1. #1
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    Question tired of reading the gripeing!

    not to sure about alot of you but i for one am very greatful there is $360 million dollars out there that i can try to get. before this there was not even any hope. for those of you fed up with the grant process and everything stop and be thankful that there is even money out there for your dept. to try and get. at least if you dont get a grant you are no worse off than you were. and who knows you might and i mean might, get a grant and better your dept. so maybe instead of always be critical maybe a few constructive words might be in order. just my 2 cents worth.

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    Amen, I am also sick of the crying. Our department is in dire need of equipment that we cannot afford on our own. If we get turned down this year then we will try again next year for the same stuff. Be grateful for the program and if you have something that may help make it better then drop FEMA a line with your suggestion, otherwise keep it to yourself.

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    There will always be those who would look a gift horse in the mouth.

    One has to remember that the people in Washington aren't used to doling out funds to so many for such paultry sums. $360 million is one order of toilet seats. While not flawless, the system set up by FEMA and USFA has done, in my oppinion, a pretty decent job so far.

    It' too easy to whine when you don't win. But, even in this forum,I continue to read things like "we didn't win, but bought our new truck a week later anyway". Well, if that's the case, maybe the illimination process really is doing what it was designed to do. If alternate funding was available, why should you get it free. We also see reports of asking for 50 sets of SCBA for 20 guys. I read of one request for a new truck from a department that just built a multi-million dollar station. Yes, some decisions will still appear to be unfair, but they say @^&% happens. All in all, for a program of this magnitude, things are going quite well.

    We should all, winners and loosers alike, send thank you's to everyone involved in this program, the likes we have never seen in the fire service. I've seen amounts of as little as $5,000 going out. To me, this means that all they were able to scrounge up was 500 bucks in matching funds. Well by God, more power to them.

    My real hope is that every "winner" turn around and send the stuff they are replacing to someone else. Call Mark Warnick at "Helping Our Own". Your 30 year old engine will get a new coat of wax and be marched proudly in the next parade by the department that you give it to. "Been there-done that" when they talk about working structure fires in jeans and tee shirts. This program has a great potential for turning even the loosers into winners.

    Yes, we won last week. And we sold a lot of raffle tickets to get the match. But someone else who has none will get our four old sets of Air Force surplus SCBA's and be tickled pink. Just like we were when we got them. It's not hiring a pro writer that is the key, I wrote it myself, it's being honest with yourself, speaking clearly, and playing by their rules. This is not a giveaway or a wish list.

    Don Cheek, Asst. Chief
    Lakeview Heights FPD

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    Well I griped and I think I have a right too. I'm not upset over other companies getting a grant and we don't. What gripes me is whem departments who for whatever reason lucky enough not to be in finacial trouble are getting grants and other departments that are living hand to mouth are not. I'm sorry if I'm ****ing someone off but tough, If you are financially well off then you shouldn't be getting grants. I'ts just wrong

  5. #5
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    Question Sit Up Boy, Now Roll Over, Now Beg

    I guess that most of you will say I am griping when I bring up this point. Here is a quote from the USFA team per Firehouse.com:


    One example provided by the USFA team would be if award-qualifying "Department X" had 20 firefighters and asked for 50 self contained breathing apparatus. In the few instances of this, FEMA officials may work with the department to make minor changes before final approval.
    Is it gripping if I was to ask, "Did the first 7500 rejects get the same chance to modify their application?"

    We had all better sit up, roll over, and beg, when ordered, or we will not get the treat.
    Non Volunteering Volunteer (Retired)

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    I would believe that the first 7500 were tossed because they failed to address the priorities of the grant program. Of course you are right, they should have the opportunity to appeal. Unfortuantely the demographics of the community don't seem to figure into the equation. I included those figures with our grant. Oue community is about 20% below the average for the average household income. Seems to me that would be a key indicator as to the wealth of the district, which should be considered. As a poorer community we tend to patch things up and make do with what we have. What are the options?

    Some complaints are just sour grapes and bitching. Others are constructive and may help to improve the process. I'm sure even the complainers are grateful that the opportunity exists. It's just that they question some of the inequities in the system. Only by raising these concerns can the system be fixed.

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    Default Part III

    Eagles


    From the album Hell Freezes Over (1994)


    I turn on the tube and what do I see
    A whole lotta people cryin' 'Don't blame me'
    They point their crooked little fingers at everybody else
    Spend all their time feelin' sorry for themselves
    Victim of this, victim of that
    Your momma's too thin; your daddy's too fat

    Get over it
    Get over it
    All this whinin' and cryin' and pitchin' a fit
    Get over it, get over it

    You say you haven't been the same since you had your little crash
    But you might feel better if I gave you some cash
    The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
    Let's kill all the lawyers, kill 'em tonight
    You don't want to work, you want to live like a king
    But the big, bad world doesn't owe you a thing

    Get over it
    Get over it
    If you don't want to play, then you might as well split
    Get over it, Get over it

    It's like going to confession every time I hear you speak
    You're makin' the most of your losin' streak
    Some call it sick, but I call it weak

    You drag it around like a ball and chain
    You wallow in the guilt; you wallow in the pain
    You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
    Got your mind in the gutter, bringin' everybody down
    Complain about the present and blame it on the past
    I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ***

    Get over it
    Get over it
    All this bitchin' and moanin' and pitchin' a fit
    Get over it, get over it

    Get over it
    Get over it
    It's gotta stop sometime, so why don't you quit
    Get over it, get over it
    wellsfr
    We've been doing so much for so long with so little. We can do almost anything with nothing.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up Nice Try

    Same Group
    Same Album

    In the City

    Somewhere out there on that horizon
    Our beyond the neon lights
    I know there must be somethin' better
    but there's nowhere else in sight
    It's survival in the city
    When you live from day to day
    City streets don't have much pity
    When you're down, that's where you'll stay
    In the city,oh,oh.
    In the city

    I was born here in the city
    With my back against the wall
    Nothing grows, and life ain't very pretty
    No one's there to catch you when you fall
    Somewhere out on that horizon
    Faraway from the neon sky
    I know there must be somethin' better
    And I can't stay another night
    In the city,oh,oh.
    In the city

    www.lyrics.com
    Non Volunteering Volunteer (Retired)

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    Default

    And the point is????

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    Default

    Maybe this will seem a little clearer.


    If the goverment were giving away 360 million to fire departments who wanted a cheeseburger from McDonalds. 7,500 departments got rejected because they wanted burger king, or the local sandwich shop. Maybe they don't eat cheese or beef. Could have been they wanted the cheeseburger for dinner or breakfast. Others considered that if they just bought the burgers and cooked themselves they'd save $$$. It doesn't matter if your watching your cholesterol or allergic to fast food. You have to apply within the guidelines of your grant.
    Firefighters are Crazy!! But God bless each one of you all!!

  11. #11
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    Default

    How can you check the Burger King box when it was not an option? The only place you could describe specifically what you wanted was in the narrative, and the first 7500 were not even read. I guess that 7500 applicatants could have said that they would not use the NFIRS system, and that would probably have rejected their application. Or maybe 2500 would not use it, and the other 5000 have not had a fire run in the last 3 years, which would also have gotten pitched. Almost 40 percent of the applications were pitched, and no human ever looked at them. And very few "brother" firefighters are unhappy about that.
    Non Volunteering Volunteer (Retired)

  12. #12
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    Default

    I happen to like Mc Donalds.
    wellsfr
    We've been doing so much for so long with so little. We can do almost anything with nothing.

  13. #13
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    Default What to do?

    I'm with anyone out there that hated to see 7500 departments bumped before they could get their narrative read especially when I know and see some of our neighboring departments that need assistance and got a Dear John letter before their computer was turned off from completing the application. Of course, I don't know what many of them asked for. As long as it wasn't a Hummer brush vehicle to protect 1 acre of grassland, I'm sure they tried to stick to the guidelines to the best of their abilities. The big question remains though is how to give these departments a chance for grant money without being bumped on a technicallity and stay within the rigorous time frame that FEMA has set up to disperse this amount of money. I'm open to suggestions because tens of thousands of applications to read through would be so time consuming that it would probably take years to get done! I'm with ff_emt1 on one point though. I'm sure that there are 7500 departments out there that would also like to work with FEMA to make changes to their applications so that they could be at least be eligible for a grant too and have their narrative read. As most of us agree, a grant process this large is sure to have problems as well as successes. We just need to address them and look for solutions. Being able to criticize things we would like to see changed in the system is a hell of a lot better than not having a system at all to criticize.

    Stay safe!

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    It would seem to me that if the computer kicked it out it should be a simple thing to have the computer say why it was kicked out. It could be something as simple as checking a wrong box or leaving something blank. Suppose you had one of the best grants but inadverntly checked you don't use NFIRS when you really do. My personal opinion is that all applications should get the peer review, all applications should then be ranked, the rankings should be published, and the awards given. Why we go through these rounds makes no sense at all. How can I make the first award without reviewing all of the applications first? How do I know that the first award given is more deserving than an application that was never reviewed?

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    Default With you

    I hear you cdevoe. I've said it here in these forums before that I see no reason why an online application could not be graded and replied to online in the future. There are numerous examples out there of being able to do this. Just check out a college internet course. In my opinion, that would at least be a start and we can then figure out how to get all of the narratives read and make sure no one is left behind.

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    Default I agree...

    Originally posted by cdevoe
    Why we go through these rounds makes no sense at all. How can I make the first award without reviewing all of the applications first? How do I know that the first award given is more deserving than an application that was never reviewed?
    All of the grants were scored, and thus ranked in order from first to last. Why can't FEMA publish, or otherwise allow us all to review via their website our current position in line? It would be nice to know that I was #5000 in line, or #10,000, or maybe #19,599...


    Andrew

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    Default can't make the whole world happy

    I'm sure we are all sad for the poor 7500 departments that did'nt make the cut, it's a tough world. Get over it. Cowboy up and try again next year. The facts are that there is over 2 billion dollars requested and only 360 million to fund it. We all need to be bigger people than what I'm reading here. We got nothing last year, we got our grant this year, next year we may get nothing again. Don't quit trying but please quit whining. If you did'nt get what you wanted this year and last year maybe the problem is you, let somebody else do the writing. The world is full of winners and losers some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you! Sure 7500 got the axe from some heartless computer, call it statistical triage. There has to be some kind of system to weed through 19000 applications to quickly get to those that need funding even if they all got read there is still going to be 7500 folks holding dear john letters and still people would complain about how unfair the system is. The system is what it is get over it learn to work with it and most of all DON'T QUIT TRYING! For those that can pick up and move on to next year try again we salute you! For the disgruntled few... get some cheese to go with that wine.

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    I just wanted to remind everyone that we are looking at 900 million that might be available for next year. With the request of 2.2 billion requested this year, that increases your chances of getting a grant by damn near 50%. If you were turned down this year, review the grant criteria and see where you might have been off cue. Review the question answered in the computer quiz and compare with the grant criteria. Learn from the mistake that you made this time by taking a grant writing class, or attending the grant workshop that Fema offers.
    Firefighters are Crazy!! But God bless each one of you all!!

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    For what they are worth, here are my grant writing hints for the day.

    1. Go back a year later and read the last one that didn't win. We
    did, and light bulbs went off.

    2. Read, re-read, and read again, the published rules and criteria.
    Deviate in the slightest way,and you lose.

    3. Be honest, don't get greedy, and adjust your request to fit
    rule #2.

    4. "Explain in 100 words or less why you like Jello." This is a
    contest. It is not a giveaway. If you want a freebee, go stand
    on the corner with a boot.

    5. You are playing by their rules, not yours.

    6. If you take on the job of writing your grant, be prepared for
    life, as you know it, to cease. You cannot whip it out in an
    evening or two.

  20. #20
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    Default Next Allocation of Funds-2003

    Will we have to make a new application for the next year's allocation or will our application (if it hasn't been "dear Johned" carry forward?

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    Default

    Originally posted by FiremenRCrazy
    I just wanted to remind everyone that we are looking at 900 million that might be available for next year. With the request of 2.2 billion requested this year, that increases your chances of getting a grant by damn near 50%. If you were turned down this year, review the grant criteria and see where you might have been off cue. Review the question answered in the computer quiz and compare with the grant criteria. Learn from the mistake that you made this time by taking a grant writing class, or attending the grant workshop that Fema offers.

    Yep, and be sure to take along the previous year's grant.

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    Default what he said!

    Now those last four guys posted some of the best advise I've seen yet thats the attitude we need to see more of here and the one that everyone should have win or lose to take into the grant process next year!

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    I'll bet if the amount available is $900 million the request will be $4 billion. Those that have professional grant writers will just get another large chunk of the pie. It seems to me that departments who made the computer cut but didn't get funding should recieve priority points.

    It would be nice to know how the computer scoring was done. Does the number of calls factor in? Does the size of the district matter? Does the income of the district matter? I for one would like to know the exact formula that was used for the computer grading. We followed the final rule, we asked for things that would enhance the safety of our interior firefighters. FACE Mask for each firefighter so we don't have to share the 8 that we have. Increasing the number of SCBA's from 8 to 16 so that we have enough for all fire fighters at the scene. EMS turn out gear, that we just don't have. An acountability system so we know who is on the scene and if there is trouble anywhere. Radios, so we can communicate (nothing like going interior without a radio). A thermal imaging camera, the closest one is 30 minutes away.

    We followed the guidlines, we haven't gotten a dear john yet, but we haven't gotten a grant yet either.

    Things that would help for sure:

    1. What is the formula for the computer grading?
    2. How did we rank in the computer grading this year?
    3. Would we have been better off asking for a little bit each year or for one big grant to fulfill our needs?

    I'm not complaining, just looking for answers. Since the computer did the initial analysis and set the stage it would be nice to know what effected our ranking the most. I read the final rule, I asked for things tottaly in line with this rule. We are a small department and as yet have no RIT. Not sure that we will implement one either (that decission is out of my control). Hence when asked if equipment would support a RIT we had to answer no (or lie about it). Did that really hurt us a lot or a little?

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    Well I certainly don't mean any offense when I say this, but everything you asked for would have supported RIT. Having enough airpacks, radios, and a thermal imager would all help to be able to put a RIT together. It didn't have to be a 'no' because you don't have one yet, it could have been 'yes' because the equipment would help to create one. RIT does not have to be a full, dedicated company. At the base level, a RIT team is a few FF's, readily available to rescue a downed comrade. If you have only 8 air packs and they're all being used for suppression, then 16 will let you dedicate 2-3 people for RIT. Radios enhance safety, period. Plus it would allow those reserved for RIT to use their own channel to communicate. And the accountability system is a large piece of that pie too.

    So quite possibly, answering 'no' probably didn't bring your score up as high as it could have been. And other people may disagree, but I don't believe you would have been misleading if you did answer yes. Directly or indirectly, the equipment you would purchase would support the creation of a RIT.

    Hopefully you're still in the running. No news is good news in my mind.

    Brian

  25. #25
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    Default

    To gripe - according to the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, that means "to complain with grumbling"

    To grumble - same source - "to mutter in discontent"

    To mutter - same source - "to utter sounds or words indistinctly or with a low voice and with the lips partly closed"

    I think if you look at the posts, you will not see any lips moving, therefore no muttering, no grumbling, and by elimination, no griping.

    To complain - same source " to express grief, pain, or discontent"

    Yes, there is complaining - is that wrong?

    I agree that there are some really good ideas coming out if these discussions, but I also believe that without a little discontent, you would never have heard the ideas.

    Maybe if my $100,000.00+ request is funded, I will be bought off and I will think it is the all knowing, all seeing, perfect grant program. I am betting not. There is still room for improvement whether I win OR lose.


    Sorry, I tried to look up "Cowboy Up" without success. Is that kind of like "Hitching your pants up" or "Pulling yourself up by your boot straps"?
    Non Volunteering Volunteer (Retired)

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