1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    71

    Red face Looking to next year

    As someone who has participated in many different grant processes, (Some successful, some not), I though I'd throw a couple of opinions out there for consideration.

    First, let me say that in my current job, I have travelled extensively across the US. When I'm out on the road, I try to stop at any department I can, large and small. I can tell you that with almost no exception, we all share many of the same needs and problems. The only difference is that to fulfill the same need for a metropolitan department is often far more expensive than the same solution would be for a smaller one. We have ALL suffered over the years from lack of adequate funding, pitted against the skyrocketing costs of equipment. I've been a police officer, EMT, and Volunteer Firefighter for over 17 years, and time and time again, I've seen budgets cut to shreds by those who say: "those guys just sit around the station all day", "I never get sick", "that worthless cop just likes to hand out speeding tickets". Unfortunately, we are the first place they look when the budget axe falls. I have been to a few large metropolitan departments that are far less equipped for their calls, than some of the most remote and tiny departments scattered across the country. I have also seen departments so small and under-funded, that the volunteers often pay for the fuel in the trucks out of their own pockets. (see below)

    That being said, I have followed many of the recent posts, and decided to put together my Christmas wish list for next year.

    1. We should find a way to share some of the successful grant applications from this year. I have been to a few grant writing classes, and I always learned something new. But, my best resource was always from other successful applicants. Every program was different, and required slightly different approaches. It often seemed that many of the successful applications shared some common key points. After I read a few of them, I would get a lot better understanding of what I needed. It also didn't hurt that most of the awarding agencies would actually share their opinion of our application.

    2. I would like to see a more streamlined notification process. Why can't administration notify each department of their status immediately after the peer review? (winner, non-winner, alternate)Before you say "they would be flooded with calls", they could simply state that it will take may months to process the applications, and each awarded department will be contacted in order. I think that MOST of us can be adult enough to respect those wishes. I know, I know, you say "you shouldn't count on this money as part of your budget", but consider this for a minute. Last year I wrote the grant request for a new pumper for a very small neighboring department. Folks, this department's entire operating budget is less than $7,000.00 per year, and all of their equipment truly belongs in a museum. If anyone needed to be funded, they did. To make a long story short, they didn't quite have the money for the 10% match, but they figured they could come up with the funds by the time the grant was awarded. The volunteers were even taking turns paying for the gas in the trucks, so they could save as much money as possible. As with many other departments just as needy, they were sent the "Dear John" letter, because there "just wasn't enough money to go around". I was told by a representative that the department was denied because they just didn't serve enough of a population base. Here comes the hard part. As we were putting together the request for this year, the pump and engine fell apart in their 1940-something engine. The cost of replacement was almost everything they had. We had several conversations on whether to fix the old truck, or hope for the grant. But in the end, the old truck had to be fixed, because the award process was just going to take too long. They could have relied on coverage from neighboring districts, but they were afraid it would be several months just to find out one way or the other. End result, we had to scrap their application for this year. What a shame. But, I have been told that they are dilligently working with a local banker to secure a personal loan, guaranteed by each of the volunteers for the match for next year. Hopefully next year will be the year.

    Anyway, that's my rant. I'd like to see what other constructive suggestions you guys out there have for next year's process. Maybe, Just Maybe, they'll find their way to the right person!
    Joe Fireman

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    478

    Default

    Just look at the money we saved by being turned down. If you can't buy the turn-out gear you need, then you don't need as many SCBAs; that just saved $1500 for each FF. Training is less expensive; surround and drown takes little training. Not as many will need to learn about those long smokey hallways. And our antiquated trucks 'will do' when we don't have to count on them pumping while we are inside. The many small VFDs that have received their "Dear John letters" will keep going with what they have because someone must help those in need.
    Last edited by 5pts384; 08-13-2002 at 01:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Not really sure why they would scrap applying for a grant. As needy as they sound, you would have thought someone could have given them a hand applying without expecting a fee. Guess I always have had the philosophy that firefighters are brothers regardless of department and we should be there for each other.

  4. #4
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Meadview, Arizona
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy

    Well, got the dreaded "Dear John" letter today. Guess this means that the money set aside in the budget for matching funds will have to go toward repairs on our old, worn out vehicles. As a previous post said - the good news is that we will not have to spend a lot of money that was earmarked for the tools that would be needed on a brand new truck. Another good thing is that we were just provided with a "new" 1989 surplus Forestry Dept. Type 6 brush truck. We'll get it repainted (required) by department volunteers and, hopefully, it will relieve some of the pressure on the older stuff.
    Now we are waiting for next year - although it appears that next year's monies will be awarded to this set of requests so there won't be anything available until the 2004 budget year.
    These opinions are mine - not necessarily those of my District.
    First Job - Come home safe!!!

  5. #5
    Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    37

    Default email or snail mail

    Guys,
    is the Dear John coming via email or snail mail??
    I apologize if this was already answered and I missed it.

    Thanks,

    Pete

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    466

    Default

    If you supplied a valid email address with your application, it will come via email.

    TM

  7. #7
    Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    37

    Default thanks

    thanks todd. I appreciate the reply.

    good luck to all....

    Pete

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    DuBois, IL - just south of I-64 in the middle of the state
    Posts
    2,041

    Default

    GM05, what did you mean by this:

    "Now we are waiting for next year - although it appears that next year's monies will be awarded to this set of requests so there won't be anything available until the 2004 budget year"

    I hope you weren't referring to the FEMA grants.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

  9. #9
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Meadview, Arizona
    Posts
    4

    Default

    As I understand the FEMA releases, there was $150 million in the FY 2002 budget and $210 million passed for the FY 2003 budget. That amount, plus another $150 million for 2002, just signed by Pres. Bush is all to be awarded by December of 2002 to the current group of requests. Hope that I am wrong and there will be another process in 2003 but it looks to me like that will require additional funding from Congress.
    These opinions are mine - not necessarily those of my District.
    First Job - Come home safe!!!

  10. #10
    Administrator

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,480

    Default

    The $150 Million has been withdrawn by Bush (see story on main page of the site)

    Early conference committees have sought up to $900 million for the FIRE Grants next year. But that won't be finalized for some time.

    WebTeam

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    478

    Default

    -150 mil. in FL they call that "loveing a bill too death" you start with a bill that everyone thinks will pass and "jump"on it with your little special bill untill it turns into a monster. Does't help the ones in need though

    Stay safe theirs always "next year"
    Last edited by 5pts384; 08-15-2002 at 12:50 PM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register