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  • Comm grant

    I'm new at this.....so any help, information, guidance, or a successful narrative would really be appreciated.
    We are county volunteer fire department in a very rural area. We have 23 departments in the county--all are 100% volunteer.

    Our county went to the 800 system several years ago. The county purchased radios for each department Motorala XTS 2500 hand-held radio for each officer.....about 4-5 per department. We have been informed that after the 1st of the year---the model 2500 will not be repairable and will need to be replaced. Would a regional grant work for this? Four radios for 23 departments would be almost a million dollars. What's my chances????

    thanks for any help.

  • #2

    Portables are like SCBA, 1 per seat on pumpers, aerials, and rescues (any type) with a minimum of 4 per apparatus

    All other vehicles get 1 portable.

    It's also a minimum of 12 portables per department, same as SCBA since that's the only way you can comply with 2in/2out and proper NIMS/ICS. So even if you have 1 2-seat pumper and a brush truck, you still get 12 portables do put wherever you can fit them.

    Also for those that don't have a command vehicle assigned to the Chief you can request 1 mobile and 1 portable for the Chief's POV, but just the Chief, not Assistants, Deputies, or Battalions.
    Below is in the NOFO (Notice of Funding opportunity)
    RADIOS
    IMPORTANT: Recipients that do not have authority to operate in the 700 MHz public safety broadband spectrum (e.g., via FCC regulatory action and/or agreement with FirstNet) should not submit requests for, and will not be permitted to use, FEMA AFG funding for broadband-related acquisition and deployment until they have such authority to operate in the spectrum. Any 700 MHz narrow band items purchased with AFG funds needs to have the ability to be used in broadband as well. Information regarding 700MHz broadband may be found at, https://www.dhs.gov/publication/funding-documents
    • The only eligible AFG activity for interoperable communications equipment is the acquisition of P-25 compliant equipment.
    • P-25 compliant interoperable communications equipment has a digital platform that is programmable, scalable, and can communicate in analog mode with legacy radios, and in both analog and digital mode with other P-25 equipment. P-25 compliance enhances interoperability, allowing first responders to communicate with each other to coordinate their response to and mitigate all hazards.
    • The procurement of interoperable communications equipment that does not meet P-25 compliance is unallowable.
    • There are no waivers for P-25 waivers compliance. All recipients awarded activities with emergency communication equipment and its related activities must comply with the SAFECOM Guidance for Emergency Communication Grants, including provisions on technical standards that ensure and enhance interoperable communications. The technical specifications for FY 2017 SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants is available at: https://www.dhs.gov/safecom/blog/201...rvey-target-id It is the recipient’s responsibility to obtain documented evidence that the equipment to be acquired has been tested and passed all the applicable P-25 requirements and the recipient shall be able to produce such documentation to the FEMA upon request.
    • AFG applicants are not required to identify a specific P-25-compliant product in their application narrative, but they must affirm that the interoperable communications equipment requested or acquired will be P-25 compliant.
    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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    • #3
      AFG loves regional grants - it shows that folks are working together.

      All the info in the previous post is very important.

      Consider hiring a grant writer with experience in AFG. They know the right words to use.

      Disclaimer - I'm not a grant writer, and I don't even know any.
      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by carlthompson View Post
        I'm new at this.....so any help, information, guidance, or a successful narrative would really be appreciated.
        We are county volunteer fire department in a very rural area. We have 23 departments in the county--all are 100% volunteer.

        Our county went to the 800 system several years ago. The county purchased radios for each department Motorala XTS 2500 hand-held radio for each officer.....about 4-5 per department. We have been informed that after the 1st of the year---the model 2500 will not be repairable and will need to be replaced. Would a regional grant work for this? Four radios for 23 departments would be almost a million dollars. What's my chances????

        thanks for any help.
        You should probably recheck your math and/or find out an approximate price. $10,000 per portable is a little on the high side. The replacement for the XTS 2500 is the APX 4000. They are very comparable in size (actually a little smaller) and still cost approximately $2500. The APX 6000 is a more robust version like the XTS5000 was and those run approximately $3200.
        Lots of unnecessary options for most volunteer departments.
        These prices include P25 compliancy and SmartZone so if I recall the software is a bit higher with SmartZone. I'm not trying to deter you from applying because I have been considering the same for the 7 volunteer departments in my county but want you to be correct on your cost estimates. Also, just because new parts won't be available from Motorola does not mean that parts are not out there to keep these functioning in case this grant falls through. Good justification, just want to ensure you have all your facts.

        Good Luck!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by carlthompson View Post
          I'm new at this.....so any help, information, guidance, or a successful narrative would really be appreciated.
          We are county volunteer fire department in a very rural area. We have 23 departments in the county--all are 100% volunteer.

          Our county went to the 800 system several years ago. The county purchased radios for each department Motorala XTS 2500 hand-held radio for each officer.....about 4-5 per department. We have been informed that after the 1st of the year---the model 2500 will not be repairable and will need to be replaced. Would a regional grant work for this? Four radios for 23 departments would be almost a million dollars. What's my chances????

          thanks for any help.
          First off, your math is wrong. Capable radios can be had for as little as $1500, for your 800 Mhz system. Even less at times. If you bought the latest and greatest Motorola APX radios, it would still be under 5k per radio, so the cost would be more like 500k. BUT, with having to get at least 12 radios, it puts you at a 60k amount per department, or nearly 1,400.000 for the county. FEMA is going to want you to show where you are going to come up with your 10% cost share, at 140k of course.

          Yes, regional grants, well written are looked favorably upon, and subscriber units (radios) are certainly eligible.

          Now, the XTS2500 radios are out there in such quantity that there will be parts available for many many years, and dealers will continue to support them.

          You could also consider bridging your existing paging channel to the 800 Mhz system

          Comment


          • #6
            As an FY2018 comms recipient I can tell you that your pricing will drastically vary by vendors.
            You must also pay special attention to radios that are designed for the fire service and those who are for public service. After extensive fair market research i can tell you that some of the above pricing is accurate and some if off a little based on my previous statement. For example, we reached out to 4 vendors. We fully expected Motorola to come back away higher than all other but actually beat 2 of them. As I read thought their documentation i noticed the prices portables were designed for public service. I called the vendor and asked if they are fire rates. His reply was that yes, but only if worn in a holster under a coat. He sells a lot of smaller volunteer departments these radios. Point being, if you all are hard on radios, make sure you're paying attention to the service in which they are designed.

            The above guys are right, you can get a quality radio for about 2500 per portable. When we asked the Motorola guy price the fire service (APX 6000) radio, it added 30k for 25 portables. We ultimately chose another vendor with a quality radio.

            I cannot stress enough needs vs wants and proper justification for a comms grant.

            When you're pricing these make sure you're using your brain and not just requesting the best of the best because they look cool or you have seen it on Chicago Fire. Find a quality radio and better yet, a quality service/programmer guy who will be there to help with the little things without much hassle. Pay attention to warranties and replacement battery costs as well. Remember, you're getting funded now, but are expected to make this equipment last its entire service life. That usually means some mic and battery replacements along the way.

            Hope this helps. Good Luck

            Comment


            • #7
              Great question carlthompson and thanks for the info and clarification EMT6126 and WVFDCapt322 . As an aside, I was recently awarded a small ($92K) regional comms grant for portables for 4 fire depts and I'm currently re-reviewing the quotes I received earlier this year. For what it's worth, in our grant proposal we listed $2400 as the base price for our radios and the quotes we received ranged from about $1500 to $5300. We looked at a variety of makes/models radios including Motorola, Harris/Tait and Johnson/Kenwood. WVFDCapt322 , I'd love to know what model you chose. Feel free to reply directly or direct message me if more appropriate.

              One question I have is...is the only mandatory requirement for the type of radio I get is that it must be P25 compliant? Seems like NFPA 1802 (Standard on Two-Way Radios) is still a work in progress and not applicable at this point in time. Am I correct in this assumption? Thanks in advance for anyone else's insight when it comes to this type of stuff...comms is not an area I am well-versed in.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Skojo View Post
                Great question carlthompson and thanks for the info and clarification EMT6126 and WVFDCapt322 . As an aside, I was recently awarded a small ($92K) regional comms grant for portables for 4 fire depts and I'm currently re-reviewing the quotes I received earlier this year. For what it's worth, in our grant proposal we listed $2400 as the base price for our radios and the quotes we received ranged from about $1500 to $5300. We looked at a variety of makes/models radios including Motorola, Harris/Tait and Johnson/Kenwood. WVFDCapt322 , I'd love to know what model you chose. Feel free to reply directly or direct message me if more appropriate.

                One question I have is...is the only mandatory requirement for the type of radio I get is that it must be P25 compliant? Seems like NFPA 1802 (Standard on Two-Way Radios) is still a work in progress and not applicable at this point in time. Am I correct in this assumption? Thanks in advance for anyone else's insight when it comes to this type of stuff...comms is not an area I am well-versed in.
                They absolutely have to be P25 compliant, that comes directly from the NOFO, see pages 36, 37, and 42. It can be a dual band radio but has to have digital capability.

                carlthompson I just got an award in excess of $600k for six departments that required the higher end radios to operate on their upcoming transition to digital, and that doesn’t include any extras. These departments run in urban areas and run a lot of calls, for them it was justified. If you need it they will fund it. Comms grants go through several channels at the federal and state levels before approval, any changes or reductions needed will be done at that time. The age of the current system and equipment will make or break your chances, they fund upgrades to existing radio systems with an intermediate age (8-14 years). Consider going for additional radios and work with EMS agencies as well as they can be included on the grant. The more you buy the better your pricing will be. Also I did it on a 5% match, some of the departments included run on a bare bones budget (under $20k), naturally the more you can match the better your chances.

                If you need any help or guidance send me a direct message, I’ll help you get it squared away.

                Comment

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