1. #1
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    Thumbs down The Forgotten State

    Some interesting facts. We call it a "common occurance" here in Vermont.

    Total AFG $ awarded so far in 6 rounds: $107,032,036
    Total AFG $ awarded to the State of Vermont: $142,500.00 (1 award)
    Awarded to: The Capitol of Montpelier (hmmmmmm)

    The $$ awarded to Vermont = .00133% of the total awarded so far.

    This is our 4th year in a row applying for around a measley $50,000.00 and still nothing.

    And before anyone says to use a grant writer....we have been.

    I think the whole AFG thing has gotten off key. Just sayin'

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    Tell us a bit more...

    What have you been applying for?

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    This past year we are trying to upgrade to 5" hose. We frequently lay long lays of 4" and the increase in gpm's would be substantial.
    For the previous three years we applied for new hydraulic rescue tools. Ours ranged from 10 -38 years old and they were not doing the job on todays cars. We are the primary heavy rescue for 7 towns.

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    The rescue tools certainly seem doable on the surface, done plenty of those successfully for similar circumstances. Of course, call volume and rescue incidents will come into play and all depends on how much equipment you may be requesting. Not knowing how old your current 4" hose is doesn't allow us to give you an explanation, but everything scored by the computer is dependent upon how you answer your computer scoring questions. Are you buying equipment for the first time, replacing old but usable (4") hose, are you replacing obsolete hose, etc.

    All can factor into your scoring -- and sometimes even a well scored app just doesn't get funded.

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    I will not say use a grant writer, I will say get to a class and learn some more about how the AFG program works or how to make it work in your favor. You may be in desperate need of some things and have a bullet proof narrative, but if your not getting past the computer something be amiss. Kurt will be in the Finger Lakes soon, make the drive.

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    I wonder how many apps agencies overall in VT have filed?

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    Very few since there are few departments in the state. I thought I had the 2010 App Stats handy but in 2009 there were 75 apps making 0.4% of the total, and received 0.3% of the award money.

    Regionals pushed a lot of apps out in all project types, from PPE on down. Hence the reason they're altering the scoring for next year.

    And nothing amiss in the computer scoring either, pretty sure that was locked down properly for the project. Some of the hose being replaced is older than yours truly too.

    Just simply a case of so many regionals, many of which had participants that would have been booted as individual apps but their dollar totals ate away at the $800mil marked for Peer. Half as many awards this year as last so that's basically the reason that so many valid and competitive apps aren't getting funded.

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    Been going to NE states since 2004. Have been in Upper NY 7 times, NH 4 times and Boston twice teaching and I have yet to have a single VT FD in a class according to my records. I have had 3 PDs from VT but no fire departments. If you are from Wimington FD, I talked to Troy Johnson back in 2007 about a failed grant and reviewed it for him for a brush truck he was going for but I have not heard from him since then as far as I can tell. Oh and BTW I will be back to Victor FD in NY this coming weekend teaching and was in Barnstead FD NH in December for the third time.The classes have been near you.
    Kurt Bradley
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    And actually the application wasn't turned down yet, so not sure why the uproar anyway. For those that haven't put 1 and 1 together, there's a reason I know a lot about their apps... Well the last 2 anyway, only started with 2010.
    Last edited by BC79er; 01-24-2012 at 03:50 PM.

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    Yes, we have discussed the issue about the # of Vt. depts. that have actually applied. That's a mystery to me. We have applied every year. In the past we received a Thermal Imager grant, a new PPE grant, New air pac upgrade grant, Radio upgrade grant, and some sort of rope rescue grant. That was all up until 5 years ago, then bang! Currently, the only things that we received from the past grants that are still "useful" is the Thermal and the ropes. The gear is almost of age, the air bottles are @ their 15 yr. lifespan and the radios have gone to multi-band 800mhz.
    So, that being said, we were pretty sure of our grant writing process since it produced results.
    However, something has changed. Since then, Kurt, we're using you for our hose grant this time and we used you last year for the Rescue tools.
    As for the Brush Truck, we found out what we did incorrectly in that case. Our Chief at that time, well, let's just say, he's been gone now for almost 3 years.
    As of 2007 there were 240 fire depts. in the State of Vt. I'm assuming that no one has disappeared.
    I know that the number is probably not as many as Texas, (go figure) but seems to be enough. I guess the key is once again..."how many apply?"
    Last but not least, our 4" hose is dated from 1975 to present. Back in the day we could pump 250psi thru our old double jacketed canvas 4" hose, now we can oly pump 150psi. That drops the gpms quite a bit. (yes we use in-line valves and relay trucks when we can) Manpower is the kicker here. Our area is being hit just like everywhere else. Extra people do not exist anymore. So, we want to be able to function as well as we can on our own with the initial people we respond with. 5" hose means that the 1st truck can lay in and the 2nd truck can pump 1000gpm 1500ft instead of 900ft. Eliminates the need for the relay in a lot of cases for us and for our Mutual Aid system.
    Sorry for the length of this. Tried to get everyones thoughts in when I had this time to write.
    I do appreciate all of the communication. Thanks.

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    As was alluded to in the above posts. this year has a "dynamic" working aginst the program that has not been present prior to htis year and that was the FCC madate driving departments to file regional applciations. That deluge of regional applciatons caused amhy very good grant applications to be rejected by the computer this year that in a nromal year would have sailed right thorgh to peer review.Its going to be hard for anyone this year to discern exaclty what went worng with their applciations and to be honest with you, many of them had nothing worng and they just simply will need to be tuned up and will probablay be funded next year simply through attrition as those regionals apps that were funded this year, will not be competiton next year.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximI View Post
    Yes, we have discussed the issue about the # of Vt. depts. that have actually applied. That's a mystery to me. We have applied every year. In the past we received a Thermal Imager grant, a new PPE grant, New air pac upgrade grant, Radio upgrade grant, and some sort of rope rescue grant. That was all up until 5 years ago, then bang! Currently, the only things that we received from the past grants that are still "useful" is the Thermal and the ropes. The gear is almost of age, the air bottles are @ their 15 yr. lifespan and the radios have gone to multi-band 800mhz.
    Please, do not take offense at this...

    If you got the airpacks in 2001, which I believe was the first year of the AFG, then the bottles are at best 11 years old. With 4 years left that seems like it would be enough time to do what should have been considered in 2001 - planning for their replacement. Part of getting equipment through the AFG is being able to support that equipment. When we got our airpacks in 2001, we made the decision to go with aluminium bottles, due to the replacement in 15 year cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Please, do not take offense at this...

    If you got the airpacks in 2001, which I believe was the first year of the AFG, then the bottles are at best 11 years old. With 4 years left that seems like it would be enough time to do what should have been considered in 2001 - planning for their replacement. Part of getting equipment through the AFG is being able to support that equipment. When we got our airpacks in 2001, we made the decision to go with aluminium bottles, due to the replacement in 15 year cost.
    I have to agree with you on that point LVFD1. Many of the reviewers would see that they have already had an airpack grant once which was the "hand-up" that they gave them. If they failed to institute a plan to replace those since then, within their own means, then that fact will become a major stumbling block to them.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Kurt & LVFD

    You are both correct. We actually replaced three bottles this year. The problem is the cost for that "group" that was purchased all at once. (all with a 15yr lifespan) It's hard to explain our financial situation in this area of Vt. It all boils down to the way Vermont funds its Education. Every year Wilmington citizens are "required to send 2-4+ million $$ to Montpelier because the State determined that some kids weren't getting a fair education due to the lack of funds. So. they decided to make it unfair to "some" towns to make it fair to others. Complicated?? You bet! How do we explaind anything like that on a grant ap??? If we could keep some of that $$ around here, we would have a much better handle on replacement funding of large ticket items. We have been upgrading radios and pagers to the 800mhz and we just got new turn-out gear. So, we are trying to keep up. It's just very difficult with the times the way that they are. (don't suggest that we contact our congressman, it's done yearly to no avail) I certainly do understand the "regional" problem with this years grants. Funny, that was totally discouraged when it was suggested a few years ago. I certainly hope that the process gets back to normal and can function like it's supposed to throughout. And don;t worry.....no offense taken at all.

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    No offense taken at all guy. Just trying to understand what is happening there. What you are talking about, although difficult to explain, can be properly explained in the financial needs section and should b,. Might take some creative language to do so but it certainly needs to be told correctly and would explain away the lack of replacing the equipment yoursleves and why you are coming back to the program for assistance.
    Kurt Bradley
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    I agree with Kurt, you gotta find a way to explain that unique financial issue. Find a % comparison that is both applicable and BIG, exploit the hell out of it. As far as the congressman goes, they don't return calls=more call from me. Had that problem with a State level official last year, got to the point that I called and e-mailed her twice daily ( I can be a real pain in the *** when I put my mind to it). I also posted on her Facebook page my call log and the lack of response on her part. Squeaky wheel theory, I get prompt responses now.
    Last edited by utfd701; 01-26-2012 at 12:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Please, do not take offense at this...

    If you got the airpacks in 2001, which I believe was the first year of the AFG, then the bottles are at best 11 years old. With 4 years left that seems like it would be enough time to do what should have been considered in 2001 - planning for their replacement. Part of getting equipment through the AFG is being able to support that equipment. When we got our airpacks in 2001, we made the decision to go with aluminium bottles, due to the replacement in 15 year cost.
    I know of FD that have done the same. But don't understand it. Regards less of what the unknown future might hold. Saddle the FF with a "30min" 21lb cylinder rather than an 11lb "45min". Which now is not going to be able to meet in any way a concept of reserve air when you hit the door exiting the structure. An I going to be able to replace the 25x carbon cylinders in 2021. On my $15000/yr budget? No. What will the world (or SCBA cylinders) will look like in 2021? I don't know what it will look like on Nov 7,2012 (which is going to have a HUGE impact on 2021). In the meantime my FF have a lighter load and a more effective/safer piece of equipment.

    Same reason we bought 5" supply line rather that 2-1/2". IN 10yr could buy 800ft of new 2-1/2" (ISO) a lot easier than 5". But who would chose the 2-1/2" over the 5"? And Advance over Nomex. Bunker over raincoats/hipboots. Defender over 4". Leather boots over rubbers. Titan over cow hide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    I know of FD that have done the same. But don't understand it. Regards less of what the unknown future might hold. Saddle the FF with a "30min" 21lb cylinder rather than an 11lb "45min". Which now is not going to be able to meet in any way a concept of reserve air when you hit the door exiting the structure. An I going to be able to replace the 25x carbon cylinders in 2021. On my $15000/yr budget? No. What will the world (or SCBA cylinders) will look like in 2021? I don't know what it will look like on Nov 7,2012 (which is going to have a HUGE impact on 2021). In the meantime my FF have a lighter load and a more effective/safer piece of equipment.

    Same reason we bought 5" supply line rather that 2-1/2". IN 10yr could buy 800ft of new 2-1/2" (ISO) a lot easier than 5". But who would chose the 2-1/2" over the 5"? And Advance over Nomex. Bunker over raincoats/hipboots. Defender over 4". Leather boots over rubbers. Titan over cow hide.
    The question you need to ask yourself is; what happens in 2012 if this AFG grant program was not here? How would you deal with it?
    Kurt Bradley
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    Good Question Kurt! I guess "punt" would be the phrase. I'm a huge fan of the old "revenue sharing" program where the FD was required to pay for 50% and the State paid for 50% of a particular need. It worked fantastic for many years. That's how we used to fund our Rescue Tools, Air Pacs, LDH, etc. I liked it because it put "equal" responsibility on each. And, it was easy to plan as far as budgets went. We used to enter a seperate line item each year with the item. The tax payers always supported us and they "loved" only paying 1/2 the price!! Now, with the AFG it seems so much harder. I wish everyone the best luck this year. It's a tough one with all the regionals being handed out.

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    The big $$ regionals are going to pay for communications systems that far too many departments and governments entities decided to wait and hope the FEDS will pay for them. Many of us started planning 7 years ago for system design and upgrades. those that did probably have their new system and radio equipment in service.
    I had several depts contact me with the deer in the headlights look to write them a "radio grant" this year. One dept actually claimed they had just found out that they needed to replace 90% of all their radio hardware and add two tower sites to make it effective.????? How could anyone just find out?

    Hopefully the program will level out in coming years..
    One thing we all have to remember is that once you get a grant award, you need to start budgeting replacement costs. I think the hand up has brought many departments to a safer place as far as PPE and other equipment go. We do need to realize the well is not bottomless and will probably not be there to replace equipment multiple times in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    I know of FD that have done the same. But don't understand it. Regards less of what the unknown future might hold. Saddle the FF with a "30min" 21lb cylinder rather than an 11lb "45min". Which now is not going to be able to meet in any way a concept of reserve air when you hit the door exiting the structure. An I going to be able to replace the 25x carbon cylinders in 2021. On my $15000/yr budget? No. What will the world (or SCBA cylinders) will look like in 2021? I don't know what it will look like on Nov 7,2012 (which is going to have a HUGE impact on 2021). In the meantime my FF have a lighter load and a more effective/safer piece of equipment.
    And thats fine, just go into it with a plan for replacing - either bottles or packs. Don't wait until the expiration is up on the bottles to suddenly try to replace the packs. It is a choice - get the latest and the greatest with an expiration date in 15 years, AND have a plan for replacing/upgrading in that 15 years, or get something without that expiration and plan for only minimal replacement in that period.

    Just don't expect a grant program to take care of it, because we don't know what will be there.

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    An update from the fogotten state. We no longer feel so forgotten, we did indeed receive a grant this year for LDH hose.
    Now begins the process of spec'ing and bidding for the hose and associated apliances and adapters.

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    Way to go Troy!
    Kurt Bradley
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    Yeah we found that a couple weeks ago, forgot to come back here and post about it. Mentioned something in the 1199A thread about it, maybe they saw the rant and sped things up.

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    Actually, Troy's been gone from here for quite some time now. I've been the Chief for a little over three years.
    But thanks anyway

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