Combination Departments, The F.I.R.E. drawbacks
Well 0/3 now... got the denial yesterday. And so close to the end we actually began to 'pray' for money when it looked so close. We are a small combination department in a small city with a dwindling tax base that is being over run by the infamous 'not-for-profit' i know, i know, same story different town.
We have a small paid force (4 on duty 24/7, 2 on engine 2 on ambulance) and a large volunteer force (60 using 3 engines, 1 truck, 1 heavy rescue, tanker, brush truck) we are in need of gear and scbas. it is not that we dont have any, but they are in serious disrepair, parts not available, styles of msa that are not made anymore that we bought from other departments. As with any business 80+% of our costs are on personnel. Our grant is judged along with other volunteer and combination departments by 'peers' (mostly volunteer) When comparing our request with another volunteer department it would be easy for a volunteer to grade.
My Department Budget $1 million requesting $250,000
Anytown Vol FD Budget $500,000 requesting $250,000
who looks like they need it more? the answer would be easy for most. 800,000+ of ours goes to personnel costs while 0 of the anytown FD goes toward personnel... seem fair?
Perhaps there should be 3 categories for grading...