1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ameryfd's Avatar
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    Nov 2003

    Red face Congressional Letters of Support

    To bring up a dead horse.... We had quite a bit of discussion in the past here about whether or not letters of support help your chances with the AFG... I may have found the answer. This is a press release from our Senator that came out today. I'm thinking that this is the extent of benefit and I'm guessing it's not much or any


    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold is strongly supporting grant requests from Wisconsin fire departments for the 2005 round of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The program, also known as the FIRE Act grants, delivers much needed resources to local fire departments for things like new fire fighting vehicles and life saving equipment. Feingold recently sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asking for full and fair consideration for each of the Wisconsin grant applications.

    “I continue to be a strong supporter of these grants, which make it possible for fire departments around Wisconsin to receive the tools and training they need to keep our communities safe,” Feingold said. “As our brave volunteer and career firefighters put themselves in harm’s way each day, they deserve the resources that will help them save lives.”

    According to the DHS, Wisconsin communities have sent 696 applications for FIRE Act grants to the Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP), the DHS office that assists state and local officials with their emergency response needs, including the awarding of FIRE Act grants. Wisconsin firefighters received almost $19 million from this important grant program last year.

    “At virtually every meeting I have with Wisconsin firefighters, they tell me about the vital importance of FIRE Act grants and how those grants allow them to get needed equipment and training they would otherwise be unable to afford,” Feingold wrote.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    N2DFire's Avatar
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    Feb 2000
    S.W. Virginia


    Well to be 100% honest - I couldn't tell you if they help or not but . . .

    1) It doesn't cost you anything to ask for one.
    2) It sure can't hurt.

    Also some politicians are more supportive than others.

    Our congressman (Virgil H. Goode) was a co-sponsor of the bill that created the AFG. When my VFD applied for the first time in '02 Mr. Goodes office contacted us and asked if they could add a letter of support to our application !! How's that for service.

    This year I applied again for AFG and sent letters requesting support to the respective offices of:
    Virgil Goode (Congressional Rep.)
    George Allen (VA Senator)
    John Warner (VA Senator)
    Mark R. Warner (Governor of VA)

    I actually faxed my letters in to each office before Noon on a Monday. The next day we received a copy of the letter sent on our behalf from Congressman Goodes office & on Wednesday came the letter from Senator Allen. Once again I ask - How's that for service?

    Still don't know if either of the Warner's could do or did anything for us, but with congressman Goode in our corner, I'm sure we'll get the best chance possible.

    2 weeks ago we got the "8 Questions" e-mail and our '05 grant # is referenced on our 1199a form so it looks VERY good for us this year. Based on my own evaluation of my grant writing skills - I have to think that our support letters had at least some part in that.

    Wish you the best of luck on your grant application.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless

  3. #3
    FH Mag/.com Contributor

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Cypress, TX


    Letters of support aren't involved in the scoring or award process. They're used to bolster the argument that the program is very needed, and to show that congressional officials know about the program and its benefits so that the AFG folks are well armed with paperwork so that they can fight for more funding.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ktb9780's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Auburndale, FL


    It keeps the program in the fore-front of their minds so that when the bills start being proposed or budget cuts etc., they have a reference point as to how improtant the program is to their constituients.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    KB, Check your PM

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