1. #1
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    Default Another SAFER Joke

    http://www.thenewsherald.com/article...mode=fullstory

    Largest SAFER hiring award thusfar in 2011 on the cusp of being returned. Hope it goes into R & R.

    With the amount of work that the AFG staff has to do to process these awards, thus wasting our tax dollars, there needs to be a penalty assessed.

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    This city is nearby and I know a few guys there, and no longer there. This mayor is a total tool and through cuts to both PD and FD he is trying to force pubic safety.

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    I made my comment in the other thread, but looks like major communication breakdown. If it was known that the other 5 were being dropped as of July 1st at application time they could have been included in the grant. Then again could have been the issue of unemployment costs since most won't have the funding for this many bodies when it ain't free anymore, and the city needs to handle the layoff costs Day 1 Year 3 if the accept the award. If they don't, no worries since benefits may have run out already for the others laid off. And as usual if no one has died, the general public sentiment is that all is well...if the fire service could figure out how the cops scare people into funding them to the hilt and learn from it we might be able to keep major cutbacks from happening...

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    Doing the math, ($8.1 Million / 32 Guys)/2 Years =$126.562.50 per person, per year. Plus they asked for an amendment to get $2 Million more, for "Overlooked Costs". I realize the cost of living in Michigan is probably more than Mississippi, but that figure seems very excessive; even before the extra $2 Million is figured in.

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    Would be curious to see bennies costs. I have a couple we did where the health insurance alone was a huge chunk of change, almost 40% of the salary by itself.

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    The mayor for this city has it in big time for the firefighters. They use to have 3 stations, they are now down to just one. They have a call volume of around 4,000+ calls a year. Their daily staffing has gone from 16 down to 6. With the current layoff schedualed to go into effect on July 1, they will have a daily staffing of only 4. Within days of the last round of lay offs, they had a shift working with only 4 guys on, they had 40 calls in a 24 hour shift. This included a fatal house fire where the local ambulance company took 20 minutes to respond. This department's average responce times have gone from 4 minutes to 8-9 minutes.
    About a month or so ago they had a city board meeting, it was standing room only, family and friends of the fatal house fire were there, the only person that didn't show up was the mayor because he caught wind of what was going on. Says alot of this mayor. He doesn't care about the firefighters or the public.

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    Default Today's Announcements

    Wonder if this news delayed the announcements for this week?

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    They were on the web site this morning, just this one we're talking about and 1 other hiring. Announcements are running slow on the hiring side pretty much for the same reason as what's going on in Taylor. No positive outlook of funding past 2 years locally, but staring at major unemployment costs if they accept and hire people back. All that's local money in the layoffs, can't hope that SAFER will be the same in 2 years in the current welfare form that it allows so can't take it and hope that it will keep them on then. Big push against the current design to go back to the old way of maybe allowing the rehiring but not free at all, same diminishing match over 4 years to encourage local responsibility the way it should be.

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    They are finally out there:
    Crescent Rural Fire Protection District Crescent OR Hiring $328,732.00 6/15/2012 New
    Garden Valley Fire Protection District Garden Valley CA Hiring $404,228.00 6/15/2012 New
    Healdsburg Fire Department Healdsburg CA Hiring $325,217.00 6/15/2012 New

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    They actually look like awards for expanding departments like SAFER was meant for....

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    I just wish they would start moving on the R&R side of things. I know they are doing things as quickly as possible with just a few folks, but our budget meetings start next week. It would be nice to know what's going to happen, so we could go ahead and have our part of the deal with FEMA approved! We want to budget a few items that were ineligible under SAFER, that will make the project even more successful!

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    Budget for them, R&R should start next week from what I'm hearing. New 1199A today for hiring, one that will actually be a succesful rehire that the town has already committed to fund long term instead of a 2 year layoff holding pattern like so many of these seem to be.

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    Thought I would share a video of the Taylor MI city council discussing the SAFER grant. After watching the video, all I can say is wow! http://youtu.be/C9JtJAgpohw

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    Any city that refuses a grant they were awarded should be prohibited from applying for another FEMA grant for at least five years. It's a waste of the peer reviewers' time and it hurts departments who need the money and will actually use it.

    SAFER has been completely bastardized from its original intent: getting smaller communities equipped with career firefighters and finding ways to recruit and retain volunteers. It's was never intended to be a jobs program, because it's being used as a crutch for cities who are unwilling to balance their budgets in ways other than laying off firefighters. The lack of performance requirement after the grant period in the 2011 SAFER program only makes the problem worse.

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    I agree if you are granted and refuse there should be justification as why you need to apply again.

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    Giving us a week break from AFG, app period for 2012 the 16th to Aug 10th. Same program with the exception of layoffs not done by app submission must be done within 90 days of closing otherwise not eligible.

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    Now the city council has voted 5-1 to order the mayor to accept the award. The mayor has stated that he will veto the request. The city council has stated that if he doesn't do what they want, the council will sue to force him to accept the award. Things are about to get real ugley in Taylor.

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    Ah yes, putting the fun back in dysfunctional....

    Can't say there's a winning side. If they take the money, they have 2 years to figure something out or take on the additional costs to the taxpayers to handle the unemployment for everyone when they can't keep them. SAFER 2012 now has the restriction that any rehiring apps can only be for those already laid off, or those going to be laid off within 90 days of the app period ending. Anyone outside that window that thinks they're going to keep whacking SAFER for the dough is going to be caught in a constant swing of hiring/layoffs and doubtful that Reviewers are going to keep funding the same people. It's a crappy situation for the FFs but they're caught in the middle of plain old short-sighted planning by others. Sort of like North Las Vegas, pretty sure the new $130mil city hall is something the residents could have done without, especially since they're about to lose parks, libraries, cops, and FFs. Well probably more of the last two, read the story that the resident push is for losing public safety and keeping the parks, pools, and libraries open. Pretty sure that might change when a library burns down, kid drowns in a pool, or someone is robbed in a park. But let's not let details get in the way here...

    It's up to the residents of a specific area to handle the payroll of their public safety agencies, and SAFER should be used for it's original purpose, expanding departments who have the load today but the funding won't show up until a couple years down the road. None of ours that we've done for SAFER since the beginning have laid off anyone done under the old plan.

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