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    Default House Passes FIRE Act, SAFER Reauthorization

    Great News!!! it is at least a start!
    The measure now moves on to the Senate.
    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today the House passed a measure reauthorizing the FIRE Act grant programs.
    The bill sets aside $1B for AFG and $1.2M for SAFER annually through 2014.

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    And I rather hope that everyone on this forum will take a look to see if their congressperson was one of the 31 who voted against it... if so, I think we'd all be curious to hear why they did so!

    Here's a quick link to see who voted "aye" and "nay"

    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll901.xml

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    In the words of everyone's favorite Sheriff, Roscoe P Coltrane: "Good news, Boss! Good News!"

    Culberson is not mine, but next district over. Very little he votes for when it comes to spending money lately. Of course I've seen some vote No when they thought it didn't have enough money in it, or was missing something. Would like to shake their hands and while we're at it mention how the station grants need to get added in somewhere.

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    Question Did '10 AFG get increase?

    Maybe I misunderstood, but while listening to Michael Paddock (right now) on the Cisco Webcast, I thought I heard him say 2010 AFG was going to have $390 million available. That's about $220 million more than stated earlier.

    Like I said maybe I misunderstood or Mr. Paddock meant AFG combined with another fire grant project.

    Whatever, this is great news. For those who contacted their elected officals and the congressional fire caucus to get this extension, thank you.
    Last edited by jam24u; 11-19-2009 at 02:59 PM.

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    All of our republican congressmen voted, Yeah!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    Maybe I misunderstood, but while listening to Michael Paddock (right now) on the Cisco Webcast, I thought I heard him say 2010 AFG was going to have $390 million available. That's about $220 million more than stated earlier.

    Like I said maybe I misunderstood or Mr. Paddock meant AFG combined with another fire grant project.

    Whatever, this is great news. For those who contacted their elected officals and the congressional fire caucus to get this extension, thank you.
    2010 has $390mil, but also was the last year by the current law governing the program. This vote creates the 2011-2014 application periods for all 3 programs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    2010 has $390mil, but also was the last year by the current law governing the program. This vote creates the 2011-2014 application periods for all 3 programs.
    Well then 2010 AFG has more than doubled in size after the transfer of $380 million from '10 AFG to SAFER which occured just before the 2009 closing period. Somehwere along the time-line since the closeout I grew dumber and missed a very decent increase in funds for next years AFG. Unless this new legislation is a part of next years increase.

    Irregardless, am I understanding this right? One billion per year for just AFG? Before I get my hopes up that that is true, I'd better check myself. Did they have the same proposed breakdowns of 25% for each? If so I understand a little better then where the one billion fits in.

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    Correct, White House doubled SAFER originally by taking money from AFG, then Congress didn't like that so they added the $90mil back.

    For 2011 and beyond AFG will keep the 25% vehicles and those other changes that were highlighted before like 30% to each classification and 10% up for grabs.

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    Thanks for the clarification. I can hardly describe what good news this is. I doubt there will be any roadblocks from the senate. Everyone is on a spending lust anyway.

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    USFA Administrator Kelvin Cochran spoke very specifically at NVFC about grants going to “risk based” instead of “basic needs”. He said we’ve met all the basic needs of the volunteer fire service in the United States ( like heck they did) so now it’s time to go to “risk based” to take care of our threats and then in a few years when for example the turnout that departments got in 2003 & 2004 gets to be 10 years old they will go back to taking care of basic needs.

    I don't see them turning back if the move forward with this plan

    There is also a caveat in the grant this year that will split money out with equal pieces going to volunteers, a piece going to career and a piece goes to combination instead of it being predominantly volunteer as we’ve seen in the past.

    anyone else heard of this ?

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    The risk-based part isn't changing, that's what the real homeland security grants are for. But AFG will split 25% to each of the 3 department types with 10% up for grabs.

    Have to remember that the Chief was employed by a major city, and probably won't have any idea what the rural volunteer fire service needs since he has no experience in that field. Not knocking the guy, just merely pointing out that he's been misinformed somewhere along the line. Just have to review a table of requests from AFG apps to see how many still are working with 12+ year old bunker gear to see that the basic needs haven't been met.

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    AFG

    Guarantees 25 percent of AFG funds each to career, combination, and volunteer fire departments, respectively.
    Under current law, volunteer departments are guaranteed a percentage of the funds at least equal to the percentage of the population that they protect nationally (19.8 percent) and there are no guarantees for career or combination departments. The bill specifies that departments already recognized by the grants office as “paid on-call/stipend” departments should be considered combination departments for the purpose of applying for AFG.

    Increases from five to ten percent the funds set aside for the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant program and eliminates the matching requirement for fire departments through FP&S. The bill would also increase the maximum award amount through FP&S from $1 million to $1.5 million.

    Makes volunteer non-fire service-based EMS and rescue agencies eligible to receive up to two percent of AFG funds.
    Makes state fire training agencies eligible to receive up to three percent of AFG funds.

    Leaves 10 percent of AFG funds open for competition between career, combination, and volunteer fire departments.

    Reduces the matching requirement for fire departments protecting populations of 50,000 or greater from 20 percent to ten percent. Departments protecting populations of 20,000-49,999 will continue to have a ten percent match, and departments protecting populations of 19,999 or less will continue to have a five percent match.
    Allows the Grants Preparedness Directorate to waive the matching requirement for fire departments that can demonstrate financial hardship.
    Establishes new maximum award amounts:
    $9 million for jurisdictions serving a population of 2.5 million or more.
    $6 million for jurisdictions serving a population of between 1 million and 2.5 million.
    $3 million for jurisdictions serving a population of between 500,000 and 1 million.
    $2 million for jurisdictions serving a population of between 100,000 and 500,000.
    Jurisdictions serving a population of 100,000 or less will continue to have a grant cap of $1 million.

    Creates “Research and Development Grants” as part of the FP&S Grant Program, which would be projects focusing on firefighter health and life safety.

    Allows departments to purchase EMS training through AFG in addition to firefighter training.

    Codifies the current practice of prioritizing AFG awards based on a department’s call volume and population protected.

    Requires that training purchased using AFG funds adhere to national voluntary consensus standards, if they are applicable.
    Authorizes a new fire service needs assessment study.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    All of our republican congressmen voted, Yeah!
    The only nay's were from republicans maybe not yours or mine but still!! it's time to send some unfriendly reminders to those 31 that said NO.

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