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Just for fun

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  • Just for fun

    Remember, this is just for FUN.

    What is the wildest grant award in your area? Not the name of the department, just what they received and how much.

    I'll start.

    $500,000 for smoke detectors for every home in town.

  • #2
    May not be such a ridiculous request when you consider that there were some that received big bucks for exercise equipment. I guess life safety of individuals and some warning device in their homes should rate as high as exercise equipment. If every home was equiped with smoke alarms and there was a community wide education for maintaining proper operation of alarms along with good planning in the home for evacuation should the alarm sound, may see a decrease in fire related deaths to our citizens. No, I don't think that is as far fetched as some may think.


    • #3
      It doesn't cost one thin dime to exercise. You won't spend a single dollar by putting down that jelly doughnut with extra sprinkles on it and begin to develop a healthy diet. In my opinion, not one cent should have been spent on exercise equipment or programs while hundreds of departments still lack even the basic equipment to do the job in the safest manner possible. If you're an overweight, out-of-shape firefighter, eat less junk and exercise (walk, jog, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping-jacks, swim, and so-on). There is an abundance of exercise programs and diet information available for no cost; all it takes is for firefighters to get off their duffs and do it.
      Last edited by ThNozzleman; 06-07-2003, 06:50 PM.
      Member IACOJ


      • #4
        I think everyone ought to step back a second and relax a little. The nature of opinions is that they are subjective, so of course tempers may flare when people go on the defensive about their programs, their needs, or their money.

        Here's the situation: the rules of the program are simple. Help as many firefighters and citizens as possible, i.e. cost vs. benefit. Firefighters as a breed are pretty out of shape. As with everything there are exceptions. Those that are career are stuck at the station for 24 hours straight, and off handling family business the res of the time. If you don't belong to a gym because of your job or family, then you don't have room to comment about any paid guys doing either. For that matter, anyone since volunteers work full time jobs, plus spend time at the station, and handle the family. Anyway, here where the cost benefit part comes in. Going by the average rural department's statistics, here's a breakdown:

        Dept X runs 100 calls per year, less than 10 are actual fires. They have older but functional equipment including PPE, SCBA, apparatus, hose, etc. Their district population is ~3000. Dept Y is a career dept with 4000 FFs, serving 4 million people, and handles over 20,000 calls per year. Dept X wants new PPE and SCBA. Dept Y wants exercise equipment for every station in the city in order to implement a physical fitness program.

        I don't think I need to rehash the leading cause of death in FFs (heart attacks), or ways to avoid that (exercise and proper diet). So here's the analysis part: more FFs will benefit from the exercise equipment for years to come than the PPE. More citizens will be better served by fit firefighters who will be able to do their job much more easily by being in shape, than PPE and SCBA that will get worn less than 15 times (allowing for false alarms). Less FFs will probably be needed per scene because they won't get worn out as quickly on the fireground.

        Now, do I personally agree with the reasoning that was used last year to give Houston $750K for exercise equipment than many rural departments in need of current PPE and SCBA? There's even two sides to that question. On one side, I'm not sure how'd I'd sleep knowing that some brothers and sisters were trying to do the job with unsafe gear. On the other hand, following the well published rules of the program that are the deciding factor, the cost/benefit goes with the exercise equipment.

        Does that take the wind out of the sails of some low volume departments and their needs? Probably. It sures seems like a long shot to me. But my point is, quibbling over the benefits of one program or another when both have merits, is stupid. They both have merits, and good ones at that. One just has more than the other because of the stipulation that it helps more FFs and citizens. And that's the way the decision went. Now, if they started giving away jet skis and ATVs before gear, I'd have to take issue with that one. But I wouldn't worry about the same thing happening this year. Last year so few career departments applied, and there was guaranteed money for career departments. This year, the only split rule says that no less than 54% can go to combo/vollie depts. Theoretically, career depts could get shut out, and I don't see anyone getting exercise equipment over someone else's PPE and SCBA.

        But let me add my own two cents: if you look at your department, and your only need is exercise equipment, don't apply. You've got it pretty damn good if all of your trucks run and your people are all in gear and SCBA. And to back that statement up, our only need is an aerial device, so we applied for a quint this year. If we get it, I have already told the chief that there is not a single thing that we will need as a department that we will need to have a grant for to acquire, so we will not be applying next year. And since no one else in the department even wants to take on the responsibility of applying, I've pretty much got the last say even if someone else thinks we should apply. I call it using the laziness of others to one's advantage.

        Second guessing the decisions of the reviewers won't do any one any good, and arguing over it here will just **** everyone off. If you don't get your grant, try and find another way to save money and still operate safely. Where there's a will there's a way. The job has to get done no matter what.

        Good luck, stay safe.
        Brian P. Vickers
        Emergency Services Consulting
        Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
        Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division


        • #5
          Hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil?

          I disagree. Everyone has a right to his or her opinion. There have been many good points made in these forums only to be shot down by a few that feel only their opinion is the right one.

          Waterboy, I apologize for side tracking your thread. I know what department you are talking about on the smoke detectors. I could not believe it was funded either.

          I do not question the evaluators, rather those writing the rules!

          The original priority of the FIRE ACT was to better equip departments for everyday real events. Provide BASIC TOOLS & TRAINING to all departments, large and small. That mission is far from complete yet the program strays further and further from home.

          Sit back and be quiet? How will that help?


          • #6
            Ok guys, opinions are opinions. Look at what FEMA and the USFA has established as priorities. If a department receives enuf to purchase a detector for every home in its response area, that does constitute firefighter safety! This is basic firemanship... the faster recognition of a fire leads to the following prinicples.
            1. Evacuation of the occupants - benefit: supression crews are able to size up the fire as opposed to placing ourselves in extremely dangerous and potential serious consequences ( heroic actions versus good fire attacks)
            2. Quicker response, faster recognition-benefit: builidngs are tighter and encapsulating more BTU's than ever before. Quick knock downs and fewer flashovers by getting an advance call from the occupant that the detector has sounded.

            By these two factors we are able to reduce firefighter injuries. I wrote last year and recieved 10K for a fire frevention program, a program that enpowers citizens to realize the fire potential, while learning, hands on what it takes to do our job. The citizen's fire academy stresses what the USFA and FEMA preach, the human factor in the fire problem in America today.

            I agree, some departments seem to get more than thier fair share of the pie, but by their efforts, and the peer review process of individuals who understand firefighter safety, prevention, elimination of those problems that confront us daily; they were sucessfull. The grant process is diffcult to understand and accept. I hope we all look to those who were sucessfull as resources not overly fortunate. For those who have not been sucessful keep trying, utilize Brians website to read and understand sucessful vs. unsucessful grant narratives, and seek the key words phrases and ideas that work. Good luck to all of you!
            Jeff LeBeda
            Firefighter/Paramedic Coordinator

            "individually were not so great, but as a team we cant be beat!"


            • #7
              I've been sitting back watching this thread and trying to take it all in. Theres been alot of good points brought out about public awareness and safety. I agree that the fire act grant program was started to better equip departments for their response and safety of firefighters, However, i need to defend the use of smoke detectors. Last week i was the first in on a fire with entrapment. When we arrived on scene of the residence, side one was fully involved and rapidly spreading to sides 2 and 3. Questioning the "caretaker" found outside the residence, she advised the patient was handicapped and couldnt get out of bed. He was located in a room just off side one(which was fully involved). After an agressive search of the residence, we found the victim still lying in bed. Needless to go further with this, this was now a fatality. After hitting the hot spots and talking to the parents of this individual, we learned that there were two handicapped individuals living in this residence. THIS RESIDENCE HAD NO SMOKE DETECTORS. The caretaker left the residence and was in the basement when the fire started. Three minutes later she returned to the main floor to meet a wall of fire. From alarm time to our on scene time was 4 minutes. This fire had a good jump on us before we even got the call. Had there been smoke detectors in the residence, the caretaker would have had a chance to get the victim out of the residence. Now theres one fatality and one citizen with first and second degree burns from trying to get the victim out. Again IF there were smoke detectors,there might have been a much better outcome of this incident.Are smoke detectors for firefighter safety? I"d have to say yes and agree with the previous post. The sooner we are alerted the less fire conditon we have.

              Now back to what this post was originally started for. The most ridiculous award i've seen in our area is a department getting 135k for a tanker. Wouldnt be si bad if this dept. didnt have 5 pumpers in service and a first due that is 90% covered with hydrants. OH Yeah theres another department less then 7 minutes from them with a tanker soooooooooo that takes care of the mutual aid.


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