$345,000,000 in fire grant funds to add firefighter jobs
11:59 p.m. EST, Fri., Feb. 10, 2017
Hire, recruit, and retain firefighters
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate is responsible for the implementation and administration of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program. The goal of the SAFER Grant Program is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies, and assure that communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.
Kurt Says: Major changes to this year’s SAFER grant program
“Everybody needs to read the NOFO this year PRIOR to even beginning to think about doing a SAFER grant,” says First Responder Grants Senior Grant Consultant Kurt Bradley. “There are MAJOR changes to this year’s program, and they will seriously influence your decision to apply or not.”
Some of the changes include:
- No rehires this year
- 25% matching requirement for years 1 and 2
- 65% matching requirement for years 3
- Only 75% maximum of usual starting salary and benefits cap is now in place for year 1 & 2; 35% for year 3
“This is no joke folks,” says Bradley. “Read carefully before you decide to apply.”
In awarding grants, the Administrator of FEMA shall consider the following:
- The findings and recommendations of the Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP)
- The degree to which an award will reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage by reducing the risks associated with fire related and other hazards
- The extent of an applicant’s need for a SAFER Grant and the need to protect the United States as a whole
While not required for a SAFER Grant, it is preferable that the enhanced or restored staffing levels of all SAFER recipients should ensure all first-arriving apparatus are staffed with a minimum of 4 qualified personnel (to meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710/1720 standards) who are capable of initiating the suppression response. Ultimately, SAFER recipients should achieve more efficient responses and safer incident scenes; thereby ensuring communities have improved protection from fire and fire-related hazards.
What this grant does for your agency
The SAFER Grant Program is comprised of two categories:
- Hiring of Firefighters: Career, combination, and volunteer fire departments are eligible to apply
- Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters: Combination fire departments; volunteer fire departments; and national, state, local, or tribal organizations that represent the interests of volunteer firefighters are eligible to apply
Agencies awarded the FY2016 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) receive grants to recruit, hire, and retain firefighters.
- Available Funding for the NOFO: $345,000,000
- Projected number of Awards: 300
- Period of Performance: 12-48 Months
- Hiring of Firefighters Activity: The period of performance will be 36 months for all grants awarded under the Hiring of Firefighters Activity. An extension to the period of performance is not permitted.
- Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity: The period of performance will be between 12 and 48 months for all grants awarded under the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity. An extension to the period of performance for Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity grants may be granted when, due to circumstances beyond the control of the recipient, activities associated with the award cannot be completed within the stated performance period.
- Projected Period of Performance Start Date(s): 7/1/2017
- Projected Period of Performance End Date(s): 6/30/2020 – 6/30/2021
Only a limited number of grants will be awarded.
For full eligibility details, see the Grant Guidelines:
- Volunteer fire departments and combination fire departments may apply for funding under both the Hiring of Firefighters Activity and the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity. Separate applications must be completed for each activity. Applicants are limited to one application per activity, per application period. If an applicant submits two applications for the same activity during a single application period, both applications will be disqualified.
- Career fire departments may only apply for funding under the Hiring of Firefighters Activity. Applicants are limited to one application per application period. If an applicant submits two applications, both applications will be disqualified.
- Municipalities and fire districts may submit applications on behalf of fire departments lacking the legal status to do so, such as those under the support of the municipality or district. The municipality or fire district may submit only one application for hiring per application period for each eligible fire department within the municipality or fire district
- National, state, local, or tribal organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters and individual fire departments (volunteer or combination) may only apply for funding under the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity. Applicants are limited to one application per application period. If an applicant submits two applications, both applications will be disqualified.
About the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA’s mission is to support citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards. More
Grant applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST, Fri., Feb. 10, 2017.
Funding Opportunity Number: DHS-16-GPD-083-000-99. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 97.083.