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    Default Question for Kurt and Brian re: Vehicle Exhaust

    Since Kurt and Brian probably wrote or reviewed the most 2009 AFG apps, I'd like to get their perspective on how vehicle exhaust systems are being awarded (or not) in the 2009 program compared with previous years.

    We all know that higher priority is given to stations that are full time and have sleeping quarters, however, there are many many many volunteer departments that have received vehicle exhaust systems in previous AFG years that don't have sleeping quarters and are not full time.

    From what I can tell, however, it appears that in the 2009 program, vehicle exhaust systems are ONLY being awarded to departments that are full time and have sleeping quarters.

    Kurt & Brian - are you seeing the same thing with the applications that you worked on?

    If this is really happening - it seems like the majority of volunteer departments will no longer qualify for vehicle exhaust.

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    bump back up to the top

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    It doesn't look that way. I wrote for an all-vol department, no sleeping quarters, and they have received a reduction on their truck-mounted exhaust systems. No 1199a or 10Q's yet, but they'll be along I think.
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    I'll be very interested to hear what happens with your app then.

    I have a department with a budget reduced to zero on an exhaust application. From speaking with DHS, they are not considering it because of no sleeping quarters.

    (Yes, I realize this has been different in years past)

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    It doesn't look that way. I wrote for an all-vol department, no sleeping quarters, and they have received a reduction on their truck-mounted exhaust systems. No 1199a or 10Q's yet, but they'll be along I think.
    What was the reduction? What was the dollar amount requested and what does the dollar amount show now?

    Also - did you specify that this department is full-time or part-time?

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    Dave I'm confused, maybe you're talking about 2 different Depts. but if you need TO gear as stated in the other thread why would you even consider an exhaust system?

    I'd love to have one too, but it's pretty far down on my list, I have other needs that come into play long before something like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OsbornFPD View Post
    Dave I'm confused, maybe you're talking about 2 different Depts. but if you need TO gear as stated in the other thread why would you even consider an exhaust system?

    I'd love to have one too, but it's pretty far down on my list, I have other needs that come into play long before something like that.
    2 different departments...

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    It doesn't look that way. I wrote for an all-vol department, no sleeping quarters, and they have received a reduction on their truck-mounted exhaust systems. No 1199a or 10Q's yet, but they'll be along I think.
    wow, I am impressed if this gets awarded. By truck mounted do you mean like the Ward system. I am surprised because they stated in the PG that:

    "The highest priority has been assigned to sprinkler systems, exhaust evacuation systems, and fire/smoke alarm system. Lower priority has been assigned to generators, Vehicle Mounted Exhaust Filtration Systems."

    If you do indeed get awarded that is great. Our department liked the vehicle mounted over a source capture system hanging from the ceiling but I wrote for highest priority. We are in the same position as you though, reductions and no 10Q or 1199A.

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    Sorry, didn't see this, but the others seem to have it handled well. Supposedly there is pressure to not give exhaust removals to non-sleeping quartered stations but that's not the way the game is supposed to work. They're the lowest priority but doesn't mean that they CAN'T be funded if reviewed well. 24/7 occupancy is the highest priority but if the application can't be put together well then it doesn't score, doesn't get funded. Seen a long list of folks that just tried to bunt something that was a grand slam if they just made an effort to answer the questions but they just didn't. As in 1-2 sentences worth in each section....

    I'll be surprised if a truck mounted goes out, was said on several fronts that those wouldn't rank high enough to hit money but needles get threaded all the time.

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    Based on the apps for the departments that i"ve helped, I have found the following:

    - FEMA has made little distinction between hose based source capture versus truck mounted filter (i have one filter system with reduction, 1199a, and 10qs and one hose system with reduction)

    - FEMA has denied exhaust systems (regardless of hose v. truck mount) for departments that aren't full time and don't have sleeping quarters (i have one department that received the radios requested but was denied completely on the exhaust system)

    In my opinion, this is a departure from previous years and had I known FEMA would implement the 24/7 and sleeping quarters rules more strictly this year, I would have advised departments against asking for it if they didn't have 24/7 staffing and no sleeping quarters.

    Seems to me like a rule change after the game was played. Frustrating to say the least.

    Perhaps more importantly, if this is truly how FEMA intends to play the game then it doesn't bode well for volunteer departments given that most don't have sleeping quarters and aren't in use 24/7. Is FEMA suggesting that volunteers are immune to the negative health effects of diesel exhaust???

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    Quote Originally Posted by davepa View Post
    In my opinion, this is a departure from previous years and had I known FEMA would implement the 24/7 and sleeping quarters rules more strictly this year, I would have advised departments against asking for it if they didn't have 24/7 staffing and no sleeping quarters.
    This is the part I agree on completely. I'm frustrated that I basically wasted my time and a department's money to write an application which clearly scored well enough in peer (since it was reduced to $0 in tech review).

    However, I did fund departments that were not full time. However, sleeping quarters were in place.

    Last year, I funded a part time department with < 100 calls and no sleeping quarters for exhaust in Round 3. This year, I've got one with 350 calls and I was told by DHS "no sleeping quarters receives lower consideration and we won't be looking to fund it." Like Brian said, lower consideration is just that. Not unfundable.

    I also will be more upset if I learn that vehicle mounted exhaust gets approved, because sleeping quarters or not, those are NOT in any way helping the health issues.

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    [QUOTE

    However, I did fund departments that were not full time. However, sleeping quarters were in place.

    Last year, I funded a part time department with < 100 calls and no sleeping quarters for exhaust in Round 3. This year, I've got one with 350 calls and I was told by DHS "no sleeping quarters receives lower consideration and we won't be looking to fund it." Like Brian said, lower consideration is just that. Not unfundable.
    [/QUOTE]

    I am growing increasingly frustrated because of inconsistencies. You got funding for a department that was not full time but had sleeping quarters. My department was told that the reason they were denied is because they were not full time and having sleeping quarters wouldn't make a difference!

    What's the point of having a program guidance if the guidelines are only applied selectively???

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    I was told that "if you receive a denial, it will be explained."

    If you get one and I get one and they are different, we'll talk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLY4420 View Post
    I was told that "if you receive a denial, it will be explained."

    If you get one and I get one and they are different, we'll talk.
    The denial they got was verbal....i'll have to figure out a way to have them ask for it in writing...

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    Mine was verbal too. I was told that I would receive the explaination in writing in the denial.

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    Just found a reduction on my career departments application for exhaust system yesterday

    Hose Mounted System
    11 Vehicles for the system
    Reduced to $57,500

    Combination Department
    Staffed 24/7 with a minimum of 5 personnel
    Sleeping Quarters

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    Default volunteer fire stations

    Sly,

    What do you think about this...Why couldn't you buy one bed for the station, put it in there and call it a fire station with sleeping facilities. I am sure that you could get a firefighter to sleep there.

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    "Sleeping quarters" defined is a sticking point. I have several clients with crew lounges (couches, etc.) which allows people to sleep in during inclement weather, emergency situations, etc. Therefor, they have sleeping quarters in my opinion. I know they don't want to see a cot thrown in an engine bay in order to be considered sleeping quarters, but having a dedicated area with the capability of allowing in station crews to me is acceptable.

    Like has been pointed out, just because no one is asleep in the station doesn't make the breathing environment any safer.

    Unfortunately, the client I'm trying to get awarded does not wish to add any sort of bed or even a couch in order to be considered.

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    Sly, The department you stated that got a reduction to 0. Are they still in the running for other items that they asked for. We got the same reduction to 0, on the exhaust systems but they did not change anything else. I am curious if we are still in the running for our other equipment that we requested. Head sets, thermal camera and portable lights. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireems51 View Post
    Sly, The department you stated that got a reduction to 0. Are they still in the running for other items that they asked for. We got the same reduction to 0, on the exhaust systems but they did not change anything else. I am curious if we are still in the running for our other equipment that we requested. Head sets, thermal camera and portable lights. Thanks
    The other items are still eligible and in the running.

    What did you put in for a price on the TIC? If it was anything greater than $9,000 check and see if it has been reduced to $9,000. It will give you an indicator that the grant is moving forward.
    Last edited by onebugle; 03-06-2010 at 11:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireems51 View Post
    Sly, The department you stated that got a reduction to 0. Are they still in the running for other items that they asked for. We got the same reduction to 0, on the exhaust systems but they did not change anything else. I am curious if we are still in the running for our other equipment that we requested. Head sets, thermal camera and portable lights. Thanks
    The department I wrote for that had their exhaust reduced to zero was awarded portable radios in the 3rd round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireems51 View Post
    Sly, The department you stated that got a reduction to 0. Are they still in the running for other items that they asked for.
    No other items on the application, just exhaust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhl81791123 View Post
    Sly,

    What do you think about this...Why couldn't you buy one bed for the station, put it in there and call it a fire station with sleeping facilities. I am sure that you could get a firefighter to sleep there.
    The one bed is called " The Cot" in the back of a ambulance or across the front seat of the pumper. Been There ! done that ! If your really picky then
    a 2 inch bed roll work just as good.

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    OK I am not going to fan the flames so to speak here but here is my two cents worth.

    In at least the last two years I have seen the language that "higher consideration will be given to those with higher occupancy levels". As I have always stated, reading between the lines is always a good idea. Yes interpretations change and things get funded for some through loopholes that are not diligently enforced and we have previously seen AFG close those loopholes with additional clarification of language or subtle change in wording which, if not interpreted correctly, leads to rejection notices.

    Need is established when looking at exhaust systems through "occupancy" plain and simple. It is "how many hours a day are you being exposed" to the fumes that becomes the issue. A full time station or 24/7 staffed station will always have more need than one that does not have people occupying the building 24/7.

    There is only so much money here folks and I personally do not believe they are being biased in considering the needs of full time occupancy over those without same. They are simply sticking to what they said in wanting to fund those with "higher occupancy levels".

    Now before someone goes off on me about the "safety" issue lets remember that I "personally" agree that the need to have those fumes exhausted is high, no matter what the levels or usage is but, lets be realistic here also.

    However, think about the school bus maintenance yard, your own city's vehicle maintenance facility, bus stations, commercial truck operations maintenance yards? None of which, have even a chance at getting these systems through any grant program.

    Think about it, in all but the most modern of car dealerships, ( and when has it been since you saw a new one of those open) have you seen a vehicle exhaust system in use? Me thinks not!

    Plain and simple if you meet the need, you get the green. First rule of grant funding; meet the priorities of the funding source first! As always, it is never about a want, it is about a need! This seems to me to be a no brainer here folks, if you have FFs living in the station and occupying it at all times then yes, you deserve and can be awarded funding, if not; pick another project.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by davepa View Post
    What was the reduction? What was the dollar amount requested and what does the dollar amount show now?

    Also - did you specify that this department is full-time or part-time?
    They requested $9,400 apiece and got reduced to $8,500 apiece. These are truck-mounted and the department is volunteer, no sleeping quarters.

    Still no action on 1199a or 10Q's. The reduction was before Christmas.
    Last edited by EastKyFF; 03-09-2010 at 10:38 AM.
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