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Posted on Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

Ypsilanti Fire Department seeking grant that would save the city almost $40K

By Katrease Stafford

The Ypsilanti Fire Department is in the process of applying for a $39,498 FEMA grant to help cover costs.

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The Ypsilanti Fire Department is applying for a grant through FEMA.

The grant is part of the new FEMA Fire Prevention Program. The Fire Prevention and Safety grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards

If awarded, the grant will cover all activities related to fire inspections including refresher courses for the department's existing inspectors, initial training for additional inspectors and for training of a new fire marshal.

Receiving the grant would save the city close to $40,000 in costs.

The grant would cover travel costs to the class site at Schoolcraft College and 50 percent of the fire marshal’s salary from April 1 to the end of year.

The grant has a matching requirement of 5 percent and interim Fire Chief Max Anthouard is recommending the city uses professional development funds to cover the 5 percent matching requirement.

According to Anthouard's application, many communities have become safer and have reduced their fire losses after implementing the program.

Before the department officially can submit the application, approval must be granted by the city council. The council will consider it at its Jan. 22 meeting.

The department was denied its request for a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in October. The request was denied because the department had not actually laid anyone off.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for AnnArbor.com.Reach her at katreasestafford@annarbor.com or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.

Comments

Goober

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 9:55 a.m.

When is Ypsilanti city leadership going to find a viable cost solution in sync with revenue? All we keep hearing is ways to avoid this reality.

beardown

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

Like maybe merging the fire and police services with the neighboring townships?

Ron

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 8:34 a.m.

i AM ALL FOR GRANTS TO REINFORCE THE TRAINING skills of the department, but now I think we need to look at the grants to bring our laid off guys back so we can fully staff the station like it should be. I live on Washtenaw and Watch that single truck run up and down the road going to calls all over the place. Let's see if we can't find a grant for the department that says if given, the cit y counsel and the mayor can NOT touch this money at all and have any say on what it can and can't be used for. Let the Fire Chief do all of that so it can all be used just for the purpose of the department. Can you tell how much I hate the city counsel and the maor right now? I wish they would all stand up at a meeting and quit and never come back. we'd be better off without them or bring in an EFM and fire everyone of them and use that money to use for the safety of our residents. I bet my 5 year old nephew could run the city better than they are.

GoNavy

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 11:57 a.m.

One-time grants should not be used to fund operations. What happens when you bring back workers - with recurring salary and benefit obligations - and the grant runs out the next year? That's how you get yourself into budget trouble.

beardown

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 2:56 a.m.

I hope that they read the rules, like they failed to do on the previous one that most of the earlier budgets were based upon, before applying for this one.

sheepyd

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 11:43 p.m.

Why is it no one complains when a person serves 20 years in the Navy, possibly sailing around the world in a floating nuclear fortress and retires with full benefits and pension. Yet when a police officer or firefighter retires after 25 years and placing themselves in harms way on numerous occasions rushing into burning buildings or fighting with armed crackheads we believe they should have to work into their 70s. I believe our military vets deserve their benefits and pension, I wonder why we think so little of our police and firefighters. Let's face it several people who serve in the military are never placed in harms way, all firefighters fight fires and I don't know any police officer that has never been involved with a violent offender. It takes quite the hypocrite to believe otherwise.

sheepyd

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

Prevo, I in no way meant to disrespect or state anything negative towards the military. As I wrote earlier I believe they deserve every benefit they receive and then some. My point however is the] hypocrisy that goes on in this country where for the most part our society is ok with the pensions, VA benefits etc... for military veterans but we are ok with taking pensions and healthcare away from police and firefighters. I would never want to make light of anyone's service to their country, I do however believe that some people in the military were never placed in harms way, either because they served in a time when there was no war or served in positions where they held duties that had nothing to do with combat. Those people are still entitled to their benefits, as they should be, my questions is more about why do we not wish the same for our public safety employees.

PrevoTownie

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 5:18 p.m.

Sheepy, I agree with most of what you said with the exception of the "military are never placed in harms way". All the armed forces are on guard and at any time may be placed in harms way, like firefighters. Firefighters are not fighting fires all the time, but are ready to lay down their lives for another at any time. Police are probably in harms way more often than most on a daily basis. The ones that the whole benefit thing should be about are the politicians who receive lifetime healthcare and retirement benefits.

sheepyd

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 3:03 p.m.

Mike, The fact of the matter is citizens that choose to live their life serving their community or country are different than someone who works in lets say a bank. As far as I'm concerned our police/firefighters/soldiers are all underpaid. Most public safety departments are moving from pensions to defined contribution and raising the retirement age. The community I live in still provides their police with a pension and I believe that after 25-30 years protecting us they deserve it. When you were a young person you had the chance to become a police officer/ firefighter/ soldier and obviously you chose another route, good for you but don't complain you sound like a bitter ex-girlfriend. If everyone at walmart put themselves in harms way for their community I'd support them getting a pension as well. As it stands most public safety workers won't have a pension in a few years, that is sad and a telling tale of where our priorities as a culture have moved. Long story short, there is a difference between you and people who actually do something brave and important with their lives, get over yourself.

Mike

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Nobdy in the government should get a pension until they reach the age of social security eligibilty. Too many retiring in their fifties while the rest of us are expected to work into their seventies to pay for it. Thanks for bringing that up.

GoNavy

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

A FEMA grant? How is this disaster related again? When we think of budget "death by a thousand cuts" in this country, remember where your "emergency" tax dollars are going. Prevention and training is what annual budgets are for. Then again, when retirement costs begin to chew up operational budgets, some cities are left with few choices other than to beggar thy neighbor.

bigdrummer

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

@GoNavy- But that's what I'm trying to point out. It's not mission creep as FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, takes an ALL-HAZARDS approach to emergency management as all emergency managers do. Included in the all-hazards approach is the most common disaster, fire. Thus, it makes sense, and in my opinion makes it more efficient, that the organization that mitigates, prepares for, responds to, and assists in the recovery disaster should house the organization that focuses on America's leading disaster threat, fires. I would expect them to put the USFA out there in like Management and Budget but it seems they actually thought this one out for once...

GoNavy

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 : 2:14 a.m.

@Bigdrummer: Mission creep. It's one of the reasons - one of the *many* reasons - we simply cannot balance our national budget.

bigdrummer

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

GoNavy- Just so you know, the U.S. Fire Administration, who oversees the operations, standards, and training for all of America's fire departments is a unit within FEMA. Emergency Management takes an all-hazards approach preparing for every disaster whether natural or human caused. Fire is the world's leading disaster. Just wanted to clarify that.

Mike

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

GoNavy - you are missing the point. These grants come from the federal government, the money falls from the sky............I heard a lady on TV say it's Obama money, she didn't know where it came from but she just knew she was getting some. Don't be so uptight. We have lots of money in this country.......we still only borrow 46% of what we spend so we actually have enough money to fund 54% of this grant without borrowing or printing some more. Borrowing huge sums of money is good for the economy according to the people who run this country and as the richest nation on earth we don't have to worry about cutting spending, there is not limit to what we can spend and how long we can continue doing so. Why do you think gun control is more important than our deficit right now? Probably because by the time the useful idiots wake up and realize they're being shammed it will be too late. They'll be in soup lines, pissed off, and unable to do much about it..................

Middle America

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

WOAH! I just read that again and I bet you took a political science class once, right?! I mean, WOAH!

Middle America

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

Woah, "free money"! Obama, am I right? How did you become so wise?! Socialists, am I right?

Middle America

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

Thanks for your reading suggestion. "eh whole"!

GoNavy

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

@Middle America: The fact that there is a FEMA Fire Prevention program should concern people as well. It is an example of "mission creep," in my opinion. We have city, county, state and federal fire codes - as well as likely of taxpayer funded organizations and agencies all "looking out for us". I know, I'm the eh whole for questioning all of this acceptance of "free money," when it's just there for the taking. After all, it's somebody else's money, right? Read into "The Tragedy of the Commons" to get a better idea of the concepts to which I'm referring.

Middle America

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 11:11 a.m.

The grant is through the "FEMA Fire Prevention Program". It is to prevent a disaster. Would it be better to react to a disaster instead of preventing one?

beardown

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 : 2:55 a.m.

Because our cities and state governments are so inept at money management that our services like police and fire require federal money to train them in case of a disaster. You know, merging with other localities to, I don't know, maybe pool costs and resources, might make funding these training courses a little easier. But unluckily for Ypsi, their all knowing, all power city manager already shot down that idea before even presenting it to the city council.