1. #1
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    Default Getting Past the Computer

    Any ideas on how to show this info so we can at least make it to peer review for an MCI trailer.

    If we just go by population I don't think we can make it past the computer due to the fact it would only show the grant impact on less than 2000 people not 15,000,000.

    Last Census Population: 1450

    Hotel Rooms: 6300 (84% Avg Occupancy)

    Employees in Districy: 12,000 plus

    Annual Visitors: 15,000,000 give or take

    Annual Tour Buses: 15,000 (525,000 passengers)

    Last 24 hour traffic count on Northern border: almost 26,000 vehicles
    Last 24 hour traffic count on Southern Border: almost 12,000 vehicles

    Airport we respond to mutual aid: numerous private charter flights (100 or more people)
    Capt. Lance E. Gillespie
    North Tunica Co. Fire Dept.
    Robinsonville, Ms

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    Vol have you tried to go thru your Homeland Security District with this project? I can't remember which one you are in and what their main focus is right now.

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    The only info that will be reported for data on the application will be the population & the # of buildings 4+ stories (if the 6300 rooms are in that type of building).

    Otherwise, the listed info would have to be put into the narrative.

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    In the past we have been able to get alot of stuff done with Homeland Security money, but this year Mississippi gave out the money according to population for the county. Not much money for a county of less than 10,000.

    We also fall into the catagory of being less than 40 miles from Memphis Metro area, so alot of the money for the region goes there.

    They are supposed to be changing this for 2007, but no word yet.

    As far as Homeland Security money goes, EMA has provided us with air bag systems, cribbing, extrication tools and SCBA mobile filling station.
    Capt. Lance E. Gillespie
    North Tunica Co. Fire Dept.
    Robinsonville, Ms

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    The only info that will be reported for data on the application will be the population & the # of buildings 4+ stories (if the 6300 rooms are in that type of building).

    Otherwise, the listed info would have to be put into the narrative.
    Does the 4+ stories include actual stories or 40+ feet in height (10ft= 1 story)

    If so, we have casinos that are 2 stories tall, but over 50 feet in height.
    Capt. Lance E. Gillespie
    North Tunica Co. Fire Dept.
    Robinsonville, Ms

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    Straight from the regional AFG reps mouth this morning at his seminar.
    When filling out the questions on demographics , you must use the census listed as of the 2000 national report. We are in the same boat as you are in that we have a low permanent population + - 5000 but in the summer time it quadruples . that has to be addressed in your narrative BUT that only works if you make it past the @#%$&^! computer scoring. I asked this question very specifically to him and he basically said that we were SOL . 50% of the structures we protect are 2nd or weekend / vacation homes with values well into multi millions of dollars but they are owned by NON residents so they don't count in the census tally. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol901 View Post
    Does the 4+ stories include actual stories or 40+ feet in height (10ft= 1 story).
    That would include actual stories not the height equivalent; that is why churches w/steeples, silos etc. can not be counted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Straight from the regional AFG reps mouth this morning at his seminar.
    When filling out the questions on demographics , you must use the census listed as of the 2000 national report. We are in the same boat as you are in that we have a low permanent population + - 5000 but in the summer time it quadruples . that has to be addressed in your narrative BUT that only works if you make it past the @#%$&^! computer scoring. I asked this question very specifically to him and he basically said that we were SOL . 50% of the structures we protect are 2nd or weekend / vacation homes with values well into multi millions of dollars but they are owned by NON residents so they don't count in the census tally. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news
    Yeah it's a real shame. Is there any chance to find out if any politicians own some of those rental or vacations homes. Use them to push.
    ex Chief 500

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHIEF500 View Post
    Yeah it's a real shame. Is there any chance to find out if any politicians own some of those rental or vacations homes. Use them to push.
    There are a few that own homes here but they are from out of state. Part of the issue stems from the committee that writes the guidelines each year. Kind of reminds me of pork barrel politics and who can get the most government money for their home districts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    That would include actual stories not the height equivalent; that is why churches w/steeples, silos etc. can not be counted.
    Not true actually. NFPA building code says 10" above grade equals 1 story. So 40' tall buildings where people work are 4 stories tall, such as warehouses, office buildings etc. If a 50' tall office building has a 30' 1st floor and 20' 2nd floor it's a 5 story building. Church steeples , silos, and the like don't count because no one is normally up there ever, i.e. normally occupied. Office buildings and warehouses are. Same with airplane hangers with mechanics and pilots in them.

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    What is really a shame is that economic impact and possible soft targets are not part of the equation.

    Our fire districts occupants currently account for the revenue to pay or a little over 5% of the entire budget for the State of Mississippi.

    You also can't tell me we are not a prime soft target, but all they count is population.

    Well all we can do is keep trying and finding all Grants available to the fire department and EMA. We have an awesome EMA Director who has told us to go after every Grant we can and we will find a way to make the match.
    Capt. Lance E. Gillespie
    North Tunica Co. Fire Dept.
    Robinsonville, Ms

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    There are a few that own homes here but they are from out of state. Part of the issue stems from the committee that writes the guidelines each year. Kind of reminds me of pork barrel politics and who can get the most government money for their home districts.
    Are we allowed to have letters written by government officials, if so I need to get busy.
    Capt. Lance E. Gillespie
    North Tunica Co. Fire Dept.
    Robinsonville, Ms

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    Sure. They don't count for anything with AFG, but the other grant programs it might. Especially with the Homeland Security Grant Pork Program. Those are all fully political, which is why AFG is bent over backwards to not be.

    And population = risk. When terrorists want to make a statement and kill a lot of people, it has to be done in a small area. So population dense targets are chosen. If your population is spread out with 5000 people over 25 square miles, when the bad guys want to become martyrs, they're not going to chose your area and kill a few. They want 1000s of dead infidels. But then again, AFG isn't really about terrorist problems, it's about basic fire. Same thing, lower population less risk of major fire loss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Sure. They don't count for anything with AFG, but the other grant programs it might. Especially with the Homeland Security Grant Pork Program. Those are all fully political, which is why AFG is bent over backwards to not be.

    And population = risk. When terrorists want to make a statement and kill a lot of people, it has to be done in a small area. So population dense targets are chosen. If your population is spread out with 5000 people over 25 square miles, when the bad guys want to become martyrs, they're not going to chose your area and kill a few. They want 1000s of dead infidels. But then again, AFG isn't really about terrorist problems, it's about basic fire. Same thing, lower population less risk of major fire loss.
    Rightly said, I love the way the AFG is operated as far as awarding. The opportunity to have your peers read and score your app. cuts out the bs.

    The Homeland Security Grant Program would benefit from being run the same as AFG.

    All we can hope is that we make it past the computer and into peer review.

    Your quote about terrorism is also right on target. We have Casino/ Hotels that have 15-20,000 people located within them on summer weekend nights. It makes me shutter to think of the terrible possibilities. Mass casualty and economic devastaion with one single act.
    Capt. Lance E. Gillespie
    North Tunica Co. Fire Dept.
    Robinsonville, Ms

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol901 View Post
    Rightly said, I love the way the AFG is operated as far as awarding. The opportunity to have your peers read and score your app. cuts out the bs.

    The Homeland Security Grant Program would benefit from being run the same as AFG.

    All we can hope is that we make it past the computer and into peer review.
    But the big problem for a lot of small rural fire depts is they can't get past the computer. I would love for My PEERS to read our grant apps.
    My peers would be fellow rural firefighters who are doing the same job and meeting all the same OSHA, Dept. of labor, and a million other govt. regulations as the big city career depts. except that we're wearing seven or eight hats such as risk manager. building & apparatus maintenance, CEH instructor and grant writer on top of responding to fire & EMS calls .
    As far as the homeland security grant program we have received exactly $135.00 worth of boots and two tyvek disposable suits from it. All that money is buying lots of toys to sit in the big urban areas that only take them out to show off to politicians. the rest of the time the equipment sits collecting dust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    I would love for My PEERS to read our grant apps.
    My peers would be fellow rural firefighters who are doing the same job and meeting all the same OSHA, Dept. of labor, and a million other govt. regulations as the big city career depts. except that we're wearing seven or eight hats such as risk manager. building & apparatus maintenance, CEH instructor and grant writer on top of responding to fire & EMS calls .
    Knowing some of the people who HAVE sat on peer review, those exact traits are found in the guys reading it. It's not all "big city career departments" reading your grants.

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    In most cases it's none. Career reviewers only read career apps. Combo/vollie reviewers only read combo/vollie apps. That's done so reviewers will be familiar with who they read on. Not perfect, but closer than anything else.

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    Ref the earlier comment on the guidance and the priorities, these are not set by DHS but by the nine national fire service organizations that input to the program. That is one of the good things about this program - its priorities don't come out of an office in Washington DC.

    Read the Program Guidance and you will see.

    "Each year, the grants program office conducts a criteria development meeting to develop the programís priorities for the coming year. DHS brings together a panel of fire service professionals representing the nine major fire service organizations. The organizations that are represented include the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), the North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD), and the Congressional Fire Service Institute (CFSI)."

    If you have a problem with the rules, you should find out who your representative is to these organizations and lobby for change.

    Dave

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