Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program (AFG)
This program’s primary goal is to help fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations meet their basic firefighting and emergency response equipment and training needs. The AFG program supports organizations that lack the tools and resources necessary to safely and effectively protect the life and safety of the public and their emergency response personnel.
This program is offered annually and you have up to three separate opportunities for funding:
- Part of a regional application
In a typical year the AFG program will receive 12,000 to 16,000 applications requesting five times the funds available in the program. Approximately 2,000 applications will be funded. The reality of these numbers is that 83% of the dollars that were applied for went unfunded. The vast majority of these applications were not funded because they failed to meet funding priorities and/or had narratives that were incomplete or lacking critical information as well as a lack of federal funds. Because of our intimate knowledge of the program and past experiences, Grantmasters has consistently had a funding rate for all of our funding priority applications five times in excess of the national average. Not only did these departments receive funding for their projects, but many also received reimbursements for their grant writing fees.
Some examples of projects that have been funded in the past include:
- Fitness Centers
- Exhaust Extrication Systems
- Station Generators
- Marine PPE
- Structural PPE
- EMS PPE
- Radios, MDTs & Communication Systems
- RIT Tools
- Thermal Imaging
- Truck Modifications
- Station Modifications
- Station Based Air Compressors
- Portable Generators and Breathing Air Compressors
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER)
SAFER grants provide financial assistance to help fire departments increase their ranks of firefighters or to rehire firefighters that have been laid off. The programs goals are to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities so they may respond to their communities’ emergencies and provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. SAFER offers grants to support activities in two categories: (1) Hiring of Firefighters and (2) Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters. Both of these activities center around NFPA 1710 and 1720 minimum compliant staffing levels regulations.
This program is usually offered after the AFG program and of the average 2,000 applications submitted, approximately 300 are awarded. This typically results in 85% of the applications not being funded. Over the past 5 years Grantmastesr has had a 60% successful funding rate on SAFER applications. The great majority of this program’s funding goes for hiring and job retention of career firefighters and the remainder goes to the recruitment and retention of volunteers.
Some examples of projects that have been funded for recruitment and retention of volunteers includes:
- Hiring of career staff
- Insurance packages, such as accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D), disability, health, dental, life, etc.
- Reimbursement to the member while attending required basic training, i.e., compensation for lost wages, mileage, lodging, per diem
- Marketing costs to recruit new volunteer members
- Salary and benefits for a recruitment and retention coordinator
- Explorer, cadet, and mentoring programs
- Staffing needs assessment
- Tuition assistance for higher education
- Length of service awards and other retirement benefits