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Wake Up America.. . Why We Need Grants!

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  • Wake Up America.. . Why We Need Grants!

    As a disaster of historical, if not biblical proportions, plays itself out in the 3rd largest economy in the world I wonder if America is paying attention to what their First Responders are dealing with. Japan is only the third largest producer of electricity via nuke reactor... the US is first!

    Many may think that the impending meltdown at the Nuke plant is being handled by "geeky scientists" with multiple letter academic titles attached after their names but, "lo and behold", who is it now actually at the front lines trying to save a nation and the world from this radiological disaster? Despite their technological superiority and engineering prowess it is...Yep, you guessed it... the local fireman! As evidenced here in an excerpt from a news article just published.

    "At Fukushima, however, some of the workers are personnel who have probably never been inside a nuclear power plant before. They are the teams in charge of the fire trucks used to pump hoses full of seawater into the reactors to try to cool them and avert a meltdown. The plant's diesel generators were knocked out by the tsunami and caused the reactors' cooling systems to fail.

    Both the emergency responders and the plant technicians are working with the help of two or three people thought to still be in the plant's control room, as well as a special operations center relocated off-site."



    I hope Congress is paying close attention as they deliberate the levels of funding that go into our grant programs to train and equip our hometown heroes who would, but for the grace of God, also be called into this scenario and whom I have no doubt that anyone of them would risk their own lives to save those of their community.

    It is my sincere hope and prayers that these brave brother FFs in Japan are capable and properly trained and equipped to "make the difference"!

    In the words of Earl Pitts. "Wake Up America"!
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

  • #2
    BRAVO Kurt,
    Truer words have never been spoken!
    Prayers go out to those who are knowingly risking their lives to try and save tens of thousands of their fellow citizens.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, I have contacted 2 of my 3 Washington contacts. Both stated that they are trying to increase funding or at least keep it the same. we'll just have to wait and see.
      Get those phones a ringing, let them know what we need.

      Comment


      • #4
        I contacted all 3 of my reps and 1 emailed back stating that this is a budget crunching year and things need to be cut. Although this is the 1st yr this one is in there, I have a few ideas about cuts myself and we may have possibly put the wrong one in office but we can't make the cut for a few more years now.

        Comment


        • #5
          I disagree. The best way to help local responders is to get the money to them directly. "Competing" for grants is not that.

          As long as grants are funding anything other than basics for ALL departments, it's a fallacy that it's helping the US fire service as a whole.

          and by basics....proper turnout gear. adequate SCBAs. That's a good start.
          "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
            The best way to help local responders is to get the money to them directly.
            Not saying that I totally disagree with your comment Bones42 but, care to elaborate upon just how that would best be accomplished?
            Kurt Bradley
            Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
            " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
              I disagree. The best way to help local responders is to get the money to them directly. "Competing" for grants is not that.

              As long as grants are funding anything other than basics for ALL departments, it's a fallacy that it's helping the US fire service as a whole.

              and by basics....proper turnout gear. adequate SCBAs. That's a good start.
              Assuming last years funding, the DHS maximum cost per SCBA and number of fire departments in the country as listed by NFPA, that would be 2.5 SCBAs per department per year. At that rate it would take 19 years to replace my SCBAs.

              (Quick math check - $390,000,000 / $5,250 / 30,165)

              And some departments may need gear, or hose, or a vehicle more or whatever. By no means is the AFG process perfect, and I would agree they need to keep the grants to more basic needs in some cases, but a competitive grant process is the best I can figure.

              If you have a need for gear, you show your need and how it will benefit you and your community. Your request is weighed against other requests by a panel of your peers, then double checked by program specialists. Do some weird projects and amounts get through? Yes. Again, AFG is not perfect. But a lot of good projects get funded that really help departments out.

              Just giving the money out equally divided between all departments is too problematic. Does each department get an equal share or do you got by number of members on your department. How do you ensure that the money will go for basic needs, etc, etc.

              Maybe you have a better idea, and I would love to hear it, but for now a competitive grant process seems to be the fairest way to give out the money and still have it make an impact.

              Just my opinion of course.

              Comment


              • #8
                Most people whom complain about the grant process are those in many cases that are not doing anything but complaining.You have got to define your needs and proceed to put them in order of need and apply for those in most need. The old saying is if there is the will there is a way.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rands1 View Post
                  Well, I have contacted 2 of my 3 Washington contacts. Both stated that they are trying to increase funding or at least keep it the same. we'll just have to wait and see.
                  Get those phones a ringing, let them know what we need.
                  Made my calls too, got the run around about the big budget fight, blah blah blah. Told all three, I don't care, cut the money from some foreign aid program or better yet the study to learn how to control fleas in the prairie dog population.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bones, the purpose of the competitive grants is so that those that don't need the "extra" money or waste what they have because of poor planning/choices, don't get rewarded for bad decisions. Which is why I have a philosophical difference of opinion with the new SAFER, that's a handout instead of a hand-up like the old program. Many areas created their own financial problems by not doing enough to make themselves business-friendly since that's how the tax coffers get filled locally. Old program at least held people to proper planning and growth that was sustainable. This version is not.
                    Brian P. Vickers
                    CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
                    FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
                    www.helpmewithgrants.com
                    www.facebook.com/vcsinc

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I also have made the phone call about future funding to local reps. This is what i was told, hang on, this was interesting. How are we suppose to know where the funding is most effictive.(This was the first question he purposed). Is it FP&S so people will not set fires? Is it AFG so we can equip our firefighters so they can put out the fires? Or is it SAFER to have more people to put the fire out? Ill tell you what i told him later, but just curious what you all would have said.
                      If God be for us, who can be against us. Jesus said, I am the way the truth and the light.

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                      • #12
                        I'm not shy. What I told the critters from Iowa. And I think most of them need adult guidance. Give them some. Otherwise they just listen to some staff weenie. They DON"T read the legislation they vote on.


                        Bipartisan legislation to reauthorize SAFER, AFG and Fire Prevention and Safety grant programs has been introduced. I strongly urge you to sign on as a cosponsor for this legislation with the following changes.

                        1.) SAFER will not be available for compensation of payroll or benefits to paid/fulltime fire dept firefighters. SAFER will be capped at 5% of AFG. The current SAFER program is an abysmial failure.
                        2.) Total AFG budget will not be less than FY2006 level adjusted for inflation.
                        3.) AFG will utilize no less than 40%, nor more than 60% of total funding for vehicle grants.
                        4.) AFG will develop standardized specifications for rural apparatus and then bid and contract for 5yr period of manufacture of standard model pumpers (3 models) and tankers (2 models). AFG will spend no less than 40%, more than 60% of vehicle budget on these standard style apparatus. Rural Fire Depts requesting such trucks will receive extra consideration in their application.
                        5.) No fire apparatus in the US will be required to meet any EPA requirements not in effect on Dec 31, 2006.

                        The AFG grants have had a huge positive impact on the readiness of fire depts. In rural Iowa, and much of the nation, is the critical ongoing problem area if aging of pumpers and tankers. EPA regulations have driven the cost of truck chassis up by 40% in the last few years. Overall cost of typical rural apparatus exceeds $175000. It is not possible for many small and medium size rural fire depts. to replace pumper and tankers as appropriate and as mandated by NFPA standard. FD c all volumes do not make them competitive on AFG apparatus grants. Local funding will never allow them to buy an appropriate truck.

                        .... about my FD.....


                        AFG is one of the few Federal expenditure programs that actually works and works in an efficient manner. The major reason is that the program is operated by volunteers. Just like most of the US Fire Depts. Program does not meet Constitutional muster but it works. It must be continued.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For those who've not followed the history. Google Yucca Mountain Repository.

                          The dimwit lefties have ensured that the US has no storage site for nuc waste. The tons of stuff generated in nuc power plants over the last decades is sitting in storage on site. As in Japan, its just sitting ready to be dispersed into the atmosphere in an accident. One of the Japanese reactors blows and it doesn't just send up the current load of fuel rods but the old stuff still sitting in storage.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Fair questions.

                            How about for a simple start, you get 1 grant award and that's it. No multiple year awards until all have at least 1?

                            Your choice, you either get 1 for gear, 1 for scba, 1 for hose, or 1 for a truck, etc. Not 1 of each.

                            How to decide who gets how much? Well, we figure to have members of House of reps determined by population...maybe a similar format. And then let those state pols determine their states disbursement.

                            I don't have all the answers...that is for sure.

                            And yes, we were awarded a grant. We got station generators. Why? It was one of the "priorities" for that year. The funds we were going to go after for them was used for SCBA instead, as that was not a priority for the grants.

                            And no, we don't submit a grant request every year. We got ours. Let others have a chance.


                            How about this...instead of the fed govt taking part of our taxes and sending them out as grants to Fire/EMS agencies...why don't they reduce the tax and let the people keep it? Then people can afford their local taxes to pay for their local services.
                            "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Obviously y'all know I pay my bills doing grants, but I would be just as happy doing something else if they followed your last point and kept most of the money in the states. Military, federal law enforcement and some other stuff ought to be handled at the fed level, but a lot of stuff there's no reason for except that some wingnut complained and claimed their taxpayer dollars should be spent on X and got enough votes for it that they're spending ours on the same thing that no one else wants. And I'm not talking rights or anything like that, but stuff like some of these programs for studying the effects of bats on bridges. Would be money better spent cleaning the batturds off knowing they can't all be kept away by any means so they still have to clean no matter what. Why waste the dough on electronic countermeasures with minimal ROI. Put some prisoners to work. That's what we need more of, let them clean the public areas and highways like they do down here. Help pay off the debt to society and keep things clean.
                              Brian P. Vickers
                              CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
                              FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
                              www.helpmewithgrants.com
                              www.facebook.com/vcsinc

                              Comment

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