Well, we have received pretty reliable info that it appears our FIRE Act Grant Program may be up and "open for business" again on Monday, for now. If that's the case, get the final touches done on your electronic application now.
What changed everything? We won't believe anything other than they got caught putting us over "the log in the woods". And we were "squeal'n like a pig" just prior to the damage being done.
It is pretty clear that some of our fire fed friends are supporting us. Yeah, you know, the ones who have "crawled down hallways" like you. It also appears that Secretary Tom Ridge is keeping a closer eye on our needs, in spite of the fact that he's got some "inbred problem children" in his newly formed department.
Some of our friends from Pennsylvania say Tom is on our side. And there is some fire history to prove that, so we'll be cautiously optimistic. We hope that those in the know will also make sure that our fire fed folks, good folks such as Chief Dave Paulison, Chief Charlie Dickenson and others at the office formerly known as the U.S.F.A., get the support they need to keep fire alive and well at the federal level.
All indications are that these folks went to bat, and went to bat hard this week. But this is only the first inning. Big, big game(s) are ahead.
Is everything fine now? NO. And we can't act like it. They are still dream'n about us and that "log in the woods."
We have got to keep making sure that our federally elected officials in congress keep fire funding, staffing and positions in the forefront and we don't become some office in a cubicle. Speak up and let them know how you feel.
This BS is far from over and we were reluctant to even write this. However, the fact is that the FIRE Act program was one of the smoothest and well managed programs we've ever witnessed. It worked. It made a dent of a difference to many needy fire departments, and most importantly was from the best we can tell, bipartisan. Any more "agency" or "official" or "political" involvement will screw it up.
As we wrote the other day, we have a long, long way to go. So we have to keep screaming loud and clear. And when we do, do not use an 800Mhz digital radio. Odds are, they won't hear you.
One final note. Now, is it me or is the whole duct tape thing pretty dumb? Lets look at this from a fire standpoint. "Cover your structure's windows and openings with duct tape and rolls of plastic." Yeah, that's what I thought too.
Take Care & Stay Tuned.
- Original Commentary: Deliverance ... In Our Fire Service?
- Grants Back on For Monday
- Grant Program Facing Last-Minute Changes?
- USFA to Delay Opening of the Assistance to Firefighters 2003 Grant Program
- USFA Prepares to Open 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Process
- What Is New For This 2003 Program?
- Assistance to Firefighters Program Guidance Now Available
- Congress Approves $750M for Fire Act