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SAFER Round 3

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  • ktb9780
    replied
    SAFER Round 5 Notices Going Out

    The Congressional notices ofr Round 5 of 06 SAFER are out. Calls being made now. I see quite a few R & R mixed in there. Only 19 announced though.

    Leave a comment:


  • BC79er
    replied
    Originally posted by LVFD301
    Well.... I will throw it out there. And yes, I have worked on the EMS side
    before.

    Assistance to FIREFIGHTERS grant program. Under that umbrella
    falls the AFG, SAFER, and FP&S.

    I personally think EMS should pursue their own grant program, lobby hard,
    and go for it. I will support it.

    I don't think though, that EMS should fall under the AFG.

    EMS does not fall under the COPS programs, why should they
    fall under the AFG?
    That my friend is something that has been pushed for some time, but unfortunately it got dumped into AFG instead of it's own program. Hopefully with Chief Paulison up there committed to increased funding for EMS we'll get another program going.

    Excellent point about 1st responders not being reimbursed raven, we only get reimbursed because we transport also and the pricing reflects that. Not that anyone actually pays....

    And also about the squad going after a new box in the program. I wouldn't worry about them getting funded for it, that's a real long shot considering they're only going to give about 25 this year. ($100k average cost, only $2.5 mil available for EMS vehicles.)

    Leave a comment:


  • ravenclaw
    replied
    I completly agree that EMS should be kept out of the AFG and SAFER program. I am a ff/paramedic that has been a career firefighter for 12 years. I have been an EMT for 17 with the last 12 of those as a paramedic. The county run EMS service applied for a grant for a new ambulance under this years AFG. They make about 13,000 runs per year, and have a staff of 30 to 40. They replace the units they have when they cannot get another mile out of them. They also buy the cheapest units on the market. They said this was easy money and they work harder than the fire departments and should get what they ask for. This is the same service that also brags about having a million dollars in thier savings account. The fire service has traditionally been left out of the funding cycle from the goverment. The police have always led the way in funding, and EMS had a nice chunk of funding in the late 70s-early 80-s. They recoup a large portion of thier cost, and have access to a lot of private grants that fire or law does not. So I have seen both sides of the card. SAFER and AFG should be for fire only. All of the volunteer departments around our city run first response EMS. The county service will not resupply them or even try to help them. Which I know a lot of comes down to politics. But in programs like this politics needs to be kept out of it, but it wll creep in a little anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • LVFD301
    replied
    Well.... I will throw it out there. And yes, I have worked on the EMS side
    before.

    Assistance to FIREFIGHTERS grant program. Under that umbrella
    falls the AFG, SAFER, and FP&S.

    I personally think EMS should pursue their own grant program, lobby hard,
    and go for it. I will support it.

    I don't think though, that EMS should fall under the AFG.

    EMS does not fall under the COPS programs, why should they
    fall under the AFG?

    Leave a comment:


  • nc1130
    replied
    This is to clear up some confusion, in my last post. Our Ambulance & Rescue company operates both. 3 BLS Ambos & 1 Med. - Heavy Duty Squad (depending who's standards you use)

    On a Structral Fire call County SOP's call for the first arriving Ambo to: Check if any tenents of the structure are hurt, if not the crew gathers the accountability tags from all arriving companys then acts as the RIT team. At that time our company's SOP has the Ambo call for a second ambo to act as the rehab unit and depending upon the fire a third ambo for possable treatment / transport. On this same structural fire our squad is dispatched on the initial call as well. Again SOP's call for them to handle building utilities, assist with search and fire suppression. Crew size for the squad is a minimum of 4 (ours can carry 7).

    Talking about recoping cost. The county oversees the billing for ambo transport only. The company that does the service gets 8 or 9%, the county takes out their cost to monitor the program around 5%, then another 2% for supplies that we have to get through them, then another 25% to help cover the cost of our 2 part time career personnel. That gives us about 60% of the total bill for purchasing supplies, the county doesn't stock and vehicles. Plus this money can only be used for and on the ambos. I'm not going down the path about the cost of vehicles.

    While talking about recouping cost, several of the fire companies in our area are billing the owner of the property whenever they respond for a fire at that building. The owners have building insurance to pay for it. There has been some talk in other countys to do this, county wide.

    Not all non-affiliated EMS / Rescue companys are just EMS. I am also not talking about hiring people. I am referring to the recruting and retention part of the SAFER program. You can't operate 3 ambos and a squad 24/7 with the same 10 people. (staffing level for the structural fire above)

    Then you have the normal Auto Accidents, River Rescues, Searches etc. again 1 or 2 ambo's and the squad, with the river rescue add the boat and its support vehicle. Again anyway you look at it, its 6+ people per call.

    At present we have about 20 Active Volunteers. Just about all of these people "sign up" for coverage at least once a week. If you look at the statistics for this area, volunteer Fire/Rescue/EMS you only keep them for an average of 3 years, so recruiting is a full time job as well.

    Talking about interoperability we are dispatched through the county's 911 dispatch system on the same radio frequency as the fire department. All of the counties in this area dispatch this way. Our radios are able to talk to the surrounding counties 911 centers and all their equipment in the field. There are mutual aid agreements with these counties. We are a member of the county fire & rescue asso. and the state fire & rescue asso. We have the same requirements as firefighters except we have to have EMT when the firefighters only need to have First Responder training.

    Now I'll get off my soap box, with just saying that there needs to be a better way of doing both SAFER and AFG programs. Just looking for some equailty.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ladder5B
    replied
    I’m trying to digest all of the facts so bear with me. NFPA recommends 1700 or 1710 (based on demographics and department classification i.e.: Vol vs. Career) as the fire department response model. This model provides two things. 1. Effective manpower and response times allowing efficient operations. 2. Sufficient manpower to ensure OSHA law and firefighter / community safety (situation driven). My question is not toward the current PG but the technical committee that creates PG’s.
    I’m a two hatter on a career department and a volunteer department. My career department serves 60,000 people with minimum staffing of 3 on an engine (6 engines) and four on a truck (2 trucks). Just to mention it, the trucks are not retirement houses. I’ve stayed on the volunteer department because I started with them and they protect many of my friends and family. The volley department operates with 15 people and a budget of $30,000 dollars. Without fundraisers the volley department would operate in the red with recurring expenses.
    My career department operates very well with current staffing. Could it be better? Yes, but if I could guarantee a response of one or two people during the day with the volleys, in my opinion, they would be more productive than the fourth person on a career engine. At least, I could guarantee a response and protect exposures, with one person on the engine. Is this the best? No, but decreased response times would minimize fire spread for rural departments.
    Being a firefighter / paramedic I base my example on this. You have to be a basic EMT before you are a paramedic. You also have to staff ONE on an engine before you can staff four. One person can do a lot in rural areas, so why do they not receive priority? Being a IAFF FF I’m not trying to take union jobs away from brothers / sisters but I know that rural areas cannot support full staffing and one part time FF could make a huge difference! Do you think the technical committee should change the PG priorities based on this example? I wish every response would lead to unlimited manpower, but what will leave the result, three people to four or zero to one? The technical committees should rethink priorities.
    I will prepare to be bashed. Be safe!

    Leave a comment:


  • BC79er
    replied
    Since when is the truck the retirement wagon? asks the knuckle dragging truckie.

    I don't think there's a person that will agree this program is underfunded by any stretch of the imagination. Problem is we can't take the $ amount of the total requests as an indication of need. We have to remember that a good portion of those amounts are people reaching for the stars, i.e. aerials with nothing over 2 stories and 5 calls a year. If I had to venture a semi-educated guess, less than 75% of the requested funds are 'valid' needs. Which leaves us closer to a 1:3 in awards versus available dough, which ain't all that bad.

    But like you said, we can't seem to collect everyone together and agree on what needs to be done first so our progress is slow in increasing funds. It's going up, but make sure you vote for people that are supportive of the fire service. Weldon & Dewine are in tight races, so we need to keep the people on the Hill that know we need more money and will fight to get it.

    Leave a comment:


  • AFD2181
    replied
    Originally posted by BC79er
    SAFER funds cannot be used to staff units that previously had no personnel assigned to them at all. So no one could be taking 4 people per shift across 3 shifts to create a new truck. Monies can only be used to add crews to existing units.

    And the argument that every community deserves 1710 compliance, even as a volunteer or combination organization is definitely the one that people should aim for. But then their is reality. If a community thinks it deserves the higher standard, then it should be paying for it already. SAFER staffing 1 truck isn't going to give 1710 compliance anyway, so grant monies really aren't going to help anyone take that big of a leap. Tempering the public so they realize they deserve the higher standard and pony up, that takes a lot more than any grant application. That's where the energies should be focused.
    Yes you cant use the funds to staff the truck, however adding 3 guys per shift gives you 9 guys, and if you have a 3 person engine...well now I can put one new guy on each engine, and then pull three seasoned guys onto the retirement wagon aka the truck....

    Look we all are passionate about the topic of staffing; poc's/vollies would like to just get people, combo departments want full time people, full timers want 3 or 4 or 5 people.

    Bottom line in my opinion as one who travels in many circles; we need to get our collective asses A.J and squared away to lobby for more money in both programs.

    I am sorry the POC in me has to agree that giving funds to a larger city, when there are departments who cant recruit or retain seems a bit skewed. And yet I agree that larger cities run more, and need more..so use that USAI money.

    My frustration comes from the lack of funding provided overall; one does not need to be Pulitzer prize winning economist to figure out the supply & demand is way off with regards to both of these programs. If the amounts requested were even REMOTELY close to funds appropriated then I would say its a fair shake.

    Okay..well that darn soapbox just slid back into my living room....

    Again my name is Chris and I checked for the response to my 10q's 4 times while composing this message

    Leave a comment:


  • BC79er
    replied
    EMS takes two personnel to handle 1 EMS call. A decently sized house fire with more than room and contents takes 12-20 firefighters on average, even with a quick knockdown. So the staffing need isn't equal, so how can there ever be equality between the two? I say that as I ride an ambulance and the BRTs. Besides the fact there is no minimum staffing standards for EMS. They are determined solely by call volumes. We own 5 boxes in 3 stations. Statistics show 3 paid crews 6a-6p M-F, and 1-3 volunteer boxes depending on the shift. Friday and Saturday night are busier normally, we go 2-3. We have put 5 on the street before at one time. Should we staff for the .1% of the time? No.

    EMS staffing has not been identified as a major issue (yet), and EMS/Rescue squads had been left out of AFG for one major reason: billing. You can do it as an EMS agency, can't as an FD in 99% of the country. So EMS agencies can 'recoup' costs. In quotes because the feds are the worst at reimbursement with Medicare. That is also why the funding is limited to 2% of the available funds.

    Also in the interoperability/regionalization undertones to the federal grant programs. If you are across the street from a VFD and perform any similar functions there is no reason for there to be two organizations according to most recommendations being published in recent times.

    I agree with the overhaul sentiments though. This program was modeled exactly like the COPS program that failed in the 90s. So it too will fall short of the intended goals. Numerous departments have sold the ideas to their local governments by saying they can lay everyone off on Day 1 in Year 6. Which is true. Obligation over. So they have local support for the grant, but it's not long term. Same reason so many won't let the department apply, that's long term spending and most local politicians don't think that far ahead. There's an election in there somewhere, and they don't want to do anything they can't reverse.

    Leave a comment:


  • nc1130
    replied
    Let me throw my 2 cents in. I know this is going to start an argument. I agree with Culpster, the complete program needs to be overhauled. The SAFER program is for both new personnel and / or recuitment & retention. But it leaves out those of us that are in non-affiliated EMS / Rescue Companies. We have to meet the same training / equipment and staffing as fire departments. How many of the fire departments that are requesting personnel are going to have them cross trained as EMS / Fire? Within this area (greater DC) the newbies are on the ambulance. Or the station they are assigned to rotate the personnel so that all of them have to be on the ambulance sometimes.
    The problem that I have is my company can't even apply for this grant to recuite new volunteers or to help keep the few volunteers we have. But the fire company across the street can apply to help them get volunteers and keep the members they have.
    The program needs to be changed to allow equality between Volunteer EMS & Fire.

    Leave a comment:


  • BC79er
    replied
    SAFER funds cannot be used to staff units that previously had no personnel assigned to them at all. So no one could be taking 4 people per shift across 3 shifts to create a new truck. Monies can only be used to add crews to existing units.

    And the argument that every community deserves 1710 compliance, even as a volunteer or combination organization is definitely the one that people should aim for. But then their is reality. If a community thinks it deserves the higher standard, then it should be paying for it already. SAFER staffing 1 truck isn't going to give 1710 compliance anyway, so grant monies really aren't going to help anyone take that big of a leap. Tempering the public so they realize they deserve the higher standard and pony up, that takes a lot more than any grant application. That's where the energies should be focused.

    Leave a comment:


  • Culpster
    replied
    No sour grapes there Eldo. Just dissapointed to where I believe where some of the importance of the grant is being focused. From my view point, I see a higher need in the combination department community, and it appears that the combination side of it is getting left behind.

    Now cudos to you in your award, and in my opinion I wish everyone could get some sort of assitance for putting more feet in boots.

    Combination grants, by far, where the most departments that have applied for the grant. While these last awards were large in numbers (personell and $$$ wise) these grants went to mostly career departments. Now AGAIN, I know that there probably is a need in your, and everyone elses department, but most combo dept's are having trouble getting people on the FIRST due engine, not the second, or third but the FIRST!!! That is our problem, and while we are transitioning to a full time dept (at an extremly slower rate than we would like) our city cannot keep up with our needs because of the current Wisconsin administration holding office.

    All I have been saying is with these grants, like the last round awarded, these awards were staffing for a whole truck finishing out an entire truck company!!! With how close we are to getting our first due rig in within compliance with 1710 (to which is a higher standard to which our community deserves) and other combo depts in the same boat, we are in need for the first due in crew which I believe is a Higher risk.

    Also, this is just my opinion, and I am NOT out to try and take anything away from anyone, in fact, if I had the power I would love to hand out candy to everyone!!!! But we all know that that isn't the case. In my opinion (for whatever its worth and I will be the first to say if I am missinfomed) this program needs major improvement, and is majorly underfunded for what it needs to really accomplish.
    Last edited by Culpster; 10-27-2006, 04:57 PM.

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  • ktb9780
    replied
    I have to strongly agree with bc79er here; one of your key elements in SAFER , aside form meeting NFPA1710/1720, is to get that "resolution" locked down by the govenring body so that future elected offcials can't back out on the committement to fund the FFs themselves when that grant money runs out. That is why the C.O.P.S. hiring program for law enforcment failed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eldorado
    replied
    Culpster, why the sour grapes? I wrote the Florida grant, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to better serve our community with the funds awarded by the SAFER Grant. Now we can have a third person on our engines.
    I don't believe that politics play a role in the selection process, as no politicians were contacted on our behalf.
    Don't give up hope, this is only the third round! If your grant is as good as you claim, you'll be rewarded as such.
    Good Luck and Stay Safe!

    Leave a comment:


  • BC79er
    replied
    The long-term nature of the eligible activities under these grants makes it essential that an applicant’s local governing body be involved in the application process. As such, each applicant will certify that their governing body has been informed of the applicant’s intention to submit a SAFER grant application and that the local governing body acknowledges the commitment under the grant and that appropriate financial support will be secured for the applicant’s cost-sharing obligations.
    Now, this might be a backpedaling move by some members of the council also, we can't think for sure that the department didn't approach anyone. Smart move is have a resolution passed supporting or endorsing the application.

    So for those not funded this year in hiring and might not have had the 'full' support as required, better start now getting those votes gathered.

    Leave a comment:

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