1. #1
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    Question Demographics and Competitive Range

    I'm looking for people's opinions on filling out the Department Characteristics sections of the application. I understand that no one really knows what the computer formula is for calculating how an application gets to the competitive range, but I would assume that higher call volumes per capita of population would be something to help put an application over the top. I am also assuming that comparing population served vs. area that is covered determines what kind of municipality you serve (urban, suburban, rural).

    My dilemma is this: our Company runs around 100 calls a year. We serve a very small municipality, HOWEVER we provide mutual aid to much larger geographic area. If I put down the area of the municipality as our primary response area, and compare it to the number of runs we have per year, that ratio probably looks favorable. However if I include the mutual aid districts that we go into, the area of coverage quadruples, but we still have the same number of runs.

    I guess the 'X' factor is the two questions concerning receiving and providing mutual aid. Also, I may be overanalyzing all of this, but my mindset is that I could write the greatest narrative ever, but its nothing but birdcage liner if the application doesn't get into the competitive range.

    Sorry for dragging on , but I'm just looking for others opinions on this, especially those that have won awards that may fall into the same circumstances that our Company does.
    Randy Solly
    Ivyland Fire Company

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    I'd say your primary response area does not include the mutual aid area, only your own territory. If you do that much mutual aid, that's a plus for you since you can tell in your narrative that everybody and their little brothers depend on you for help and you go help them. Good luck.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    I agree with Jack, your primary response area is all that matters in district size and population. There are spots for mutual aid received and requested that are brought into the equation.

    Unfortunately, if your 100 call total includes M/A, then that is going to drop your score. To bring it back up you're going to have to do your own math on cost-benefit. I'll make the assumption you're looking for a vehicle. The only ones I've seen go through and be awarded for departments with your call volume have been for very conservatively built new trucks (mainly tankers), or refurbing used trucks. The presumption being that all vehicles have a limited mileage in their life. At 100 calls per year you're not going to put many miles on your truck, so a 8-10 year old refurb in your station will last 15-20 years. Compared with a department that runs 1000 calls that is.

    But if you need it, make a grand case for it. It's not impossible. I know a lot of low computer scores were brought back up into the winner's circle by great narratives. It can be done.

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    Thanks for the quick replies. We're applying under Ops and Safety this year for exactly the reasons BC79er brought up concerning apparatus.
    Randy Solly
    Ivyland Fire Company

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    Brian, I know of a dept around me that got 225k for an engine and they are pretty similar to IFCO-town of about 500 people, a district of about 80 sq. miles of farmground, a little interstate highway, not a lot of fires, only a few MA calls. Wish they had looked at my application in the same way.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    Kinda why I said not impossible, but considering there were at least 2,000 other applications just like it, only the narrative speaks to why they got it and others didn't. And with that many departments that have similar statistics, remember it only takes 1 point to be bumped out. As I said, flawless narratives are needed in nearly all of these cases. There were 5500+ vehicle apps last year, and only 1300 awards. Slim chances.

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    We were awarded a truck grant with less than a hundred runs. I think the fact that this truck will run on all M/A calls & that will provide 2 responding pumpers to all structure fires in our neighbors districts and our now second engine (1976 model) will be available to loan to neighboring depts if their 25 year+ engines go down may have made a difference in the cost benefit area. In all reality not only did our small district benefit, but all of our adjoining one pumper depts benefit. Just an opinion, no facts to back it up other than we were fortunate and were awarded.

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    Default Drop me a line . . .

    Thoskin,

    Can you drop me a line?
    GB

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