The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a document entitled “2005 Program Guidance for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.” This 44 page document is available online at:
This year, $650 million is available to “Fire Departments” and “Nonaffiliated EMS Organizations.” The 2005 Program Guide details how departments can apply for this funding and explains how requests will be prioritized and funded. In past years, departments have been able to obtain ice rescue equipment and boats. I am not aware of any teams receiving funding for SCUBA equipment or training but that is not to say this is a lost cause. Imagine the following scenario…
After returning from a stressful water rescue operation the Dive Team Leader knocks on the door of the Chief’s office. He says, “Chief, I would like to get $40,000 next year to buy new dive gear and training.” The chief replies, “No way, get out of my office and don’t waste my time. You know we don’t have that kind of money in our budget!” The door closes and the Dive Team Leader walks away.
After reading this article, the Dive Team Leader knocks on the chief’s door again. “Chief, if I can add $250,000 to your budget, can the dive team get $40,000 for gear and training?” …
Do you think the Dive Team Leader will have more success on the second day? If you said yes, I too would agree. At this time, I would suggest that you go to the site at: http://www.firegrantsupport.com/guidance.aspx and print the 44 page document so you can reference page numbers as I discuss some of the key items within the Program Guide.
Also, consider looking at your department’s 2005-2006 proposed budget. There are probably proposed capitol items which can be funded by the “2005 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.”
Here is a partial list of items which are probably in your department’s budget that qualify for funding:
* Training for firefighters, company officers, first responders, incident commanders (page 13). Grant funds include tuition, overtime expenses and compensation to volunteers for lost wages while attending the training program (page 14)
* Equipment for firefighting, rescue, EMS and CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) preparedness. The list of approved includes small boats less than 13 feet, jet skis and ATVs (page 16), compressor systems to fill self contained breathing apparatus(page 16), portable radios (page 16), defibrillators, basic and advanced life support equipment, computers (page 17) and thermal imaging cameras (page 17).
* Personal protective equipment which includes bunker gear and self contained breathing apparatus (page 18)
* Modifications to fire stations and facilities which include fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, vehicle exhaust extraction systems and the installation of emergency facility generators (page 20)
* Firefighting vehicles which include fire boats, pumpers, aerials, quints, heavy rescue, units, brush trucks and tankers. Depending on whether you live in an urban, suburban or rural area will determine the level of priority assigned to a particular vehicle. In urban and suburban areas, fire boats are listed as “priority 1” vehicles with a high probability for funding. (page 21)
Are any of these above listed items proposed in your department’s 2005-2006 budget? If so, give strong consideration to filling out an online grant application!
“Nonaffiliated EMS Organizations” can also apply for ALS/BLS equipment, rescue tools, rescue boats less than 13 feet, ATVs, snow mobiles, etc. (page 25). Rescue boats greater than 13 feet and hovercraft for use by nonaffiliated EMS agencies are considered “Priority 3” items and are not likely to qualify for funding (page 29).
There are several things to consider as it relates to applying for the “2005 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.” An agency will have to provide a unique DUNS Number provided by Dun and Bradstreet. To obtain or apply for a DUNS Number, visit www.dnb.com/US/duns_update/index.html. Because it may take 2 to 3 weeks to obtain a number, interested applicants should apply NOW! (page 9)
The online application will be available on or about March 7, 2005 and must be submitted before the last day of the application period, projected to be April 8, 2005. The application will be posted on two sites: www.usfa.fema.gov or www.firegrantsupport.com
Only one application per agency will be accepted though multiple items can be listed on an application. Preference is given to those projects which will assist communities in dealing with CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive), so if you can show how your project fits into homeland security and preparedness, your application receives a higher priority (see page 12). Projects which benefit large regions may also receive higher ratings (see page 8). To learn more about how applications are rated, read page 11 in the 2005 Program Guide.
The 2005 Program Guide also makes reference to projects which have the intent or goal of solving applicable interoperability or compatibility problems. The “Responder Knowledge Base” (RKB) provides relevant information and can be accessed online at: www.rkb.mipt.org
An example of how boats are justified is shown below and this information was copied from the RKB website. If your fire boat is shared by your local law enforcement agency, it wouldn’t surprise me if your agency received 100% funding.
Also, as a side note, I found SCUBA equipment (3.1.17) and underwater equipment (3.1.16) listed on the RKB site as “Authorized Equipment” for CBRNE Search and Rescue teams!
AEL Item Number:* 17.1
Title:* Watercraft, CBRNE Prevention and Response
This category allows for the purchase of surface boats and vessels for homeland security purposes, including prevention and response. Allowable uses for CBRNE terrorism prevention and response watercraft include protection of ports, critical waterways and dams, reservoirs, and large lakes. To be eligible, these waterways must be identified as a critical asset to the state through a vulnerability assessment. In addition, the State Homeland Security Strategy or Urban Area Homeland Security Strategy must identify these waterways as critical assets requiring state and/or local prevention and response capabilities.
Allowable costs for this watercraft category include the purchase of surface boats and vessels, as well as customary and specialized navigational, communications, safety, and operational equipment necessary to enable such watercraft to support the homeland security mission. Licensing, registration fees, insurance and all ongoing operational expenses are the responsibility of the grantee or local units of government and are not allowable under these grant programs.
Prior to obligating funds in this equipment category for missions other port security, grantees must obtain a written waiver from ODP by consulting with their Preparedness Officer and providing a detailed justification for the request.
NOW FOR THE COMMERCIAL...
If you obtain a grant, please allow
Dive Rescue International to offer
your agency a competitive bid for
boats, water rescue gear,training, etc.
For your budget request, consider the following RETAIL prices:
PFD, Mustang Airforce auto-inflate $163.05
Boat, Zodiac Grand Raid Mk III $9,710.40
Full Face Masks, Divator Mk II $825.00
U/W Communication, OTS STX-101 $1,520.00
Ice Rescue Suit, Mustang Ice Commander $570.50
Dry Suit, Viking Surveyor Front Entry $2,350.00
To download a "Water Rescue and Equipment Catalog" (2.5 mb) visit:
To download the 2005 RETAIL price list (DRI discounts for bid
AQUA LUNG OFFERS SPECIAL PRICING TO PUBLIC SAFETY DIVE TEAMS!
Download a copy for the Aqua Lung price list at:
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02-26-2005, 10:07 PM #1
Dive team funding - Boats are included in 2005 Grant Program
Last edited by BladesRobinson; 02-27-2005 at 07:36 AM.
03-01-2005, 12:51 PM #2
Grant funds $202,500 towards fireboat
Homeland Security grant to fund fireboat
By: Dorrance Johnson , Staff Correspondent
BRANFORD - For the second time in the past three years, the Branford Fire Department has received approval for a substantial grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that will be specifically earmarked for the purchase of firefighting equipment.
According to Fire Chief Jack Ahern, this year's grant in the amount of $202,500 will be used to purchase a new fast-attack fireboat that will serve Branford's costal waterways and the many tributaries that comprise the fire department's primary area of responsibility.
In August of 2003, the fire department received a similar grant in the amount of $373,000 that was used to upgrade their antiquated radio system, in keeping with the federal agency's goal to improve fire service communications nationwide in the wake of the Sept. 11 tragedy, during which many communications shortcomings were discovered.
"We are very happy that local taxpayers will benefit from this grant," said Ahern. He explained that the new 30-foot long aluminum hull vessel will be equipped with a 2,000 gallon-per-minute fire pump, an array of emergency medical equipment along with the latest in marine electronics including radar and a global positioning system.
According to Ahern, the overall grant actually totals $225,000 and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires that taxpayers shoulder $22,500, or 10 percent, of the financial burden in order to qualify for the funding.
He also noted that FEMA rates fireboats based on their firefighting capability and that any such vessel equipped with a 2,000 gallon-per-minute firefighting water pump is classified by FEMA as an actual class-3 fireboat. As such, the new boat will be the only actual fireboat in service along the shoreline from Clinton to Milford since fireboats with a lesser pumping capacity are not rated or classified as fireboats under federal guidelines.
Expanding on the particulars that will distinguish the new boat from vessels that are currently in use by other fire or police departments in the area Ahern said, "We plan on equipping our boat with a patient-transport area, the latest in emergency medical equipment and supplies including a semi-automatic defibrillator, spinal immobilization equipment, an oxygen delivery system."
As an eye-opener, he also noted that the Branford shoreline is dotted with a total of 365 islands and that 32 of those islands, most of which are located in the Thimble Islands, are inhabited throughout the summer months.
Ahern also explained that a total of 269 structures are located various islands and that they have a combined total value of more than $45 million, calling attention to the need to provide fire protection and emergency medical services to those properties, as well as to the 15 local marinas, in which a combined total of 1,600 boat slips are located.
Although the exact deployment of the new fireboat has not yet been determined, Ahern praised the efforts of the highly decorated and well-seasoned "Marine-5" fireboat crew of Stony Creek's Rescue Fire Company 5 that has been providing fire protection and rescue services in Branford for decades and who also assisted in providing many of the specifications for the new boat.
He also applauded the efforts of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-3), who spearheaded the effort to secure the federal funds under a law that was penned by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) that provides money to municipalities in order to enhance public safety.
Commenting on the new boat that is anticipated to become available within the year DeLauro said, "Our first responders need up-to-date equipment and training so that they can continue their work protecting our communities and saving lives." She also credited the Branford Fire Department for being awarded what she described as a "competitive" grant.
03-01-2005, 07:54 PM #3
Annapolis awarded $225,000 for 32' fireboat
Annapolis awarded $225,000 for new fire and rescue boat
City will add $25,000 to the federal grant
By Sarah Schaffer
Originally published February 10, 2005
The Annapolis Fire Department has been awarded $225,000 in a federal grant to purchase a new fire and rescue boat that will serve the historic port and waterways of several counties, city officials announced yesterday.
The funds were provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and will be combined with a $25,000 contribution from the city, said Fire Chief Michael P. Lonergan.
The award is part of $750 million that was distributed through the program to departments nationwide.
"We're very, very excited," said Lonergan, noting that plans are being drawn for the 32-foot boat, which will be able to hold about 15 people and will replace the department's aging fireboat.
City spokeswoman Jan Hardesty said the new boat will conduct rescue operations along 26 miles of waterfront and will assist with emergency operations in surrounding areas.
In a written statement, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, a 3rd District Democrat, called the fireboat a critical resource, and said the grant program "represents a major effort by the federal government to ensure that our nation's firefighters have the equipment they need to do the job."
Lonergan said he hopes the boat will be ready for use by the end of the year.
Two years ago, Anne Arundel County launched a specially equipped 42-foot fire and rescue boat to cover the county's 500-plus miles of shoreline.
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