FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

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$319,500,000 in fire grants for equipment and training

Grant Website

Grant Guidelines: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Funding Opportunity Number: DHS-20-GPD-044-00-98

Assistance Listings (formerly Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number): 97.044

Application Period Opens: Monday, January 4, 2021, 8:00 a.m. ET

Application Deadline: Friday, February 12, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. ET

Enhance public safety and firefighter safety with respect to fire and fire-related hazards

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program is one of 3 fire grant programs from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). AFG focuses on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards.

The FY 2020 AFG Program has 3 activities:

  1. Operations and Safety
  2. Vehicle Acquisition
  3. Regional Projects

Each activity has its own eligibility requirements. These requirements are outlined in the NOFO: Appendix B: Programmatic Information and Priorities.

The objectives of the AFG Program are to:

  • Provide critically needed resources that equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards
  • Enhance operational efficiencies
  • Foster interoperability, and
  • Support community resilience

What this grant does for your agency

AFG enhances public safety and firefighter safety by providing financial assistance for critical training and equipment directly to eligible:

  • Fire departments
  • Nonaffiliated emergency medical service (EMS) organizations, and
  • State Fire Training Academies (SFTAs)

The AFG Program represents one part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by DHS. Among the 5 basic homeland security missions noted in the DHS Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, the AFG Program supports the goal to Strengthen National Preparedness and Resilience. In awarding grants, the FEMA Administrator is required to 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 an AFG Program grant and the need to protect the United States as a whole; and
  • The number of calls requesting or requiring a firefighting or emergency medical response received by an applicant.

Agencies awarded the FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) receive direct grants to aid with procuring equipment and training,

Estimated Total Program Funding: $$319,500,000

Projected Number of Awards: 2,000

Only a limited number of grants will be awarded.

Grant Eligibility

For full eligibility details, see the Grant Guidelines:

Fire Departments

Fire departments operating in any of the 50 states, as well as fire departments in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization. A fire department is an agency or organization having a formally recognized arrangement with a state, local, tribal, or territorial authority (city, county, parish, fire district, township, town, or other governing body) to provide fire suppression to a population within a geographically fixed primary first due response area.

Nonaffiliated EMS organizations

Nonaffiliated EMS organizations operating in any of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,2 or any federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization. A nonaffiliated EMS organization is an agency or organization that is a public or private nonprofit emergency medical service entity providing medical transport that is not affiliated with a hospital and does not serve a geographic area in which emergency medical services are adequately provided by a fire department. FEMA considers the following as hospitals under the AFG Program: Clinics, Medical centers, Medical college or university, Infirmary, Surgery centers, and/or any other institution, association, or foundation providing medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and/or treatment for the sick or injured.

State Fire Training Academies

A SFTA operates in any of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Applicants must be designated either by legislation or by a Governor’s declaration as the sole fire service training agency within a state, territory, or the District of Columbia. The designated SFTA shall be the only agency, bureau, division, or entity within that state, territory, or the District of Columbia, to be an eligible SFTA applicant under the AFG Program.

About the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA’s mission is to help people before, during and after disasters More

Grant Deadline

Grant applications are due no later than 5 p.m. EST, Fri., Feb. 12, 2021.

Apply

Apply for the FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

NIMS Alert 40-20: FEMA Releases 2020 National Preparedness Report

FEMA has released the 2020 National Preparedness Report, which only deals with actions taken in 2019. In its ninth year, this report presents an updated, risk-focused approach to summarizing the state of national preparedness.

The National Preparedness Report published in 2021 will explore the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and evaluate the response to it, reflecting the data that becomes available as the incident continues.

As an annual requirement of Presidential Policy Directive 8 and consistent with the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act reporting responsibilities, the National Preparedness Report (NPR) has assessed the nation’s preparedness posture since 2012. This report provides partners across the nation with insights into risks, vulnerabilities, and capabilities to support decisions about program priorities, resource allocations and community actions.

The 2020 NPR takes an updated, risk-focused approach to summarizing the state of national preparedness in 2019. The report presents a discussion of the risks the nation faces and how those risks drive the nation’s capability requirements, as well as how the nation uses capabilities to manage risks, including a high-level overview of the nation’s current capabilities. Also, the report includes initial results for the National Risk and Capability Assessment (NRCA). The NRCA meets requirements of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, which requires “tiered, capability-specific performance objectives” to assess national preparedness. The 2020 report found that although affected communities may not be fully prepared to respond to nationally catastrophic incidents, an analysis of shared national capabilities indicates the nation as a whole is closer to achieving its national goals though some significant capability gaps still remain.

The report also highlights some of the persistent challenges the nation faces, how the Nation is working collectively to solve those challenges, and what the nation must continue to do to build on those successes. It also provides a deeper assessment of four identified focus areas: Cascading Impacts, Public-Private Partnerships, Vulnerable Populations, and Housing.

Reports and more about National Preparedness

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FEMA announces 2020 grant updates, opening dates for AFG, FP&S, and SAFER

Get ready for 2020 AFG, FP&S, and SAFER! FEMA is releasing details for upcoming grants. Start getting ready, but remember, dates and details are subject to change. Stay tuned!

AFG

  • FY 2020 AFG will open in late November 2020 (possibly Nov. 23 or Nov. 30)
  • The application period is expected to run through the holidays and close during the first week of January 2021.
  • NOFO is expected to be released soon, and be similar to the 2019 NOFO
  • Yes, you can hit “print!” AFG applications can be printed: Go in FEMA GO, pull up your application, and press CTRL-P

FP&S

  • FY 2020 Fire Prevention & Safety grant program will open in January of 2021
  • NOFOs when available can be found at www.fema.gov/firegrants
  • Deadline is expected to be in February 2021.

FEMA does not yet know the parameters of the FY 2020 grant programs.

SAFER

  • FY 2020 SAFER grant program open in February of 2021
  • In consideration of the economic impact of the pandemic, FEMA has also authorized waivers for certain provisions of the FY20 SAFER Grant Program
  • Expected deadline is during March 2021
  • No cost match expected
  • Departments may be able to to apply to restore firefighters laid off due to the COVID pandemic

FEMA also says…

All AFG, SAFER and Fire Prevention applications and grant awards will be through the new FEMA GO system.

  • MOST IMPORTANT – Make sure that your SAM.GOV registration is and remains ACTIVE during the period of performance of your grant.
  • ALSO IMPORTANT – PLEASE be sure to update SAM and FEMA GO if there are changes in your AOR. (Authorized Organization Representative)
  • Make sure your FEMA GO registration is good to go NOW.

Questions? Need help with your fire grants?

Contact a grants consultant today

Grant rejection?

Make your next grant more competitive

You did the work. Filed the grant. Waited. And waited…

Only to get a “no thanks, try again next time” letter. Getting one of these “dear john” letters can really make your heart sink. All that work. All that hope.

Was it all for nothing?

No.

Look, grants are hard. No matter how compelling your narrative, no matter how good your data, no matter how big your need, there are no guarantees. Not every application is going to be a winner.

There’s only one thing you can do.

Dust yourself off.

Take a breath.

Say whatever, ahem, “special words” you need to say.

And then?

Get ready for the next grant.

But… how?

Maybe your narrative wasn’t as solid as you thought. Maybe there was a crucial bit of data missing. Maybe your request needed to be higher-priority equipment. Maybe you didn’t make the deadline.

Grants are hard. There no guarantees. Whatever happened, you can do a better job next time, with our help. We can coach you on your grant, help you craft a better narrative, work with you on the data, and maybe—just maybe—skip the ole’ “dear john” rejection letter…

And instead find yourself in the winner’s circle.

Are you ready to write your best grant?

Contact a grant consultant today

Closing Soon: AFG-S 2 FY 2020 COVID 19 For Volunteer/Combination Departments

Supplemental AFG-S Application Period Ends Nov. 13, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET

Reminder from FEMA! The second AFG-S COVID-19/coronavirus application period closes soon!

Ask the Help Desk

See commonly asked questions about the AFG-S 2 application below:

Question 1. Item eligibility: Are items such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), EMS jackets/pants, decontamination equipment, personnel costs, and fitness equipment eligible under the grant?

Answer: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) specifies the type of PPE that is applicable under the grant, and can be found below or in the chart on page 26 of the NOFO.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) List – Funding Priorities

COVID-19 Response

  • Eye Protection – Appropriately fitted, indirectly vented goggles or single use disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face.
  • Isolation Gowns – Nonsterile, single use fluid-resistant and impermeable patient isolation gown.
  • Protective Coveralls – 360-degree protection of whole body, including the back, lower legs and feet.
  • Gloves – Patient examination gloves.
  • Footwear Covers – Single use, disposable medical footwear covers.
  • Respirators – Any NIOSH-approved particulate respirator (i.e., N-95 or higher-level respirator). Includes the purchase of filters appropriate for use.
  • Surgical Type Face Masks – loose-fitting, single use disposable physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer to allow fire and EMS personnel to meet CDC recommendations and/or state mandates for face covering when in a public setting other than direct patient contact.
  • Other supplies are also eligible, however will be considered a lower priority than items listed above. Examples include:
    • Decontamination supplies and services for PPE, station-quarters, and vehicles.
    • Replacement High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters and other types of disposable filtration supplies used on EMS respiratory and/or ventilator equipment.
    • Personally-issued antiseptic hand washes, antiseptic hand rubs such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers , foams or gels, and reasonable refill supply.

Questions 2. Item classification:  How much leeway is there classifying an item under a category? – For example, whether EMS jackets/pants would correlate to “coveralls” in the NOFO?

Answer:  It depends. The eligible items are specific to the authorization language, which only allows for the purchase of PPE used in response or preparation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Applicants would need to justify how the purchase of the PPE directly relates to the COVID-19 response.

Question 3. Reimbursement: How can I get reimbursed for supplies I have already purchased?

Answer: Reimbursements are eligible for the purchase of PPE dating back to Jan 1, 2020. However, the items must also align with the eligible items list; see chart above.

APPLICATION PORTAL

The AFG-S 2 grant program application is available online through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program’s FEMA GO (FEMA Grants Outcomes) application portal at https://go.fema.gov.

All users have their own FEMA GO account. Each account is specific to the authorized user and must not be shared with other personnel. A FEMA GO Account Creation User Guide can be viewed on the AFGP website or downloaded to your computer. An application number will be assigned when the application is started. Be sure to write it down for future reference.  

NOTE:  When completing the Applicant Information section, the “applicant name” should be the name of the fire department or organization applying for the grant, not the name of the person who is completing the application.

To start the application process, we recommend that you review the AFG-S 2 NOFO and Application Technical Assistance Tools found on the AFG website under Guidance Documents.