Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)
B - Could fund technology as a primary component of the budget, if the agency receiving the grant chooses to use it for that purpose.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
The purpose of AFG is to enhance through financial assistance the safety of the public and firefighters regarding fire and fire-related hazards. The objective of the AFG is to award grants directly to fire departments and EMS organizations that are unaffiliated with a hospital to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel.
In 2013 there are three types of eligible applications:
- Operations and safety - The five fundable activities included in this program are: (a) firefighter training, (b) firefighter equipment, (c) firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE), (d) firefighter wellness and fitness, (e) modifications to fire stations and facilities.
- Vehicles - Due to inherent differences among urban, suburban, and rural firefighting needs, AFG has different priorities in the Firefighting Vehicles program area for departments that serve different types of communities. When requesting more than one vehicle, you will be asked to fill out a separate line item and answer all the questions including a NEW narrative for each vehicle. For example, if you are requesting to replace three ambulances, you must fill out the age and vehicle identification number (VIN) of each vehicle being replaced. You cannot use the same VIN in each line item. AFG provides grants for new, used, and refurbished vehicles. Funds may be used to refurbish a vehicle the department currently owns, but it will be eligible only if the vehicle was designed originally for firefighting. Refurbished vehicles must meet current NFPA 1912 standards.
- Any eligible fire department or a non-affiliated EMS organization may act as a “host” applicant and apply for large-scale projects on behalf of itself and any number of other local AFG eligible organizations that will be participating partners in the award. Joint/Regional projects should achieve greater cost effectiveness and regional efficiency and resilience. If an applicant wishes to submit a Joint/Regional application, they should select the “Regional” radio button when filling out the application. For the purpose of this document and the AFG Application, the term “Regional” will serve the same meaning as “Joint/Regional.”
A full list of eligible expenditures for each project type is available in this programs guidance. The full guidance is available at: http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1382974632566-bf855cd302840cefcc3c8493e9858d0c/2013+ASSISTANCE+TO+FIREFIGHTERS+GRANT+PROGRAM+-+FOA.pdf
History of Funding
In FY 2012 the available funding was $285,625,000.
Details of funding activities are as follow:
- Training: Requested activities should meet or exceed any national, state, and/or DHS recognized consensus standards (i.e. NFPA, ANSI, OSHA, etc.). If a training request does not meet DHS-recognized consensus standards, applicants must submit an explanation of the reasons their proposed training will serve the needs of the applicant better than training that meets or exceeds those standards. FEMA has determined the most benefit is derived from hands-on, instructor-led training that leads to a national or state certification.
- Equipment: Requested equipment should enhance the safety and/or effectiveness of firefighting, rescue, and/or the enhancement of emergency medical services provided by fire based EMS, and/or non-affiliated EMS organizations. Equipment requested shall meet or exceed any voluntary national, state, and/or DHS-recognized consensus standards.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): PPE is defined as those compliant items “worn” by firefighter/EMS personnel to protect them. PPE requested shall meet or exceed any voluntary national, state, and/or DHS-recognized consensus standards. PPE does not include uniforms or station-wear
- Wellness and Fitness: Requested activities should assist First Responders so their mental, physical, and emotional capabilities are resilient enough to withstand the demands of emergency services response.
- Modifications to Facilities: Requested activities may only retrofit existing structures built prior to 2003 that do not already have those safety features in place that are listed as eligible activities.
Only fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations are eligible to apply for funding. Organizations must operate in one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or Puerto Rico.
The following applicant types are ineligible to apply under this program:
- Fire departments that are federal, or contracted by the Federal Government, and are solely responsible under a formally recognized agreement for suppression of fires on federal installations or land
- Fire stations that are not independent entities, but are part of, controlled by, or under the day-to-day operational direction of a larger fire department or agency
- Fire departments that are for-profit departments (i.e., do not have specific nonprofit status or are not municipally based)
- Auxiliaries, fire service organizations or associations, and state/local agencies such as a forest service, fire marshals, hospitals, and training offices
- Dive teams and search and rescue teams, or any similar organizations that do not provide medical transport
The deadline to submit an application is December 6, 2013. Similar deadlines are anticipated annually.
The estimated available funding is $285,828,075. This program has a 12 month period of performance from the date funds are awarded. In general, an eligible applicant seeking a grant to carry out an activity shall agree to make available non-federal funds to carry out such activity in an amount equal to and not less than 15 percent of the grant awarded, except for entities serving small communities:
- When serving a jurisdiction more than 20,000 residents, but not more than 1,000,000 residents, the applicant shall agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to and not less than 10 percent of the grant awarded.
- When serving a jurisdiction of 20,000 residents or fewer, the applicant shall agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to and not less than 5 percent of the grant awarded
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