Two children escaped their burning bedroom because they learned exactly what to do in a fire safety program at school. A first responder reversed the course of heart disease after health screenings revealed severe hypertension. A homeowner put new batteries in her smoke detector following a fire risk assessment, increasing the chances her home will survive a blaze. Unfortunately, prevention efforts rarely get major headlines. While tragedy after tragedy has grabbed our attention, there have been an untold number of happy endings because of the interventions made possible by FEMA's Fire Prevention and Safety Grants.
Fire Prevention and Safety Application Assistance
Fire Prevention and Safety Application Assistance is part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) suite of programs. It covers two different areas:
Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S)
The purpose of FP&S is to support projects that improve safety in high-risk communities. Eligible projects will fit into the following categories:
- Community Risk Reduction - Smoke alarms, residential sprinklers, fire prevention campaigns, wildfire prevention, juvenile firestarter projects and fire risk assessments.
- Code Enforcement/Awareness - First-time or reinstatement of code adoption, support and promotion of code enforcement.
- Fire and Arson Investigation - Arson investigation trailers, equipment, and training as well as prevention training, surveillance equipment, personnel costs, education and media materials.
- National/State/Regional Programs and Studies - Projects that change firefighter behavior and decision making.
Firefighter Safety Research and Development (R&D)
The purpose of R&D is to research improve firefighter safety, health, and wellness through research and development. Eligible projects include:
- Clinical Studies - behavioral, social science, cultural, physiological, and medical research.
- Technology and Product Development - new or enhanced technology that can improve safety.
- Database System Development - Databases to determine the predictors of fatal and non-fatal injuries.
- Dissemination and Implementation Research - Projects that support the dissemination and implementation of research.
- Preliminary Studies - early studies that collect evidence and justify a larger more complete study that can affect firefighter safety.
FEMA has a collection of success stories from departments who used this grant to make a genuine difference in their communities. You can read complete descriptions of what each grant funded. Below are some brief highlights:
- The Bristol, VA, fire department bought a trailer to provide fire safety presentations to school children.
- The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation worked with the Chicago Fire department and other organizations to produce the Everyone Goes Home® video to help firefighters make safer decisions on and off the job.
- Greensboro, NC, was the first in the nation to utilize a bus decked with fire safety messages.
- The Newport Beach Fire Department developed an interactive multimedia program that promotes not only fire safety, but also boating and water safety.
- Television producer Mary Ann Shanahan won a FP&S grant to produce a series of Emmy-winning Public Service Announcements (PSAs).
- First responders are offered free health screenings at trade shows courtesy of The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC).
- The State of Alaska's Fire Marshall's Office and the Division of Fire Prevention created a program for free home fire safety inspections and free fire safety equipment.
Applying for the Programs
Fire Prevention and Safety - Eligible applicants are fire departments, Native American tribes and tribal organizations, academic institutions, nonprofits, state and local governments.
Firefighters Safety Research and Development - Eligible applicants are tribal organizations/institutions, academic institutions, consortia, nonprofits, state and local governments. Fire departments are not directly eligible to apply for this part of the program, however, applicants are encouraged to seek fire-service partners.
The deadline for both programs is May 19, 2017.
- Looking for tips on the application process? Refer to our Preparing for FEMA Competitions post.
- Partnering with physicians, social psychologists, sociologists, scientists, engineers or other academics for a R & D grant? Learn a bit about how studies work from our Evidence-Based Practices white paper. Written for the layperson, it is designed to increase your comfort level with the research process. Click below to access: