1. #1
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    Default Bullard Eclipse Ultra-Small Handheld Thermal Imager

    I put in for a TIC in the 2009 AFG grant with the idea that a unit cost about10,000. These units are only about $5,000 could I ask for two of these instead of one unit?

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    I'm afraid to say if your application was for (1) TIC, AFG will pay for (1) TIC... I'm sure they will have reduced the allowable cost to $9,000.00.

    That being said, however, if by a competitive bidding process you have remaining funds, you could apply the funds (up to the $4,750 [5,000 minus 5%] limit toward 'enhancing your project' You would be responsible for the rest of the cost...

    A couple caviats - the initial project application must be completed as written / applied, and if you applied for 2 and they reduced you to 1, then it would be a 'tough sell'... I'd contact your AFG specialist with an email explaining that you met your obligations on the application, and this is what you'd like to do with the supplemental funds to get an approval in writing from him / her to place in your files (in case during an audit there becomes questions)

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    medic190 I think I am going to have to disagree with you somewhat. As long as the application is met in both the request details and the narrative, I think he can get 2. If he has a grant for just $10,000 and it says that he will purchase a TIC and through competative bidding he gets one for $5,000.00, then he has met his application requirement. Then if he wants to expand on his project, get a second one for $5,000.00 he can do that through excess funds. Excess funds in the amount of $5,000.00 or less does not have to be pre approved. So if his match is 5%, FEMA spends $9,500.00 and his dept. $500.00. That would be the same if he bought 1 for $10,000.00

    I may be wrong, but I don't think I am.

    Only warning I have is that you make sure u have completed your entire application and at the end you can spend the excess funds as you wish as long as u expand your project.

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    Never hurts to be cautious and send an email to the grants specialist... After getting the return email that you can spend it on 'enhancements' you are set, even though you don't HAVE to ask him. My first year with excess funds, I sent an email, got the standard 'you don't need to file a grant amendment' letter and placed it on file. Now I can refer back to that if there is ever a question... A small insurance policy to have versus someone sweating during an audit...

    Sorry if you thought I was saying you couldn't get 2 units, possibly a little mis-communication. Some things I mentioned - 1. AFG cap on TICs this year seems to be 9K. 2. If you asked for 2 originally and AFG reduced it to 1, they felt you didn't need 2 and modified it, and you bought the second one AND got audited, you'd have some explaining to do (refer back to the sweating...) Just throwing it out there: I get the impression that you only asked for 1 anyway... 3. The excess funds are the total of 5K (so taking out your 5% (250.00) you'd have 4750 allowable AFG to spend, rest is yours...

    For example: you get 9,000.00 from AFG (8550 from AFG and 450 your share) and the 'first' TIC for 5,000.00: AFG funds 4750.00 and you pay 250. remaining 'supplemental' funds: 3800.00 from AFG. So, in essence, you'd be paying 1200 for the other TIC. Still a great price. You just have to make sure the original grant request was met in entirity before spending supplemental monies. AND, it never hurts to have that piece of paper in the file that says you can spend it on 'operations enhancements' from the FPS...

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    I disagree and maybe we need Brian or Kurt to answer this question.

    I think1 for $5000.00 - FEMA $4750 You $250
    Excess funds - FEMA $4750 You $250
    This totals $10,000

    And I dont know for sure but our 2006 AFG TIC was 11,000 and 2008 TIC was 10,000. Both were reduced from 12,000. But I didn't need another one this year so I dont have the amount allowed this year.

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    So far, everybody on the posts have stated their price for TIC were reduced to $9,000.00. A lot of 1199A's, and 10 Q's that have confirmed same...

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    That stinks....guess i should be glad i got 11 and 10

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    If it were me, i'd do exactly what Medic suggested. Even though the scope of the grant is complete and the excess could be used for eligible items...since it's a double i'd rather have the e-mail in my file instead of the PG. Call me conservative, but i'm not returning any equipment ever.

    earl

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    Trust me when I say it is always better to have something in writing with a DHS employees name attached to it, than simply a reference to a phone call form someone whom's name you have long since forgotten. I have had several departments "spend" their excess funds on something, as stated and interpreted by themselves according to the PG, only to be audited several years later and be informed that the purchase was disallowed and they were held responsible for returning those funds.

    You are in a "slightly gray" area and specific official advice is merited here and should be sought to avoid any problems later. CYA is the order of the day here. Better to be able to point the finger of blame back at a DHS official than to shoulder that responsibility armed with nothing more than a "phone call" approval from someone who may not even be around three years from now during an audit.

    In regards to the cost share involved, the simple rule here is for whatever you choose to purchase , you must pay the corresponding percentage of matching fund that you did with the grant award. If you had a 5% matching share required and wished to use the full $5,000 in excess funds that you are allowed to under the expansion of the scope of your project, the item you seek to purchase would have to be at least $5250 in cost. That would be $5,000 Fed share + $250 your share = Total $5250
    Kurt Bradley
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    I'm gonna go a little off-topic, but stay on the TIC's.

    Before you make up your mind on a TIC, make sure you take a look at various makes and models and put them through the ringer. Get your guys to play with them in different scenarios. Find an old house and do search drills or something. Let the guys use them on their knees, in different situations, etc.

    I took a look at the Bullard site and I think you're talking about the Eclipse? I know a lot of times smaller can be better, but when we're wearing gloves and the amount of gear we do, sometimes simple and bulky works better.

    Personally, I like a TIC that has a lanyard or at least a sling on it. When I'm working interior there are times I've got the luxury of holding the camera in-hand and using it, and there's times I need my hands free.

    As far as the original topic, ALWAYS consult with someone from AFG before using excess funds or trying to increase the amount of something. When we got our PPE and SCBA grant, I asked about buying more sets of gear with the excess funds and was denied. They approved X amount of gear and that's what they were going to pay for.

    I know a nearby department that saved a ton of money come bid time and bought extra sets without asking. They were subsequently audited and had to pay back a bunch of money.

    At the least, I put in a good description of what I'm doing on the amendment/payment request. Typically I'll do this after talking with someone to confirm it's OK to do what I'm looking at doing with the excess funds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Before you make up your mind on a TIC, make sure you take a look at various makes and models and put them through the ringer. Get your guys to play with them in different scenarios. Find an old house and do search drills or something. Let the guys use them on their knees, in different situations, etc.

    I took a look at the Bullard site and I think you're talking about the Eclipse? I know a lot of times smaller can be better, but when we're wearing gloves and the amount of gear we do, sometimes simple and bulky works better.

    Personally, I like a TIC that has a lanyard or at least a sling on it. When I'm working interior there are times I've got the luxury of holding the camera in-hand and using it, and there's times I need my hands free.
    Exactly. Cheaper does not always mean better. http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00987802000P

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    Quote Originally Posted by ktb9780 View Post
    Trust me when I say it is always better to have something in writing with a DHS employees name attached to it, than simply a reference to a phone call form someone whom's name you have long since forgotten. I have had several departments "spend" their excess funds on something, as stated and interpreted by themselves according to the PG, only to be audited several years later and be informed that the purchase was disallowed and they were held responsible for returning those funds.

    You are in a "slightly gray" area and specific official advice is merited here and should be sought to avoid any problems later. CYA is the order of the day here. Better to be able to point the finger of blame back at a DHS official than to shoulder that responsibility armed with nothing more than a "phone call" approval from someone who may not even be around three years from now during an audit.

    In regards to the cost share involved, the simple rule here is for whatever you choose to purchase , you must pay the corresponding percentage of matching fund that you did with the grant award. If you had a 5% matching share required and wished to use the full $5,000 in excess funds that you are allowed to under the expansion of the scope of your project, the item you seek to purchase would have to be at least $5250 in cost. That would be $5,000 Fed share + $250 your share = Total $5250
    Oh man--i hate to do this Kurt--but to spend $5,000 federal on a 5% match it will take a purchase of $5,263.16 (maybe a little less since you get to round!!). Match has to be 5% (for rural) of the purchase--not 5% of the federal share.

    Also, while it's not the case in volfireman's question--i'd use absolute caution if i was trying to use my excess funds to purchase more of something that i'd had quantities reduced on. i.e. applied for 24 sets of turnouts, reduced to 21 sets--no way i'd try to get the extra three just 'cuz i could do it with excess funds. Somebody from DC gonna have to tell me okey-dokey on that one!!

    earl (you have taught me well Master Kurt!!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenacres2 View Post
    Oh man--i hate to do this Kurt--but to spend $5,000 federal on a 5% match it will take a purchase of $5,263.16 (maybe a little less since you get to round!!). Match has to be 5% (for rural) of the purchase--not 5% of the federal share.

    Also, while it's not the case in volfireman's question--i'd use absolute caution if i was trying to use my excess funds to purchase more of something that i'd had quantities reduced on. i.e. applied for 24 sets of turnouts, reduced to 21 sets--no way i'd try to get the extra three just 'cuz i could do it with excess funds. Somebody from DC gonna have to tell me okey-dokey on that one!!

    earl (you have taught me well Master Kurt!!)
    Earl,

    OK you got me on the math there Earl!LOL
    Last edited by ktb9780; 01-18-2010 at 04:05 PM.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Last year, my excess fund request of $5,000.00 was disapproved with the explaination from AFG folks that it was 5k TOTAL (meaning I had to put in my $250.00 for their $4750.00.) I was told to update the request to $4750.00 for it to be approved. I know this comes up each year and sometimes the 'whole amount' is allowed, other times the 'reduced' amount is allowed...

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    Well maybe its my befuddled mind here! The way I am looking at this, and I could be wrong, is that there is $5000+ of Federal share left over after I have provided my full 5% for my initial project.Logic says that if I wanted to expend the full remaining amount of Federal share money and was willing to kick in my 5%, I should be able to buy something that was $5250 as long as I committed the $250 from my own budget. By the logic above it would seem to me that there would still be $250 of Federal share money that would have to be returned to the program.I don't know, maybe I am seeing this wrong.
    Kurt Bradley
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    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    It seems that there maybe some confusion on what excess funds are. Excess funds are those funds that remain after the scope of the project has been completed. Excess funds will be the total of the federal and applicant share.

    When using excess funds the same %'s will still apply.

    You have an initial grant of $10,000 ($9,500 fed., $500 applicant). $5,000 ($4,750 Fed, $250 Appl.) is spent completing the project. There now remains $5,000 ($4,750 fed., $250 appl.) in excess funds; which can be spent enhancing the project.

    You have an initial grant of $15,000 ($14,250 F, $750 A). The completed project cost is $9,500 ( $9,025 F, $475 A) which leaves $5,500 ($5,225 F, $275 A) in excess funds. Under the rules you can spend up to $5,000 enhancing the project requiring the use of $4,750 F & $250 A. The remaining excess funds of $500 ($475 F, $25 A) can be used for fire prevention with approval.

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    I believe that bugles math is what I said back at the beginning of this thread.

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    I requested $5000 in excess funds in 2007 and put our additional $250 to it for a total $5250. It went through just fine.......However, when i did the closeout, they caught it and made me return $250 to the program. At the time, I didnt know any better. From now on, I will only request $4750 if I have it available.

    Kelly

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    In this case buying the way cheaper TIC and asking for a 2nd on with excess fund might look a bit fish for sure. Was funded for turn outs and becuase of bidding got a much cheaper price for the final purchase. AFG approve us to spend the remaining fund on more turn outs. well we were able to get everything but the boots and gloves. So we asked for 5 sets but ended up with 6 minus one pair of gloves and boots. Turn outs vary in price alot and also depends on that type you get Advance vs milliana. AFG has there set limits so most of the time you can get more of the nomex or advance then the higher end Matrix or PBI gold.

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