1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Q&A With USFA on Forum User Questions

    Firehouse.com recently asked the U.S. Fire Administration to respond to some of the comments, questions and statements made by Firehouse.com Forum users.

    Thomas H. Olshanski, EFO, United States Fire Administration was kind enough to respond to the questions and below are his responses.

    Please keep the comments and posts coming, and we will pass them along as appropriate.

    Firehouse.com: For those who haven't been contacted, does the link to the 1199a have any bearing on their situation?

    Olshanski: The "link" to the 1199a is to allow the FEMA staff to complete information in the applicant's file. In and of itself, it has no meaning with respect to an award.

    Firehouse.com: For the departments in limbo who have been notified to complete the questionaire or fill out the 1199, is there a routine amont of time from that point the grant would be announced?

    Olshanski: There is no routine, standard or regular amount of time from FEMA's receipt of the data to the issuance of an application decision. There is a tremendous amount of work internally to award the grants. There are also congressional notification and public affairs considerations once the award has been signed by the Procurement Officer.

    If the first two rounds are any indication, the process has had variable time elements for each award, but once signed by the Procurement Officer, the award moves very rapidly to notification (almost immediately).

    However, how can I describe to you the amount of work that must go into the financial and legal issues of these awards. It is a tremendous workload.

    It is important that I point out two goals that Director Paulison has placed on all of the staff. The first goal is to issue the $150 million one year money before September 30, 2002. At the current pace, we are well ahead of this goal. The second is to have all awards completed and distributed by the end of the year. We are currently on pace to achieve this goal as well.

    Firehouse.com: How many departments are expected to be awarded?

    Olshanski: We estimate that with $335M available for award that we will make 5,500 grants. If President Bush approves the emergency supplemental funding of $150 million, we are currently anticipating around 7000 awards. These are only rough estimates at this time. Each round of announcements will differ in number from the previous rounds.

    FEMA MUST give out the first $150 million before September 30th, which we are currently on pace to accomplish.

    FEMA also negotiates with some departments to improve their funding procurement process, freeing up more money for other departments, where appropriate. Also an important part of the process.

    Firehouse.com: How are Departments being notified?

    Olshanski: To date, there are probably 2,000 awards in some form of process, either formally approved or recommended for approval. That does not mean that 2,000 departments have yet been contacted.

    The first contact that a Department gets would likely come from your Congressional member or Governor. The department would only be contacted by FEMA first for file management and clarification purposes. It does not directly relate to being awarded a grant specifically necessarily.

    After that notification, those departments will receive an Official Award Notification letter from FEMA's Procurement Officer, which it send out on the 1st and 15th of every month.

    Firehouse.com: Is there a date on when the 'Dear John' letters will be distributed?

    Olshanski: We plan on commencing our first "batch" of these turndown notifications mid-week of August 5. As more decisions about award are made, we will have more certainty about those applications that we cannot fund. Therefore we will continue to issue turndown decisions in batches, likely until the final award announcements. We estimate that the issuance of all application decisions will take us through December 2002

    Olshanski: Further Comments

    FEMA calls no one to notify of a non-funded request. It would appear that departments are reporting receiving phone calls regarding their requests and being told of the decline. To date, we have called no department. Nor will we.

    Administrator Paulison and staff are keenly aware of the serious issues surrounding these requested awards. Chief Paulison has assembled a personal letter to each department not receiving funding. We at no time past, present or future will ever call a department by phone to decline an award.

    Whether you receive funding, or not, there is an incrediably high quality, highly professional treatment of each and every funding request. All 19,500 of them.

    This process will undergo review throughout the year and following. There are lessons learned and we are committed to making this easier for Departments. Hopefully even more money will be available next year.

  2. #2
    HazMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Rutland Town, VT


    Good job, Webteam!!! This info really helps.


  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    little south of sanity

    Default 1199 questions

    I just read the Q and A with FEMA. I have a question. If you have not filled out the 1199 does that mean you are not receiving a grant? I am not involved with my departments grant process but I have been asking and the chief told me they have not heard anything. I thought I would ask you.

    Please email me at BHAIGLER@fireehousemail.com.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    BILL H

    Until you are contacted by FEMA, don't worry about the 1199 link at all. It has no bearing on whether or not you'll receive a grant. Most departments have not heard anything, and many will not for several months. Bottom line is it may be until December before a specific Department knows for sure either way.


  5. #5
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....

    Default Info needed

    Could I ask that all who read this thread, take a moment and look at the one titled "Paper application info needed Thank You, Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.


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