A Bad Deal
I think it is a bad deal for fire departments across the nation that get turned down for the fire act grants. Then you read the same departments get one every year. As many fire departments there are across the nation,I think FEMA should spread the wealth.
Wonderful Idea every department in the country gets $10,000. You ever try to buy a new Fire Engine for 10k? This = tires and wheels. Ever try to equip 40 firefighters on 10k? this = about 2 with scba. The fact is some departments are in worse shape than others and can show the need. The fact we did get grants both years does not change my opinion. If we had not recieved a penny I would appreciate the fire acts grant for the opportunity to apply. You have every right to your opinion as I have the right to share mine. But dont blame the system for giving you the same chance as others. We all started from the same spot, there were no advantages to any one department. The only advantage here was the greater need. And every body knows of the stories of depts with millions getting grants, imagine how much of the $360m would be used by checking everbodies story to see if they were telling the truth. Closer to 350 mil for admin costs and 10 mil grant money. The system is not perfect but it is a far cry better than the old one, NOTHING.
well said wellsfr
my department is still in running for this year's
grant. just trying to get to november without
receiving a dear john letter
I guess I don't follow...
In a competitive grant process, there will always be those departments that are successful, and always those that aren't.
FURTHERMORE, I don't think this kind of public comment helps the future of such funding. The fire service needs the money, let's not jeopordize it.
You say you won money last year, and that you won money this year, and you think the program is great. No surprise here. For the most part, people that win think the rules are fair. It is really easy to say you would not change your opinion if the outcome had been different, but the fact is that you were successful, twice. Congratulations, I applaud that. I hope you do as well next year. But I believe the fact is that the program has very little to do with "actual need", but is designed to reward the applicant that can "sell" their “wants” the best. Does anyone really need a custom cab pumper, or will a commercial cab work just as well? Does any department really need to train every firefighter to the EMT level, or will training half, and scheduling so that there is at least one EMT and one First Responder on each run be good enough for now? How often do your firefighters go to a scene alone? It is better that where you were, but not where you want to be. I understand that the winners played by the rules better than the losers, but “need” has very little to do with it. The ability to sell your wants does.
I stand by my statement. If you had read any of the posts made before round 6 when we got our award, I have always felt Fire acts is a great program. Its not perfect, but my opinion is that it would only take 2 or 3 thousand years to come up with a plan that was. You may also be right about wants. I want my firefighters to recieve training.I want my firefighters to have proper safety equipment. I want my firefighters to go home alive.
It's true that awards do have a lot to do with people being able to sell their need. Effective communication is part of the process. You have to have valid and plausible reasons for applying for what you did, and be able to relay that reasoning. Applying for something just to have it won't fly. (Not to say that anyone has done that, but if that's the way the narrative reads....) And as part of the decision process, there's a reason that they ask for run statistics: departments that run more, have a greater chance for life risk, both to the responders, and those they are responding to. Departments that only run fire response, and only handle 150 calls a year, have less of a chance of responding to a major incident, and won't be deemed as "needy". Does that mean it won't happen, no. It just means it's less likely. For instance, we're on the edge of the 4th largest city on the country. We both given and received mutual aid from HFD. We run 3800+ calls a year. We have several major highways already in our district, and a new limited access tollway coming through in the next year. We have a much greater risk of a major traffic incident than someone out in a rural area. Same with the potential for a major fire. History repeating itself it not a rule by any stretch of the imagination, but it's the best guideline that the grant reviewers can go by. It's not a perfect system by far, but I believe the best job possible is being done.
Call me biased because we did receive an award, but just like wellsfr, I was making the same comments prior to being announced in Round 7, and actually before I got the 5 questions, and even after the rejection letter last year.