Oh great. A Heritage Foundation WebMemo released June 23rd (2009) summarizing a soon to be released report from the Center for Data Analysis (CDA) tells the world that Fire Grants have been largely ineffective. The measurement? Reduction in firefighter and civilian casualties. The report insinuates that the US flushed $5.7 billion down the toilet between 2001 and 2009. Nice. Here's a newsflash: statistics depend largely on what yardstick is used. Before anyone leaps to conclusions about the Fire Grants program, we'd better give some quick thought to how Fire Grant outcomes really should be measured. Any firefighter or fire chief knows full well that Fire Grants improve the fire service. How we measure that is now under attack. It's time for quick response from fire service experts. Otherwise, data analysts and statisticians are very likely to kill one of the most valuable resources the American fire service has ever had.