1. #1
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    Default Low Balled into a corner AFG

    When i wrote our grant, I did a lot of shopping for the best prices.
    I used the price, a low one, quoted by our fire supplier on some STORZ connections.
    Now I find that the incredible deal was due to this nimrod quoting the wrong item.
    Have sent back the connectors, but still can't get what we wanted because the granted amount is approx $2500 less than what the right ones cost.
    No way we can afford this.

    All I can think to do is try to drop the items from our award.
    Is this possible????
    Any other ideas????

  2. #2
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    Marion,

    Due you expect to have excess funds from the other parts of your grant? If every thing else comes under budget, those excess funds can be used towards the cost overruns on the Storz connections.

    We had the same problem with TO quote $1200, actual $1253. We were able to absorb the overrun with savings from the rest of the PPE grant. Through emails and phone calls with the AFG (all documented) we learned that cost overruns can be covered through money left over, but the true amount of excess funds was determined after the overruns were covered. Ex. $5,000 left over - $1,000 for cost overruns=excess funds.

    If you have none, you need to contact your FPS for guidance.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Bugle is right on with the excess fund angle, that's the only option other than dropping them if you can't buy them yourself outside of the scope of the grant. You can overmatch in that case also, but I'm guessing by the 'we can't afford this' y'all don't have the dough to do that. You have 12 months from the time of award to come up with the money to match/buy it yourself, give it a few rounds of fundraising and see what happens. The best thing you can do is advertise the award and let the people know everything you're doing to keep the tax rate down. Someone may come out and buy you the stuff with a donation. You never know until you ask.

    - Brian

  4. #4
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    Default

    OK.
    Thanks for the replies.
    I thought that might be the case but wasn't sure.

  5. #5
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    Cool Try to hold the supplier accountable for their mistake.

    This sort of thing happend to us. I wrote a grant to upgrade our packs with HUD, Universal RIT, and Buddy Breathers. I took the lowest quote, added a few percent to it to cover inflation (as recommended at the AFG workshop), and used that number for my application. The grant got funded, went to buy the stuff, and the supplier had forgotten to include the price of one the hoses and fittings for all 33 of our packs. This equaled about $3,000. I held the supplier accountable for their mistake. They were able to work with the manufacturer and meet the previously quoted price.

    If they had not honored the quote we would not have been successful in completing the grant requirements as we did not have the extra funds to cover their mistake. Had we not met the AFG requirements, future applications could have suffered. If the project would have failed, the department as well as the supplier would have had a big black eye.

    If you can clearly document that it was the suppliers mistake, hold them accountable.

    Wolf

  6. #6
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    Default Getting Quotes for AFGP Items

    When contacting vendors for quotes I suggest the following procedures.

    1.) Call your preferred vendor and tell them you need a price quote on the item you need. DO NOT tell them this is for a AFGP grant right away.


    2.) Now that you have the price as of today you then ask them what this item will cost 14 months from now. At that point they will figure out you are applying for a AFGP grant and will not have the chance to inflate the cost as some have been reported to as doing.

    3.) The vendor should be able to give a historic estimate as to what the item will cost 14 months out based on the price increase history.

    4.) Next ask him to send you a faxed quote for the items with the 14-month prices and ask him if he/she will honor that price. Most will say yes.

    5.) Next you need to repeat the same process for at least two other vendors to help you determine the accuracy of the prices you are getting.

    6.) I would take the upper range of price quotes and use them in your application.

    The folks at AFGP conduct product price searches on just about every conceivable fire service equipment item that is out there so donít get to far out of line on prices.

    I would only deal with reputable vendors that have high morals and stay away from those that have all kinds of plans to help you with your match dollars etc. etc.
    The opinions stated herein are those of the author and in no way shape or form reflect the opinions of any organization(s) that I am in any way affiliated with unless otherwise indicated.

  7. #7
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    Warren-

    Good information regarding a systematic way to generate quoted figures. I would like to add one addition to that. Bring out your preferred vendor and have him educate you on his/her product that you would like to purchase. To be fair to all quoting vendors and to compare apples to apples, make sure the correct item is being quoted from each vendor. Each vendor has the ability to generate a detailed specification for their item(s). Use this to form a comply/exception sheet to ensure all needed specifications are met.

    Here is the problem that we have run into in the past. Department XYZ will call for a price on PPE asking for prices on coat, pants, boots, helmets, gloves, and hoods. They are not specific as to what exactly they want or need. These prices could easily range from $800-$1900 (Coat/Pants), $90-$260 (Boots), $150-$550 (Helmets), $30-$75 (Gloves), $20-$35 (Hoods).

    Each range has varying degrees of protection and comfort. Bunker gear is the most difficult to keep fair because most departments know the difference between PBI (Matrix) and Nomex, but they do not understand the different characteristics of the components (thermal liner and moisture barrier) or differences in subtle option changes. These mistakes are the deal breakers that can make one vendor look like a hero and another a crook by simply not having detailed specifications available.

    Keep in mind with the AFG program that if they keep a cap on PPE and equipment funding limits that you may not be able to get the loaded PBI Matrix dyed Black, Caldura SL, Crosstech, Project Fires 3" Scotchlite Triple Trim, and every option under the sun. If you still want a high dollar product that won't totally be covered by the federal match, make sure to budget appropriately to make up for the difference.

    This is just my two cents as both a firefighter and vendor!

    rfd599
    www.IllinoisFireStore.com

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenJ
    When contacting vendors for quotes I suggest the following procedures.

    1.) Call your preferred vendor and tell them you need a price quote on the item you need. DO NOT tell them this is for a AFGP grant right away.


    2.) Now that you have the price as of today you then ask them what this item will cost 14 months from now. At that point they will figure out you are applying for a AFGP grant and will not have the chance to inflate the cost as some have been reported to as doing.

    3.) The vendor should be able to give a historic estimate as to what the item will cost 14 months out based on the price increase history.

    4.) Next ask him to send you a faxed quote for the items with the 14-month prices and ask him if he/she will honor that price. Most will say yes.

    5.) Next you need to repeat the same process for at least two other vendors to help you determine the accuracy of the prices you are getting.

    6.) I would take the upper range of price quotes and use them in your application.

    The folks at AFGP conduct product price searches on just about every conceivable fire service equipment item that is out there so donít get to far out of line on prices.

    I would only deal with reputable vendors that have high morals and stay away from those that have all kinds of plans to help you with your match dollars etc. etc.
    And then at some point go directly to the prefered mfg. If you're buying in a largish volume some will sell you direct. I ended up buying our Storz fittings (about 40 pc) direct from Harrington and save a bunch. The vendor who sold us the rest of our fire grant equipment (PPE/SCBA) had his nose out of joint a bit, oh well.

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