The spending plan requests $688,688,000 for the Assistance to Firefighters and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant programs, split evenly between the two programs. This is a slight reduction from the $690 million Congress appropriated for the programs in the current fiscal year. The budget proposal also requests $43,410,000 for the United States Fire Administration (USFA), with $1,497,000 of that request targeted for infrastructure improvements at USFA’s Emmitsburg, MD campus. Congress appropriated $44 million for USFA in Fiscal Year 2017.
The following Closeout modules are now available for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) award recipients:
FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grants
FY2012 Staffing for Adequate Assistance Fire & Emergency Response Grants
FY2013 Fire Prevention & Safety Grants
Attention all AFGP grant award recipients
In accordance with 44 CFR §13.50 (b), your organization has no later than 90 days after the end date of the period of performance to submit your closeout report. However, due to the delay in the availability of the closeout modules, you will have 90 days from May 23, 2017 to submit your closeout report for the grants specified above. If you require assistance with your closeout report, please review the closeout tutorial (http://www.fema.gov/closeout-report-tutorial-introduction) or call the AFG help desk at 1-866-274-0960.
Procurement Activity Suspension and Debarment
For all grants awarded on or after December 26, 2014:
All procurement activity must be conducted in accordance with Federal Procurement Standards at 2 C.F.R. § 200.317 – 200.326. If you use a contractor under an AFG grant, you must verify that the contractor is not suspended or debarred from participating in specified federal procurement or non-procurement transactions pursuant to 2 CFR § 180.300. You may search for any suspensions or debarments at www.SAM.gov.
Period of Performance
Additionally, FEMA highly recommends that you do not enter into any contracts prior to the start date of the grant period of performance. Only costs incurred between the period of performance start and end dates are allowable for reimbursement. Fees for grant writers are considered an exception and may be included as a pre-award expenditure.
Your grants are only as strong as the information you include. Grant reviewers need to understand why you deserve their grant more than anyone else. That means reviewers need to know about your population, economy, geography, critical infrastructure, and any other detail that strengthens the case for your grant.
Here are 5 resources that can make your next grant stronger—and easier.
1. Google Maps
Use aerial satellite views to examine your area for topographical information, look for critical infrastructure, and determine distances between objects or cities. Also use the satellite view to “zoom” in closer to examine objects in your area that can contribute to describing your area to a grant reviewer. Enter an address or other location information in the search box.
3. National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS)
High-quality data on nonprofit organizations and their activities for use in research on the relationships between the nonprofit sector, government, the commercial sector, and the broader civil society.
When a grant application talks about information regarding “census blocks,” this is where you go to get it. Probably one of the websites that grant writers visit the most as it contains almost anything you want to know about the demographics of an area, from an entire nation down to several city blocks.
2 departments who have worked with First Responder Grants have won a total of $222,580 in fire grants during Round 5 awards from the FY2016 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program:
Seaside Volunteer Fire & Rescue, Seaside, OR, Operations and Safety, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), $151,600
Atwater Fire Department, Atwater, OH, Operations and Safety, Equipment, $70,980
These grants are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Congratulations to all AFG winners,” says Kurt Bradley, Senior Grants Consultant at First Responder Grants. “First Responder Grants clients can write more competitive grants for equipment and training. This helps them keep their members and citizens safer in their respective communities.”
Public safety agencies nationwide rely on First Responder Grants for grant writing training, grant consulting, and the latest news and tips and news for writing winning grant applications. Since 1998, our Certified Grants Consultants have helped public safety agencies like yours win over $1,000,000,000 in grant funding. Our grant writing training students learn to write competitive grants that bring home additional funding dollars to your agency, but that’s not all. Students receiving First Responder Grants training in grant writing maintain a documented +80% success rate at winning a grant award after attending our classes—many on their very first application.
If you are in the running for an FY2016 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) fire grant award, get ready for a potentially long wait. Award rounds are expected to continue through August, says Kurt Bradley, Senior Grant Consultant at First Responder Grants.
“Updates of 1199a’s will be sporadic at best, but don’t lose patience,” says Bradley. “The awards will come.”
During the wait, Bradley recommends that departments begin working on their FY2017 AFG application: conducting needs assessments, evaluating department priorities, and getting training to help them produce a competitive AFG application.
While FEMA has not announced an official AFG application date, September 2017 is considered likely.
This week, Congress passed legislation designed to improve the timeliness and transparency in the Justice Department’s processing of the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program survivor, disability, and educational assistance claims.
S. 419, the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvements Act, was introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (IA) on February 16, 2017. The bill will address on-going problems with the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program.
On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing titled “Examining Initiatives to Advance Public Health.” The hearing addressed several current pieces of legislation before the committee, including H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act.
Today the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs unanimously approved S. 829, the AFG and SAFER Program Reauthorization Act.
The legislation reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG), the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant programs through Fiscal Year 2023. Additionally, the legislation removes a “sunset” provision in the current authorizing statute that would eliminate the programs on January 2, 2018.