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Thread: Lets talk about Regional Vehicles

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    Default Lets talk about Regional Vehicles

    With the AFG allowing regional vehicles, what are your thoughts? ( the good, Bad and Ugly, Please)
    John & Sheila
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    OK so who is actually going to own it, who is going to insure it, who has liability for it, who controls what calls it responds to, who is going to license it. I don't think whoever put this through, actually thought it through very well. Of course it is a moot point almost since we only had a little over 100 vehicles awarded this year and with 10% of vehicle money earmarked for ambulances I don't see where this is going to be relevant really.
    Kurt Bradley
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    i am sure it will be like the Fire Safety trailer we got on regional. Requesting dept will license it and insure it but will be used throughout.
    John & Sheila
    McMechen Volunteer Fire Department
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    Quote Originally Posted by McMechen VFD View Post
    i am sure it will be like the Fire Safety trailer we got on regional. Requesting dept will license it and insure it but will be used throughout.
    So who foots the bill for the FFs responding with that truck or is it one of those situations where if you want it, you have to send someone to get it? Mark my word, this is a Pandora's box of liabilities that they are opening and any city or department attorney, I would be willing to bet, is going to strongly advise for their city or department not to get involved in same. So John, what happens when Dept A driver operator has a wreck and causes $50K in damages to the truck and killed a civilian and her baby in the T-bone crash... who pays for the truck damages and who foots the liability bill for the lawsuit that is sure to arise? See where I am coming form here?
    Kurt Bradley
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    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    I see your points but in our area we have discussed regional responses from the angle of a regional RIT to Regional Special Rescue teams. The Insurance company's stated if we have a county wide mutual aid and the departments are activated than there is coverage from the department you belong (as long as you were activated). Insurance on the Safety trailer will be paid for but contractual agreements have to be in place the comp will be paid by the departments that are using the trailer. I feel many good questions and many good points I welcome them all so we can see all sides of this and get the answers we need.
    Thanks Kurt - Please send anything else you might think of…
    I am not one for quotes but…
    "Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful." Zig Ziglar
    John & Sheila
    McMechen Volunteer Fire Department
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    jdavis@mcmechenvfd.com

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    I think the difference here between a safety trailer and a vehicle is one of the "urgency of response". A safety trailer is "scheduled to appear" somewhere it snot being driven in emergency mode to respond ot an emergency and that is where I see the major difference both is risk presented and the liability incurred. Of course neither one of us is a lawyer but, I have to play devil's advocate here and say that if I have these questions, would a reviewer not be asking similar type questions as well? I think they are questions that anyone going after a regional vehicle app will have to answer for a reviewer. Honestly, I don't see anyway that most departments could possibly get those questions answered, have it legally reviewed and have written signed MOUs in place quickly enough to be of use for this years program.
    Kurt Bradley
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    What about the chances or a regional rehab unit? I would put it's priority over the tread mills because they will actually get used

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    The way that it would be covered here is also through the mutual aid agreement. But here then is the counter point. If you already have a mutual aid agreement, is it really a regional vehicle, or is it just another vehicle for your department that is available by request?

    To discuss. . .. My department hosts a regional app and gets a grant for a water supply pumper with a 1500gpm pump, 500 gallon tank, 2000' of 5", and 2 portable pumps, 2 portable ponds, and several joints of hard suction on a 4x4 chassis. It is now housed and insured through our department. It is available on automatic mutual aid or by request. What is the difference between this and if my department itself were to get the same truck?

    Is this just another angle to play when applying for apparatus?

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    I will go into more depth with the forthcoming 2013 AFG article I'm writing for here, but the only difference between an individual vehicle and a regional vehicle application are the fact that you include regional statistics and list off whose numbers you included. In that list will be department name, contact name, and their phone number because have no doubt they all will be getting phone calls.

    The ownership of the vehicle is still with the department that applies, no one else. This is just a way to put into numbers the regional effect of certain types of vehicles, where we've been limited to just narrative ammo in the past. Think about vehicle types too: if everyone has one, there's no regional benefit to one more of the same....
    Brian P. Vickers
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchkrat View Post
    What about the chances or a regional rehab unit? I would put it's priority over the tread mills because they will actually get used
    Unfortunately, Rehab units are Priority #2 for all departments on the vehicle funding priority matrix according to their webinar this year.
    Kurt Bradley
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    In the past to be considered a regional grant it had to meet the following requirement in the PG.

    "In general, equipment purchased as a result of a regional project will be physically distributed to all
    the departments that are beneficiaries of the project. This physical distribution of the equipment to
    other first responder organizations is the single characteristic that distinguishes them from projects
    that are not regional in nature, but may have an impact on a region via mutual aid."

    This meant that each and every department that was involved was responsible for their own costs of maintaining, repairing etc. said equipment.

    The issue I see with a vehicle is who will be responsible for such costs. There is no way the host community will absorb all the costs. This means an MOA or other legal document needs to be in place to spell out each departments financial contribution.

    1) How much for each department? An equal share, a prorated share based on population, department size or frequency of use.

    2) How often will those payments be made to the host community? As the bills come in, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually etc.

    3) What happens down the road if a department opts out of the agreement?

    4) Will there be other equipment for the vehicle above and beyond what is required by NFPA 1901? Who decides what it will be and who will pay for it?

    As great as it sounds to apply for a regional vehicle a lot of thought will have to go into it to prevent issues don the road.

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    Ok so what type of vehicles would fit the PG for a regional apparatus? Rescues are far down the list so what else would fit?

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    We are seriously exploring the idea of doing this for a Ladder; we have two towns next to each other both have colleges (one Private, One University about 4 miles apart) and no ladder! ETA on closest is 40 min due to roads. This would also expand out to at least 2 other towns that benefit from a ladder being placed. Both departments already run Automatic Mutual Aid.
    John & Sheila
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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    In the past to be considered a regional grant it had to meet the following requirement in the PG.

    "In general, equipment purchased as a result of a regional project will be physically distributed to all
    the departments that are beneficiaries of the project. This physical distribution of the equipment to
    other first responder organizations is the single characteristic that distinguishes them from projects
    that are not regional in nature, but may have an impact on a region via mutual aid."

    This meant that each and every department that was involved was responsible for their own costs of maintaining, repairing etc. said equipment.

    The issue I see with a vehicle is who will be responsible for such costs. There is no way the host community will absorb all the costs. This means an MOA or other legal document needs to be in place to spell out each departments financial contribution.

    1) How much for each department? An equal share, a prorated share based on population, department size or frequency of use.

    2) How often will those payments be made to the host community? As the bills come in, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually etc.

    3) What happens down the road if a department opts out of the agreement?

    4) Will there be other equipment for the vehicle above and beyond what is required by NFPA 1901? Who decides what it will be and who will pay for it?

    As great as it sounds to apply for a regional vehicle a lot of thought will have to go into it to prevent issues don the road.
    You hit the nail on the head here Andy. The lawyers will have a field day with this one trying to get an MOU vetted and approved by a board. I certainly do not see anyway that a department could get this vetted, approved, MOUs in place etc. prior to closing date of the AFG even if the grant period does not open till late October.
    Kurt Bradley
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    All that's really required is a lack of restrictions on response area for the awarded truck, like "this is a city truck" where certain ones can't leave city limits for any reason.

    Otherwise existing automatic or mutual aid requirements will suffice. No MOUs required like projects where everyone gets a piece and has to pay for it. No expectation of non-applicants kicking in funding for maintenance, matching, insurance, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    All that's really required is a lack of restrictions on response area for the awarded truck, like "this is a city truck" where certain ones can't leave city limits for any reason.

    Otherwise existing automatic or mutual aid requirements will suffice. No MOUs required like projects where everyone gets a piece and has to pay for it. No expectation of non-applicants kicking in funding for maintenance, matching, insurance, etc.
    This is what I appreciate about Brian. Keeping it simple.

    Community A has 2 tall buildings, Community B has 3, Community C has 2. None have enough to warrant an AFG award for a Ladder truck. Heck... none have enough to warrant HAVING a truck. But collectively, there is a need.

    Mutual Aid Agreements can easily cover this.

    If the Lawyers can't figure it out...fire them and get new lawyers. There's too many of them out there to allow one to block your efforts.
    Last edited by Wolf8552; 09-20-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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    I guess this is just one of those things some will push and either learn their lesson or shine the light for others to follow. Sure hope we are holding a light but if not have swallowed my pride before! Thanks for all the comments and please keep them coming!
    John & Sheila
    McMechen Volunteer Fire Department
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    I think this is going to be a very small niche of departments that this will fit. You will have to find 2-3 departments that are running auto aid together and only one has the specialized apparatus that they all three need and it's old and about to fall apart and they have already been denied twice applying on their own so they will need the call volume and population to help justify the cost benefit. Even then I agree with Andy and Kurt that there are tons of questions that will have to be answered. I'm sure that some reviewers will feel that since FEMA is allowing it then it must be their next best idea for the program so some will get funded but ultimately I don't think this is going to be a game changer. When you're talking about only 100 vehicles being awarded, it's already competitive enough. This isn't going to be some great solution. This is only going to let those departments that couldn't get past the computer before, now have a greater chance with better stats but trying to pull off a regional vehicle is going to be like throwing the Hail Mary pass. It may happen a couple times but its not going to work all the time. Still worth the shot if you have no alternatives though. Just my opinion until I hear more from someone better informed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McMechen VFD View Post
    I guess this is just one of those things some will push and either learn their lesson or shine the light for others to follow. Sure hope we are holding a light but if not have swallowed my pride before! Thanks for all the comments and please keep them coming!
    John that's what I have always liked about you ! You were not afraid to push the envelope and throw the dice and it has paid off a number of times. Good luck.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
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    What if this vehicle was owned by the county (or city) and used to support all their departments, along with mutual aid to neighboring counties; kind of a regional response. Could this vehicle be owned by the county, say emergency management? Would this still be a cost share of 95/5? Operators could be a variety of firemen/county workers as long as they were covered on insurance, I suspect. Just trying to broaden the scope as it appears a little gray at best yet.

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    Just like the normal Vehicle apps who owns the vehicle by title or who pays the insurance does not matter. As long as it is serving the area described in the application then it is kosher.

    The cost share goes by total population, which with the changes is probably going to be 10% for most regionals. This year it's 5% for under 20k residents, 10% for 20k-1 million residents, 15% for over 1 million residents.

    So if the county wanted to own it, a department would still have to be the host and odds are it would make the most sense to use whoever is going to have it parked in their station. That wouldn't preclude it from moving to another station at some point in the future, but as long as the truck is within the area specified by the grant then it doesn't matter if it moves every 3 months. This is something that can't be done in an individual grant unless a department has multiple stations of course. It couldn't go to another department in an individual grant, but here it could.

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    Here is one for you:

    Our neighboring department wants a tanker. None of our regional departments have tankers (those that have them all run pumper tankers which are scored as pumpers by AFG as they all have 1,000 or greater pumps). Can they apply for a tanker, and then be the host for a regional tanker? One would assume that the odds would be better with the regional, but there is a possibility that they could get both. What then? From what I have read, the application process does not preclude this, or am I missing something?

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    Here is one for you:

    Our neighboring department wants a tanker. None of our regional departments have tankers (those that have them all run pumper tankers which are scored as pumpers by AFG as they all have 1,000 or greater pumps). Can they apply for a tanker, and then be the host for a regional tanker? One would assume that the odds would be better with the regional, but there is a possibility that they could get both. What then? From what I have read, the application process does not preclude this, or am I missing something?

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    You missed something. Just like any other situation there is no double dipping so you can't request the same type of a item in both a regional and individual application. So you can't apply for an individual tanker and also host or lend your statistics (participate) in a regional tanker application. Both will be booted. There can be 2 regional vehicle apps from the same group for 2 different types of trucks, so the same 10 departments can lend their numbers to both a ladder truck and a rescue truck grant. Could even be within the same application since the same rules apply to individual and regional vehicle applications where you can request multiple trucks. But again, can't double dip across any of them.

    And just my .02, pumper-tanker is still a water supply truck so while the stats say it's a pumper in AFG, reviewers will know it's meant for water supply also. The scoring by GPM is only for the computer side, that argument wouldn't hold water (pun intended) that there's no apparatus capable of improving water supplies in the region unless the grant is funded.

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