Do Before You Submit: AFG Application Review Checklist

Before you submit your application to the FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), use this checklist to review your application. Remember: once submitted, you can no longer change or edit your application!

REMINDER: The Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) application period will close on Friday, December 5. Applications must be received no later than at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. No exceptions will be made for submissions after 5 pm Eastern Time so submit your application on time.

AFG Application Review Checklist

  • Proofread your application: Mistakes or errors on your AFG 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.
  • Make sure that all facts and figures are accurate throughout the entire application.
  • Ask a colleague who is not involved with the actual writing of the grant to proofread your application.

Complete your application today at

Reminders for the FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Application Period

There is still plenty of time to start and submit your application for the FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant. The application period will close on Friday, December 5, 2014, at 5 p.m. E.S.T. Make every effort to submit your application early as no application will be accepted, for any reason, after the official close of the application.

The following information is provided to help ensure your organization has every opportunity to submit a competitive application with the best chance for funding.

Cost Share Calculations

AFG’s authorization from Congress contained a change in the language as to how an applicant’s cost share must be calculated. Historically, cost share was calculated based solely on the cost of the total project, multiplied by the applicants cost share percentage. The AFG authorization requires that an applicant’s cost share be calculated based on the applicable cost share percentage of the “grant” (federal share) awarded. The AFG Program Office has made available a “cost share calculator” to assist applicants with identifying the appropriate cost share for their application. View the FY 2014 AFG Cost Share Calculator tool now.

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 AFG 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 AFG program office.

Regional Application: 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 AFG Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Attention To Detail and Completeness of Your Application

AFG 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, equipment and vehicle inventories, comprehensive budget breakdowns, as well as the required narrative statements.

Importance of Closing out Grants in a Timely Manner

Grant regulations require that grantees complete the closeout report for their grant within 90 days of the close of the period of performance, or the availability of the AFG closeout module. Grantees who fail to complete their closeout report, including the request for reimbursement for all eligible grant expenses, may forfeit the ability to seek reimbursement at a later date. FEMA recently provided notification to all 2002-2009 grantees with open, or pending, closeout reports requesting prompt attention. As a reminder, failure to complete the required closeout reports may also impact future awards to your organization.

DHS to Adopt Revised Code Of Federal Regulations (CFR): The Super Circular

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, 2013. 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. AFG applicants and grantees are encouraged to make themselves familiar with the new regulations as some may directly impact their organization. The AFG Program Office and Regional Fire Program Specialists are available to answer any questions regarding how the “Super Circular” may impact you.

This AFG Winner Scored 100

We work with Fire Service organizations nationwide on applications for programs such as the Assistance to Firefighters Grants. When Round 1 FY2013 AFG awards were announced, we discovered one or our clients had won a fire grant… but that wasn’t all.

This department won a $68,000 fire grant for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

That was great. Their department sorely needed new PPE.

Then we saw their score.

“I was told I scored very well on the grant,” says a representative of the department. “100 for the computer and 93.33 for the peer review.”

How will you get the skills and tools you need to score your 100 on AFG?

Are you using the correct AFG User ID?

User ID Requirements for FY2014 AFG Applicants

The purpose of this message is to remind AFG applicants of the “User ID” requirements for creating or accessing AFG applications or awards. The FY2014 Assistance to Firefighter Grants application is now available. FEMA wants to remind everyone that only the unique “User ID” associated with your organization may be used to create or access an application.

Please read the following information to ensure a smooth start to your application process.

If your organization has applied in the past, you MUST use the user ID used to submit previous AFG applications. If you do not have access to that information, please do the following to request that information:

Send a letter explaining why you need this information, and if you also need to change the Primary Contact information. Please be aware changing the Primary Contact on one grant will cause the Primary Contact to be changed on all other department grants submitted under the same user ID. Contact changes may take up to three days to process. The letter must be on fire department letterhead and signed by the Fire Chief of the department. Fax or email a copy of the letter to Annette Robinson at 1-866-274-0942 or [email protected]

DHS/FEMA/Grant Programs Directorate
Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program
Annette Robinson – Room 5026
Tech World Bldg – South Tower 5th Floor
500 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20472-3620

The following information must be included in the letter:

  • Grant number
  • Previous primary contact person’s name
  • Explanation of why access to the grant is needed
  • New contact person’s name
  • New contact person’s mother’s maiden name
  • New contact person’s date of birth
  • New contact person’s e-mail address
  • Two phone numbers for the new contact person

Once processed, you will receive an e-mail from Pinky Sheets indicating the online system has been updated. You will also receive an automated e-mail from [email protected] with your user ID and temporary password.

If you do not receive this automated e-mail from [email protected] within two days of faxing your request and receiving the e-mail from Ms. Sheets, you should look in your junk mail file. The electronic e-mails are sometimes filtered and sent directly to junk mail.

If you are still unable to get a new user ID and password, go onto the Web site at and choose e-grant application. You will get an application sign-in screen. Click on forgot password, answer the two security questions and submit your request.

If you have represented a different organization in the past, YOU CANNOT use the user ID used to submit applications for the previous department. USER ID’s belong to the organization and NOT to the person filling out the application. In this instance use the USER ID that belongs to the new organization that you represent.

The creation of a NEW USER ID is only for organizations who have NEVER applied for AFG Grants in the past. This is for truly “New Users(organizations)”

If you have issues with logging in, please call the help desk 1-866-274-0960.