1. #1
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    Default SAFER: No Accountability = Ask Feds For More

    Fall River officials optimistic on SAFER grant renewal - Somerset, MA - Wicked Local Somerset

    This will probably become the norm for communities that have recieved funding to restore positions lost to layoffs and/or attrition. As the grant expires, ask for more funds as the communities are not held to any type of standard to maintain those same positions in subsequent years.

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    $6.9M Grant Announced for Flint Fire Department - Fire Engineering

    Apparently the key to success is to issue layoff notices. Question, are the municipalities that receive these awards required to maintain the budget levels for the fire departments, or are they using SAFER funds as a substitute?

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    Staffing fire, police and EMS should be funded 100% local.

    I have said it before and will say it again. The community should pay for the staffing it wants for emergency services.

    The fact that these large urban areas are now relying on federal funding to keep their departments staffed is nothing short of bull****.

    The purpose of SFAER was to assist volunteer departments to transistion over to very limited paid staff or very small combo departments add a very limited number of additional paid staff over a period of 4 years with the local community assuming the full burden at year 5. Did I like the program in that form? Not really, but I could see it's value, even though I never really supported the concept.

    That being said this current format where basically the fedaeral goverment is subscidizing local fire protection at 100% of the members cost for 2 years, and then being asked to do it again because the local community can't afford to keep them is nothing but payback to the unions for thier support in our president's (and yes, I used lower case intentially) election.

    The fact is fire department operations should be funded locally.

    And by the way, I don't support FireAct either, even though my department has benfitted from 3 grants, the most recent for new SCBA.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    ADC, they are required to maintain all other line items of the budget if they take the SAFER funding. That's why the layoffs had to be documented as either already happened or happening as of a specific date like the 1st day of the new fiscal year as is the case with many this year. That way all other spending is also documented. I doubt anyone from DHS will ever take a look on their own, but that's when it's up to the FD to call foul if the City/Town tries to change anything else and point out that the acceptance of the grant handcuffed the municipality into that situation. Hence the reason many aren't allowed to apply.

    As it is, I call it welfare also. Don't get me wrong, we're hired to do a job for the client but I also make sure they know what they're getting into before I spend a bunch of time for no reason. Many backed out this year after realizing the they'd have to foot the unemployment costs in 2 years knowing now that they won't be able to keep everyone. That's why it's not 2 years of free money, even though several areas were convinced of that. I'm pretty sure some of these recipients this year have some folks that don't realize that either.

    It's also up to the reviewers to see through stuff too. A financial picture painted of nothing but ruin won't recover in 2 years, that just takes common sense to see that. The economy in Flint for instance has slim to no signs of recovery considering the 10+ years it's been sliding down into the tank. Only they and the reviewers know what kind of picture they painted for 2 years down the road and being able to handle another $3.5mil in payroll on their own that isn't there today. 2 years from now might be a rude awakening for some around there when all sorts of other things are done to reduce those costs, like equpiment and vehicles, and of course jobs too.

    While I'm on a soapbox can I mention how many charities are helping to cause US economic issues? After all, sending money overseas for charitable purposes is all well and good, but no chance at that funding finding it's way back to our shores. Hence the reason we switched churches, I'm of the mindset that we take care of our local concerns first, then think about longer distances once our problems are gone. I can go 5 miles and find hungry people, why aren't we working to feed them with our charities instead of sending food and money overseas? Just my .02 US cents, which may not be worth as much now compared to years ago....

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    More Pigs lining up at the welfare trough, hoping that the feds will do their job for them.

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    It would appear that Michigan is leading the pack on SAFER with 5 awards and PA is close behind with 3. $35 million (10%) of money gone already.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
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    I know of one more michigan dept. that is in the running to get a Safer Grant, and Detroit has applied to keep 100 firefighters from being layed off next month. I expect to see more Michigan dept. being awarded.

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    Nothin' but a bunch of crap.

    The program was never intended for this purpose.

    Political payback to the union. Plain and simple.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    I'm glad y'all were complaining about this, just picked up 4 1199As for hiring projects for departments that SAFER was originally intended for, adding some staff to react to increased demand in growing areas.

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    In case anyone's curious about the Taylor MI SAFER story it's on the front page. And yes they'd have to keep the 24 in the next budget year to be able to accept the grant, and keep everyone for those 2 years. Otherwise that would be a default condition.

    And then deal with the unemployment for all of them if they go Day 1 of Year 3 since there's no requirement to keep them. Hence the reason most folks with large rehiring apps didn't put in, couldn't afford the costs of pink slips if things didn't change within the 2 years to cover the funding.

    So if they don't go back to 24 to accept the grant, there's a nice pot o'money coming back. Sucks for them but this is why full disclosure and communication has to happen among all parties. Yes things change after apps are submitted so maybe there wasn't talks of dropping 5 when they hit submit, but should have been communicated that nothing can change until results of the award were known. Or if it was known, those 5 positions could have been included in the grant since there were definitive layoffs pending.

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    Well It Happened...

    Fall River Fire Department Fall River MA Hiring $14,453,524.00 6/22/2012 New

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    Default And here's a double whammy to small communities trying to provide for their community


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    Hey at least COPS still requires a 100% match in Year 4 so there's accountability across all levels on that one. Just like SAFER have to have the crimes to show the lack of cops is making it dangerous to be there. Not much crime in most small towns that visible policing is going to prevent. Kinda like going after FP with no structure fires for 3 years, what is exactly going to be prevented since no fires have happened for 3 years? FP program must be pretty tight if that's the case. We do COPS apps too so seen plenty of stats from all over.

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    My point is that both of tacoma's grants were to prevent layoffs whcih was not the original intent of either of these programs.

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    Ah, read too quick so the boss didn't catch me goofing off or she might collect on the life insurance...thought it read that they were adding back after retirements.

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    Wowo, news flash folks. 2012 SAFER opens only 10 days after 2012 AFG closes and with a shortended application period of only 26 days also. No rest for the weary.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ktb9780 View Post
    Wowo, news flash folks. 2012 SAFER opens only 10 days after 2012 AFG closes and with a shortended application period of only 26 days also. No rest for the weary.
    Time to Pony Up Kurt...So much for summer vacations.

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    I'm doing it mostly on the road, presentation at Expo in Baltimore this year so doing the Griswold Family Experience up and back on the usual family visit through MD, NJ, PA and then back. No worries, that's what wireless is for.

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    <Gripe On> I was told by the help desk this morning, that SAFER '11 will be continuing into and possibly beyond the SAFER '12 app period. Kind of annoying considering we were told a month ago that we would know our final disposition prior to SAFER '12 opening. His advice was to refile the same project again. If we are awarded in '11 (which I hope we are), that means we'll have wasted our '12 opportunity to enhance our services. I just don't understand the rush, just to get it done for the sake of saying it's back on schedule. Also the program guidance isn't ready either. <Gripe Off>

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    Election year..... HMMMMMMMM

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