1. #1
    Forum Member
    fireguy919's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    eastern Ohio

    Default Anyone else hear about this?

    Did anyone else hear this is how the was doing this? I keep in touch with our EMA director and do not remember him saying anything like this.


    EMA chief: Forget federal grants in 2006

    By MARY ANN GREIER/Salem News staff writer

    LISBON - Columbiana County first responders shouldn't count on Homeland Security funding for fiscal year 2006 due to changes in federal funding guidelines, a local official said.

    Columbiana County Emergency Management Agency Director Darren Dodson talked to members of the media Thursday about the changes outlined in a directors' meeting he attended in Columbus earlier this week.
    He and Mike Nelson, the county's Weapons of Mass Destruction grants coordinator, explained that states will have to compete against each other for the reduced funding pot, with the focus being placed on areas more at risk for terrorist attack.

    In federal Fiscal Year 2005, the federal budget included $1.062 billion to be distributed through Homeland Security grants to every state, which then distributed the money to the counties.

    In federal Fiscal Year 2006, the federal budget cut the amount to $550 million, with changes in how the money will be distributed, meaning only the top 15 states to qualify will get funding.

    Even if Ohio qualified for the competitive grant, the money statewide would be distributed to counties on a competitive basis, based on the number of potential terrorist threats in the county. Nelson said the state will dictate the guidelines of what constitutes a potential terrorist threat.

    Dodson said the state is leaning toward interoperable communications, which can help different departments communicate with each other. He also said counties will have to meet certain criteria. The county met the requirements for the National Preparedness Goal in Fiscal Year 2005, but more criteria will be added.

    Nelson said officials are looking more at mitigating the impact of an event or taking action to reduce an impact before an event happens rather than just react to an event.

    Dodson and Nelson said they're not expecting any funding from Homeland Security via the new method and they wanted first responders, such as police and fire departments, in the area to be aware of what they can expect, or in this case, not expect.

    The situation will be explained to members of the county's Homeland Security Advisory Committee this morning. The committee includes representatives from police, fire, the EMA, FBI, area schools, the county commissioners, mayors, Ohio Highway Patrol, and utilities.

    "We want that information out there," Dodson said.

    Nelson stressed that the expected loss in funding will be result of new federal guidelines, not anything decided locally.

    In Fiscal Year 2004, the county received $490,000 to distribute to first responders. In Fiscal Year 2005, the amount was $240,000.

    Nelson noted that he's well-versed in grant writing and there are competitive grants available from the private sector or foundations that first responders can try to get.

    He said he's offered help to local fire departments and police departments in grant writing, but he's had no takers so far.

    The offer's still on the table, he said, in light of the situation.

    Mary Ann Greier can be reached at mgreier@salemnews.net

    EMA chief: Forget federal grants in 2006

    By MARY ANN GREIER/Salem News staff writer

    EMA chief: Forget federal grants in 2006
    County no longer priority for Homeland Security funding

    By TOM GIAMBRONIJournal Staff Writer

    LISBON - The flow of federal Homeland Security money to

    Columbiana County may come to a halt because of change in priority by Congress and the Bush Administration.

    Instead of the grant money being distributed among every county in the nation, it will be concentrated in areas believed to be more likely terrorist targets, and the county may not be one of them.

    County Emergency Management Agency Director Darren Dodson called local reporters together Thursday to make the announcement after officially learning about the change in policy earlier in the week at a meeting of county EMA directors in Columbus.

    While overall federal Homeland Security funding will be 5 percent higher in the next fiscal year, the money for first-responder grants was cut by 17 percent, or $680 million.

    First responders are police and fire departments and emergency medical technicians. Since 2002, the county has received $1.45 million in Homeland Security money for first responders, the majority of which has gone to local police and fire departments. This past year the county received $195,000.

    The money has been used to purchase such things as new radio equipment, face shields for health care workers at local hospitals, chemical and bioterrorism reference materials and CDs for fire departments and hazardous material teams, and hazmat testing equipment and protective suits. In many instances, the money was used simply to replace old equipment.

    "Every fire department has pretty much up-to-date gear. Is everyone better off? No, but for the most part, absolutely," Dodson said.

    The EMA used Homeland Security money to purchase a portable decontamination shelter for the EMA, an emergency response vehicle, 10 cots and blankets, and a trailer to haul equipment to the scene of an emergency.

    Dodson said he understands why the federal government has decided to focus its limited resources on areas they believe are more likely to be targeted by terrorists.

    "But how do you tell these local entities the cash they have had for the past three years is being cut off?" he said.

    Congress had been debating how best to spend Homeland Security money almost from the beginning, with smaller states pitted against large states in a fight for their piece of the funding pie. States with large metropolitan areas argued that it made little sense to provide scarce resources to rural counties with much less population at the expense of more likely targets.

    The first-responder grant program is moving toward a more risk-based formula for allocating funds, with two-thirds of the money to be awarded according to risk of terrorist attacks or natural disaster. The Sept. 11 commission recommended all grants be distributed based on risk of terrorist attack.

    Dodson said he was told only 15 states will be awarded grants in 2006, with the 50 states competing for the money.

    "The bottom (line) is we may not get anything."

    He said the first responders were aware of the change.

    "This isn't a surprise. We told them this was coming, and it's been in the news."

    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  2. #2
    FH Mag/.com Contributor

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Cypress, TX


    This is just the HSGP, which has been saying all along that once some dough goes to everyone it will go back to just high risk areas.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Rural Iowa


    Does not sound right to me. FY06 started Oct 1, 2005 anyhow/already here.

    Change in Iowa for FY06 is that DHS $ will now (4th scheme in the last 4 years) be skimmed by the state Homeland Sec for their BS pet projects, balance divided up among seveal newly established "regions" who will divide amoung all the FD in the region. $ passed out thru local COG (who skims off a management fee) who will "administer" one more Fed program. Seems centralized state contracts/bids was a boondoggle, no fooling. Couldn't just copy the firegrants program.

  4. #4
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    ktb9780's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Auburndale, FL


    This is actually old news folks. We have been saying this for at least two years now that HSGP funding would be moving into a more "risk based" distribution scheme but, as bc79er said, don't panic. It is HSGP money, not the AFG money. Although AFG was cut $50 million for 2006, it is till going to run like it did before but, it is going to get more and more competitive which means your applciations are going to become more and more dependent upon properly addressing the stated priorities and sticking to those priorities.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Rural Iowa


    Each state is going to continue to get a pile of money each year. The pile may be smaller or a lower % of the total Homeland Security pork that in recent years. Count on the larger cities in your state continuing to raisine heck to get all of it for themselves as they are "more important" than mid or small size cities, or rural areas. Also the the megacites nationally continue to lobby for all the pork and none for any other large/mid size cities or mid/low population states. A given that NY should get 98.7% of ALL the DHS $.

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