1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question funding for this

    im from a volunteer fire department in a fairly good size residential area. these cameras are nice but how does a department like mine find money available for one of these cameras? its really a shame for these to be so high priced considering they are really needed by all departments from the richest to the poorest departments

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Any way you can, beg, borrow, cheat, and steal !

    Seriously, as a volunteer organization you have a number of options that include :

    Asking the citizens you serve. I know of many departments who were completely shocked when they walked into a civic organization meeting hoping for a small donation, and walked out with enough money to buy 2 or 3 units. The response you get will largely depend on the relationship you have with your citizens and how well you sell your need for an imager. Firefighters are not always the best sales people, so solicite help from the people who are, the manufacturers. All good reps have fund raising kits and can supply you with materials to help you in your quest for funds. You need not commit to a manufacturer to get a lot of this help, but you will get more help if you have done your evaluation and picked a unit. Departments who do a good job of educating the public even in the poorest of communities usually can get the money in 3 - 6 months if they really work hard at it, it is not an easy task but well worth it.

    If you have a Wal-Mart in your community talk to them. They have a national program that allows funds to be donated to community projects. In my experiences their average donation is around $5,000, though I do know of at least one case where they provided the total cost of the unit.

    Talk to your local or state emergency planning commission. They usually have someone on staff who is knowledgeable about grants that you may be able to get. There is also a lot of grant information on the internet.

    Financing/Leasing is available and a sensible option in some cases. No question you will pay more in the long run, but you can have a unit in your hand the day you make the first payment versus waiting 6 months to year unitl you can raise your funds. Once again most reps have information on leasing programs.

    Of course you can do all of the traditional things as well. Roadblocks, raffles, dinners, etc. This can take a long time, but in many cases the money you raise this way would be enough to make the monthly leasing/financing payments.

    In most cases the money is out there in the hands of private citizens or civic organizations. If you do a good job of selling the capabilities of thermal imaging, the money will most likely come.

    A tip, you can talk to them all you want, seeing is believing. If you can get them into a smoke trailer (fake smoke) or even a blacked out room at let them see first hand what it can do it will have a huge impact. The media can also be a huge factor. Thermal imaging is a good story and if you work with them they will help you sell your case.

    Do not forget to keep the local officials in the loop. Budget money is usually next to impossible to get, but you never know, especially if you perk the interest of the community that will reelect the officials.

    Good Luck, it will take some hard work, but do not give up.

    I do not want to make this a Bullard issue, so if you would like any of the things I have such as presentations or videos please email me for additional information.

    I know there are a lot of other people out there who have done some creative financial work, please share it with the rest of us.

    Good Luck, Be Safe

    [This message has been edited by TIMan (edited December 22, 1999).]

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