1. #1
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    Default Vehicle Applications - Making it to Peer Review

    I'm sure this topic has been brought up in these threads somewhere, but...

    Can anybody tell me exactly which factors are taken into consideration when determining if a vehicle application will make it to the peer review round, and rank them in order of importance?

    It is my understanding that the most important factor is whether the vehicle falls into the Priority 1 list, the Priority 2 list, etc. (for the department's corresponding protection district - rural, suburban, or urban), then whether the vehicle will the the first of its type in the department, replace a non-compliant vehicle, etc.

    What else is taken into consideration and how much weight does each factor carry? Age and milage of the vehicle being replaced (if that's the case), age and milage of other vehicles of the same type, and age and milage of vehicles of different types? Call volume (overall or just for a certain type of incidents)? Population and area protected? Annual budget? Amount being asked for for any given category (ie, would asking for a $400,000 engine prevent you from getting into the peer review category?)? What are each and every one of these factors?


    Also: is this selection process really done by a computer using a formula, or are there real people going through a checklist?
    Last edited by FFEMT545; 02-12-2004 at 06:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    In a nutshell, no one knows. Reason being then people would be tempted to pencil-whip applications. Right now, none of us know. But then again it's really not that hard to figure out. Basically, read your own post. Answer the questions as to what makes sense. Not just sense for you, sense in general. Meaning if you have one regardless of age, your score will be lower than someone that doesn't have one. You will score lower than people with high call volumes, higher population. Cost does not matter to an extent. If you have no reason for asking for more than industry average, then they'll reduce your award (i.e. pumpers were capped at $225K if no good reason was presented for it costing more: larger tank, pump, CAFS, etc.) You will win on merit, not on overall cost if any extra costs are justified. Lower priority will score lower.

    And yes, it's a computer. That way there's no human involvement and every application is scored fairly according to the rules. Peer reviewers do get the entire application so they can see the entire picture of the department's situation, but I don't believe they see the computer score. Those that weren't high enough out of the computer (or incomplete) don't get read and make up the first round of denials.

    One small piece of advice: if you read through the rules, attend the grant workshop, read sample narratives from other successful and unsuccessful departments (www.firegraphics.org/grants.htm), and you're still not sure, then don't apply for a vehicle. If you can't justify your own application against the rules, the peer reviewers and the computer won't either. Remember: most people that thought they had no chance for a vehicle are ecstatic that those of us that got one in previous years can't re-apply for one, so I expect to see more vehicle apps this year. 4000 vehicles from last year were not awarded, so you've got at least half of those people to contend with this year.

    Sorry to sound all gloom and doom, but not knowing your exact situation I can only go on the history of the awards and my hundreds of hours of research. If you're going Priority 2 and you're rural, you have a long uphill battle. Not impossible, but that will require a nearly flawless narrative if you make it past peer review.

    If you do it, just make it good. I've got a bunch of people I'm writing for that luckily didn't apply two years ago, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten our rescue truck.

    Just do your homework and give it a whirl. Worst thing they can say is no. And I got told that last week for the 2003. Sucks, but still glad for the opportunity.

    Stay safe.

    Brian
    Brian P. Vickers
    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

  3. #3
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    Brian,

    On your website, did Community VFD get awarded? They put together a nice grant...

  4. #4
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    Thanks but no, we didn't. I got the Dear John last Tuesday with everyone else. Got the heavy rescue the year before, so I can't complain at all. Strange how much better I thought I did this year with it than last year. Lotta research digging for that NFPA & ISO info. But I learned a good bit along the way, so that counts for something.

    Then again I reviewed a lot that I thought were put together better than mine and they didn't make it past the first round of DJs. I'll be reading this year's documentation about 100 times. Too much CBRNE flying all over the place to pick it all up the first time.

    Good luck y'all.

    Brian

  5. #5
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    Brian,

    Could you give me a couple of leads on your NFPA/OSHA/ISO facts? I loved them.

    Chris
    CIFDanger88@hotmail.com

  6. #6
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    NFPA Handbook 18th Edition. The photocopies I made with page numbers are long gone. Section 10 rings a bell.

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