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2008 Proposed Budget

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Not2L84U2 View Post
    These are all great ideas....I can feel the wheels spinning already.

    What's a "wetdown" though?
    Must be a New York thing -- basically christening the new apparatus with water from another one...Usually includes neighboring departments and frosty beverages.
    "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)

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    • #17
      If you don't already, LOBBY, LOBBY, LOBBY. If you don't then you can bet other agencies are. This is not Law Enforcement and Fire Service. We are competing with other agencies also. Politics is not about the most important causes, it is totally about the loudest voices and the number of votes. There is only so much money and their are a lot of programs that are going to take a hit in the 2008 budget, not just AFG. One in our state that is on the front page today is the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Why is their issue on the front page? They have a good lobby in our state capital and in DC and they have started an all out media campaign.

      Right now the Iraq war is all the news media is talking about and it is the only issue Congress is dealing with. Make fire service an issue.

      Take the opportunity to send media releases to any media outlet and pictures of your department's new equipment with your members in the picture. Write the sad story and show how important this is to your community. Get someone in public relations to show you how to get this to be an AP wire story. Then it hits all the media outlets.

      Several departments in our county have gotten new trucks over the years through AFG funding. To show their appreciation, they invited our Congressman to their county association meeting and thanked him. They gave him a plaque to show their appreciation. The plaque and the picture that was in the paper (all the departments brought their trucks) are hanging in his office. Everybody likes to be thanked.

      PR and lobbying is something most organizations do not see a need in spending funds, however it is very important. Don't expect it to all be free, not if you want results. There are major players in that world. Find out who they are and hire them. If you are a member of any state fire service organizations, then get on the phone and ask them to make this a major issue for their lobbyists. The organizations who win the budget battle are the ones that work the lobby the hardest.

      There is a lot of apathy in the general community about fire service. Most people don't won't to fund it, but they want it to be there when they need it.
      Fire service is it's own worst enemy when it comes to PR. Fire service folks are good guys and usually don't want any recognition for what they do. They don't want to blow their own horn. It is time to start blowing!!!

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      • #18
        Right now the Iraq war is all the news media is talking about and it is the only issue Congress is dealing with. Make fire service an issue.
        Trust me, it's not the only issue. They're naming post offices and congratulating sports teams and honoring people we've never heard of. The daily Whip notices can be quite entertaining.

        Depending on your party liking:

        http://republicanwhip.house.gov/index.asp

        http://majoritywhip.house.gov/

        One of the biggest lobby groups -- AARP. Very scary.

        The biggest lobbying time for the fire service -- the CFSI events in March that includes the National Fire and EMS Dinner -- www.cfsi.org.
        "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)

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        • #19
          The largest sect of the population is the baby boomers, hence has one of the largest, most well-funded, and most effective lobbying going on.

          NVFC, IAFF, IAFC, and the others all have lobbyists. CFSI is direct access to the staffers and representatives. All are needed, all need our support. There's no need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to keep it moving.
          Brian P. Vickers
          www.vickersconsultingservices.com
          Emergency Services Consulting
          Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
          Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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          • #20
            The largest sect of the population is the baby boomers, hence has one of the largest, most well-funded, and most effective lobbying going on.
            They have great marketing -- you don't contact them, they contact you right before the big birthday!
            "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)

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            • #21
              And carrying their card is worth more in hotel & rental car discounts than the preferred member stuff. Not that I know first hand, I have a ways to go to hit that mark, but Dad is in several hotel points programs and AARP discount trumps them all in their own hotels.
              Brian P. Vickers
              www.vickersconsultingservices.com
              Emergency Services Consulting
              Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
              Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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              • #22
                We need to get AARP to support us, They would and or should believe that they are most likely going to be in contact with us as our clients and customers. At least with the stations running medical responses.

                Could have pitch potential.

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                • #23
                  Farm Bureau trumps everyone in rural American (where many of us operate). VERY active lobby org. And the Farm Bill rewrite is under way. Anyone know if they have ever taken a position on Fire Grants? Iowa FB is a friend of the fire service.

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                  • #24
                    Agreed. We all need to be more proactive in our politics. Visit your local politician and show them your needs, and stress that this is across the board. Im going to the White House in May, but I know Ill be emailing my DC contacts well before that.
                    The problem is that most people are under the assumption that they have no voice, and it is futile. Believe me when I say that you can become powerful by getting involved locally. I got involved about 8 years ago, and now get a yearly invite to the White House, rode in a Vice Presidential Motorcade, and have met many people of influence.
                    I would be more than happy to hand deliver any petition or statement made on the boards here. Ill be calling the proper people today.

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                    • #25
                      Kentucky FB is also a friend of the local fire service. They make a nice donation to each of the county departments every year and offer help with lowering your ISO rate.

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