AFGP Program Update, October 2023

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 
  • Semi-Annual Programmatic Performance Report (PPR) Reminder  
  • Did You Know? – How to be an AFG Peer Reviewer 
  • October Fire Prevention Message – Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8-14, 2023 
  • Grant Management Training – Grants Management Technical Assistance FY 24  
  • Closeout module available in FEMA GO 
  • AFGP Success Stories 

If you would like to receive these monthly newsletters via email, subscribe here: Signup for FEMA Email Updates (govdelivery.com) 

FY 2022 AFG Programs Status Update

All 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 out 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 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

The FY 2023 AFG application period is expected to open January 2024. More information will be forthcoming as definitive dates are set. In the meantime, there are several things that can be done to start preparing for the next funding opportunity. 

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 now. 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. 

Semi-Annual Programmatic Performance Reports (PPR) Reminder

Check your FEMA GO account to make sure you are up to date on your performance reports. Preparedness Officers will be unable to process payment requests for departments with outstanding PPRs.  

PPR requirements have changed from FY 2018, FY 2019, and FY 2020 AFG NOFO per Information Bulletin 468. Future PPR deadlines will be Jan. 30 and July 30 of each calendar year the grant period of performance is open. 

PLEASE NOTE: The PPR will not appear in “My to do list.” Go to “Grants” at the top of the page and in the “I want to…” dropdown next to your grant, indicate “Submit performance progress report.” For more information on completing a PPR, view the FEMA GO Programmatic Performance Report Guide. 

Did You Know?

You can be a peer reviewer for the AFG Program 

Applications with the highest rankings from the pre-scoring process will undergo a Peer Review Panel process. A panel of peer reviewers is composed of fire service representatives recommended by the national organizations from the Criteria Development Panel (CDP). CDP is made up of the nine major fire service organizations listed below. If you are interested in participating in the panel review for AFG, SAFER or FP&S, please reach out to your affiliate organization and request to be nominated.  

  • 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 

Peer reviewers will assess each application’s merits based on the narrative statement on the requested activity. Panelists will independently score each requested activity within the application, discuss the merits and/or shortcomings of the application with his or her peers, and document the findings. A consensus is not required. The panel score is half of the total application score.

October Fire Prevention Message

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8-14, 2023. 

Information and resources to support Fire Prevention Week are provided by the National Fire Protection Association is available HERE.  

Additional information on Fire Prevention and Community Risk Reduction are provided by the U.S. Fire Administration is available 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
Oct 17, 18, or 19 Oct 23 – Nov 16, 2023 10 a.m. ET Open Enrollment 
Jan 16, 17, or 18 Jan 22 – Feb 15, 20242 p.m. ET Open Enrollment 
Mar 19, 20, or 21 Mar 25 – Apr 18, 2024 10 a.m. ET Open Enrollment 
April 23, 24, or 25 Apr 29 – May 23, 2024 2 p.m. ET Open Enrollment 
July 9, 10, or 11 Jul 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

Cherry Hill Fire Department – Cherry Hill, NJ 

Awarded items: Thermal Imaging Cameras  

Submitted by: Captain Zachary Houck 

On May 5, 2022, the Cherry Hill Fire Department was dispatched to the Colonial Apartments on Cooper Landing Rd for an apartment fire. Our company, Ladder 24, arrived first and found an apartment on fire on the fourth floor of the building. FF Schwarz and Captain West entered the apartment from the interior hallway, while our outside vent firefighter entered via the truck’s ladder main. The crew was faced with a significant amount of smoke and zero visibility. The apartment was pitch black, lights out. Therefore, the crew relied heavily on our thermal imaging cameras to begin searching for the fire and potential fire victims. Shortly after entering, an unconscious victim was seen on the screen of the thermal imager. The crew rapidly removed the victim from the apartment while the engine company moved in with the line to extinguish the fire. The victim was transported to and treated at a local hospital and subsequently made a full recovery. Without the aid of thermal imagers, rescuing the victim would have been significantly delayed as the firefighters would not have been able to see the victim. A much slower and methodical search by feel would have eventually led to the victim, but the delay in rescue likely would have prevented a full recovery. – FF William Schwarz – Ladder Co. 24 


Do you have a Success Story regarding a FEMA Grant that you’d like to share with everyone? Contact us at [email protected] or through Twitter @FEMAGrants using a private message. 

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