1. #1
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    Angry Grant Program starting to smell

    Is there anyone else thinking this years grant program is circling the drain? Was not the original intent of the program to provide assistance for firefighters to purchase of essential firefighting equipment? As hwoods has stated, why are fluff programs being funded? If you want better physical fitness, get outside and walk. Take the apparatus out and drill with it. Practice your high angle rescue or rapid intervention maneuvers. Do as I did and buy your own treadmill. What ever happened pushups and sit-ups?
    And if that's not enough, now it's being considered for re-structure? We don't need NBC detectors and such in most communities of this country, and they know it. $750 million will not go very far being spent on WMD-NBC equipment. If WMD is made a top priority, fire departments protecting the majority of people can kiss assistance good-bye. Only the departments in large cities are going to get it. They might be understaffed, wearing worn-out gear, riding a busted down truck but hey, at least they can tell if it's flour or if it's anthrax. Why are we preparing for something that might happen when so many firefighters in both large and small departments are not properly equipped to handle what happens everyday?

    This smells like BS politics to me.

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    Talking We Agree.......

    Go to the item on this forum titled "2003 Grants" And also go to the "Volunteer Forum" and see "1 Vote keeps NVFC......" Stay Safe....
    Last edited by hwoods; 03-05-2003 at 11:03 AM.
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    This just in from:
    Craig Sharman
    Director of Government Relations
    National Volunteer Fire Council

    As you have probably heard by now, there has been discussion that the
    Department of Homeland Security is considering shifting a substantial
    amount of funding out of the FY 2003 FIRE Grant program funding that
    was allocated by Congress into other "First Responder " programs for
    terrorism response.

    The fire service groups in Washington met yesterday (Wed.) with the
    staff of our key allies in Congress, including Reps. Walsh, Pascrell,
    Edwards, Weldon, Boehlert, Nick Smith, and Sen. McCain to discuss the issue. Congressman Jim Walsh himself stopped in on the meeting to fill us in on what he knew about the situation.

    Mr. Walsh, whose leadership as Chairman of the VA, HUD Appropriations
    Subcommittee was critical in increasing the program funding to $750
    million, said he felt that the Administration did not have the
    authority to shift these funds without Congressional approval. He is scheduled to talk to Mitch Daniel, Director of OMB today about the issue.

    Everyone at the meeting agreed that instead of jumping the gun, we hold our fire until we get the complete story from FEMA and the Dept. of Homeland Security.

    I am now hearing this morning that the entire $750 million will be
    spent on FIRE Act grants, there would be no diversion to any other program, and the temporary delay in processing grant requests would be lifted on Monday. It appears that there may have been a proposal floated but it was rejected, possibly because of the quick response of our allies on Capitol Hill.

    Again nothing is confirmed and I will follow up as soon as I know
    more.

    Craig Sharman

    Below is my request for information from NVFC

    Craig,
    Where does the NVFC stand on the delay and possible re-assignment of
    the Fire Act Grant dollars?
    I am ready to light up the phones and email to my congressional reps,
    but not sure if that is needed.
    What is the NVFC stanse on this important issue ????

    Thanks,
    Malcolm Cunningham - Chief
    Hardin Fire Protection District
    Hardin, MO
    mcunning@kumc.edu

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    I just sent e-mails to my district's House member and both my state Senators asking them to help ensure that the $750 Million stays where it is.

    I urge everyone else to do the same.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Default

    I called my representative and senator's offices yesterday afternoon.

    If we scream loud enough, just maybe...

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    Default Guarded optimism.

    TRUST ME; WE WON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT HIT US!
    And the national organizations will scream "foul", but the money will already have been reduced substantially.
    I'll email Senators Durbin and Fitzgerald, if it isn't too late already.
    CR
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    Senators Durbim and Fitzgerald have just recieved my emails too.
    Every silver lining's got a touch of grey...I wiilll get by....


    Proud to be IACOJ Flatlander Division

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    Unhappy

    BOHICA.


    Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

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    Question WHAT????

    Just finished reading the article about First Responder funding being focused towards High Terrorist Threat areas.

    Does it pertain to this years grant? Can they change the rules after the start of the process?

    I hope not.

    If it does, I wasted a bunch of time submitting a request that is surely doomed.

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    The article in question is not about this year's already approved funding for the Fire Act

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    Okay, here you go again complaining of what may or may not happen. Last year everyone complained and complained about things not being fair. Everyone should just be thankful that you have an opportunity to apply for money that can help your dept. They have doubled the amount of money this year as opposed to last year- and most of you still are not happy- keep complaining and writing to these people- and what most of you don't understand is it does not matter what you say- if they are going to do something they are going to do it. Be happy that you have the opportunity, they could very well give it the axe next year. Most depts weren't started yesterday, and you have survived and protected your community with what you have- if you get the money, you get it, if not apply next year and the year after and so on!!!!! You are all GREAT and firemen can work with what they have and still do a great job!! This does not mean that you do not need or deserve it. It's doubled this year- QUIT COMPLAINING.

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    Exclamation Take a look at the big picture

    If they move all the money to terrorism, the program is as good as axed for my department, and many others.

    Let us not forget, that money is ours. We pay taxes too. I would prefer less taxes but, if they must tax us, I want as much as possible coming back here.

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    Default Twice the money; twice the disappointment!

    ORFD:
    I have a right to complain; it is my nature to question.
    You, like some of the others, feel that we should feel "privileged" because this grant program is even here. Tax money funds the grant program. Like many others, we would like to see some of our own money come back to our fire departments. You make it sound like; if we complain, they will cancel the program. Wake up. Government decisions aren't made like that. You know it; I know it.
    You have a right to say "quit complaining". I have a right to ignore your advice. You have a right to voice your opinion. And so do I. If I disagree with you, I am complaining. If you disagree with me, you are uninformed.
    The grant program is a great idea in theory. In practice, there are still some bugs that need to be worked out.
    I thought that it was suppose to be a "competitive grant program based on need". I was wrong. It is competitve, but only in terms of how well you write a grant. Otherwise, departments who have been awarded each of the last two years and are on their way to a third, would not qualify, based on "need".
    Just my opinion. But I have a right to my opinion and so far, that's all I have!
    CR
    Last edited by ChiefReason; 04-15-2003 at 02:31 PM.
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    Chief Reason:
    I hope that I did not offend you or anyone else in my last reply but you are right, I am entitled to an opinion. You stated in your last reply that the grant process was supposed to a competitve process based on need. My opinion again, is that a well written grant does express your need, it expresses research, and expresses what you are trying to accomplish and why you would not be able to do it without help. So in essence, it would need to be well written. As far as taxes, the taxes you pay does somewhat come back to you. It comes back to you in the form of a budget for the fire department in which you reside, or should I say it does here in North Carolina. I can say that there are probably some bugs that need to be worked out but as far as I am concerned, each year has been an improvement, if only that they are raising the amount of the grant process each year. There are numerous factors that come into play and I am obviously not going to go into each one of those factors. But, just because a dept. has been awarded a grant does not mean that they are not derserving of additional funds. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will the fire departments be able to obtain the needed funds to help them be where they need to be. Just about everything that you can apply for under the guidelines can be tied into terrorism. I am nothing but a high school graduate, who works as an Administrative Assistant and has attended a one day course on the grant writing process. I spent 2+ weeks researching what we were applying for in this years process. I read and re-read the guidelines and made sure that what we were applying for fit in the parameters. I worked extremely hard and diligently to make sure that I had a well written narrative and if I don't get it, I will assume that someone else's need was more of a factor than ours was and I will try again next year!!!!

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    Default No offense taken.

    ORFD:
    No; I wasn't offended. FIRE Act happens to be one of my "hot" buttons.
    I agree with everything you said except with the taxes. I don't know how you do it in North Carolina, but in Illinois, we are in a fire protection district. The money we receive comes in the form of property taxes. We do not receive any federal assistance. The last time that I looked at a pay stub, I do pay federal taxes as well. All I was pointing out is that we would like to see some of that money find its way back to our fire department, too.
    We aren't that much at odds.
    You went to a grant writing class. I went to a grant writing class.
    You researched your grant for two weeks. I researched my grant for 22 years!
    We are fortunate in our fire district in that we are not destitute. This is based largely on our support and our firefighters. I would not complain if I didn't see well-to-do communities receiving money from the FIRE Act. Again, I have to question if the criteria is being determined by need and not by greed.
    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
    The last time I debated this subject, it cost me my writing gig with FH.com.
    CR
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    Way to go, CR. Couldn't have said it better.
    The narratives are a way to express your need. The biggest problem is that sometimes the application gets booted out before the narrative gets read. Happened to me last year. I know what I did wrong, but I told the truth and I have to live with it. I could have s t r e t c h e d the truth, but then I couldn't have lived with it. The narrative told the whole story about our needs but my answer to one question kept the narrative from getting read. Maybe this year we will get some of that federal money in our place.
    The whole program doesn't smell. Maybe it is greed that is smelling up the program. Those that have only "wants" should wait until the true "needs" are fulfilled.
    I shouldn't have looked at this thread. Must be an Illinois thing-getting our feathers ruffled over this grant thing.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    Chief Reason:

    I am glad to see that there isn't as much animosity built up between us. I am passionate about the Grant process also. I guess I just feel differently than you. You say you have researched your grant for 22 years, that can't be so. Everyday, in the fire service is a change and that is based on my observation. I have been working in the fire service for two years, and not as a firefighter, but in the Admin. portion so I know I can't debate on this subject as strongly as you can- I have alot to learn. Are you career or volunteer, and are you a Chief? I can debate over this topic for days, when I feel strongly about something I try stressing a point and it seems as if you do the same. I enjoyed reading your replys and I am still new to this fire service thing so bear with me, however my view on the grant process will not change. I feel blessed that I have had another year to apply for funds for this dept. that I love so much.

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    You say you have researched your grant for 22 years, that can't be so. Everyday, in the fire service is a change and that is based on my observation
    ORFD - you cannot, with only 2 years, be experienced enough to justify grant requests in my opinion. How, after only 2 years, can someone know what their department really needs? Sure, they can ask for the latest fads and gadgets, but without experiencing how a department has run and operated year after year, how would they know their long term goals, their true needs, what they really use and need day after day? How can they justify that newer equipment is better and/or needed to replace their existing equipment when they don't have experience with it? 22 years is time spent using equipment, operating within a fire department, knowing their procedures, and knowing what works for them, what doesn't, and what needs to be added.

    The grant process is not perfect, it needs work, I am on the side of the fence that can't understand why a department has to use PPE that is unsafe, but another department gets $$$$$$$ to buy exercise equipment. Sorry, but that is just not right, I don't care how good your narrative is.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Bones:

    Okay, I admitted that I had no experience in what you or any other firefighter does. That is what my Chief does, he guides me and informs me on what we need. I in turn, research what he has requested of me and apply at that point. I don't think that you should take a stab at me b/c I don't have the experience that you think is deserving for me to have the ability or the knowledge to apply for something that my dept. needs and derserves. You do not know the circumstances of my dept., and I do not know that of yours. I play an important role in this department and just b/c I do not fight fires does not mean that I do not see what goes on here everyday. I see the deficiences in aging equipment and see the risk that it poses to our firefighters and citizens. I do not see where you come off saying that we applied for the latest fads and gadgets when you or anyone else for that matter knows anything about our dept. I never said to anyone in the debate that you were not deserving of what you applied for- you said that to me. I stand firm in my opinion of the process and nothing that you can say can persuade me to feel differently. I think that you are uninformed. You applied for X and I applied for X what makes you more derserving than me? Is it b/c you have been in the fire service for X amount of years. Everyone in our dept. is helpful and it is a team effort. I comprise the information, and write the narrative. I feel that what you have said is a slap in the face, just b/c a person hasn't been on a dept.for 22 years does not mean that they are not needed and each person brings something new to the table. I am sorry that you are not appreciative of people who have little or no experience and I feel sorry for the people who have to work with you. Remember, you started out somewhere- you weren't born with a hose in your hand ready to fight fire, but you were trained by someone who obviously thought you would be a good candidate to serve in the fire service.

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    ORFD - Sorry, did not mean to imply that applied for gadgets and fads. You are correct, I have no idea what you applied for. But, having read your post to CR about the grant process, and your comments about 22 years research not being possible, it all hit me a wrong way. You research something that your Chief tells you to research at the time of applying for the grant, and I would assume for a while before the actual writing of course. People like CR, and many others out there, research these items every day, sometimes for years. An apparatus purchase may take 3 or 4 years of research on different styles, surrounding towns, layout of the area for it to be used, building constuction, and many others. That takes a long time. That research may very well be done by someone else in your department and I would assume it is. SCBA's have changed very much in the last 15years. Hose construction has also changed.

    I am not, in any way, attacking you personally. I have no idea who you are, and not knowing you, could not and would not. I am saying that research into items takes time, and can't (shouldn't) be done in just a few weeks. I never said nor meant to imply you do not play an important role in your fire department. To me, everyone involved with a fire department is playing an important role, whether it be fighting fires, fund raising, recruiting, fire prevention, building maintenance, etc. It is all part of the department and it all needs to be done.

    Again, I am not attacking you nor saying you are not qualified to do what you do. I am saying I don't think the process is a short, sweet, task. I am saying I don't like the way the grants are awarded. I am saying I don't think the priorities of the grant are correct.

    That's all...
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Bones:

    You are right, I don't spec. or buy our fire trucks, my Chief does. The Chief of our dept. is very intelligent, to the point that people from other departments have him spec their trucks, so when this man tells me this is what we need, I do not question it. When I say research, I mean that I have read, set through numerous discussions with the Chief, firefighters, Fire Marshall, Director's, and have done case study's. I will never be a firefighter, don't want to. I am a female that weighs about 135 and don't think I would be able to rescue my fellow firefighters, if the need arose, that's why I am content with the administrative portions of the fire service, applying for grants, fundraising, and research. I respect the people who risk their lives but I do not appreciate it when someone implies that I am not a part of this dept. You could set me down, let me work your fire program, explain some things, answer a few questions, and provide me with resources, and I can word it exactly the way it needs to be. That is a talent that I have been blessed with. I like to think of myself as a support person. I think firefighters give so much to the world, they do things that most people wouldn't dream of doing. Please answer this question, what kind of dept. are you? (paid,combination, volunteer)

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    Default Bonesy's got my back!

    ORFD:
    My comment concerning research for 22 years was tongue-in-cheek; somewhat! I have been a member of a volunteer department for 22 years, I was chief for 14 years until Sept. 10, 2002 when I retired and ran for trustee, a position that I now hold.
    And in all of this time, ONE thing has remained the same and that is:
    fire equipment is always changing, is very expensive and there is NEVER enough money to buy it. I'll bet we agree on that.
    I have another problem; unless the rules makers have walked a grass fire in my boots, they don't know what I am talking about in terms of needs. Granted, they have the national organizations whispering in their ear, but have you stopped and wondered where the rest of the grant money goes? It goes for "administrators" of the grants. That's the guys whispering in the rules makers ear! Don't believe me?
    Total it up for last year. It doesn't come out to $360 million. And there is no carryover according to the rules. So, FEMA, USFA and the others share in the money. There are also the "non-competitive" grants that are awarded to certain groups. And don't get me wrong: I am not opposed to giving money to established agencies in the name of fire prevention, but let's face it; you can only buy so many coloring books. What about juvey firesetter intervention programs?
    Whoops; got off subject.
    As I was saying, I think that we can improve the system under which grants are awarded. Ultimately, it comes down to numbers. I don't think that need should be tied to call volume. I don't think need should be tied to population. I don't think need should be tied to rural, suburban or urban. Need should be tied to whether or not you can provide the protection to your population adequately and does it go beyond "basic" fire protection to include other disciplines? You may have a fire department that can provide fire protection, have a population of 1000 people, but there are major roadways that cut through your distict and you have no means to respond to calls for help on these roads. I would think that the government would jump at the chance to help.
    I just want to see some improvements. I'm willing to help if they are. I have been doing it all along. "They" are entering the game late!
    CR
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    ORFD, I promise, this is my last post on this as it's going nowhere in relation to the topic at hand.

    In answer to your question, I have been a member of a 118 year old volunteer company for 21 years.

    As a female, does not matter with firefighters nor does the fire care. It burns everyone the same. Male/Female are both very capable of being excellent firefighters. As 135 lbs, I would bet you could rescue a fellow firefighter, there are many techniques beyond brute strength. Someday, maybe you will try, maybe not. It is a personal choice for everyone. Doesn't make anyone better, doesn't make anyone worse.

    And again, I did not and am not implying you are not or were not part of your department. I don't know where you got that from. My comments were directed to someone with 2 years experience, they were not directed at someone who was not part of the fire department. If that was the implication, it was misunderstood.

    ORFD, you do write well, your posts are very easy to read and understand. Stay Safe and Take Care.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Okay, you guys are right, this is going no where. This will also be my last reply. The water is getting stagnant on this topic. I do, however, wish you luck- if it were up to me, everyone would have everything that they need, but until that happens, there's only so much money and it has to be distributed equally between departments. I really enjoyed sharing my views on this with you and I also thank you for sharing your views with me. Again, good luck!!!!!! Just please stop ganging up on me (ha-ha, I'm joking)

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    I would like to thank all of you that posted to this. I believe someone said it was becoming stagnant. However, i think differently. Reading the previous posts has been a learning experience. I've been in a volunteer fire dept 16 years now. Within that time i have seen alot of good and bad things happen to my department. Having outside contacts like this is a good thing to have. Makes me think about different things i may not have before. Again thanks for the posts and being mature with your arguments. This shows that there is still a brotherhood amongst firefighters. Good luck with your grant requests and take care

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