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  • The impact of politics

    Here's one for you. We found the 2006 app on our 2003 award 1199. We are in line for new SCBA, and I mean ALOT of SCBA. HUGE award. When I called our chief and told him the good news (between sobs of happiness) he stated that there must be people out there who really do like him because he knows alot of people who are reviewing this year. Then he went on to say that our PIO's contacts with the politicians are what probably made it a sure fire thing. What are the chances that his buddies voted to approve this application and that the countless hours I put into this project truly had nothing to do with us getting this award?

  • #2
    Originally posted by ksmith31
    Here's one for you. We found the 2006 app on our 2003 award 1199. We are in line for new SCBA, and I mean ALOT of SCBA. HUGE award. When I called our chief and told him the good news (between sobs of happiness) he stated that there must be people out there who really do like him because he knows alot of people who are reviewing this year. Then he went on to say that our PIO's contacts with the politicians are what probably made it a sure fire thing. What are the chances that his buddies voted to approve this application and that the countless hours I put into this project truly had nothing to do with us getting this award?

    They absolutely have no influence over the computer that grades your application and that decides if you are in the competitve range and which triggers your application to go before 3 other Fire Chiefs who then must agree that your application deserves to be funded.

    I assure you if the application had not been composed and written in the correct manner, did not have the proper priorities addressed and or that the numbers did not crunch correctly, you would not have been funded.

    The reviewers never see the letters of support that are sent in from your congressional representative. Now, in the final technical review of your application the FPS will have access to your original file and to some extent, given equal need, cost benefit etc., if your application had some influential political support this might have helped but, it is relatively insignificant.

    More likley than not, you wrote a good, well constructed application, you addressed the programs priorities correctly and through sheer attrition, your name rose to the top of the heap in the area of strong need, as others who won ahead of you were eliminated from the competition.

    Take pride in what you did guy. Politicians are ultimatley in control of the amount of money the program has in it to give out, and might be able to exert some political pressure to grab a special "earmark" for a department that was denied but, they have little, if any, influence on the review and scoring process on AFG in particular. This is by far the fairest and most equally level playing field of any grants ballgame out here. Those who play closest to the rules, win! Congratulations to you and your department!
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ksmith31
      Here's one for you. We found the 2006 app on our 2003 award 1199. We are in line for new SCBA, and I mean ALOT of SCBA. HUGE award. When I called our chief and told him the good news (between sobs of happiness) he stated that there must be people out there who really do like him because he knows alot of people who are reviewing this year. Then he went on to say that our PIO's contacts with the politicians are what probably made it a sure fire thing. What are the chances that his buddies voted to approve this application and that the countless hours I put into this project truly had nothing to do with us getting this award?

      Tell your Chief he is dreaming. As pointed out, the application
      has a number of hoops to get through strictly on its own merits, before
      anyone reviews it.

      The PIO's contacts? Puhleeaze.

      YOU did it. You should be very proud, and the Chief should consider
      a managment course. (maybe you can find him a grant for one)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ktb9780
        They absolutely have no influence over the computer that grades your application and that decides if you are in the competitve range and which triggers your application to go before 3 other Fire Chiefs who then must agree that your application deserves to be funded.

        I assure you if the application had not been composed and written in the correct manner, did not have the proper priorities addressed and or that the numbers did not crunch correctly, you would not have been funded.

        The reviewers never see the letters of support that are sent in from your congressional representative. Now, in the final technical review of your application the FPS will have access to your original file and to some extent, given equal need, cost benefit etc., if your application had some influential political support this might have helped but, it is relatively insignificant.

        More likley than not, you wrote a good, well constructed application, you addressed the programs priorities correctly and through sheer attrition, your name rose to the top of the heap in the area of strong need, as others who won ahead of you were eliminated from the competition.

        Take pride in what you did guy. Politicians are ultimatley in control of the amount of money the program has in it to give out, and might be able to exert some political pressure to grab a special "earmark" for a department that was denied but, they have little, if any, influence on the review and scoring process on AFG in particular. This is by far the fairest and most equally level playing field of any grants ballgame out here. Those who play closest to the rules, win! Congratulations to you and your department!
        Well said Kurt

        The peer reviewers would not even open the file of an application where they had knowledge of the department, it is passed to another reviewing team immeadiatley to avoid conflicts of intrest. Trust me the members of the peer review committee are aware of the intrgity required and the importance of thier assigned tasks.
        [FONT=Times New Roman]Douglas R. Patton
        IACOJ
        "Omnis Cedo Domus"
        I am now a former Chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone.
        Isaiah 6:8

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you

          I can't thank you enough for reaffirming what I had thought to be the case. You've all said what I understood it to be, but I needed the reassurance. It would have been disheartening to find out that it was all political. I've got guys already putting in suggestions for next years application. Maybe now I'l consider doing another one. I wasn't going to. Thanks again.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow, your PIO and Chief are fairly full of themselves...
            It's definatly the grant writer. We don't even have a PIO and our Admin chiefs couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat, yet we still manage to obtain grants. All thanks to our grant writers, which are everyday street firefighters.
            My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
            "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
            George Mason
            Co-author of the Second Amendment
            during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
            Elevator Rescue Information

            Comment


            • #7
              One of the most important reasons to request letters of support is to continually remind our legislators of the need to continue to fund the AFG program. If all applicants send their narrative along with the request for a letter of support...that's a pretty significant lobbying effort.

              Also, as Kurt has mentioned before, there ARE other programs that are influenced directly by our legislators. Their grants liason may just see something and take the inniative to suggest another place for potential funding.

              I'm sure that in a few cases the support letter has had an effect on a specific award. Big picture--all of us requesting them make for a pretty strong lobby.

              earl (i've been asked to leave a number of lobbies in my life)

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll take another swing at the dead horse since I'm here anyway and I haven't had my chance.

                The only possible influence that a Letter of Support has is that if a department appears to be in a position that they might not be able to fulfill the obligations of the award (matching, reporting, etc) a Letter of Support from the Congressfolk in the area stating that it looks slim for the department but they and every other local official in the area will help out in any way possible will carry some weight. But that only makes a difference if the application is up for award in the first place, it does not bring doomed applications back from the deep.

                And like Doug said, no Reviewer can score an application that they have first or even sometimes second hand knowledge of the department. East Coast reviews West Coast, North and South switch, etc, etc.

                Plus like Earl said, asking for letters gets the local Congressfolk involved so that they know about the program and its benefits, as well as the need for additional funding in the coming years. And it's working, both the House and Senate passed increased funding to the tune of $110 million for the 2007 AFG. Join and support the CFSI, NVFC, IAFC, and all of the rest of the organizations.

                But I digress. Kelly, tell the Chief to cram his consipiracy theories, you got the award. No doubt about it.
                Brian P. Vickers
                www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                Emergency Services Consulting
                Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

                Comment


                • #9
                  We use to have a chief that was self serving he thought everything was because of him. The firefighters finally decided it was time to put him out to pasture. If you wrote the grant and put in the countless hours making sure it was perfect you are the one responsible for it!! It sounds like you are on the right path by saying the department really needed this grant to me it means your heart is in the right place. Sorry for the ramble but your post struck a nerve!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Perhaps the PIO and Chief would like to assume grant writing duties?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good idea

                      I've thought that myself. I think I'll propose that to them.

                      Comment

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