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Thread: Few questions

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    Hi, new hear with a few questions I thought someone might be able to answer. I am writing the grant for a very small rural department. Going for turnout and SCBA. They tried last year but were rejected for several suspected reasons (shopping cart approach, no DUNS#, no firefighter injuries listed, and just plain bad narrative). So this year I offered to do it. My husband is on the department, I am not. Don't worry, I'm not just starting on it, have been working on it since November off and on. Also worked with a pro grant writer. My narrative is complete, but some questions:

    1. On the application drop-down menus, does it make a difference if I choose each turnout gear item individually or choose full set? Any benefit either way? I have individual prices, or I can list it all together ($1245 each set). Do you include the smaller items like suspenders too?

    2. What is the best way to represent our population? The response area covers so much more than just the Village they are in. Saying a population of 825 doesn't accurately represent it, that is only the village, not the townships. Can we add them together as our population? For example, they cover 2/3 of one of the townships, should we add 2/3 of their population to the Village pop. to get a total?

    3. For full SCBA, do you include items like voice amplifiers & brackets, facepiece bags, carrying cases, etc? Again, we have individual prices for each, or can add it all together ($3082 each set).

    4. Do you "pad" the prices at all to allow a little play for what you are gettting? i.e. Round up from $1245 to $1300?

    5. As I said, I am finished with our narrative, but am hesitant to submit it yet because of these few items. Would there be someone out there that had a previously successful grant for these items from a department of similar size that would be willing to do a quick read of it? They had 20 runs last year (not including EMS), 30 active firefigthers.

    Thanks for any help you can offer. Sorry this got so long....

    Beth,
    writing for Dorchester, WI VFD


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    here is some amswers to your questions

    1.choose full set if you are planning to purchase coat,pants,suspenders,helmet,h ood,and gloves


    2.only put in the population that the departments First in District. You cant add mutual aids population.


    3. For SCBA you ask for SCBA with extra bottle. In your narritive you give a breakdown of what will be with your SCBA including Voice Amps, mask bags,spare bottle with each pack but remember only ask to replace seated SCBA on the appratus.


    4. its a good idea to pad a little and that will help with freight and taxes tha the department will not have to pay.


    5 yes you can send it to me i have helped a couple to get the items that you are requesting and my department also..... jreid@triad.rr.com

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    Cool Thanks...

    Thank you for your quick response. To clarify:

    2. What I am inquiring about is not mutual aid area, it is their first due response area. The village + 2 townships.

    3. We aren't even going for as many as seated positions, although I was aware that we could do that, but if we ask for that many, we go over the 2-in/2-out rule. Doesn't make sense to ask for 16 full SCBA when in reality they would never have a reason to have more than 10 in at one time. Don't want to be too greedy. And we don't have any large structures in our area to protect.

    I will send it off to you.... Thanks!!

    Beth

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    Cool Thanks...

    Oops, can't get the email to go through.... get an error back. Trying again....

    Beth
    Last edited by befferk; 04-01-2005 at 09:39 AM.

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    Forum Member sgvfccaptain's Avatar
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    Beth,

    Here is my take on your grant.

    1. Agree with MSVFD18, Choose full set and then explain in narrative what you are asking for. My sure you include everything in that price.

    2. Represent your first due area, if itís 2/3 another township include that. It is just like your own township if you are the first one there. Use your Village plus the 2 townships.

    3. Included everything just like Turnout gear. Make sure you price with extra bottle for each pack. I donít know if $3082.00 if enough. Make sure you have a good price on that. I feel you should go for every seated positions. The best way to make to peer review is to go from 0% meeting standards to 100%. I think they donít want old mixed with new. Make sure you ask for enough.

    4. Always round up, but donít use even numbers. Use $1326 instead of $1300. It makes them think you are not just rounding up and not doing your homework. It may be a year before you are awarded a grant. Make sure you donít short change your self.

    5. May sure you include your EMS calls along with your fire calls.

    These are just my thoughts. We have received grants for turnout gear and SCBA. If Iím wrong, people here will tell us. One more thought, if you donít have a TIC you may want to add it. I donít think it will hurt your grant. Hope this helps.

    Matt

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    Thank you for the input. Here are the reasons we backed down on the SCBA.

    (1) The grant writer I worked with said that we were really pushing the dollar amount for such a small department with very few runs.

    (2) They have 16 seated postions on all vehicles. Since they have only 30 firefighters, they cannot ever commit 16 to a burning building. Logically, on a volunteer department (ours anyway), most that respond is 20. So they can commit half of that (10). He said we need to be practical about it, especially since they don't have any large buildings that they are protecting.

    For the SCBA quote, we were quoted roughly $3082 per set for the following: Scott Air Pack 50, Carbon Cylinder (30 min - 2216 psi), Facepiece, Pak Alert installed, Voice Amplifiers w/brackets, Chest Strap, Facepiece Bag. Are we missing something? We will also ask for spare cylinders, facepieces for everyone, and 10 glasses kits.

    Do you think my reasoning for asking for 10 instead of 16 is foolish? I would rather ask for a little less and actually get it instead of asking for too much and getting nothing.... We also originally had extrication suits that we ditched.

    Beth

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    I wrote a successful grant 04 for Turnout, SCBA, and misc water handling improvements. My observations/suggestions based on our successful app. Our call volume is similar to yours, 33sqmi, 364pop. 16active (seats for 7 in current apparatus). Don't get hung up on the # of seats, discuss responding to scene in POV.

    If you are applying for turnout gear apply for the entire dept head to toe. Either you pass/succeed or not based on your narrative & current operationg budget or you don't. Don't do it 1/2 way so you are back doing it again next year. We requested $1500/set. Since have learned the limit is actually higher than that. But $1500 is more than sufficient if you bid agressively/then make the vendors cut the bid and throw in extras. We purchased pretty much the 2nd best level of pants/coats/helmets/gloves (IE not PBI/leather/kangaroo skin) which is quite sufficient. But also helmet shields & goggles, Rescuwrench, leather helmet shields, extrication gloves, personnal rappel webbing/caribiner, rechargable light for every man. We also purchase leather boots for every man (worth it highly recommend). The moral boost by going this way/1st class is tremendous. Your end of the deal is only 5% of the project cost so do it right.

    We requested $4900ea for 12 SCBA. We purchased Scott NXG2 with voicemitters on 8 and radio interface on 4, 45min carbon bottles x24, x8 cases. We bid/awarded turnout/SCBA as a package and had sales guys very very eager for our $81000 of business. Ended up looking for legitimate ways to spend the money budgeted and still money left over. Ended up getting a RIT bag/tank/hose/mask. The Scott AP50/MSA/etc are good packs but 1990s. I suggest step up to the modern pack the NXG2 is excellent piece of kit. Put ours into service last night. The quick bottle change is a big advantage. Do it right.

    I used round numbers (wrote the grant the night before was due 04) and did not hurt us. Worry about the narrative. If you need x SCBA to equip x apparatus/teams ask for that many, don't worry about currenlty being underequiped (apparatus). Perhaps mention that you need x seats/apparatus to get where you need to be = x SCBA and that is medium term objective thus need x SCBA now.

    Has your grant writer/advisor had a successful grant or just opinions? General consensus here is your numbers and narrative get you over the bar to success shortchanging not if your are going cheap on the project budget (pennywise/pound foolish).

    BC79 has our narrative posted on his web site if you want it.

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    "(1) The grant writer I worked with said that we were really pushing the dollar amount for such a small department with very few runs. "

    Number of runs does not equate with dollar amount requested. But remember, you need to have 5% of the amount requested as matching funds.


    "(2) They have 16 seated postions on all vehicles. Since they have only 30 firefighters, they cannot ever commit 16 to a burning building. Logically, on a volunteer department (ours anyway), most that respond is 20. So they can commit half of that (10). He said we need to be practical about it, especially since they don't have any large buildings that they are protecting. "

    I'm curious as to why they would only commit half their FF's to wearing SCBA's? That's saying half the guys on the fireground can't enter a fire? As long as you can get the matching amounts, go for 1 per seat. How about a compressor/cascade system for filling those new SCBA's? Do you have one, do you have access to one. Things like that can be mentioned in the narrative to show you are thinking this whole thing through.

    Good Luck.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Some responses to some things so far:

    Our grant writer has a very good track record for successful grants thus far. He even teaches seminars on this grant. But I don't take his word as gospel, hence why I am here.

    As far as the limit to the SCBA, now, I am not a firefighter, but my grant writer was looking at something about the 2 In - 2 Out rule at a fire scene, that for every 2 FF you have in the building, you must have 2 FF out. Is this not accurate? Or maybe he is looking at that the wrong way. I am very open to opinions. I don't want to short-change them, but don't want to kill the grant by asking for too many SCBA. As you can tell, I am pretty nervous about doing the right thing. But since the guidelines do say one per seated position..... I may change it back to that. Especially since I see that some of you have been awarded SCBA for more than half your active FF.

    Keep the comments coming. And thanks.

    Oh, "neiowa", what is the site yours is posted on?

    Beth

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    2 in/ 2 out does not mean for every 2 in you need 2 out. It simply means, before 2 enter, there must be 2 outside ready to assist them if needed. You can have 14 in and still only need the 2 out.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Originally posted by Bones42
    2 in/ 2 out does not mean for every 2 in you need 2 out. It simply means, before 2 enter, there must be 2 outside ready to assist them if needed. You can have 14 in and still only need the 2 out.
    Thank you for that clarification. I am seeing that the person assisting me with the grant misinterpreted that then (as did I). I will be looking into going back to asking for the original 16 SCBA.

    How about the percentages they are asking for in the application... "What percentage of your on-duty active members has PPE that meets current applicable NFPA and OSHA standards"? Are they looking for the same number on all of the PPE (for instance, overall our PPE is 50% up to NFPA and put that for all the entries) or per question, as in our turnout is at 50% and SCBA is at 20% for example. How does this question affect the grant? I know it should be accurate of course, but is it better to have a lower or higher percentage?

    Thanks. I hope I'm not driving you guys nuts.

    Beth

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    I'm not sure that the number of "seated" positions on the apparatus is the issue. Where on the application does it ask how many seats you have on the apparatus? I know that most of our apparatus only have two seats (commercial chassis). I guess they're assuming the "average" traditional engine or truck has at least 4 seated positions.

    I think they're actually looking at the NFPA requirements for automotive fire apparatus, which state that the apparatus must carry 1 SCBA for each seated position, but a MINIMUM of 4.

    We requested enough SCBA's to replace all our existing ones, but they reduced the amount of our award. I think this is because we carry 6 units on all our engines, but NFPA says you only "have to" have 4.

    In reality, once we get our new service truck in later this year, and move our existing service truck to another station, we will have 34 SCBA's in service. We have 28 active members. But since we operate out of 3 stations, and not all units will respond to a given incident, you have to have them set up to work with what's there.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream ó and I hope you don't find this too crazy ó is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    ó C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Originally posted by befferk


    Thank you for that clarification. I am seeing that the person assisting me with the grant misinterpreted that then (as did I). I will be looking into going back to asking for the original 16 SCBA.

    How about the percentages they are asking for in the application... "What percentage of your on-duty active members has PPE that meets current applicable NFPA and OSHA standards"? Are they looking for the same number on all of the PPE (for instance, overall our PPE is 50% up to NFPA and put that for all the entries) or per question, as in our turnout is at 50% and SCBA is at 20% for example. How does this question affect the grant? I know it should be accurate of course, but is it better to have a lower or higher percentage?

    Thanks. I hope I'm not driving you guys nuts.

    Beth


    no you aint driving us nuts but make sure in yor narritive that you are telling them that the current SCBA is not up to NFPA Standards. And that you have 16 seated positions that you need to replace to bring the seated SCBA up to NFPA Standards.

    In the application where it ask you "What percentage of your on-duty active members has PPE that meets current applicable NFPA and OSHA standards"? put 0%. Thne in the next one where it asks "What percentage of your on-duty active members will have PPE that meets current applicable NFPA and OSHA standards if this grant is awarded?
    You put in 100%. Thats what they want to see and also make sure that you put in there that somehow the stuff you are requesting is going to benifit your neighboring or mutual aid departments. They want to see more BANG for their BUCK.

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    If 50% of the PPE you have is NFPA compliant to the current edition, then 50% is what you put in the drop down menu. 0% = fraud = up close visit to the same cell as Martha Stewart.

    The only reason to not ask to replace all SCBA is you can't afford the matching amount for the full project. Otherwise, replace them all because your after award SCBA compliance will not be 100%, and you'd better have a good reason for it.

    www.firegraphics.org/grants.htm is my web site where neiowa mentioned you can view his narrative. Among others.

    Like Bones said, there is no immediate correlation between the dollar amount requested and your call volume. Especially when PPE and SCBA are involved because they score high for 100% compliance in both, and it's hard to do that without spending $1500+ per PPE set, and $4000+ per SCBA.

    And I'm already nuts, no need to drive me anywhere.

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    Originally posted by BC79er

    The only reason to not ask to replace all SCBA is you can't afford the matching amount for the full project. Otherwise, replace them all because your after award SCBA compliance will not be 100%, and you'd better have a good reason for it.

    We DID ask to replace ALL our SCBA so we could be 100% NFPA compliant. They reduced the amount of our award although we COULD afford the matching amount.

    We have 4 engines and a service truck...3 engines carry 6 packs each, one carries 4, and the service truck carries 6 (total of 28).
    They reduced our award amount but didn't say why, only that the max allowed for SCBA was $77,000 (we had requested $85,000). Then I sat down and did the math...the $77,000 would buy 22 air packs....4 per engine x 4 engines + 6 on the service truck = 22 packs. So...I could only assume that they would only allow the number of units that are required , per NFPA, to be on the apparatus, not how many we choose to carry. That's the only reason I could figure.

    So now we have a mix of NFPA compliant packs and some that are not. Still better off than we were, we can now get rid of some of the REALLY old stuff, but not 100% compliant....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream ó and I hope you don't find this too crazy ó is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    ó C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I wish I had done more homework like you are doing, before we wrote some of our grants. All the little expenses that don't come to mind can add up quick. As already mentioned, just stickers, or leather helmet fronts, can cost hundreds. Additionally, most equipment manufacrurers have annual price increases of 5% or more, and with so much grant money out there, the vendors are a little less likely to eat a price increase to make the sale. 2 weeks ago when I last checked, grants were still being awarded from the March of 2004 applications, so plan on the possibility of over a year from submitting your grant, untill you actually place your order. You can call it padding, but accounting for all the little items, and inflation, is just plain smart, and needs to be done if you don't want to build a shortfall into your grant award. We finally learned the hard way, and.... much better.

    Good luck with your grant.

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    Dewayne, I meant for befferk to apply to replace them all, instead of just asking for the 10. Put it on FEMA to reduce the amount for whatever reason they come up with. Kinda strange that they reduced your count. Doesn't seem to follow anything I've come across before. Did they say why?

    Did you buy more than 22? Your application was for 28 @ $3035/pack, and they only reduced you by 3 packs. Very odd, unless they came up with the figure that it ought to be only $2750/pack.

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    Thanks everyone, I am still here. Just takin' it all in. Very interesting points...

    Beth

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