M y dept. is looking for help with training. We are a small vol. dept with only about 15 members, we do adout 375 runs a year. We bill for what we can but some time that doesn't pay out. We are looking for any form of training equipment (ie. videos, books, etc..). If anyone has an idea of how we can obtain any of these items for as little as possible. Like I said, we are a volunteer dept. that doesn't have the funds to purchase brand new training equipment. We were just looking for any resources that you can suggest. We have tried applying for grants, but it seems the full-time departments get those first. Even though, our runs out number the full-time departments. Your help is greatly appreciated. Feel free to contact my with any information you can provide. I will respond as quickly as possible. Thanks again.
Out of curiosity what kind of traing "equipment" are you looking for. A few fellow firefighters along with myself, have developed powerpoint presentations to assist in training our own firefighters. I am attaining my instructors cert. In a couple of weeks. Keep in mind that these are presentations that can assist a qualified instructor. I highly recommend that an instructor thoroughly review these presentations before using them for training purposes.
Walt, look outside of the box for funding. I went to our local utility company (Vectren) for funding for training equipment and IFSTA Instructor manuals. Vectren has a foundation that promotes education.
Utility companies are a great source for funds. Also some of the colleges that teach- EMT, nursing etc will donate items that don't sell when they upgrade to new equipment. Check with local depts and ask if you can come to their trainings. We have joint trainings in my area, and it's a great chance to get to know one another.
Although you may not be in NYS, I do have some training materials at my discretion. Send me an email with your full name and mailing address w/ department info and I'll send you what I can. Some of it is geared specifically toward NYS, but there's enough meat and potatoes to satisfy what you're looking for, I think.
Being a fellow Hoosier Volly I understand where you are coming from. There are all kinds of grants out there though. One in particular is the Indiana DNR Grant. I think they will pay all but 5% of anything purchased if I remember correctly but you might want to check it out. Also, contact the DHS office in Indianapolis, they can often guide you in finding stuff. I am currently checking with our training officer to see what we have to offer. I can't promise you anything but I will try. The only other idea I have is sending your guys to one of the many state fire schools. If you have any questions feel free to contact me on here. I will even give you my # if you need it. Again, I hope this helps.
Walt, the Assistance to Firefighters grants is not an exclusive grant for paid fire departments, nor are most grants available to the firefighters worldwide. I suggest you get some folks in a grant writing class, and start writing grants with your heads and not your hearts. Most grants out there award grants on "true need" and financial difficulties." I find it interesting that your department has no budget yet runs more alarms a year than a paid department... Is this a dramatization? Could your department perhaps work on a better taxation solution for the citizens to be better protected?
One of the variables which is always a great tool to use at budget meetings is to establish an average pay for a paid firefighter to be on duty. Add the benefits, retirement, insurance, vacation and come up with a total. Now keep in mind you generally will need at least 3 of these firefighters. If you have the taxable households and commercial properties to warrant running as many calls as you say, than your budget should reflect it.
As far as the grant issue goes, we are also a small department and have been passed over by the grant fairy too! We are sending one of our guys to a grant writing course at a local community college (a one day thing for $35) to learn the proper wording and the content they like to see. Some of our neighboring small departments have gotten quite nice grants in the recent past, but they put a little more into their preperation than we did! We've learned our lesson! I've also seen a few websites that have stated they will assist with grant writing if you intend on purchasing stuff from them. I also just recieved a information magazine (?) from Action Training Systems, the title is Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program Tips 2008. I don't know if you can get on their web site and request a copy or what. If now maybe one of your neighboring depts has one.. Good luck Walt... Matt
In my county there are 11 vol dept. and one paid dept. the twp. we cover is the 2nd largest per capa. We cover 3 towns and about 36 sq miles not that big but still. The paid dept. refuses to do any med run. the say there contract says fire only, so thats all they do. a vol. ems service assits. the privite ambulance service out. my dept goes on on med runs, fires we even clear road of trees during bad weather. thats why we go on more runs a year. We have three guys that went to the grant class and they are the ones who write our grants. but, my be they feel asleep? LOL. no but serously, the co. next to us is 5x more people then we do. and they seem to get most the grants. buut from what i have gathered from what everyone has told me one here. Its who has the best writer that gets the grants? sorry about any gramar or spelling. math was my strong subject. thanks a bunch , Walt
You might also want to take to the web looking at ebay,amazon,craigs list etc. type sites you never know what you will find on these sites. I have found many great books and vidoes for next to nothing.
Also fireengineering was offering all of there VHS stuff for only $5 I don't know if they still are but it is a place to look.