1. #1
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    Default Help! New to all of this!

    I just joined the fire dept my husband has been on for 2 yrs and am finding out that they have basically no one trying to get grants. With almost no money and needing new equipment, I figure I could at least try to get them some grants, but I pretty much have no idea where to begin. I applied for a DUNS number yesterday, and have checked out the CHIEF site, but that's about it. I have no idea how to write a Grant Proposal, or where to look for grants. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!

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    Default Same Boat

    I am a Lieutenant and Training Officer with my volunteer department and we have a small budget and little income. I could use some help on finding and applying for grants. If anyone can help that would be great. My email is jonesja@hillsboroughcounty.org or reply on here.

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    Thumbs up Welcome, you both have come to the right place....

    This forum is frequented by many accomplished grant writers specializing in fire department needs, and they are all very generous when it comes to answering questions and giving out information.

    My first recommendations are to:

    1) Do a needs assessment: prioritize what your department needs and let that list guide you in your grant requests.
    2) Get ready to apply to the 2006 Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. The application period is usually 30 days long starting sometime in March. The 2006 program guidance document has not been released yet, but you can get familiar with the 2005 PGD at: http://www.firegrantsupport.com/docs...FGguidance.pdf
    3) Ask lots of questions on this forum and on www.firegrantsupport.com. Here are a few names on this forum that I would pay close attention to: dixiechicnc, bc79er, ktb9788, onebugle, not2l84u2. Sorry if I left anyone out!
    4) Look for and attend an AFG workshop, here is the schedule: http://www.firegrantsupport.com/Work...workshops.aspx

    Hope this helps in getting you started towards an award.

    Wolf

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    Default Grant Help

    This is also my depts first year trying to get a grant. Being our first time we to are having a problem getting started. I have looked over both links previously listed and still dont know where to go and what to do next.

    What is our first step? I was told we needed to apply for a DUNS number, How do we do that?

    Thanks for any help.

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    Talking Duns #

    This is out of the 2005 Program Guidance Document:

    DUNS Number
    Effective October 1, 2003, all Federal grantees must obtain a DUNS number, (a unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet). The Federal government will use the DUNS number to better identify related organizations that are receiving funding under grants and cooperative agreements and to provide consistent name and address data for electronic grant applications. Additional information about DUNS numbers can be found on the Dun & Bradstreet Web site (www.dnb.com/US/duns_update/index.html).
    There is no charge to obtain a DUNS number, and it is the applicant's responsibility to obtain one. Applicants are encouraged to apply for a DUNS number well in advance of the application period because it may take 2 to 3 weeks or more to obtain the number online. It is recommended that applicants request a DUNS number as soon as possible by calling 1-800-333-0505. When completing the online application, there is a special data field for entering the DUNS number. If applying on paper, use the box entitled “Federal Identifier” on the SF 424, Application for Federal Assistance, to enter the DUNS number. Be advised that this number is required for all Federal grant applications, and there may not be any extensions granted for applicants who were unable to obtain their number prior to the end of the application period.
    Wolf

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    I would also look over the Workshop presentation for 2006. Go through it and write down any questions you have then go to a grant workshop in your area and you can already have in mind some questions that you want to ask before they start because they will basically use the same presentation in their workshop. You can find the presentation at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/afg/presentation.aspx and if you have any more questions then post them on here and get the help you need.

    I think that my first step if I were in your shoes would be to perform an informal risk assessment. Put a small committee together from your department and identify one area that you want to focus on for this year (read some of Brian's articles on laundry lists). This should be your greatest need. Whether it is PPE, SCBA's, etc. Then focus on that area, do your research (read the program guidance, go to workshops, review the presentation), start getting cost estimates, confer with your department and/or board and make sure that they are going to be able to cover the 5% (or greater dependant upon the size of your population) of the costs, and then re-read your research material and make your first draft of your narrative. Take the narrative back to your committee and make sure that the majority is in agreement of what is stated. Then make your revisions. After you have the 2nd draft of your narrative then find a school teacher in your area to review your narrative. Have them check for spelling errors, grammar errors, and in general make sure that someone from outside your department can make heads or tails of what you are requesting. After you make the revisions they suggest then get in touch with someone from these forums (don't want to offer anyone's services for them, but you might try Kurt, Brian, or Alana) and ask them to review it. As you're putting this narrative together also realize that you are going to need a lot more information aside from just the project. You will also need to know budget information for your department, call volumes, population bases, etc.

    I hope this starts you in the right direction, and if you need more information then just put up another post.

    Good luck!

    Ryan

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    For all of the new folks: Welcome to the Premier site for information about funding and grants.

    As Ryan mentioned, I have 3 articles published over in the MemberZone, so that would be a good place to start. And don't just pay the $2 for my articles, what you'll learn from Chief Goldfeder and Harry Carter is worth a heck of a lot more than that. I paid my $2 long before I wrote those articles.

    Also, there are a few outlets for free assistance in doing all of the above: assessments, project design, narratives, etc, etc. There are some samples of narratives on my web site: www.firegraphics.org. Also in there is a set of links for two ways to have me work on your grant for free. If you have any other questions feel free to drop me an email also: brianv@firegraphics.org

    We're here to help.

    - Brian
    Brian P. Vickers
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    I still have three seminars going on before AFG opens up also and my assisitance is free of charge for reviewing and consulting to any public safety agency. www.chiefgrants.com or check my profile and email offline.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Hiouchi: There will be an AFG grant workshop at the
    Medford Fire Dept.

    2-14-06 1pm
    200 South Ivy
    contact Tom Clemo
    541-774-2300

    I'm assuming you are the Hiouchi in Or.

    Hope this helps.
    Good Luck
    Bill

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    Nicely done gang...I think these folks just got the 'full court press' from our local grant guru's...
    FYI Brian, we've turned about face and are going O&S instead of the vehicle. Thanks again for your assistance and advice.

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    No problem. WIth a 1 in 10 shot for any truck, and a 1 in 92 to get one above $300K, I'd hate to see a wasted app if it's really not going to be highly competitive.

    KB you slowing down in your old age? Only 3? I'm off today to the frozen NE, then 4 more on the books and 2 more in the works. Good thing I got the newborn training me that sleep is overrated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    No problem. WIth a 1 in 10 shot for any truck, and a 1 in 92 to get one above $300K, I'd hate to see a wasted app if it's really not going to be highly competitive.

    KB you slowing down in your old age? Only 3? I'm off today to the frozen NE, then 4 more on the books and 2 more in the works. Good thing I got the newborn training me that sleep is overrated.
    Yeah but my seminars are two days long. Besides, I'm still stoking up and building a sleep bank for next month. Lords knows we are all going to need it this year.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Default Wow! Thank you to all of you!

    I got my DUNS number yesterday, so we are all set there.
    I also just found out that two other Dept's, that are experienced in getting grants, are going to help us with this too.

    gfpdwh(Bill): Hiouchi is actually in California, on Hwy 199. But we are only about a 2 hr drive from Medford. You wouldn't happen to know if there is a charge for the workshop would you? (Kinda sucks that it's on Valentine's Day, but oh well. Gotta do what you gotta do...)

    If anyone has sample proposals, narratives,(these are the same thing right? Jeez, I feel soo stupid!), it would really help me to look at some examples...

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    Hiouchi it is great that some neighboring departments are willing to help you out but, don't overlook the fact that the three grant guru's in here have hudnreds of funded grants under their collective belts ( and sashes dixiechicknc) and many of us offer that assisitance free of charge. Keep in mind that the workshops will tell you ABOUT the grant but, certainly will not tell you how to WRITE the grant. 2 hours is not nealry enough time to do that in.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Default I will defenetely be using you guys!

    Oh yah, I will be using you guys probably more than the other dept's around here, cause they don't have near as much experience as all you do! I am sooo glad I found this site!

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    To add to what Kurt said, the DHS Workshop is a FREE workshop designed to let you know of changes to the program and updates. The ones I have attended ask if there are new applicants, and often will address comments specifically towards the new applicants. Also, it is only 2 hours, and as Kurt said, only so much can be covered. However, still a valuable resource, as the person hosting or teaching the class is often the Regional Fire Protection Specialist from your Region, and it's very good to make the contact.

    You can also utilize the neighboring FDs as you mentioned for ideas, etc. These forums are an excellent tool, as others have mentioned. No one here ever speaks down to you for asking a question you may think is insignificant. So, fire away. And good luck! And it does suck that it's on V-Day....But, I guess as you said...you've got to do what you've got to do!

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    Hiouchi,

    If you are looking for sample narratives then go to Brian's website. www.firegraphics.org

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    Hey Kurt, how much does that bank charge to stockpile sleep? I need an account there too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobieg
    Nicely done gang...I think these folks just got the 'full court press' from our local grant guru's...
    FYI Brian, we've turned about face and are going O&S instead of the vehicle. Thanks again for your assistance and advice.
    All right!! One less to compete with.

    Actually, we are still on the fence between brush truck and O & S, with parts of both narratives written. It'll be a decade or more before we could hope for a pumper and 20 to 30 years for a much needed tender, but the attacker looks like a good shot. Still a 1 in 10 instead of 1 in 4 though--that's spooky!!

    earl

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    Greenacres2,

    The odds for a vehicle are spooky, but can be beat. We did it last year with a brush truck. Take a look at what is happening with the funding, being cut. If this trend continues the odds will only go up, making it much more competitve for dwindling dollars.

    Being from the NE, our proposal showed how the truck would be used year round. Not many brush fires in the winter months. Being from Indiana you would be in the same boat.

    If you would like a copy of the narrative, send me an email (finally up and running on the profile).

    Your odds are already improving, now there are 2 that you do not have to compete against.

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    Welcome to all of the new grant writers. It takes a special person to take the initiative to help their department's get the needed equipment by taking on the grant process.

    As you can see, help is only a posting away. You will find answers to your questions, others will provide their narratives on request etc. A great area to learn about the grant process.

    A couple pieces of advice:

    When you request a narrative, remember to use it as a tool or guideline, not a solution to your problem. As you travel to different departments the names change , but the problems are the same. This is not true for a narrative. Each department is unique in its make up, the area it protects, population, budget etc. There is no such thing as a cookie cutter narrative. Your narrative needs to be unique to your department.

    As you have others review your narrative they may state you have a winning grant or this should be funded. It's their opinion. The only opinions that count are from the 3 peer reviewers who evaluate your proposal.

    Since this grant program is COMPETITVE not every one will be funded. Obviously, you may be disappointed if you do not get funded. Try not to dwell on it and become frustrated with the process. Learn from the information you recieve.

    Good luck.

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    Red face Narrative and Proposal same thing?

    Are the narrative the the proposal the same thing, or is the narrative part of the proposal?

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    For all practical purposes yes!
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    The proposal is your project that you want funded, a piece of the narrative. The other parts are your local funding issues(why you can't buy it yourself), project benefit (what good it will do) and operational outcomes (what will change in daily operations as a result of funding). The project is wrapped up in the Project Description section.

    And Bugle is right on with the narrative swapping advice, which is the same reason I tell most people to not look at anyone else's narrative until they perform a risk or operational assessment and decide on what their project will be based on those assessments. Every fire department in the country is different, so you can't apply for the same thing someone else did unless you are identical to them in every manner. Since that probably isn't the case with only 32,000 departments, you can't use the same reasoning as someone else.

    Also just don't review successful narratives, and don't dismiss unsuccessful ones. There are bad narratives that have been awarded, and plenty of good ones turned down. But there is something to learn from all of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle
    Greenacres2,

    Being from the NE, our proposal showed how the truck would be used year round. Not many brush fires in the winter months. Being from Indiana you would be in the same boat.

    If you would like a copy of the narrative, send me an email (finally up and running on the profile).

    Your odds are already improving, now there are 2 that you do not have to compete against.
    I've got notes written regarding off-road vehicle accidents, lake-effect snow (like today!!), delivery meds and so on. I'll shoot you an e-mail, appreciate the help. Now if only 300 or 400 more drop out of the vehicle "race"....

    earl from the "northern coast" of Indiana

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