The GSK/TUMS-First Responder Institute Challenge Grant Program
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Who is eligible for the Tums/First Responder program?
A1: Needy Fire Departments By this we mean fire departments only; sorry but our funding limits and initiatives restrict the beneficiaries of this program solely to fire departments. First Responder Institute has different programs for various segments of the first responder sector (e.g.: TheLeopard.org for Law Enforcement; nothing currently in place for EMS/Rescue). However, for the purposes of this grant program, Fire Departments are the intended recipients. The IRS designation of a 501(c)(3) or any similar entity other than a for profit corporation is sufficient to meet the designation of being a legitimate applicant. Departments who were successful in 2005 are not eligible for 2006.
Q2: Does the size of the department matter?
A2: The primary thrust is being directed to rural (small) departments that do not have a tax base for support. This does not mean that we will not consider larger municipalities, but smaller departments have precedence.
Q3: What are the deadlines?
A3: We process applications quarterly. The first quarter ends on March 31, second quarter on June 30, the third quarter deadline is September 30 and the fourth quarter, December 31. We review applications and post decisions on this website typically by the end of the month following the last month of a quarter. To be considered for each quarter, you must reapply by each respective deadline.
Q4: What are the funding parameters (limits)?
This years program will be limited to a maximum of $2500 per department. Our rationale is, given the huge size of the need within the first responder community; we cannot begin to fix all the funding shortfalls. Therefore, it is our intention to make our limited resources touch as many communities as possible. Given that the requesting department certifies that they have an equal amount of cash to match the award, $5,000 can have an impact.
Q5: How does the Matching Funds component work?
A5: No funds are disbursed without evidence that the applicant has raised money up to, or exceeding the requested amount. The matching funds are to be from sources other than tax revenues. You certify that you have the funds when you click on the submission button at the end of the application form. First Responder Institute reserves the right to validate the matching funds representation. Matching means that if your application is for $1500, you have $1500 on hand- an amount that is equal to the request.
Q6: How do we apply?
A6: All applications are submitted electronically via our website. We do not mail out applications. We also do not process, or retain partially submitted applications. The sole method of communication is through email. Applications that have an invalid email address are discarded. If you inadvertently submit a partially completed application, do not panic. Just finish the form and submit. We will discard the incomplete version. Do not send us an email to apologize. Well figure it out.
Q7: How much money is there to be given away?
A7: We are not FEMA. This is a modest program supported by a cause-related marketing campaign initiated by TUMS and its retail partners. By this we mean, that the more successful the in-store campaign, the more money we will have to donate. We will have about $200,000 this year from TUMS. There will be other corporate contributors that will add to this figure. We will donate approximately 25% of the total each quarter.
Q8: What are our chances of success?
A8: As the awareness of the program increases, your chances decrease. This is nothing other than the statistical probability of dealing with approximately hundreds of applications per quarter. Factors such as need and demographics may be used as a part of the award criteria. Failure to fully complete an application is cause for rejection.
Q9: Whats the Combat Cash program?
A9: A number of companies that sponsor our affiliate program, the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge® (including Scott) have generously agreed to make your dollars go further by providing an additional 10% benefit by spending your TUMS grant proceeds with them. You will receive a certificate with your First Responder Institute grant check that can be redeemed at the time of purchase assuming that you choose one of the Combat Challenge sponsors. Redemption information is on the backside of the certificate. You may wish to contact these companies prior to making up your budget. As of this posting, in addition to Scott, you can obtain 10% benefits by spending your funds with Lion Apparel, and POK nozzles and appliances and Simulaids, the manufacturer of Rescue Randy®. Other sponsors may be added as they join this program.
Q10: What can the money be used for?
A10: The primary thrust of this program is intended for firefighting equipment. Given the financial constraints of a grant of say, $2,500 and your matching funds, you can purchase turnouts, Air-Paks, AEDs, hose and nozzles, etc.
Q11: Will I be notified?
A11: You will receive a receipt via email upon submission of your application. If you do not, you did not properly complete the form, or you have an invalid email address. In either case, please do not call us to see if we received your application. Your return receipt is the email that comes back to you. At the end of the quarters review, a mass email will be sent to everyone who has an application pending informing them of the final disposition. Please respect the fact that we have limited staff to field telephone calls. We have made every attempt to provide all the information necessary to submit a grant through this website. If you do have a change in your email address, please provide notification, as we will not track down dead or deleted email addresses. Upon receipt of a notice that you have been selected, follow the instructions and contact First Responder Institute through the email address provided. We will then begin the process of issuing checks. All the successful applicants will be posted on the website each quarter.