1. #1
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    Default 2006 Grant - Engine

    We are a small 2 station fire company located in southern Frederick County Maryland. Our response area is 62 sq miles of mostly of Farm land, Residential communities, Commercial and industrial complexes, Manufactoring plants, National Parkland, Interstate Highway, Major Commuter Railway and freight rail, Major commuter route to and from Washington D.C and Baltimore MD, Several Historic towns, a Senior citizens nursing home, and several large Euestrian farms. 75% of this area is Non-Hydranted. We also run mutial aid to Montgomery co MD and Loudoun co Va which are the two fastest growing communities in the Wash. D.C area and in the top 5 in the nation. These areas we run to on mutial aid are also non-Hydrant areas. We are filing for a grant to replace an engine. This is a 1986 Seagrave that was donated to us in 2001 when we opened a sub station. This engine ran 15 years as front line in busy Montgomery county MD and another 5 in front line for us. This engine only carries 500 gallons or water and doesnt meet our communities needs. This engine has had many mechanical issues over the last 3 year and has taken up all of our depts maintance funds. It is now rusting to death, the motor is leaking and the pump needs replacement along with some other issues. We are looking at over 20,000 dollars in repairs to make this engine meet current NFPA and our County standards along with making it reliable and safe for our members to operate. Apparatus we currently run are:
    1986 Seagrave 500 gal engine (one we want to replace) - 20yrs old
    1989 Peirce Arrow, 1500 Gal engine - 17 yrs old
    1983 R Model Mack 1500 Gal engine 23 yrs old
    2003 Peirce Quint 105 FT
    1996 Peirce Heavy Rescue Squad
    1968 Jeep Gladiator Military 4x4 brush truck (Needs to be replaced)
    1976 Dodge Brush Truck (Former Montgomery Co MD foam unit) (Needs replacement)

    As you can see all 3 of our frontline engines are either over or quickly approching the 20 yr mark. All of them are showing the wear and there age. This means over then next few years maintance cost are going to kill us and atleast 1 if not all 3 will need replacement.

    Looking at this (1) Does anyone think we have a chance? (2) Having 3 engines with only 2 stations does this hurt are chances? (3) Being that we want to replace the 1986 500 gal engine with a larger (1,000 - 1500 gal)tank size engine while having 2 1500 gal engine does this hurt us.

    Any help, Suggestions or info is appreciated.
    Thanks and good luck to all who are applying this year.

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    It looks like you might have a chance based on your information, but it seems that FEMA likes to replace "unsafe" trucks more than just outdated ones. From a logical standpoint, (not necessarily what is best for you), the oldest engine would seem to the one that you would want replaced. We were successful on a new engine in 2003, but our first line (and only) engine was only 500 GPM, and a 1975 model. It is now a secondary unit.
    If this is your narrative, you'll need to add a lot of information (financial, etc), and make sure you have as many people as possible read it for spelling and grammar mistakes before you submit it. You want to sound as professional as possible.
    Just my thoughts.

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    This is just an over view of what will be in our application, used to give some back ground on here for the questions. We would like to replace the 86 Seagrave instead of the Mack becouse believe it or not (Mack fan's will believe it) but its in better condition then the Seagrave. In our narritive we have that this engine is unsafe and doesnt meet NFPA standards. One safety issue is the frame and body is twisted so bad that compartment doors and even the cab doors wont stay closed. The pump is leaking and cant hold a prime, even the gpm's bounce up and down during pump operations, the steel tank is leaking and rusting out,The motor and the transmission is about dead, the motor just wont power the unit out on the road, the trans is slipping. As of lastnight we have all the information we need and have made corrections to the first few drafts and now were about ready to write the final one. I will try to post some more of what we have wrote down so that other maybe able to us ours as a guide line.

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    It's not all about the truck you want to replace, it's about the other trucks you have. The way you're stating things, you shouldn't have a 1996 Heavy Rescue let along a 2003 Quint. Why was the Quint bought if the other trucks are in such need of replacement? The pumpers didn't just come to be in that condition, so they were close to that 4 years ago when the decision to buy the Quint came about.

    Not playing Devil's Advocate to be a jerk about it, but just so you can see the look from the outside. Which is exactly what Peer Review does, hint, hint. So be prepared to answer those questions in your narrative. After all, it's about answering the questions that haven't been asked yet.

    - Brian

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    Thanks for the input Brain. Well The Rescue squad was needed because as the population started to increase and the commuter traffic increased we began to run more vehicle accidents and the number of serious and even fatal accidents increased all the while we had a 1986 Ford/Reading former Ice cream truck turned "squad " that could only safey seat 2 people and the closet "Real" rescue squad came from the city 15 miles away and "Was" at that time the only rescue squad covering the whole southern county ( 8 seperate FD first due areas). As for the Quint well just like the Rescue Squad at the time with the whole southern county growing and the only ladder truck to our depts area was one in the city. This truck was and still is most of the time first due truck to over 75 % of the county, If this truck was out on a call the next closet truck was well over 30-40 minutes away, 30- 40 minute response time was to long of a wait. Since the addition of the quint it has picked up 20-30 % of the cities ladder trucks area along with 7 other departments area, 3 of which are in a neighboring county and 2 of those are in another state. Also stated in the previous post we also have a number of industrial plants in our area along with a historic town full of 1700's victorian homes, the nursing home and other buildings where this unit has proven to be a great addition. Being a one station department (until 2001) and seeing the increased population and expected increase in population, growth and call load we had to act very quickly and still have to to even come close to keeping up with the needs of the area. When the sub station was opened this donated engine filled the spot..at the time but can not keep up with the increased call load. Being a dept that can barely keep its head above water we had to buy things as soon as we could with what little funds we could save up, not knowing if the next year we would even have any funds saved for anything.These pumpers have all served us well but most of you know that when a truck gets to be 20 + yrs old things break and fall apart real quick, like on this 86 engine. We are the only dept in the county (30 stations)that runs a frontline engine that is more then 15 yrs old, not only do we have 1 but 2 that are more then 15 yrs old.
    Last edited by CJPTRUCKIE; 03-19-2006 at 11:03 PM.

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    I wouldn't put that whole thing in there, that might make the narrative too long. But the bullet points you can pull from that should hold off the questions. Area growing, needed truck company, squad unsafe, etc, etc.

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    Default Thanks Brian

    Thanks for the help, If you dont mind I got another one for you. During a local class on the AFG, we were told to try as hard as we can to keep the whole thing 1 page. How can we do this and get our point through. Just answering the basic that they are asking for has gotten us 1 1/2 - 2 pages and we havent put anything extra to prove our points, What do you think is to long 2+ pages? Since you have wrote a few of these about how long should it be.

    Thanks

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    Remember that you have up to 5 pages to write your narrative. The point is to provide a compelling narrative that meets the requirements the AFG is looking for. The the number of pages will be determined how in depth you need to prove your case.

    There may be some narratives that you may get on 1 page, more than likely it will be multiple pages.

    Just to give you an idea (these were successful).

    2003 AFG: Vehicle exhaust system 3 pages
    2004 AFG: PPE 3 1/2 pages
    2005 AFG: Brush Truck 4 1/2 pages
    2006 AFG: looks like it will be 5 pages

    After you write your narrative, let it sit for a couple of days. Review it, you will probably find areas which are wordy, usually can be condensed without changing the meaning or point. In some cases you may find that some of the info is not as important as you thought when you started.

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    Written a few? Hehe, I finished 3 already this morning starting with a blank page. GIT-R-DONE!

    I reduce the font size on mine so that I'm only looking at 1 page, it's just easier for editing/writing. They say to use 12 point to make sure you don't go over the limit of 5 pages, but the longest ones I have are still less than 2 pages. Have been for a long time. Same thing I teach in my seminars. Get in, get out. The more you write trying to stretch things out the more likely you are to contradict yourself or cause the reader to ask more questions than what you answered.

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    Default Listing current apparatus

    I have seen some that do and some that dont list their current apparatus. Should you list all of your depts current apparatus? list just the main apparatus (Engine, Truck,Tanker, Ambo, Brush, Special Units etc)? Is this something that has to be done in your grant request for apparatus grant?

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    In your narrative you don't have to list all the apparatus the department has. This is done in the application. You want to address in the narrative the apparatus you want to replace.

    But, in your case red flags will fly due to the quint and rescue. As Brian pointed out you need to briefly explain the reasons behind these purchases vs. replacing the pump first. You have done that in your previous post, but it needs to be condenced and to the point.

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    Ok, tell me what you guys think about this, we applied for a rescue pumper to replace a 1972 step van converted to a rescue and a 1963 pumper. We can easily justify the replacement of these two rigs because of thier age and unsafe features and we did so in the narrative. The problem is we were able to purchase a new pumper and tanker within the last five years through fundrasing with minimal funds and no options. our 2001 pumper has a 2 person cab and is not equipped, designed or capable to function as a rescue pumper. So when they ask what is the newest apparatus in the category you are applying, we had to put 2001. because that is the age of our newest pumper. But we are also replacing the rescue. So its not an accurate statment. But the apparatus we applied for is technically a pumper, but is as much a rescue for our department. We went 4 pages on the narrative explaining this, my concern is that this will get us kicked out before peer review. Our average fleet age is 19 years. What do you think?

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    The question that comes to my mind is why the 2 person pumper, and why isn't it possible for it to be a rescue pumper? I know compartmentation, wheel base, etc, etc, designing apparatus is one of the other parts of my side job. It's a rhetorical question in my instance, but one that will pop into the reader's head depending on how you handled the narrative.

    And remember, despite your true intent, your main goal with the applied-for pumper-rescue is replacement of a 63 pumper with the benefit of replacing a 72 step van at the same time. Less emergency vehicles, less old unreliable vehicles on the road etc, etc. So your newest truck in the category was accurate at 2001, because the proposed truck is a pumper, so is the one you have. The only way it would become 72 is if you applied for a rescue only (computer denied P2).

    And even with the added rescue benefit, you have to remember the purpose of the program: basic FFing support. In the rural & suburban elements rescue is not a priority according to the US fire service, outside of vehicle extrication. One set of jaws should be able to fit on any truck in one compartment, just takes a bit of organization sometimes. Outside of that, any other rescue equipment is not seen as a priority in lower call volume, lower population areas.

    I'm not saying I'd have done it any differently, I'd have recommended doing exactly the same thing because that's about your most competitive project you could come up with to solve that problem. And any way you do it the 2001 trucks will hurt, you're going against a lot of people that have nothing newer than 1990. Some I worked with nothing newer than 1980. And that's not the end-all, be-all the other numbers all come into play. You played the shot as best you could, it is going to depend on the softness of the green and the spin you put on the ball at this point. And then of course how everyone else played their shots. Fun game isn't it? Lots of things to think about...

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    Thanks for your thoughts BC79er, i think we have discussed this before, i know we are probably a long shot, im guessing the peer reviewers wont think were a big enough department to justify 2 pumpers assuming we get there, even though our second pumper acts as a tender or a pumper depending upon the situation which we explained, Our 01 pumper was poorly designed, no committee, one guy dealing with one salesman who was his buddy. needless to say it wont happen that way again. Despite all that, we had little money to spend anyway so we didnt have alot of choices. We currently have our rescue equipment spread out on 3 different apparatus. Not all will fit on pumper, not all will fit in step-van. So, like you said, it is our greatest need and safety concern, but we are not getting our hopes up. It is an interesting game, a mind game of sorts.

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    All apps are a long shot, but not as long as those that weren't submitted. All you can do is design the most competitive app you can that fits the situation, make it cost-effective, back it up as well as it can be, and hope for the best. Much of the success of an application rests on the efforts of everyone else compared to the rules of engagement. But the more apps that are put together well that go in, the closer we get to the true needs being filled. Not all of the needs, but the truly greatest needs that the program was meant to fill. It shouldn't be about who can hire the most expensive grant writer, or any of that other stuff. I'm more proud of helping over 50 departments submit applications this year for the first time than the other 250+ I was involved with this year. Well, application-wise anyway, I'm still smiling about interviewing the 3 congressmen for the last PodCast I did. I don't even get to talk to the CEO of my FT job, and they let me interview them? What a country!

    But I digress. As I was saying, if the proper process was followed and the right project picked for the right reasons, then that's a successful application in my mind. It may not get money this year, but applications done like that will win more often than ones just slapped together on a whim.

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    Brian, you are absolutely right. I spent this afternoon with our Congressman as a new member of his Public Safety Advisory Board. I'm a high school grad, small town life/health insurance agent who serves as a volunteer firefighter. Over the past few years i've kept in contact with a few of his staffers and gone to the AFG workshops. That little bit of involvement got enough notice to be invited to help provide input to the Federal process--it's an incredible Country!! It's also humbling to be involoved with the Fire Chiefs, Police Chiefs and Sheriffs who were there!!

    By the way, i did take the opportunity to lobby for sustained AFG funding.

    earl

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