Regional Grant discussion
We've had alot of general tidbits regarding regional grants, but I'm trying to figure out a little more. The PG, isn't extremely in depth on the benefits and/or drawbacks to a regional approach so I'm wondering if we can network a little more about it.
It would seem that now is really the time to be putting together regional information because of the complexity.
I haven't written a regional request yet, but will be doing at least one this year. The request will be for a mobile burn/training facility that should benefit well over 500 fire fighters and upwards of 20 departments.
Is this application scored differently on both the computer and peer review phases?
Will you score better if you secure written agreements for cost-sharing among the other depts?
Is there an inherent advantage in requesting this item regional as opposed to individually?
Just a few to start....I've got more...
Regional Grant discussion
Doing something like you're intending to do will make it easier, if/when you can get other VFD in the area to sign on with you. This will prove to be the hardest part of it. Also, you'll need the input, particpation and greenlight of the elected officials in all of the communities involved, or who would benefit from the grant. You'll also need everybody (all VFD/EMS/Elected Officials in the entire area) to help do the lobbying to get the grant, which does increase your chances for approval. It also helps to get a story in the local newspapers/TV about what you're trying to do with this unit, why it is essential for the entire area, get a grant, and also to get the citizens on your side, by getting the message out there...the local politicians follow the voters.
Along with the mobile burn/training unit you are considering, communications equipment may prove to be a viable pursuit, if you need the equipment so that all of the departments involved can communicate with each other. Don't forget to point out that both FF and citizens would benefit from having such a mobile unit servicing the area. Even rehab units that are shared in mutual aide with many companies and communities would also appear to be something that might get serious consideration.
Start now by contacting the other companies, communities and local officials advising them of your idea and your intentions. Ask them for their input as well. You'll find you need to start now to get everybody on board and singing from the same page and from the same hymnal. After this, writing the grant application is the easy part.
Doing something like this as a regional effort would be your best approach, given what you're requesting the grant money to do. Also regionally you can get more community support (including donations) to address the local sponsorship/participation elements. This regional/multi-department approach also can help you raise other forms of funding, if each of the participating departments has a representative (even ad hoc) to say that this is a mutual project with the undersigned companies particpating for this special unit/training/purpose/event.
Remember, each of these companies/communities will have their own ideas of how this unit will be staffed, how much it will cost, how it should serve them, when it should serve them, where it is based, who staffs it, who maintains it, qualifications of responders to serve on that unit, who/qualifications for officers of that unit, what equipment it should carry, what type of apparatus is necessary, under what conditions this unit is called out to respond, etc.
If I can help you with this, write me privately, because this is something that could take quite a bit of writing and forum space to adequately cover.