1. #1
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    Default 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.

    Some questions....

    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...

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    I think (and let me preface this by saying that many folks on the forums here are MUCH more qualified than I am to offer advice) that any time you introduce interoperability, regional activities, or shared resources you're a step ahead. Simply put - it puts more federal money into more fire department (or rescue organization's) hands, and I suspect this looks very appealing to the folks at grant HQ.

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    Default 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.

    Will Griffin
    http://VFD-Funding.com
    griffin@VFD-Funding.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameryfd
    Some questions....

    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...
    1) Not really on the computer, to an extent on the peer review as the cost-benefit calculation is increased due to more FFs & citizens being affected by the project.

    2) Not directly. and maybe not at all. All involved departments must be listed in the narrative (unless they change the app per our suggestions), so the assumption is that they are all on board, whether written or not. I would definitely get everyone to sign to it so the host isn't stuck with the bill at the end.

    3) Actually, very little. The cost-benefit still has to be there regardless of how many departments are involved. They hand out very, very few of these each year, mainly because training is one of the lower priorities. From Page 13 of the PG:

    Training requests that include Web-based home study or distance learning and the purchase of training materials, equipment, or props are a lower priority....Training that is instructor-led but does not lead to a certification, or any self-taught courses, are of low benefit, and therefore they will not be afforded a high priority.

    Page 14, 2nd paragraph also holds some 'secrets' about classification and training priorities. I wrote one last year for this. Having your ducks and stats in a row is an understatement. With even less money available next year regional is the only way to go on this. It doesn't guarantee getting to PR over an individual app, but in PR well coordinated regional efforts will do better.

    I wouldn't even come close to recommending anything other than this project in the application, certainly not communications. Too many shoot themselves in the foot by applying for too much. 2 items is too much sometimes. Pick the greatest need and address it.

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    Forgot to mention that while notifying the local govt officials is recommended, there is no lobbying allowed/done. Letters of support do not get read by PR, they are only sent as additional evidence to DHS that there is local support and the local monies will be available. Hence the legal form that we had to sign near the end of the application that said that the department was not involved in any lobbying activities.

    And rehab units are quite low on the totem pole too, for those that were having those thoughts. Units having rehab as an added benefit could fare better than some other applications in similar situations, but far as vehicles go, Rehabs are P2 for Urban, P3 for the others. Not gonna happen considering the P1 competition. There are enough high mileage shuttle buses and similar vehicles around in decent shape that can be easily converted into a rehab unit. After all, with the heat we end up with here in TX, I'd be happy just to have A/C and a cup of water on a scene. Rehab trailer would fall under equipment, but with the additional cost of a decent tow vehicle considering the size one would have to be, might be a hard sell. But eligible, and maybe not all that uncompetitive.

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    I would have to agree with Brian on that point.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by
    [I
    Training requests that include Web-based home study or distance learning and the purchase of training materials, equipment, or props are a lower priority....Training that is instructor-led but does not lead to a certification, or any self-taught courses, are of low benefit, and therefore they will not be afforded a high priority.[/I]

    Page 14, 2nd paragraph also holds some 'secrets' about classification and training priorities. I wrote one last year for this. Having your ducks and stats in a row is an understatement. With even less money available next year regional is the only way to go on this. It doesn't guarantee getting to PR over an individual app, but in PR well coordinated regional efforts will do better.

    I wouldn't even come close to recommending anything other than this project in the application, certainly not communications. Too many shoot themselves in the foot by applying for too much. 2 items is too much sometimes. Pick the greatest need and address it.
    This is where we are trying to up the priority level using these thoughts.... It won't be distant learning because it is mobile and will be brought to each dept. It is will be used for certification because we have certified instructors who will use it for Entry Level, FF1 and FF2 certification. Hopefully that will help

    Already have several of the other depts on board, and we won't be padding this with comm equipment... (got that done last year on individual apps

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    Even though you'll be using certified instructors, make sure that certs can be given out by them. Here instructors have to be affiliated with a training entity in order for the individual classes they teach on their own in order to be able to hand out paperwork. In many cases, the training centers want some dough for that, or for the class to be coordinated through them for it to be a certified class regardless of location. Just having certified instructors isn't enough to call it certified training, it would fall under the self-taught heading.

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