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    Default New to the grant game

    I was recently approached by a captain at our vol. dept. and asked to get him some information on obtaining grants for equipment for our dept. I searched around and found the afg grant and we are very interested in attempting our hand at getting one. Any help/advise would be greatly appreciated either on here or email me info at nickmcg08@yahoo.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmcg08 View Post
    I was recently approached by a captain at our vol. dept. and asked to get him some information on obtaining grants for equipment for our dept. I searched around and found the afg grant and we are very interested in attempting our hand at getting one. Any help/advise would be greatly appreciated either on here or email me info at nickmcg08@yahoo.com
    You came to the right place...

    You need to talk to Kurt Bradley... the King Maker of the Grant Game.

    Many of the others around here are Masters at this game as well.



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    Hey Kurt!

    This guy needs your help!
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    I was in your psoition several years ago.....you have hit the right spot on this forum. I have been successful in obtaining 1 SAFER and 2 AFG, as well several small grants from business groups, corps, etc. mostly just from info gleemed here and following the advice of Kurt and others.

    you have to check this forum religiously - the info you obtain just from reading and asking questions is priceless! and dont think a particular situation doesnt match your circumstances. The biggest issue I found is time ...yours! to gather the info and put in the applications....most have 30 day windows. with work and family issues - it can be stressful....just read through some of the threads !!!!!

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    the only thing you NEED to do is carefully read and understand the program guidance
    everything you need is on the below site which is run by FEMA
    http://firegrantsupport.com/content/html/afg/

    find out when FEMA is doing the free grant writing workshop in your area and attend it
    http://www.firegrantsupport.com/cont...Workshops.aspx

    setup your account on the e-services portal (this is where you submit your app)
    https://portal.fema.gov/famsVuWeb/home

    search this forum when you get stuck..9/10 times someone has already asked the same question and its already been answered somewhere in here.

    good luck

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    I too was in the same position you are now. A lot of us here were. Kurt spent a lot of free time trying to help me. I quickly realized that I was in way over my head though and needed to get formal instruction. So I got my department to spring for the grants instruction course, went to Wichita and attended Kurts two day course there. Best thing I ever did for my department. Amazing all the things that come along with being a grant writer. Bottom line is getting to the class and getting the instruction, then returning to this forum.

    You will then have stacked the deck in your favor.

    Remember, a lot of us started out exactly where you are now and the dollar spent for instruction has returned hundreds of times back for my department.

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    I'm glad I stumbled on this today. I too am trying to figure out how to write a grant for my department, we have had some sucess in the past on large items (an Engine a few years ago, and half a dozen sets of gear) but we've never tried for small items before. I look forward to seeing what is available, as small as our budget is, we could sure use the help (as we all can I'm sure).

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    Call Kurt! He's the man! His handle is ktb9780 on here or you can look him up at www.firstrespondergrants.com

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    Do a lot of research...on yourself. Get the facts and figures that FEMA requires. As a new user, I don't think you'd have any way to see those questions until the application period opens for one of the grant programs. So you should find a fire department in your area that has done one and ask them for a copy of the questions. Start getting the answers together.

    Then go deeper. For example, a couple years ago, my department applied for a quick-response unit. Our rationale was that we had no 4x4 apparatus with firefighting capability, and our mountainous, rural location made it necessary that we try to get one. But I took it a step further. I got a printout from our county road department of all the roads in our district, including their lengths. I then added up how many miles of one-lane road we had compared to 2- and 4-lane roads, and showed that X% of our roads were one-lane county roads that are heavily shaded and therefore slower to melt despite plowing and salt.

    See what I mean? And throw in anecdotes, too. Talk about a time you had to call mutual aid to handle a basic call because you lacked the appropriate vehicle or equipment. Or talk about a time you ran mutual aid to somebody on a major fire and saw a cool thing that you quickly realized would help you. Twenty-five years ago, our chief saw a dump valve on a tanker when he attended a fire school class. It blew his mind--and he had to have one.

    Just do your homework and haunt this forum for help. Everybody here is glad to help each other. Best of luck.
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
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    All good info given to you so far. Let me try to hit a few points--

    1. Needs assessment. What do you need and WHY do you need it? This you can do for yourself. Make a list.

    2. Priortize the needs. From the list, what do we need worst? WHY? (i categorize the needs as 1, 2, 3, or 4--critical, necessary, useful, and "geez, that would be cool")

    3. Visit this forum and read. Best free education available anywhere for anything. The folks here are REALLY GOOD. And at times, downright funny!!

    4. Get to a training. Any grant writing education is helpful, but you'll get the most mileage out of that which is "public safety" specific. I'm a Kurt Bradley student, some people work better under other guidance.

    5. As you're getting your education, in my opinion the most valuable thing i can do is learn to recognize each grant program's priorities. Then, i match my needs to the program's priorities the best i can to give my departments the best chance of success.

    Good luck.

    earl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenacres2 View Post
    5. As you're getting your education, in my opinion the most valuable thing i can do is learn to recognize each grant program's priorities. Then, i match my needs to the program's priorities the best i can to give my departments the best chance of success.
    Boy, Earl nailed it with this one. READ each grant's guidance. If guidance says "we're only funding purple-and-orange striped patio chairs this year", don't bother writing for yellow polka-dot recliners.

    (Why, yes, the very first AFG-vehicle grant I wrote was for a fire boat. Funny you should ask about learning the hard way...)

    Jen

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    All good advice from the others.

    If you're new to the process , make sure your department has a EIN # and a DUNS # . They are easy to apply for but do take a little bit of time.

    Read through past Program guidance documents to get a feel for the format the feds are looking for.
    Do your needs assessment and be ready to apply that knowledge when the next years program application period is approaching.

    We try to have next years grant app already planned and ready to go before the application period opens, with just a few minor tweaks to meet the current guidelines.

    There are also many corporate grant programs available for smaller amounts of money.
    Then there are local philanthropic organizations that are available to non profits.

    Do your research and you will find many options.
    Good luck and welcome to the grant writing brotherhood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    Do a lot of research...on yourself. Get the facts and figures that FEMA requires. As a new user, I don't think you'd have any way to see those questions until the application period opens for one of the grant programs. So you should find a fire department in your area that has done one and ask them for a copy of the questions. Start getting the answers together.

    Then go deeper. For example, a couple years ago, my department applied for a quick-response unit. Our rationale was that we had no 4x4 apparatus with firefighting capability, and our mountainous, rural location made it necessary that we try to get one. But I took it a step further. I got a printout from our county road department of all the roads in our district, including their lengths. I then added up how many miles of one-lane road we had compared to 2- and 4-lane roads, and showed that X% of our roads were one-lane county roads that are heavily shaded and therefore slower to melt despite plowing and salt.

    See what I mean? And throw in anecdotes, too. Talk about a time you had to call mutual aid to handle a basic call because you lacked the appropriate vehicle or equipment. Or talk about a time you ran mutual aid to somebody on a major fire and saw a cool thing that you quickly realized would help you. Twenty-five years ago, our chief saw a dump valve on a tanker when he attended a fire school class. It blew his mind--and he had to have one.

    Just do your homework and haunt this forum for help. Everybody here is glad to help each other. Best of luck.
    Now these are great suggestions. Think a little outside the box, but there are a lot of factors that help in the decision. Especially when an applicant goes the extra mile like that above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmcg08 View Post
    I was recently approached by a captain at our vol. dept. and asked to get him some information on obtaining grants for equipment for our dept. I searched around and found the afg grant and we are very interested in attempting our hand at getting one. Any help/advise would be greatly appreciated either on here or email me info at nickmcg08@yahoo.com
    Check your email buddy!
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ktb9780 View Post
    Check your email buddy!
    Dude,

    That email will undoubtedly be the best fire service email you will every get.

    Kurt, I want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Since taking your classes, my department is taking the steps needed to be compliant and understanding what that means. Getting educated to the requirements of the fire service. Our State emergency management agency even calls me for help now. My mutual aid association, several county agencies bring me in on every related issue and our county seat even named a day after me. I now hold the largest AFG award in our state for an all volunteer department.

    For a department that was desperate three years ago, we certainly have done an about face and it all began by getting my poor department to spring for one class.

    They'll understand once they get there. So Thank you Kurt
    Last edited by jam24u; 10-08-2010 at 04:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jam24u View Post
    Dude,

    That email will undoubtedly be the best fire service email you will every get.

    Kurt, I want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Since taking your classes, my department is taking the steps needed to be compliant and understanding what that means. Getting educated to the requirements of the fire service. Our State emergency management agency even calls me for help now. My mutual aid association, several county agencies bring me in on every related issue and our county seat even named a day after me. I now hold the largest AFG award in our state for an all volunteer department.

    For a department that was desperate three years ago, we certainly have done an about face and it all began by getting my poor department to spring for one class.

    They'll understand once they get there. So Thank you Kurt
    As always, my pleasure Jim.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TotowaEMT View Post
    the only thing you NEED to do is carefully read and understand the program guidance
    everything you need is on the below site which is run by FEMA
    http://firegrantsupport.com/content/html/afg/

    find out when FEMA is doing the free grant writing workshop in your area and attend it
    http://www.firegrantsupport.com/cont...Workshops.aspx

    setup your account on the e-services portal (this is where you submit your app)
    https://portal.fema.gov/famsVuWeb/home

    search this forum when you get stuck..9/10 times someone has already asked the same question and its already been answered somewhere in here.

    good luck

    I'll second everything he said. Read the program guidance carefully and make sure that what you are asking for fits in with the guidelines. Then write a very carefully thought out narrative explaining point by point how your project addresses the intents of the program. Also be sure to detail any relevant NFPA standards or other codes and requirements that you will be addressing with your project...identify how the project meets a need in your department that you cannot achieve through other means.

    I have 3 successful AFG grants and now a Station Construction grant under my belt and I learn a little more about the process each time. And to tell you the truth, I never have attended a grant writing class, but I could definitely see if you're new to this that it would be a great benefit to you. I'm still learning things about how these programs work that I could probably have learned in a class instead of learning through trial and error

    I also agree with another poster who suggested getting copies of other departments' successful grant apps and getting some pointers from them. Also see what data you need for the app (things like population, call volume, demographic information, budget figures, etc.) and work on getting all that together ahead of time. Also have a detailed budget for the project put together. You'll have a small window of time to complete your application and the more data you already have assembled when the application period opens, the better.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Thank you all of you guys, and i did in fact already contacted a local dept that got a grant and I am waiting for an email from their cheif. And if anyone has an old application that they would not mind to share so that I can get an idea of the dept info that we will need I would greatly appreciate it. You can hit it on my email nickmcg08@yahoo.com. And my eyes are beginning to bug out I havent read this much since pych class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmcg08 View Post
    Thank you all of you guys, and i did in fact already contacted a local dept that got a grant and I am waiting for an email from their cheif. And if anyone has an old application that they would not mind to share so that I can get an idea of the dept info that we will need I would greatly appreciate it. You can hit it on my email nickmcg08@yahoo.com. And my eyes are beginning to bug out I havent read this much since pych class.
    You will need some kind of Advanced Psych after you get going in the grant process. Let us know what type of project you are looking to apply for, and I am sure you will get help from the brotherhood on here. Also, talk your department into sending you to one of Kurt's seminars. The education you will receive is money well spent. Good luck.

    Kelly

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    We are looking to purchase a new pumper with a larger tank than our current truck has, after looking at many options the cheif and captains have picked what they would like in/on the new truck but it's just not in our budget and the fire board is not willing to flex much on our 10 year plan for a new station and truck. And long story short trucks are wearing out faster than the station is falling apart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmcg08 View Post
    We are looking to purchase a new pumper with a larger tank than our current truck has, after looking at many options the cheif and captains have picked what they would like in/on the new truck but it's just not in our budget and the fire board is not willing to flex much on our 10 year plan for a new station and truck. And long story short trucks are wearing out faster than the station is falling apart.
    Competition for trucks is ferocious; they typcially ask for more than $2 billion in trucks every year and only fund about 600-700 trucks at max. That's means you have to do your homework, know the program inside and out and write a really good application. It can be done if the need is there and you justify that need properly according to the program guidance. Here to help if you need it.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Kurt's absolutely right, the competition for vehicles is tough. Hate to say it, but sometimes the best bet is to go for the project with the greatest chance for success instead of the one you really want. And what determines your best chance for success is what fits in best with the program guidelines.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream and I hope you don't find this too crazy is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I successfully wrote a grant in 2007 for a 3000 gallon tanker/pumper with a 1250 waterous pump. For 2010 I have already received an 1199 for the same truck setup for the fire department I am on now. First time I asked for $250,000 and got it. This time I asked for $275,000 and is looking like a winner again. I wrote these two being very similar being the former department is a neighboring department. If anyone would like to see, just email me at ziploc@suddenlink.net and I can give u more info.

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    One thing I remember someone telling me, or something I saw is that FEMA is more apt to fund a truck if your fleet average is over 20 years in age.....just a thought.

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    Also if your fleet has serious safety issues, they will look at them.

    1. Seated/belted rider positions
    2. Not originally design to be a fire apparatus
    3. Equipment storage

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjollnir_k View Post
    Also if your fleet has serious safety issues, they will look at them.

    1. Seated/belted rider positions
    2. Not originally design to be a fire apparatus
    3. Equipment storage
    4. Open cab/canopy cab
    I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

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