 What is a Live Fire Training Structure?

An unoccupied structure used by the fire service for training personnel in a controlled & supervised fire simulation or dense smoke environment. The structure is referred to as a “prop”

 Who is eligible for a Commonwealth Live Fire Training Structure grant?

Any one of the 323 jurisdictions of the Commonwealth – the several independent Cities, Counties, and incorporated Towns within those counties; all as listed in the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s annual report. (Grants are never awarded directly to a department or other fire service organization.)

 How much is available from the State as a Live Fire Training Structure grant?

Presently up to $480k is available for new construction – as $450k + up to $30k for local structural engineering needs. The Live Fire Training Structure Grant Program is a matching/cost sharing program based on the size of the project the locality intends to build. Potentially a similar maximum amount is available for repair work but subject to recommendations made by the Agency’s Engineering consultant. Final amount will be approved by the VA. FIRE SERVICES BOARD. For Repair/Renovation projects larger than the base prototype, the amount awarded will be a % based on square footage of the Live Fire Training Structure and number of burn rooms compared to the base prototype.

 Where can I read-up on Commonwealth Live Fire Training Structure grants?

The controlling document is presently Sec 38.2-401, Code of Virginia found at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+38.2-401

There are two (2) subordinate documents; the BOARD’S POLICY & AGENCY’S PRACTICES both of which can be found on the Agency’s web site at www.vafire.com under the Grants and Local Aid Heading on the Live Fire Training Structure Grant page.

 How can a jurisdiction apply for a Commonwealth Live Fire Training Structure grant?

The application is on the Agency’s website at www.vafire.com under the Grants and Local Aid Heading on the Live Fire Training Structure Grant Page.

Any jurisdictions wishing to apply for a grant may address their application to…

BUDGET AND GRANTS MANAGER,VDFP, 1005 Technology Park Dr., Richmond, Va.23059- 4500

 Where does the money come from for Commonwealth Live Fire Training Structure grant awards?

The short answer is the Commonwealth’s FIRE PROGRAMS FUND.

Detail  The CODE provides for an annual levy against certain insurance premiums collected within the State. This amount in turn goes into the FUND. Under the FUND the CODE also establishes several PROGRAMS. One of these, the ‘FIRE SERVICE GRANT PROGRAM,’ provides for grants to “…repair and construct Live Fire Training Structures.”

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 How will the current statewide budget crisis affect awards?

While there still may be some uncertainty, at present it appears that there will be no impact to those jurisdictions presently scheduled to receive awards.

 Are there standardized plans for constructing a Live Fire Training Structure?

Yes – The Agency has such for this grant award program: One (1) set of plans of all 4 prototypes & corresponding specifications, called the Project Manual is made available at no-cost to each jurisdiction scheduled for an award. The Project Manual is also posted on the Agency’s website.

 If we don’t want to build to the prototype plans, can my jurisdiction still get an award to construct a Live Fire Training Structure?

Yes – It is recognized that one size may not necessarily fit all! Some jurisdictions may wish to choose a design different than the ‘plain vanilla’ Live Fire Training Structure as provided for through the Commonwealth’s prototype plans. Attached to the BOARD’s Policy document is an exhibit which is a performance or outline specification setting forth those minimums that the locality must agree to build into their prop as a condition of accepting an award?

 If there is more than one jurisdiction involved, how are awards made?

When more than one locality joins in a Live Fire Training Structure project –one of the partnering jurisdictions must be identified as the lead. The lead jurisdiction will serve as the procurement and fiscal agent for the project. The Agency thereafter deals solely with that Lead in the administration of the award. The Lead executes the grant agreement and is held by the Commonwealth as exclusively accountable for State monies which they alone receive on behalf of all. ( Usually it is the locality that holds title to the property which is chosen to act as the Lead)

 Is there a list of recommended or qualified vendors for the design or repair or construction of Live Fire Training Structure in the Commonwealth?

No! Such selection is solely the jurisdiction’s responsibility.

 Just what is a fiscal period?

Many businesses & governments account for their fiscal affairs on a 12-month period other than a standard calendar year – something different than Jan. to Dec., inclusive. The Commonwealth’s fiscal periods run from July 1st through and including June 30th of the next year; they are numbered by the year in which they end. e.g., The fiscal period beginning July 1, 2005 is termed “FY-2006” /or/ “FY06.”

 How do lead localities receive their payments?

Payments are made through electronic funds transfer (EFT) to the lead locality’s last account information on record with the Commonwealth. Reference the Agency Practices on Live Fire Training Structure Grant Administration, Section M. Award Disbursements.

An executed Disbursement Agreement must be on file before any disbursements will be made.

For new construction: Lead localities may request reimbursement for A/E services up to $30,000 at the time A/E services have been completed.

For new construction: A recently issued building permit must be received before the first 25% installment of the construction grant will be disbursed. All remaining disbursements will be as reimbursements only.

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 Is the jurisdiction allowed to procure under their own guidelines or do they have to use the bid process that is outlined in the new specifications, know as the Project Manual?

Yes, jurisdictions are still to procure under their own guidelines. The bid process outlined in the Project Manual is just guidelines to help jurisdictions.