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So Who Will Take The Reins?

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  • So Who Will Take The Reins?

    Well, the grant program was nice while it lasted. No way will we see this greatly appreciated assistance come our way for at least TWO years.
    BAClair

  • #2
    You may still see AFG but the program guidance and division of the funds will be very different. The strongest opponents of the current AFG program were (Sen. Clinton primarily) are in favor of the money going to larger cities.

    I fear we will see the smaller communities and rural VFD's get their piece of the pie seriously diminished.

    Fortunately, those who have received funds in the past few years have been very blessed and it has made a tremendous impact upon rural fire service.

    I agree with Kurt about voter apathy. Plus, I don't think everyone connects AFG funding to who is elected to Congress. Believe me it is there.

    Comment


    • #3
      We owe our thanx to Senator DeWine and Congressman Weldon. However, just because the program was initiated during a Republican administration, it does not mean that all is lost just becuse the winds of change are picking up speed.

      We need to step up and find our political voice collectively within our ranks. If Senator Clinton (and others) has been advocating for changing the AFG program then we need to show her that although the big cities need more funding, that doesn't mean that it has to come from this program. We have to show our elected officials that this program is worthwhile and underfunded.

      Let's find out what DeWine/Weldon are planning for the future (lobbying?). Let's prove our case to the new members in Washington and those who don't get it. The future of this program is in our hands not theirs. If we don't get out there and open eyes and minds, then we're as guilty of apathy as the people that don't vote.

      Let's do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Stay Safe!

      Scott
      Bellona Vol. Fire Co.

      "There are three kinds of people, those that learn by reading; the few that learn by observation and the ones that have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." - anon.

      Comment


      • #4
        So Who Will Take The Reins?

        OK I am jumping on the soapbox for a moment here folks. IMHO and sadly, the leading political figure for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program was defeated yesterday in the polls. Why? Voter apathy! Sen Mike Dewine was a champion of the fire services and our funding streams.

        Who will now assume that leadership role? Fire Act Funding is only guaranteed through 2010. We, collectively as a whole, need to start locating and pushing a new champion to the head of the class now! Continued apathy, will be the demise of this program for all, if we don't take strong affirmative action now, in that direction!

        $150 million in funding has been lost during the past three years in this program, if we continue on this same path, without collectivly raising our voices in opposition, this program will also fall.

        Senator Dewine, thank you for your dedication and service to the fire services, your passion and dedication to these brave, everyday heroes of America. You will be sorely missed!

        Just my opinion, your's may differ! OK I'm off the soapbox, back to work.
        Kurt Bradley
        Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
        " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

        Comment


        • #5
          Congressman Curt Weldon, the Capitol Hill Fire Chief, was also not re-elected. He was the Founder of the Congressional Fire Service Caucus, the largest one on the Hill and lucky for us the only non-partisan one up there. Support is great for the Fire Service on all sides of the party lines, but with two great leaders gone there will be some lag time.

          So check on over at CFSI.org and find out if your elected officials are participating or not. I've read a lot of complaints from people in WI about lack of awards, and even though it has nothing to do with it neither of the WI Senators are members. Same with CA, MO, FL, KS, NE, and TX. Some have no one from the House: ID and OK.

          Now more than ever we as the Fire Service need to pick up the pace and drive the funding levels back up, and we do that by bending the ears of the representatives. Support CFSI, NFVC, IAFF, IAFC, and the others that lobby on behalf of the firefighters in this country. 2010 won't give us enough funding to fix what we need to fix. The program must go on.

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Like others I am disapointed in the outcome of the elections. Sen. Dewine is in my voting district. I have, am and will continue to be a supporter of Sen. Dewine. He easily won in my county and narrowly won in the Cincinnati area. Voter turnout in Ohio was very good. Sen. Dewine just happened to be a victim of too many scandals involving members of the Republican Party (including the Govenor) here in ohio. I'm sure that he will run again in the future, and I will be here to support him.

            Comment


            • #7
              I believe Senator Clinton's issues were with the Homeland Security Grants that were distributed throught the various state EMA offices, and not the AFG program.

              The loss of Senator Dewine and Congressman Weldon have created a huge vaccuum for leadership in both houses regarding fire service issues. Maybe somebody will step up to the plate to fill their shoes.
              Steve Gallagher
              IACOJ BOT
              ----------------------------
              "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

              Comment


              • #8
                Well....I'll do my part and urge my brothers and sisters in Northern Wisconsin to do the same. Our Congressman (same one for the last 36 years ) is going to be the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.....that's the one who doles out the $$$$. I'll be sending him a letter tommorrow urging his support of the AFG.... Everyone else around these parts should send Rep. Obey a letter too. Not sure how much good it'll do, but it can't hurt.

                Comment


                • #9
                  However, just because the program was initiated during a Republican administration, it does not mean that all is lost just becuse the winds of change are picking up speed.
                  It was a Democratic President that signed it into law December 2000.
                  "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
                  -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DianeC
                    It was a Democratic President that signed it into law December 2000.
                    As much as I hate to credit the guy, lets (literally) give the devil his due.

                    BUT, it has been a republican administration that keeps funding it at some level.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LVFD301
                      As much as I hate to credit the guy, lets (literally) give the devil his due.

                      BUT, it has been a republican administration that keeps funding it at some level.
                      After both parties and sides (Senate/House) take money from other programs -- did you not see Bush's request for FY 2007?
                      "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
                      -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DianeC
                        After both parties and sides (Senate/House) take money from other programs -- did you not see Bush's request for FY 2007?

                        Nope. Educate me, please.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          $293 AFG, $0 SAFER was what the WH proposed.
                          Brian P. Vickers
                          www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                          Emergency Services Consulting
                          Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                          Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DianeC
                            It was a Democratic President that signed it into law December 2000.
                            Diane,

                            Thanx for the info, I didn't know that! More ammunition for me when my brother starts the Clinton bashing.

                            In all seriousness, regardless of the party affiliation, we HAVE to get the word out to our elected officials. This program should have been funded at $1B for at least a couple of years now. We need to rattle cages and let them know how much good this program is doing and how important the Fire Service is to Domestic Preparedness. We all spend time typing responses and threads in this forum. Lets all take a break and blast an e-mail off to our local Senators and Congresspersons. I truly belive that we can make ourselves heard if we all do our part.
                            Last edited by scottm207; 11-10-2006, 02:16 PM.
                            Stay Safe!

                            Scott
                            Bellona Vol. Fire Co.

                            "There are three kinds of people, those that learn by reading; the few that learn by observation and the ones that have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." - anon.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would suggest that everyone mail a link to this thread to all of your congressional representatives. There are 1.1 +million firefighters in the US, surely this is a considerable constituency to some aspiring political leader.
                              Kurt Bradley
                              Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
                              " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

                              Comment

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