Thread: Secret Scoring??
08-11-2002, 12:07 PM #1
I posted this in another thread but since it is buried, I though it needed it's own thread.
I checked out the page you recommended and have a question. Can anybody explain "why" scoring is secret? Other than the fact that it is "the law". If it is "fair", is there something else to hide? Would we be satisified with the Super Bowl, the World Series (assuming they play it this year), or the NBA finals being held behind closed doors? Where are the checks and balances in the process? Just asking.
The web page is at
Other than the narrative, and maybe contact information, isn't everything else in the application public record?
I do not want to suggest anything bad about the people working really hard to do the evaluating, but as we have recently seen, even the Olympics is not free from controversy.Non Volunteering Volunteer (Retired)
08-11-2002, 12:22 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jul 2000
That's a Great Question!
NOW I DON'T MEAN TO GET OFF ON A RANT HERE BUT,
I had the same thought when I read the FAQ release. I can understand that if everyone called and asked it could be a manpower issue, but they should have something in place to let the departments that get turndown letters know why they didn't fair well. This is one issues that keep coming up, the rich keep getting richer and poor, well you know, get turn down letters. There has already been some discussion about a well-funded department, that for the second year in a row has received a grant, while several departments with much greater needs are being turned down. I have heard people say, go to more grant classes, do more research, and spend more time, but if the department didn't include what they were after this time, how will any of this help. The department I have spoke of earlier did it right last year and again this year and some will get turn down for a second time because there Senator doesn't live their area. I have a feeling that there is a lot of outside influence on this process and that is why its a "LAW". The funny thing is, this departments Congressman was one of the few that voted against the "Fire Act" from the start. Yet he wrote this department a letter so they could get a grant, but they were the only department with-in his congressional district to get an award last year and now here we are! Without some way of knowing how to improve in the scoring, some departments may have to wait until they fund every grant!
Ok I feel better, all that said and all. Good luck to the rest of us and CONGRATS to the winners!
I posted this with your other post, so I moved it!
Last edited by JAMESBENNETT; 08-11-2002 at 12:26 PM.SERVING FOR PRIDE
PROUD TO SERVE!
08-11-2002, 10:06 PM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- Sea Cliff, L.I. , NY
TO : FF_EMT1
See my posting under the "eXt" thread..
Fire Medic Treasurer
Sea Cliff Fire Department
Sea Cliff, L.I. , NY
08-13-2002, 10:11 AM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
A large dept with a multimillion dollar budget will know the contacts to write the proposal, and who to contact in DC to help grease the wheel to help them. Next time they are thinking of donating a quint or two why not donate four or six smaller trucks to the VFDs up in their area Good luck to those of you that are still in the "running"
Last edited by 5pts384; 08-13-2002 at 01:32 PM.
08-13-2002, 01:59 PM #5
A large dept with a multimillion dollar budget will know the contacts to write the proposal, and who to contact in DC to help grease the wheel to help them.
That's not entirely true. Many small departments have the same chances to "grease the wheel", it just might call for a little more effort to do so. [
Last edited by mizflame98; 08-13-2002 at 02:05 PM.
08-14-2002, 08:42 AM #6
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
It looks like a pattern is starting to form.If they don't work out some of the problems and restrictions the whole prcess is going to fall on it's face.The ones that put on the grant classes here told us not to apply for a vehicle if you already had one so we applied for a refurb of a 30 year old truck,which wasn't very smart but that was the truck that we needed.Needless to say we were not funded while departments with multi million dollar budgets get a couple of hundred thousand to do a study or buy a truck that they already have several of or a couple of spares in the yard.There are departments getting grants say that it will benefit all these other departments also but the other depaprtments don't have the funding to purchase their part of the program,but hey they used the numbers.I am afraid unless they start splitting it up in a more equal way people are going to ask for some accountability.I know departments have received grants the last 2 years and some of the stuf hasn't even been put to use from last year.
08-14-2002, 08:57 PM #7
I have been checking web pages of dept's getting vehicles and some of them have some pretty nice fleet's. You are ever so right. The rich get richer and us poor get poorer.The Chief
08-18-2002, 02:03 PM #8
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Smithville, Tennessee
Scores should be made available
I don't know how you feel about your application score, but I would like to know how well, or not so well, we did on our grant application. I've attended workshops, took grant writing classes, and used some free professional grant writers, but still wound up with a "dear john" letter.
Don't get me wrong. I am proud for every department that got a grant because I know that somewhere, someone has a better fire department because of this. I simply don't understand how that a volunteer fire department that serves one single community can compete in the grant process with a county-wide department that serves an entire rural county population. Our department does not have ANY class A pumpers (old or new). We are operating nine stations with "brush trucks" that we built on chasis bought in 1975. We actually built the tanks and installed a rear mounted Wisonsin engine to run the 250 gpm pumps. From what I heard in the workshops and read in the program objectives (yes, I read the Federal Reg's and all other information available about the program's intent), I thought we had a pretty good shot at getting a new firefighting pumper for our county-wide operation. But, to my surprise, we got our "dear john" letter last week, along with the other 10,000 or so. But what aggitates me is that I am seeing plain examples of how the "program's intent" is not being carried out. I see and hear of department's getting thermal imaging cameras, (which FEMA plainly said last years was not basic firefighting equipment) and department's adding their second or third class A pumper to a station (check out some of the winning department's web pages).
Again, I not downing departments for trying to get equipment because that's exactly what we all were trying to do, but I do question whether or not the program's objectives are being followed. This can be blamed on one of two things: 1) department's are not being truthful in describing their current equipment on hand, or 2) the review process is not taking enough time to thoroughly review the application. Before you say it, I know there was over 19,000 application. But, are we in such a rush that it's just worth it to breeze through these applications. If a department is truly in need of some equipment or a pumper, I don't think they would mind waiting just a little longer while their application is scrutinized.
Let's not fall to the depths of dividing our brotherhood over this money issue. Let's resolve to our brotherhood that we need to convey to our Congressional leaders that we expect the published program intent to be followed as set forth. Nothing more....nothing less! Give us our scores and get rid of the secrecy effects. That just leaves room for program integrity issues.
08-18-2002, 02:52 PM #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
I would like to express a opinion, we come from a county that supports their fire department some, like everyone else we applied for the fema grant last year and didn't make it and applied this year and did.It hurts, when you as a small department counts of a grant like this to buy equipment that would take 10-15 years to raise the money to buy and you do see large city departments who has millions of dollars get 500-700,000 grants. I am happy for anyone that gets one. But for the ones that say the richer gets richer and the poor get poorer i don't exactly agreee with that because we are not a rich department. 5 years ago our county for 13 fire departments spent a total of 36,000 for the whole year.
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