“Week 7 Forum
As we have seen throughout the class, fire departments in the United States focus the majority of their resources on responding to emergency incidents. What is left over for the Prevention portion of the budget is usually a relatively small amount. Therefore, Prevention bureaus need to be creative with their finances.
For the Week 7 Forum, find some research on how Prevention bureaus are being creative with funding their budgets. Examples can include but are not limited to:
Give an overview of a fire department that has been successful utilizing outside funds in order to augment their prevention efforts. Describe how they obtain these funds. How can other departments model their efforts?
For week 7 we are asked to look into the how Prevention bureaus are being creative with funding their budgets. For this week I chose the County of Maui in Hawaii. The fire prevention bureau is there to abate fire and life-safety hazards so they can be stopped before an injury or damage to property is done.” The Fire Education section is responsible for developing and implementing programs that will increase the public’s awareness of fire safety. This includes an annual fire safety program for Maui County schools, which has proven to be worthwhile in several instances where children used what they learned and saved lives.
The Smoke Alarm Maui program (SAM) is an ongoing program that promotes fire safety by providing and installing smoke alarms free of charge in the homes of qualifying applicants.”()
The Maui Department uses grant funding, impact fees for false alarms, and donations to help with funding their programs they have. All of these events are free so they must have the help from grants and donations to keep the fire house able to do them. They can’t get to every one of the events due to the number of request but if they can they will be there. The county of Maui needs larger funding due to the equipment they must have for rescues. The funding is gotten from getting grants and if an incident was of gross negligence or willful disregard of safety. These fire departments on the islands have to work together because they can’t call in for extra help. What they have on their island is all they have along with the community.
Fire & Public Safety: Maui County, HI – Official Website. (n.d.). Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.mauicounty.gov/1460/Fire-Public-Safety.
One of the best ways for departments across the nation to getting funding for programs associated with fire prevention is from FEMA. Much of the budget is focused on operational parts of the fire department and equipment, so departments will take whatever help they can get. As we have seen from past posts in this class, many departments are struggling to find the needed money for their fire prevention programs let alone being able to staff their shifts.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the Department of Homeland Security have a yearly grant figured into the national budget to assist departments across the country that request it. More specifically the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (Assistance, 2019).
The grants have two main focuses:
1. Activities designed to reach high-risk target groups and mitigate the incidence of death, injuries, and property damage caused by fire and fire-related hazards (“FP&S Activity”) (Assistance, 2019).
2. Projects aimed at improving firefighter safety, health, or wellness through research and development that reduces firefighter fatalities and injuries (“R&D Activity”) (Assistance,2019).
Overall, the funding was given 350 million dollars for FY 2018. There were almost 800 applications from fire departments across the nation but only about 150 were actually awarded the grants from FEMA (Assistance, 2019). The grants for the fire prevention and safety are awarded based on Financial Need, Vulnerability Statement, Implementation Plan, Evaluation Plan, Cost-Benefit, Funding Priorities (Assistance, 2019). The maximum award amount per department is 1.5 million dollars. Departments at every level can apply for the grant at the FEMA website and their application will be vetted by the team there (Assistance, 2019).
Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program; Fire Prevention and Safety Grants. (2019, July 2). Retrieved from https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/07/02/2019-14044/assistance-to-firefighters-grant-program-fire-prevention-and-safety-grants.