1. #1
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    Default grant for vehicle

    I work for a small combination department in Central California. I'm interested in applying for a grant for a desperately needed type 1 engine. I noticed in reviewing the 2004 winners for that category that all the departments appear to be volunteer departments. Would a combination department have a chance at a big ticket item like a type 1 engine or should I go after much needed equipment? Thanks.

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    In 2004 there were requests totaling $1.2 billion for a category that only has around $180 million maximum allocated to it. Volunteer depts are most of the awards because they don't have the budgets to either pay crews or buy new trucks. As a combo department, y'all have enough to pay crew members, so depending on how many you pay and what your call volume is, that might hurt. Since 1 part or full-time FF means you're a combo, there's a lot of play in that region. If you run 600 calls and only have a daytime driver, your chances are better than a department that runs 1000 fire calls with 10 paid personnel 24/7 backed by volunteers.

    Since folks are paying me to write their grants, I won't spill the family secrets, but here's a free tip: justify, justify, justify.

    Good luck and stay safe.

    - Brian

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    BC79er, are you strictly volunteer and if so, how did you get your department to pay you to write grants for them? I've just won our first (very small) grant and plan to win more for us. But wondering what your situation is.

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    I didn't charge my own department since that would create a conflict of interest. I'm a volly only since writing software pays bills better then fighting fire. The department is combo.

    Those that hired me were from around the country actually, most grabbed me off of this forum. Some were word of mouth, others from visiting my web site (www.firegraphics.org/grants.htm) and seeing the $$ total I've helped folks snag.

    Many had hired other grant writers and were quite disappointed. And at $50/hour, I'm much cheaper compared to the $350/hour average of professional grant writers. I only started charging because I got over 500 requests to my offer of a free narrative review in the last two weeks of the 2003 app period. Many didn't need my help (some I could have used theirs), so I was bogged down with requests for help when none was needed, so those that did need help, didn't get it. So I thinned the ranks by charging. My average is down to about 3 hours per application.

    Well, enough sales pitch. Not my style, especially not here.

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    If you are replacing a truck, you should hit hard on safety issues dealing with the new truck Vs. the old truck. If you are purchasing a truck that your department has never owned, you should fully explain why this new addition will benefit your department and (HINT HINT HINT) other surrounding agencies. Make sure it is a multi-purpose truck (i.e. a tanker used for shuttling water and also fighting grass fires)

    As far as going for equipment or a truck...it would all depend on what you can justify the most. Personal safety is a big issue with the review panel.

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    Question What are the funding limits for apparatus?

    I have been looking at the awards for apparatus, is there a limit for each catagory (pumper/tanker/aerial) of apparatus?

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    has anyone had any success on getting a utility vehicle out of the FEMA grant money?

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    Not sure what you mean as far as utility. Rehab, hazmat, etc? In 2003, there were no Priority 2 or lower vehicles awarded to the best of my digging around and talking with awardees. The demand is just too great for those in the P1 part of the matrix. The P1 with the same score as a P2 will always be awarded first. Just like it goes left to right, so Suburban P1 will be awarded before a Rural P1 for the same type of truck. There is a method to the madness.

    Limits: go back to the 2003 award listings (www.firegraphics.org/grants.htm, I have PDFs if you can't find them anywhere else) and you can see a trend. $250K (project cost, $225K fed funds) was the limit on plain Class A custom chassis pumpers unless you had a dang good reason for needing more money. CAFS, rescue-pumper, pumper-tanker qualify as good reasons. $450K in fed funds was the limit on 100' aerials (no pump). Others varied from there.

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    Default Re: What are the funding limits for apparatus?

    Originally posted by gotjerseys
    I have been looking at the awards for apparatus, is there a limit for each catagory (pumper/tanker/aerial) of apparatus?
    FROM THE 04 PROGRAM GUIDENCE

    . It has been our experience that depending on the type and size of department, the technical evaluation panelists often prefer low-cost vehicles when evaluating the cost-benefit section of the project narratives. Panelists may be provided with guidance for use in their evaluation of the reasonableness of vehicle costs. We also reserve the right to instill funding limits on requests for vehicles whose costs we deem excessive or otherwise not in the best interest of the program.

    Brian is right to look at the trend in previous awards, this though is an idea of what they're looking for.

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    We are in need of a Pumper/Tanker with 2000 gallon water tank and a 1500gpm pump. The main function of this truck would be as an engine-primary response unit. In the 2004 guide it grouped all trucks with tank capacity over 1200 as Tanker/Tender. You would think the limit for Tankers would be less that pumpers. Has anyone known of an award in excess of $200K for a pumper/tanker in the Tanker/Tender catagory.

    As we all know it doesn't take long drive the cost into the high $200 on a basic unit. We need to replace 2 wrecks with 1 good truck and we don't have much money.

    Thanks for any help!
    Driving Junk in Wisconsin!!!

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    I'm sure there have been, but what you may want to do is re-think the behemouth route on the truck. 2000 gallon tank with the ability to have a minimum crew of 4 SCBA seats puts you on a tandem axle chassis. You may find a super single somewhere, but not if you want a truck that will last more than a few years. You'll also need one heck of a motor and tranny to handle that load, since I'm sure you'll want hose and tools on the truck, so anything less than a 500HP Detroit would make it underpowered. Unless you don't have any hills or highways, which would be kinda hard to do in Wisconsin. A first-out attack pumper should be exactly that: quick, and ready to attack. You want a cheetah, not an elephant.

    There are other ways to get more knockdown out of a first-in piece if water supply is a problem. In other words find a way to make the water last longer, which will make for a less expensive truck. Since I'm being paid to write narratives and design projects, I won't spill my creative beans, but if you can turn on your computer and find this web site I think you can figure something out.

    Good Luck and Stay Safe - Brian, aka Dr. Cost-Benefit

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    Originally posted by gotjerseys

    Driving Junk in Wisconsin!!!
    In our part of the state that usually means someone with a Chevy Pick-up

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    Mikey,

    With respect to combo depts, they are treated the same as volunteer depts in the AFGP. The breakdown is all career and then volunteer/combo depts.

    If the type of engine you want fits in the appartus matrix for your type of dept (Urban; Suburban; or Rural) then you might have a shot.

    But remember, the appartus grants are most competitive.

    Good Luck.

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