Thread: SAFER Question

  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa....

    Default SAFER Question

    Our department is looking at using SAFER to try for full time staffing. I am not very familiar with the SAFER portion of the fire grants so I'm looking for some help. Background would is we are a volunteer department 650 fire/ems calls per year. We run paramedic level medic units along with our fire suppression equipment. We are looking at adding 2 FTE or career Firefighter/medics/paramedics. Our immediate benefit would be the ability to handle EMS runs quicker. It seems the grant focus is more towards the fire side, so this is my question. Are two FT/FTE's a viable option, or do we have to increase the request for additional staffing, i.e. 4 for an engine response, supplimented with volunteers for additional apparatus.

    Looking for some guidance, If they continue the program!!!! Any help would greatly be appreciated!!!


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    SW Illinois

    Default Our SAFER Experience.

    I know that you're a combination department, and I'm not, but I think I can offer some advice on a part of your questions. Other combination and vollie departments will have to address those other parts of your post, as they pertain to NFPA 1720. However, I think I can help you just a bit by sharing with you our experience regarding the scope of a SAFER request.

    Our 2005 SAFER application only offered a partial solution to full implimentation of NFPA 1710. Result: REJECTION. Our 2006 SAFER application was for full implimentation of 1710, with 4 firefighters on each of our 3 engines and one truck (a wopping increase), and was awarded. So, however painful it might be, I think you'll have to make this a BIG project for your department, one that will ultimately see at the end of it it's final culmination in an NFPA 1720 award for your combination department. They (SAFER reviewers) don't want any partial solutions. If they did, they would have 20,000 aplications, and a whoppping cash outflow, with few if any actual fireground manpower solutions, and the architects of the SAFER Act knew that.

    Now, we went back after 2005 and put together a whole raft of reasons that we took to our taxing body and explained just why the project had to be so large (Full implimentation of both the Initial Arriving Company size, and the required fireground's minimum manning number). We paired this increase with corresponding expected benefits such as: 1, eventual reduced ISO ratings and increased insurance premimum savings to local homeowners, businesses, and industry (money saved); 2,fewer fireground injuries with adequate staffing (more money-saving to them); 3, lower fire losses due to more rapid responses with adequate fireground numbers (yet even more money saved); etc. You may well have to do the same. That is what I am suggesting.

    Best Regards,


    P.S.: Leave EMS out of it. This is a fireground staffing program, not an EMS program.
    Last edited by CptnMatt; 04-03-2007 at 03:03 PM. Reason: spelling

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