Thread: Fire Act Grants

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Oct 2002
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    New Hampshire
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    Angry Fire Act Grants

    I have yet to figure out why we havent made it to the final round for grant consideration. We have been applying for SCBA packs as our priority for all years of the Fire Act grants. We reduced the amount being asked for each consecutive year. Crist if we don't get a grant this year I think we will be breathing from garden hoses stretched in with our handlines. Our current air packs while only 5 years old are a maintenence nightmare. We have a total of 20 packs and at any given time we have 5-6 packs out of service for repairs due to critical failures. This is how our equipment requests have gone year to year

    2001- SCBA (25)
    High Pressure Cascade System TOTAL $235,000
    500 Ft wet Pack 1 3/4 " Hose DENIED
    10 TFT 1 1/2 " Midmatic nozzels

    2002 SCBA (20) with spare bottles
    Gas Meter total $170,000
    DENIED
    Masks for all personnel (25)

    2003 SCBA 20 no spare bottles

    2004 SCBA
    Nozzels total $156,000
    training materials DENIED just prior to last round

    2005 SCBA (20)
    Accountability system total $139,000

    God only knows if we will get it this year

    I don't know what the previous grant writers were doing wrong, but the new chief has been successfull with his previous department to the tune of about $500,000 so I am hoping that the change in grant writers will do the trick.

  2. #2
    FH Mag/.com Contributor

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Cypress, TX
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    This is when you have to read between the lines on the denial letter. I've put it up several times in the forums and will be dicussing it in greater detail in the 4th article in my series on this web site but it goes like this:

    1st Denial Round: wrong project, did not make it to peer review
    2nd Denial Round: project was borderline on score, but reviewed, narrative not scored high enough to bring it up, or brought it down.
    3rd Denial Round: project scored high enough to make peer review, narrative just OK. Or, high project score, narrative didn't address questions expected.
    4th Denial Round: Project scored very high, narrative written very well, they just ran out of money.

    IMHO, in 2001 the hose and nozzles killed it.
    2002: the gas meter & masks (masks are relatively cheap)
    2003: depends on the denial round
    2004: nozzles & training materials killed it.
    2005: SBCA & complete Accountability system is a very high priority project. Will depend on the narrative. And technically the budget of the department.

    To give the short story since I'm supposed to be out mowing the lawn instead of playing with the computer right now, just like the DHS Powerpoint stated, one of the top 10 reasons for denials is mixing high and low priority items. Even though personal masks may seem like a high priority, they are relatively cheap compared to the SCBA itself, the main project, and theorectically the department should be able to afford them because for starters, you get a mask as part of the SCBA price. Even if you want 25 extra masks (ours with voice amp were only $400 each) so a couple of thousand in cabbage "should" be able to be handled on the dept side without the grant. Anything that costs less than the matching on your main (most expensive) request, should not be on the application because obviously you have money to handle it, so the thought it they could have been bought by now. As Kurt has said several times, it's the appearing needy versus appearing greedy argument.

    Now don't take it personally and think I'm attacking what's been done, I'm just going on generalities based on the few thousand hours I've got into this. Without knowing what the specific application looked like along with the other statistics surrounding the department, anyone one of us is just guessing. As I've said in the forums and in the first article, this program does come down to fractions of a point sometimes, you need to make sure you capitalize on all of them.

    Part of being a grants consultant (I hate writer, we all do more than that) is analyzing everything to make sure that the RIGHT department is applying for the RIGHT project for the RIGHT grant program. That is what separates the grant consultants from the grant writers. And yes, there are several of us around here that can qualify for this title IMHO.

    Even though we're "competition" I'd be flat out lying if I said otherwise, so Kurt (ktb9780), Alana (dixiechicknc), myself that do it professionally can all take that title because I know them and how they work and we have all more than proven ourselves. Even a few folks that just do their own department and a few other neighbors (ameryfd, neiowa to name a couple) all have shown the ability to repeat success for multiple departments and could take on such a title.

    Just simply comparing a project against the PG docs is not an indicator of a competitive proposal, it's a competitive program. That's what separates "writers" from "consultants".

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