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    Default Gear Washing Machine

    I was recently contacted by another department and was asked if I would be interested in helping them with next years grant (How odd that after being awarded close to $800,000 this year, I've suddenly become a popular guy ). I told them that if I were to help, then I would like to sit and begin working on the grant here in the next few months to get a good start on it. We had one preliminary meeting just to make sure that we were all on the same page. So when we first met, the things that we came up with was Gear, SCBA's, a Thermal Imaging Camera, and a industrial grade washing machine for washing their turnout gear. The Gear and SCBA's are much in need of replacement so that was a definite. We talked about the TIC and I think I'm going to try and get them to apply for it through the second phase of the CEDAP. But my question is about the washing machine. I agree that it is useful and allows for safer environment in the station after calls (reduces hydrocarbons and all) and all the other benefits of having clean gear, but is this an item that is going to be looked at as a high priority or is this something that is going to weigh down the overall grant? I'm all for it, but I would much rather see them get the gear and the SCBA and then figure out how to get the money together for the washing machine through some other source of funding such as Wal-Mart or something. Ultimately it's going to be up to them what they apply for. I'm just helping critique information and trying to provide insight, but I thought I would elicit some help with this since I've never spoken to anyone who has received a washing machine through the AFG. Thanks for the help.

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    We got one. We kind of threw it in on the shirttail of SCBAs, as well as some trainig materials. It was the most sought after item in the dept., everybody wanted to know when the washer was coming in so they could get their gear washed. Ours was around $2500, so it wasn't a big part of the $115k award.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    It's going to become the norm that gear washing be part of the solution when applying for PPE. After all, what good is new gear if you can't make it last more than 3 fires? Hosing off after a good overhaul job only goes so far, and of course, is not an NFPA compliant method of decontaminating gear.

    "NFPA for gear cleaning?"
    "Why yes, Margaret, there is an NFPA standard on cleaning PPE."
    "Surely you're kidding?"
    "I'm not kidding, and I won't call you Margaret again if you don't call me Shirley."

    Isn't A.D.D. fu- HEY LOOK AT THE REINDEER!

    Sorry, a little punchy around the office today.

    From our friends at NFPA and my bag of goodies:
    NFPA 1581 Standard on Fire Department Infection Control Program
    NFPA 1851 Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Structural Fire Fighting Protective Ensembles
    NFPA 1852 Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
    NFPA 1971 Standard on Protective Ensemble For Structural Fire Fighting
    NFPA 1976 Standard on Protective Ensemble for Proximity Fire Fighting
    NFPA 1977 Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting
    NFPA 1981 Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus for Fire and Emergency Services
    NFPA 1982 Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS)

    Back on track: Going back to Project Design, I read somewhere you need to make sure to design a feasible solution to a problem, not just hope to buy some new things. PPE and SCBA are good things to have, but your problem is inadequate safety equipment, not old gear. Part of the solution is new PPE and SCBA. How will you be NFPA compliant if you don't already have a gear washer? Spend money every time you have a fire to send it out and take those FFs out of service? No, of course not. Just hose everything off and hope that does the trick? After a bloody wreck I'm not sure I'd wear my own gear again without some fierce cleaning. A gear washer is the solution with the most cost-benefit for ensuring the PPE will last a long time.

    This is the same thought process for SCBA: what good is new SCBA if you can't fill them in a timely manner, either at the station or the scene? If you have a decent call volume, and have to drive more than 20 miles to a M/A department to fill bottles because no one has a mobile solution, then maybe a cascade trailer is for you. If you're tight on dollars, just go with 8-12 big bottles mounted on a trailer with a filling station. Once you fill everything up it's a quick jaunt to the neighbor's compressor to refill.

    Just some random thoughts as I try and avoid emails at the office.

    - Brian
    Brian P. Vickers
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    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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    ANYBODY READING THESE FORUMS PAY ATTENTION TO THE LAST POST HERE....

    That is some good advice and, if you read BC's post good enough, you can really pick up some tips on how to word you narratives. I have been doing that myself for my department and, three grants later, it works!

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    I've gotta tell you, I've been reading the grant forums constantly since about may, and I'm extremely greatful for all the good advice you guys post - Brian's especially. I'm with a small volunteer department, and we applied for our first grant this year (the SAFER - missed the AFG by a few weeks). We'll be applying for the AFG next year, and I'm on the ball with some other grants as well (the CEDAP and a rural grant from the USDA). My dept doesnt have the money to send me to a grant writing workshop, but I've learned so much from paying attention to what you guys have to say that I think we'll be in a good position in '06 to get some funding. Again, thanks guys!
    IAFF - Fire/EMS

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdFireJT
    My dept doesnt have the money to send me to a grant writing workshop,
    The AFG workshops are free, informative and coming to a theater near you this winter

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    always put in the narritive that not only its for your department but open for other departments to use also... they like to see more bang for their bucks!!!! we got one through 2004 grant , it was $7500 for a 4 set washer extractor

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    Default A little help

    For anyone who has purchased a washer / extractor....
    I have just finished building a new fire station and we are badly in need of a washer for the PPE. I don't have any grant $$$ left or anything like that, so I am trying to find the most bang for the buck. Anyone got any frugal suggestions on brands or anything like that????

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    There is a Maytag Vulcan (at least I think that's what it is) that is a commercial washer that has extraction speed. While it's not stainless steel and extra large capacity, it may do the job for you. Check their web site.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

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    Default Oh how i blindly stumbled...

    Wrote my first narrative last spring, and as i've read Brian, Kurt and Alana's "suggestions", i did all right this time on the content. This time i may have gotten lucky, and only by accident. Point is, these three folks (and many of their counterparts) are capable of getting the best shot EVERY time. I didn't say awarded, just getting their clients in the game. (we have no word yet, but the FPS 1199A had the FG application number added Sunday night!!)

    I've learned a bunch from spending time reading the stuff they feed us in exchange for our time. I've also learned a ton from reading between the lines at the comments of some of the naysayers. We are a department with a need and we're looking good at the moment. Next application will be more strategically completed thanks to everybody who contributes to this forum, but with special thanks to those who do it for a life.
    Waiting for 10q's,
    earl
    p.s. Now for content relating to the thread topic--our request this year is for full turnouts, PASS/accountability system (Grace?) and a washer. The washer was presented as a way to improve gear life and firefighter safety.
    Last edited by Greenacres2; 08-30-2005 at 08:33 PM.

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    Default Milnor

    We purchased a Milnor Gear Guardian Washer. If you go to Pellerin Milnor's website they have a link to the Gear Guardian information. They are slightly expensive but they are especially built for the sole purpose of cleaning fire gear. I'm confident it will last a LONG time. We've not had an issue with it in the three years we've had it and it has saved us a ton of money. I actually wrote an article for a laundry magazine about it and how it has essentially paid for itself in the first year or so. We paid for it ourself, no grant money, and we'd do it again. We highly recommend it. (And, we contacted an independent laundry consultant who highly recommended this particular machine.)

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    very good advice from BC indeed. I have found my best grants are when they focus on 1 area, rather than a wish list. Last year SCBA, New Compressor and fill station, and testing equipment so our certified techs can perform all repairs and tests in house.

    This year, new turn out gear, Extractor and Specialized gear dryer. I wrote the grant to show that after the grant we would be compliant with NFPA where now we are not.

    I try to keep my grants focused in one specific area. and build upon that. So many times I see departments apply for hoses, scba, radios, gear and etc in one grant. I honestly feel as if this lowers the score.


    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Steve

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    I too believe in Gear Washers...since I've written so many here lately. I wrote about it in another thread recently. They often get overlooked, and often seem insignificant. If I were writing 30 & 40 K checks for TO gear, I'd want to see an under 10 or 15 K (sometimes only 7500 or so...shop around!) appliance that would extend the life of said gear, possibly (in my opinion, and our district's circumstances - keep the gear from contaminating POVs and civilians & firefighters...etc etc.

    Just my cup of tea

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    we purchased a DEXTER Commercial Washer/Extractor with our 2004 grant award.

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    Talking

    We just purchased a Aurora washer / extractor manufactured by Continental , it will wash 2 sets of gear. The inner and outer drums ,and the outer cabinet are constructed of AISI-304 stainless steel. We also purchased a turnout gear drying cabinet made by Cissell mfg.
    Last edited by eng645; 08-31-2005 at 09:47 PM.

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    We purchased a Dexter washer with our 2004 grant. The narrative addressed meeting NFPA washing standards. It also stressed that 2002 grant funds had purchased our gear, that proper cleaning would greatly extend its life cycle, and that the public's investment in our gear would protected.

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    AC, you hit the nail on the head. You built on the last grant success to justify the next one. This is a little used technique that is extremely succesful for many. In essence you "established need" by using the situation of having new gear and needing to essentially extend further "cost benefit" by extending the life of the gear. Great work there !


    Greenacres, thanks for the kudos, Brian, Dixie and I really would not be doing this, if we didn't genuinely have the concerns of you guys at heart.


    P.S - I hope many of you are paying very close attention to the "interoperable communications" problems arising in New Orleans and the Gulf states.

    As I have said in earlier threads,"IO" regional type grants will be a MAJOR push in 2006. Get ready and start getting your committees formed and doing your studies and needs assessments. The demand for these pros, with that type information, will be great in the coming months. If you wait till the last minute, you will not be able to get their expertise in time to be of use in your application and their comments and information will be of critical importance in getting these type grants through the system next year.

    Also, NIMS is going to continue, at a greatly accelerated pace, to become of primary concern to DHS grants. Don't waste precious time in getting your departments into minimum compliance, lest you be left in the dust when competing with a grant application from those departments who are complying.
    Last edited by ktb9780; 09-01-2005 at 09:04 AM.
    Kurt Bradley
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    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by steverfd
    I try to keep my grants focused in one specific area. and build upon that. So many times I see departments apply for hoses, scba, radios, gear and etc in one grant. I honestly feel as if this lowers the score.
    Wouldn't SCBA's, Turnout Gear, and gear washer all fall into one specific area? PPE? That's what I was trying to do with this grant was keep it to one area only, and I thought I was, but now stepping back, I'm wondering if it does look like a shopping cart. The thought was to justify it through the expression that PPE would then be NFPA compliant where as it is not now. They already have the necessary fill station, compressor, fit test equipment, etc., but what is lacking are these essential components. When we actually first sat down and started talking, they wanted a TIC. In fact, all they really wanted was gear and a TIC. I started talking about SCBA's and knowing the department was talking about the age of their SCBA's and I suggested going after complete PPE and leave the TIC to funding through a source such as CEDAP or Wal-Mart for now. So what's your guys' (and gals of course) thoughts? Asking for too much? Is the spectrum too broad? I just want to do well on this grant because it is the first time writing for a department that is not my home. That combined with the fact that I'm 3 for 3, I figure I have to fail some time and I don't want it to be on their grant. Maybe I'm just paranoid. Maybe I don't have any reason to worry. Maybe I'm right on track. Maybe I should go take my meds to help with the paranoia. Maybe this cubicle is getting smaller. Why is it getting so hot in here? Do you hear those voices?? OMG I better GO!

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    "You're just mad because the voices in your head are talking to me." - Bumper Sticker

    Bunker gear, SCBA and the washer do fit into one category under Ops & Safety, but while related under the PPE hood, they are distinct systems. The washer and bunkers obviously go together as a cost-benefit package. The SCBA does but doesn't fit because they are quite expensive. I mentioned my laundry list theory somewhere else, but here it is again since even I don't know where I put it:

    If the individual cost of an item in your list is low, and coupled with 1 or more higher cost items, then the app starts to beg the question: how important could that lower cost item be if you could have bought several (or all) of the quantity requested with what you're going to need in matching funds according to the app?

    This is the same reason that some apps that ask for gloves and nomex hoods (~$70 total) do not do as well as those that do not. Some items are so inexpensive that they should be bought as needed, especially something like a nomex hood and gloves. Boots and helmets are more expensive, so it's very understandable that a department can't afford them.

    Too many try and bite off a big chunk at once, and while it does happen every now and again, those awards are few and far between, they just happen to be the most publicized, which is very misleading to the untrained eye. This is the reason that you have to design the project for the department based only on their situation as compared to guidelines and research. People will not win easily or consistently basing their project design on someone else's application. The program is too competitive and those minor details can and will mean the difference between award and denial.

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    I'd have to know more info...
    Things like call volume, roster, app. budget (ball park, of course...) vol, combo or career...all makes difference on what and how much your asking for. How many total sets were you ending up going for by your calculations?
    Alana Tomlin Denton
    Freelance Grant Writer/Consultant

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    Quote Originally Posted by dixiechicknc
    I'd have to know more info...
    Things like call volume, roster, app. budget (ball park, of course...) vol, combo or career...all makes difference on what and how much your asking for. How many total sets were you ending up going for by your calculations?
    Hmmm, here's a quick stab in the dark

    Call Volume around 350 a year
    Approximately 30 members
    Budget of around $90K
    All Volunteer

    Some other info - Financially not capable due to the purchase of three new vehicles within the past 5 years. Still in the process of paying those off. That's where the 90K goes to essentially.

    Rough calculations of 30 sets of gear and 16 SCBA's

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    Depending on what those 3 vehicles were and what they were replacing, I see an uphill battle. The question is going to arise when reviewed, how pressing of an issue was it to purchase 3 (not 1) vehicles if the PPE and SCBA were in that bad of shape? Especially with only 350 calls per year, what were those trucks and were they really needed? I know a few departments that run more calls than that with only 2 trucks total. I'm not criticizing the decision to purchase those vehicles, I'm just showing the other side of the coin. These are the kinds of things that have to be taken into consideration when designing projects and justifying financial need in teh narrative.

    I don't want to spill too much yet, my article on writing narratives is almost done and will be up to FH.com this week. I'm afraid if I tell everything here, no one will read it.

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    In my opinion, if it were one of my departments, I would caution them about asking for all three this time. I would recommend picking two: either the TO's and the Gear Washer and wait til nxt year on SCBAs and TIC (or vice versa). I think they (= you) would be in better shape...just a little too much to ask for in light of what they are trying to justify (JUST MY OPINION).

    I have seen too many departments "go all out" and try and get everything in one year and end up with nothing to show for it. Better to have a long range plan, and have something, than nothing.

    What is in worse shape, and putting the guys in MORE of harms way>? The TO's or SCBAs??? That's what I'd ask the Chief and then that's how I'd write the grant. Because essentially, (and backing up what Brian said) trucks don't normally save lives. Gear can and routinely does. OLD GEAR is dangerous. Now, sometimes Really old trucks can be bad for you....LOL...but you usually have an alternative. (And remember, as he mentioned, there are ALWAYS worse departments out there)

    To mention that you can't buy the gear because you just bought 3 trucks isn't enough. Why? Did the district expand? Did a housing boom come in and suddenly the call volume trippled? Why 3 trucks? Or else don't go there...w/o more info.

    The budget vs. calls vs. size of department is about average or a little below average for the ones I work with, so sounds as if that part would be fine. Am gonna send you a PM with another question for you to ask them...
    Alana Tomlin Denton
    Freelance Grant Writer/Consultant

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    I already explained to the guys from the department that it may be an uphill battle, but it's worth a shot.

    To the best of my knowledge, and it will definitely be something I clarify later, but the reason for replacing the trucks went something like this. There second line engine was in much need of replacement and they knew they were going to be replacing it so they had the funds and they purchased a new truck to make it their front line engine and this go around they purchased a pumper/tanker (since their area is mainly rural and unhydranted). Well they were working on plans to save money to replace their tanker which was also in desperate need. As the plans were moving forward and they were saving money, I believe it was the old tanker went down...like out of comission down. So they went to the village and asked for a "bond" and borrowed the money, so while they were borrowing they got enough to replace the tanker and their special service vehicle. The replacement of the special services vehicle was a large debate internally and there was quite the scuttle butt about it through out the rest of the departments in the county. The thought was that they needed gear and SCBA's, but that was their Chief's decision, so not much else we can do now. Meanwhile, their guys are still using gear that is 10-15 years old and using SCBA's that are even older. So I guess that's where I come in. They have yet to receive any funding through the AFG, and I've already warned them that just because I'm involved doesn't mean things are going to change. I do think that I have a better picture now, and as much as I hate to, I think I may talk them into just applying for the TO and the washer and go for the SCBA's later. I mean they really do need both, but don't want to jeapordize things. Would much rather be successful than to spend all that time and energy in something that isn't going to fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jboczek
    There is a Maytag Vulcan (at least I think that's what it is) that is a commercial washer that has extraction speed. While it's not stainless steel and extra large capacity, it may do the job for you. Check their web site.
    Heck you can buy a Maytag made 40 minutes from here.

    Wait, they closed that down and shipped production to Mexico. Why would you recommend a company who does something like that???
    FTM - PTB

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