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you need to wait for a basic neccessity?

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  • you need to wait for a basic neccessity?

    please forgive my ignorance, but there is one thing i don't understand about the grants. thee things people are asking for money for are bare neccessities. whether it be for new turnout gear, a new radio system, a new truck, it's something a department needs. it's not for toys, or a 200,000 brush truck (to give an example), or stuff that are just nice to have.

    ok, that being said, the whole multiple round thing kinda confuses me. something like turnout gear is something you need now. plus, your waiting several monthes, on the off chance that you get the money. even a new truck, to replace your 30 year old engine. it's something you need to get ASAP. if you don't get the grant, you need to go make a new plan as soon as possible. but the whole waiting thing is something i don't understand.

    don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of these grants, and think they are greatly beneficial to us. however, the money's already been allocated by congress. it's there, ready for the taking. I'm assuming there is a deadline to submit the grants. why does it take numerous rounds to get information as to whether or not a department will be recieving grant money?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!


  • #2
    And how would they do that??????

    If you had been following some of the forums and/or reading some of the fema/usfa announcements, you would know how it works and why taking time to get out the announcements. There is a minimal staff of 5 or 6 working on the grants now after the peer review processes. That is to save $$$$$ so there is more $$$$ of us the depts. that need help, also they can't announce all at once, because they need to follow up regarding depts. progress, or even if they no longer want, or can't match the funds etc. I do agree it is a terrible situation when we (firefighter's and depts.) can't afford the basic needs you point out, without the grants, but it is the reality of the situation. These grants will greatly improve many of our needs in these basic areas, and we need to keep telling everyone, especially the politicians to keep the grants, increase the grants, its no perfect, but its helping, Lets say thank you, BUT its not enough, it is helping, 5000+ depts recieved help last years there a many more that still need much, much more. Its unfortunate to have to say thank you very much for this $$$$, that isn't covering basic needs, but its how its gotta happen with politicians.

    BE SAFE OUT THERE, good luck to all still waiting ang hoping, congratulations to the ones already notified.
    (should now be CharlieRFD,past,Pres.), but I've had this screen name for so long, I'm keeping it..., besides I'm Deputy Chief now.


    • #3
      I thought there was an administrative fee of 10% taken to administer the grant funds. That should be 7.5 million for this year. Surely that much money would be enough to hire personnel and buy computer equipment to help expedite the issue of notifications. I said notifications, not issue of the funds. I read somewhere that there were several thousand dept. that didn't make the cut and would not be funded. That has been known for about three months. Since they can't even be considered for fall out money they should have been notified a lot quicker than the process has taken so far. I think the grant program is great, I also think the administereing of the grant funds and notification on status of receiving funds or of being denied funding needs lot's of attention.


      • #4
        Again, it comes back to staffing. There are approximately 8 people working in the department. 4 are "Grants Specialists", the people that make the phone calls and confirm department info, and handle your calls and emails. 1 is the technical specialist handling the web site stuff, 1 is Procurement handling requests and whatnot, and a couple of others strewn in there. In addition to handling 2003, these same people are handling the Progress Reports and site visits for the 2002 awardees. I don't know why the notifications take so long, I can only speculate. Since this year they are attempting to notify each denied application the reasoning behind the denial, then that takes a whole lot longer to personalize than just send the standard form letter of previous years. I for one welcome this attempt to help educate applicants of their shortfalls, especially if I'm one of them. Hoping not to be, but one never knows.

        Besides, there is the outside chance that everyone that was planned to be announced in the first set of rounds had no matching money, and therefore lost the award. If the first 2000 awardees couldn't match, then they might have to dip into the pile that wasn't previously peer reviewed. Obviously that hasn't happened, but you have to plan for it. Remember no one ever thought a pair of planes would take out the Trade Centers, so anything is possible. The fire service is built on the philosophy of hope for the best, plan for the worst. And by holding off on the denials, FEMA is doing exactly that.

        Stay safe, congrats to those that have, hang on to those that haven't.

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


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