1. #1
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    Default What are departments getting with High $$ SAFER Awards?

    I'm obviously behind the curve on SAFER. I asked for a measly $6k this year to get a sign for outside our fire station. I just looked through the awards and was amazed at the high dollar amounts of most of the recruitment awards. The vast majority are for more than our yearly operating budget. Are most of these awards regional in nature? What's getting funded at such high amounts? Apparently I'm not asking for enough, but I can't imagine what I'd spend that much money on. I would guess that we must have scored low because our recruitment program isn't as formal as it could be, but you need a certain critical mass of people before you can have a decent formal program, IMO. Sort of chicken and the egg.

    Andy

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    Remember these are mainly 4 year projects so the annual expenditures are probably a quarter of the dollar amount. We did a lot of incentive programs that are in those lists, decent amount of county ones are regional ads and stuff.

    Of course you may be having issues because signs for in front of the station aren't really allowed anymore, not since 2007. Idea behind making it that way was it's only in one spot and odds are very minimal traffic or people paying attention to it on the way past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Idea behind making it that way was it's only in one spot and odds are very minimal traffic or people paying attention to it on the way past.
    Not so in our case. With no local newspaper, TV station, or radio station, our sign is the most effective way to get news out in our small town. It's right across the street from the only gas station in town, so people spend a significant amount of time standing around within plain sight of it. The sign we have is in disrepair and parts aren't made for it any more. We'd like to get an electronic sign so that we can rotate messages and always have a recruitment and/or safety message in the rotation. Right now our sign is almost always booked with advertisements for other community events so we actually get very little time on it for our own messages. Changing the policy to disallow other announcements would be political suicide.

    We're planning on sending out postcards, printing posters, and making yards signs this year using our own funds, but that's a one shot and it's done thing. An electronic sign lasts a long time and can be used over and over and over.

    Andy

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    Kinda missing the part about grants are an overall picture aiming for 90%+ of the applicant pool. Those in the anomaly zone have an uphill battle.

    Electronic signs were explicitly tossed from SAFER in 2008. LVFD picked up the last one they gave out in 2007. Plus the argument that yours is always booked makes it sound like you're using it to get funding, why is that funding not being used for the new one since it is a revenue generator?

    Go back to the notes from class up there Andy, I know it's been a few years but points are still valid. I'm still teaching them today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Electronic signs were explicitly tossed from SAFER in 2008. LVFD picked up the last one they gave out in 2007. Plus the argument that yours is always booked makes it sound like you're using it to get funding, why is that funding not being used for the new one since it is a revenue generator?
    If it's explicitly ineligible, why doesn't it say that in the 2010 guidance document?

    Revenue generated from the existing sign barely covers the cost of electricity to light it. Should rates be higher? Maybe, but that's not my call.

    Andy

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    Read it somewhere they were out. Might have been FAQs, but either way we've been talking about that on the forums for a couple of years now. Signs have been pretty much out save for the ones at the borders of the district on the side of the road. LEDs for sure, too much cost and impossible to show significant unique traffic volumes will pass them at the station in order to have any decent effect on recruiting, especially considering the other less expensive ways to hit the whole district directly through mailings or door hangers. Cost me about $1000 for 5000 brochures to mail for the business, ensures all residents are hit with the same message.

    Not saying I don't like sign projects, just discussing why they aren't funding them on the overall cost-benefit picture. I think they work nicely for a multitude of purposes, but in the scope of recruiting which is what SAFER is there for, not very effective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelican631 View Post
    If it's explicitly ineligible, why doesn't it say that in the 2010 guidance document?

    Revenue generated from the existing sign barely covers the cost of electricity to light it. Should rates be higher? Maybe, but that's not my call.

    Andy
    Have to agree with bc79er here also on all points. One other reason is that it is very difficult to measure the actual positive benefits of the sign itself. Hard to say that the recruit answered the recruitment call because they saw the sign and that does not lead to effective "performance measurement" which they are harping on lately.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ktb9780 View Post
    Have to agree with bc79er here also on all points. One other reason is that it is very difficult to measure the actual positive benefits of the sign itself. Hard to say that the recruit answered the recruitment call because they saw the sign and that does not lead to effective "performance measurement" which they are harping on lately.
    How is it harder to measure that than it is any other promotional method? The only way to know how a new recruit got the message is to ask them. I can see how a mailing is easier to say that you got the message to x number of people, but that doesn't necessarily mean it produced the desired results.

    If signs are ineffective why are so many of them used for commercial marketing? Granted it's hard to measure results, but it's hard to measure results of any technique.

    My frustration is that it wasn't mentioned as being excluded in the guidance document. If I would have known that I would have applied for something else. I've been on the forums for several years but this is the first time we applied for SAFER so I haven't looked at it much in the past. The biggest takeaway I've gotten from the forums and classes is to read the guidance document and adhere to it, which I did and thought I did.

    Nothing against either of you Kurt or Brian, but I don't think someone should have to hire a consultant who's "in the know" to be successful (not that it shouldn't be an option). The guidance document should be all I need to have a fair chance, but apparently that wasn't the case. If it was in the 2010 FAQs then I flat out missed it (even though I still contend it should have been in the guidance), but I can't say for sure since the FAQs seem to have vanished with the web site move.

    Andy

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    And to try to steer back to the original topic, what kind of incentive programs are having success? Are they only successful if you can guarantee that you can continue to fund them after the four years?

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    No, but obviously they'd like to hear that you're going to make every valid attempt to make it happen in Year 5 and beyond.

    Inventives varied from in-house shifts for $, per call/training pay, points systems exchanged for gift cards, etc, etc. Basically anything is eligible as an incentive save for anything resembling a job, as long as it's a reasonable amount that one can sell to Peer Review as viable for your area and department.

    No offense taken on the "needing" a writer either. Lots of folks do without, did before I started, will when I'm done. But obviously just like someone can read a book on Texas Hold-em, pairing with a pro tends to bring better results sometimes since one can learn from their experience. IE, the definition of experience being the feeling of recognizing which mistakes not to make again in one's life.

    And I have lots of those, luckily without any kind of photographic evidence, unlike some students in Melrose MA....Facebook will be the creator of many lifelong regrets for a lot of people...
    Last edited by BC79er; 05-13-2011 at 06:21 PM.

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