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  1. #1
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    Default Turnout Gear or SCBAs or Both

    Our department is going to submit a grant application, and we were wondering whether it is better to stay focussed on turnout gear or SCBAs versus applying for both.

    On turnout gear, most of our gear is about 10 years old, and we would need 20-30 sets of gear.

    On SCBAs, we are currently on Scott 2.2s, with no integrated PASS alarms. We would be applying for about 20-25 SCBAs (based on seating positions on our appratus).

    Would we be hurting our chances for applying for both?

    Thanks.


  2. #2
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    There really is no right or wrong way to approach this. Some departments have been successful with doing both, others take it one project at a time. Department demographics will play an important role in determining this. A small department with low call volume will have more difficulty doing both (doesn't mean it has not been accomplished), vs. a larger department with high call volume.

    You have not supplied enough info on the issues. If you are basing TO on age and non-compliance to current standards you will not get very far. The TO has to be worn out, torn, contaminated, does not fit properly, mismatched etc. along with age and non-compliance. TO may not be compliant to the current standard, but remains compliant to the standard it was purchased at.

    What other issues do you have with the SCBA? Don't rely just on not having an integrated PASS.

  3. #3
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    Is being 50% brokedick better than being 100%?

    Most depts in our area, have applied successfully for turnout gear and SCBA in the same app. As the app I wrote in 04. And you're not going to find a many smaller depts (16FF) than ours or with fewer calls. Decent turnout gear and SCBA are the cornerstone for FF protection for ANY dept (obviously) and very high priority for the Fire Grant Program. And a heck of a moral and recruiting booster.

    Being compliant with NFPA version 1903 doesn't mean much. If it's wornout or ancient write a good grant app for both. You'll probably get it as most of the proactive FD in the US have already replaced their stuff under the program. If it does not comply with the silly CBRN stuff written into the most recent version of NFPA that's hardly a reason to replace unless worn out. And do 100% of the dept.

    And don't fiddle around with taking care of only 1/2 of your FF. Take care of everyone. If you can't find 5% for the local match from within your community you have something seriously wrong. You only have to come up with about $125/man and $200/SCBA.

  4. #4
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    Default Turn-outs and SCBA's

    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    Our department is going to submit a grant application, and we were wondering whether it is better to stay focussed on turnout gear or SCBAs versus applying for both.

    On turnout gear, most of our gear is about 10 years old, and we would need 20-30 sets of gear.

    On SCBAs, we are currently on Scott 2.2s, with no integrated PASS alarms. We would be applying for about 20-25 SCBAs (based on seating positions on our appratus).

    Would we be hurting our chances for applying for both?

    Thanks.
    We requested both 15 Sets of gear 10 new SCBA 4.5 integrated Pass compliant with current NFPA standards and 8 additional masks so that each individual would have their own mask (total of 18). We only needed to replace 15 sets as new members TO were in good shape.

    We are a low call volume department, but enhanced the argument by the number of structural mutual aid calls (100% structure fires).

    I would also think the new guidance on "RISK Based" versus "NEEDS Based" might make it easier to argue for both TO's and SCBA's

    Just my two cents.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your replies. We are in the NYC metropolitan in a suburban, largely residential town in NJ with a population of about 8,000, run about 275-300 calls per year, and we run on structure fires for at three surrounding towns. Much of our equipment is worn out, mismatched, wrong size, etc, so I think we have a case. As far as SCBAs, maybe we don't have strong case, but I thought having integrated PASS alarms was a big deal.

    aduniii and neiowa, would you be able to send me the narratives you used to get your grants? I know not to copy the language exactly. You can contact me at jd-.1234@hotmail.com . Thanks.

  6. #6
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    True but don't forget cost-benefit calculations and the fact that SCBA and PPE are two different projects. PPE Priority #1, SCBA Priority #2. NUmerous departments year after year get either computer or peer denied asking for both because it is two projects. A pile of departments I worked with this year we only went after one or the other and got awarded. Since there will be a minimum of 10,000 brand new computer scores every year prior awards are no indication of future results. So while it's been done, doesn't mean it will happen again. The lower the population, the lower the call volume, the less likely anything is going to be used. That's the cost-benefit end of things. Not saying people don't get funded asking for both, or need both. The smaller and more focused the project the greater the likelihood of funding. 'Tis better to fund twice than than none. I had several departments computer denied on PPE only projects, but when you run 0 or 1 structure fire call there isn't too much of a statistical need compared to someone running 3, 5, or even 10.

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    We were sucessful for both in 2004. 25 sets of turnouts, 18 SCBAs and 7 additional masks.

    I justified the request as a part of a comprehensive safety program. However, I did not include wildland gear, which we requested and were awarded in 2005.

    I would recomend conducting a needs assessment and base my request on the results. Just remember to objectively diffrentiate between needs and wants. For example, I requested aluminum SCBA cylinders due to their lower cost and longer service life when compared to carbon fiber. I'm certain, everyone would prefer carbon fiber, but when I compared cost to time actually used, I felt the lower cost option represented our best chance of being funded. Additionally, if you do not need CBRN gear don't request it.

    Ask for what you need and can justify; not what you want.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
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    In 2005, we received $86,500 for 16 new SCBA and a compressor/fill station.

    In 2006, we received $44,000 for 21 new sets of gear (head-to-toe) and a gear washer.

  9. #9
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    Default Afg

    JD-
    I wrote a grant for the AFG 2006 for TO's, RIT packs and BA's. I received the full amount of the grant for all of those items. I guess if I had any advice it would be to determine what you need the most. If it's both BA's & TO's, then I'd go for them both. I did drop my grant request down to less than $100k as I've heard that those requests over that magic number tend to get rejected more often (not sure if that's true or not...just the scuttle). Good luck on your Grant!

  10. #10
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    Yes it's true, but only because the larger the request the smaller the cost-benefit ratio so as with any grant program the more you ask for the less likely it is to be awarded. It has nothing to do with the number itself. $40K is more likely to be awarded than $50k, which is more likely than $100k, etc, etc.

    And people asking for more money normally don't have the numerical or narrative justifications for asking for that much at once, so those that ask for more usually get rejected more often than not. Hence the reason that some people repeat years for awards in the $40-80k range. One department I work with is 5-6 in AFG because of small focused projects every year. Had they asked for 2 projects in one year they wouldn't have been so successful, it would be too much at one time. Grants aren't here to solve every problem we have, let alone solve them all at one time. Patience pays off.

  11. #11
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    I don't get how some of these small towns get such large grants for so many "projects" at once. Surf City is a small town on Long Beach Island, with mostly a summer population. I don't begrudge them getting the money, but how does this happen:


    Emergency services in Surf City awarded federal grant
    Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 03/5/07
    Surf City's fire department and emergency medical services is the latest recipient of a federal grant which enables firefighters and first responders to obtain needed equipment, Congressman Jim Saxton, R-3rd, announced today.

    The federal Department of Homeland Security announced the agency gave $196,317 to Surf City Volunteer Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service. The money is earmarked for equipment such as radios, self-contained breathing apparatus packs, lights, and about 20 sets of protective turnout gear, which includes the suit, helmet, gloves and boots.

    The federal funding pays for 95 percent of the cost. The money given Surf City is one of 317 Assistance to Firefighters grants given to fire departments across the country.

  12. #12
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    Alway some luck involved in everything. Some folks can pull that off on their numbers, others can't. Even though it worked, I wouldn't have recommended that app as listed if I were involved, it's not as competitive compared to without the radios, or just as PPE or SCBA. Considering it was a late announcement, it didn't score high, just high enough to get awarded. Don't get me wrong, not knocking it by any means, congrats to them on getting it. As I say, better to be good than lucky, but if you get the award who cares which one it was. Odds are on the good side for everyone else.

    Besides, Beach Haven guy myself. Dad's family has vacationed there since the 50s, still do. I'll be up there again hanging out for a week before Expo. Golf and some bay fishing, maybe crabbing. Good stuff.

  13. #13
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    What about turnout gear, washer, TIC, portable radios. Too much? too broad? 200 runs per year

  14. #14
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    IMO....probably too broad for the number of runs. I would go with the TO & washer. TO #1 priority. The washer can be justified to keep the TO in shape etc. through cleaning meaning a longer lifespan etc. Use the CEDAP grant to try for the TIC.

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    Lime--i'll second the Bugle. The TO's and washer are an excellent match. I'm not sure i will ever be able to request radios from AFG unless it's regional. Whatever else, i can't see CEDAP dropping a TIC option from the list, so that's a great spot. If you wanted to keep it in AFG, it would need to be as a piece of FF safety equipment.

    earl

  16. #16
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    What about SCBA project for all new SCBAs, upgrading mobile cascade (only fills 2200 now), RIT pack, and TIC justified through RIT since they don't have one at all. I tried to talk them into waiting for CEDAP on the TIC and they seem to think it should be with AFG. I told them why pay 5% when they can get it for free but they would rather pay the 5% and have it now (tried to explain that it could be longer going through AFG than CEDAP potentially). I'm just concerned it would bring down the overall score of the app. Like Kurt said, mixing a 5 and 4 makes you a 4.5 and why give up the .5 when you could get the highest score possible. Not my department so can't stand up on the table and throw a huge fit until I get my way, just trying to be neighborly and offer some advice. Curious what others thought.

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    Upgrading the compressor, are you talking about adding a booster pump, or going with the bigger bottles? I teach some of the RIT classes, and all of the academy documents push the RIt having a camera dedicated to the team. I have some mixed feelings about the TIC. It is a great tool, but has been pushed so much that guys are starting to rely on the screen instead of taking in their surroundings. But I could see it as plausable to include it. Bugel, Earl, thanks for the input, its good to get the out of the box opinion to help you tweak the fine points.

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    Not2L8--works great if...you got RIT team already trained but not yet equipped. We wrote a SCBA/cascade/fill/RIT package last year with a department at the seminar. They filled 75 bottles for 5 or 6 departments at a recent barn fire--with headroom to spare. Just like it's 'sposed to work!!

    earl

  19. #19
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    Derrick,

    Just upgrading the mobile cascade. The compressor is alright and it is fixed at the station but the cascade is mounted on their special services vehicle and it is only 4500 bottles (which you need 6000 to fill 4500) and the hoses don't have the correct raiting.

    Earl,

    They're in the same boat...have the training but don't have the equipment. Just concerned about being competitive and making sure they get all the points they can.

    Like Derrick said, nice to have an outside point of view.

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    Notl84u2,

    I would impress on them that they will be matching more than 5%. The AFG has reduced funding for the TIC's by at least $1,000 for those that have been awarded this year.

    CEDAP should be the way to go. No cost, training included. As you pointed out, probably have it quicker if awarded through CEDAP than the AFG.

    There is no standard that states a TIC is required for a RIT (that I have been able to locate) that would help justify the TIC.

    The closest thing is the following:

    NFPA 1500 states, ďA rapid intervention crew/company shall be fully equipped with the appropriate protective clothing, protected equipment, SCBA, and any specialized rescue equipment that could be needed given the specifics of the operation under wayĒ

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