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Somethings wrong

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  • Somethings wrong

    You could almost feel the anticipation as the hundreds of fire chiefs in Smallburg, USA finally got their FIRE Grant forms. At last, an opportunity to replace their canvas turnouts and maybe even get a couple new SCBA with lightweight bottles to augment the two with steel tanks they already have. Imagine their dismay when, after reading the instructions, they find out you may want to hire a grant writer and the application must include a cover letter on your department letterhead. Grant writer!?!? Letterhead!?!? These departments have pancake breakfasts and soup suppers to be able to afford fuel for their "new" 70's vintage engine. Alas, they realize the very legislation that was supposed to help them requires an application process that is financially beyond their means and their new turnouts and SCBA end up in the wastebasket along with the FIRE Grant. Something is wrong here!

  • #2
    Yep, there certainly is something wrong here. And it lies with the chiefs and administrative officers of Smalltown, USA, who are looking to the Feds to somehow bail them out of a bad financial situation.

    All of the time wasted on preparing the forms, making sure that every t is crossed and i dotted, on "hiring grant-writers", and dealing with the federal bureaucracy, complete with the Washington political appointee who has never heard of Smalltown, nor can locate it on a map, nor knows the unique challenges and problems faced by the fire service in Smalltown, all that time could have been better spent in securing more, more reliable, and more controllable sources of local funding. But it's such a nice dream, isn't it? A quick suck on the federal teat? You've all been played - by Democrats who suddenly supported this unconstitutional piece of legislation when it looked like they needed the firefighter vote (and not one second before), by union leaders, and by people who never saw a federal entitlement program they didn't like.

    This is the folly that I and others have been trying to point out to all FIRE Act true believers - if it seems too good to be true, it's probably a federal entitlement program. And an unconstitutional one at that! Why this should be a surprise to anyone is beyond me.

    Hey, I would never say, "I told you so," guys but, aw heck, maybe I would. I TOLD YOU SO.

    J. Black

    The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.

    [This message has been edited by BucksEng91 (edited 04-15-2001).]


    • #3
      Well said Bucks.

      Something is wrong here!

      Yep, once again we have look to the feds as our saviour and let them decide what's best for us beg them to further errode the Constitution in order for them to do it.

      These departments have pancake breakfasts and soup suppers to be able to afford fuel for their "new" 70's vintage engine.

      Don't forget they got to find 10% to 30% of the grant to match the grant.

      To say "Something is wrong here!" is putting it mildly.

      This is why Bucks, RJE, myself and a few others in another post pointed out that very few of the truly needy departments will actually get any federal funding. As you pointed out, they simply can't afford the grant.

      Contradiction in terms.... The application package is 38 pages but there's a section of the final rule called the Paperwork Reduction Act.

      By the way, did you notice that $10,000,000 has been skimmed off the top?

      Our fair share started at $5 billion, then it was "trimmed" just a little by the Clinton admin by a measly $4.9 billion and we were left with $100,000,000.

      Now we get the Fed. Register (44 CFR Part 152) and it says:

      Training $6,500,000
      Fitness Programs - $6,500,000
      Vehicles - $15,000,000 (enough to buy 75 engines @ $200,000 each, 42 for VFDs!)
      FF Equip - 15,000,000
      PPE - 35,000,000
      Fire Prevention - 12,000,000

      That's $90,000,000.

      If any of us haven't read it, get a copy of the final rule at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/grants/final.txt


      • #4
        Yeah I agree BucksEng91 Sums it all Up !! Anyway the Government can make a buck {Hiring a Grant Writer } they will drain it from you. I Thought the Whole Idea of applying for a Grant was to be able to show your financial problem and be granted the funds based on your needs. {Turn-Outs, SCBA's, Tools, Ect...} But again Washington decides that someone on thier end needs to be involved in the application process {Another reason to justify a 5 fiqure salary} and then determine if your department qualifiys. What a Joke. If the Money is there then I say it should be granted and dispersed to those in need with out the gorvenmental red tape


        • #5
          Isn't it exciting to see how far the Grant requests have been above the $90,000,000? When the thread regarding Bush v. Gore was going on, Gore was going to save the Fire service, now its just another piece of PORK.
          pork with no meat, Sort of an election year bone to tease us with. So much for downsizing Government and letting Cities, Counties and States have control. Whoops, there goes my ultra conservative, right wing, racist, child and seasoned citizen depriving, white male, anti-semantic, anti-homosexual, anti-abortion, anti-whatever side. (did I leave any LIBERAL fear inducing descriptions out?)

          Bucks and Mongo, you men are right again.
          BTW MEGADITTOS!!!!!!!!!!!!


          • #6
            I agree with the rest of you. $100 million down from $5 billion is a slap in the face to say the least. What did they expect to be purchased with $100 million for 50 states??

            I find it interesting that they continue to provide large amounts of money to the nation's police departments. Apparently we are not seen as valuable as the cops by the politicians. Maybe it's because a lot of politicians grew up with a silver spoon in their mouth and wouldn't know hard work if it bit them in the a--. We can't get them out of a ticket or turn the other way for a relative that gets in trouble.

            This is the same brain trust which shot down the Repetitive Stress Injury legislation that would have helped people who work in factories, do computer work, etc. It would have put safety measures in place to help reduce conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. But big business claimed it would be too expensive to implement. So they let it go.

            I am sure that there are SOME hard working politicians that have our interests in mind. Unfortunately, they are the minority.


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