Silver City VFD, Oklahoma, $19,300
This project would provide Silver City Volunteer Fire Department (SCVFD) with critically needed personal protective equipment for our fire fighters:
1. NFPA compliant structural turnout gear (coats and pants) - Our current turnouts are “hand me down” gear that we received as donations from other fire departments, all of which is at least 10 years old and none of which is adequate to perform an interior attack.
2. NFPA compliant structural helmets - Some of our fire fighters have purchased new helmets with personal funds, but the majority are using used helmets which were received as donations, or were purchased used. Most of these helmets are very old and distressed to varying degrees, and in fact were previously determined to be unsuitable and were replaced by other fire departments. We wish to provide new compliant helmets to those of our fire fighters who do not currently have them.
WHY THIS PROJECT IS BENEFICIAL TO OUR DEPARTMENT AND COMMUNITY
These items would provide for greater safety of our fire fighters and allow us to provide more effective and efficient fire suppression services both for our district and adjacent districts. Unless and until we acquire adequate structural turnout gear, we are limited to performing less effective exterior attacks on structure fires until mutual aid arrives. New structural turnouts would also provide a higher degree of fire fighter protection for vehicle and hydrocarbon fires. We are in an oil producing area, and responded to three oil well site fires last year.
WHY THIS PROJECT CANNOT BE FUNDED SOLELY THROUGH LOCAL FUNDING
SCVFD is a not-for-profit community service corporation. We are in a rural area and receive no direct tax funds from the state, county, or any municipality. As we are not tax supported, we must rely on subscriptions, fees to non-subscribers, fund raisers, donations, and grants in order to operate. As we have a low population density and most of our residents are of modest means, our fund raising potential is limited, and we believe that raising subscription dues beyond the current level of $48 per year would cause attrition resulting in lower overall income to the fire department.
Our current income through voluntary subscriptions is $512 per month. This level of regular income is barely sufficient to meet our monthly expenses for utilities, insurance, maintenance, and fuel. Our fire fighters pay the monthly fees for our group pagers out of their own pockets. As grant awards and donations cannot be anticipated with certainty, we do not include them in our operating budget.
The Silver City Fire District is a rural area 35 miles west of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We provide first response for a 26 square mile area with a population of approximately 1200. We provide secondary response through mutual aid agreements to seven adjacent fire districts of approximately 575 total square miles with an approximate population of 26,450. More than half of our call volume consists of providing mutual aid to this extended area.
SCVFD has a roster of 20 highly motivated volunteers who freely donate their time and accept a degree of personal risk in order to protect lives and property. Our fire fighters have completed more than 2800 hours of state-recommended training.
We have the personnel, the training, and the motivation. Our most significant obstacle is acquiring the funds necessary to purchase adequate equipment. We are hopeful that our request will be favorably considered.
"Dear John" type narrative
Here's one that was turned down, however being turned down so early I don't think it was ever read by anyone on a review board. This is the dept. I volunteer with. My paid dept. got the "Dear John" this past week, I think all the departments in our county have been rejected this year.
The Lemon Springs Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1981. We are currently using some SCBA's bought shortly thereafter.
A few of the first airpacks purchased were used SCBA's from neighboring departments. We still use some of the original airpacks on the "second and third out" Engines. This grant proposal is for the purchase of 12 NFPA compliant airpacks (with integrated PASS devices) at a cost of $3,100 each. The grant if awarded would allow the department to have all SCBA's meet current NFPA standards. One third of our airpacks do not meet the NFPA standards for positive pressure breathing and another third of the packs have been modified to meet the standards applicable at the time of modification. We also currently utilize three different models of SCBA. The problem associated with different models is, though they are made by the same manufacturer, the masks are not interchangeable from one pack to the next. If a firefighter picks up the wrong mask when donning his SCBA time is lost correcting the mistake. In the future, after a total replacement of our SCBA's, we plan to purchase masks for individual firefighters. We can't provide individual masks now because of the compatability issue.
Lemon Springs Fire Department is supported by our "fire district tax". Our district is composed mainly of farms and wooded areas with homesites and mobile homes. We have no industrial areas and do not have a very large tax base to draw from. Our county has experienced several large plant closings over the last two years requiring funding cuts for many county services including the school system. The closings have also caused unemployment for some of the people living in our district. We have tried to maintain our SCBA's without further raising the tax burden. Without some type of grant funding, it will be many years before our department can afford to update all of our airpacks to meet NFPA standards and achieve uniformity, which is of equal importance.
As you can see by our request we are not asking for the most expensive packs available. We plan to trade in our old packs to offset the cost of purchasing SCBA's with amplified voice capability and integrated PASS devices. We feel this will improve communications between firefighters and, therefore, provide safer operations on the fireground. The integrated PASS devices provide safety for firefighters that now choose or neglect to turn on the PASS devices. We have PASS devices on our present SCBA and plan to use these for individual firefighters not wearing SCBA on the scene.
We appreciate the opportunity to apply for this funding. These funds will improve safety for Lemon Springs Firefighters and, therefore, provide better fire protection for our community.