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Thread: engine question

  1. #1
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    Default engine question

    Hey guys, I have a question. Our average age of our fleet is only 10yoa. The trucks really are in pretty good shape. Minor yearly repairs but all in all ok.

    Now, in your opinion what are our chances of receiving a winning truck narrative?

    Give me some percentages.

    morgancity


  2. #2
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    If the trucks are in good shape why do they need to be replaced?
    There are towns that have pieces held together with tape and wire they
    should be the ones getting the help.

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    0.00%

    Unless you have an extremely serious new hazard or occupancy type that requires an apparatus type not already owned or operated by your department. Even then still slim to none

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    Mark, I think they are still running in the replacement range of 20 to 25 years. But you know what the gurus are gonna tell you... You will never know until you apply. Good luck

    Did you ver have any luck with the FM Global grant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
    If the trucks are in good shape why do they need to be replaced?
    There are towns that have pieces held together with tape and wire they
    should be the ones getting the help.
    Dashman, that's why they run this whole process, so that the needs get what they need and the wants keep wanting. But that wasn't the question was it?

    We have about a 10-12 year average fleet as well, and submitted a vehicle request. We kept it to a Priority 1 vehicle for our area classification in the guidance. I was not at all surprised when we didn't get past the computer.

    While "average age of fleet" can be a difficult number to interpret, 10 years old is probably not going to cut it. If you had a 28 year old peice and a 2 year old peice you would have a 15 year average with one truck that might qualify and perhaps a good financial story about still paying for the 2 year old truck. A fleet that is 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5years old would also be a 15 year average, but the department seems to have a history of regularly replacing apparatus every 5 years, so the story would not be so compelling.

    Brian

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    Lime, I never tried that grant. I needed some help from the previous admid and could not get their help.

    I do hope some more of the grant writers chime in on this one. The more the better. I have my reasons. I have some so called smarter people than myself and others in the grant world says different, but I can't seem to make them understand the process.

    I am just doing some research and some professional opinons.

    Thanks guys

    mark

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    Mark,

    Just because the average fleet age is 10 years doesn't necessarily preclude the department from winning a vehicle grant. Other factors will have an impact as well. The age or average age of the classification of vehicle to be replaced, the # vehicles in that classification, call volume, population protected etc. Vehicles that are 25+ years old have a higher consideration vs. those that are younger in age. A department with none or 1 vehicle recieves higher consideration vs. those with multiple vehicles of the same classification. High call volume trumps those with low call volume. And so on.

    What are the chances of being successful, probably slim to none, but it all depends on what you are trying replace for a vehicle. But again, if you are not in the game there is no chance at all.

  8. #8
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Another thing to remember is that 2010 has less $$ available for grants, so what was an A+ application in previous years probably won't even make it past the computer this year.

    It will take a combination of meeting ALL the PG requirements , plus the right demographics along with the call numbers and budget numbers just to get to peer review. Then you will need an extraordinary narrative to score high enough to make it into the funding level.

    Based on what you have given us for info I'd give you a low 1% chance of getting by the computer.
    If you have the time submit an app, but don't get your hopes up on success.

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    Cool

    The reason behind this question is this. I have an employee that has absolutly no clue on grants. He was told by an individual in an union that all you have to do is ask and a truck is given to you.

    As all of you know it is not that simple. To spread untruths around to uneducated people is truely unacceptable in my world.

    So I wanted some honest opinions from educated grant writers.

    Here is our demographics:

    12,700 pop.
    7 sq. miles
    450 calls per year
    92 pumper
    96
    2-98
    1 2005 new arial
    2 million budget
    95% dedicated to salaries/benefits

    Our trucks are maintained by our city shop/in house/other fire apparatus equipment dealers.
    They are all in service and usually stay inservice year round except for occasional repairs. Body's are in good shape. All engines and ladders past yearly pump testing with out any problems. Yes, the economy is bad and yes city officials have cut us back but to get past the computer would be the first hurdle.

    The major hurdle would be to tell a convincing narrative that I know I cannot produce. Yes, I have seen awards on as little as a couple/3 paragraphs. Like any other thing in life sometimes I guess people and departments get lucky or through some contacts in Washington and some letters that departments are awarded.

    Honestly, I cannot convience myself, much less, someone else. But, to be told all I have to do is ask and "poof" it's a magical world is insane

    With this data please give me your honest opinion.

    Thanks
    Asst. Chief
    Mark Stephens
    Morgan City Fire Dept.

    Morgan City Fire Dept

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    Quote Originally Posted by morgancity View Post
    The reason behind this question is this. I have an employee that has absolutly no clue on grants. He was told by an individual in an union that all you have to do is ask and a truck is given to you.

    As all of you know it is not that simple. To spread untruths around to uneducated people is truely unacceptable in my world.

    So I wanted some honest opinions from educated grant writers.

    Here is our demographics:

    12,700 pop.
    7 sq. miles
    450 calls per year
    92 pumper
    96
    2-98
    1 2005 new arial
    2 million budget
    95% dedicated to salaries/benefits

    Our trucks are maintained by our city shop/in house/other fire apparatus equipment dealers.
    They are all in service and usually stay inservice year round except for occasional repairs. Body's are in good shape. All engines and ladders past yearly pump testing with out any problems. Yes, the economy is bad and yes city officials have cut us back but to get past the computer would be the first hurdle.

    The major hurdle would be to tell a convincing narrative that I know I cannot produce. Yes, I have seen awards on as little as a couple/3 paragraphs. Like any other thing in life sometimes I guess people and departments get lucky or through some contacts in Washington and some letters that departments are awarded.

    Honestly, I cannot convience myself, much less, someone else. But, to be told all I have to do is ask and "poof" it's a magical world is insane

    With this data please give me your honest opinion.

    Thanks
    Asst. Chief
    Mark Stephens
    Morgan City Fire Dept.

    Morgan City Fire Dept
    Mark,

    Based on the info and assuming you are looking at replacing the '92 pumper; IMHO you will never get past the computer. Your average age for pumps is 14 years, with AFG giving the highest consideration to 25+ year old apparatus, you have 4 pumps results in a lower consideration, a somewhat low call volume and the fact funding for apparatus for 2010 has been reduced about 30% spells doom.

    Unfortunately, as grant writers we need to educate the less than educated that they are wrong and how the program actually works.

    I've heard the same thing from other departments that complain they didn't recieve an award after someone else told them they had a winning grant. Have to explain to them that the computer and the PR's are the only ones that count in this process.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgancity View Post
    The reason behind this question is this. I have an employee that has absolutly no clue on grants. He was told by an individual in an union that all you have to do is ask and a truck is given to you.

    As all of you know it is not that simple. To spread untruths around to uneducated people is truely unacceptable in my world.

    So I wanted some honest opinions from educated grant writers.

    Here is our demographics:

    12,700 pop.
    7 sq. miles
    450 calls per year
    92 pumper
    96
    2-98
    1 2005 new arial
    2 million budget
    95% dedicated to salaries/benefits

    Our trucks are maintained by our city shop/in house/other fire apparatus equipment dealers.
    They are all in service and usually stay inservice year round except for occasional repairs. Body's are in good shape. All engines and ladders past yearly pump testing with out any problems. Yes, the economy is bad and yes city officials have cut us back but to get past the computer would be the first hurdle.

    The major hurdle would be to tell a convincing narrative that I know I cannot produce. Yes, I have seen awards on as little as a couple/3 paragraphs. Like any other thing in life sometimes I guess people and departments get lucky or through some contacts in Washington and some letters that departments are awarded.

    Honestly, I cannot convience myself, much less, someone else. But, to be told all I have to do is ask and "poof" it's a magical world is insane

    With this data please give me your honest opinion.

    Thanks
    Asst. Chief
    Mark Stephens
    Morgan City Fire Dept.

    Morgan City Fire Dept
    Using a $300K pumper, which by your size would appear to be about what you would be needing to ask for, I come up with this:

    Your cost per person = $1.18
    Frequency of use = $33.33

    Those would not be bad figures to work with except for the following:


    Your average fleet age is 12.4 years and "higher priority is afforded to those departments with an aged,older fleet". AFG for 2010 will only have roughly $74 mill for trucks this year; down from $135 mil in 2009.They are going to have many "older fleets" which will require them to afford priority in funding according to their own rules.


    Chances for award IMHO= <1%

    Your union guy is grossly misinformed and uneducated in AFG award process. Mark, your department has invested good money in making you the educated grant source of information in their department.

    Your department has followed the #1 Rule of good proper management... "surround yourself with competent people"... which they have done by educating you and by your self-initiative to stay current and informed by participating in these forums and through udpates etc. Your award succes rate, since doing these things, proves that these efforts have accomplsihed what needed to be done.

    They now need to follow Rule #2 .... "listen to those competent people they have surrounded themselves with". You didn't get to be in your position by accident!
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

  12. #12
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    Compelling story is half the battle in scoring, after the computer has it's way with everything else so on trucks it's more like 20% of the battle since 80% of vehicle apps don't make Peer.

    The main issue with people only reading the narrative is that they aren't seeing the whole picture. Yes career departments have better chances at the computer side with a younger fleet because they tend to make more overall runs and more structure fires with a higher population, and less free money since over 90% goes to payroll and benefits. BUT....that still doesn't mean it's a shoe-in. No one has a shoe-in for any application since it all depends on who else is in the pool that year. One of the towers we have funding this year has a 15 year average on aerials (3), and 16 year average on pumpers (4) handling 40k in population and over 7500 runs with almost 200 working first-due structure fires a year. I have others for aerials with older trucks but lower run and population count that probably didn't beat the computer.

    And as the others said, don't apply, can't get funded. Based on the fleet pumper is the strongest app for a truck you have if rescue or quick attack/rescue aren't part of the thought process. All you can do is drop it in and see where the wheel stops. I wouldn't pay anyone to do it since the chances of beating the computer are so low, I tell people that all the time that want to hire us. If we're the ones they're trying to give money to and we're saying no to it then it is a long shot but still one to take without spending money on a writer since we mainly help with the argument. Can't do squat about the stats despite what a lot of "writers" claim....

  13. #13
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgancity View Post
    The reason behind this question is this. I have an employee that has absolutly no clue on grants. He was told by an individual in an union that all you have to do is ask and a truck is given to you.

    As all of you know it is not that simple. To spread untruths around to uneducated people is truely unacceptable in my world.

    Thanks
    Asst. Chief
    Mark Stephens
    Morgan City Fire Dept.

    Morgan City Fire Dept
    Mark: Maybe you should suggest that the uneducated one get with his union mouthpiece and write up the "successful" truck application.
    Then when they have it all polished up ask them if they've read the program guidance and followed all the rules. If it was as easy as filling in an application , everyone would have all new trucks.

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    Thanks for the great input!

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