I have recently ran across three rural departments that have 0 positive pressure airpacks. They are still running demand valve units. Elephant Trunks.
All in rural Missouri.
2 of the three have annual budgets LESS than the cost of one (1) new airpack.
The third has just a little more.
None can even afford the 5% match on an AFG grant.
I am going tonite to meet with two of them and try to help them to get a grant and the 5% funding through fundraisers- but they need help now.
I can pick up if anyone has some they could donate - at least in parts of the country. I have a crew headed to Houston TX 4-6-2013 and will be returning with an empty trailer if anyone down there could help.
Surely someone has gotten an AFG grant and replaced their older packs.
Since you'll be in the 'hood, putting the feelers out. Should be some around here either off of grants or budget purchases for how the area's growing. Will drop you a line if I find something.
This is one of the major problems with the entire AFG program. There are departments like the ones Blake mentioned while there are other departments that have so much they have to ask for gym equipment and other non essentials because they don't need any essential firefighting equipment.
Worse yet is they get the awards.
I always thought that the program was supposed to get ALL firefighters into safe PPE/SCBA and then fund other nice to have things like washers & dryers or gym equipment.
It seems that the original intent of the program has been forgotten.
I gave several sets of older rubber turnout boots to a department that couldn't afford to buy boots for their new recruits last year. Others have done much more.
I have worked with departments to fine tune their grant apps to allow them to get the desperately needed equipment they need.
How about it folks ::: have we drifted away from the intent of the AFG program & turned it into a hog trough at feeding time????
Blake: Just an off the wall thought. Try contacting the scba sales outfits and see if instead of throwing older packs in the dumpster they could reuse them and take the tax write off.
I know when we got new packs , our ten year old SCBA with strap mounted PASS alarms were considered worthless . We did get a trade in because we had some newer masks and bottles, but it wasn't much. He said they would throw the packs away as they had lots of them they couldn't sell.
Finally someone else who feels that this program which was once awesome is going down hill. It is a case of the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This program needs to go back to what it originally was made for and quit giving out awards for unnecessary items and multiple awards to companies. Make a waiting period to get another award so these small companies can get something too. We are one of the bottom of the barrel companies begging for help from the afg program amd not getting it. We have resorted to begging the companies that are getting the awards for their old turnout's and such. Luckily for us they are somewhat willing to help. And i actually consider us one of the better off companies in our area. Ok i will shut up now........hoping afg people read this.
gvfc19 the AFG people will read it but, there is not much they can do other than put forth the program. In principle I agree with you and islandfires logic and would love to see more departments getting that basic help you refer to but I have to ask; where are they? They have their heads stuck in the sand because they won't come forward and do what is required to gain an award or even bother to stick their heads up for air and they do not even know that programs such as AFG even exist to help them.
Originally Posted by gvfc19
What your post infers is that you blame the AFG program for you not getting funded when in fact the finger needs to be pointed at your fellow firefighters and Chiefs for it is they, that actually decide who does or does not get funded; it is after all a peer review process. Perhaps you do not properly understand the AFG grant process or you do not understand how to justify and show your need properly. I see by your posts ( 15) that you have not availed yourself of the "free help" offered in here on a daily basis. My log book is full of departments who originally thought, just as you do, that the program shuns them or treats them like redheaded stepchildren in favor of larger metropolitan departments and sir, you are 100% wrong and I prove that point several times every year. If you don't believe me just ask in here and I am sure bc79er, Sly, onebugle and others will verify that what I am saying is exactly the truth.
If you and your members are willing to invest the time and some effort to become compliant, educated and open to listening to advice from experts in this game, then you can find your department's name on the winner's list.
Do yourself a favor and take an hour to call me at 863-551-9598 and lets discuss what you are doing wrong and how to correct it. There is no charge. Ball is in your court dude, can you hit it back?;)
IMHO, the AFG is by far the fairest program out there in regard to awarding funds to departments that demonstrate the need. Are there issues? Yes, but that stems more from a lack of funding than anything else. Less funds means less awards meaning that some departments will not be funded for their requests.
PPE and SCBA are the 2 highest priorities within the AFG program. If a department cannot get past the computer to PR; there is something fundamentally wrong within the application information. If a department ends up with a PRDJ; there is something fundamentally wrong with the narratives.
When departments receive such DJ’s results in the “BM&C Syndrome” where it’s the AFG’s fault with the department taking no responsibility for their failures.
A case in point; a neighboring department tried unsuccessfully for 3 years to replace their SCBA (CDJ’s) resulting in a major case of BM&C. Finally, they asked for help (help was offered previously) to find out what they were doing wrong. Within 5 minutes of glancing through their application 5 red flags popped up on their data. Four out five were wrong with the fifth just a lucky guess. The next year they were funded.
Fast forward about 5 years. This same department for 2012 is applying for a piece of apparatus. The grant writer seeks input on the application. Remember, a vehicle grant is a long shot with limited funding available. They are informed to reduce the cost of the vehicle to a lower amount as the initial price would result in a CDJ. The grant writer did this, but the higher ups change it to a figure about $175K higher. After it was submitted I told the GW that it was a guaranteed CDJ. Low and behold that is what occurred.
The higher ups ended up with a serious case of BM&C. Their solution to their CDJ, have all AFG applications should go to PR for review. Really; send 14,000 to 20,000 applications to PR. That will never happen as that task is too cumbersome.
The cure to BM&C; seek help and input to improve your application.
BTW, 90% of the FD's in my state have recieved at least one AFG award including those rural FD's with very limited budgets. It can be done.
Dont think there is much more to be said that ktb9780 and others have not said. You are not the first that thinks that only big FDs are getting awards.Like kurt has already said, "You Are Wrong". I can say from my experince that this year alone, i have wrote for some of the smallest FDs in very rural areas that does not make over 20-25 runs a year and they are getting new turnout gear this year and in previous years. Ktb9780,bc79er,sly,onebugle,island fire03 and several more can say the same thing with their writng experince. IMHO you need to get into a grant writing class ASAP and find out WHY your apps are not making it to peer. Ok off the soap box. Jeff
I would only add that many departments do not even ask or bother to fill out an application. If you don't ask the answer is no!
Kurt is right on the money!
I am tired, so I should probably not answer this.... But.....
Originally Posted by gvfc19
If you keep applying and you keep getting turned down, a thinking man would see a light go on, and realize it is not the fault of FEMA. It is not the 'rich departments" (I bet you have a higher budget that my department). It is not the aliens from explanetooth.
IT IS YOUR APPLICATION!!!!!!!!!!
In 2013 you said you had done 4 grant applications - in 2012 you said you had done none. what classes have you gone to on grant writing? Have you asked any of the successful people on here to look at yours?
What can WE do to help you?
And to everyone else, the departments I have looking for the SCBA have almost all changed board and Chiefs, and will be doing the AFG grant requests - we just need something to get they by until they get awarded. Bet at least 2 out of 3 get awarded in 2013.....
Island fire, I agree - but if departments don't apply, or their applications are lacking then I don't envision FEMA holding their hand to get them to submit applications that are not lacking. Great idea on the supply companies, I will start leaning on a couple of sales guys now - it should be obvious that if they get a department started on the path to equipment, they will be remembered come bid time!
If a company takes equipment on trade-in they own it, so there's a liability in them donating equipment which is why they have to get put in the dumpster. Now nothing says they have to render the equipment inoperable prior to putting it in the "dumpster", but their liability ends when it is "thrown out". If someone happens along while the equipment is sitting there in or around said "dumpster" then there is no liability at that point.
Also if the old equipment is purchased for "scrap parts" for $1 each then the liability ends also since there are no implied or intended warranties at that point.
Went through this a couple of years back and that was the answer given, and then the legal workaround was formed. Since this is America and whatever the lawyers and therapists say, goes....I wish more of them would just go...somewhere else....
I've worked with departments that had received CDJ's & peer DJ's multiple times in previous attempts. Sometimes there are obvious errors that can be corrected in the apps and other times the numbers just don't jive to be successful. In those cases it's usually a case of a new chief or board of directors setting unrealistic expectations for what the program will fund. Had one small dept that got new management and decided they wanted a new engine to replace 2 older,[but not antique] pumpers.
Their app came to me for proof reading and comment.
They got all ******ed off when I advised them they would not get funded for a new 8 man custom with a price tag in excess of $450k. Told them to ask for funding for a smaller 4 man with a little less equipment and to increase their cost share to bring the C/B ratio into the high side of acceptable.
Well they submitted it twice as was & got the CDJ both times. DUH !!!!
The Next year they finally agreed to let me rework it and voila they made it to peer review. Didn't get awarded but closer to the magic bell. Still waiting for word on 2012. If not, We'll try to make a few adjustments this coming year and see if we can crack the winners circle for them.
There are also departments out there that have gotten the DJ's for every single app they've made and have given up any hope on the program. As Blake said depts that can't get their 5% cost share without ruining their budgets. Their total budgets are less than what we spend on fuel for our ambulance each year. Unfortunately there are many departments in many states with this problem, and we as a group should be trying to find a way to help them put them in safe turnout gear and scba's and other basic firefighting necessities.
AFG as a whole has been a very good program , but there are some minor faults in the original mission of providing the basic firefighting equipment assistance to EVERY FF in the country.
Many of us have been very fortunate to receive assistance in purchasing needed items that were outside the reach of our budgets .
Thanks to all the generous sharing of knowledge from everyone here, many more have become educated on how the program works and what it takes to crack the tough nut to score well.