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Thread: To Much?

  1. #1
    Forum Member
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    Default To Much?

    We are a small department with 30 volunteers. We average around a dozen calls a year. We cover roughly 65 square miles with a population of 1100.

    In this years grant I am asking for 100% new turnout gear. All of ours is 10 to 15 years old. 12 SCBA's to add to our inventory of 7 (five of which is 15-20 years old), each with one spare tank. 17 portable radios (one for each truck seating position) to add to our current inventory of 2. Four new mobile radios to replace four old regency mobiles, and one simplex repeater system for use with our pager system.

    All total the Federal Share will be $119,798.00

    This is my first year of wrighting this grant. From your experiance, is this to much or about normal. We have never received an AFG before.

    Thanks


  2. #2
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    General comment: there's no such thing as too much money if it's a needed project and it is a high priority according to AFG documentation.

    Specific comment: $120K/12 calls = $10K per call for several projects involving different equipment. Not a formula used by DHS, but just a different perspective from the outside looking in. (For those with truck requests, this view doesn't matter since a truck is 1 item.) In the PowerPoint, it's explained that one of the award killers for an application is attempting to solve all of your problems at once instead of taking the top 1-2 projects.

    If you want a narrative review, contact Helping Our Own, both Mark and Cleo Warnick (founders) review applications, among other people within the organization. They can't get as specific as they'd like, both were/are peer reviewers, but they can give plenty of helpful advice about what may work or not work.

  3. #3
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    Default Another general comment

    Agreed. There are so many factors to consider, but the bottom line is that even with only a dozen calls, your membership still needs to be safe, and deserve to have up to date equipment. My limited experience has been that if your project fits within the scope of the rules, dollar amounts ( to a point ), are not the focus. Limiting the laundry list is a good point though.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Should not be a problem but you may have to really work hard to justify the radios for each seating posistion, especially if you are rural community with single family structures. I might think about radios for each 2-man team as it would be a lot easier to justify.

    Just my thoughts.

  5. #5
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    I say go for it!!! If you justified it you should get it. Last year I put in for 18 sets of gear, 10 Air packs, 18 Radios one for each fire fighter, and a TIC. Our department averaged 12 runs a year and only has 18 members. However I put in for the cost of gear at 1300 for coats and pants. We did get awarded but fema cut the cost of gear down to 1200 per gear. If you would like to see a copy of my narritive e-mail me and I'll sent it to you. E-mail Address Is srigney@vci.net

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber gefd901's Avatar
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    Default

    BC79er stated
    In the PowerPoint, it's explained that one of the award killers for an application is attempting to solve all of your problems at once instead of taking the top 1-2 projects.
    Page 13 of the program guidance states "You may apply for as many of the activities within this program as you think are necessary in one application. There are no bonuses or penalties for applying for only one activity or for multiple activities."

    I went back and reviewed the PP presentation and couldn't find anything about attempting to solve multiple problems being a killer. It states that "requests for multiple activities will be scored separately and separate scores will be prorated" it also states "scores will be prorated based on the relative cost of each activity."

    I realize that if the solving all of your problems at once approach involves low priority requests, that could or would be a killer. However, if a 6 part program addresses problems that are all priority items, would the fact the program has multiple problems solved necessarily be a killer?

    We have a project that addresses:
    1. obsolete SCBA replacement 47% of cost
    2. cascade and fill station (never have owned) 6.4% of cost
    3. exhaust removal system 27.7% of cost
    4. thermal imaging camera (never have owned one) 8.4% of cost
    5. obsolete AED replacement (no parts available not supported by manufacturer) 5.7% of cost
    6. Fire Instructor I class 4.8% of cost

    All 6 parts of this program address health and or safety issues for firefighters, all provide benefits to other departments, and all result in improved ability to protect lives and or property of the public.

    The exhaust removal system is causing some second thoughts due to the overall expense of the project and the fact we are a volunteer department and not staffed 24 hours a day. However our members are at risk of a known health hazard and this system would solve that problem. I feel that our narrative documents the risk and benefits very well. Safety and health of firefighters is a priority of the program and exhaust removal systems are priority items.

    Your thoughts?

  7. #7
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    Default

    Look for 'laundry list' in the PPT, and something about mixing high and low priorities as being another deal killer. I'm not saying people can't get awarded by mixing priorities, but in a game where the difference between award and DJ could be less than 1 point, wouldn't you rather solve the big expensive high priority problems first?

    Like you stated (and since it's in the Program Guidance, not crossing the ethics line against my clients), not being staffed 24/7 drops the priority of the exhaust removal. I'm on the run so I don't have time to double check the PG, but train the trainer is also not a top priority.

    Cascade, TIC, AED, all top priorities, and depending on what you consider definition of the word obsolete to be, so will SCBA. Remember, a typewriter is not obsolete if all you want to do is type a letter. SCBA is not obsolete if it protects your lungs. Out of compliance maybe, but not obsolete. Big difference.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber gefd901's Avatar
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    I don't have time to double check the PG, but train the trainer is also not a top priority
    PG page 13 "applications focused on national or state certification training including train the trainer initiatives will receive a higher competitive rating"

    depending on what you consider definition of the word obsolete to be, so will SCBA. Remember, a typewriter is not obsolete if all you want to do is type a letter. SCBA is not obsolete if it protects your lungs. Out of compliance maybe, but not obsolete.
    1 regulator failure, several regulator and bottle gauge failures on 14 - 19 year old SCBA. Between September 2005 and December 2006, 12 bottles will be at their 15 year life span and must be removed from service. I believe we can make a case for obsolete.

    Looks like the exhaust removal system is out. We're hoping for the best on the rest of it.

  9. #9
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    Double check what I wrote: top priority. Not high priority, top. Train the trainer will have a higher competetive rating, but if it's not an initiative where the person trained can turn around and issue certifications for teaching others, think low priority. So if your pile of instructors that you want to train aren't going to be backed by a fire school that issues certs, might want to tweak that a bit so they can. That's what is between the lines of the PG, according to a few folks I chat with every now and again.

    Probably not as hard in most states as it is here in TX, since they have "separate but equal" training for vollies and career folk. I have IFSAC certs, but I still have to go to the point of challenging the TX Commission test in order to become a full blown instructor. Could be done faster than I'm going, but since I'm in software, no monetary motivation to Git-R-Done.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thanks everybody for the info. I decided to downgrade just a little bit. went with 15 portables instead of 17, that will be enough for one for every two men. I also decided to totally wipe our the repeater, wasn't necessary and not that expensive to fund ourselves.

    Hopefully we can pull this off. I am tired of watching all the departments around us get grants while we get nothing.

    Good luck to everyone else.

    Stay safe.

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