1. #1
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    Default Some want to tell the World, others want to take it to their grave!

    While trying to find out AFG winners I have seen that U.S. Senator Dewine of Ohio post the winners on his web site, under press releases, as soon as they get the information. On the other hand I live in Illinois and after contacting Senator Barack Obama's office and being told they didn't know about the fire grants or when they would be awarded, and that she would know as she was the grant specialist for his office! I informed them that the information is made available to all U.S. Senators on Wednesday prior to the official award day on Friday. I received a call back later after they had made a few calls, they advised that we had not been awarded. I asked about some of our surrounding towns and was told that information would not be let out. My question is why the great difference as to how the information is gave out to the public. Some are dieing to tell the World and others want to take it to their grave!!!!! Just my 2 cents worth.

  2. #2
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    Default

    2004 was the first year that many of the congressfolk even were 'aware' that the announcements were available on Wednesday. In 2002 my department was the 3rd largest award in Texas only behind Houston and Baytown, and we got the call 6 weeks after the announcement, only because I called 2 weeks prior to let them know about the program. I think it's great that so many are involved now, I attended a foam check presentation a few weeks ago. It is vital to the financing and survival of this program that the Senators and Representatives are aware of the program, involved in the local successes (after the fact, no lobbying is done), and there in DC to vote increases in the funding instead of decreases.

    The fire service as a whole has a pretty poor track record of marketing itself, some think that the operations of the department should be hidden from the public. Of course, and educated citizen knows about the Freedom of Information Act, so all FD books are open to the public anyway, so why try to hide? Show the community you serve how bad things are and what you need the money for. You'd be surprised how quickly they'll support you. As long as you present it in a fashion other than: "we're the FD, we need money, give it to us." It doesn't work like that, as so many grant applicants find out.

    Back on track: harness the attention of those in DC while you have it and get them to support the program and increase funding. Even though they can't claim credit for the award, they can still look good making the award notices, so take advantage.

  3. #3
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    Default

    On the flip side, we've tried to contact a winning dept to do a press release from last week's announcement and no one gets back to us.

    Have your Congressman/woman's and/or Senator's rep send their e-mail and contact information to this e-mail:

    afg-congressional-notification@dhs.gov

    Please note that this is only for House of Reps/Senate offices!!
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=fireman601]"they advised that we had not been awarded. I asked about some of our surrounding towns and was told that information would not be let out."

    Fireman601, are they advising you that you did not make that round or that your grant for this year was not awarded?

  5. #5
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    Very true, forgot that point. Several departments tried to hide the fact that they got the grant because they were afraid the community would want to reduce their budget. It tends to make the citizens madder than keeping them informed the entire time. Humans, like most animals, don't generally like surprises.

  6. #6
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    I guess you have to give the Senators any benefit of doubt of what is going on in our World, as they have several working under them that may or may not pass on information that is gave to them. Odds are you or I will never get to talk to them one on one and express our concerns or dept. needs, all we can do is make the effort and hope information gets passed on. I think we are learning as firefighters to educated not just the public but the politicians that vote on budget expenditures/line items/programs that help the fire service!

  7. #7
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    chief827,
    They advised that we had not been awarded in Round 4, I think that based on what I've read on here that the bad news (D.J.'s) will start showing up in our e-mail boxes soon! I guess as in most cases and particularly this one, no news is good news!
    Last edited by fireman601; 09-14-2005 at 11:11 AM.

  8. #8
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    If they were not going to tell you about Round 4 results of surrounding departments, maybe they are not allowed to give that out until it is officially announced.

  9. #9
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    Default Friendly Suggestion

    I know that it has been discussed here previously, but PLEASE keep your elected officials informed. I have found 3 low key, simple approaches that convey the importance of the AFG program.

    1. Request a letter of support when you submit your application, informing them of your request and the benits to your community if funded. I'm not saying that a letter of endorsement will ensure an award, but it is a good way to inform them of the program and let them know it is needed in their district.

    2. If awarded send them a thank you letter, and personnally invite them to the award presentation. Even though FEMA normally notifies them of award presentations, they need to receive an invitation from YOU.

    3. If you recive a DJ drop them a note, thank them for supporting the program and ask them to continue to do so. Express your grattitude for the departments that were helped and point out that there is a continued need.

    I'm certainly not a pro and have plenty of DJs to prove it, but I do know that awarness of the program including the need and benifits in their districts is crucial for their continued support of the AFG.

  10. #10
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    Smile Just received word of grant

    Just received a phone call from Rep. Carnahan's office. We have been awarded a grant for $57,000 for an emergency back-up generator for our building. I called them a few weeks ago when we noticed the award number on our 1199A site. Yahoo!!!!

  11. #11
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    AFD333,
    Kinda the same thought process of "You'll get more bees with honey than vinegar". Inform them and then kill them with kindness, right!

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