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  • The Ineffective FEMA Assistance to Firefighter Grants

    House Republicans are attempting to live up to their pledge to cut $100 billion from the federal government’s current fiscal year 2011 budget. One of the proposed programs placed on the chopping block is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) program—a federal program that subsidizes the purchase of firefighting equipment and vehicles and fitness equipment by state and local governments. Compared to President Obama’s fiscal year 2011 budget request, the plan is to cut $310 million from the highly ineffective program that has inappropriately awarded grants to ACORN—an organization notorious for being associated with voting fraud.

    The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA) collected data from 1999 to 2006 on 10,033 fire departments and, using regression analysis, estimated the impact of fire grants on fire casualties. The CDA evaluation found that AFG grants had no impact on fire casualties. Specifically, AFG grants used to purchase firefighting equipment and vehicles and fitness equipment failed to reduce firefighter deaths, firefighter injuries, civilian deaths, or civilian injuries. Despite billions in grants across the United States, the CDA report found that fire departments that did not received federal grants “were just as successful at preventing fire casualties as grant-funded fire departments.”

    When Congress subsidizes local fire departments in this manner, it effectively reassigns to the federal government the powers and responsibilities that fall squarely within the expertise, historical control, and constitutional authority of state and local governments. The responsibility to provide fire protection and other basic emergency services belongs wholly to state and local governments, not the federal government.

    The AFG program has an extensive track record of poor performance and should be eliminated.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to The Ineffective FEMA Assistance to Firefighter Grants

    1. john in houston says:

      Anything to create useless jobs and waste money, as they say nowadays.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Excuse Me? It's hard to trust people that are driven by money and not their own free will to take a job to rescue and protect, such as this.

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    5. Real American says:

      The big spenders will always say that those depts receiving grants WOULD HAVE BEEN WORSE if not for the free money.

    6. Pingback: COACHEP » Blog Archive » News about ACORN issue #97

    7. Shannon, Illinois says:

      To those writing the article and leaving comments, have any of you actually worked with this program in your community? Likely you have not. I have, and in all instances, the equipment purchased through this funding would not have been obtained by the rural volunteer departments that got these awards. Most readers probably cannot even fathom the concept of running a department that protects more than three communities on around $34,000 a year.

      • someone who knows says:

        I was a trustee for a rural district in Illinois. We received grant money from the state and federal government. This is a fell good program for these see what i got fire chiefs. These departments apply for things in these program like kids going to a candy store. The department I worked with had more than enough equipment to do their job. The fire chief just wanted to out do the other departments in the area so he could boost his ego, and tell them see what I got. If any of the trustee on the board questioned him he would get mad and spread rumors that he and the firemen were going to turn in their resignation (ist called blackmail). When he wanted something he new he was going to get resistance on he would call the newspaper people to try and make the board look bad a the meeting. If you would not buy him the truck he wanted the he would get the new truck that was bought stuck in the fields and then tell the firefighters if the board would have bought the truck he wanted it would not have happened. He now has himself in the position of the fire chief running the fire district and not the trustees. These programs of giving the taxpayer money away to these rural department is a joke and must be stopped. Let the local taxpayers decide if the fire departments need extra money by a tax referendum. It called local control. Its no wonder they can't get contributing members of society to volunteer for these department. They have to take the left overs. It like mostly all other forms of government " A MISMANAGED MESS"
        A lot of these rural department don't even have the maximum tax rate so why should the government help someone who can't help themselves. Now you have heard from someone who has worked with these program in these communities.

        • Fire Chief says:

          We were fortunate to receive two grants through this program. One was for self-contained breathing apparatus and the other was for diesel exhaust removal systems inside fire stations. The combined award was in excess of $700,000. These devices provide safety equipment that over the long-term reduces exposure in an effort to decrease the risk of cancer among fire fighters. The immediacy of these benefits are not readily known but long-term exposure to toxic gases and diesel exhaust fumes have been proven to be cancerous. The real benefit of this award was to allow a local government to purchase safety equipment that otherwise would not have been funded at the local level.

    8. Bobbie says:

      No one should have to get "awards" to gain necessary equipment to do their job as efficiently and effectively as possible. This equipment is for personal convenience. Something the fund raisers could supply. Not what tax payers should supply.

      Shannon you write:

      Most readers probably cannot even fathom the concept of running a department that protects more than three communities on around $34,000 a year.

      What do you have to do? Hold their hand to cross the street? No offense, I apologize, but it sounds like personal interests are coming into the government sector at tax payers expense. How is that fair? Why would you want to be apart of working against the tax payer and not buy your own equipment to help the economy? Money leads to corruption and corruption is led by authority to steal.

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