AFGP fire grant program update from FEMA for November 2023

AFG news from FEMA

Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)

Each month, FEMA supplies information regarding the management of current Assistance to Firefighters Grants, as well as helpful details on upcoming grant opportunities. 

In this month’s update: 

  • FY 2022 AFG Programs Status Update 
  • FY 2023 AFG Programs Status Update 
  • Did You Know? – AFGP Criteria Development Panel 
  • November Fire Prevention Message – Lithium-Ion Battery Safety 
  • Grant Management Training – Grants Management Technical Assistance FY 24  
  • Closeout module available in FEMA GO 
  • AFGP Success Stories 

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FY 2022 AFG Programs Status Update

Awards have been completed for all the FY 2022 AFG Programs, and all funds have been exhausted. Turndown letters for all programs will be sent soon.  

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)  

The Turndown Webinar schedule will be sent out shortly. If you receive a turndown letter and would like more information, please contact your Regional Fire Program Representative

AFG Award Listings: Assistance to Firefighters Grants | FEMA.gov 

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) 

If you receive a turndown letter and would like further information, please contact the Preparedness Officer assigned to your state or contact the AFG Help Desk at [email protected] 

SAFER Award Listings: Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) | FEMA.gov 

FP&S Award Listings: Fire Prevention and Safety | FEMA.gov 

FY 2023 AFG Programs Status Update

Major Program Priority Changes Coming for FY 2023 AFG 

The FY 2023 AFG application period is expected to open in January 2024. More information will be forthcoming as definitive dates are set. The Criteria Development Panel has recommended major changes to the FY 2023 AFG program priorities. These changes will put an emphasis on PPE that is necessary to protect firefighter health and safety.  

In anticipation of the 2023 AFG application period, below is a list of things that you can do NOW to start preparing for the upcoming FY 2023 AFG Application Period. 

  • Verify your organization’s SAM.gov account is Active. 
  • Ensure grant writing staff have accounts and appropriate permissions in FEMA GO
  • Conduct a Risk Assessment to determine your greatest needs. Compare your needs to the priorities of the program once the FY23 funding notice is released to identify what you should request. 
  • Poll vendors to start determining the costs of items you plan to request. 
  • If requesting a vehicle, establish your committee and develop specifications. 
  • Use the Application Checklist to gather information needed to complete the application. 
  • Use the Self-Evaluation Sheets to start drafting the four scored sections of the application narrative. These documents provide the exact criteria that panelists will be looking for in your narrative at panel review. There is one for Operations and Safetyand another for Vehicle applications. 
  • Use the Narrative Development Guide to help identify ways that you can address the criteria outlined in the Self-Evaluation Sheets. 
  • Write your narrative. It is easily pasted into the application once the application period opens. This will allow ample time for others to review what you’ve written and provide feedback. 
  • Contact your Regional Fire Program Representative with any questions.

Did You Know?

Although the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is administered by FEMA, funding priorities and programmatic criteria for evaluating Program applications are established based on the recommendations from the Criteria Development Panel (CDP). Each year, FEMA convenes a panel of fire service professionals to develop funding priorities for the AFG Program. The panel makes recommendations about funding priorities as well as developing criteria for awarding grants.  

The nine major fire service organizations represented on the panel are:  

  • International Association of Fire Chiefs  
  • International Association of Fire Fighters  
  • National Volunteer Fire Council  
  • National Fire Protection Association  
  • National Association of State Fire Marshals  
  • International Association of Arson Investigators  
  • International Society of Fire Service Instructors  
  • North American Fire Training Directors  
  • Congressional Fire Service Institute  

The CDP is charged with making recommendations to FEMA regarding the creation or modification of previously established funding priorities as well as developing criteria for awarding grants. The content of each year’s funding notice reflects implementation of the CDP’s recommendations with respect to the priorities, direction, and criteria for awards.  

November Fire Prevention Message  

Take C.H.A.R.G.E. of Battery Safety

Key messages: 

Just as your department may be seeking answers and additional education to fight lithium-ion battery fires, the public needs your help to learn how they can protect themselves and their property.  Now is the time to take action to prevent these fires and to know what to do in the event that a battery fire does occur at the station, at home, and in your community.  

Use FSRI’s new turnkey public safety resources to teach your community how to Take C.H.A.R.G.E. of Battery Safety: 

C - Choose certified products.   

H - Handle lithium-ion powered devices with care.  

A – Always stay alert for warning signs.  

R – Recycle devices and batteries properly.  

G – Get out quickly if there’s a fire. 

E – Educate others on safe practices. 

FSRI’s first responders toolkit includes both training for firefighters and resources for the public.  

Visit batteryfiresafety.org to learn more.  

Please find the link to the fact sheet from the 2023 U.S. Fire Administrator’s Summit on Fire Prevention and Control HERE

Grants Management Training

Grants Management Technical Assistance 

The K0705 Fundamentals of Grants Management is a virtual course offered by FEMA to grant recipients. Although not a requirement for accepting an AFG award, the course is designed to assist organizations strengthen their grant management practices. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to: 

  • Improve collaboration among policy, program and financial staff to integrate grant management functions;   
  • Identify applicable regulations and navigate and apply the Code of Federal Regulations, including 2 CFR Part 200; 
  • Apply proven business practices related to the grant lifecycle to increase efficiency and meet grant management priorities, such as strategic planning, organization, program implementation, staff training, monitoring, reporting and audits; 
  • Develop or revise policies, procedures, and practices in critical areas of grants management, such as monitoring, procurement, source documentation, payments, and equipment inventory; and 
  • Prepare for federal monitoring and sub-recipient monitoring. 

Upcoming Course Offerings: 

Orientation DatesCourse DatesCourse Start TimesCourse Host
Jan. 16, 17, or 18 Jan. 22 – Feb. 15, 20242 p.m. ET Open Enrollment 
March 19, 20, or 21 March 25 – April 8, 2024 10 a.m. ET Open Enrollment 
April 23, 24, or 25 April 29 – May 23, 2024 2 p.m. ET Open Enrollment 
July 9, 10, or 11 July 15 – Aug. 8, 2024 10 a.m. ET Open Enrollment 

To Apply: National Emergency Training Center Online Admissions Application (fema.gov) 

Questions: [email protected] 

Closeout Report Available in FEMA GO

The closeout module has been released in FEMA GO for recipients that have received AFG awards from 2018 to 2020. Recipients with awards that are no longer open will have 90 days to complete the module. If an award still has an open period of performance (POP), the recipient will have to wait until the POP ends to initiate the closeout process and will have 90 to 120 days to complete the process. Do not start your closeout if there is a chance that more funds or an amendment could be requested as these functions will no longer be available. A tutorial on the closeout process is available by clicking here

For closeout help, contact your Regional Fire Program Representative or the AFG Helpdesk toll-free at 1-866-274-0960 or email [email protected] 

AFGP Success Stories

Philadelphia Fire Department – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Awarded items: Fireground Safety and Survival Training  

Submitted by: Rachel Cunningham, Communications Director 

This course was developed by the International Association of Firefighters and its primary focus was to take a hard, in-depth look at the way Firefighters have died across the country, and then build a set of skills on how to prevent Firefighters from meeting a similar fate. The skills learned during this three-day course included reducing your profile to fit through wall studs, bailing out of a window headfirst onto a portable ladder, emergency breathing techniques, and the proper way to transmit a mayday to the Incident Commander.  

Success Story #1- Shortly after receiving this training, a firefighter was caught in a collapse of a two-story row home. This fire unfortunately claimed the life of Lt. Matthew Letourneau. In his post incident interview, the firefighter stated that as soon as he realized that he was caught in a collapse, his Fireground Survival Training kicked in and he transmitted his mayday just as he learned in class to the Incident Commander. 

Success Story #2- In 2020, a firefighter with Rescue Company 1 was searching for trapped occupants on the third floor of a three-story townhome in Northeast Philadelphia. The firefighter realized conditions were beginning to deteriorate, and the area they were in was becoming untenable due to high heat and zero visibility. They realized a flashover was occurring and that time to escape was limited. They found a window that had a 35-foot portable ladder placed at the sill, and they jumped headfirst and slid down the ladder. The firefighter mentioned that the training of performing that exact skill during Fireground Survival Training assisted them with the confidence to perform it in a real-world situation and be successful in escaping injury.  

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