Thread: Safer Grant

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    Default Safer Grant

    Anyone heard anything in reference to "SAFER" grant such as program guidelines ???

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    Just a lot of speculation. I don't think the official rules have come out yet.

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    "DHS also announced that the application period for the AFG Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants will begin on May 31, 2005 and continue through June 28, 2005."

    Probably will see the Guidance docs within the next 2-3 weeks, maybe longer. I can't remember exactly but I thought it was around 30 days before the app period opened that the docs have been coming out. Although I downloaded the PG doc on February 25th, and I usually aim for getting it the first day so maybe they were late this year.

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    Default SAFER prgram guidance

    SAFER guidance has been around the horn and is currently in upper management's hands. Program guidance will most likely be posted during the second week of May.(early May).
    The opinions stated herein are those of the author and in no way shape or form reflect the opinions of any organization(s) that I am in any way affiliated with unless otherwise indicated.

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    Does anyone know if the SAFER grants will fund existing staffing levels for combination departmetnts, ie will it pay for our existing 24-hour reserve coverage? We presently run two career and one or two reserve staff daily. I'm wondering if SAFER will foot the bill for the reserves. Do we know anything about this grant?

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    SAFER is specifically to add NEW full time staffing to dept. To increase manning at paid depts or for vol. depts to add a full time firefighter.

    Not to pay dept current headcount. Same as the COPS program of a few years ago. Not a place to play games as several police depts did with COPS.

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    Post Funding of positions

    SAFER will fund any position that was previously NOT funded.
    The opinions stated herein are those of the author and in no way shape or form reflect the opinions of any organization(s) that I am in any way affiliated with unless otherwise indicated.

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    Warrenj is right. Additionally, in order to be eligible for consideration, it is my understanding (from a Fire Act Grant seminar where some small information was given out on safer) that in order to be considered eligible, you must have all current approved positions filled. You can not be holding vacancies....
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    In addition to the above, SAFER will fund recruitment and retention efforts by volunteer departments. I also heard that there was to be an addendum to SAFER which says that personnel funded by SAFER cannot be made to stop volunteering at their current vol. dept.

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    Well.....I personally do not have a problem with that. I will not turn this forum into a Union vs Volunteer bashing frenzy, but you can bet the IAFF will lobby hard to get that smashed...
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    Hey Capt.,

    You are right and I definitely do not want to turn this into a career/vol. fight. I did read this in the news section of either Firehouse or Fire Engineering (can we talk about another mag here?) and the amendment was sponsored by the Congressman who used to be a Chief in his local dept. I can't remember his name now.

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    Curt Weldon from PA was a volunteer, can't remember if he was Chief or not, but he was one of the authors of the FireACT to begin with, and one of the proponents of the clause that said that if a career department's city says that their FFs cannot volunteer for the department where they live, then they are ineligible to apply for federal funding. Aimed at Hartford and the others. From what little I heard about that being dropped was there wasn't enough time to verify that it was a legal thing to do, so rather than jeopardize the whole program in case of lawsuits, they dropped it for this year. I haven't heard anything about it being picked up again for 2006.

    Can't say I would support it, I don't think it's the right way to go about addressing that issue, not letting them get a grant hurts the FFs more than the cities passing such rules.

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    Default SAFER and FFrs Stop Volunteering

    Rumor control:

    Is there an addendum to SAFER which says that personnel funded by SAFER cannot be made to stop volunteering at their current volunteer fire department.

    No rumor --

    It was part of the original legislation. As a condition of funding, no firefighter position funded by SAFER can be precluded from volunteering at another fire department. Remember, SAFER funds a position, not a specific fire fighter, so it may be hard to prove a violation.
    The opinions stated herein are those of the author and in no way shape or form reflect the opinions of any organization(s) that I am in any way affiliated with unless otherwise indicated.

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    My only concern is that in the first year the Safer Grant is only approved for $65,000,000. Based on a $50,000 salary = Benefits that would be around 1,000 new firefighter positions nationwide (assuming it would take 3 people to fill one spot, working 24/48).

    Divided by the 50 states, the major metropolitan areas and the fact that a portion of the money must go to volunteer recruitment and retention programs, I don't think the 65 million is going to go very far to address our nations staffing problems, hopefully the program will receive full funding in the future.

    A Second question would be which is more important:

    Adding additional firefighters to already career fire departments who may be understaffed or adding career staffing to departments that have no career staffing? Who would you give the priority to?

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