Let's face it, an increasing number of public safety agencies are looking to grants as a revenue stream to fund their operational equipment and personnel needs that are beyond their operational budget.
For Fire & EMS departments the “conventional wisdom” regarding marketing has been primarily, “We don’t need to market our services. When people have a fire, they call 911 and we respond. They don’t have a choice. It’s not like deciding what store to shop at.”
Let’s face it; there are a lot of communications solutions out there, but many of them cost money. I’ve written in the past about the comprehensive efforts that should be put forward for improving communications and integrating interoperability. These include efforts such as planning, organizing, training, and exercises. All of these things can cost money, although don’t necessarily need to cost much – especially if organizations invest in their personnel to build these capabilities in-house, or share resources with other organizations. Equipment, however, is rarely obtained on the cheap. Some organizations have an ability to easily allocate funds to these expenditures, which can escalate quickly, depending on the number of vehicles, locations, and people you need to equip and the geography you need to cover. Most organizations, however, aren’t so lucky.