I'm not really sure where this thread belongs so I'm posting it in several forums. Sorry for the incovience. I keep hearing about how the fire service is underfunded, particularly compaired to law enforcement, and I agree. However, I worry about the thinking that we can find a new source in the federal government. Any of us that pays taxes knows that money from the federal government is far from free. First, that money comes out of the pockets of the same people that we get money from now, whether your dept. is dependant on donations, or receives local tax money or any other type funding. If the people we protect have to pay higher fed taxes, how much will be left over for donations or when will they be willing to raise thier local tax rate? Secondly, in order to receive any "grant" money from Uncle Sam, you know you will have untold amounts of hoops to jump through, some of which will affect how your dept. will hire new firefighters, retain experienced ones, promote leaders, run your operations, and, more than likely what you can do with the money you do get. If this sounds farfetched, ask anyone in your local law enforcement administration what has to be done to qualify for some of the so-called free money they get , and how much actually ends up be used at the local level. I hope I didn't come off to preachy or political but I tend not to believe the man when he says, "I'm with the federal government, we're here to help."

------------------
Kevin Sink
Fair Grove Fire Dept.
Thomasville, NC USA
kevinsink@northstate.net