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Around Montana

Central Valley Board Accepts Proposal

Friday Fire Destroys Overcast Residence Near Chinook

Hurting For A Cause: Helena Area Firefighters To Compete In Charity Stairclimb

Fire Destroys Park County Home

Red Cross Helps 2 Who Lost Arlee Home In Fire, Seeks Volunteers

Terry Man Dies When Struck By Vehicle Near Miles City

Butte YMCA Evacuated Due To Natural Gas Odor

 

Around the Nation

Texas Department Mourning Loss of Two Lieutenants

Flash-over Catches Pa. Firefighters at Deadly Blaze

Roof Collapses on Va. Firefighters, All OK

Supply Line Snaps And Injures Fire Chief In Texas

The US Forest Service Provides A Different Opinion Of Firefighters LODD

 

Grants

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Event Calendar

 

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Around Montana

 

Central Valley Board Accepts Proposal

http://www.belgrade-news.com/news/article_2d76b1dc-7a33-11e2-a080-001a4bcf887a.html

 

Without any discussion or questions last week, the Central Valley Fire District Board of Trustees unanimously approved implementing changes brought forth by Fire Chief Ron Lindroth and handed Assistant Fire Chief Brian Crandell his walking papers.

 

Crandell’s position was eliminated to fund two new firefighters, according to district records. Lindroth said additional staffing is necessary because Central Valley’s response time to calls is lacking and the agency has gaps in its coverage due to manpower.

 

Crandell has been with Central Valley for  seven years, he said. He first arrived in the Gallatin Valley in 1978. He has volunteered with various fire departments around the valley and worked at the Montana Fire Services Training School.

 

According to District Trustee Gil Moore, Crandell has until March 12 as whether or not to accept his severance package. Trustee Chair Mike Wacther offered Crandell a similar package in December before the changes were discussed.

 

Trustee James Hall voted in favor of implementing the changes, but voted against dismissing Crandell. Hall would not comment on his vote after the meeting Tuesday.

 

The crowd attending the meeting erupted in applause after resident Tim Anderson spoke.

 

“Brian, thank you very much,” he said. “I’m sorry they’re doing this to you. I learned so much from you.”

 

About the future, Crandell said little.

 

“My family and I are evaluating and assessing every option available to us,” he said.

 

The outcome is to form one engine company, which will be manned by three paid firefighters and one volunteer. Each engine will operate on a 24-hour cycle.

 

The department will have to hire two additional firefighters to fill the plan, which willl be paid by dismissing Crandell and reworking overtime, comp time and other pay-related issues.

 

Should multiple calls come in, paid staff and volunteers and paid staff will fill the roll. Lindroth said one engine should be able to satisfy 80 percent of the agency’s calls.

 

Lindroth said the whole plan should reduce the fire department’s bottom line by about $23,000.

 

His plan will implemented slowly with the first steps being a remodel of the Main Street fire station. The current bedrooms                            and workout room will be gutted to build better and “up to code” bedrooms that will serve the 24-hour staff.

 

All documents related to the shift, can found at the Main Street fire station.

 

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Friday Fire Destroys Overcast Residence Near Chinook

http://www.havredailynews.com/news/fridayfiredestroysovercastresidence.html

 

                       

 

The 100-year-old Chinook home of singer Ken Overcast was destroyed in a fire early Friday morning.

 

    Fire Chief Kraig Hansen said firefighters were summoned to the home, on Stockyard Road, about one mile south of U.S. Highway 2, at about 4 a.m.

 

    The fire was spotted by a passing Burlington Northern Santa Fe train.

 

    “When we got there, the roof and the second story had collapsed into the first floor,” Hansen said. “It had been going for some time.”

 

    Hansen said there were some tense moments, because firefighters didn’t know if Overcast and his family were at home.

 

   But they were soon informed that the well-known entertainer was in Billings.

 

 “That was a big relief,” Hansen said.

 

    Because the fire was so intense, and there was no chance of saving the structure, firefighters backed off, he said.

 

    “When I went into what was the living room, I could look up and see the stars,” Hansen said. “I have never seen a fire that bad.”

 

    “It was a real shame,” Hansen said. “He had a lot of musical instruments in there.”

 

    Overcast is staying with family members, he said.

 

    He said about a dozen Chinook firefighters were on the scene, assisted by Harlem firefighters, who brought two trucks with them.

 

    Overcast said all of the records for his ranching business and his entertainment business were destroyed, as were lot of family mementos.

 

    “I was the family archivist,” he said.

 

    Among those item destroyed were recordings of this week’s syndicated radio program.

 

    The program is broadcast on about 60 stations nationwide, he said.

 

“I can’t even call the affiliates and tell them,” he said. “The list was destroyed in the fire. Some of them I remember, some I don’t.”

 

    But Overcast said he was happy that the fire happened when it did.

 

    “On Thursday night, my daughter, her husband and eight kids were there,” he said. “I know we all wouldn’t have gotten out.”

 

    He said he was in Billings when he got a call at 4:30 a.m.

 

    “You know it’s not good news when you get a call at that time,” he said. “But at least it was just a fire at the house. No one died.”

 

    He said he is living with his son until other arrangements can be made.

 

    The Chinook community has rallied to help, he said.

 

    Several people have offered him homes to stay in, he said.

 

    “Somebody stopped me on the street and said  ‘I have my checkbook here, how much do you need?’” he said.

 

   “It’s great living in a small town when something like this happens.”

 

    Overcast said investigators were on the scene this morning. The extent of the damage makes it difficult to determine the cause, he said.

 

    “We figure it must be something electrical,” he said.

 

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Hurting For A Cause: Helena Area Firefighters To Compete In Charity Stairclimb

http://helenair.com/news/local/hurting-for-a-cause/article_ec6a379a-7992-11e2-8b6a-0019bb2963f4.html

 

 

 

Owen Koeppen, a Helena firefighter, is also returning to Seattle to compete. Koeppen finished 29th last year and tried his best to hide his trepidation of the grueling competition during an interview Friday.

 

“It feels like you can’t get enough air in your lungs,” he said.

 

The firefighters will wear their tactical gear, including jacket, pants, boots, helmet, oxygen tank, gas mask, etc., all of which ads up to roughly 50 pounds. They will then painfully, one step at a time, climb 1,311 steps and 69 flights of stairs inside the Columbia Center, which is the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.

 

“Probably (flight) 25 to 30 you just start getting hot,” Koeppen said. “Really, it’s just the heat that bothers (you).”

 

Fire suits are meant to block heat, so in return they retain body heat. Heat exhaustion is the number one plague of the firefighter world, with or without flames.

 

There are two teams from Helena competing in the annual competition, one from Helena College and one from the Helena Fire Department.

 

Capt. Roberts, Assistant Fire Chief Kelly Tuck, firefighters Mike McDaniel, Brandt Buresh, Louis Menghini and Owen Koeppen make up the Helena Fire Department team. Mark Mitchell, fire and rescue coordinator at Helena College, and Connor Elhart make up the Helena College team.

 

Even though it seems like these tough men are just out to prove themselves, which is probably partly true, they are

 

actually out there for a good cause.

 

Each year 1,500 firefighters from around the country compete in the stairclimb to raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Last year the national total raised was $1.2 million, $4,676 of it from the Helena Fire Department team.

 

Koeppen says they have already raised roughly $2,000 this year.

 

Their goal is to surpass last year’s amount.

 

They had a good jumpstart with a fundraiser at Lewis and Clark Brewery last week, where, with each beer sold, the brewery donated $.45 to the cause.

 

Helena Fire Department stations 1 and 2 have boxes on location for donations and people can donate online at http://bit.ly/WOWHLG.

 

People can also donate to the Helena College team at http://bit.ly/Xh92EQ.

 

Both teams will be on the road to Seattle by March 9, with the hopes of getting a good start and enough rest to make the whole climb using only one bottle of oxygen.

 

Roberts said everyone qualified for the event on just one bottle, but contestants do have the option of swapping out their empty bottle for a fresh one on the 44th floor.

 

He feels confident that no one will need a second bottle, especially with all their training.

 

The Helena Fire department has been training three to four times a week at Capital City Health Club, either all geared up or wearing 50-pound vests.

 

Mitchell said Helena College has been training at Crossroads Sports & Fitness.

 

Koeppen said last year he was at the back of the pack, which meant scrambling up the stairs with 1,500 other firefighters in a “mass start.” He will be in good position this year to improve his finish from 29th because he will be starting off early in the morning with the country’s top 100 stairclimbers.

 

Whenever their start time, one thing’s for sure, it won’t be an easy climb.

 

“It was excruciating,” said Capt. Brian Roberts. “It just feels like it’s never going to get done with.”

 

Roberts is one of the Helena firefighters who will be returning to Seattle to test his strength, or better put, his pain levels, at the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb competition March 10.

 

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Fire Destroys Park County Home

http://www.livingstonenterprise.com/content/fire-destroys-mill-creek-home

 

 

 

Fire destroyed a Mill Creek residence Thursday, injuring no one. 

 

The home, which was the last property on Mill Creek Road before Snow Bank Campground, was an old cabin made of dry logs, said Paradise Valley Firefighter Eric Newhouse.

 

A small outbuilding also burned, but firefighters were able to protect a garage and several other outbuildings, Newhouse said.

 

Residents of the home reported the fire at 9:15 am Thursday. They saw smoke and ran upstairs to discover fire in the corner of the house, he said.

 

There was a wood stove pipe in the area as well as electrical wiring, but no cause has officially been determined at this time, he said.

 

Responding to the Mill Creek fire was a unique challenge, Newhouse said, because fire trucks had to approach on a snow-packed, 1,000-foot, one-lane driveway.

 

Two fire trucks immediately got stuck, and a neighbor with a tractor plow was very helpful in clearing the way, he said.

 

 A Park County plow truck also came to help, but later got stuck and had to be pulled out by a tow truck, Park County Road Supervisor Ed Hillman said.

 

Despite impaired access, road delays were not to blame for the house’s destruction, Newhouse said.

 

The fire was already involved enough when responders first arrived on the scene, he said.

 

However, the incident was a reminder of the importance of keeping roads accessible, he said.

 

“If we had needed an ambulance, we wouldn’t have been able to get one out there,” he said.

 

Responders to the fire included Paradise Valley Fire, Park County Rural Fire and the Park County Sheriff’s Department.

 

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Red Cross Helps 2 Who Lost Arlee Home In Fire, Seeks Volunteers

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/red-cross-helps-who-lost-arlee-home-in-fire-seeks/article_162a640a-7a2a-11e2-bc09-0019bb2963f4.html

 

 

Hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy are quickly followed by news of the work done on behalf of tens of thousands of disaster victims by the American Red Cross.

 

Less attention comes when the disaster is a house fire, and the victims number two.

 

But the aid recently provided by the Montana Red Cross to an Arlee man and his son who lost their home in a fire is important work, too, says Montana Red Cross CEO Rod Kopp, who hopes to recruit new volunteers to his organization’s ranks.

 

Red Cross volunteer Susan Rangitsch reached out to the two over the weekend after learning they lost their home to a fire last Wednesday.

 

“They were very surprised and grateful when I explained that the Montana Red Cross could help them with food and clothing, and that there was no red tape for them to contend with to get access to that help,” Rangtisch says. “The Red Cross tries to help anyone who is affected by disaster and has nowhere else to turn.”

 

Local authorities often turn to the Montana Red Cross to assist people, Kopp says. In the case of a house fire, that assistance typically includes lodging, food, clothing, toiletries, replacement medication and even eyeglasses.

 

The Red Cross also can access mental health volunteers to assess and counsel victims, quickly set up shelters and food stations in the event of a large disaster, and refer victims to other charitable organizations that can help them with longer-term needs.

 

“The more volunteers a community has that are trained and ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice, the better off that community will be,” Kopp says.

 

The Montana Red Cross trains volunteers at ongoing training events across the state.

 

Kopp says people who sign up to volunteer now could be trained and ready to go when flood and wildfire seasons arrive in Montana later this year.

 

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Terry Man Dies When Struck By Vehicle Near Miles City

http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/terry-man-dies-when-struck-by-vehicle-near-miles-city/article_03993a71-8438-5b50-86d2-ba3cfb5100b4.html#ixzz2LMMcowAm

 

 

An 18-year-old Terry man died Saturday night after being struck by a vehicle while at a party north of Miles City.

 

Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Howell said the man, whose name has not been released, was apparently at "a big party" when the vehicle struck him. Officials are still trying to piece together what exactly happened and which vehicle struck him.

 

The incident was reported at 11:47 p.m. Saturday and happened on Deadman Road, about three miles north of the intersection with Highway 59.

 

Investigators with the MHP and Custer County Sheriff's Office are interviewing several possible witnesses, although Howell said everybody they've spoken with claims to have no knowledge of what happened.

 

"We don't have a driver or a vehicle (identified) yet," he said. "No one is claiming they're aware of hitting anything or anyone."

 

People at the party took the man to Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City, where he was declared dead.

 

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Butte YMCA Evacuated Due To Natural Gas Odor

http://www.kbzk.com/news/butte-ymca-evacuated-due-to-natural-gas-odor/

 

 

 

The YMCA was evacuated Monday morning after occupants smelled a natural gas odor.

The odor was coming from the northwest corner of the building, according to the Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department. Three fire trucks from the city and three from Boulevard Volunteer Fire Department responded.

There were too many people to count when the building was evacuated, according to a YMCA representative. They all quickly left the scene when they exited the building.

NorthWestern Energy responded to survey the area. Officials with the Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department said the scene was safe after 20 minutes. People were allowed to enter the building.

 

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Around the Nation

 

Texas Department Mourning Loss of Two Lieutenants

http://www.firehouse.com/news/10880738/texas-department-mourning-loss-of-two-lieutenants

 

Editor's note -- A public memorial service for Lt Greg Pickard and Lt. Eric Wallace is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Central Baptist Church, 1991 F.M. 158 in College Station. A private service for Wallace is set for Thursday; details for Pickard's funeral are still were being worked out.

 

 

 

Feb. 18--The sun had just set Sunday as a fire truck carrying Lt. Greg Pickard's body passed by his home away from home -- Fire Station 5, where ladder vehicles from College Station and Bryan formed an arch over Villa Maria Road.

Roughly 100 people gathered outside that firehouse, including many of his co-workers, who stood at solemn attention, saluting their fallen friend who died a day earlier from burns suffered trying to rescue fellow firefighter Lt. Eric Wallace from a burning building.

The line of fire and police cars escorting the 32-year veteran to Hillier Funeral Home had grown to more than a mile long along the route from a Galveston burn hospital to Bryan. It wasn't the final goodbye, though. This was just the start of several tributes scheduled this week related to the 142-year-old department's historic tragedy.

About 43 hours earlier, Bryan firefighters encountered what Chief Randy McGregor described Sunday morning as the department's darkest hour when the unthinkable happened: A team of three firefighters from Station 5 -- Pickard, Ricky Mantey and Mitch Moran -- rushed into the Knights of Columbus Hall on Groesbeck Street because Wallace was low on air and needed help. He had gone in with another firefighter to make certain no one was inside the 68-year-old building, which was decorated for a Quinceanera the following day. The trio secured Wallace and were nearing the door when it became apparent that they'd need help as well; apparently, at some point the roof collapsed.

McGregor spoke to the media for just over a half hour Sunday morning inside the truck bay at Fire Station 1, emphasizing that no conclusions on the cause of the fire had been made and that the investigation was far from over. While he said they have an idea of what transpired, they're not going to speculate. The State Fire Marshal's Office is the main investigator in the case, which is standard procedure when a firefighter dies in the line of duty. A final report can take up to six months. Bryan police also are conducting an inquiry.

While learning the details of what happened are critical, McGregor -- who has been with the department for 30 years and is in his seventh month of serving as chief -- said the focus now is on the families of the firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice, along with the two who were listed in serious but stable condition late Sunday at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

"We have a long road ahead of us as a family. The men and women of Bryan Fire Department are as strong as they come, we're a strong family. Through that strength and faith in God we will get through this," said McGregor, who tearfully spoke about the courageous attributes of each of the four, while pointing out that fellow firefighters in the truck bay during the press conference still were answering calls and serving the city, which has about 110 sworn firefighters.

"The passing of Lt. Wallace completely overwhelmed us. The passing of Lt. Pickard ... [it] came down upon us again," McGregor said. "Every day we deal with challenges, that's the nature of our work. This is the most difficult situation our organization has ever faced ... there's no doubt though we will move on."

Overwhelmed is the word McGregor also used to describe how he feels about the outpouring of support from fire departments across the country, especially the local agencies. College Station Fire Department has been aiding in responding to calls, along with the volunteer departments working in Brazos County. Bryan police have stood closely by, aiding whenever necessary, McGregor said, adding that Houston's critical response team is helping out with counseling and organizing the funerals.

"These four men were all leaders in the day-to-day operation of this department in what they did and the overall success of our department," McGregor said. "They all made us better people. Their impact both professionally and personally just can't be overstated."

A public memorial service for Pickard and Wallace is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Central Baptist Church, 1991 F.M. 158 in College Station. A private service for Wallace is set for Thursday; details for Pickard's funeral still were being worked out late Sunday.

 

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Flash-over Catches Pa. Firefighters at Deadly Blaze

http://www.firehouse.com/news/10880824/flash-over-catches-pa-firefighters-at-deadly-blaze

 

Three Pennsylvania firefighters were injured, one seriously, in a fire early Mondy that killed a woman and a little girl.

Lt. Andre Kelly and Firefighter Tom Bender were inside searching when they encountered a flasover, WPMT reported.

The Lancaster firefighters, who started their search even after having trouble getting water from a hydrant,  called a Mayday, and had to be rescued, the station reported.

A 37- year old woman and a six year old girl are dead and three firefighters were hurt during an early morning row house fire along East Madison Street in Lancaster. The fire started just after 4:00 a.m. this morning and trapped the two people inside a second floor bedroom.

Describing conditions for reporters, Lancaster Fire Chief Tom Gregg said: “There was heavy smoke. It was totally obscured. Since there were multiple reports of entrapment a crew made access immediately up to the second floor...A flash-over is when the room heats up, the ignition temperature and everything bursts into flames at once. Almost in an explosive fashion.”

Both of the firefighters were taken to Lancaster General Hospital. Firefighter Craig Robinson and Tom Bender were released after a short treatment.

Kelly was flown by medical helicopter to Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

“When they first got up and started searching they found a family pet a dog, and things were happening so quickly, I believe they thought it was a child. The firefighters that were up there are taking it very tough,” the fire chief said.

All of the firefighters will be able to talk to a psychologist to deal with the loss. “When they first got up and started searching they found a family pet a dog, and things were happening so quickly, I believe they thought it was a child and the firefighters that were up there are taking it very tough,” said Gregg.

Diana Marin, a cousin of the victims told reporters: “I just wanted to say thank you for risking your life to go in there and try to get my cousin and her niece. We appreciate it. They went in there anyway. They risked their life and to me they did the ultimate sacrifice, going in there to protect and get everyone out safely and we really appreciate that..."

Another family member, Scott Gelter added that although there was no water at the hydrant, the firefighters went in to attempt the rescue. "...God bless them they are heroes, they went in the house anyways and they sacrificed their lives for a job, you know they did the best they could.”

 

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Roof Collapses on Va. Firefighters, All OK

http://www.firehouse.com/news/10881108/roof-collapses-on-va-firefighters-all-ok

 

MANASSAS, Va. (WUSA9) -- Firefighters experienced a close call when crews rushed to an apartment building in Manassas on Monday at 10:57 p.m. At first, firefighters tried to douse the flames from inside the building in the 11200 block of Lady Jane Loop, but part of the third floor roof collapsed on their heads. They were wearing protective equipment, according to officials.

The firefighters sent a Mayday signal, but all managed to evacuate without getting hurt.

One resident was sent to the hospital with smoke inhalation, and two firefighters were taken to the hospital for observation.

Fire department officials say they are uncertain of the exact number of residents forced out of their homes due to the fire. Red Cross has assisted with putting 15 people in hotels, according to a fire department spokesperson.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

The preliminary damage estimate is $300,000, say fire officials.

 

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Supply Line Snaps And Injures Fire Chief In Texas

http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com/

 

    

 

Monday,   February 18, 2013  The chief of the McLewis Volunteer Fire Department is   recovering from an injury he suffered while battling a fire Saturday night at   a three-story apartment building of the Village Apartments on the Texas   Avenue.  Chief David Roberts says a fire engine was laying   out a fire hose when a coupling became stuck on the truck bed. The hose   had just been connected to a fire hydrant. The tension became too much and   the hose snapped, sending a 30 pound coupling at Roberts. He was struck in   his left elbow, breaking it in two places.
  Roberts is recovering following surgery and expected to be out of the   hospital by Monday night. He is expected to return to work in about three   months. A paramedic was also injured. The fire broke out around 9 p.m.   Saturday night. Everyone inside the apartment building made if out safely   along with a cat that was also rescued. Nine apartment units were damaged by   the fire. Tenants are being assisted by Red Cross.

 

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The US Forest Service Provides A Different Opinion Of Firefighters LODD

http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com/news/fullstory/newsid/181833

 

                   
   

RIP

   
   

        

   

 

Monday, February 18, 2013 The U.S. Forest Service says the death of a 20-year-old firefighter in Idaho last summer was a “chance” occurrence. The new report is in sharp contrast to the findings of federal workplace safety investigators.

Their newly released report determines fire managers did not violate any safety protocols at the fire where Anne Veseth died. She was killed when a 150-foot fire-damaged cedar came crashing down last August. The young firefighter from Moscow, Idaho, was working the Steep Corner Fire in the northwest part of the state.

The day before she was killed, a federal Hotshot crew refused to work the fire because of safety problems.  But while the Forest Service’s own report found some confusion on the ground, investigators say all the decisions made were appropriate.

“We didn't go in there looking for: 'Someone did something wrong and we're going to punish them,'" says Phil Sammon, a spokesman at the regional Forest Service office in Missoula, Mont. "The intent of this is to identify all of the mitigating factors surrounding this serious accident and determine how we can improve protocols and procedures for future incidents.”

But in another recent report, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, inspectors determined the Forest Service had violated seven out of 10 federal firefighting rules. OSHA says poor tactics, planning and communication added to the dangers firefighters faced.

OSHA inspectors issued citations for the safety violations they saw to both the Forest Service and a private timber association that managed the fire. Fire managers at both are considering whether to contest the charges.

Anne Veseth died during her second season on the firelines. Her mother declined to comment on the reports about her death.

On the Web:

Steep Corner Fire Fatality report - US Forest Service

 

 

 

 

 

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Grants (** Denotes new Grant)

 

Utilizing the USDA Community Facility Grant

 

The USDA Community Facility Grants program says it is designed to “assist in the development of essential community facilities. Grant funds can be used to construct, enlarge or improve community facilities for health care, public safety, and community and public services.”

 

There are several factors that are combined to determine the total grant funding that can be approved for a requested project.

 

For grant applicants, population and median income are two of the largest factors in determining qualified applicants. Based on the guidance for their document, towns greater than 20,000 have minimal chance of receiving funding under this grant program. “Grant assistance may be available for up to 75% of project costs. Grant funding limitations are based on population and income, economic feasibility, and availability of funds.”

 

This project will fund projects that also receive other USDA “CF financial assistance such as direct or guaranteed loan, applicant contributions, or loans and grants from other sources.”

 

Limitations to the USDA Community Facility Grant project include:

1. The payment of any annual recurring costs, including purchases or rentals that are generally considered to be operating and maintenance expenses.

2. The construction or repair electric generating plants, electric transmission lines, or gas distribution lines to provide services for commercial sale.

3. The payment of costs to construct facilities to be used for commercial rental where the applicant has no control over tenants and services offered.

4. The construction of facilities primarily for the purpose of housing State, Federal or quasi-Federal Agencies.

 

For those agencies that serve the rural populations that have minimal operations for healthcare delivery within their borders, this is an excellent opportunity to look at ways to fund the future of medical treatment to your citizens.

 

For more information about how to apply for this grant process you must contact your local USDA Rural Development office. You can find these resources here .

 

Grant applicants: Get bid specifications ready early

 

Review your grant application's requirements and get your bid specifications ready now. If you receive an award, this early preparation will help you to implement your grant as soon as possible and help ensure you are able to complete your project within the period of performance.

 

  1. Start to draft a bid solicitation that encourages competition by not using proprietary vendor specifications. By avoiding the use of proprietary vendor specifications, you encourage competition, which may decrease your overall costs. For example, you can request bids for a new pumper and specify that it have an "independent front suspension." But specifying that the pumper have a particular name-brand independent front suspension would be a proprietary specification that would limit competition to those vendors that build trucks containing those particular items.

 

2.       Avoid any real or apparent conflicts of interest in your procurements. Remember that no employee, officer, or agent of your organization, who has a real or even apparent conflict of interest (potential for personal gain), may participate in the selection of the contractor or vendor that will supply the grant-funded items or services. They cannot accept gifts, favors, or anything of monetary value from potential contractors.

 

3.       Maintain written procurement procedures. Become familiar with and keep on file the written procurement procedures and standards for your organization. If you are unsure, check with your local or state government for procedures. All grantees must have procurement procedures that follow local or state procurement procedures AND meet Federal procurement law as outlined in 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 13.36.

 

4.       Have a record system set up for the grant. Make sure that you have system established that will maintain your grant records accurately and securely while still being accessible. All Federal awards are subject to a possible audit or desk review.

 

 

 

What's next for FY 2012 AFG and SAFER grant applicants?

 

FY 2012 AFG and SAFER grant applications are being processed and will undergo peer review panel evaluations in the near future.

 

1.       Award announcements will begin in late September and continue on a rolling basis until all FY 2012 AFG and SAFER grant funds have been awarded. The list of new awardees will be posted each week on the Awards page for each grant program on the AFG website.

 

2.       All applicants will be notified of the decision made on their application regardless of whether they will receive an award.

3.       To receive an award, you must be registered and have up-to-date information in the online System for Award Management or SAM (SAM.gov), which has replaced the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). As with the CCR, SAM registration is FREE of charge and required of all Federal awardees. Follow the FAQs and User Guides on the SAM.gov website for specific instructions.

 

•         If you registered previously in the CCR, you don't have to do anything with SAM until it is time for your annual data update, unless there has been a change in your organization's financial or payment information. Your previously entered CCR data was migrated to the new SAM system, which will notify you via e-mail when it is time for your annual data update and verification. At that time you will need to create a new SAM account to check and verify your existing data; follow the SAM FAQs and User Guides for specific instructions.

 

•         NEW AWARDEES. SAM registration is required to receive any Federal grant award. If your organization applied for a grant but has not yet registered in SAM, please go to https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/  and follow the FAQs and User Guides to complete the registration process. AFG and SAFER awardees that have not completed the SAM registration process will not be able to draw grant funds.

 

•         If you have questions about SAM registration, contact Jane Early (Jane.Early@fema.dhs.gov ) or Chanee Williams (Chanee.Williams@%20fema.dhs.gov ).

 

 

Grantee reminder: don't forget to file your grant's semiannual federal financial reports (SF-425)

 

Grantees that received awards on or after October 1, 2009, are required by law to submit semiannual Federal Financial Reports (FFR) (also known as Standard Form-425) throughout the grant's entire period of performance. They are due twice during the calendar year.

 

SF-425 Report Due Dates

•         January 30 (No later than January 30 for the period covering July 1 – December 31.)

•         July 30 (No later than July 30 for the period covering January 1 – June 30.)

•         Final SF-425: Due 90 days after the end date of the grant's performance period.

You must submit SF-425 reports by these specific dates for as long as your grant is open. Even if you just received the award on June 10, for example, and have not spent any grant funds, you will still have to submit a SF-425 by July 31 to report on the period of January 1 through June 30.

 

We advise you to write down the due dates for these reports and set up a system of reminders to ensure that you submit them on time. A past-due SF-425 report will delay approval of any payment or amendment request you may have pending.

HOW TO SUBMIT THE SF-425

 

You'll prepare and submit your SF-425 reports online in the "Manage Grant" section of the E-Grant system at https://portal.fema.gov/famsVuWeb/home .

1.       First, read the line-by-line instructions for completing your SF-425, which can be found on the AFG Website under "Grants Management Assistance" in Rules & Tools.

2.       Log in to the AFG's E-Grant System where you submitted your original application: (https://portal.fema.gov/famsVuWeb/home ). Complete and submit the SF-425 by the required deadlines.

3.       Save printed copies of all submitted SF-425 reports in a grant binder and store the binder in a locked filing cabinet.

 

AFG 2012 calendar

 

NOTE: All information, including dates and projected application periods are subject to change.  When a conference is listed, the AFG Program either will be exhibiting and/or giving a presentation or workshop.

AUGUST

•         FY 2011 SAFER Grants: Award announcements are underway.

•         FY 2011 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants: Award announcements are underway.

SEPTEMBER

•         FY 2012 AFG and FY 2012 SAFER Grants: Award announcements are expected to begin and will continue until all available grant funds have been committed.

OCTOBER

•         FY 2012 FP&S Grant application period (tentative)

 

FM Global Fire Prevention Grant Program

 

Because we believe that the majority of fire can be prevented, FM Global is pleased to offer financial support to organizations working to combat fire. Through our new Fire Prevention Grant Program, fire departments and brigades, as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations can apply for funding to support a wide array of fire prevention, preparedness and control efforts, including:

  • Pre-fire planning for commercial, industrial and      institutional facilities
  • Fire and arson prevention and investigation
  • Fire prevention education and training programs

To view a list of recent grant recipients, click here.

 

Apply For a Fire Prevention Grant

To request your grant application, please review our frequently asked questions and complete the application request form below. After clicking "Submit" you will be sent to a page where you can download the application. In addition, instructions for submitting the application will be included on this page.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at firepreventiongrants@fmglobal.com.

 

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Contributing to Our Communities Grant (Farmers Insurance Group)

 

Application Due Date: Open Deadline

 

Farmers was founded in 1928, Farmers has been committed to improving the communities where our customers, agents and employees live and work.

 

Farmers continues to invest considerable resources in programs that improve safety, enhance educational opportunity, and increase civic participation in communities across America.

 

Eligibility: Non-profit organizations

 

Organization: Farmers' Insurance Group

Website: http://www.farmers.com/

 

Contact Information:

 

http://www.farmers.com/what_we_believe.html

 

 

Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants

Fire Grants Help Website

 

Grant Details:

Amount: $35 million

Open Date for Application: December 17th 2012

Application Due Date: January 18th 2013

 

Description:

 

Overview:

FP&S offers grants to support activities in two categories:

1.activities designed to reach high-risk target groups and mitigate incidences of death and injuries caused by fire and fire-related hazards (“Fire Prevention and Safety Activity”); and

2.research and development activities aimed at improving firefighter safety (“Firefighter Safety Research and Development Activity”).

 

Examples of Eligible Projects

• Public safety education

• Code enforcement/awareness

• Arson prevention/awareness

• Juvenile fire-setter programs

• Sprinkler awareness

• Smoke alarm distribution

• Burn prevention

• Firefighter safety R&D

 

Eligibility:

Eligible applicants for this activity include fire departments, and national, regional, state, local, Native American tribal organizations and/or community organizations that are recognized for their experience and expertise in fire prevention and safety programs and activities. Both private and public non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding in this activity. For-profit organizations are not eligible to receive a FP&S grant award.

 

FP&S 2011 Match:

For fire departments, the match is based on population:

– less than 20,000 = 5%

– between 20,000 and 50,000 = 10%

– over 50,000 = 20%

 

For other applicants, there is no cost share.

 

Additional Information from 2011 application cycle:

•Section l – Application and Review Information◦Part l. Funding Opportunity Description

◦Part ll. Award Information

◦Part lll. Eligibility Information

◦Part lV. Application and Submission Information

◦Part V. Application Review Information

 

•Section II – Award Administration Information◦Part l. Award Administration Information

◦Part ll. FEMA Contacts

◦Part lll. Other Information

 

Organization Information:

Organization: U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

Website: http://www.dhs.gov/index.shtm

 

Contact Information:

Contact Email: firegrants@dhs.gov

Contact Phone: 1-866-274-0960 (Help Desk)

 

More Information:

http://www.fema.gov/firegrants/ 

 

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Upcoming Training Opportunities (** Denotes new Upcoming Training Opportunities)

 

February

Calling the Mayday: Hands-On Training for Firefighters

It requires the local authority having jurisdiction, i.e., Training Chief, Fire Chief, State Training Director, State Fire Instructor, to certify that the students have met the psychomotor skills requirement to call a Mayday over their radio system. The firefighter must demonstrate the ability to call Mayday under various emergency situations a firefighter may find himself/herself in. The minimum: being trapped or lost in a room, having something collapse on him/her such as a ceiling, being stuck or caught on something such as wires, and falling through a floor or roof. These conditions must be simulated using props with the firefighter in full PPE, SCBA, and portable radio in a blacked-out face mask. The firefighter must send the Mayday call using whatever method is authorized by the authority having jurisdiction. The Mayday call must be received over the radio system; the firefighter’s information must be repeated correctly and acknowledged by the firefighter. The firefighter must perform these skills at the master level, meaning 100 percent correct.

Date:
2/23/ 2013

Location:
Glasgow, MT

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March

Incident Command System for Structural Collapse Incidents

This 2-day course is designed to provide fire officers with an understanding of command operations at structural collapse incidents. Students completing this course will be able to:* describe the aspects of a structural collapse;* explain basic command procedures and ICS organizational structure;* identify various resource levels, types, and capabilities used for structural collapse incidents;* identify critical factors and issues that affect scene management;* describe all unique operational considerations used at a structural collapse incident;* describe all response operations phases associated with a structural collapse incident; and* describe the technical rescue expertise and equipment required for safe operations and effective incident management. Students attending should understand and be able to apply the Incident Command System (ICS) concept.

Date:
3/9/2013 - 3/10/2013

Location:
Missoula Fire Department Station 4
Missoula, MT

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Strategy and Tactics for Initial Company Operations

STICO is designed to meet the needs of Company Officers responsible for managing the operations of one or more companies during structural firefighting operations. STICO is designed to develop the management skills needed by company officers to accomplish assigned tactics at structure fires.

Date:
3/9/2013 - 3/10/2013

Location:
West Glendive VFD

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