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  • safer dear john

    My department recieved the safer dear john today....I was surprised, our department is a poster child for the program.

    My department profile - 104 square miles, population 16,000. Call volume approximately 350/yr. (No EMS) We are currently looking at providing First Responder EMS srevice to our district, if we take on the responsibility it will increase our call volume to approximately 800+ per year. We repsond to 20-25 working fires per year and 100+ MVA's/rescue calls per year.

    Department manning - 2 full-time officers, 4 full-time firefighters. We are split into 2 shifts, with ONLY 2 FF on duty at a time. The department also includes 5 paid-on-call FF's.

    We requested 2 Firefighters through SAFER, this would of allowed us to go to shift system where we would have had 3 FF's on shift. The benefits would have been GREAT.

    Current structure fire repsonse - 1 - Officer & 1-FF on 1 Engine. We rely on off-duty FF's or POC to respond with a Pumper/Tanker, depending on the time of day ,that apparatus my not respond for up to 10 minutes after the initial call.

    If we would have been awarded - 1-Officer & 1-FF on 1-Engine and 1-FF on 1-Pumper/Tanker. We would arrive on-scene with 3 FF's and 2 Apparatus, still not the ideal situation but way better than our current situation.

    Anyone have any insight to why we would have been denied?

    Thanks for any responses....

    Confused LT

  • #2
    Has anyone else recived a DJ yet and are they all sent out at once?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by steelman
      My department recieved the safer dear john today....I was surprised, our department is a poster child for the program.

      We requested 2 Firefighters through SAFER, this would of allowed us to go to shift system where we would have had 3 FF's on shift. The benefits would have been GREAT.
      Unfortunately, your SAFER proposal did not solve anything. You do not have the 4 firefighters required on an initial response to comply with the 2-in 2-out rule. That is probably why you were denied.

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      • #4
        We also received our dear john for SAFER today. We asked for three firefighters. We run two stations, 800+ runs per year, only medical that we run are code sitations, but we do not provide transport. We have three firefighters and an officer at one station, and two firefighters and an officer at the second station. We run a three platoon system, so these three would have given us four and four on our first out app. But by receiving the DJ this early, we know we did not even make it to peer review. Oh well, I guess that I will just have to be happy with our FIRE act award this year and go back to the drawing board for next year.

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        • #5
          We got our SAFER DJ last week too. It was for recruiting. I'm not surprised we got turned down, but still dissappointing.

          Andy

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          • #6
            raven, the DJ should say something like 'wasn't competitive enough to reach the second level of review', or whatever the phrase is this year for not making peer.

            steelman - hate to burst your bubble but you're far from a poster child for SAFER. K3 hit the major strike against you but also at 1 call per day you're not exactly screaming any need for paid personnel in the first place. Even if the 6 fulltimers plus 5 POC are your entire department, that's not a high call volume by any stretch. Lots of departments are way ahead of you in computer score just based on the fact they run 2-3 times that call volume with no paid FFs. Plus those that run 10 times that with 2-3 FFs per crew and were looking to make 4 per crew to meet NFPA. As K3 said, when you purposely design a project that will not bring you completely to NFPA compliance it will not go far at all.
            Brian P. Vickers
            www.vickersconsultingservices.com
            Emergency Services Consulting
            Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
            Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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            • #7
              We run on "REAL" calls, not 80% chasing ambulance calls.......if you've ever pulled up to working structure with a 2 man crew and performed search/rescue and suppression duties at the same time and not gotten help from off-duty personnel for 15 minutes and still made a save, I guess you wouldn't understand....we ARE the poster department for this program and it disturbs me that departments that pull up to working fires with 15-20 firefighters within 5 minutes are the departments receiving the grant money.

              Not only could we have used the "2" firefighters (what we asked for) at 20-25 kick-your-butt structure fires/yr, but needed them for extrication calls, hydrant details, pre-plans, equipment testing/maint. and all else that your "normal" fire department does in a shift day.

              It makes me shake my head when I see departments awarded SAFER and then get turned down by their own city councils and fire boards, WE have the blessing of our board to seek SAFER Funding and our board is disappointed in the DJ....If we can't get past the computer this year, no sense in applying next year....I'm sure I am not alone in this discussion...

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              • #8
                A department running 2000 calls at 80% EMS is still running more fire/rescue calls than you, so again 1 call a day average doesn't scream the need for paid personnel, least of all 4 per shift. And those other departments are doing everything else you listed also. So any department that is even close to those numbers will outscore you in the computer every time. More calls = more need.

                And my question is, if your board supports hiring more firefighters why haven't they done it? They obviously see the need, but where's the money? Within 4 years they have to pay for all of it, so where is their matching money now? Where are the volunteer crews?

                I'm not saying you don't need the additional personnel, and yes I've been on a 2 man crew with possible entrapment and help a ways off. It's the comment that you're a poster child that just says you're not understanding who else is getting awarded and why. Like my favorite quote says: you can't think outside the box when you're in it. These grants are not just about you versus the grant program, it's about you versus everyone else versus the program's priorities. Compared to who has and is being funded, you aren't stacking up with what we know from your postings here. Not saying it's impossible, but it is a long shot and will have to be done right. First step is aiming for 4 per apparatus on each shift. So if that's going to take 12 positions then anything less won't go far. Patterson NJ in 2005 wouldn't have been awarded if they had asked for 48, 36, 24, or any other number than 64. That's what solved their problem completely, so that's what they needed to apply for. That's also the reason that towns are turning down the awards, because they aren't willing to pony up for a complete solution. You town has to pony up for the matching for as many FFs will completely solve your staffing problem.
                Brian P. Vickers
                www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                Emergency Services Consulting
                Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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