1. #1
    jdm2267
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Where's all the FIRE ACT applications?

    In regard to the Firehouse.com story "Low number of Fire Grant Applications a Concern", it amazes me that after all the bickering, disagreements, and disapproval of President Bush's decision to initially cut the grant program, only 250 applications have been submitted so far. If departments are dependent on the federal government supplementing their budget, why haven't they made the application a priority? Is the need not as great as everyone suspected? 250 applications from approximately 30,000 eligible fire departments in two weeks! Leave it to the feds to create a program which is "sorely needed by all" only to be added to the pork barrel. Or are fire departments the epitome of procrastination? I guess we'll know for sure after May 2nd when the deadline arrives.

  2. #2
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Three possibilities come to mind:

    a) Just like with China, Bush was right.

    b) We've got our heads on straight and know that we don't want federal hands in a local issue.

    c) Probably waiting until the last minute.

    I tell you what though, I'd like to see the names of the 250 departments.

  3. #3
    BucksEng91
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Right on, mongo. I'd like to see the names too. Gee, I wonder if "Chief Reason"'s department is among the 250.

    We tried to tell 'em, didn't we?

    ------------------
    J. Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

  4. #4
    toddmcbr
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I think it's great that only 250 applications have been sent in! It just increases our chances of receiving a grant!!

  5. #5
    FireRebel
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Once again Mongo, Bucks I have to agree....

  6. #6
    postal79
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    i have to say i am very surprised and happy that my chief actually filled and sent all the applications in, when he said he would at our first officer meeting of the year i thought i was more empty promises but he actually did

  7. #7
    FFTrainer
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    It is quite amazing that there were something like 400 posts ripping Bush for cutting the Fire Act funds yet there are so few applications.

    Mongo - while I agree with you for the most part, regardless of whether we thing each local FD should be helped by the federal govt. or not, the money is there I can't see why people wouldn't want to take it while they can. It's only a matter of time until it is done away with and we will be on our own.

    Oh and TODDMCBR, I'm with you. Our application is one of the 250 so hey more chances we will actually see something out of this.

    Who knows? I'm sure by the end the last minute guys will turn it in as well since it's not like we don't have anything else to do other than wade through government paperwork.

    Good luck to those who applied!

  8. #8
    Althea Forhan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by FFTrainer:
    It is quite amazing that there were something like 400 posts ripping Bush for cutting the Fire Act funds yet there are so few applications.
    Simple, 200 people posting times two posts each equals 400. That's my guess. Plus 50 people who don't play on the forum.

    Althea

  9. #9
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    the money is there

    Yeah, I know $500 more was confiscated from me by the feds Monday. Ah the punishments of success. Aye RJE?

    Here's an interesting link for you...
    http://www.boortz.com/Diner.htm


  10. #10
    jmk271
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    We sent ours in on April 6th. Hopefully it's one of the 250 they have.

    ------------------
    JMK271
    ***Stay safe out there***
    ***These opinion(s) are my own, and not that of the department in which I serve***

  11. #11
    WRENCH
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Part of the problem is not being able to use it for what you want,Manpower.
    My chief tried to apply and was told by silly council not to even apply. Even though he was going to take the 10% out of his O+E account and wouldnt cost them 1 cent more. There reasoning was that because he wanted to buy an ambulance they didnt like it because they didnt want to get into a turf war or upset the police dept or the volunteer ambulance squad.Part of the money was also for health exams and physical fittness programs.they didnt care, "no" period.By coincidence while talking at the table about this we had an EMS call that started to go south,we waited 25 minutes for a bus. 3 calls for the squad for a second crew and three mutual aid request to three other towns, with no results the chief ordered another EMT to go and take the first aid squads second rig and respond to the incident. But are town still plays games.

  12. #12
    SNOWMAN
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Let's see......FEMA takes over 3 months to get the program running after funding is approved, makes forms available approximately April 1, and then wonders why we can't get everything back to them in 2 weeks. Would they be the kettle or the pot??

  13. #13
    Tillerdog
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ahhh! MongoFire and BucksEng, my two favorite posters! You too ChiefReason.
    It's nice to see you guys never met a dead horse you didn't want to beat

    I think SNOWMAN pretty much sums up why USFA/FEMA isn't getting a lot of applications, to wit, there's not a lot of time to put it together. If you didn't have a plan in place, you're pretty much screwed, it takes time to get with your vendors to finalize your project budget, you will get audited if you're approved for funding, so most of us don't want to "fudge" the numbers. I think there's going to be a big rush next week to submit the applications.

    Bucks: Why doesn't your county just set up an outlying station in NJ instead of the all this mutual aid? sheesh!

    JDM2267: This is not a supplement to your department's budget, depending on the item, you must show that you will continue to fund a category after the disbursement period at a level based on the average of your department's previous two years budget in the same category. It removes the temptation for a department to use this program as a handout. Like I said earlier, all sucessful applicants will be audited.

    Mongo: You can count on my department as one that will have theirs in early next week. I don't think we'll be one of the lucky ones, but I hope to learn more about the whole process for next year...if there is a next year for this program. I am going to start holding prayer meetings in my station on Saturday and Sunday nights, so we can qualify as a faith-based program, since Junior finds that an appropriate role for federal government assistance (I took a look at his budget)
    Praise the Lord and pass the pike pole! The Right Reverend Doctor Fire Chief Tillerdog welcomes you to share in our fellowship at the Structure Fire Cathedral! No need for the ALS rig, all my officers are certified to "lay hands on" to cure what ails you brothers and sisters! Just call our special prayer line, 911, and we'll come out for a vistin' for our sick and shut-ins!

  14. #14
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    What else did you expect? This program was just created, the rules were just put out, and the deadline is a month from publication. Most of the people writing these things are like me...never did it before, need to see all the rules and documentation, need to work through the whole thing methodically, and need to do it while we're doing the 500 other things we do in a week.

    News flash: under these circumstances, most of us aren't going to turn it around in a week or two, so they're just going to get their applications at the last minute.

    Those of us out here in the real volunteer world, who don't do this full time, don't have administrative support staffs, and don't have experience writing these things aren't procrastinators and we don't give this a low priority. That's just insulting. Some of these people at USFA and FEMA who thought they were only getting 6,000 applications (they'll end up getting more) and thought they would all be shipped in two weeks (yea, right) need to get their heads out of their asses, take a serious look at the fire service outside of the big cities and affluent suburbs, and set realistic expectations.

    If you want to take the position that this should be a local issue and it should be handled locally, fine. You're entitled to your opinion, and, I admit, that position has some merit. If you want to argue along that line, then OK, but don't you dare insult the rest of us that are out here plugging away at meeting a barely realistic deadline with very little probability of success, and doing it for free on our nights and weekends to boot. They'll get our application, and it will be before the 2nd of May...but that's about it.


    [This message has been edited by Bob Snyder (edited 04-20-2001).]

  15. #15
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    Addendum:

    Just talked to our local Scott dealer about the quotes he's working up for me...he said he's done nothing for almost 3 weeks but quote SCBA replacements for grant applications...they're coming...let's hope that FedEx and UPS have enough trucks in the Emmitsburg area next week...

  16. #16
    BucksEng91
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Yo, TD! My other favorite poster! Good to see you back here.

    Hey, I'm not flogging the hell out of a dead horse, TD. This one just jumped up out of the grave and he's buckin' to beat the daylights out of ya. It's not dead by a long shot.

    I hate to say, "I told you so," but I will. I TOLD YOU SO.

    It's not the short lead time, TD. That's a red herring. It's about the fact that federal regulations are so dense (even with that incredible example of a contradiction in terms, the "Paperwork Reduction Act" - which probably was printed on about 5000 pages itself) that NO ONE could be expected to be able to wade through it except the big, well-funded departments with lotsa people on light duty. We said this, way back. And we were right.

    This is proving one of Mongo's critical arguments - that the Feds can take anything and make it complicated beyond anyone's ability to understand - just look at the tax code, as a for instance.

    It also proves one of my points - that all of the time wasted trying to come to terms with the federal bureaucracy could have been so much better spent in securing local funding sources. I wonder how many smaller departments spent large blocks of time trying to meet the criteria for grant applications, then finally just threw their hands up in frustration. Wasted time, wasted time.

    Nobody likes a sore loser, TD. Come on, give it up for Bucks, Mongo, and RJE. We were right. At least have the class to say so - we were gracious when funding was restored. We didn't like it, but we congratulated the people who supported the act, like gentlemen.

    Oh, and about the mutual aid - no thanks, although I'm sure you're department is quite professional.

    ------------------
    J. Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

  17. #17
    EastKyFF
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I think Snowman aced it--sure, we spent lots of time in Feb & Mar getting our stuff together, but the precise wording & format were a mystery until the actual app came out.

    Why rush an app into the mail when FEMA has clearly stated that it is not first-come, first-served? Better to let it sit and let your brain clear, look it over again, and make sure it's good.

    Overall, I still think their estimates are too high on total apps. I think the NFIRS requirement will eliminate from contention many of the fire departments that worst need to be IN contention.

    Should be an interesting couple of months.

  18. #18
    jdm2267
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Bob Snyder:
    My intent was not to insult fire depts. It was rather a comment on the federal govts ability to make a program cumbersome and complicated. But then again, how would a federal buearocrat know what a Idaho fire dept needs. This is why I agree with many; let's keep it local. I would imagine many depts will suffer because of this program in a sense that the local officials will say, "We don't need to budget that, you can get it through grants". Local officials will now try to cut, because funds are available elsewhere. I hope this national funding doesn't go any further. My motto "LESS GOVERNMENT".

  19. #19
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Tillerdog as I live and breath!

    you will get audited if you're approved for funding, so most of us don't want to "fudge" the numbers.

    The camel is going to stick his nose into your tent? Man I hope the maid came and swept out all the sand.

    I am going to start holding prayer meetings in my station on Saturday and Sunday nights, so we can qualify as a faith-based program, since Junior finds that an appropriate role for federal government assistance

    Gawd, is there no end to how far you're willing to shred our constitution?

    But you know, you might be on to something there......

    Bucks

    Always good to see you.

    I wonder how many smaller departments spent large blocks of time trying to meet the criteria for grant applications, then finally just threw their hands up in frustration. Wasted time, wasted time.

    So far I know of two locally. I was standing with the chief from one of them when he was printing it off. As soon as it was finished he scanned it and round filed it with comment "I ain't got time for this BS." And he was so looking forward to his fair share of yours, the Dogs and my money!

    jdm2267

    It was rather a comment on the federal govts ability to make a program cumbersome and complicated.

    And when has the federal government ever gotten involved in something and made it easy or better as a result? That question still lingers from the last debate on this issue.

    I would imagine many depts will suffer because of this program in a sense that the local officials will say, "We don't need to budget that, you can get it through grants". Local officials will now try to cut, because funds are available elsewhere.

    I can see it happening too.

    Hey Everyone

    i just got the new fire act app in the mail:

    How much do you have? ____________

    How much do you need? ____________

    What are you going to use it for? ___________

    For populations under 50,000, can you match 10%? YES NO

    For populations over 50,000 can you match 30%? YES NO

    Can You Sign Here ___________


    Funny thing is it came with the new 1040 proposal from the left side for us rich Americans that says:

    Please disregard this notice if your total household income is less than $35,000 per year. You are the working Americans and deserve your fair share of those evil rich peoples money.

    How much did you make last year? ___________

    Send it in.


    OK, all kidding aside.

    Regardless of my opinion on the constitutionality of this issue I truly hold absolutely no ill feelings towards you for applying and maybe seeing some of my money (I wrote mongo luvs pooky on all the dollars I paid my taxes in). The world would be a boring place if we all thought alike and besides, we need liberals to laugh at.

    And to those of you that get some of my money that was forcfully taken from me, don't bother with the thank you card. That would be kinda insulting considering it was a mandatory donation I made.

    [This message has been edited by mongofire_99 (edited 04-19-2001).]

  20. #20
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    >> Bob Snyder: My intent was not to insult fire depts. It was rather a comment on the federal govts ability to make a program cumbersome and complicated.

    It certainly came off as a slam, but I can accept that...and I certainly agree with you on this point.

    >> But then again, how would a federal buearocrat know what a Idaho fire dept needs. This is why I agree with many; let's keep it local.

    As I said, this argument certainly has merit. At the same time, I'm not walking away from the chance to get the cash when it's out there, and, when I look at some of the other things that get funded, i don't feel a bit bad about it, either.

    >> I would imagine many depts will suffer because of this program in a sense that the local officials will say, "We don't need to budget that, you can get it through grants". Local officials will now try to cut, because funds are available elsewhere.

    Actually, our municipality has taken the approach of "let's give this a try and see what happens" and they've admitted right up front that they don't really expect anything from this, either. I can certainly live with that...we give this a shot and, when (sorry, "if") we get nothing, we try to get the job done another way. Other places, fire cos. might not be so lucky to have such understanding.

    So...I'll go back and take the "you" out of the middle of my earlier post...but I still hold this up as evidence of how out of touch the people in places like Emmitsburg are with the reality outside of the cities and their immediate suburbs.

  21. #21
    jizumper-5
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Since I have moved, I have been a member of a few departments. I have been helping my 1st dept. out with the federal grant program with the chief. Both he and I work full time jobs and have a life so we volunteer on the side. With in this month's time we arranged a brainstorming session, got quotes and are sending in the final draft in a few days. It was rough but by no means impossible.

    I would like to have seen the money go locally or even state wide for fire departments but it didn't. So I guess we have to work with the cards we are dealt. I will not be upset if we do not get funding and will not be upset with departments that get funding. Hey if it helps some company out that is good. In no way is this post looking to criticize anyone since I see that sometime it happens without knowing.

    ------------------
    Keep Safe!

    [This message has been edited by jizumper-5 (edited 04-20-2001).]

  22. #22
    Ken Hanks
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Finally completed our grant application. It took at least 50 hours over the last couple of weeks-research, getting prices, writing the narratives, etc.

    I asked the wife of one of our retired captains to proofread the narratives-she is an english teacher.

    The plan is to have the whole package in the hands of Fed-Ex Monday morning.

    Thirty days for a grant application is tough. I can see where some (many?) departments will not be able to meet the deadline.

    [This message has been edited by Ken Hanks (edited 04-20-2001).]

  23. #23
    P Bishop
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    Hey folks we are all in this together. The people in Washington don't know what the Fire Departments in Idaho need until the Fire Departments in Idaho send in their grant material. I hope they send in alot of grant applications. Some small departments will have trouble coming up with the match, as they will everywhere in the US.

    Our grant application went in today so the number will go up.

    Lets go to work and get applications in so the lawmakes will see that the Fire Service in the United States truly needs help.

    Hang in there folks!

    ------------------
    P. Bishop

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