1. #1
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    Question Training Facility

    Just wondering if anyone applied for a grant this year to build/purchase a training facility. More specifically, one of the WHP mobile "911" Trainers. I know that, according to this year's rules, the facility must be mobile to be approved for a grant award. The rules also stated that these facilities would receive a lower rating than other types of training requests. I don't think this is right, and I hope that the rules change for 2004. In my opinion, NOTHING comes close to actual live fire training. I feel that compliant facilities that benefit a large number of firefighters who have no opportunity to participate in "live" exercises, or have to drive many miles to the nearest training ground, often waiting long periods of time to use them. Also, it's not often we get real houses to burn, and the EPA makes that hard on us, as well. Any opinions or information from any of you will be most welcome.

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    Default Re: Training Facility

    Just wondering if anyone applied for a grant this year to build/purchase a training facility.
    We applied for a Symtron Systems FireTrainer mobile-modular training prop as part of our grant proposal.

    Our chief just got a call from FEMA today, asking some follow up questions to clarify our proposal.

    I'm hoping this is a good sign... at the very least it confirms that we are still in the running.

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    Hey, thanks; I appreciate your response. We are leaning more towards the units that can handle Class "A" fires, instead of the LP gas designs. By the way, if you got a call from FEMA, you probably got the grant. If you don't mind, what was the cost of the unit you specified in your grant app?

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    what was the cost of the unit you specified in your grant app?
    It was a total of $188,500.00 that broke down as follows:
    • $155,000.00 – FireTrainer T-4000 modular simulator
    • $ 22,500.00 – Mobile option, 5th wheel trailer chassis
    • $ 5,000.00 – “Denver Drill” prop
    • $ 3,000.00 – Wall Breach prop
    • $ 3,000.00 – Electrical Generator & Propane Cylinders

    The basic FireTrainer includes a ventilation cut-out, forcible entry doors & jambs, and a "ship's ladder" type stairway prop.

    The Denver Drill prop is something that I came up with after seeing one of their units. It is basically taking their existing window in the unit and enlarging it to a full size window.

    The Wall Breach prop is another idea I had. Their base unit features movable maze walls, and I wanted them to make one of the wall panels with typical studs & nailers to put up sheet rock to be broken through.

    When I went to their factory for a demo, I thought the propane fire was pretty cheesy- of course, it was turned way down... I don't think they really wanted to burn up the unit they had since it was being built for a customer.

    What they showed me certainly doesn't compare to having a complete burn building that you can pile up with pallets and all... but what was nice about it is that you can run scenario after scenario without all the down time in between and you can run the exact same scenario over & over consistently, which is nice for performance evaluations. Their smoke generator was very good and quick to operate, though. I liked it a lot.

    I wasn't really looking for a "burn building" per se, but something that could be used for the more basic evolutions. It would give our guys a little purpose to the daily drills. ie: you now have a goal to reach during a hoseline advancing drill. Instead of just pulling a line & dragging it across the parking lot, you can pull it, advance through a structure & squirt some fire. And you could do it over & over, every day. It would really enhance our company level training.

    The justifications I used in the proposal were pretty much just what you stated:
    • will enhance our existing training programs
    • will allow us to train more frequently
    • won't have to place our equipment out of service to train
    • won't have to drive 20+ miles to training center
    • training center is in high demand already, shared by 3 counties
    • center requires an employed instructor to be present
    • dept has certified instructors but they can't use center
    • center is located on military base with restricted access
    • base requires roster in advance
    • vollies usually don't know if they can come until last minute
    • simulator is clean-burning & includes safety features
    • simulator will provide training in all aspects of NFPA 1001
    • can also be used for RIT training, Fire Prevention, TIC training
    • can be used as a tool for public fire safety education
    • will be available to others for use
    • can benefit 3 states, 6 counties, 9 towns, 20 depts, 1000+ FFs
    • will improve response, safety, and efficiency
    • will help save lives, property, etc.

    It's all true and sounded good to me, hopefully it sounded good to them too.

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    Sounds like exactly our line of thinking. I wrote a successful grant narrative for $265,000, to help us purchase a new ladder truck, for the 2003 FIRE Act grant program. But, I'd really like to see the one you wrote for the training facility, if that's possible. I'd be glad to share our narrative to anyone who thinks it might be of assistance to them, next year. This was our third try, and first time award, so we were pretty shocked when the calls from FEMA and the State came. Here is my email address:webmaster@jeffersoncityfire.com

    If you choose not to share your information with others, it's perfectly understandable.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 03-19-2004 at 03:49 PM.

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    I'd really like to see the one you wrote for the training facility, if that's possible.
    Here's the whole thing... it's not a perfect proposal. I left out several key items that would've went a long way to help make it better. Hopefully, they will forgive my shortcomings and award our request anyway.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by jpsmith2; 12-19-2003 at 09:09 PM.

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    I'm most grateful to you, friend. I'm sure it will be a great help to us, as we begin to write our own narrative.

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    I'm sure it will be a great help to us, as we begin to write our own narrative.
    Check with the manufacturer's to see if they can provide you with sample proposals. The Symtron folks had some great material, which is what I used as a basis for ours.

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    Default hey nozzleman

    I tried to email you but your link appears to be bad

    roadmd

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    I tried to email you but your link appears to be bad
    I don't know; somehow, when I post that email here, it screws it up.
    Just send it to webmaster@jeffersoncityfire.com
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 12-23-2003 at 06:08 PM.

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    Default Last Year

    Try contacting Honey Creek Fire Department in Terre Haute, Indiana. Here is there web site:

    http://www.angelfire.com/in4/honey_creek_fire/

    and their e-mail address:

    honeycreekfire@lycos.com

    They were awarded $227,250.00 in 2002 for a training trailer. It is a REALLY nice semi trailer. I will try to post a picture of it in the future.

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    Thumbs up 1199a

    The 1199a link appeared to us today...

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    Thumbs up 7 questions

    I got the infamous seven questions in my personal inbox this afternoon!

    A hint for those who choose to apply for a training facility, make sure you have certified instructors available in your department and be sure to state this in the narrative.

    And for those agonizing over whether or not the email system is FUBAR, let me say that I have never received any email communication from FEMA- the isoslayer email, answers to the couple questions I had, etc. until today.

    Hang in there, and here's hoping!
    Last edited by jpsmith2; 01-22-2004 at 08:30 PM.

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    Thumbs up Got the call!

    I got the call from Senator Barbara Mikulski's office today to say that we that our Assistance to Firefighter's Grant application was funded for $335,700.00.

    The funding will allow for the purchase of new personal protective clothing & equipment for 80 of our members, a Thermal Imaging Camera, respirator Fit Testing equipment, and the Symtron Systems FireTrainer T-4000 live-fire training simulator.

    This is the first year we have been funded, failing in 2001 & 2002. Our full narrative is available for download in this thread.

    Good luck to those still in the running and to those who were not- keep trying!

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    I got the call from Senator Barbara Mikulski's office today to say that we that our Assistance to Firefighter's Grant application was funded for $335,700.00.
    Wow...that's a rather large grant! Congrats. You should post pics of the simulator when you get it.

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    Wow...that's a rather large grant! Congrats.
    Thanks. From what I've seen it is the second largest amount to be awarded in Maryland. It is second only to the Baltimore County Fire Department.

    It just goes to show that any department out there can get awarded. I wrote the grant myself and I have no experience at such things. We didn't elicit ANY outside help, and didn't have any letters from our senators or anything like that... Just the requested information and our narrative.

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    Default Re: Training Facility

    Just wondering if anyone applied for a grant this year to build/purchase a training facility. More specifically, one of the WHP mobile "911" Trainers.
    Was looking at the 2004 Program Guidance and noticed the following section: "Modular training units that are not trailer-mounted are not eligible."

    Doesn't sound good for a unit like the WHP 911 Trainer...

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    Yes, I noticed that, myself. I'll be in contact with WHP to get some info on this. In my opinion, ANY legitimate training facility that offers live fire scenarios in a compliant manner, under the supervision of experienced instructors, should be a VERY high priority for the FIRE Act program. How often do firefighters get real fire training? It's not everyday that someone offers a house to burn, and the EPA makes it harder to burn anything each year. Our state has a modern, gas fed/artificial smoke facility. The problem is that it's located four hours away, and has a waiting list for classes/training that is over a year long. A localized live fire training facility would benefit numerous departments in our area.

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    OK, I contacted USFA concerning the "WHP 911 Trainer" and whether it is eligible for the 2004 FIRE Act grant program. This is the response I received:
    Robert this is not a mobile trailer this is a fixed building that can moved with heavy equipment. Please check page 12 of the 2004 program guildelines for clarification if you need it. These units must be mobile, not fixed. This means fixed wheels so it can be moved to other locations for training.
    Any questions call 866-274-0960.
    I have not received a response from WHP concerning this issue. Their website still claims that the "911 Trainer" is eligible for the 2004 FIRE Act.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 02-23-2004 at 05:09 PM.

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    We issued the purchase order for our simulator yesterday. Delivery is expected in about six months.

    With the final round released, our award ended up third largest in the state of Maryland behind Baltimore County and Montgomery County.

    It was the largest to a volunteer company in the state.

    I also see where WHP has updated their
    website to state that their "trainer is no longer eligible."
    Last edited by jpsmith2; 03-10-2004 at 01:15 AM.

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    That's correct; they advised me that they were sending out several hundred notices to fire departments around the country who had expressed interest in the "911 Trainer." I wonder how many they built, and if the price just suddenly dropped?

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    Are you still going to pursue a trainer of some sort in your grant. If so, what are you leaning towards now?

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    No, probably not. Most of the "mobile" trainers that have wheels seem to be set up for gas fed fires. We really didn't want anything that complicated, and we were looking for something to do class "A" fires. The new Tennessee State Fire School has a large gas fed training facility, and I'm not really impressed. It doesn't come close to behaving like real fire, in my opinion. I think we are going to apply for a rather small grant to purchase some wildland firefighting gear.

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    Angry Just my 2 cents...

    I think there are some real problems with "interpretation" by ODP on the training unit mobility. Our department had prepared to apply for a 3-container system (2 units on the ground, 1 stacked).

    Once I read the guidelines and noticed the change in language from training units must be "mobile" to "training units that are not trailer mounted are not eligible," I contacted our regioinal grant rep (Oakland, CA) for clarification. He told me that, yes, the units have to be trailer-mounted (a change in the criteria for this year). I agree that the language is clear enough, so I then immediately contacted the vendor we were dealing with. He told me he was working with another department in MA who's staff had spoken to a grant rep at one of the grant workshops--this rep told them that the system they wanted (the same as ours) was eligible because it was "roll-on/roll-off." I then contacted the D.C. help-desk and spoke to one of the firefighter program reps. Initially he told me that the system we were considering would be eligible. When I pointed out the new language in the guidelines (and directed him to the page), he put me on hold then came back to tell me that the system did have to be trailer-mounted. He explained that this change was made because the non trailer-mounted units often required special permitting to be installed and grantees were charging this expense to the grant. What I didn't understand (but didn't bother arguing) is that the guidelines state (& the same language was in 2003) that "no grant funding can go toward site preparation to accomodate any training activity, facility or prop." Personally, I would define permitting as part of site prep and USFA/FEMA shouldn't have authorized those expenditures to begin with.

    Sorry for the long rant, but how are we supposed to know what we can/can't apply for if the people in charge can't even agree on it? I certainly don't want to put in a ton of effort on an app only to have it rejected before it even gets to peer review, because I got some bad direction.

    Thanks for "listening"

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    Sorry for the long rant, but how are we supposed to know what we can/can't apply for if the people in charge can't even agree on it? I certainly don't want to put in a ton of effort on an app only to have it rejected before it even gets to peer review, because I got some bad direction.
    This is true; one person says one thing, while another states something entirely different. It looks as though only training facilities with wheels are eligible this year. As I've said before, I think this should be changed. I am really grateful for what the grant program has done, but this issue needs to be changed. In light of the fact that millions were probably doled out for exercise equipment, I don't see how they can justify NOT funding live-fire training facilities, especially since this is a critical part of firefighter training, in my opinion. I believe properly built and operated trainers would be very beneficial for firefighters.

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