Public Safety Grant News 2015

 

New Technical Assistance Tools Available for FY2014 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants

FEMA Fire Grant News

 

March 12, 2015 – The FY2014 Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) application period begins on Monday, March 16. You can begin the application by visiting the AFG website. The tools below were produced specifically to help potential applicants begin to plan their 2014 applications. The tools can be viewed on the AFG website or downloaded to your computer.

 

FY2014 FP&S Application Assistance Tools

 

 

FP&S Grants Help Desk

 

If you have questions about the technical assistance tools listed below, call or e-mail the FP&S Grants help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.

 

 

Webinars Available to Discuss FY2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program Guidance Changes

FEMA Public Safety Grant News

 

March 4, 2015 – Due to numerous changes in the FY2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program Guidance, FEMA will be hosting webinars to discuss the changes.

 

FY 2015 HMA Guidance Webinars

 

Significant changes have been made to the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Guidance, a comprehensive document that details the specific criteria of the 3 HMA programs:

 

  • The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
  • Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and
  • Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs

 

The Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) HMA Guidance provides stakeholders with updates and refinements of program policies and practice. These enhancements will promote resilience, and streamline application review, eligibility requirements, project cost estimate and implementation.

 

The changes apply to the HMGP for disasters declared on or after the date of publication, as well as the upcoming PDM and FMA application cycles. Since the last update to the HMA Guidance in 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) developed regulations that streamline language from eight existing OMB Circulars. DHS adopted the Super Circular on December 26, 2014, and FEMA has implemented these changes in the updated guidance.

 

FEMA will be hosting webinars to discuss the new guidance on:

 

  • March 12, 1:30-2:45 p.m. ET
  • March 18, 10:30-11:45 a.m. ET
  • March 19, 1:30-2:45 p.m. ET

 

Participants can dial-in using conference number 1 (800) 320-4330 and 031-155 for the conference PIN and join the webinar via Adobe Connect.

 

FY15 HMA Guidance Changes

 

Changes to the HMA Program Guidance include:

 

Climate Change/Resilience

 

Recognizes challenges posed by climate change that may have impacts on mitigation. Applicants and sub-applicants can use the additional HMGP 5 percent initiative toward adopting and/or incorporating disaster resistant building codes.

 

2 Code of Federal Regulations Part 200: The OMB Super Circular

 

Adopts the regulations in the OMB Super Circular that outlines the federal government’s framework for grants management, and are applicable to FEMA grants issued on or after December 26, 2014.

 

Mitigation Planning Changes

 

Requires states to update mitigation plans every five years, which provides the applicant with greater flexibility to shift their resources to other important or pending mitigation activities listed in the plan.

 

New Benefit-Cost Analysis Methodologies

 

Incorporates new methodologies for residential hurricane wind projects and the acquisition of properties in landslide hazard areas that are at risk of immediate threat.

 

Various Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) Clarifications

 

Enhances efforts to streamline the EHP review process, including defining the frontloading process (promoting the fuller consideration of EHP compliance requirements and impacts to a proposed project during project development).

 

Resources and Job Aids

 

Includes 23 resources and job aids to assist in HMA program delivery. Examples are:

 

  • Homeowner’s Guide to the HMGP answers some common questions that homeowners have about implementing post-disaster projects.
  • Federally Recognized Tribes and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program discusses benefits and responsibilities of federally-recognized tribes if they become an applicant or sub-applicant.
  • Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation job aid discusses FEMA programs designed to promote community resilience.
  • Closeout Toolkit includes frequently asked questions and a checklist to help recipients prepare for sub-award closeout activities.
  • EHP Section 106 Overview includes process flowchart and information on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision making process.

 

The HMA Guidance consolidates each program’s eligibility information, outlines the common elements, and spells out the unique requirements among the programs so that federal, state, federally recognized tribal, territorial, and local officials can easily identify key similarities between the various programs. For more information, visit www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance.

 

 

Congress Approves Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security Funding Bill

Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)

 

March 3, 2015 – The House has passed H.R. 240, the Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Act, bringing an end to a lengthy battle between Congress and the White House that threatened to shut down the Department of Homeland Security.

 

Included in the spending bill is funding for a number of programs of importance for the nation’s fire and emergency services. The Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs are funded at $340 million each. This is the same amount as in Fiscal Year 2014.

 

The bill also includes $44 million for the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and $35.18 million for the Urban Search and Rescue System, the same amounts as in Fiscal Year 2014.

 

Full story »

 

 

Volunteer Recruitment And Retention Bills Introduced In Congress

Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)

 

March 3, 2015 – On February 27, 2015, Senator Susan Collins (ME) and Congressman Peter King (NY-2) introduced the Volunteer Emergency Services Recruitment and Retention Act.

 

The Senate and House bills, S. 616 and H.R. 1171 respectively, would modify the federal tax code to make it easier for fire departments and local governments to provide recruitment and retention incentives to volunteer emergency response personnel through length of service award programs (LOSAPs).

 

Full story »

 

 

Fire Jobs Grant Deadline: SAFER Closes for Applications Mar. 6

FEMA Fire Grant News

 

February 23, 2015 – Reminder: The SAFER application period will close on Friday, March 6. Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time. No exceptions will be made for submissions after 5 p.m. Eastern Time so submit your application on time.

 

Complete your application today at http://www.fema.gov/e-grant-application-access

 

FY 2014 SAFER Application Assistance Tools

 

 

SAFER Grants Help Desk

 

If you have questions about the technical assistance tools listed below, call or e-mail the SAFER Grants help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.

 

Application Review Checklist

 

  • Applications cannot be edited once submitted
  • Proofread your application: Mistakes or errors on your SAFER application can disqualify your organization for grant award consideration
  • If you included any "filler" or placeholder text while filling out your application, update the application fields with your final and complete answers
  • Do the sequences of your sentences and paragraphs present clear thoughts and ideas?
  • Does your narrative explain your organizations needs in a way that someone would easily understand?
  • Check your inventory amounts and costs for all items that you are requesting and confirm that there are no discrepancies between the Request Details Information section of the application and the Narrative
  • Have all application fields, or questions, been answered?
  • Make sure that you have described your organizations needs in your voice, do not use boilerplate language or copy from vendors, manufacturers, etc.
  • Ask a colleague who is not involved with the actual writing of the grant to proofread your application
  • Make sure that all facts and figures are accurate throughout the entire application

 

 

White House Recommends Reductions to Key Fire Service Programs for Fiscal Year 2016

Interest in Proposals for Policing Research

 

Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) Fire Grant News

 

February 6, 2015 – On Monday, February 2nd, the White House unveiled the Administration's Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal. The $4.066 trillion budget contains $41.2 billion for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

 

Several programs of importance to the nation’s fire and emergency services are among those considered for potential budget cuts under the administration’s proposal, including the Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs. The budget proposal would reduce AFG and SAFER funding by $10 million to $670 million for both grant programs. (NOTE: This is based on Congress accepting the House-approved figure of $680 million for both programs in the FY2015 DHS appropriations legislation still being negotiated).

 

Full Story  »

 

 

FEMA Updates for FY2014 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants

FEMA Fire Grant News

 

January 27, 2014 - FEMA has released information and tools for fire service organizations intending to apply for the FY2014 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants.

 

New Technical Assistance Tools Available for FY2014 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants

 

Start planning your FY 2014 SAFER Grant application now! These tools were produced specifically to help potential applicants begin to plan their 2014 applications ahead of the application period. The tools can be viewed on the AFG website or downloaded to your computer.

 

FY 2014 SAFER Application Assistance Tools

 

  • Application Checklist: This checklist will help you prepare your SAFER grant application
  • Self-Evaluation - Hiring of Firefighters: Rehiring, retention, attrition, and new hires; career, combination, and volunteer fire departments
  • Self-Evaluation - Recruitment and Retention - Fire Departments: Combination and volunteer fire departments
  • Self-Evaluation - Recruitment and Retention - Interest Organizations: National, State, Local, or Tribal Volunteer Firefighters Interest Organizations
  • FY 2014 SAFER Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA): Program Guidance SAM.gov Get Ready Guide: Sam.gov application preparation guide

 

SAFER Grants Help Desk: If you have questions about the technical assistance tools listed below, call or e-mail the SAFER Grants help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.

 

SAM.gov Registration is Required to Apply & Receive Grants

 

The FY2014 SAFER application period will be here before you know it. All eligible applicants must be registered and active in the System for Award Management (SAM) before you can submit an application. Per 2 CFR § 25.205, FEMA may not make an award to an entity until the entity has complied with the requirements to provide a valid DUNS number and maintain an active SAM registration with current information. The System for Award Management (SAM) consolidates federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).

 

To register, or validate your information, please visit: https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/

 

SAM.gov Registration Tips: Please ensure the following items are current in SAM and the DUNS number used in SAM is the same one you use for all FEMA applications:

 

  • Organization’s name
  • Address
  • DUNS number
  • EIN
  • Banking information (type of account (checking or saving), routing number, and account number
  • Many websites may look official in appearance but are not. As a reminder, registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) is FREE
  • SAM registration is only active for one year and must be renewed annually.
  • FEMA has prepared a technical assistance document, the SAM.gov Get Ready Guide. This document is designed to walk you through the SAM.gov registration process
  • This information should be consistent in all registration documents

 

Should you need assistance with your SAM.gov account, there are several ways to get help:

 

 

If you have questions or concerns about your SAM registration, please contact the Federal Support desk at https://www.fsd.gov

 

Submitting Preparer Information

 

FEMA requires that all applicants disclose the name, address and contact information of the person or organization, to include contracted grant writers, who are responsible for preparing the SAFER application. Please ensure that this information is accurate at the time of submission. As a reminder, all applicants must attest that all information contained within the application, including preparer information, must be true, complete and accurate to the best of your knowledge. If you contract with a grant writer, and they either refuse, or provide advice to not list them in the preparer information section of the application, please notify the SAFER program office.

 

Attention to Detail & Completeness of Your Application

 

SAFER is one of the most highly competitive grant programs offered through the Federal government. It is important to ensure the accuracy of the information submitted as part of your application, to include, but not limited to, your department's demographic information, call volume, staffing levels, comprehensive budget breakdowns, recruitment and retention rates, if applicable, as well as the required narrative statements.

 

Recruitment and Retention Regional Applications: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Requirement

 

FY 2014 regional awardees will be required to produce, upon FEMA's request, a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), or similar document. This document will serve to demonstrate that all parties identified as part of the application have agreed to participate in the application, understand their roles and responsibilities as part of any award, and to further identify the distribution and use of any grant funded assets or services. The MOU must be signed and dated by all participating entities. Additional guidance regarding the requirement for MOU's may be found in the FY 2014 SAFER Funding Opportunity Announcement.

 

 

DHS Adopted Revised Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) – The Super Circular

FEMA Fire Grant News

 

January 27, 2014 - The Office of Management of Budget (OMB) published federal government-wide regulation (known as a Super Circular) on administrative requirements, cost principles and audit requirements on December 26, 2014.

 

The "Super Circular" provides guidance on administrative aspects for federal grants (e.g., how grants are awarded, managed, audited and closed out). The government-wide framework for grants management is intended to reduce administrative burden for non-federal entities receiving federal awards while reducing the risk of waste, fraud and abuse.

DHS is expected to publish regulations that will make the regulations applicable to FEMA grants issued on or after December 26, 2014. SAFER applicants and grantees are strongly encouraged to review 2 C.F.R. Part 200 in its entirety, because it does contain substantive changes.

 

For additional information regarding Part 200 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Super Circular” or “Omni Circular”), please utilize the links below.

 

 

 

Survey to Identify Challenges in Implementing Community Risk Reduction Programs in the Fire Service

FEMA Fire Grant News

 

January 27, 2014 - The Vision 20/20 Project is conducting an important voluntary survey to identify challenges to implementing Community Risk Reduction programs in the fire service.

 

This survey is part of research being undertaken by Vision 20/20, a project of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) - U.S. Branch, which has the IAFC, IAFF, NFPA, NVFC, and many other major fire organizations represented on its Steering Committee. The results will be shared widely to benefit those who want a better understanding of how to expand the concepts of community risk reduction throughout the fire service.

 

There are two versions of the survey that we are asking to have completed, one for line (operations) firefighters and another for those in charge of fire safety education programs. The data is confidential and only summary results will be used. The survey takes about five minutes to complete and can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, at work or from home.

 

Vision 20/20 is asking that the survey be completed as soon as possible. Your department’s participation is very much appreciated.

 

Link for firefighters: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LineFirefightersOnly_v2. Ideally, this would be filled out by at least 10 firefighters from your department.

 

Link for heads of fire safety education programs: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HeadPublicFireSafetyEducationOnly_v2

 

Additional background on the survey can be found at www.strategicfire.org. Note: due to overlapping email distribution lists you may receive more than one notice for this survey.

 

 

NIJ Policing Research Priorities for FY2015

Interest in Proposals for Policing Research

 

Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Law Enforcement Grant News

 

January 7, 2015 - The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has issued a Dear Colleague letter to alert social and behavioral science researchers to its interest in receiving proposals related to policing and crime that can strengthen the knowledge base and enhance criminal justice practices. For Fiscal Year 2015, the NIJ Office of Research and Evaluation's particular interests in policing include topics such as:

 

  • Police use of force, police legitimacy and de-escalation strategies.
  • Officer safety and wellness and intervention programs.
  • Evaluations of body-worn cameras, their benefits, costs and potential concerns.
  • Evaluations of internal and external procedural justice training mechanisms and public trust.
  • Randomized controlled trials of police patrol practices and their impact on crime reduction or prevention.
  • The impact on police investigations of changes in policing and new technologies.
  • The utility and effectiveness of eyewitness identification procedures.
  • The impact of social media on policing and its efficacy.

 

Other topics of research on policing are also valuable. NIJ is interested in building sound, evidence-based knowledge of interventions or programs that work in a variety of organizations under varied circumstances.

 

The "Research and Evaluation on Justice Systems" solicitation should be available on the NIJ website in early 2015. In all cases, prospective applicants are highly encouraged to consult with relevant project officers prior to submission, Dr. Brett Chapman at Brett.Chapman@ojp.usdoj.gov and Mr. Eric Martin at Eric.D.Martin@ojp.usdoj.gov.

 

Learn more about NIJ's FY2015 policing research priorities. Read the full letter.