1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpster
    How rediculous... Uniforms???? WTF???? I really hope that ANY SAFER $$$$ went towards uniforms!!!!! All we wanted was one BODY!!! We would go to goodwill and get some pants for that body, just so we can be that extra safe!!!!!

    I there are dept's using SAFER $$$$ for uniforms, you can go you know what to yourself...

    Sorry, but SAFER is for Firefighters, and we would never try and use it to "bend the rules."
    Culpster, i do not take personal offense to your comments as You are entitled to express your opinion and i understand that your opinion is not directed as a personal assault to me. I do feel obligated, since i started this thread, to clarify our position in the hope that it will help to broaden your horizon and understanding of what it takes to build and maintain a volunteer department. I'm too new at all of this to be considered any sort of expert, so you would be wise to seek additional counsel and input.

    I too would take issue with full Class A's for our department. "Uniform pants and shirts" were requested at $75 per head times 20. Compared to doing funeral details in Goodwill ensembles and school/pre-school presentations in street clothes it will be a great moral booster when we get it done. Grant or no grant, it will happen. For our area and what we do, full blown Class A's at $400 to $700 a pop would be ludicrous and should be a matter of individual choice and investment.

    Our needs assessment revealed that:
    A. We need to Recruit 4 BODIES available for weekday calls. At best we are at 3 in 15 minutes on most weekdays, 6 takes much longer. (see NFPA 1720)
    AND
    B. We need to Retain our current BODIES for the other 18 hours/day.

    Seemed to be within the scope of the Program Guidance. As some others have mentioned here, the ability to don identifying articles with pride can create a tremendous bond that secures responders to us. Look around you, even non-conformists conform to each other through attire and appearance.

    In terms of cost-benfit return, $1,500 seems very cheap to help retain just one volunteer for one year. The impression made on a 2nd grader who sees us walk into class in a white uniform shirt instead of work clothes/jeans cannot be measured.

    I take no personal issue with using federal funding to help career and combo departments hire FF's. Makes me a little more satisfied as a taxpayer compared to many, many other areas that get funded with our tax dollars. In SAFER, i have a personal an issue with LOSAP as an eligible project, but it's in there and i'll not begrudge those who choose to avial themselves of such an opportunity.

    Most of the folks on this forum work hard at the craft of fundraising, and our department has benefitted greatly from the direct and indirect input of all the contributors here. Culpster, all of us have needs for our own departments. Hang around with us for a few months and you'll find that you will get better at what you are trying to do. And whatever you do, don't give up on the system--let's figure out how to get you that one slot filled.

    earl

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    Actually we only went for one firefighter this year BC, and last year we went for two. We feel that the justification of giving us one body this year is very appropriate in accordance with the guid lines in which we gave all the hard data to back it up.

    With our combination department, and responding to over 1100 (750 ems and over 350 fire) calls a year, we provide spectacular service to our area with what many would cry foul with the numbers we do have (being 35 firefighters, 7 fulltime (fulltime chief and fulltime assistant chief) and 24 paid on call). We run 3 shifts on our full time side. Our city has graciously allowed to hire 1 full time this year to have two shifts with 3 firefighters (but this position will not be filled until Oct).

    Due to increasing fuel and energy costs (up over 50% and 30% in the last year), we barely squeeked by getting one FF this year.

    I just think that with todays economy, and all the BS bashing we get now in the press, that these departments better start becoming more fiscally responsible and ask the bare minimum... that means NO UNIFORMS...

    Cant wait till the press gets this one....

    i.e. ask for the bare minimum and help spread the wealth to other departments who need it... we'll firgure out how to get those uniforms, we are firefighters, we are resourcefull!!!!!!

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    City Of Onalaska, Wisconsin
    2006 adopted budget $7,052,285
    Fire Department budget
    $797,847
    If this was your department's budget-than uniforms would not be a problem.

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    Culpster,
    Our departments have the same needs--Firefighters, equipment and fuel. Our communities are different, so the ways to fill those needs is different. Our annual operating budget is $35,000. You run 8 times the calls, so since you are so fiscally conservative i assume your budget is about $300,000. NO--it's got to be much higher, and it's well justified. And, like almost every other community in the US, funding is tight. If you are so hard-core on "bare minimum", why ask for $80,000-$100,000 (and an equal amount from local gov't) for one person to work 2000 hours/year when a $50,000 advertising blitz might generate 7 or 8 who could donate 600 hours each?? On the surface that would seem more cost-effective--but it isn't what your community needs. So you are trying to use this program to fill your need. So are we.

    If i was going to try to "bend the rules", i'd have been looking for ways to divert funds to fuel and equipment and a brush truck. Not gonna cheat, never. These are very good (though not perfect) programs and i will not be party to their downfall if i can help it. When our applications are not awarded, my assumption is that either somebody else's other need is greater OR i didn't present our need will enough OR i missed something in the program guidance. Much healthier attitude to show the press than whining in a corner about what the rules are. If you disagree with the rules, work on a committee that builds them instead of accusing others who are trying to follow them of bending them.

    The press?? They love charges of waste, abuse, fraud, and "bending the rules"--even when they are unfounded and thrown out in anger. I'm trying to better understand the system and find out what is and isn't eligible, and you're screaming abuse. Where do you think "the press" comes up with some of the fodder they report? Wanna talk about preposterous stuff??? How about the building opinion in this thread that our ineligible activity was more likely TRAINING than uniforms? There's the story for the National Enquirer.

    Have a nice day.

    earl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpster
    I just think that with todays economy, and all the BS bashing we get now in the press, that these departments better start becoming more fiscally responsible and ask the bare minimum... that means NO UNIFORMS...
    Tim,

    I again state, what works for your department may not work
    for mine.

    We are a completely volunteer department. No paid on call,
    no stipend, just recognition.

    We have to increase public recognition of our volunteers, and one of the ways to do so is by providing distinctive jackets. With that public recognition comes retention and recruiting of new members.

    I would venture a guess that my departments total operating budget is less than the money your department spends on public education.

    You talk about hiring with the SAFER money, which is not an option for us. There is no way we can afford the continuing expense for employing a
    full time person. We have to find ways to get more VOLUNTEERS.

    That kind of request fits totally with the intent and letter of the SAFER
    grant program.

    What is wrong with that?

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    Well said LVFD.
    I also come from a volunteer dept on a limited budget. My property taxes here are VERY VERY HIGH. Our community is growing being in the Greater Atlanta area. In order to keep our taxes from really getting out of site, we need volunteers. Anything that we can do to keep volunteers we need to do it. Hint Hint, incentives, dinners, uniforms, retirement benefits, gift cards etc. The reason for this is volunteers will keep the cost of the service down and can provide a very good service.

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    Needs are Needs, we all have them. What we all "Need" to do now is quit wasting our time trying to convince Culpster to not hate so much and just leave him in his own ****ed off little world. Youíre just not going to be able to change a mind like his because he simply canít think in any other reality than his own narrow, selfish little world.

    Culpster, if you want to talk about abusing the system and talking to the press about it, donít forget to mention to them that your department applied for a firefighter position through SAFER that you ended up being able to afford yourself anyway. Your supposed to be applying for things you canít afford arenít you?

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    As Rodney King said, "Can't we all just get along?"

    We do all have needs and they are ultimately very similar. All departments, regardless of size, career, vollie, combo, POC, urban, suburban, rural--basic needs are pretty similar. And budgets are tight all over. Finding ways to fill the needs are vastly different depending on the specific situation. That's been said here a few times, and i appreciate all of the input.

    We still don't know what exactly was ineligible, and may never know for sure what the 'puter tossed out. I will tell you this, the clothing was not in this year's SAFER app, but the training (with justification!!) was. So...in a few months we may have an indication.

    Have a great weekend. I'm off to the local track (gonna get rained out again though), then to the Milwaukee Mile in the morning. Culpster--we're in Section 409 on Saturday, somewhere in the 100's Sunday. If you make it cross the state, i'll buy you a beverage at the Mile!! Maybe even a brat.

    earl

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    LOL Earl...

    I guess the point I have been trying to get across ( and for some people they think it is a hateful one, which to all avail, it is not...), all I am trying to say (which is almost verbatum to SAFER:

    What is the purpose of SAFER?

    The SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant Program was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help increase the number of firefighters. The goal is to enhance the ability of fire departments to attain 24-hour staffing and thus assure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. SAFER grants will help fire departments meet minimum standards for firefighter staffing.

    Now I sure hope that those applying for "t-shirts, and class-A's" are thrown out if that is the way they see fit to support thier departments way of membership. The idea of SAFER is protection, and t-shirts dont protect.

    If the departments have to use a t-shirt to keep their members... those members are obviously in it for the wrong reasons... I do not need a t-shirt to know why I am doing it. Is it nice??? Sure it is... But I know I don't want my tax money going for that. This is what I am saying.

    And again, if that is what your department has to do to keep members, maybe it is time to look really deep and see what the purpose of the majority really is trying to accomplish, and maybe it is time for some leadership to assist in changing that mentality. We as Firefighters/First Responders is to help, and if it means that we need new shirts... Have a Brat Fest and sell brats!!!! just means a little more harder work my brothers and sisters....

    ďI have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the firefighter has to do believe that his is a noble calling. There is an adage which says that, "Nothing can be destroyed except by fire." We strive to preserve from destruction the wealth of the world which is the product of the industry of men, necessary for the comfort of both the rich and the poor. We are defenders from fires of the art which has beautified the world, the product of the genius of men and the means of refinement of mankind. (But, above all; our proudest endeavor is to save lives of men-the work of God Himself. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even at the supreme sacrifice. Such considerations may not strike the average mind, but they are sufficient to fill to the limit our ambition in life and to make us serve the general purpose of human society.Ē

    Chief Edward F. Croker, FDNY.

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    Hey Bro, we just got back to the hotel after 10 hours at the Mile. Since you didn't come by for the brat, i ate it. And one of the best pulled pork sandwiches i've ever had anywhere. Guy sweetens his sauce with a local brewed (forgot the name) ROOT BEER!! Anyway, i bought three bottles of his BBQ sauce, got a new idea for Recruitment and Retention!!!

    Later,
    earl

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    Race Track Ticket: $50
    Brat & "Root" Beer: $15
    New Idea for Safer Grant: Priceless

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    LOL Earl,

    As long as it is Festival Foods Brats, you got a wiener, I mean winner...

    Sorry I couldn't make it to the Mile this weekend, just got back from vacation last Sunday and I am all tapped out. Guess I am going to have to have a brat fest of my own to get by.

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    Quote Originally Posted by k3twpfire
    Race Track Ticket: $50
    Brat & "Root" Beer: $15
    New Idea for Safer Grant: Priceless
    BBQ sauce was cheaper per ounce than bottled water!! The Milwaukee Mile is a great track, and well-priced compared with some other facilities i've visitied.

    I was only half kidding yesterday when i commented on the R & R benefits of a good barbecue. My wife has been talking about hosting our department and families for a cookout, and i'm thinking that it might be an excellent way to mix a few potential recruits in there. A little different than an open house, and we could do some specific invitations.....

    Culpster, i haven't looked at a map, but it seems like Milwaukee would have been a haul from your area. At least there's no Chicago in the middle!! I did a pretty fair amount of business with Midwest Security Insurance out of Onalaska for a few years. Good bunch of folks, but they changed their rating area for us so i rarely use them now.

    earl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenacres2
    I was only half kidding yesterday when i commented on the R & R benefits of a good barbecue. My wife has been talking about hosting our department and families for a cookout, and i'm thinking that it might be an excellent way to mix a few potential recruits in there. A little different than an open house, and we could do some specific invitations.....


    earl

    MMMMMMHHHHHHH! My taste buds are salivating. Paging Dr Pavlov... Earl is ringing the dinner bells!

    Earl I regulalry host 25-40 at BBQs all summer down here. Will have to have you over next time you get this way! I can smoke anything that walks on four legs or has feathers and make it fall off the bones. You ever had a BBQ'd Armadillo? Or smoked and BBQ'd gator tail?
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    I've eaten BBQ zebra, roast elephant, beaver, elk, bear, a variety of snakes, rabbit, venison, moose and squirrel (no, not Rocky and Bullwinkle!!), and more--but never armadillo or gator. There's a Spanish restraunt up this way that offers a wild game buffet every year, it's an incredible experience. Not sure if i'll have a chance to get over in August, but i will accept a future invite!!

    This past weekend i had beets and sweet potatoes in fresh chip form. I wasn't real impressed with sweet potatoes, but the beets were like fried dessert. Got client here, time to work!!
    earl

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    ....and it all tastes like chicken

    We have a winner...sign Earl up as a contestant for Fear Factor.

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    He'd beat me. I could handle the worms, grubs, and that other stuff they put out there. Put beets or brussel sprouts on the plate, I'm done. I don't care how much money is on the table.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    He'd beat me. I could handle the worms, grubs, and that other stuff they put out there. Put beets or brussel sprouts on the plate, I'm done. I don't care how much money is on the table.
    Aw come on Brian. You haven't lived till you tasted " soft shell turtle" with "swamp cabbage".
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    I'll eat stuff like that. It's them beets, lima beans, and brussel sprouts that make me gag. Got over the cauliflower issue, but not the cooked spinach or creamed corn. Bleah.

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    My wife planted brussels sprouts in our garden this year. I'm paranoid that they might make everything else taste bad. The broccoli is awesome though.
    earl

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    The only thing I have planted this year is the food plots on my deer hunting property. The last time I was up there, it was growing like crazy since the rain had started. 22 days and counting till season opens, and none to soon for me as my supply of venison is dwindling fast. I miss my jalapeno/cheddar slim jims. I have already seen one nice 8 point and tracks from one that is even bigger. C'mere deer!
    Kurt Bradley
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    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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