Fall is time for the leaves to change, school to start and your Assistance to Fire Fighters (AFG) Grant applications put together and submitted. The AFG application period starts on October 11, with the final due date of 5 PM EST November 18, 2016. Regional workshops schedules to help applicants prepare for the grant have been announced. The self-evaluations, application guides and checklists are also available.
FEMA Grants for Fire Departments
FEMA makes available 3 major grants for fire departments on an annual basis:
ASSISTANCE TO FIRE FIGHTERS GRANT (AFG)
The purpose of AFG is to help fire and EMS departments meet their basic needs by helping them to acquire protective gear, equipment, vehicles, training and other necessary resources. As mentioned above, the due date is November 18, 2016.
STAFFING FOR ADEQUATE FIRE AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE GRANTS (SAFER)
The purpose of SAFER is to help both professional and volunteer fire departments with staffing so they have enough trained personnel to meet their communities’ needs as established by the NFPA and OOSHA. March 25th was the due date for 2016.
FIRE PREVENTION & SAFETY GRANTS
The purpose of this grant is to fund projects that increase the safety of both firefighters and the public. Public safety awareness and education campaigns are among the eligible activities. The due date for 2016 was the 6th of May.
Workshop Schedule for the AFG Grant
As federal grants become increasingly competitive, the time spent in preparation for the application process is a smart investment. Below is the link for the regional workshops to help grantees submit the best application possible. There are both live trainings and online webinars. Other preapplication documents can also be found at the link below. FEMA may still be in the process of updating this schedule. Click under the breaking news section:
Fire Department Grants Don't Just Look to FEMA - An earlier blog post that provides alternative funding and foundation sources available for fire departments
Funding Alternatives for Emergency Medical and Fire Services - From the U.S. Fire Administration, this comprehensive report covers all aspects of funding for first responders. It offers strategies used by municipalities to support their departments to fund raising ideas individual fire companies can try themselves. It also includes federal grants, what is available state by state, and a list of foundations that provide grants and other funding to fire departments. Especially helpful is the breakdown of eligible activities under each program. It was published in 2012 so some private sources are no longer available, but many are still viable options to explore. A great starting point for those new to fire department funding, as well as a handy resource list for veteran grant seekers.
For those that will be applying for the 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant, here are some specific tips from Washington's The Ferguson Group to put your best application forward: https://blog.ecivis.com/afg-2017-tips-for-success.