1. #76
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    It would be $10,000.

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    Yea, thats what I thought... I think that may be an error on my chief's part that I didn't catch. I believe he put our total operating budget for 3 years, not the average.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    Program has been in place for 6 years.
    For 6 years, we have applied to the program.
    And for the 6th straight year, we have been DENIED.
    I have voiced some very strong opinions about the "competitiveness" of this program, but not this time.
    No sour grapes; no sirree. I couldn't be happier that the richest fire district in the entire state of Illinois was awarded. And to those departments who have garnered success in more than one grant year, hats off to you. I guess our little department just can't "compete".
    We will continue to beg, borrow and self pay our way to our needed purchases. Now that we are embarking on Technical Rescue without any federal help and having just purchased a rescue truck without the help of a grant and we will start replacing turnout without the assistance of a grant, because it would be a same if the richest fire district in the state of Illinois couldn't buy a new truck every two years. They NEEDED this grant. They NEEDED to know that they were competitive. Touchdown!
    But I'm happy for the winners.
    CR
    I understand where you are coming from CHIEF. It seems as though there are individuals on here "bragging" about how many times they have been awarded and it also seems as though they are applying for things because they can. I know of a department that I have talked to with a lot of money in the bank and no need to do any fundraising, but they have been awarded three years in a row and cannot think of what to apply for next. While the rest of us are borrowing money to purchase used equipment and then we get denied because we have a 1994 pumper with a low call volume. It doesnt matter that we pay a $1000 a month payment on that piece of equipment. And we have to do major fundraising to get the money for the payments. Fortunately we are still in the running to replace a 1975 Tanker with a cracked frame. But I expect the DJ anytime. Kurt pointed out some things in our narrative that will get us kicked out. The main reason is that I have not attended one of the seminars on how to write the narrative. I would love to travel 8 hours to Indiana to attend with greenacres and bring the birch beer, but with a full time job and a family, it is not feasible. Oh well, I will try to learn what I can off of here and try again next year. Sorry for venting. Have a wonderful day!!

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    gmattox - with most projects I don't see that being an issue with such a small budget.

    Repeat award winners are doing so because they only work on one project per year. PPE in one, SCBA in another, rescue tools, etc, etc, etc. They aren't trying to shoot for the moon and solve all of their problems. That being said, you can still follow everything and still not make the computer. As more and more people learn more about the great game of grants, the competition level increases. Hence the reason I spend so much time reading and analyzing. Those on the right track get run over when they sit still.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    . I couldn't be happier that the richest fire district in the entire state of Illinois was awarded.
    Just out of curiosity, who is the richest fire district in Illinois?

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    Brian:
    First two years, we tried for apparatus.
    Last four years, it has been firefighter safety and ops.
    We didn't shoot for the moon, but we GOT mooned.
    I know that you have been a tireless advocate for this grant program and I know that you have been successful in getting departments awarded, but I have been around long enough to know that what we have in the FIRE Act is NOT a level playing field. It is a program that reads like the map in the movie National Treasure.
    I'm pretty sure the computer tossed us this year and it's funny. We reduced the scope of our project, requested less money and still had our nuts handed to us.
    Don't take it personally, Brian. You're a good guy and I will probably INSIST that our chief talk to you in 2007 FY; that is, if the program is still around.
    But man, after 6 years, it's getting old.
    K: there are actually TWO that a swimming in cash and BOTH have received grants through this program.
    CR
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    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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    Default oh for three

    "Dear John, You CANNOT purchase new, safe S.C.B.A. with our help this year"

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    I don't take anything personally Art, everyone has their opinions and that's how the world spins. We're a better world because of that fact. It's not a perfect program, but it's the only one so we need to make sure we all pull in the right directions.

    But I still can't find any particular angle towards any specific type of department or coverage area. I worked 30+ apps for 1st time applicants this year, and another 30+ that had never received funding before. 27 out of those 60 have either been awarded or are pending. Only 2 got DJ'd yesterday and I knew they were long shots frmo the get-go so I knew I had to firefighter-proof the narrative just in case it made Peer.

    The perception that it's a rich person's program or poor person's program is one of the deepest running ones I fight. "Rich" is a relative term. Large budget doesn't make a rich department, I have a lot with 7 and 8 figure budgets that are getting awarded, and nearly all spending 90+% on pay. Right project, right department.

    Reducing your request doesn't always mean a better chance. I probably had at least a dozen not asking for enough money in prior apps. Technically the less you ask for in relation to your budget, the less likely it is that you can convince someone you can't afford the project.

    Y'all know where my free help is at down the road from you, don't hesitate to drop the line and we'll see about taking 2007 to the hole.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewAtThisGame
    "Dear John, You CANNOT purchase new, safe S.C.B.A. with our help this year"
    You know the best part is that they give money to purchase gym equipment for fitness so that people could get into shape. Yet not give a dept. money to buy equipment that is needed for life safety. You gotta wonder sometimes how they justify this. I said it before but i'll say it again this money should be ONLY used for safety equipment. You wanna build a gym have a fund raiser.

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    I have to agree with Scott, we need to as both winners and losers, be heard in DC as to the needs of the Fire service nation wide. By the numbers of DJs, there is much need. The right project and the right Department will not be funded 100% of the time with the numbers of applications compared to cuts in funding of this program. Also the name of the program hasnt changed since 01, assistance to firefighters grant (Afg) will never be a cure all for all , but an assistance as the name states. I wasnt bragging about our Dept. being 2 for 6, just thankful and blessed for the two awards we recieved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er
    "No Gnews is good Gnews" according to Gary Gnu.

    Bragging rights to whoever else can name that TV Show.

    Another age check question I used when I was bouncing bar.

    Let me get my walker out - My son watched the show....

    The Great Space Coaster....

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    Ok, lots of B and Moaning out there. I have been there, until this year
    we only recieve a grant in the first year.

    I too thought that the program was unfair...

    Then, I took the time to get copies of successful grant applications and carefully look at those. 11 of them in fact.

    Then, I wrote mine. I asked each of the successful grant writers to review mine. I took most of their suggestions. I had people from here review the application.

    Then, I hit submit. I got the AFG and the SAFER this year.

    Turns out, maybe I was not as good as I thought I was!

    So lets have it those who were unsuccessful. Post your narrative here. Post your computer scored parts of the application here. Lets pick them apart, as
    a group that is trying to help. Maybe we can help. Maybe we can all learn something.

    It's worth a shot, isn't it?

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    Thumbs down

    Got my DJ on the 14th.
    LT/EMT Wright
    I A C O J
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    All opinions expressed are solely of my personal opinion and in no way reflect those of my department. This is for those of you who use a large stick to stir excrement.

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    Ok, Im new to the AFG thing. What if you submitted your application online and you have heard nothing back at all, whatsoever? I have seen others talk about DJ's and other replies to fill out. When am I going to get something from the government?

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    got are dear john last night what the heck try and try again

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    You know what guys? All the b'ing and moaning in the world isn't going to make it any better. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. First thing I did yesterday after getting my DJ was get in touch with Kurt . He spent over an hour with me on the phone last night, and opened my eyes to what I did wrong on what our chief thought was a bulletproof app. Turns out we were dead in the water as soon as we started. I am also going to take what I learned last night and tell the chief that I learned all that in one hour, imagine what I will pick up in 16 hours at one of their seminars? So instead of complaining about the best program we've ever had, do something to make your app next year better. Contact Kurt, his knowledge of this program is incredibly deep, and he really does want to see us all on the AFG winners list...

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    Getting educated is the key. Kurt helped us enough that i went to his seminar last year. Became enough of a believer that we are hosting him at our department to make it more accessable to others. (if our neighbors do better, we get to use their stuff!!) If you can't get to one of his regional sessions, check the "Agency Hosted" list. Half the cost, and the hotels in LaPorte IN are way cheaper than Orlando, Houston and Vegas. (plus--we have riverboat gambling up the road if you need a distraction!!)

    Same could probably be said for Brian or Alana--it's an investment but we're at over a 500 to 1 return for our dept and over $200,000 for others we have helped here. Shoot me an e-mail if you want info.
    earl

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301
    Ok, lots of B and Moaning out there. I have been there, until this year
    we only recieve a grant in the first year.

    I too thought that the program was unfair...

    Then, I took the time to get copies of successful grant applications and carefully look at those. 11 of them in fact.

    Then, I wrote mine. I asked each of the successful grant writers to review mine. I took most of their suggestions. I had people from here review the application.

    Then, I hit submit. I got the AFG and the SAFER this year.

    Turns out, maybe I was not as good as I thought I was!

    So lets have it those who were unsuccessful. Post your narrative here. Post your computer scored parts of the application here. Lets pick them apart, as
    a group that is trying to help. Maybe we can help. Maybe we can all learn something.

    It's worth a shot, isn't it?
    First off we are still in the running no dj yet. Secondly the system is very unfair. How do they justify allowing a Dept. who is successful in a vehicle grant to turn around and resell their old vehicle to another dept. Are they not saying that it is outdated to begin with by giving you a grant to purchase a new one. So now this new owner turns around a couple years later and writes a grant to replace the same old peice of shi* that was sold to them. How do you deny them when another town was given a grant to replace that same peice of shi*. Do you see where i'm going with this??? This is a never ending process because they allow it to happen instead of fixing the problem the first time.They are killing themselves by allowing the resale of this equipment. If you get a vehicle grant then your old vehicle should be seized not resold.And dont think they are just being sold to smaller less busier depts. because i know of several bigger much busier depts. that this happened to. I will also go against giving money for gym equipment. If everyones safety needs are being met then I could see giving it out. But if you are denied this safety equipment while another town gets money for gym equipment then thats where its wrong. while good writing is a big part of a successful grant its about time these people giving out this money wake up and start looking what depts. really need the equipment. Not because your narrative is better then another narrative. They need to really look into numbers in runs ,population, age of equipment etc... and really stress that stuff.
    Last edited by kingofdahill; 11-16-2006 at 09:21 AM.

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    while good writing is a big part of a successful grant its about time these people giving out this money wake up and start looking what depts. really need the equipment. Not because your narrative is better then another narrative. They need to really look into numbers in runs ,population, age of equipment etc... and really stress that stuff.
    Ummm, that's exactly what the application is doing right now. That's why all of those facts and figures are entered into the application.

    And on narratives it's not about who has the PhD writing for them. It's about communicating the need. Saying "we're poor and we can't afford this needed equipment" does not address anything that's required yet that's the exact phrase I see year after year. And if not that phrase something close to it.

    There is a huge return on investment in attending workshops and seminars. Lots of folks just like Earl can post about Kurt's, mine, or Alana's. After my one in Little Rock last year one of the dept's spent $250 to send 2 people and within 2 months had $30K in Fireman's Fund money for Hurst tools. Western NC is cleaning house with almost $4mil coming to those attendees after filling a room for less than $2k.

    The biggest thing is you need to go out and educate yourself. I don't remember who the quote belong to but it goes like this: "The difference between a smart man and an intelligent man, is that the smart man only knows what he knows. The intelligent man knows what he doesn't know, and strives to remedy the situation."

    Firefighting is no different from grants. We all say that the most dangerous person on the fireground is the person that says they know everything. Grants is no different, the people that claim they know everything are the ones that will avoid learning anything and never be successful, only lucky here and there.

    I read a couple thousand apps a year for the sole purpose of seeing how things are done elsewhere, analyze the awards for trends, read the documentation supporting the priorities of the program. Why? Because as successful as I have been in the past it doesn't mean squat in the next game. Past performance is never an indicator of future success. I am still far from knowing everything there is, and never will be there. No one can, it's impossible. But that doesn't mean stop trying to expand your horizons. If you really need what you say you need, then get out there and take control of your funding destiny.

    - Brian
    Brian P. Vickers
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    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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    And if someone is selling a piece of equipment that they claimed was unsafe in their application then that does constitute fraud in 2006. DHS saw that happening over and over which is why it is specifically in the Program Guidance that such equipment has to be taken out of service when replaced with the new stuff. This will be caught at the site audit and appropriate actions taken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenacres2
    Getting educated is the key. Kurt helped us enough that i went to his seminar last year. Became enough of a believer that we are hosting him at our department to make it more accessable to others. (if our neighbors do better, we get to use their stuff!!) If you can't get to one of his regional sessions, check the "Agency Hosted" list. Half the cost, and the hotels in LaPorte IN are way cheaper than Orlando, Houston and Vegas. (plus--we have riverboat gambling up the road if you need a distraction!!)

    Same could probably be said for Brian or Alana--it's an investment but we're at over a 500 to 1 return for our dept and over $200,000 for others we have helped here. Shoot me an e-mail if you want info.
    earl
    Earl - Kurt told me about this seminar last night. I am going to try and convince my chief to send me out there. At least this way they won't think I'm trying to get a free Vegas or Orlando vacation. Little do they know, I can go to my personal Mecca, right down the road in South Bend.... How's the weather in IN in March?

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    Got our Dear John on the 14th. So much for the new pumper.

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    What I find bizarre is that the DHS sponsored seminar on grant guidance for this year the presenter stated that there would be very few grants for apparatus. She told us that they were finished paying for trucks.

    The grants I have seen so far seem to be mostly for rolling stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingofdahill
    I will also go against giving money for gym equipment. If everyones safety needs are being met then I could see giving it out. But if you are denied this safety equipment while another town gets money for gym equipment then thats where its wrong. while good writing is a big part of a successful grant its about time these people giving out this money wake up and start looking what depts. really need the equipment. Not because your narrative is better then another narrative. They need to really look into numbers in runs ,population, age of equipment etc... and really stress that stuff.
    King,

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I certainly won't say you're wrong for what you believe but you might want to consider the fact that 50% of the LODD are cardiac related and that statistically 75% of the Fire Service is volunteer. I don't want to re-hash the career vs. volly argument but the 75% of us that volunteer have other careers as well (and can't spend parts of our work day working out).

    10k-15k worth of fitness equipment and a fitness program in place of a payroll isn't a bad deal for those communities that can't afford paid service or for those communities that have paid service but can't afford the fitness equipment. And if one LODD is prevented, I think that makes the deal even sweeter. The NVFC and the NFFF have all made their opinions known on this topic and that's why you see that activity included. Taking care of the people that take care of us and the public, IMHO is a safety issue.

    We all have needs and an opinion on what's most important. I'm going to be putting together a draft letter that we can get out to our elected officials. I'll post it on the forums for anyone to use as I get it finished. I'll be asking the guru's for their input before it's finalized. Brian, Kurt, Diane, if you have any suggestions right now, e-mail them to me and I'll put it together.

    If we can create a large funding limit there will be less of us getting the dreaded DJ's.
    Last edited by scottm207; 11-16-2006 at 11:38 AM.
    Stay Safe!

    Scott
    Bellona Vol. Fire Co.

    "There are three kinds of people, those that learn by reading; the few that learn by observation and the ones that have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." - anon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottm207
    King,

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I certainly won't say you're wrong for what you believe but you might want to consider the fact that 50% of the LODD are cardiac related and that statistically 75% of the Fire Service is volunteer. I don't want to re-hash the career vs. volly argument but the 75% of us that volunteer have other careers as well (and can't spend parts of our work day working out).

    10k-15k worth of fitness equipment and a fitness program in place of a payroll isn't a bad deal for those communities that can't afford paid service or for those communities that have paid service but can't afford the fitness equipment. And if one LODD is prevented, I think that makes the deal even sweeter. The NVFC and the NFFF have all made their opinions known on this topic and that's why you see that activity included. Taking care of the people that take care of us and the public, IMHO is a safety issue.
    I sometimes believe that the numbers you reference here are exaggerated. When I look at the fire-related deaths in the fire service, a majority of them is, as you said, related to cardiovascular problems. Many of these deaths are questionable as to whether the incident they attended with the fire service contributed to the death or if the individual would have been "called home" at the same time no matter what they would have done prior. I do not see all this fitness equipment being the solution to the problem. A good diet plan would be an exellent place to start. I am finding that out the hard way. I am one of those firefighters that are OVERWEIGHT along with several others from our department. We decided to meet on Tuesday evenings to jog around our grounds to get into shape. Well we didnt even do that one evening. So I went to Sears and bought a home gym and treadmill and set it up. That lasted a month and I gained weight!! It takes discipline that I do not have to get worked back into shape. Putting $10,000 worth of fitness equipment in your hall will not get your members into shape. I can see this being used for a while and then occassionally after the new toy syndrom wears off. And you mention that you have a career and cant spend parts of the day working out, so when will you find the time to use the equipment that the grant will fund? I am not trying to criticize, but I am having similar problems and cannot see this as the solution. My problem begins with the daily "Golden Arches!!"

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