08-06-2014, 09:53 PM #26
The problem is: Ballistic body armor only works when it is worn ALL the time and then it only covers the torso.
It is hot and if you are wearing it under turnout gear the added heat stress will cause many to decide to leave it in the closet.
Now if they only wear it on the extremely rare occasion when they might be responding to an active shooter situation. it will get forgotten hanging in the locker until they remember it after the fact.
One more shining fact: you can be fatally shot in the torso while wearing body armor.
My brother in law And his LEP partner were murdered by an Afghan security officer who shot them in the side between the plates with a handgun. He never went anywhere without his full vest 24/7 while in country.
As I stated previously a waste of grant funds when compared to much more necessary PPE and other equipment.
What happens after the govt gives out tens of thousands of ballistic vest to outfit every firefighter in the country?
Then you need to replace it in 5 years. Where is the funding for that supposed to come for in your dept budget?
Oh wait you'll take a pay & benefits reduction to pay for them Right????
08-07-2014, 03:49 PM #27
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- Cypress, TX
Also the program mentioned was the State Homeland Security Grant Program, not AFG. Only SHSGP and Tribal Security Grant programs were authorized to change their eligibility lists to include vests, there was no new grant program created like some of the releases seem to be saying. Got passed one the other day that starts off with a $1 billion figure which is also misleading since that's the grand total of those 2 programs for all eligible areas and their current allocations. And it's the same political process in most areas in getting any money out of the SHSGP. Most states involve multiple levels of committees which kills a lot of progress in and of itself. The idea was the avoidance of asset duplication but that didn't happen in a lot of areas.
Vests are just a band-aid on the greater social issue fails in recent years, and I say that with no political party lean at all since I'm an independent thinker. All sides have successes, all sides have fails, and the big ones have caused people to think there are no consequences for actions. Just in the past 3 weeks there have been 6 armed robberies during the daytime at establishments I was either in or near within a 24 hour period before the robberies. Somehow people think everything belongs to them just because they're breathing, hard work is for other people, and those that work hard should support everyone else. Discipline at a young age is a lost art, and that just leads to ignorant teenagers and adults. Teach more respect for self and others and we wouldn't need vests for non law enforcement entities, and I wouldn't feel like I needed my CHL just to go to Sam's Club...
08-07-2014, 07:54 PM #28
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
This Just In
For what it's worth.
As you know, I met with Rep. Capps’ staff to provide background on the issue and to seek her support for ballistic protective equipment (BPE) to be made eligible for funding through AFG, which she agreed to strongly support.
Although the guidance has yet to be released, I am extremely pleased to report that Rep. Capps was just told that FEMA has for the first time agreed to make BPE eligible in the FY 2014 AFG funding round. While BPE equipment may not initially be a high priority of for funding, as the role of fire/EMS evolves with regard to active shooter and mass casualty situations, FEMA anticipates working with Congress to potentially adjust the funding priority of this equipment. I have attached FEMA’s response to Rep. Capps for your records.
After the FY14 awards have been made, we will look at whether FEMA provides funding for any BPE and inquire about the number of requests that were made for this equipment, which will provide us with a measure as to whether to reengage with FEMA regarding BPE’s priority.
The inclusion of BPE on the FY14 AFG funding eligibility list is a big win, especially considering how difficult it can be to get quick action on any agency request. We will be sure to draft thank you letters to Rep. Capps on behalf of the City for her support on this issue.
Nathaniel J. Potter
Manager, Government Relations
Van Scoyoc Associates
08-08-2014, 10:50 AM #29
Alright folks everyone sit back down in your seats here and take a breath. Although it is apparently true that BPE will in fact be eligible on the 2014 AFG, this is not going to be one of those opportunities where you are going to be able to request a bullet proof vest for each of your firefighters, simply because it is eligible. Remember here folks, “eligible” is only one piece of the 3 parts you must have to get funded. I doubt seriously if you are going to see a BPV ( bullet proof vest) start out in AFG with a “High” priority for everyone and you also have to include that all important factor of “proving your need”.
Do any of you honestly feel that BPV should be prioritized above Structural Turnout Gear or SCBA that is used on every single call? I mean let’s be realistic here folks; we still have far too many departments out here struggling with turnout gear that is still 10-20 years old and departments using SCBAs with elephant trunk, belt-mounted regulators. Let’s also not forget that AFG is still struggling to keep from losing or struggling to maybe gain a few extra dollars each year just to supply those needs and is lucky to fund maybe 2000 departments yearly out of 16K who are applying.
Remember here also that we are talking about something that must donned over a t-shirt and worn under your structural turnout coat as well. That’s additional time to dress out properly, delaying response time further and the retained heat inside your turnout coat is already almost unbearable and you are now going to add an item which will increase that heat retention even further? Take it from someone who wore a BPV for twenty years daily as a cop here in Florida, it raises your skin temp another 2 degrees or better and that is with me wearing only a poly-cotton uniform shirt over it; not a 15 lb structural turnout coat that is scientifically designed to seal you away from heat and moisture which conversely traps it inside even more. Throw you in a 90 degree ambient air temp on a summer day and then push you into a burning building and I venture to say that the frequency of rehab needed will increase no less than 25% or more.
If AFG is all about increasing your safety it MUST devote its limited resources to the areas where the greatest need exists and greatest benefit will result. Unless we see Congress invest a significant amount of money back into AFG (which is unlikely), in my opinion you are going to see AFG awarding these out on, at best, a very, very limited basis. There will not be a willy-nilly blanket policy of “ask and you shall receive here”. You are going to have to show need, you are going to have to show that your FFs have been properly trained in “tactical deployments” for AS/MCI and you most definitely are not going to see a whole department get BPVs for every FF.
My best advice is to sit back this first year and watch and see where it lands on AFGs ”priority matrix” and see how they score at computer, how the peer panel is going to review the apps during this first year and who actually gets funded and for what. Don’t waste an opportunity here until you see what shakes out as a result this first year. If you really feel the urgent need for the BPVs remember that the State Homeland Security Grant Program and Tribal Homeland Security Grant programs already allow such purchases as well.
Just my opinion, your's may differ.Kurt Bradley
Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
" Never Trade Skill for Luck"
08-09-2014, 09:17 AM #30
Very eloquently stated Kurt.
I worked with a dept this year that has hand me down turnout gear from several other depts . It ranges in age from 12 yrs old to over 25 yo.
They have been trying for several years and gotten nowhere with afg.
Just had an e-mail from them last week. awarded new PPE for the first time in the history of the dept.
large land mass, low population , way more deer and bear than people, low call volume, small tax base, All the hard sell points. Got them a small grant from a local foundation to cover their match.
Where their's a will ::: their's a way. :-}
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