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Thread: AFG Micro Grant

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    Default AFG Micro Grant

    Anybody have a firm grasp on the micro grants?

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    I attended an AFG workshop this evening. What they are saying in the workshop handout is listed below.

    " This is a voluntary funding limitation choice, made by the applicant within the application, not an additional funding opportunity. MGs are awards that have a federal participation (share) that does not exceed $25,000.

    Only fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations are eligible to choose MGs, and the eligible MG activities are: Equipment , Modification to Facilities, PPE, Training and Wellness &Fitness. "

    Applicants can still apply for both a Vehicle and or Joint/ Regional grant but you will be unable to apply for any Operations or Safety projects in addition to the Micro Grant.

    J

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    OK so let's examine this move by AFG. Why do you think they would come up with this? Well lets look at some quick facts.

    There is only $270 million in the program and it has only managed to fund around 2500 departments this year with similar circumstances on tap for 2014. Back 5 or 6 years ago, when there was $650 million in program, they were funding in excess of 5,000 departments a year. It does not take a mathematics degree to see that what they want here is to fund more departments with less money...and I agree and applaud them for taking such a stance!

    I would rather have 25% of something than 100% of nothing any day of the week. So what they are saying here is, " Hey agree to take a little less and we will agree to "loosen" up the requirements to make it to peer review and actually let a human decide that award. Bottom line? They can fund 4 departments at $25K each vs 1 department at $100K. More departments funded means less complaints to congressional types and better numbers to present to Congress about what the program is doing for the fire service.

    No matter which way you slice this, if you can still get the government to pick up 50% of the tab for a $50K expenditure, you are winning for your department and your taxpayers. In a roundabout way it is saying "voluntarily put a few more local dollars into your projects and we will reward you for doing so". I like it!

    All of you smaller rural FDs with low population counts and low call volume, take heed... here's your sign!
    Last edited by ktb9780; 09-20-2013 at 09:07 AM.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    We are taking this as a sign that it is best to start applying for individual items and go slowly (Washer / Dryer this year, TIC next, Nozzles the following, etc.) rather than trying to replace all of the hose, all SCBA, or other apps that would be over the amount.

    Anything to increase our odds and get us some money back.

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    From what I can tell this is in response to comments that high priority requests for small amounts were getting bounced, so smaller departments of 10-12 people requesting PPE, etc. This was actually proposed back in 2009 but never implemented until now. Odds are this year it's going to be a statistical thing, depending on the results it may or may not be implemented as a sub-category in Ops next year. I wouldn't take it at all to mean that you should abandon replacing 1997ed or older SCBA in favor of something smaller thinking it would have a better chance of funding. After all these "may" receive extra consideration, which means they may not. I wouldn't read anything into this being there and make a goal of just asking for small dollar amounts for lower priority projects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    From what I can tell this is in response to comments that high priority requests for small amounts were getting bounced, so smaller departments of 10-12 people requesting PPE, etc. This was actually proposed back in 2009 but never implemented until now. Odds are this year it's going to be a statistical thing, depending on the results it may or may not be implemented as a sub-category in Ops next year. I wouldn't take it at all to mean that you should abandon replacing 1997ed or older SCBA in favor of something smaller thinking it would have a better chance of funding. After all these "may" receive extra consideration, which means they may not. I wouldn't read anything into this being there and make a goal of just asking for small dollar amounts for lower priority projects.
    I too agree 100% with you Brian that this should not be interpreted to mean you should abandon a good PPE or SCBA project. However, I do not believe AFG would have bothered to spend the time and effort to add this "Micro-grant" language, modify the application to include same and propose this "new twist" if they were not intent upon acting as proposed. I too believe that there is a basis in offering this simply to gain better statistical values by year's end however, I also believe that it will, in the long run, be good for the program to have those higher statistical values to use as justification for continuance of the program and in fighting for annual allocations.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quick question. We are a small rural deparment with around a 100 runs a year. I have a need for PPE and hose. For the last two years I have made it to peer review, but did not get funded. I have 33 members and 18 sets of gear that are 8 years old, 8 sets over 16 years (1992), and 7 members with no turnout gear. I have old 5" rubber hose that we bought used 15 years ago and is well over 30 years old. It has non locking stortz and has many pin holes and last working fire, a section burst while suppling interor operations. I was asking for 2500 for a complete head to toe turnout gear, but dont know if I should break each item down this time, like coat, pants, etc. Should I go for the full grant or just do the micro grant and ask for 9 sets of PPE?

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    Go for the 8 sets over 16 yoa and the 7 sets for those FFs that have none. Drop the hose and I would suspect that your narrative needs some work if you are getting by computer but hitting the wall with peer.Give me a shout and I'll discuss further with you as a courtesy 863-551-9598.
    Last edited by ktb9780; 09-23-2013 at 08:53 AM.
    islandfire03 likes this.

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