1. #1
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    Default 2006 AFG/ Communications

    We are looking for any information regarding trying to procure grant money from the AFG for new radios (handheld and mobile) and mobile data computers, to include mapping and pre-planning software.

    We could use any info, good or bad, success stories, or not in assisting us in the writing for this.

    So far what we have come up with is a need for 25 new hand held radios, 11 mobile radios, 3 mobile repeaters, and 4 toughbooks for mobile data to include the software (mapping, pre-planning, gps, etc.).

    We are a combination department that spans 27 sqmi, and we have over 1100 calls a year.

    Any info would be great!!!!

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    If you're performing a system upgrade (guessing based on the repeaters), then it needs to be regional. Unless of course everyone else is on the new system already, in which case the repeater inclusion doesn't make sense.

    A few people sent me theirs to display on my site for others to learn from so you can take a wander over there a shop for ideas. www.firegraphics.org

    Otherwise, all is eligible, but their cap for MODATS and laptops has been around $2K each, and since I like toys and am thinking about upgrading to a Toughbook for all of the traveling I'm doing, I know they're more than that. But better to ask and have them try and reduce the funding than not ask.

    Good luck - Brian

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    Default Another Comm Question

    This may be somewhere else in the Forum but I had no luck searching. Pardon my ignorance.

    If you are hosting a regional grant.....

    Our county is right around 51,000 total population, but of the individual departments none protect more that 10,000 in their respective areas. We are wishing to upgrade our county wide communications systems and every department wants to participate. Is the match 5% for each department or 20% for the population of the entire county??

    Thanks Grant Gurus

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    I don't know if that made the forums or not. It was in the PPT. Either way, it's the total population of the region applying for the grant, so in your case it's 20%. Up until last year it was the matching of the host. So what would happen was the region would have the rural 5% match department hosting, and the larger 10 or 20% areas would catch a break. Nothing wrong with it, but it was kind of a separation since regionals are supposed to be treated like an individual app. Meaning that if it's not a viable project for the whole area, then it's DJ'd. It's not just about the host or the individual departments involved. It's treated as if it's one big department.

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    I might add a word to the wise here. The preference is going to be given to the regional communications grants. I have strong feelings and IMHO that single department applications for radios will not be shown much consideration, if any, due to the fuss kicked up from the 9/11 commission report several months ago when they said the programs were still not solving interoperability issues.

    If you area does come forth with a regional communications application you had better jump onboard with both feet here. If you fail to participate and were offered the chance, your chances of getting awarded a communications grant in the future will be "zero".
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
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    Default The Key is in the Program Guidance

    To expand a bit on what everyone has said; and working on a Regional Grant myself, I would tell you this.

    Right out of the program Guidance: it has to address Interop. issues, and it has to be in keeping with your states Comm Plan.
    Also check out the Appendix of the PG 2006; there is a section about Regional stuff.

    Get everyone on board or your gonna be hard pressed.

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    Here is the deal. Wisconsin has adopted the federal standard of APCO/Project 25 of the federal government by going to narrowband radios. We have a majority of our radios (we are probably like most departments where when one radio breaks down we by one replacement for it, and it is usually a different model than the one that broke) are non-compliant (and we are aware that all radios that are produced now are narowband compliant).

    Most of our radios have outlived their life-expectancy and our mobile radios are not compliant to which the state of Wisconsin is going to start mandating that everyone have compliant radios by 2008 withouth any state funding for the purchase of compliant radios.

    Now here is the kicker... Wisconsin has grant money to fund the re-programing of existing, compliant, radios and we are currently involved with 11 counties in our area to figure out this interoperability problem. We are not going for a regional program.

    We are asking for repeaters because the area we live in is problematic for communications due to the hills, bluffs and valleys that surrounds us.

    So, is this something we should continue to persue????

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    Default Radio's

    went to a grant seminar and we were told the limit for radios are 1 mobil per truck and 1 hand held per seat in those trucks(that info is asked for on the application). Possibly you could ask for a mobil for the Chief's pov but you would have to make a strong argument for it. This was also stated in the program guide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpster
    Here is the deal. Wisconsin has adopted the federal standard of APCO/Project 25 of the federal government by going to narrowband radios. We have a majority of our radios (we are probably like most departments where when one radio breaks down we by one replacement for it, and it is usually a different model than the one that broke) are non-compliant (and we are aware that all radios that are produced now are narowband compliant).

    Most of our radios have outlived their life-expectancy and our mobile radios are not compliant to which the state of Wisconsin is going to start mandating that everyone have compliant radios by 2008 withouth any state funding for the purchase of compliant radios.

    Now here is the kicker... Wisconsin has grant money to fund the re-programing of existing, compliant, radios and we are currently involved with 11 counties in our area to figure out this interoperability problem. We are not going for a regional program.

    We are asking for repeaters because the area we live in is problematic for communications due to the hills, bluffs and valleys that surrounds us.

    So, is this something we should continue to persue????
    I would say yes from the standpoint that IMHO if AFG sees that you had an opportunity to partcipate in a Regional application, and you passed it up, they will probabaly come back thinking "well you had your chance and did not take it" if you apply for radio equipment on your own. Just MHO but food for thought since they are really pushing regional communication grants this year.
    Kurt Bradley
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    Tim:

    Have your A/C (Troy) give me a call. I can email my narrative from last year.

    Daryl B.

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    Again, there is not a regional opportunity to procure funding for equipment, but there is a program to fund for the re-programing of current "compliant" equipment.

    We are a part of a regional project to figure this "interoperability" thing out, and HAVE identified what it is each community needs, but again, the purchase of new equipment even exceeds the budgets of even the well funded departments to meet state and federal mandates.

    Communications IS EXPENSIVE!!!!

    By not going for a regional grant, but, going for what wear, will enhance our ability in our region; wouldn't, or, shouldn't that be enough???

    I have read that we have to follow the SAFECOM standards (as stated in the appendix of the AFG guidance) if we are going to ask for this, but does anyone that has read this understand the SAFECOM guidlines??? It is confusing as hell!!!

    Daryl, Troy doesn't have anything to do with this grant, as far as I know right now, so if you can send your narrative to me or Chris W. at the FD or give me a call at work here, Cris W and I are the only ones that is writing the AFG and SAFER this year. I work Tues, Wed, and Thurs in the ER and Chris works today (Tues), Thurs, and we will be working on grants this saturday, so thanks!!!! Did you guys go for radios last year???
    Last edited by Culpster; 03-07-2006 at 11:05 AM.

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    But if you're the only department in the project, there is no region to enhance. If it isn't going to be a regional project, then just understand that you will need to overcome a lot of questions that won't be asked until the reviewers (hopefully) see it. So you need to address why it's not a regional project, why you're the only department involved, how the project complies with state communications guidelines for interoperability, etc, etc. It's not impossible to fund, but when you are doing something opposite of what is expected remember this: "Lucy you got some 'splainin to do!"

    Don't worry too much about SAFECOM and APCO25, most of the folks reviewing these applications don't follow it either. The state needs to follow SAFECOM, so as long as you're proposing to do something within their guidelines you're good to go.

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