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  1. #81
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    Jul 1999
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    DuBois, IL - just south of I-64 in the middle of the state
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    Default i'm sorry!

    ALSfirefighter, and anybody else, I apologize for saying some of the things I did. I don't normally get so upset but we all know how much effort gets put in a grant application and how much we all anticipate our projects getting funded. I thought we should have at least made the first cut but we didn't. Guess we don't know the right politicians.
    Congratulations to everybody that has and will get some new equipment, training or whatever else will be funded. We'll try again next year and the year after that.


  2. #82
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    Jul 2002
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    24

    Default Knowing Congressman

    Just a thought for those thinking that you need to be politically connected to get the grant. I do not know any congresspeople nor did I even writeor call asking for their support of our application. I felt that this grant was too important for the fire service as a whole to attempt to corrupt the process with any influence whatsoever. Meaning that I feel each application should stand or fall on its own merit.

    Happily, we did get funded, but for a modest request. I think that the request from some departments may be the problem. In looking at the aggregate amount requested, it seems like a lot of small department decide to shoot for the moon. I can understand that they may feel this is their one shot at that big fancy new apparatus, but when their call volume, population and area were examined it may have difficult to justify some of these request. I know of one small Texas department which requested a new engine at $175000.00 with a population of about 1200 and less than 100 calls per year, they got the Dear John letter. Perhaps asking for a bare bones truck would have been more readily accepted.

    My theory to getting this grant is simple. First describe your situiation and your realistic request. Next show the reviewers that your department has the manpower to use the requested equipment, and that you can handle the management of federal funds. I know of departments who will not spend all of the alloted money from last year's grant by the deadline. Finally, be sure to identify your goals & objectives. If there are not clear benchmarks as to accomplishments, it will be difficult for a reviewer to fund your request.

    If I know the government each reviewer or group of reviewer will be audited or evaluated. They will need to show adhearence to strict criteria as to their grading. While not perfect they must have some direction as to how to grade applications. And also remember that although we may not agree with all the awards, these men and women took time away from their lives (without pay) and worked dilligently for their fellow firefighters. Any other agency would have just contracted the review process out and taken the money from the awards.

    I know that some may feel that I am defending the process because I got the grant but before anybody jumps all over me for my comments, look back at my pre-award comments which said the same thing.

    lds

  3. #83
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    May 2002
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    Mid-TN
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    36

    Post

    Last year, I prepared our FIRE grant and requested funding to replace our First-Out engine, a 1968 Ward Lafrance. It is ready for retirement, or, to be assigned to parade duty. In the grant, I really thought I expressed and discussed our needs to the fullest extent. But, never the less, we were not awarded a grant last year. After calculating how little money (as a percentage of the total available) would be allocated to firefighting vehicles, we didn't stand much of a chance anyway.

    Last Fall, I thought really hard about the departments that received a 2001 grant. How many calls they must have made, and favors they asked for. Who knew who, and who knew what on who. I was convinced it was all rigged, and only the departments that paid big money for a grant writer to compose their request would be rewarded.

    But it's not that way at all. One of my neighboring fire chiefs was on the peer review panel last year and this year. He has told me that the narrative makes or breaks your request. You have to remember that the peer review is made up of people in the fire/emergency service. You should explain your request in the narrative as if they totally understand what you are asking for. You don't have to go into detail on what a PASS device is and what it does. They already know. You just need to explain why it is you need it, and why you haven't been able to get it yet.

    That's what I did in our grant this year. I didn't hire anybody to help, I didn't pester other people to do it for me. I didn't approach it as a done-deal, with no chance of getting it. I just did the best I could and thankfully we were listed in Round Three.

    I can understand why some are bitter. But I think after a little while, you'll understand that everyone can't get everything they ask for. But that doesn't prevent you from asking again, and again, and again.....
    Grant me the strength to change things I can, accept what I can't, and to know the difference.

  4. #84
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Jul 1999
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    DuBois, IL - just south of I-64 in the middle of the state
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    Default i'm sorry!

    ALSfirefighter, and anybody else, I apologize for saying some of the things I did. I don't normally get so upset but we all know how much effort gets put in a grant application and how much we all anticipate our projects getting funded. I thought we should have at least made the first cut but we didn't. Guess we don't know the right politicians.
    Congratulations to everybody that has and will get some new equipment, training or whatever else will be funded. We'll try again next year and the year after that.

  5. #85
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
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    38

    Default shooting for the moon

    jcchief is correct in his assessment of departments that really go overboard on some of their requests. Some departments have difficulty identifying needs over wants. I know one that applied last year and tried to come as close to the $750,000 maximum request amount allowed. Get real, guys... They also were asking for two new custom engines with 5 or 6 man cabs when they already have 10 trucks and are lucky to get five personnell on the first alarm....now, you do the math and tell me why a lower cost but just as effective commercial pumper wouldn't serve their NEEDS. The only difference between them and us is that we know we only have five guys in town during the day and that someone has to drive the other trucks, and that a $140,000 1250 gpm pumper sprays as much water as a $240,000 1250 gpm pumper.

  6. #86
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    Jul 2002
    Location
    Illinois
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    66

    Default Agree also

    Some may have seen my post in a different thread, and the point is simple and remains this.... Take baby steps first! The prior arguments of funding depts that have plenty, or why should prevention even matter when you cant start the 1906 horse drawn steam pumper to get to the fire are arguments that are based at the simple realization of taking little bites at the problem.

    Look at the base of the problem first: you live on a swamp,and you really think its tiime to repalce the station. Dont ask for the funding to build the station on the swamp...fix the swamp so it can support the station. In otherwords...utilize community surveys, the USFA loves that stuff, and it truly allows you to see what your needs are, and how to go about funding them.

    Good luck to those who got it, and those who did not, keep trying! it will happen eventually.

  7. #87
    Member ffemt1's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    76

    Default From the swampland

    I don't think you should be forced into saying, "I have just completed an extensive demographic and economic study to determine the location of the closest qualified fire engine technician (blacksmith) qualified to replace the ground contacting "shoes" of the engine I want to replace. The results of that study show that there are only 4 organizations (blacksmith shops)in the US who are EPA compliant (engine and shop exhaust), OSHA compliant (availability of muzzle to prevent biting), use DOT compliant materials (horseshoe material), NFPA qualified (took certified class in re-shoeing a horse)and who have the ability to complete the required repairs in the required timeline. The closest is 943.74 miles from the engine's storage location. Since transportation to and from the repair facility will take the engine out of service for more than a month ( daily riding average from NQHA), the purchase of a new engine is our only option. After 97 years of faithful service, our 1906 pumper should be replaced."

    I believe saying, "I have a 1906 horse drawn pumper that we can not but parts for anymore. We need to replace it." should be enough.

    Just my opinion.
    Non Volunteering Volunteer (Retired)

  8. #88
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    Jul 2002
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    Illinois
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    66

    Default

    Point well taken, but my point was that sure, everyone has older equipment that absolutely needs replacement. No question about it! It is unfortunate that we all cant do it though. My request last year was to replace a vehicle, although not all that old (7 yrs) it had extremely high mileage, and the down time if the unit caused severe hardships on the surrounding communities. I just happened to be one of three ALS units (at the time) that served the Far West Cook County region of greater suburban chicago. Super populated and the system is over used. After great disapointment of being rejected last year, it forced us into looking at other options to fix the problem, such as alternative ALS capabilities. Non transport als engines were the less expensive option. We have the engine; now equip it, for $95K less than a new vehicle. We looked at the foundation and are building upon it.
    My community is fortunate, we have fairly modern equipment that is usually well maintained. I do feel for those areas and departments that do not have the equipment, manpower or basic tools to effectively do the job... but will that area benefit truly with a new pumper, that can deliver water to the fire scene, but not to the seat of the fire?
    As for the specifics of the language used in the grant process, remember it is your peers from around the country that judge theese appications. There are Key wordds and statements that they look for and unfortunately I believe that unless you are a student of the needs and wishes of the NFA, USFA and FEMA and thier programs, you may be overlooked. I still dont know As we have yet to hear either way.
    Again, please dont take this to heart, just one guys opinion.

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