1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Norwich, NY, USA
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    Default 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...
    Volunteer
    Career
    Combination
    Jason Gray, Firefighter/Municipal Fire Instructor
    City of Norwich Fire
    VP Southern Tier NY FOOLS
    I.A.C.O.J Member

  2. #2
    Junior Member

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    middle of the Arizona desert
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    Default How is that fair?

    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?

    Sorry, under your scenario our dept. would compete only with big bucks (to us) departments like yours. We have a budget of just over $70K a year but have to pay on-duty EMT's. That makes us a combo even though *** on-call Firefighters and our Chief are volunteer. Most of our budget goes toward the payment of a 24/7 EMT, a First Responder for med calls and a part time office staff. If it were not for a fairly active Auxiliary raising money we couldn't even afford to put in for a grant because we could not afford the 10% match.
    Truth be known, there are probably very few pure volunteer depts around the country - especially if they provide med service.

  3. #3
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    MJ801FL's Avatar
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    Default

    I think this paragraph from the Program Guidance says it all. Disect this line by line and make sure your app fits.

    When reviewing your narrative, the panelists will evaluate the clarity of your proposed project including your project’s budget detail, the financial need of your department, and the benefits that would result should you be awarded the grant. These three elements carry equal weight when factored into the panelists’ scores (i.e., one-third). Each application will be judged on its own merits. The panelists will consider all expenses budgeted, including administrative and/or indirect, as part of their cost-benefit review. In addition, an applicant can demonstrate cost benefit by describing, as applicable, how the grant award will (1) fit in with a regional approach, i.e., is consistent with current capabilities and requests of neighboring fire departments or otherwise benefits other fire departments in the region, (2) promote interoperability of equipment/technology with other fire departments and local, state and Federal first responders, and (3) allow the fire department to respond to all hazards. In addition to fire prevention/suppression, all hazards includes incidents involving seismic (earthquake), atmospheric (tornados, hurricanes), technological (hazardous materials, nuclear, etc.), and terrorism. The panelists will review each application in its entirety and compare the application against established evaluation criteria – not against other applications.

    Note the last sentence, also some keywords:

    3 Elements - project clarity, budget detail, financial status
    All Hazards
    Interoperability - local, state, and federal
    Regional Approach
    Cost-Benefit

  4. #4
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    ff7134's Avatar
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    Default

    We are a small combination department and we have gone 2/3 on grants so far. Its all in how that grant is wrote and presented. You may want to send your grant writer to a school and possibly have someone look over your grants to see where you can improve.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

    F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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