1. #1
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    Default Program Guidance via Grant workshops

    There seems to me to be Significant changes to the program guidance including scoring, narratives and speciific eligible items etc.
    It makes an interesting read for those who wont get to a workshop anytime soon.
    Check out the workshop notes & powerpoint presentation and see whats new at:
    http://www.fema.gov/firegrants/progr..._schedule.shtm

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    Nothing like finding out about your local workshop 12 hours in advance. Too bad i'm working...

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    Several big changes. Structural how input narrative is by specific to each activity rather than one overall. Not sure how that will look.

    A GOOD THING - Extended warranties and service agreements, when offered, are now eligible on all items.

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    Red face Great

    This is the year that I was ahead of schedule, nearly 95% done with 2011 grant according to old app. Oh well hopefully this will make the award process speed up, maybe?

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    Kind of hard to believe they are allowing multiple vehicles when the funding is so short, but I do like the overall funding limits. I also like the line item judgements on equipment, rather than judging the overall list. Several departments will have to get registered with CCR.

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    interesting changes in format for this year.
    time to get things reworked before opening day.

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    Angry

    I did not see any notation on any changes in driver examination requirements ? or did I miss something ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFR001 View Post
    I did not see any notation on any changes in driver examination requirements ? or did I miss something ??
    There was no mention about changes to the medicals for vehicle applications even though there has been some talk to use DOT examinations. Will have to ask that question at a workshop or wait to see what the PG states when released.

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    I attended a AFG class this evening and wanted to pass along some things the powerpoint doesn't explain:

    1. To submit for a wellness project, you also need to have a behavioral health program. They readily admit that the term has not been defined yet and will be shortly. (So, if you are thinking about a project in this area, be prepared to explain this).

    2. The separation of the narrative into smaller areas will create 3000-4000 character limits.

    3. If you put in multiple projects under one grant app (regional or operations), they will drop failing scores per project so it doesn't swamp the system.

    4. SAFER will be early fall- no way to open 2 sessions at the same time.

    5. The powerpoints will change constantly until the open date, so check it out often.
    "The light that goes around, even up-side down".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotoray View Post
    I attended a AFG class this evening and wanted to pass along some things the powerpoint doesn't explain:

    1. To submit for a wellness project, you also need to have a behavioral health program. They readily admit that the term has not been defined yet and will be shortly. (So, if you are thinking about a project in this area, be prepared to explain this).

    2. The separation of the narrative into smaller areas will create 3000-4000 character limits.

    3. If you put in multiple projects under one grant app (regional or operations), they will drop failing scores per project so it doesn't swamp the system.

    4. SAFER will be early fall- no way to open 2 sessions at the same time.

    5. The powerpoints will change constantly until the open date, so check it out often.
    To your point #3, this sounds like a change in the scoring algorithm from previous years. I.e., we always advocated for applicants to limit their request to their highest priority project and avoid the "Christmas wish list" mentality. However, if each project will be scored entirely independently this year, is there any harm in asking for somewhat lower priority projects? From what I understand in the presentation, if these lower priority projects drop out during the electronic pre-score, they will simply be dropped from the application and won't affect the remainder of the score.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    There was no mention about changes to the medicals for vehicle applications even though there has been some talk to use DOT examinations. Will have to ask that question at a workshop or wait to see what the PG states when released.
    I specifically brought that question up this morning. According to Dave , the region 1 rep,
    a standard DOT physical will be sufficient to meet the requirements, for those applying for vehicle grants.

    Don't forget to add the cost for them in your application.
    Should be able to get them done for around $200.00 each or less. That includes the urine testing for substances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davepa View Post
    To your point #3, this sounds like a change in the scoring algorithm from previous years. I.e., we always advocated for applicants to limit their request to their highest priority project and avoid the "Christmas wish list" mentality. However, if each project will be scored entirely independently this year, is there any harm in asking for somewhat lower priority projects? From what I understand in the presentation, if these lower priority projects drop out during the electronic pre-score, they will simply be dropped from the application and won't affect the remainder of the score.
    Again as of this morning they really don't want to see the shopping cart approach to apps. Pick your biggest equipment need and do a complete solution to the problem.
    If you ask for turnout gear do a complete head to toe ensemble and also ask for the washer & dryer to maintain the investment. Don't forget proper storage rack for the station to keep the gear in/on.

    SCBA will only score well if older than 2002 edition.

    Both will be allowed for regional apps ,BUT they will be scrutinizing the individual departments very carefully to make sure that ALL gear being replaced meets the criteria.
    Also to make sure that their not replacing equipment already provided by previous years grants.

    Still looking for late June , Early July opening date.

    Lets get er done boys & girls !!

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    I contacted my Region 7 DHS rep about when there would be a workshop in my area. Said they are still working on having one around the end of July.

    First thing through my mind was August opening date, but remembered that they have had them after the opening period before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    I specifically brought that question up this morning. According to Dave , the region 1 rep,
    a standard DOT physical will be sufficient to meet the requirements, for those applying for vehicle grants.

    Don't forget to add the cost for them in your application.
    Should be able to get them done for around $200.00 each or less. That includes the urine testing for substances.
    I heard you were at the workshop this AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    I heard you were at the workshop this AM.
    Yep made the hour !/2 ride up to Augusta. Cacso 18 was there also. Dave pegged both of us from this board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Yep made the hour !/2 ride up to Augusta. Cacso 18 was there also. Dave pegged both of us from this board.
    Doesn't surprise me at all that he picked you guys out as forum members. A couple of years ago we were talking at the end of a workshop and when I was leaving he called me by my forum name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    Doesn't surprise me at all that he picked you guys out as forum members. A couple of years ago we were talking at the end of a workshop and when I was leaving he called me by my forum name.
    Your name came up yesterday as Paul & i were talking to him, :-}

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    Doesn't surprise me at all that he picked you guys out as forum members. A couple of years ago we were talking at the end of a workshop and when I was leaving he called me by my forum name.
    Which just goes to show everyone that they do monitor this forum from time to time to see "what is in the wind".
    Kurt Bradley
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Your name came up yesterday as Paul & i were talking to him, :-}
    Hey islandfire03. Did anyone think to ask if the department/community information and financial need section that they are moving to the "Applicant Information" page is going to have a "separate" narrative section or are they simply relying on the "box" information previously listed there? Inquiring minds, who are stuck in the Sunshine State without any workshops, want to know!LOL!
    Kurt Bradley
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktb9780 View Post
    Hey islandfire03. Did anyone think to ask if the department/community information and financial need section that they are moving to the "Applicant Information" page is going to have a "separate" narrative section or are they simply relying on the "box" information previously listed there? Inquiring minds, who are stuck in the Sunshine State without any workshops, want to know!LOL!
    If i remember correctly Dave said there will be separate narrative for each section. plus an "additional info section at the end for those last few facts you might feel the need to pass on to the reviewers.
    He reinforced the need for explicit cost benefit analysis in the CB section and to show the issues that might occur without funding for your requests. IE, increased risk of injury /death for your crews and citizens due to the lack of XYZ equipment keeping you from doing proper interior ops.

    He also talked of discussions in DC about providing us better methods of acknowledging the reasons behind DJ's. such as which sections were strong score & which were weak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    He reinforced the need for explicit cost benefit analysis in the CB section and to show the issues that might occur without funding for your requests. IE, increased risk of injury /death for your crews and citizens due to the lack of XYZ equipment keeping you from doing proper interior ops.
    My first part of the C/B analysis has always started with what will happen if the grant is not funded. Have addressed the increase risk of injury and death the same way year in year out.....never any issues until this year.

    Looks like more detail is needed in what those costs could be or anticipated to be. My suggestion make the point in the C/B section on how much it will cost the federal govt. for a LODD....just over $318K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    My first part of the C/B analysis has always started with what will happen if the grant is not funded. Have addressed the increase risk of injury and death the same way year in year out.....never any issues until this year.

    Looks like more detail is needed in what those costs could be or anticipated to be. My suggestion make the point in the C/B section on how much it will cost the federal govt. for a LODD....just over $318K.
    If I might interject here. Cost benefit is about "saving money". Saving money for your own department, your mutual aid partners and your citizens.The problems I see in most cost benefit sections is the writer fails to get "specific enough" about exactly where the cost savings occur. IE:

    Poor example: New turnout gear will decrease our injuries and give our FFs new confidence in their gear.

    Proper example:New turnout gear will decrease the likelihood of a FF receiving an injury. Preventing this injury presents cost savings to our department by reducing the risk of liability litigation from a LODD or a disabling injury. It costs us more than $20K to recruit, train and equip a new firefighter if we lose a FF. Cost benefit is further afforded us through the stabilizing effect on the premiums we must pay for workman's compensation insurance and the uninsured medical costs that occur with injuries. If one of our members is seriously injured and temporarily out of service from same, we must cover that staffing loss which results in overtime; something we can not afford when we are already being faced with layoffs and budget cuts.We must also assure our mutual aid partners that when we are requested to mitigate a temporary manpower shortage, that our members are properly protected to be of value to them. If we cannot satisfy their temporary need for manpower assistance, then they are forced to incur the costs of recruiting, training and equipping additional personnel which they also cannot afford.
    Kurt Bradley
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    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    What is the 'process' of the Feds picking where the grant workshops will be held? There doesn't seem to be many workshops being held in the Midwest. We are in Wis, and the closest one is in Mich.

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    Contact the rep and see about hosting one. That's usually where the problem lies in getting one into an area is that there's no where to hold it.

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    Default Take a ways from grant work shop:

    Application format will be like FP&S application format.

    All regional applications will go to peer review.

    Known critical infrastructure does not automatically go to peer review. i.e. nuke plants.

    Training applications will be scored higher, A lot of equipment has been purchased in the past 10 years and some departments are still (way) below 100% FF1 and FF2 trained.

    Fire PPE will be set at 10 year service life. i.e. AFG won’t replace gear less then 10 years old.

    Replacement vehicle age is set at 25 years. And replaced vehicle can not be placed back into fire service unless it is refurbished to current standards. Yes this needs to be a condition on the transfer of title.

    Average age of fleet set at 20 years.

    Spell out cost benefit analysis in your narrative. i.e. “$20,000 / 10 years / 5500 population = 36 cents per person per year in cost.”

    Thanks Paul
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    Some are just better than others." JFR 1914-1997

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