With credit to http://www.urbanrefugee.ca /
A fire started on some grassland near a farm. The county fire
department was called to put out the fire. The fire was more than the
county fire department could handle. Someone suggested that a nearby
volunteer bunch be called. Despite some doubt that the volunteer outfit
would be of any assistance, the call was made.
The volunteers arrived in a dilapidated old fire truck. They rumbled
straight towards the fire, drove right into the middle of the flames
and stopped! The firemen jumped off the truck and frantically started
spraying water in all directions. Soon they had snuffed out the center
of the fire, breaking the blaze into two easily controlled parts.
Watching all this, the farmer was so impressed with the volunteer fire
department¹s work and was so grateful that his farm had been spared,
that right there on the spot he presented the volunteers with a check
for $1,000. A local news reporter asked the volunteer fire captain what
the department planned to do with the funds. ³That ought to be
obvious,² he responded, wiping ashes off his coat. ³The first thing
we¹re gonna do is get the brakes fixed on our fire truck!²
Life. Nature's way of keeping meat fresh. -- Dr. Who
He's probably heard some variation of it from brush to structure fire
already. It's not quite as funny to me after losing a friend and medic to
brake failure on a pumper on scene a few years back.
Just got notified our department got its Assistance to Firefighters Grant
for 2005 on yesterday. So don't anyone go bad-mouthing Homeland Security
until the money's spent on new turnout gear, y'hear.
Also got our EMS grant from another source last week. I know it's our own
money coming back - finally - but it will get us a leg up on some needed
gear for extrication situations.
Heh...our annual budget is $90,000 or so. And for political reasons
that I'm not going to go anywhere near into here, I'm staying way the
hell away from the grant-writing process in our department at this time.
Let's just leave it at "profound disagreements".
Not to be picky, but the HS money should not be used for that. If you need
basic turnout gear, the town should happily provide it for the work done by
the FD. What needs to be done is to somehow educate people that the local
VFD is saving them a ton of money and should be supported.
HS money was intended to be used for the "extra" gear needed in the event of
attack or major disaster but since there is not enough from local sources,
you have to spend it as needed for basics.
You need to look at the whole "revenue-sharing" business. Locals would have
to raise taxes to provide money, risking their political lives, especially
as those without mortgages actually have to write a check for taxes. Not to
mention, we get to vote directly on whether we wish to tax more, rather than
indirectly by voting for people who promise us other people's money.
Imagine if we all had to write checks for what is withheld now? We'd be a
lot smaller government.
With grants and revenue-sharing the locals can have it both ways. They can
blame high taxes and low revenues on the same source - not them!
As to appropriate use of HS funds, it recently went from FEMA to HS as the
_administrator_ of the grants. I have no problem making the connection
between response in a disaster and a properly-equipped and trained force of
firefighters and medics, so I consider it a legitimate use to allocate funds
for equipment and training, as do they.
Our PPE and training for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear comes
from a different pocket in DHS. It also comes with a shelf life, so we're
curious what happens "after."
Having been an officer in both very large and very small companies what has
always frustrated and amazed me was that the bigger the company, the bigger
the checks. It's not simply because there are more firefighters, a bigger
population or any of those things that seem obvious at first, either. I've
watched as squirts were purchased with grant funds in a large suburban
company that had nothing taller than some 3 story apartment complexes(...and
had the luxury of squirts in neighboring companies on two sides), while more
rural, and much smaller companies had trouble getting funds for a TP. We're
not talking anecdotal episodes here either. Look at the larger vol
companies and the cool gear they have, which they were able to purchase out
of their budgets. Then look at the hand-me-down gear in the small vol
company. It's just a matter of the way things go... the bigger and richer
you are, the better you can afford the nicer things (logical), ...and... the
better you can qualify for the bigger grants and give always (illogical).
TEL: ++++ 61 8 9756 0460
Har ahr har - love that one Nahmie . . . sounds a bit like our volunteer
brigade . . . bunch of heroes that we are.
Our lot went out to rescue a couple of blokes in a four wheel drive that had
gotten bogged out in one of the forest blocks - and immediately got the fast
attack vehicle bogged as well - then they had to get the 3.4 out ( 5 ton
4WD fire truck) - after a four hour walk, because the radio was broken -
and it took them all night, then another day to get themselves out . .. .
At least we all get to go to Alistair's place for a big barby for all the
heroes - and us hero worshippers . . .. cos when all this was going on I
was still sound asleep at home . .
Just love it . . ..
The greatest headaches are those we cause ourselves.
Don't know how they do with grants, but their VFD has a
Selling burgers and brats during local festivals sure helps the coffers,
though with the appetites of some of the firefighters, profit is often in
Two raffles a year as well.
We're actually a paid outfit, of course. Township levies around a half mill.
Helps pay for the expendables and the $10/run response money. We have a
non-transport EMS vehicle here, with the nearest ambulance 30 minutes
distant, but that's equipped by our regular service, and we respond if we're
home for free. Did my first fishhook this weekend. Push through quickly,
and snip. Works great.
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