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SAFER Grants will now follow correct priortization

 

 

SAFER Update

 

Without question, it was good news on March 31 when DHS and FEMA released $55.8 million in SAFER grants.

 

But as we scanned the list of departments that will receive these initial grants as part of the first round of funding, we had serious concerns about the process FEMA used to compile that list since we identified some grants that were released didn't fulfill the prioritization that we had developed last year.

 

So we met with FEMA/DHS officials on Tuesday, April 6 to ask them why some departments that laid off firefighters weren’t getting grants in the first round.

 

This was the issue – last year, when we as stakeholders decided, and DHS agreed/ that applications from departments should be ranked in the following priority: 1) departments with layoffs; 2) departments with reductions in force; and 3) departments that want to hire new personnel so they are NFPA compliant.

 

But career FEMA officials appeared to ignore that newly adopted list of priorities that were agreed to. So we met with senior political FEMA/DHS officials.

 

In our April 6 meeting, FEMA admitted that they ignored the new ranking system established by stakeholders.

 

As you can imagine, we were stunned by that news. They had no sound defense for their decision to ignore what everyone had agreed to.

 

More importantly as a follow up to the meeting DHS has assured us that FEMA will follow the prioritization as it was agreed to and departments with layoffs will now be given priority and receive SAFER funding first. Departments with reductions in force will be given second priority, and departments that want SAFER funding for new hires will be given.

 

The system has been corrected, and more help is on the way to put our members back to work that were laid off and fill positions that have been RIFed during this current economic recession

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (7) -

  • Richard Ruehl L2000

    4/9/2010 5:21:40 PM |

    Excellent news, though it is admittedly frustrating that it takes an additional meeting to resolve the issue.  

  • Paul Stamper L0002

    4/9/2010 6:04:15 PM |

    Great news.
    Let's get are brothers and sisters
    back to work.

  • Gary Miller L3598

    4/9/2010 6:12:25 PM |

    Good news and a good catch, but do
    we know how much of the 55 million was given
    out under the wrong process? With a government
    that seems to be doing whatever they want withh
    our money it would be nice to know.

  • Christopher Boso L0067

    4/9/2010 6:23:04 PM |

    I would love to know where this country is getting that money from. Instead of giving out hand outs i wish they would fix the problems in this country of the economy.That would help secure our jobs more than any grant given to us by a country that is so in debt.

  • Scott Slocum L1826

    4/9/2010 8:15:39 PM |

    It's good to see the IAFF is always is on top of things for our members.  It was disturbing last week when we didn't see two of our departments that have laid off not in the award recipients.  We are hoping to see Round # 2 announce funds to rehire our members:

    City of Fort Myers FL L1826 D1
    http://SaveFortMyersFire.com

    Lehigh Acres FL L1826 D6
    http://SaveLehighAcresFire.com

  • Mark Horton L0474

    4/9/2010 9:47:16 PM |

    Thank you President Shaitberger!!!
    Our Brothers and Sisters in Ohio are anxious to return to work and your effort to correct the priorities of the Safer act is greatly appreciated.

  • Dave DeBoer L1721

    4/10/2010 8:40:29 PM |

    Good News!
    Thanks for the hard work. I like this blog idea. Now I just have to learn how to use it.

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