We are watching our federal funding for firefighting slowly eroding day by day. Earlier this year the Obama administration proposed cutting the fire act grant budget by $400 million. The original budget proposal from the president's office was to fund the fire act grant by only $170 million. Only through aggressive and coordinated action were we able to get some of that money, not all of it restored. Now we see in this article in the Washington Times that identifies acorn the community organizing group was to receive a $1 million grant in 2010 to help raise community awareness to the dangers of fire. Additionally according to the Congressional fire services Inst. whom I spoke with earlier today they previously received a grant from the fire act to do exactly the same activity.
All of this leads me to wonder who else is taking money and who is watching to see that that money is actually being used in the correct way. What associations, which group's corporations and companies have received fire act grant money which should have gone to deserving fire departments. The fire act grant should make the fireground and the fire service a safer and more effective place, it should not be used to enhance the agenda of particular groups ever.
Perhaps it's time we re-examine how our fire act grant dollars are being managed. To read more about the acorn story here's the link Http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/oct/07/firefighters-lose-large-grant-to-acorn/#