Thread: Thanks for nothing, Senators...
09-21-2000, 12:41 PM #1Bob SnyderFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for nothing, Senators...
I'VE UPDATED, BASED ON THE REAL DATA...IT DOESN'T LOOK AS BAD AS THE ROUGH NUMBERS I ORIGINALLY PUT HERE, BUT I'M STILL NOT IMPRESSED. I WELCOME COMMENTS, AGREEMENT, REBUTTALS, ABUSE, ADDITIONS, SUBTRACTIONS, AND, OF COURSE, DONATIONS THE EDITED VERSION FOLLOWS:
Read the news story on the Fire Act yet??
Anybody else feel like they went out shopping for a 2001 Mercedes and came back with a 1986 Yugo?? For this site, maybe it should be something like "spec'ed to get a Pierce and ended up with a KME", but anyway...
The Fire Act is "alive" again. Just some SLIGHT changes...slightly over $3.5 Billion of them. The Feds want to throw $470 Million over 2 years out there to help us out. Not enough. Not nearly enough.
Let's look at this more closely, shall we?
According to the NVFC, there are 31,114 fire departments in the U.S. All of them would be eligible, so we'll assume they all apply.
The Fire Act, as it stands, would put up $100 Million in year 1, to be spread over these 31,114 agencies, so that comes out to $3,214 per fire department nationwide. Almost enough to make me want to give Sen. McCain a big, wet, sloppy kiss!!
Now, in year 2, they're throwing in the BIG money...over 3 times as much as year 1 ($370 Million). So, lets see, $370M/31,114 is...running out of fingers and toes...oh, yea: $11,892 apiece. That's a number you can actually do something with, but not very much.
So, for 2 years, if everybody gets a prorated share, that's a whopping $15,106. Quick, start getting together those specs for that new quint!!!
Now, that doesn't allow for EMS to lobby their way in (like they did in PA). Major cities are eligible, so, naturally, somebody in congress will set aside a diproportionate amount of the grant funds for "underprivledged" areas and "urban renewal", cutting the pool available for everybody else even futher (nothing personal against the departments that are there, but this is funding we're talking about...what you get, I don't). Then, let's add the lifetime politicians out there who will surely funnel funds disproportionately to their districts.
So, let's see...where's that leave a small volunteer department like mine?? In all likelihood, WITH JUST ABOUT NOTHING!
Considering that we started out with $5 Billion in the original bill, we've gone from the potential for $160,700 apiece to just over $15,000 apiece. In other words, we've gone from a significant grant program that could do some serious good to something bordering on a token program that will make Congress feel like they did something while giving the marginal donor on the local level another reason to ignore their annual fundraising letter. In short, Congress gets to say they acted, then start ignoring us again. That's just great. I'm getting all warm and fuzzy.
Forget the Yugo...how about a 1973 Schwinn??
[This message has been edited by Bob Snyder (edited October 03, 2000).]
09-22-2000, 11:57 PM #2da6499Firehouse.com Guest
I think if you check things out you'd find that the 73 Schwinn (Bannanna Seats) is a classic and out of the price range.
10-07-2000, 09:38 PM #3ffengFirehouse.com Guest
Are you really that suprised? Myself, I can't believe that the fire service is falling for this. This is what the fire service is going to hang its hat on - federal funding? Oh yes, I am sure that this won't be like other federal programs. There will be no waste, no special interest groups with their eyes on the funds, the funding will go to those depts that really need it, and on and on.
I read some of the congressional testimony on the issue - begging, that what it was.
In many areas local funding is there - but what do we spend it on: Super custom trucks with 400 to 500 HP engines because house fires and MVAs are SO different in MY jurisdiction, over-priced SUVs for command vehicles when CrownVics, Taurus's, or PickUps with a Cap would do just fine, and on and on.
I hope this isn't the best we can come up with, begging for federal funds. Because if it is, we are in trouble.
10-08-2000, 09:02 PM #4SRVFD2Firehouse.com Guest
ffeng has my vote!!
10-12-2000, 07:36 AM #5Captain GonzoFirehouse.com Guest
The funding the Fire service is getting from the fire act may not be all we wanted...but what were we getting before? A big fat $0!
At least it's a start. For some volunteer departments, $15,000 is going to double or evern triple their annual budgets.
Firefighters: Today's heroes protecting our tomorrows....
10-12-2000, 08:19 AM #6Bob SnyderFirehouse.com Guest
You're absolutely right, Gonzo (congratulations on going from Lt. Gonzo to Capt. Gonzo, by the way)...it would almost double MY company's budget...and that would be fine IF it were ongoing financing. But it isn't...it's a one shot (actually, two-shot) program. We can pay our everyday operating expenses, baic maintenance and repair, and all that. What we need fdrom the outside are chunks of money for serious acquisitions...we need full SCBA replacement (ours are almost 20 years old), replacement of some of our apparatus (ours are all more than 20 years old), and other major projects like that. You can bet that I'll be right in the front of the line, trying to take our share (any three or four other fire companies' shares, if I can lay my hands on them), but this whole thing misses the point. To put it in EMS terms...we're bleeding out, but we're only getting a one-pint infusion.
10-12-2000, 08:57 AM #7daysleeper47Firehouse.com Guest
Also guys, just caused it passed doesn't mean that the money has actually been appropriated. There are cases when a $1 billion dollar bill becomes a $500 million dollar bill b/c Uncle Sam didn't fork over all the dough. Don't worry though...the fire service is still getting basted, whether they get all the moneyy or not. You guys deserve more.
"When the bell goes ding-ding, its time to get on the woo-woo."
[This message has been edited by daysleeper47 (edited October 12, 2000).]
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