New Rural EMS grant coming soon

Ambulances

SIREN Act to help rural areas access EMS equipment, training & personnel

Signed into law in December 2018, the new Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act will help rural areas procure equipment, training, personnel recruitment and retention.

According to First Responder Grants Senior Grant Consultant Kurt Bradley, the SIREN Act is expected to offer grants with a $200K limit and a 10% matching requirement.

Grant administration and setup is still in process. As soon as we know more, we’ll let you know more.

In the meantime, if you are looking to run or improve EMS in a rural area, get to work on the 4 things grant winners have in common. Whenever SIREN opens, you can be first out of the gate to try for this new grant.

Will the border wall take your fire grant funding? New law says no

FDs, if you’ve been worried about grant funding getting reallocated for the border wall, some recent news should set you at ease.

President Trump has signed into law the Consolidated Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Act. This $333 billion spending package includes multi-million dollar increases to many grant programs. Here’s a breakdown of funding levels for various grants and agencies:

 * AFG and SAFER have been funded at $350M FOR EACH PROGRAM, which is level funding from 2018

 * State Fire Assistance program funded at $81 million, which is up $1 million from FY18

 * State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) funded at $525 million, which is $18 million up from FY18

 * United States Fire Administration (USFA) funded at $44.179 million (plus another $1.5 million for National Fire Academy infrastructure improvements). FY18 funding was $42.9 million

 * Urban Area Search and Rescue System funded at $45.18 million, which is $10.15 million up from FY18

 * Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funded at $640 million, which is $10 million up from FY18

* Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program funded at $17 million, which is $1 million up from FY18

The upshot?

These crucial grant programs are healthy. You can safely ignore any doom-and-gloom nonsense circulating in the media or around the station table.

If you haven’t already, get working on those SAFER applications, start prepping for FY19 AFG, and look into any other Federal program that might benefit your department.

Congress and the President have done their job on allocating the funds. Now it’s your turn to get to work on winning those grants!

FY 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER)

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants

$350,000,000 in fire jobs grants

Grant Website

Grant Guidelines

Grant Application Period: 8:00 a.m. ET, Friday, February 15, 2019 — 5:00 p.m. ET., Friday, March 22, 2019

NOFO Number: DHS-18-GPD-083-000-99

300 awards estimated for US Fire Service Organizations

The purpose of the SAFER Grant Program is to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to assist in increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards, and to fulfill traditional missions of fire departments.

The objective of the SAFER grant program is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities to respond to emergencies and assure that communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Local fire departments accomplish this by improving staffing and deployment capabilities so they may more effectively and safely respond to emergencies. With enhanced staffing levels, recipients should experience a reduction in response times and an increase in the number of trained personnel assembled at the incident scene.

Kurt says…

These are the areas where the NOFO indicated that the information is different from previous years

Applicants may now request to waive the position cost limit for new firefighters.

Pursuant to IB 427, applicants must indicate when they apply for an award whether they are requesting a waiver and what requirement they seek to waive.

The simplified acquisition threshold increased to $250,000.

The definition of “new recruit.”

Updated prioritization and eligibility tables.

What this grant does for your agency

Although not required for a SAFER grant, it is preferable that the enhanced staffing levels of all SAFER recipients should ensure that all first-arriving apparatus are staffed with a minimum of four 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.

SAFER offers grants to support projects in two activities. This NOFO provides potential eligible applicants with application requirements and details for processing and evaluating applications for financial assistance for both of these activity areas:

Hiring of Firefighters Activity is to hire new, additional firefighters to improve staffing levels or changing the status of part-time or paid-on-call firefighters to full-time firefighters

Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity is to assist fire departments with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters who are involved with or trained in the operations of firefighting and emergency response

Agencies awarded the FY 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) receive funds to recruit and hire firefighters.

Only a limited number of grants will be awarded:

Available funding for the NOFO: $350,000,000

Projected number of Awards: 300

Grant Eligibility

For full eligibility details, see the Grant Guidelines.

About FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helps people before, during, and after disasters. More

Grant Deadline

Grant applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST, Friday, Mar. 22, 2019.

Apply

Funding Opportunity Number: DHS-18-GPD-083-000-99

Apply for the FY 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER)

JUST ANNOUNCED! FY 2018 SAFER Application Period: Feb. 15–Mar. 22, 2019

The FY 2018 SAFER application period will open on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. ET and will close on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Start planning your FY 2018 SAFER Grant application now by reviewing the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), and Economic Hardship Waivers Information Bulletin (IB), and technical assistance tools below. These tools were produced specifically to help potential applicants begin to plan their 2018 applications ahead of the application period. The tools can be viewed on the AFG website or downloaded to your computer.

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.

Critical infrastructure: Where it is might surprise you

“Critical infrastructure.” It’s a phrase you might find in many grant guidelines and requests for proposal. But what is it? Where is it? How much does your area have? The answers might surprise you.

What is critical infrastructure?

According to DHS, critical infrastructure comprises physical and virtual systems “so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”

There are 16 sectors:

  1. Chemical
  2. Commercial Facilities
  3. Communications
  4. Critical Manufacturing
  5. Dams
  6. Defense Industrial
  7. Emergency Services
  8. Energy
  9. Financial Services
  10. Food and Agriculture
  11. Government Facilities
  12. Healthcare and Public Health
  13. Information Technology
  14. Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste Sector
  15. Transportation Systems
  16. Water and Wastewater

Where is critical infrastructure?

Critical infrastructure can be anywhere.

How much critical infrastructure does your area have?

And that, folks, can be the big hairy unknown. Critical infrastructure can be in or around your area, and you might not know it.

What to do about it?

We are working on some new resources to help agencies like yours plan around critical infrastructure and how to include details about critical infrastructure in grant applications.

What questions do you have about critical infrastructure? Please email Kurt Bradley and let us know!