1. #1
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    Question Wanted..Opinions and Advice

    We are thinking about applying this year for some 3 inch supply hose for both pumpers to meet ISO requirement 1200 feet supply hose. Also considering a slide-on unit for our brush truck.

    Presently we have around 300 feet of 2 1/2 supply hose on each pumper. Which is not nearly enough. Our brush truck currently uses an farm type poly tank with no baffles. We are using an older pump that we have constant trouble with and the overall system is "redneck designed". It works but its unreliable and the tank with no baffles is a serious problem. One wrong move and you are gone.

    A little background..All volunteer, area 50 square miles, 4 hydrants from poorly designed rural water system (refills only, no drafting), rely on water shuttles. Last year we had 55 calls of that 5 structures, 10 woods/grass/etc.,14 MVA,2 Vehicle fires, 13 other, 11 mutual aid. Budget $33,000/yr.

    Last year was an off year on the grass fires because of the abundance of rain. In 2002, we had 25 woods/grass/etc.

    My question to everyone is what do you think? Especially those that have been on peer reviews. Is it worth it? Would we be looked down upon because only 10 brush fires? E-mail me at cmjones@onlinexpress.net if you are uncomfortable with posting. Just wanted some advice from a few of you who have dealt with stuff in this category before. Last year we got a grant for turnout gear and airpacks.

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    CMJONES,

    I have never been a peer reviewer nor have I been awarded fire grant funds though I have applied for 3years. You may not want any of my advice but since you asked for input, here it is;

    Get rid of the brush truck that has a tank with no baffles. This is dangerous and should be discontinued, at least that's what I would do. You said you only have four hydrants for a fifty square mile area, do you have a tanker for the water shuttle operation? As far as the 1200ft of hose on your pumpers, that's an ISO requirement to be rated as a class a pumper along with a lot of other items that you must carry on the pumper. I'm not sure about the cost benefit to your dept. about the ownership of a brush truck. Not familiar with your operation or your area but I have a 40 sq mile area, about 800 responses a year, 30-40 brush fires. I don't have a brush truck and it has been no problem for me to use one of the pumpers. May not be the same with your situation. I hope some of the peer reviewers will give you more info.

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    frankgerarve,

    Yes we have a tanker for shuttles. A brush truck is almost a necessity here. Lot of off-road fires. Very Rural area mostly agricultural, hay fields, woods, pop. 1400 in our district. Lot of trailers moving into fields and such that are being bought up and sold as cheap lots for trailers.

    We do need a few more items, mainly small items, but I am unsure whether or not to push it. We need a few nozzles, odds and ends, etc. I thought that maybe we could get this hose taken care of because it costs so darn much compared to the little things.

    To others,

    The skid unit would be considered under Fire Ops category correct? Technically it is not a vehicle, it is fire equipment. Just wanted to confirm what I could imagine is correct.

    FYI..Also some others suggested to go ahead and get 5 inch LDH to produce larger flows. We will definitely consider that.

    Thanks for all your responses!
    Last edited by cmjones; 01-30-2004 at 11:39 PM.

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    CMJONES:

    I served on the 2003 peer review panel and may be able to give you some insight, from my point of view. First of all, congrats on being awarded last year. That means you can write a grant application that gets noticed and have the ability to demonstrate need, not want.

    I would drop the idea that you need the 3Ē to lower your ISO rating or because it has anything to do with ISO. Lowering your ISO rating is not the purpose of the grant, although it may do so indirectly.

    I am somewhat confused as to why you need more supply hose if all you do is draft from drop tanks? You said you have two trucks. Are you doing a lot of truck to truck series pumping or are you using the 2 Ĺ for attack lines also? Is your tanker a pumper/tanker? Not to say that I donít think you need more supply line, just that with what you have given me, I canít get that warm fuzzy feeling? I would stay with the 3Ē and not go overboard with asking for 5Ē. I donít see a whole lot of cost benefit for your department, with the little I know about it.

    I have to say, I agree with Frank. I donít see a whole lot of benefit to you having a brush truck either. But, youíre not asking for a brush truck, youíre asking for a slide in. Start by saying that you canít get by without it, itís one of the most useful pieces of equipment you have, it saves countless hours hand jacking hose lines into the back countryÖ Then, explain how darn dangerous the piece of garbage is. I agree, I think it would fall under fire ops.

    One thing that you need to spend some time on is your budget. You need to be able to show where all the money is going, why you canít raise it yourself and what will happen if you donít get the equipment you are asking for. I know $33,000.00 isnít a lot of money to operate a fire department; however, I saw dozens of applications last year that ran many more calls and with budgets Ĺ that.

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    We cover approx. 350 square miles on the same budget. Have four trucks that need replaced. We are going for a wildland interface truck. That will cover us very well. 3-4 structure fires/yr. Mostly grass/brush fires, MVA, Vehicle Fires. Budget should be double what it is, but it will take a change in the board. They don't believe in raising the taxes. That is why we have 4 30+ year old trucks that need replacements. They all have the non baffled Ag tanks mentioned, no storage, farmer built. FEMA rep that visited station said we should apply for a truck, he didn't think we would have a problem given our current trucks. I would go for the brush truck. If you set up like a fast attack/minipumper config you can get dual purpose out of it. The days of the old bare bones tank and pump brush truck are numbered. You need to get as much bang for your buck out of your trucks.

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    I've got two trains of thought on this: one train leaves St. Louis travelling 55mph...Sorry, wrong post.

    Anywho, there is a decent amount of weight given to historical call volume on certain types of calls, and yes 10 brush calls in 2002 is not a lot. What you need to do is show potential for those types of calls. In a very dry season, what could happen. If you have very few roads through certain areas, fires that start in the middle of a field that's 12 miles wide are going to get really big if you can't get to them and head them off with a brush truck, for example.

    On the other side, do you have everything else that you need. You've stated you need 3" hose and maybe some nozzles and stuff. Does this need outweigh needing a whole new brush truck, or is the truck you have mechanically sound and just needs a new skid unit? Since CAFS retros are under FF Ops & Safety, I would imagine that skid units are too, so you could show a lot of cost-benefit to replacing the skid, buying hose, nozzles, and anything else you may need up to your matching funds limit.

    Just a general tip for everyone, if you need a lot of things, aim for what checks off the most line items on your list of needs. And if it's a justifiable set of needs, then ask for everything that you can afford to match. If you can only come up with $2200, then your max project is $22,000. Don't ask for stuff that only adds up to $10,000. Unless that's all you need. Don't ask for stuff that you can't justify, but don't sell yourself short. Awards are based on supported principles, so if you need it and you justify it, the cost is basically irrelevant. But be careful in selecting these items in the list. As many reviewers said, asking for stuff because you think it would be nice to have but you can't think of a situation you'd use it in, you won't get it. So many people got canned asking for thermal imagers, which sounds strange since everyone knows the potential benefit. But you can't ASSUME that everyone knows the benefits, and some people do exactly that in their narratives, and it fails the guideline check. TIC, PPE, SCBA, are all grants that should be like taking candy from a baby. Problem is, so many take it for granted that everyone knows the benefits and never explains the specific benefits to their department, which is a requirement of the program. The statement "I need PPE because ours is 20 years old" doesn't work because my first set of gear was 25 years old, and it still passed NFPA because it was well taken care of. Remember, you stand the chance of being reviewed by someone that runs with a department just like yours, or is doing more with less, so cover the bases and make sure you make your narrative bullet-proof to reviewers of all backgrounds and experiences. The only way you don't win then is if you ask for the wrong thing. I reviewed a ton of very well written narratives for trucks with well documented benefits. Problem was, statistics showed otherwise. They were asking for another truck of what they already had, had a low call volume, and showed no reason why the other truck was not fulfilling their needs. If you're going to ask for something you already have, you have to show why the one you have is not meeting the current needs. not meeting NFPA standards is a decent reason, but not necessarily a deal clincher.

    Whatever you do, make it so that you convince someone that has no experience with the fire service that you need what you apply for. Even better, most would normally ask for money from some kind of tight-wad governing body. Write it so that it would convince them to give you the money, even if they didn't have it. Send copies to them to review and give comments. The more reviews you have, the better your application will be. The goal is bulletproof.

    Good luck.

    Brian

    At to stay with the theme: " May the Schwartz be with you."

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    Default A Couple of Questions:

    Vehicle Priority:

    There are 4 items listed as priority 1 for rural. Are the order they are listed in match the wieght they carry, or are all priority one vehciles of equal importance???

    Question # 2: If I was to ask for funding to convert a current tanker to a pumper/tanker what Grant Category would this fall into. Is this considered a Vehicle Refurb, or Firefighting Equipment (much like the CAFS add on).

    Will the fact that it's only 2 years old hurt our chances (didn't have the additional funding for the pump and plumbing at the time of orginal purchase?

    Past Reviewer let me know what you think.

    Thanks
    GB

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    I was told that the order that the vehicles are listed is the pecking order, but that it's so minor compared to being Priority 1 vs Priority 2 that it doesn't matter.

    Refurbing a 2 y/o truck might not be taken as a big priority. I haven't seen anyone go for refurbing something so new. I can't find my rules documents, but I thought refurbs were still in the Vehicle category because you're basically renewing the vehicle or changing its intended function. Retrofits (CAFS, light towers, generators) are FF Safety and OPs because they are adding functionality. Even though you'd be adding a pump, because it would be a truck mounted pump I don't think it meets the retrofit name. Call them anyway, worst they could say is no. If it's under FF Safety and OPs, go for it. If it's under Vehicle, I don't think it's going to be ranked very well. If it's so you can refill it without committing an engine to a fill site, a lot of departments had success asking for portable pumps that could be left at the fill site. Those are under OPs, so you could still add a few things to the wish list.

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    And if it's a justifiable set of needs, then ask for everything that you can afford to match.
    and from the 2004 grant workshop slide show

    slide 49 of the Top Ten Reasons Why Grant Applicants Fail

    Number 2 is

    2. Request too many items (shopping cart proposal)
    If you are "lucky" and can afford to match a larger grant, how can you ask for everything you can afford to match and not have a shopping cart proposal? (Unless you ask for one big ticket item, like a vehicle, and that does not seem to be a good bet) Isn't the shopping cart proposal what we were told last year? Don't ask for one thing. Come up with an overall plan, support it, and ask for what you need to accomplish it? I can take $15,000 and buy 4-5 SCBA's, or use it to match $150,000.00 which will buy 15 SCBA's, AND fill the cart.

    Can anyone explain?
    Last edited by RedRider; 02-03-2004 at 12:40 PM.

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    What I meant was, too many people need things like hose, nozzles, hand tools, maybe some SCBA & PPE, and some rescue equipment, but only ask for some of it thinking that the dollar amount they would need to ask for is too much and would kick them out. Nearly all FF Safety and Ops applications go through into peer review because there is no statistical formula for kicking them out like there is with vehicles. IE, you have a tanker, are asking for a tanker, most likely you will get kicked out. There's so many ways that a FF Safety & Ops program can get a high price tag because the category is so diverse. Some people got grants for just radios in the $300-400K range. Expensive, but needed, so it couldn't have been kicked out just based on dollar amount. It had to be reviewed.

    The people in the predicament I mentioned where you need a lot of basic equipment are the people I meant the 'ask for as much as you can afford' comment for. PPE, SCBA, basic tools, and hydraulic rescue tools are all needs that are easily justifiable if you really need them. If you can easily justify a need, then you really need it. If you have to think more than 5 seconds for a reason to ask for something, then you don't really need it. And if the reason is "I'd like to have a new one", then that's not a justifiable need. But if you need hose, nozzles, PPE, SCBA, and jaws, don't think that asking for all of them is a laundry list if you don't have any of them. FEMA's shopping cart comment is meant for those that listed out a ton of items and had no justification. I saw a lot of applications that just listed tools and prices, and never said why they needed them. They ASSUMED too much.

    This year, lots of people got "shopping cart" awards because they were able to properly justify each and every item on the list. So it's not impossible if you actually have the need and can justify it. That last part is the key.

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    So your interpretion is that the slide "should" say

    "Request too many unjustified items - but if they are justified, ask away (shopping cart proposal)

    "Just radios" does not fit the shopping cart criteria. Small rural departments operating on $40,000.00 a year have gotten grants for radios in the $300-400K range. Maybe BIG departments can do that, but not us.



    Last edited by RedRider; 02-03-2004 at 01:27 PM.

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    Almost every department in Montgomery County PA got a grant to buy radios because the county moved to trunked 800 and told them to get on the boat or risk not being able to talk to anyone. So the word 'interoperabilitiy' came into play. My purpose in mentioning a single-item/high dollar grant proposal was that it doesn't matter how many items (or how few) or what their cost is. If your application is complete, FF Safety and Ops applications get reviewed. So you need to make sure your narrative is bulletproof because it will be reviewed and held to a high standard if you apply in that category. So don't add on stuff that you can't justify because you have the matching funds. But on the other end, don't withhold on something because you think you're asking for too much. If you truly have a justifiable need, ask for it. And if you have several and can come up with the matching, justify each and every one as if it was the only item in the application. Thus avoids the 'shopping cart' argument.

    To me, unjustified = shopping cart.

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    I'm also in SC, Calhoun County. We got funded last year on radios, PASS, PPE and heavy rescue. We also got funded on a portable monitor. We we able to justify the project, and last year at least, interoperability was the magic word. We have mutual aid agreements with five stations in Calhoun County, and provide technical rescue for the whole county. Look into that aspect of it, and begin looking at what would be required of you for your mutaid, if you have it.

    Stress the hazards of Kershaw and what your project will do to mitigate them. Why can't you do it with your budget? That was my approach when I wrote ours last year. (First time in three years we got funded.)

    I can email you a copy of our narrative, if you can give me an email address.

    Bill
    The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.

    Pain is just weakness leaving the body.

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    D'Oh!!! I'm an idiot! I just reread the thread from the top. I'll email you ASAP.
    The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.

    Pain is just weakness leaving the body.

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    Looks like we are getting funded, got the 1199 and 7 questions the second week of January. Ours could be perceived as a shopping cart proposal but I think we justified it well. Here's what the list was

    1. 12 new SCBA w/spare bottles, individual masks
    2. TIC
    3. 20 sets of Bunker Gear
    4. Cascade system - Mobile on a trailer
    5. FF1 class for 30 people

    Just a couple of things we put in there.

    SCBA - All departments surrounding us use the same SCBA but us, they have built in buddy breathing, ours didn't unless you used a seperate hose, of which we had only 1. Important for RIT ops (Interoperability). We also stated in the grant that if we were awarded we would donate all out existing SCBA to the most needy applicant as decided by our Board of Fire Commissioners

    TIC - Never had one, rely on mutual aid

    Gear - Old, worn out, multiple different manufacturers.

    Cascade - Never had one - Timely delays in getting bottles refilled.

    FF1 Class - Now a requirement in Florida. We wrote the grant for 30 people and stated that it would be open to all volunteers in the county that needed it. There are 12 departments in this County. This helped multiple departments comply. This class will be done through a certified training agency this year, but we put in for all instructional materials so it can be given countywide "in-house" every year for new volunteers.

    If anyone wants a copy of the narrative, I'll be happy to send it to you. Just shoot me an email at wfcd@verizon.net

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    Its official, got the call from Senator Grahams office a little while ago, time to call some vendors....
    Last edited by MJ801FL; 02-04-2004 at 03:12 PM.

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