer rejection, just not scoring high enough to get into the next round. Highest priority projects score higher than lower priority, higher call volume scores higher than lower call volume, age of equipment being replaced (if applicable), and so on.

    For this reason, it's important to analyze your needs, and match your most important needs with the highest priority projects, and then choose your project accordingly. That's why guys like Kurt and Brian can do this for a living--they excel at that and can help some of us learn how to do it.

    Does that help??
    earl

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    Default 2 applications?

    When you say 2 applications - are you saying that instead of applying for both ppe and a truck to really look at what your dire need is and go with that?
    Thanks for the info

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerfire1156 View Post
    When you say 2 applications - are you saying that instead of applying for both ppe and a truck to really look at what your dire need is and go with that?
    Thanks for the info
    Michael Paddocks webinar last Febuary answered that question saying that making one application for apparatus and one for operations & safety and one regional does not affect each other chances as they are reviewed by classification. I'll feel better when one of the gurus answers that though.

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    Farmer: He meant that two different people filed apps for the same dept,for the same or different projects.
    Doing an ops & equipment + a vehicle app does not affect your scoring.
    Each is reviewed and scored on it's own merits.
    I might be totally off base on this ,but it seems to me from past experience that there is a dollar threshold on what will make it past the computer to peer. Based on population ,call volumes and budgetary issues.
    Our demographics ,budget and call volume are fairly stable from year to year,so when one project gets funded at say 68k and the next years at 75k doesn't it makes me wonder about the cost benefit ratio affecting us or our we just exceeding the $$ limit to get past the computer scoring????

    Another thing that just came to mind ,is a dept that I helped fine tune their app for turnouts. They had 26 active members ,but asked for funding for 30 sets of gear.
    They tried to justify the spare sets ,so that when they sent gear out to be cleaned they would have replacement gear available. BIG red flag to the computer scoring matrix. They felt it was worth the risk to ask for extras, even though they had gotten DJ'd twice previously for turnouts using the same application.
    After adjusting the numbers requested and a couple very minor wording changes to their narrative they scored in the second round last year.

    Ask for what you need ,not what you might want. Don't go for the gold plated parade stuff ,just fully serviceable equipment that will help fulfill the requirements of the PG.
    One more thing read the program guidance multiple times and make sure you meet the goals as closely as you can. Ask for what they want to fund & you will score higher.

    Good luck

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    Default Great info

    That is what I was thinking, but you never know with these things. We have been really blessed to have gotten two grants in the past two years. The first one was for a engine and this past Aug we were awarded ppe. We had gotten a DJ for both 08 apps, but then got an email with 10 q's. Fiqure that? Someone had said and it may have been Brian ,that there had been some DJ's sent that weren't supposed to be. I am still learning everyday, but am proud to have wrote these grants. Would really like to hear something preferably a 1199!!!!

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    We applied last year for a new ambulance, made it to the peer review, and then got shut down.

    This year we reapplied for an ambulance. After all, It's 14 years old and it's not 4WD even though ~80% of the roads are unpaved in our area and our weather is bad. I wrote about not being able to access some patients because of road conditions and having to call the FD.

    I think we have a good argument. However, our manager said to apply for $140,000. I thought this was a bit steep, but I did it. However, I wrote that we would contribute 15% instead of the required 5%.

    We also have a low call volume, we are BLS, we did have 1 injury, and there are <2000 people in our coverage area (which is 95% wildnerness..hence all the unpaved roads).

    Can someone with more experience than me, give me an honest opinion of whether we'll get rejected by the computer. I'm only 21. So, I don't have much experience with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerfire1156 View Post
    When you say 2 applications - are you saying that instead of applying for both ppe and a truck to really look at what your dire need is and go with that?
    Thanks for the info
    You may submit up to 3 applications and it will not affect your chances. They must however be in the three different categories mentioned. One for equipment, one for a vehicle, and the third can be a regional application. I was concerned about this back in 2007 when they started this. I went to one of the AFG seminars along with hosting a seminar with Kurt Bradley. The woman that did the AFG seminar encouraged us to apply in both categories. I can honestly say that it does not hurt to apply in both categories, because both applications we submitted were awarded in the first round of 2007. To put the icing on the cake, we were part of a regional communications application that was also awarded the same year. This wait is killing me, but I cannot condemn the program. I heard a chief from a department not far from here condemning the grant program and its ineffectiveness on the local news. He was writing to legislatures to get something done about the program. His big beef was the fact that he has a 1989 ladder truck for sale and cannot get a bid on it. I was furious when I saw the news. I wanted to post the video, but the news never put it in their archives. Sorry about getting off the subject, but I hope this helps

    Kelly

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    Cool not of subject

    your not off subject, your right on. There is so many aspects to consider with these applications and the other programs too, that keeping up to date on them seems to require non-stop attention just to have a chance at winning an award. When I started this, I never had any idea that this world was anything like it truly is, and reading and asking these questions here could very well prevent even the smallest mistake. I also didn't realize how much physical space the files and related information take up.

    All of a sudden our departments are taking the steps towards increased knowledge and efforts to increase our capabilities and ways to fund operations. It crosses into so many levels of government, agencies and elected officials, but that is just what is encountered along the road to helping your departments. You want funding from outside sources, you have to comply in many areas. I don't agree with all of them, but they all have merit and a reason. Frankly I believe FEMA wants to weed out non compliant departments. They wanted us, warned us to get the certifications and training on our own, and when so many of us didn't, then they are forcing us to. I understand. For a large part of it anyway.

    That is why these questions about getting rejected by the computer because of whatever are so important to pay attention to. You may have someone from a different area of you community step in and mess with your Dunns number as an example, for something completely unrelated, but confirms keeping your radar on. Especially noticing an experience someone else has encountered. That's the point. Everything here helps keep you aware.

    There is never getting off subject.

    Now kick this AFG pig and get it moving. We're all waiting at the gate and other people are waiting too.

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    Islandfire is right--i was unclear in what i had said. Under AFG a dept can apply for Operations, Vehicle and a regional--total of 3 applications. But only one in each area. If a dept accidently submits two Operations apps in one cycle, both are automatically rejected. Happens sometimes--even in small depts--normally a lack of communication.

    Another thing to remember in the computer scoring matrix is that the depts applying change every year, so a project that makes Peer one year may miss the mark the next year IF enough new apps score well enough to pass it up.

    Much of the stuff that goes into the computer scoring we can't do a thing about--things like budget, call volume, population, etc are facts and need to be reported as such. Reporting them correctly is essential. One dept i've written for reported the full township budget and dept expenses instead of the dept budget and dept expenses. Huge difference.

    Once the facts are in the app, the project is a big issue. As others have said--apply for what you need, not what you want. And...sort through your list of needs to best match what the Program Guidance tells you is the program's highest priority items.

    On Kelly's comment--got to agree. The grant program doesn't matter--a 1989 ladder truck could be a great deal on the selling price and huge liability in the station. That's not the fault of AFG, it's more an issue of the risk/reward ratio on that purchase. My opinion only.

    earl

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    If anyone can figure out the scoring equation, he'll be a VERY popular guy.

    .. I hope they can keep it a secret though.. because someone will find a way to cook the books for a good score if they know what the exact equation is....

    Sure.. it would still have to pass peer review... but it would suck to be the one application that get's bumped off the peer review list because somebody beat your score by 0.001.

    What bothers me is that common sense is rarely part of a Governmental Equation..
    Run numbers, population, coverage area, building density, equipment age, department compliance with rules/regs/standards, financial need, project cost, matching AFG program priorities, making a clear case for the need and the benefit... those things all make sense (somewhat)....

    What about stuff outside our control like the Feds spreading/assigning funds based on geography, demographics, past or other current awards, department type, political priorities, ..??..??
    I know there is guidance for what monies can go to what type of projects, and that there is some distribution of volunteer/career/combined, etc (because they track and publish those metrics)... but..
    When do they, if they do it at all, adjust awards to ensure fair distribution from state to state, region to region, year to year.... Is it really a clean slate, based purely on need, cost benefit, etc, or ???

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    The Big thing with our vol. department is equipment age, about 4 years ago we asked for a Class A Engine We cover a 349 square mile another vol. department only covers 5 miles of that and all we have is an old FMC **** box pumper and an old forrestry tanker. We applied for that pumper and got it, it was nice to, This year with a little help from brian we asked for a New tender/tanker we got our fingers and toes crossed cause we have no hydant system in the county and thats where most of our calls are about 85 to 90 %, yeah how convenient. But line I said lookin for the nice little 1199A hopfully santa is nice to us this year.

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    Wink me too

    Quote Originally Posted by BigFD14 View Post
    The Big thing with our vol. department is equipment age, about 4 years ago we asked for a Class A Engine We cover a 349 square mile another vol. department only covers 5 miles of that and all we have is an old FMC **** box pumper and an old forrestry tanker. We applied for that pumper and got it, it was nice to, This year with a little help from brian we asked for a New tender/tanker we got our fingers and toes crossed cause we have no hydant system in the county and thats where most of our calls are about 85 to 90 %, yeah how convenient. But line I said lookin for the nice little 1199A hopfully santa is nice to us this year.
    I beed a good boy too Santa. But I'm not so sure about Islandfire

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    Red face Non Affiliated EMS Organizations only get a very small percentage

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmed13 View Post
    We applied last year for a new ambulance, made it to the peer review, and then got shut down.

    This year we reapplied for an ambulance. After all, It's 14 years old and it's not 4WD even though ~80% of the roads are unpaved in our area and our weather is bad. I wrote about not being able to access some patients because of road conditions and having to call the FD.

    I think we have a good argument. However, our manager said to apply for $140,000. I thought this was a bit steep, but I did it. However, I wrote that we would contribute 15% instead of the required 5%.

    We also have a low call volume, we are BLS, we did have 1 injury, and there are <2000 people in our coverage area (which is 95% wildnerness..hence all the unpaved roads).

    Can someone with more experience than me, give me an honest opinion of whether we'll get rejected by the computer. I'm only 21. So, I don't have much experience with this.
    If you are a fire department, an ambulance is priority three and will never ever get funded. I wouldn't waste your time on an ambulance if you are a fire dept. If you are a non-affiliated EMS organization, only 2% of the total AFG funds go to EMS, it was only ~11 million last year. You are competing against over 1,200 EMS organizations requesting over 120 million. Odd's would be like 1 in 11, for vehicles it must be like 1 per 100? I don't know the exact dollar amount that was awarded for EMS vehicles, but it can't be much? AFG doesn't show a breakdown on the vehicle aquisition for non-affiliated EMS. I'd love to see the data if anyone has it. I say, better off going for PPE or equipment if you are EMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fighting41NY View Post
    If you are a fire department, an ambulance is priority three and will never ever get funded. I wouldn't waste your time on an ambulance if you are a fire dept. If you are a non-affiliated EMS organization, only 2% of the total AFG funds go to EMS, it was only ~11 million last year. You are competing against over 1,200 EMS organizations requesting over 120 million. Odd's would be like 1 in 11, for vehicles it must be like 1 per 100? I don't know the exact dollar amount that was awarded for EMS vehicles, but it can't be much? AFG doesn't show a breakdown on the vehicle aquisition for non-affiliated EMS. I'd love to see the data if anyone has it. I say, better off going for PPE or equipment if you are EMS.
    It's me again, under a different screen name. No offense, but I really hope you are wrong about our chances being 1/11. Alternatively, I hope we are that 1 out of 11.

    All I know is that we made it to the program review. I guess only time will tell. Just having faith that God will see us through. I think we really need this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    I beed a good boy too Santa. But I'm not so sure about Islandfire
    I suppose it depends on who you ask Jim:
    My wife might say I've been very bad,
    but I think the rest of my customers would vote for very good. :-}

    Hopefully the folks at AFG are part of the latter group.

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    If you're serious about picking up some understanding and have some time and an iPod/MP3 player or laptop for those long rides into the city I went into decent detail on these subjects in the PodCasts I've done for Firehouse.com.

    http://www.firehouse.com/podcast/grants

    If I find out how in the heck to pull up my old articles then I'll post those links too, but that new username they gave me for blogging doesn't connect to the old articles anymore off my bio. But probably time for some new ones anyway...

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    Heaven knows you have all kinds of spare time on your hands Brian. I am sure you have at least 15 minutes in between feedings for the growing boy, or maybe at his size its only ten minutes.

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    Can't use that as an excuse, feeding is handled by the other half like nature intended. Now SAFER apps, polishing up the chapter for the textbook, a SAFER article, blog, packing to move in 3 weeks. Yeah, that about makes them 20 hour workdays. Just like I like them.

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    Talking Watch out,,,

    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Can't use that as an excuse, feeding is handled by the other half like nature intended. Now SAFER apps, polishing up the chapter for the textbook, a SAFER article, blog, packing to move in 3 weeks. Yeah, that about makes them 20 hour workdays. Just like I like them.
    We'll be watching to see just how long its gonna take before 'loopiness' takes up permanent residence in the old noggin'.

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    Too late, happened many, many moons ago, right around the time I joined the fire service. Can't be sane and do that or be self-employed. How else would I put up with me on a daily basis at work?

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    Another move?? I thought you had just got the house finished the way you wanted it.... Oh wait you probably are just getting another house to turn into a man cave for you and the big boy.

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    Well it's been over 2 years so it's about time. In a 3 bed with study and the 3rd bed being an office for the Mrs we just don't fit. During AFG we had 7 people working in here, 2 in the living room, 2 in the kitchen, 1 in Emma's playroom. Needed the space so found the place where we can make one last move until we kick the kids out after college. 2 story garage so 2nd floor becomes the office. And if we hit the lottery, the man-cave.

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    Question frazzzled application

    C'mon AFG. Lets light this candle. Here I am worried about Brian becoming loopy and am begining to think I've already run off the cliff.

    Is there a way to write a regional application to say hire an instructor for one year with the idea to increase our areas's FF1? Not an employee, but a contract for a block of work. Say hold a couple nfpa1001 courses and then emphasis what it would take to pass the practical and written.

    I asked Michael Paddock yesterday and he said yes, cautiously though.

    So could one submit a regional AFG to pay an instructor, an assistant and a few other items for one year to help our area increase its FF1?

    Not kidding, but a little fraZZELD at the moment.

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