1. #1
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    Question Computer Grading...

    Hi all,

    I am the assistant chief of a very small rural department. I am wondering just how much does the qty of members play a part in the grading scale. We have an 80+ square mile district, with a very small population. At grant submission time, we only had one operational truck, which is not suited for the roads in our district. We spent alot of time this year on our grant proposal, but I fear that the computers scored us lower because of a lack of membership. Our membership begain declining due to several factors, one of which was aging apparatus, and lack of funding. Now, a meager 3 active members is all that shows on the grant application.

    How do you guys feel about a department this small? Should we qualify for funding? Do you think a new vehicle would improve public opinion of a department? Whould a new vehicle improve morale? Thus, would a new vehicle improve membership?


    Asst Chief,

    Andrew

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up

    Good luck. I hope you all receive a grant. Last year we applied for a brush truck. The good Lord bless us with rain this year. Last fall we had a very bad fire season.
    GOOD LUCK

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    Almarante51
    Cudos to you three for hanging in there. I thought we had problems will 22 active members. New equipment would absolutely help, even 'new' used equipment. This should be true for public opion as well as recruitment. In my mind it shouldn't matter how many active, but is there a real need. Sounds like you guys have a real need.
    Good luck in the future.

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    Default Good luck.

    God love you guys for hanging in there. Yes, new equipment would help with morale, and might help with recruitment. But, how do 3 of you provide adequate coverage. I mean absolutely no disrespect, as I don't think I would be able to do that. If numbers got that low, I think I would be talking to a neighboring department about combining. How small is your population base? If it is too small, say a few hundred, and it is an older population, you may not be able to get a lot of members if you had 5 brand new trucks every year. I live in a small, rural community as well, so I can understand your problem with recruitment. Many of the people here in town are older. I think you are facing what many of us fear in smaller departments, that as more training, etc is required of members, the membership roll will drop to the point we cannot provide adequate protection. I know at that point, we will be looking to combine with other departments, to pool the resources (manpower) we do have to provide something close to adequate protection. Good luck on your application this year, and stay safe.
    "Illigitimi Non Carborundum"

    "The views expressed by me are solely my own, and in no way reflect the views of any organization which I belong to."

  5. #5
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    Default population base

    Yes, our poulation is very low for our district, about 1200 people total. And you are right again in your assumption that it is comprised mainly of retirees. We depend mostly on Auomatic aid from other departments when we have no coverage at all. From what I understand from times past, this department spent most of it's money on upkeep and repairs of apparatus that were rather old. IT is just a frustrating thing to have to deal with. Call volume is low for our district though, so I hope to get the department on it's feet before our district population explodes.

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    As you know there are a lot of people who do not know there is a NWFL. We started with a 1951 truck (only two of us were older than it) We now have a 1972 tanker pumper Keep trying; big cities sometimes give equipment to small needy VFDs. Good luck and don't stop trying.
    Last edited by 5pts384; 06-14-2002 at 10:18 PM.

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    If I recall correctly, the number of members would be used in the grant process to see how many people it would benefit. Fortunately for you, the grant process is supposed to compare rural departments with other rural departments.

    It was interesting to me to find out that in the 2001 process they found that Engines were the only apparatus to be funded. The reason for this is that engines are valued higher (i.e. higher value/cost) then any other type of apparatus.

    What that means is that they have to go through ALL of the pumper applications before they get to ladders/brush trucks/rescues, etc. Also this year they were going to try to use the government standard price for the amount of grant for fire engines.

    It should be interesting to see the results next week.

    Yours in Service,

    Jason
    Jason Zigmont

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    Default Hopes...

    We were able to enlist the aid of a professional Grant writer (free, of course.) I just hope someone actually read our narrative. It clearly outlines what needs would be met by the type of apparatus that we requested. BTW, we requested an Initial Attack class vehicle, as specified in the NFPA 190x-x regulations. It's more like a mini-pumper, but it is not a class A pumper truck. It would be a Ford F-550 chassis. Our primary responses require a FAST response, and also require a vehicle that is small enough to endue the rugged terrain in our district. So we opted for the Initial Attack truck. It would be first on most scenses and would already be pumping water by the time the first Pumper arrived on scene. In my book, that is where the need is most, getting on scene as fast as possible.

    Maybe we should start a thread and share our Grant narratives (win/lose).

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    J Zigmont
    You seem to have more evaluation information than I was aware of. I do not question what you say ... only how you were aware of it and some of the rest of us were not. (i.e. The number of members having an impact on benefit, that a government "standard price" would figure into the evaluation, and that all (most) engines would have to be funded before all other apparatus categories. I was aware that aerials and rescues would not receive a favorable rating ... meaning other apparatus would most likely be funded before aerials and rescues.) I read everything I could find, I went to the FEMA grant workshop, and picked everyone's brain I could and did not get some of the information your had. Again ... I am not questioning your information ... Only why I wasn't able to ferret out like you apparently did. From where did you get this additional information? The facts of our application are the facts reguardless ... and everybody is filed ... I just hate it when someone knows more about my subject than me....THANKS
    BB

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    Well I have to confess, I run a website for Volunteers and part of what I have set up is a way to share grants. (Visit http://www.volunteerfd.org ) So if you are interested in helping the fire community by sharing your grant, I'd love if you would submit it at the above address.

    As for how I found out that specific information, it came from the Director of training of our state fire academy. I guess they have multiple people sit on the peer review board and they had practical experience to draw from.

    Yours in Service,

    Jason
    Jason Zigmont

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    It is my understanding that part of the computer grading was to see if the project was not only appropriate, but also feasible.

    - By appropriate from what I've heard that last year some FDs asked for 30 year health club memberships or massages after every call. Which was considered inappropriate.

    - In feasible I mean putting in for a fire prevention grant that would provide money to install one smoke detector in every house in your district. Appropriate yes, but if you have 15,000 homes in the district and only 15 members, it may not be feasible (meaning that each member would have to install 1,000 detectors).

    But like I said that was only part of the grading. And as it was also said, if you were able to help out other FDs, that helped the score.

    Almarante51- I wouldn't worry, if you needed a new engine to keep your 3 members safe while going to a call, (or even being able to get to the call) then you did the right thing.

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    How do you guys feel about a department this small? Should we qualify for funding? Do you think a new vehicle would improve public opinion of a department? Whould a new vehicle improve morale? Thus, would a new vehicle improve membership?
    Andrew -

    1. Hang in there. The alternative is no fire protection whatsoever. We've gone from 18 down to 8 and back up to 20 in five years.

    2. Yes. It's people like you (and us) that are the justification for the existence of the program.

    3. Yes.

    4. Most certainly. It would definitely improve MY morale.

    5. If it looks like you've got something going on, new people should get interested. Unfortunately, they're not interested enough at this time to help get something going, but that's why God made people like you. I know "appearance" doesn't equal "performance", but your public image is important if you're trying to recruit.

    My take on cost/benefit is the cost of the project against the population of your response area plus the population of mutual aid areas. At least that's one of the points we tried to make in our narrative.

    The computer grading part of it has to be sorting the applications per the multiple choice questions in order to determine qualification according to the pre-determined criteria.

    Actual selection after the first sort should depend heavily on the narrative.
    Asst. Chief Bill

    International Order of the Fraternal Brotherhood of the Club

    Somewhere in or near north central Creek County, Oklahoma

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    Default good luck

    I AM THE CHIEF OF A SMALL DEPT. WE GOT A CALL FROM FEMA 7-5-02 AND WE GOT 145000.00 DOLLARS FOR A CLASS A PUMPER WE HAVE 50 SQ MILES OF DIST. AND 18 VOL. FIREFIGHTERS SO GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS TO ALL


    PS IT WAS THE FRIST GRANT I EVER DID AND ALL WE HAVE NOW IS A 1985 GRASS TRUCK

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