1. #1
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    Default SAFER Question about applicant characteristics and budget

    I would like to submit a R&R SAFER Grant for two departments that are on automatic mutual aid with each other as well as share training responsibilities, etc.

    One of my questions is how do I fill out the Applicant Characteristics screens? Do I combine both departments' together and use that information in the Applicant Characteristics screens I & II as well as Call Volume and on the request screen about how many firefighters joined/left in the last 3 years?

    The application doesn't ask until the "Request Details" screen whether this program will have a regional impact or not.

    If I have to pick one or the other department's statistics for the Applicant Characteristics/etc. screens then it probably makes sense to use the department that has more calls (but also more volunteers) then the other, huh?

    My other question is regarding the budget...I've come up with an idea similar to tuition assistance as well as gas cards for volunteers that respond in their POVs...since I don't know how many people we are going to be able to recruit or retain due to this grant how do I make up the budget?

    ie. if I think that 5 people are going to use the tuition assistance @ $200 each/yr and put that in my budget request as a cost of $1000 for the first year but 15 people come forward and want to use it do I have to pick straws out of a hat to determine which 5 get the assistance? Or am I missing something?

    Thanks!!!

    Frank

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    Since there's no regional button to chose you add everything together under one of the department's contact info and then explain the situation in the narrative. That way if anyone ever looks at the stats difference between the different apps they'll see why your numbers don't match.

    And on your tuition assistance thing there should be a committee or something to evaluate requests for assistance when there are more requests than funding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankr View Post
    I would like to submit a R&R SAFER Grant for two departments that are on automatic mutual aid with each other as well as share training responsibilities, etc.

    One of my questions is how do I fill out the Applicant Characteristics screens? Do I combine both departments' together and use that information in the Applicant Characteristics screens I & II as well as Call Volume and on the request screen about how many firefighters joined/left in the last 3 years?
    My understanding is each and every SAFER app goes to Peer review. With that said, add all the specifics together and put down the totals. Makes for a lot of fun on a larger regional application. Getting information from 13 Chiefs is much akin to herding cats.

    Quote Originally Posted by frankr View Post

    My other question is regarding the budget...I've come up with an idea similar to tuition assistance as well as gas cards for volunteers that respond in their POVs...since I don't know how many people we are going to be able to recruit or retain due to this grant how do I make up the budget?

    ie. if I think that 5 people are going to use the tuition assistance @ $200 each/yr and put that in my budget request as a cost of $1000 for the first year but 15 people come forward and want to use it do I have to pick straws out of a hat to determine which 5 get the assistance? Or am I missing something?
    NFPA sets your standards for where your department should be for staffing. Your plan should include a reasonable growth plan to meet that goal, which should give you a reasonable amount to base your budget on. If you meet the goals, you should be golden,
    if you don't meet the goals then you have a surplus (and an SAFER rep from FEMA questioning you as to why your recruitment numbers are not going up) and if you exceed your goals then you tell people that you have X dollars in gas cards available - and after that there is no money for that period of performance. Surely they will keep responding!

    On the tuition money, I prioritize, then if there is still issues I let the Fire Department board decide. Fire Science classes at the college take first priority, then the other college level classes. That is the way I put it in my narrative also.

    Dollar for dollar, SAFER is the most intensive grant I have gotten from anyone, when you look at the oversight and reporting required. Not only do you have to do the reporting to NFIRS, etc, but you also have quarterly performance reports (done as you ask for your money every quarter) which they go over quite seriously, and they will question why your
    figures are not progressing at the rate you put down in your narrative, and try to assist
    in making it work.

    To all, espically underfunded departments, you must be very careful to time your requests if you cannot afford to cover your expenses first. Tuition is only spent a couple of times a year, but has a definate window to pay in. Keep that as the priority, and plan your other expense accordingly. Add to that funds request/performance report your other expenses and time those purchases. It takes a month - give or take two weeks to get approved on a no problem report, then a week or so to get paid. Remember, you can't hold those funds for over 30 days, and getting exact amounts for tuition is like nailing jello to the wall.

    That said, it is still a tremendous grant!

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    Not all apps make Peer, that's Fire Prevention since only a couple thousand are submitted. SAFER gets more but they also take longer so not all of them go in, especially with the dollar amounts requested versus available.

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    Thanks for the info, will combine our numbers together and see what we come up with.

    Since we have no colleges within a couple hours of us, and I certainly don't want to have people leave the area to go to college (kinda defeats the whole purpose for the grant), my idea was to have people get money to go into their kids 529 accounts...which makes it difficult to come up with definative numbers for what this is going to cost each year without asking folks if they have 529s for their kids....and then have to explain that I'm just submitting a grant request with no idea if it will ever get funded....

    I know I certainly don't want to be the person picking who in the departments gets funding...I like all the air in my tires...

    I'll talk to some of the officers and see if maybe we can structure it so that so many "dollars" are paid for showing up at calls and going to training above and beyond the state mandated minimums....or something like that...using the average of our last couple years worth of calls...

    Anyone have any ideas how much is too much to ask for? In other words, between the two departments we have approximately 40 firefighters, if I put a request in for say $1000 a year for 4 years, is that too much money to ask for? If it was much less than that it's probably not going to do much to retain or recruit anyone...and that's if I work it out that only a few firefighters actually see any money from this...

    Thanks again,

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    If it's going to be 529 funding instead of actual college scholarships then probably ought to calculate it out to all active members, not just a select few that want to participate. Maybe offer a choice of a 529 or a pension, or even split the funds they earn between them. Otherwise no perk goes to someone that isn't interested in the 529 setup, and if some are getting perks, others aren't, then doesn't do too much for overall organizational motivation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankr View Post
    Anyone have any ideas how much is too much to ask for? In other words, between the two departments we have approximately 40 firefighters, if I put a request in for say $1000 a year for 4 years, is that too much money to ask for? If it was much less than that it's probably not going to do much to retain or recruit anyone...and that's if I work it out that only a few firefighters actually see any money from this...

    Thanks again,
    28 members, 6k a year funding. Now looking at 13 departments, 300 firefighters, 60-70-80K per year. (Not worked all the math yet)

    It is enough that one of our colleges about 120 miles away is wanting to offer fire science if our local college drops it. They will do it at our fire stations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frankr View Post
    Thanks for the info, will combine our numbers together and see what we come up with.

    Since we have no colleges within a couple hours of us, and I certainly don't want to have people leave the area to go to college (kinda defeats the whole purpose for the grant), my idea was to have people get money to go into their kids 529 accounts...which makes it difficult to come up with definative numbers for what this is going to cost each year without asking folks if they have 529s for their kids....and then have to explain that I'm just submitting a grant request with no idea if it will ever get funded....

    I know I certainly don't want to be the person picking who in the departments gets funding...I like all the air in my tires...

    I'll talk to some of the officers and see if maybe we can structure it so that so many "dollars" are paid for showing up at calls and going to training above and beyond the state mandated minimums....or something like that...using the average of our last couple years worth of calls...

    Anyone have any ideas how much is too much to ask for? In other words, between the two departments we have approximately 40 firefighters, if I put a request in for say $1000 a year for 4 years, is that too much money to ask for? If it was much less than that it's probably not going to do much to retain or recruit anyone...and that's if I work it out that only a few firefighters actually see any money from this...

    Thanks again,
    We set up a scholarship fund a couple of years ago named after a former rescue Chief & 25 year member that passed away. It is run by our board of directors as a stand alone subcommittee that is open to all active responding members and their immediate family, ie. spouses , children. applicants can use the funds for tuition /fees or living expenses while attending a college that is accredited by a state, 2 year , 4 year or vocational school.
    The funding initially was raised by the committee through separate fundraising events in the community. We applied for funding under SAFER last year and asked for yr-1 4k, yr-2 3k, yr-3 2k,yr -4 1k. It was funded. We will continue with separate fund raising in addition to the safer funds to make the kitty larger.

    We have an open application period from Jan - April and the committee makes it's recommendation to the board on how much to award the individual student based on their need & how much is in the bank account. First yr we had one applicant, second yr 2 applicants,3rd yr none and this coming year we have already had 3 express interest in applying for funding.

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