Top FEMA Grant Winners for 2002

By Rodney Slaughter

Fire Safety Trailer
This successfully funded FEMA proposal, submitted by the Costa Mesa (CA) Fire Department, uses to its advantage a lot of statistical data and information to support its justification for a grant. This narrative demonstrates the level of sophisticated writing that is becoming the benchmark for successful FEMA grants this year.

Portable Radios
This proposal, submitted by the San Francisco (CA) Fire Department, has several interesting elements to it. The first element is that the grant writer, MeiBeck Chung, forged her own format. Her writing style, along with the amount of detailed information that this narrative provides, allowed her to be a little more creative with the format. The second interesting element is the use of a really good (short) story to help drive home her point and illustrate the department’s need for better communications equipment. What makes this proposal successful is that it stands out from the crowd.

Other Top Grant Awardees
City of Chicago: $396,000
The Greenhouse Project: To develop a model for reducing radio frequency congestion and increasing interoperability among urban first responders by using broadband wireless technology.

Harrison County Board of Education, Clarksburg, WV: $442,000
Project SAFE (School Action for Emergencies): To give emergency responders access to video images from cameras located inside schools via laptops while en route, as well as on-site, and from a county command center.

Charleston, WV Commission for National and Community Service: $630,000
Connect WV Online Volunteer System: To create an Internet-based tool that matches volunteers to local community needs, including disaster response.

To understand the grant review process, see the article “Fire Act Grants: A Peer Reviewer’s Perspective,” by Matthew D. Weber, in the December 2002 issue of Fire Engineering. To view the winning proposals, visit http://www.dragonflynet.com/GrantResources/samples.cfm.

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