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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default Bush Signs DHS Appropriations bill 06...AFG CUT!!!!

    President Signs DHS Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2006

    President Bush signed into law the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (HR 2360), worth $31.9 billion. The law decreases funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program, increases funding for the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, and provides a first-ever direct appropriation to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). The law also implements Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff's "second stage review," which would move a number of department functions, including the USFA, into a new Preparedness Directorate.



    "While I am disappointed by the cut in AFG funds, I congratulate and thank Congress and the president for approving many changes that would benefit America's fire service," said IAFC President Chief Bill Killen. "I am delighted that the U.S. Fire Administration now has its own line item. As the fire service's main voice in the federal government, the USFA deserves its own funding."



    The FIRE Act and SAFER

    Full funding for the AFG program (also known as the "FIRE Act") and the SAFER Act were two of the IAFC's top lobbying priorities. The FIRE Act will receive $545 million in FY 2006, which is a decrease from the FY 2005 appropriation of $650 million. SAFER will receive $110 million, which is an increase from the FY 2005 appropriation of $65 million. The IAFC, along with the other major fire service organizations, will continue to lobby for increased funding for both grant programs in future fiscal years. The IAFC encourages its members to explain to their members of Congress how this cut to the FIRE Act will affect their departments. Since this is an annual appropriation, Congress will vote to fund this program again next year for FY 2007.



    A positive outcome for the FIRE Act in this law is direction from Congress to make sure this grant program is used for all-hazards - rather than terrorism - preparedness. Congress also directs DHS to maintain a number of eligible categories that the president had sought to eliminate. Those categories include wellness and fitness programs, emergency medical services (EMS), fire prevention programs, public education programs and modifications of facilities for the health and safety of personnel.



    DHS Reorganization

    The law also moves the USFA into the new Preparedness Directorate that Secretary Chertoff intends to create as part of his "second stage review." This review was an in-depth look at DHS from top to bottom to determine whether the department could be organized more efficiently. In appropriating money for a Preparedness Directorate, this law allows Secretary Chertoff to move forward with his plans.



    The new directorate will house Infrastructure and Information Security programs; USFA; the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, which distributes homeland security grant funds; and the Office of National Capital Region Coordination. The new directorate will not include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will become a stand-alone response function within DHS. In its conference report on the law, Congress directs the Preparedness Directorate to work with FEMA "to continue an all-hazard approach for preparation, response and recovery to any type of disaster."



    The IAFC lobbied for the creation of the new Preparedness Directorate.



    USFA

    At the request of the IAFC, Congress included a specific line item to fund the USFA. In February, the IAFC held a summit on Capitol Hill with 16 major fire service organizations in order to examine USFA funding and determine a course of action to address concerns that the agency and its training arm, the National Fire Academy, were losing funding. This summit and a subsequent meeting of 44 fire and emergency service organizations determined that it was necessary for USFA to have its own line item in the president's budget and appropriations bills to clarify USFA's funding levels.



    Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), a co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, joined with eight other senators to introduce a successful amendment to provide the USFA with a line item of $52.6 million. Congress ultimately approved $44.9 million, of which more than $4.5 million is for the Noble Training Center. This funding level includes all of USFA's activities except for the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). Under Secretary Chertoff's "second stage review," USFA will move to the new Preparedness Directorate, while EMI will remain under the jurisdiction of FEMA.



    Having a line item elevates the status of the USFA within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a function that deserves individual attention and consideration.



    National Incident Management System

    Another accomplishment for the fire service in this law is an appropriation of $22 million for the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration Center (the NIC). The NIC is responsible for making sure that every party responding to a small- or large-scale incident - from first responders to government leaders - understands a single incident management system. The response to Hurricane Katrina made clear that this nation is nowhere near being ready to implement the NIMS, and that the NIC must take more aggressive steps to train government officials at all levels in this system - and hold them accountable to it. Increased funding will allow the NIC to expand its outreach programs.



    Interoperable Communications

    The Senate committee report would have required all grant dollars for interoperable communications to be used on Project 25 (P25) compliant equipment. That report language contradicted existing grant guidance developed by SAFECOM and the public safety community that would mandate the purchase of P25 equipment but allow departments to purchase other equipment if there are "compelling reasons." The IAFC argued that this exception should stand, since a small volunteer fire department should be allowed to receive a federal grant to buy radios that cost $500 instead of $3,500. Congress agreed, and allowed the exception to remain in the law.



    In addition, Congress appropriated $26.5 million for the Office of Interoperability and Compatibility, including $5 million for the expanded deployment of RapidCom.



    Homeland Security Grant Formula

    Finally, the bill changes the way that DHS will award homeland security grants. The change is only for FY 2006; however, it may set a precedent for future years.



    For the past two years, the House Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have sought to make these grants more risk-based. However, the two committees could not agree on an approach. This law meets them in the middle. It requires DHS to distribute $950 million in state formula grants, including the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) grants, so that each state receives at least 0.75 percent of the total. DHS will distribute the rest according to the ratio of each state's population to the total national population. The law also provides $765 million in discretionary grants for high-threat, high-density urban areas (commonly referred to as the Urban Areas Security Initiative - or UASI - cities). DHS will distribute all of that money based on risk.



    House Homeland Security staff estimate that under this new formula, DHS will allocate 21.6 percent of the funding based on the state minimums and 78.4 percent based on risk. Each state will receive a minimum of just over $7 million, compared with more than $11 million in FY 2005.



    The IAFC has not taken a position on any change in the federal homeland security funding formula.



    Other Changes

    Other areas of interest in this law include:

    § National Preparedness Goal: The law requires DHS to issue the final National Preparedness Goal by Dec. 31, 2005.

    § Catastrophic Planning: The law directs the Secretary of DHS to report on the status of catastrophic planning, including mass evacuation planning in all 50 states and the 75 largest urban areas, by Feb. 10, 2006.

    § Rapid Decontamination Preparedness: The law directs ODP, in consultation with the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, the Environmental Protection Agency and other relevant federal agencies, to plan to establish a regionally based, pre-positioned rapid response capability for the decontamination of biological and chemical agents.

    § Quadrennial Review: The law requires DHS to conduct a Quadrennial Homeland Security Review similar to the quadrennial reviews conducted by the Department of Defense. The first review must be completed by Sept. 30, 2008.

    § EMS: Congress expressed concern that not enough first responder grant funding reaches EMS providers. Congress directs the DHS Office for Domestic Preparedness, which awards grants, "to require state and local governments to include EMS representatives in planning committees as an equal partner and to facilitate a nationwide EMS needs assessment." Congress also directs ODP to evaluate how much money goes to EMS providers and to require an explanation from any state that provides less than 10 percent of its grant funding to EMS providers.



    Below is a chart of select appropriations for Fiscal Year 2006:



    Program
    FY 2006 Appropriation
    FY 2005 Appropriation

    Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program
    $50 million
    $50 million

    Emergency Management Performance Grants
    $185 million
    $180 million

    FIRE Act
    $545 million
    $650 million

    Metropolitan Medical Response System
    $30 million
    $30 million

    National Domestic Preparedness Consortium
    $145 million
    $135 million

    National Exercise Program
    $52 million
    $52 million

    NIMS Integration Center
    $22 million
    $15 million

    Office of Interoperability and Compatibility
    $26.5 million
    $21 million

    Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium
    $10 million
    $5 million

    SAFER Act
    $110 million
    $65 million

    State Homeland Security Grant Program
    $2.105 billion (separated into formula-based and discretionary grants
    $2.7 billion (including $885 million for high-threat, high-density urban areas)

    *Formula-Based Grants

    (SHSGP and LTP)
    $950 million
    N/A

    *Discretionary Grants
    $1.155 billion (including $765 million for high-threat, high-density urban areas)
    N/A

    Urban Search and Rescue
    $20 million
    $30 million
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Geeze,now there's a shock.Look at all the good "beefing"up the DHS office did. Thank god they hired Paulson(for Fema) maybe at least now they'll know where the ice is. TOO many layers of bureaucracy with computer that can't talk to each other.Worked better when there were a half a dozen humans that could(talk to each other).Oh well when you're lower than whale dung the only way you can go is up. T.C.

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    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    I am so dissapointed in our Fed level emergnecy responce agencies.

    This is the year that has realy dont it in for me. I dont have the confidence in them to be able to handle anything at this point.

    And I still can not figure out why the Fire Service gets beat up every single year!

    DHS has become a monster that is eating the entire nation!

    Like Godzilla, only scarier.

    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Are you people nuts? They could give you guys $100 and you would bitch because it ws in $20 bills.

    This appropriation is GOOD FOR THE FIRE SERVICE!

    1. Yes, the AFG was cut less than $100 million. But the SAFER grants were increased dramatically. Maybe they are tired of buying physical fitness equipment and bells and whistles we don't really need. Puttnig money into manpower is a smart thing.

    2. Getting the USFA out of FEMA is the biggest gift they can possibly give the fire service. The agency has its own line item and is also no longer tied to EMI. That, hjopefully, means no more bastard stepchild.

    3. The DHS grants aer going to be awarded more based on all-hazards and risk approach than on strictly terrorism.

    4. We got gobs of money for NIMS.

    5. There aer increases in other grant programs that are available to the fire service.

    6. They are recognizing the criris in inter-operability in communications systems.

    7. They are directing DHS to provide more funding for EMS.

    What the hell else do you guys want? I seriously get the impression that unless they provide every FD in the country with new apparatus, new gear, new communications and new stations, some of you would never be happy.

    These appropriations are leaps and bounds more than we were getting ten years ago. How about we all call our Senators and the White House and thank them for what they have done instead of knocking them because you didn't get everything you wanted?

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    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Default If you look at the bigger picture.

    From Firehouse.com, don't have a date...

    The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program has $105 million less to provide in FY2006 while the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants program grew by nearly 70 percent.

    With unanimous approval Friday, the Senate sent President Bush for his signature the $31.9 billion Department of Homeland Security budget, boosting the DHS budget by 5 percent. But the bill cuts funding for first-responder grants for states and local governments by about 17 percent.

    The numbers of interest are $110 million for SAFER and $545 million for AFG, which is a total of $155 million more than the President’s original request.

    The U.S. Fire Administration, a unit of FEMA in DHS also had its budget cut for next year by about $11 million to $44,948.000, according to figures from the Congressional Fire Services Institute.

    President Bush’s FY2006 budget proposal included only $500 million for the AFG and no funding for SAFER, severely cutting the funding levels of $650 million for the Fire Grant Program and $65 million for the SAFER Program in FY2005.

    I think they did a pretty darn good job with what they're working with.
    Last edited by DianeC; 10-20-2005 at 11:11 AM. Reason: add a thought.
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    This appropriation is GOOD FOR THE FIRE SERVICE!



    I agree with you George! These allowable dollars do need to be wisely spent by recipients and we should all watch to see that we get the highest and best use of the federal funds.

    I believe they did an outstanding job for the Fire Service.
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    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Are you people nuts? They could give you guys $100 and you would bitch because it ws in $20 bills.
    They havent proven that I am insane yet...so the answer to that is...

    "I used to think you were crazy...but now I can see you nuts."



    This appropriation is GOOD FOR THE FIRE SERVICE!
    Not good enough IMO.

    When is enough enough...just a little more...

    1. Yes, the AFG was cut less than $100 million. But the SAFER grants were increased dramatically. Maybe they are tired of buying physical fitness equipment and bells and whistles we don't really need. Puttnig money into manpower is a smart thing.
    How many VFDs are awarded grants for physcial fitness equipment each year?

    None in my area. Everybody has went for basic equipment. There are still many critical needs not met.

    2. Getting the USFA out of FEMA is the biggest gift they can possibly give the fire service. The agency has its own line item and is also no longer tied to EMI. That, hjopefully, means no more bastard stepchild.
    It helps a ton. The whole fed system is still mucked up though. This years herrican season has realy shown just how prepared we are...were not. Thowing more monen on the pile is a waste of time.

    AFG works differently. It works form the bottom up! How are you going to be a Terrorism superstar if you cant meet/master basic fire fighting needs???

    How are you going to respond to a huge natural disaster when your FD has difficulty operating and responding to daily emergencies because they are short on critical basic fire service equipment?

    Short answer...your not going to be ready for the big one when you stuggle with the little one.

    There are many FDs nation wide that struggle with basic firefighting. Its just a reality of small budgets and yes...small voly FDs. God Bless em for trying, but sometimes they come up short.

    AFG is about the ONLY thing that works to try and fix this problem...

    FROM THE BOTTOM UP!!!!

    3. The DHS grants aer going to be awarded more based on all-hazards and risk approach than on strictly terrorism.
    If you are a hurricane prone area, get ready for money! All hazard is a good approach, I concur.

    4. We got gobs of money for NIMS.
    Which is just re-naming ICS, which the majority of emergency service were already using prior to NIMS, prior to 911.

    5. There aer increases in other grant programs that are available to the fire service.
    Do any of those provide for basic fire fighting equipment needs?

    I am not aware of any.

    What programs are you refering to?

    6. They are recognizing the criris in inter-operability in communications systems.
    Not so much a technology or money problem. More so a people problem. There are a lot of agencies that simply refuse to talk to each other...even when they are both holding P25 $5000 dollar radios!

    7. They are directing DHS to provide more funding for EMS.
    A good thing. EMS to me is the most vital portion of emergnecy services. I feel this way because it directly saves the most lives of any service. Its also the service that requires the most expertise IMO.

    It has not been given adequate support from a Fed level IMO.

    What the hell else do you guys want? I seriously get the impression that unless they provide every FD in the country with new apparatus, new gear, new communications and new stations, some of you would never be happy.
    I want for the USA Fire Service:

    - Every firefither (voly or paid) in the US to have up to date adequate PPE and SCBA. If they serve a wildfire area to have wildland PPE as well.
    - Every firefighter in the US to have adequate coms system. I am not a huge P25 fan, there are many other solutions. They will come with time. Get the people talking is Key!
    - Every firefighter in the US to have safe, reliable, and effective fire apparatus that complies with modern safety standards. No, doesnt need to be new, dosnt need to be anything. Just safe, reliable, and works. You would be surprised at how many places have apparatus that doesnt fit ANY of the 3 above items! Not good.
    - Every firefighter it the US to have a basic wellness program. No, not a fully equiped gym. Just physicals, health checks, etc...its a hazardous thing we ask our FFs to do. Most paid FDs can take care of their people pretty well. There are Voly FDs that dont have any health screening or any such thing for thier people. Not good.
    - Every fire department to have modern tools of firefighting such as TICs, gas detectors, etc... tools that enhance safety and effectiveness. This is NOT Bells and Whistles, this is NOT TOYS!!! These are effective tools that greatly enhane safety for one. The price of these tools places them out of reach for most communities. Thats can only be fixed in many cases by AFG.
    - Every EMT to have the tools they need to be effective. IEDs for all...PPE for all, etc...
    - Every ambulance to be safe, reliable, and compliant with modern safety standards.

    When all that is taken care of and a long term maintenace plan in place then you can go ahead and cut AFG for all I care.

    Until then we have people laying on the line in dangerous apparatus, with worn out PPE (some with hoodes sweashirts), with little hope of improving their lot in the emergnecy service life without AFG grants.

    To me this is unacceptable. Yes, much of the burden to support these dedicated a people must come from the local level. But that is often to little to meet these CRICTICAL NEEDS!!!!

    These appropriations are leaps and bounds more than we were getting ten years ago. How about we all call our Senators and the White House and thank them for what they have done instead of knocking them because you didn't get everything you wanted?
    I do thank them...when they call and tell us we have an AFG grant.

    When there is less money to go around there is less of a chance We (The under funded fire service in the USA) will get our critical needs met though AFG.

    When that happens our elected representatives have failed, they do not get a thank you then. They loose many votes and they get critsized for not doing their job well enough. Thats the life of a politician. They work of us, and we can bitch at them all we want!

    They have left that first responder who is driving a 40 year old dangerous fire truck, wearing 3 generation hand me down PPE with holes in it, breathing though a we hankerchef to filter toxic smoke in the same bad situation he is in. Will he stop puttin himself in that situaiton? Most often not. Most of the time these folks soldier on and take the bad with the job they are doing.

    But by God that doesnt make it right. We as a nation need to take care of those that take are of us!

    I feel so strongly about this because I see these people in this situation! I personaly know firefighters that were using coveralls as PPE in the last 5 years!

    Thanks to AFG they have a modern firetruck (not new, just basic, safe, and reliable), up to date PPE, and soon new SCBAs that you can actualy breath easy knowing they will work!

    The AFG is the single greatest grant program the Federal Government has ever came up with.

    It saddens me greatly when I see it slowing shrining away.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    You are certinaly entitled to your opinion.

    But every single issue you raise is indicative of the overall problem.

    Fire Service is a local issue that must be met first by local funding.

    The author of the original Fire Act bill is from the county next to mine. I know for a fact that it was never dsigned or intended to be a substitute for local funding. It was meant to be a supplementary program.

    To say that the AFG is the only answer to this problem is to completely abdicate any responsibility whatsoever from the local governments. The laudry list of items that you "want" is akin to a federal takeover of the fire service. Is that what you want? Because, if you do, you are nuts. That would be a very scary thing, indeed.

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    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    George,Nowhere did I say this was bad for the Fire service. Funding for manpower? Now where does that play in a state that is PREDOMINATELY volunteer? USFA a separate line item? Yes that's a good thing.Remember when it was the lead agency for the Fire service?Then it tipped toward FEMA,then it was the "new"DHS? Too many layers of bureacracy.Anything we get is "good". NIMS? While it's a great idea,how well did it work in La? And just because it didn't work all that well doesn't mean it shouldn't be implemented/ used,but I think there's probably a few other "areas"that could use some attention first. And I KNOW you won't agree on this but how about putting a few people in office that are actually QUALIFIED(by training and experience) to ACTUALLY perform the job they were hired for? And there has been some items bought with AFG funds that might not have been a "nuts and bolts" necessity but I dare say there have been a great number of well thought out,absolutely essential purchases. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101
    George,Nowhere did I say this was bad for the Fire service. Funding for manpower? Now where does that play in a state that is PREDOMINATELY volunteer? USFA a separate line item? Yes that's a good thing.Remember when it was the lead agency for the Fire service?Then it tipped toward FEMA,then it was the "new"DHS? Too many layers of bureacracy.Anything we get is "good". NIMS? While it's a great idea,how well did it work in La? And just because it didn't work all that well doesn't mean it shouldn't be implemented/ used,but I think there's probably a few other "areas"that could use some attention first. And I KNOW you won't agree on this but how about putting a few people in office that are actually QUALIFIED(by training and experience) to ACTUALLY perform the job they were hired for? And there has been some items bought with AFG funds that might not have been a "nuts and bolts" necessity but I dare say there have been a great number of well thought out,absolutely essential purchases. T.C.
    Why wouldn't I agree that weneed qualified people in that office? BTW, we HAVE qualified people there. Dave Paulison is a fire service guy who is quite capable of heading the agency and keeping the best interests of the fire service in the forefront. Hopefully, they will put someone in there just as qualified to replace him )if he stays at FEMA). Denis O'Niell is the quintessential fire service professional. The changes he has made during his watch at the NFA have been unparalleled in the history of that facility.

    By having the USFA all by itself, it puts the agency out in the sunlight and will allow it to truly serve the fire service.

    BTW, I have found that in order for NIMS/ICS to work, you actually have to use it.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    National Incident Management System

    Another accomplishment for the fire service in this law is an appropriation of $22 million for the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration Center (the NIC). The NIC is responsible for making sure that every party responding to a small- or large-scale incident - from first responders to government leaders - understands a single incident management system. The response to Hurricane Katrina made clear that this nation is nowhere near being ready to implement the NIMS, and that the NIC must take more aggressive steps to train government officials at all levels in this system - and hold them accountable to it. Increased funding will allow the NIC to expand its outreach programs.
    What a revelation. NIMS magically appears, Feds say that we have to use it, has everyone from school teachers to county deputies putting on the PowerPoint presentation and then can't understand why it didn't work in Louisiana? That is funny! (Oh, but here is a credit card with a $250,000 limit. Don't abuse it!)
    I like what I see. More for SAFER; less for FIRE Act. I expect that the ones who have cracked the secret to winning each year will be especially distraught. They will now have to turn to the locals for their new toys. Whoops; you weren't suppose to hear that.
    It's still a program that serves the greedy and not necessarily the needy.
    Of course, that is an opinion from someone who has yet to get a grant under this program.
    Thaz rite; I are two stupudd two rite a sucksessfull grand applekaskun.
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    Last edited by ChiefReason; 10-20-2005 at 01:03 PM. Reason: puncuation
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    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    You are certinaly entitled to your opinion.

    But every single issue you raise is indicative of the overall problem.
    Spoken true.

    IMO the overall problem is lack of adequate funding for many agencies of the US Fire Service.

    Fire Service is a local issue that must be met first by local funding.
    Every FD and VFD surely has a localy supplied budget of some sort. Sometimes this is a very tiny number.

    This local funding does not always meet the basic needs of the agency. Hence the AFG.

    If the needs can be met by local funding then the local fire service agency will not recieve a AFG grant! Thats how the system is supposed to work. Its not perfect but its one of the best grant programs out there IMO.

    The author of the original Fire Act bill is from the county next to mine. I know for a fact that it was never dsigned or intended to be a substitute for local funding. It was meant to be a supplementary program.
    AFG is not to substitute for local funding, it is supplementary program.

    There is no single FD in the USA that uses AFG to fund its day to day operations. That is not an eligable item under AFG.

    Every FD/VFD out there has a locally spplied budget. When they get an AFG grant it supplements their budget to meed critical needs.

    The author of the AFG got it just right and it is working as intended.

    To say that the AFG is the only answer to this problem is to completely abdicate any responsibility whatsoever from the local governments. The laudry list of items that you "want" is akin to a federal takeover of the fire service. Is that what you want? Because, if you do, you are nuts. That would be a very scary thing, indeed.
    Local government does get off to easy. But that still leaves the fire responders hanging out there un an un-safe condition.

    AFG is not the only answer, but its one of the best and it works. There just needs to be more of it.

    Feds taking over the fire service????

    No, doesnt sounds good.

    I wouldnt mind seeing though a standardized stockpile of equipment for under funded FD/VFDs. Instead of everybody scrambling for a grant to get what they need, let some of the federal money go to buy a stockpile of gear bid out at a good price.

    Then the small FDs/VFDs are issued equipment by the Feds.

    Here is your basic Class A pumper, here is you PPE, here is your SCBA, here are your standardized radios. Use them for 10 years, come back and we refurbish the truck give you PPE/SCBA replacements as needed. Use the truck 10 more years, you trade it in for a new one.

    This would work very similar to the Coop agreement between local government and some State DNRCs. Our DNRC issues out wildland firetrucks to local governmentally established FD/VFDs. The trucks are owned and maintained by the state, the locals man and operate them.

    The benefits?

    The locals have fire equipment to use.
    The state gets fire responce on its lands and such at no personell cost.

    A win-win situation.

    The same theory would work with a Fed to local Coop agreement IMO.

    Have fed lands or a piece of critical infrastructer in your jurisdiction?

    Here is the deal. We issue you your apparatus, PPE, what not, you protect our Federaly owned land/building/critical infrastructer, etc....

    You buy the gas, supply the people, supply the barn...
    Feds issue you the apparatus and ppe.

    IMO again a Win-Win situation.

    And it would in theory make the money go farther by haveing standard equipment purchased off one big Fed Bid. Sure, they might not get their chomy deam apparatus, but they would have a basic fire unit that gets the job done better then the POS they currently have.

    And the Fed get increased capabilities to respond to terrorism incidents on their lands/structures, etc...

    Homeland Security is a national issue...right?
    Disaster preparendness is a national issue...right?

    If not then it shoudl be up to NYC and NO to prepare for terrorism and hurricanes. But thats not how the USA operates. We will all chip in to make sure these cities have what they need for the next big one.

    Is not the fire service a critical component of this all hazards preparedness?
    Is not all hazard preparedness a national issue?

    Yes and yes.

    AFG serves this greater good by building up preparedness from the bottom up. You have to have your basics covered before you move onto the next level. AFG is an atemp to cover those basics.

    Local government feels this huge prssure from above! You have to be ready for WMD attack! You have to be ready for Terrorism! You need this $5000 P25 radio so you can talk to every agency known to man!

    Do you know how redicoulous that sounds to a volly fireman in 15 year old holed/scortched PPE, a SCOTT IIA that hasnt been hydrod/flow tested for 10 years, and responding to structure fires in a converted 1950s army 6X6 that barely runs at all?

    Now thats insanity.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    And don't forget, this is $445 million more than the first year of AFG, and $545 million more than the years before that.

    Soon it will all be gone. I'll take what I can now while it is still here.

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    And don't forget, this is $445 million more than the first year of AFG, and $545 million more than the years before that.

    Soon it will all be gone. I'll take what I can now while it is still here.
    And more then what was around in the 90's and before which was ZERO.
    "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)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamsonFCDES
    Spoken true.

    IMO the overall problem is lack of adequate funding for many agencies of the US Fire Service.



    Every FD and VFD surely has a localy supplied budget of some sort. Sometimes this is a very tiny number.

    This local funding does not always meet the basic needs of the agency. Hence the AFG.

    If the needs can be met by local funding then the local fire service agency will not recieve a AFG grant! Thats how the system is supposed to work. Its not perfect but its one of the best grant programs out there IMO.



    AFG is not to substitute for local funding, it is supplementary program.

    There is no single FD in the USA that uses AFG to fund its day to day operations. That is not an eligable item under AFG.

    Every FD/VFD out there has a locally spplied budget. When they get an AFG grant it supplements their budget to meed critical needs.

    The author of the AFG got it just right and it is working as intended.



    Local government does get off to easy. But that still leaves the fire responders hanging out there un an un-safe condition.

    AFG is not the only answer, but its one of the best and it works. There just needs to be more of it.

    Feds taking over the fire service????

    No, doesnt sounds good.

    I wouldnt mind seeing though a standardized stockpile of equipment for under funded FD/VFDs. Instead of everybody scrambling for a grant to get what they need, let some of the federal money go to buy a stockpile of gear bid out at a good price.

    Then the small FDs/VFDs are issued equipment by the Feds.

    Here is your basic Class A pumper, here is you PPE, here is your SCBA, here are your standardized radios. Use them for 10 years, come back and we refurbish the truck give you PPE/SCBA replacements as needed. Use the truck 10 more years, you trade it in for a new one.

    This would work very similar to the Coop agreement between local government and some State DNRCs. Our DNRC issues out wildland firetrucks to local governmentally established FD/VFDs. The trucks are owned and maintained by the state, the locals man and operate them.

    The benefits?

    The locals have fire equipment to use.
    The state gets fire responce on its lands and such at no personell cost.

    A win-win situation.

    The same theory would work with a Fed to local Coop agreement IMO.

    Have fed lands or a piece of critical infrastructer in your jurisdiction?

    Here is the deal. We issue you your apparatus, PPE, what not, you protect our Federaly owned land/building/critical infrastructer, etc....

    You buy the gas, supply the people, supply the barn...
    Feds issue you the apparatus and ppe.

    IMO again a Win-Win situation.

    And it would in theory make the money go farther by haveing standard equipment purchased off one big Fed Bid. Sure, they might not get their chomy deam apparatus, but they would have a basic fire unit that gets the job done better then the POS they currently have.

    And the Fed get increased capabilities to respond to terrorism incidents on their lands/structures, etc...

    Homeland Security is a national issue...right?
    Disaster preparendness is a national issue...right?

    If not then it shoudl be up to NYC and NO to prepare for terrorism and hurricanes. But thats not how the USA operates. We will all chip in to make sure these cities have what they need for the next big one.

    Is not the fire service a critical component of this all hazards preparedness?
    Is not all hazard preparedness a national issue?

    Yes and yes.

    AFG serves this greater good by building up preparedness from the bottom up. You have to have your basics covered before you move onto the next level. AFG is an atemp to cover those basics.

    Local government feels this huge prssure from above! You have to be ready for WMD attack! You have to be ready for Terrorism! You need this $5000 P25 radio so you can talk to every agency known to man!

    Do you know how redicoulous that sounds to a volly fireman in 15 year old holed/scortched PPE, a SCOTT IIA that hasnt been hydrod/flow tested for 10 years, and responding to structure fires in a converted 1950s army 6X6 that barely runs at all?

    Now thats insanity.
    This an age-old argument here. A local government should provide the level of fire protection that its citizens aer willing to pay for. If they want a Class A FD, then they can pay for it. If they don't, well, then they can pay for that, too.

    Your proposal is a blueprint for a federal welfare program for the fire service. Why in the world should my tax money from NJ (and, believe me, we pay a ton more than in Podunk) be used to pay for the failure of the citizens in Podunk to pay for their fire service?

    Extend this one more level. There are some urban areas that are finding it difficult to pay for their fire protection. why shuoldn't they have the feds bail them out?

    If you don't have the PPE, if yuo don't have the apparatus, if you don't have training, stay the hell out of the fire! there is no constitutional guarantee to fire protection.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    This an age-old argument here. A local government should provide the level of fire protection that its citizens aer willing to pay for. If they want a Class A FD, then they can pay for it. If they don't, well, then they can pay for that, too.
    The age of the arguement does nothing to its validity. What was true long ago is often true today.

    Leaving it to the locals. Novel concept...but if you are going that route you had better do it across the entire gammit of government. And while you are doing that you probly need to lower what goes to the fed gov in taxes so the locals can use that money to provide all of the services.

    Your proposal is a blueprint for a federal welfare program for the fire service. Why in the world should my tax money from NJ (and, believe me, we pay a ton more than in Podunk) be used to pay for the failure of the citizens in Podunk to pay for their fire service?
    Question for a question.

    Why should the citizens in podunk pay to protect Federal non tax paying facilities/Lands in thier juridictions? PILT money (payment in lue of taxes) doesnt go beyond infrastucture in most of these places. The citizens of Podunk often VOLUNTEER their time and risk they skin to fight fire on Federal lands and to protect Federal property of all sorts, from military instilations to power grids to what have you. Podunk citizens often extinquish fires on Federal Lands (USFS/BLM) that would otherwise burn out of control and cost the Feds (Us!) millions to surpress. Seems like a damn good ivestment of my Federal tax dollars to support Podunk VFD.

    If you go this line of thought GW then all of the DHS money (realy all federal money) is going to the wrong place!

    Why should ANY of us have to pay to rebuild New Orleans, besides NO citizens?

    Why should ANY of us have to pay to increase teorrorism preparedness in NYC, besides NYC citizens?

    Again, if you want local government to be completely self sufficeint then you have just eliminated the need for Federal level governemnt. Congradulations! This will save us all trillions of dollars!

    Sorry, doesnt work that way.

    Tax money generated. I would wadger that more tax dollars are generated per capita by many places in Podunk land then are in Metro Jersy.

    Oil and Gas fields, Coal mines, etc...MEGA production tax money generated here...most of which goes to the Feds.

    Why the hell would we want to spend our hard earned tax dollars building a Jersy turnpike, or buying new radios for NYC, or rebuilding New Orleans, or whatever the hell it is the money is going to next.

    If we were able to keep a larger portion of the produciton tax money then hey, we would have VFDs with great equipment. But guess what!

    100% of that goes to the Feds, 50% of the fed share goes back to the state of origin...and nows the kicker...

    In most cases 0% makes it back to local government.

    The community with the greatest impact gets nothing.

    Whats fair about that GW?

    Extend this one more level. There are some urban areas that are finding it difficult to pay for their fire protection. why shuoldn't they have the feds bail them out?
    750,000$ AFG to FDNY. Seems like they are getting a piece of the pie. I am not going to look it up but I would imagine that most other Mega Metro FDs got similar awards. Guess what, they wanted more! They probly need more! As does most of the fire service!

    The Feds do support Urban emergency services. Through both AFG and other DHS programs.

    If you don't have the PPE, if yuo don't have the apparatus, if you don't have training, stay the hell out of the fire! there is no constitutional guarantee to fire protection.
    Actually its law in some states that fire protection must be provided...by local government.

    So then should state government fund it? Hmmmm...love those unfunded mandates.

    How about all of these DHS/Presidential directives? Top down again, whoes to fund all of these pipe dreams?

    The only things that most unfortunate first responder agencies realy need or want is basic equipment so they can do their jobs safely and effectively.

    Those are the things that are for some reason often the most difficult to get.

    Putting a DHS $5000 P25 mobile radio to fix interoperability issues into a $5000 POS fire truck is Insanity GW.

    How about offering some solutions GW?

    You want to put full burden and responsibility on Local government for fire protection. Find and dandy. Lets make sure the entire system goes that route then eh?

    No more need for USFA. Feds have nothing more to do with the fire service, its a local issue. Money saved for the citizens of NJ.

    No more need for NFPA. Why have a inernational/national organization if fire protection is the sole responsibility of local government. No reason to worry about anybody elese standards and what not.

    Then lets eliminate mutual aid agreements. Everybody is not supposed to be taking care of their own. Nice knoiwing you guys, good luck.

    Now take all local fire protection away from Federal lands and facilities. Hey, they dont pay taxes here, its up to them to protect themselves. That will cost the Feds a pretty penny to beef up their own fire protection.

    Dont forget to stop bothering local fire departments with DHS directives and such. They are a local agency, they dont need to worry about anything the Feds have to say or do. They are completely independent now.

    Good Luck to All!
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    I am not respondng to your silliness anymore. Youa re comparing apples to oranges. All you want is for someone to tell you that your vision of a federal welfare program for the fire service is great. Ok. then we can move on.

    Your concept is great! Now call yuor congres sman and get it passed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    I am not respondng to your silliness anymore. Youa re comparing apples to oranges. All you want is for someone to tell you that your vision of a federal welfare program for the fire service is great. Ok. then we can move on.
    How dissapointing. I was hoping you would justify for me why our hard earned coal, oil, and gas production tax money should got to metro areas and such while we are left holding the bag.

    Or why Federal dollars should go to places like NYC and New Orleans when such issues as terrorism and hurricans are largely local issues.

    Drat, foiled again!

    Actually, all I want is this!

    I want for the USA Fire Service:

    - Every firefither (voly or paid) in the US to have up to date adequate PPE and SCBA. If they serve a wildfire area to have wildland PPE as well.
    - Every firefighter in the US to have adequate coms system. I am not a huge P25 fan, there are many other solutions. They will come with time. Get the people talking is Key!
    - Every firefighter in the US to have safe, reliable, and effective fire apparatus that complies with modern safety standards. No, doesnt need to be new, dosnt need to be anything. Just safe, reliable, and works. You would be surprised at how many places have apparatus that doesnt fit ANY of the 3 above items! Not good.
    - Every firefighter it the US to have a basic wellness program. No, not a fully equiped gym. Just physicals, health checks, etc...its a hazardous thing we ask our FFs to do. Most paid FDs can take care of their people pretty well. There are Voly FDs that dont have any health screening or any such thing for thier people. Not good.
    - Every fire department to have modern tools of firefighting such as TICs, gas detectors, etc... tools that enhance safety and effectiveness. This is NOT Bells and Whistles, this is NOT TOYS!!! These are effective tools that greatly enhane safety for one. The price of these tools places them out of reach for most communities. Thats can only be fixed in many cases by AFG.
    - Every EMT to have the tools they need to be effective. IEDs for all...PPE for all, etc...
    - Every ambulance to be safe, reliable, and compliant with modern safety standards.


    A grand vision, yet likely never to happen.

    Your concept is great! Now call yuor congres sman and get it passed.
    Actualy I wrote to them. It involved more detail. Like cutting the hundreds of millions of dollards spent on fighting wildfire each summer and using that money to set up a all hazards service which would work in the fields of fire supression, EMS, and S&R and increase the intial attack aspect of wildfire supression, thereby eliminating a high percentage of out of control monster fires. It was about 35 pages long. The money spent in one recent summer here would have provided for 15 full time firefighters per county and the equipment they needed for a year. Instead we got crooked contractors for 3 months that pillaged the system!

    They thought it was a neat idea (or so they said) but they believed that there is so much institutional inertia that any major reform is very unlikely at this time.

    But I felt better after I wrote them about it none the less.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    This an age-old argument here. A local government should provide the level of fire protection that its citizens aer willing to pay for. If they want a Class A FD, then they can pay for it. If they don't, well, then they can pay for that, too.

    Your proposal is a blueprint for a federal welfare program for the fire service. Why in the world should my tax money from NJ (and, believe me, we pay a ton more than in Podunk) be used to pay for the failure of the citizens in Podunk to pay for their fire service?

    Extend this one more level. There are some urban areas that are finding it difficult to pay for their fire protection. why shuoldn't they have the feds bail them out?

    If you don't have the PPE, if yuo don't have the apparatus, if you don't have training, stay the hell out of the fire! there is no constitutional guarantee to fire protection.
    Right on the money George.

    I can't help but feel good when I see the volunteer departments that I have contact with get some help that they are in dire need of.

    We should be thankful but I don't think it's healthy to grow too dependent on these grants.

    The concept of using the federal government to fund local responsabilities will have an end game negative effect on the country.

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    What is more important on a fire scene, trucks or man power? I've never seen a fire truck put out a fire. So the feds have reduced the pie for toys, but they have increased it in the area that needs it the most, man power. The SAFER money, from my understanding, can be used by career departments to increase staffing, volunteer departments to recruit and retain members, and volunteer departments to hire for coverage during low turn out times. I still hope the AFG money gets to the departments that need it the most.

    There still has to some fiscal constraint at all levels. Does that new pumper need all that chrome? Bells and whistles are nice, but are they needed? There are many volunteer departments that struggle to get by and others that seem to be swimming in cash. I hate to pick on them but the Town of Amherst, NY has 10 volunteer fire departments. Those 10 departments (could only find info on 9 of them) have a total of 24 engines, 8 trucks, and 9 heavy rescue companies covering a population of 116,510 in a suburban area, with a run volume of 9,415 for 2004. Compared to my department of Lexington, KY 21 engines, 6 trucks, and no heavy rescue company covering a population of 256,000 in a urban/suburban/rural area. Does every department need a heavy rescue? There has to be some fiscal responsibility somewhere. That would be like each station in my department with a full house, engine, truck and heavy rescue, not a fiscally sound practice.

    As to our federal fire department welfare system, it is not going to last. The money should still be based on need before greed, but how does the federal government know what is needed at the local level? In my opinion the handing out of funds should start one level further down at the state level. The state might be better at determining what is needed for departments in its state.

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