AFG Changes needed
I think this program has lost its true focus on what should be priorities. They seem to have gone from the "must have for safety and compliance items" to "that would sure be nice to have" funding mentality. Many small fire departments are still in desperate need yet continue to get rejected over things like call volume. One structure fire a year should be enough to justify replacing PPE that out of compliance! Here we sit with 20 year old PPE and about two weeks left of awards. No DJ or 1199 yet, but I don't hold much hope. Thanks to Kurt, Brian, and others who continue to help give us our best chances but really this AFG program needs to be re-tooled.
Firechief56, I am in total agreement with you. Still waiting for PPE. While we have had our fair number of structure fire in our "first due" area, I cannot use the structure fires that we are first in on with our automatic aid agreements. Our PPE has been purchased used from another department who got the grant and had fewer fires than we have, and that was out-dated and worn when we received it, and add to the fact it isn't sized properly and no maintenance records.
Agree completely. We get denied every year to replace our now 30 year old open cab engine that is literally falling apart but yet a large borough with a fire tax gets millions last year. Once you get the grant you should not be able to apply again for 5 years or so. That would help make it fair. We only have around 75 calls a year but obviously those calls aren't as dangerous as the calls on the cities. Oh well we will continue with what we got.
Exactly what I am talking about. Meanwhile over in the "2011 1199's" forum, someone was awarded $214,000 for exercise equipment while many small fire departments continue to fight fires with outdated, non-compliant SCBA and PPE? Whats next? Funding for a dietitian and cooking classes? Ok, off my high horse and back to the waiting bar. Next round is on you Kurt.
Im right there with you Chief,
I left a very well of dept a few years back where money was nothing but a phone call away, a nice county tax money check each year and the county paid for 90% of everything including station supplies.. Im now with a dept that what every we bring in from donations & fund raisers is all we get. We are doing fairly well, but 1 broken fire truck and we are in the hole. Right now we need to replace 38 scba's that are 10-11 yrs old, Replace a 1984 engine and continue to pay off the 12 yr old new station.
I did a SAFER Grant this year for a recruitment and retention, Our call load is growing 30% each year and our membership numbers are dropping 18% a year (we are 100% volunteer dept). We are also doing all the grants we can to help us stay inservice. Mean while my former station where the county pays for everything (station, station supplies, Apparatus, Gear etc) and has a membership roll of 35+ active and total of 48 members just won the SAFER Grant for a total of $148,000. Another local dept in the smae "Money Boat" where the county buys everything for them has won a AFG grant every year for the last 6 years.
These company hire top notch grant writers while most small money struggling depts cant afford these pro's and have to fend for themself. Its not fair in these "Hey its free money, lets go for it" fire service world. Use to be the small struggling depts were winning these grants, now its the large county and city's winning the 1.5 million awards. For each 1.5 million awarded there are 5 depts that could of been funded for a whole year off of it.
PS: Brain, Kurt & other Grant Pro's on here, No knock on you guys for doing these grants. Thanks for getting on here and spreading your knowledge to help us in depts that can't afford the big guns.