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  • Avoiding a "Laundry List"

    Hi all,

    When determining what to apply for in a grant, a risk assessment should be performed. The risk assessment should identify areas in a department's capabilities that need improvement, and grant funds should be put towards meeting needs in those areas. However, if a department is lacking in more than one type of equipment for the same overall deficiency, does it hurt to ask for more than one type of equipment in the same grant? For example, let's say a department identifies interior firefighting as a risk area due to deficiencies in turnout gear, SCBA, and radios. Will applying for funding to purchase all three decrease awards chances due to the "laundry list" that is being requested? Should you try to improve one deficiency per year, or go ahead and make the jump to get the entire problem fixed all at once? Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Andy

  • #2
    I was picturing a "laundry list" as a bit more extensive. Something like gear, SCBA, radios, hoses, nozzles, vent fans, vent saws, etc. I've got a "possible" award for gear (head-to-toe), SCBA, and RIT packs for this year, so I can't see replacing radios would be that big of an ordeal with the gear and SCBA.

    Comment


    • #3
      Just a note about the radios - you better be applying for communications equipment that is interoperable with your neighbors.

      I applied for gear with radios for everyone last year. Denied. Dropped the radios this year, awarded. No other difference in my grant.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you can identify the items as part of a single problem and a Complete Solution to that problem, then it could be beneficial to do all. The problem i see with the radios is that my gut feeling is that communications is being viewed in the context of an interoperability issue as well. Will they also improve your ability in providing/receiving mutual aid?? If there is a chance you can get several departments to agree on a regional project, communications would be one of the best you could do--that would be my dream for getting radios.

        SCBA's fit very well with PPE. Again--bonus points if they help improve interopability with your surrounding departments. If you sell it on the idea of improving your interior attack, may complete that project. Do new air packs complete your breathing air problems?? Do you already have (or have access to) compressor, mobile cascade, fill station, etc?? If that's all in place, then packs may be the completion to PPE, if you need an entire air supply project, i would lean toward a two year plan.

        Thoroughly confused yet?? Just remember the key terms--complete solution, interoperability, and priority.

        earl

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        • #5
          Depending on call volume SCBA & PPE is a laundry list. Radios can appear with one or the other, same as a TIC but only handheld units if there aren't enough to go around to each interior team on the fireground. Mobiles belong in regional apps, or in a project with just radios if the county/state/region upgraded and you got left behind.

          Andy, check with Bob for a copy of my paperwork since y'all didn't fill it out last year. That will help narrow things down for you. Shoot me an email when you get a chance.
          Brian P. Vickers
          www.vickersconsultingservices.com
          Emergency Services Consulting
          Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
          Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies everyone. I'd really like to solve the whole problem at once, but I'm afraid that it'll be hard to justify the cost/benefit for a small department with only 90 calls per year. I'm also really nervous about including radios (even though they would be 100% interoperable and are badly needed) because they're such a touchy subject right now.

            Brian, check your inbox.

            Andy

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            • #7
              Got it, reply heading back.
              Brian P. Vickers
              www.vickersconsultingservices.com
              Emergency Services Consulting
              Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
              Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

              Comment


              • #8
                Last year my department was awarded funds for a thermal imaging camera, SCBA, portable radios and wildfire gear. We only average around 120 calls per year, but able to justify everything by showing the cost benefit for our rural setting and allowing our resources to be used by other agencies (TIC). The radios we applied for were exactly like radios already owned by the department, which allow for communications in not only our county, but five surrounding counties also (interoperability). Interoperability does not necessarily mean APCO 25 digital radios. Apply for what is functional for your department. This year we have received preliminary notification for our application for complete sets of turnout gear for 25 firefighters along with a washer/extractor to maintain and preserve the new turnout gear.

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                • #9
                  [QUOTE=Interoperability does not necessarily mean APCO 25 digital radios.[/QUOTE]

                  Careful here though. Although APCO P-25 compliant does not mean "interoperability" in and of itself, the grant rules state that they must be APCO P-25 compliant OR, your state homeland security office must certify that the requested equipment . although not compliant, is compatible with their state homeland security plan.


                  Everyone shoud keep in mind that there is a $1.7 billion dollar "interoperable communications" bill awaiting Presidential approval right now. It has passed Congressional approval in both the Senate and the House and if signed into law, must be disbursed through a grant program from NTIA to first responder agencies by Sept 2007. That is 3 X what money is currently in AFG alone. Start gettin your planning together for completet interoperable communication projects and be ready to rock when this hits the grants.gov pages.
                  Kurt Bradley
                  Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
                  " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    After doing a little research today I discovered that the presidentr did actually sign the bill mentioned above into law on 12/22/06 which has now become Public Law No: 109-459. Can't wait to see how they do this one. Stay tuned for details!
                    Kurt Bradley
                    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
                    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah that's going to be an interesting one. Less than eight months to figure out what you need, spec the system, figure out how much it will cost, and apply for the money. And I'm sure they're going to require projects by region, so you'll also need to get everyone in a region to agree on something in that short amount of time. I hope I'm wrong, but it sounds like a lot of money is going to be thrown around without much planning as to how it will be used. It's almost as if someone is saying "FINE..here's your money, now shut up and go away!". If public safety screws this up (doesn't show any improvement after getting the money), we'll have a heck of a time if we need to ask for more in the future.

                      Andy

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                      • #12
                        Pelican, your right on a number of points here. It will more than likely have to be regional in nature and if we screw up this opportunity .... well who knows.

                        I do know there are a lot of departments that if presented with the idea correctly and they put together a comprehensive program that truly solves the issues, then there willbe some very happy, efficient public saftey agencies out there who can get the job done and will save countless lives.

                        What FDs must realize though is that they have to play in the same sandbox well with their brother public safety agencies for this regional approach. That means burying the turf hatchet and cooperating for the good of the public, and our own families who make up these populations, whom we all serve.

                        Law Enforcment, EMAs, EMS etc. are going to have to first sit down at the table and actually AGREE on something for a change and the agreement should be that " Hey, what we have does not work and if we want to do the job right, we all have to be able to talk to one another".

                        Interoperrable communications starts at the most basic level, sitting down and agreeing to talk the problems out, not ignore the other career srevices and let them fend for themselves. FDs can take a real leadership role here and show the US and DHS that when presented with a proper opportunity, that has been funded sufficiently to actually accomplish the mission, we are capable of coming togther in a team effort and resolving our differences inthe interest of those we are sworn to serve.
                        Kurt Bradley
                        Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
                        " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I haven't read the bill so I may be way off base here. Is this the one that will use the 700 MHz band for a nationwide system or am I thinking of something else?
                          Jack Boczek, Chief
                          Ashley Community Fire Protection District

                          FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jboczek View Post
                            I haven't read the bill so I may be way off base here. Is this the one that will use the 700 MHz band for a nationwide system or am I thinking of something else?
                            I believe it something entirely different if I am not mistaken. If you wnat to see it look at Thomas.gov under S385.
                            Kurt Bradley
                            Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
                            " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It does not say anythign about 700mhz. But I have heard that they Feds want to put Public Safety on the 700mhz band.
                              Marshall Griffiss EMT/FF
                              Chaires Capitola Fire Rescue
                              Tallahassee, Fl.
                              www.stitchingbydesign.net
                              Washington Lodge #2 F&AM
                              Past Master
                              Ham Radio: N4DOG General Class
                              IACOJ

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