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Overcoming Interoperability - The NIST Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program

Interoperability!. Chances are, it is a term we don’t think about too much.  It is defined as the ability of a system to work smoothly and reciprocally with the equipment in another system.  In  times of crisis, interoperability between  first responders is critical.  Unfortunately, in many areas of the country, emergency personnel do not have  access to the broadband and cutting edge technology that consumers do.  Congressman Donald Payne Jr., who serves as Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications, has asserted that enabling police, fire and medical services to use the same bandwidth in emergencies is among our biggest challenges.  Fortunately, there is a branch of The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the  Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR) whose purpose is to conduct research into overcoming obstacles to  interoperability among emergency systems.  They are currently offering the NIST Public Safety Innovation Acceleration Program to enhance the ability of public safety operations to protect the public through more sophisticated communication setups.


Looking for Used Fire Fighting Equipment?  The FEPP and FPP Programs May Save You Money

There are two government programs, the Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) and The Firefighter Property Program (FPP) that allow surplus materials from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to be repurposed into firefighting equipment for state and local use. In both cases, the property passes through State Foresters who then distribute it to local agencies. Between both programs, over $150 million in former DOD inventory has been distributed between 2008 and 2012. Since the cost to acquire and refurbish a military truck is a few thousand dollars, but the cost of a brand new fire engine could run $150,000 or more, used equipment from these programs have the potential to save local fire departments considerable amounts of money.

The Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant (AFG) 2016

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.

Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Application Period Opens April 4, 2016

The application period for the 2016 Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) will open on Monday, April 4, and close on Friday, May 6. Part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) suite of programs, FP&S covers two different areas. The first is general fire prevention, and can include public education campaigns, arson and wildfire prevention/awareness, code enforcement, training, and risk assessment. The second area centers on comprehensive health, safety, and well-being for firefighters. Past awards have funded diverse research topics from stress reduction and sleep disorders to equipment evaluation. The total amount FEMA will make available for FP&S is $34 million, with each successful application being eligible for up to $1.5 million.

Application Period for AFG 2015 Coming Soon

This week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is hosting a series of one-hour Adobe Connect webinars walking applicants through the FY2015 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) application. The webinars will cover every section of the application. FEMA Fire Program Specialists will be available to answer your questions. The webinars will end after the second week of the open application period (specific dates TBA).

Grant Success Spotlight: Digital Fire Training System for Allen, TX

Is your fire department/brigade looking to conduct fire training scenarios, but without the environmental and safety concerns of traditional live burns? A digital fire training system could be the solution.

Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) FY2014 Is Here

The application period for the FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) opens today, November 3, 2014, at 8:00 A.M. EST and closes on December 5, 2014, at 5:00 P.M. EST. Total funding available for FY2014 is $304,503,764, with the number of available awards set at 2,700.

The AFG program provides financial assistance to enhance the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel and to provide support for emergency responders regarding fire, medical, and all-hazard events. This year's objective is to award grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS organizations, and SFTAs for critically needed resources to protect the public, train emergency personnel, foster interoperability, and support community resilience. Eligible activities requested that have an immediate impact on the safety of emergency responders, other personnel, or the public may receive additional consideration during the application review process. 

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