AFGP program update, September 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 
  • Vehicle Award Period of performance Extensions 
  • Seeking Feedback on Simplifying Preparedness Grants 
  • Did You Know? – Prepare now for the FY 2023 AFG 
  • Semi-Annual Programmatic Performance Report (PPR) Reminder 
  • October Fire Prevention Message – Fire Prevention Week! 
  • 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 

The final round of award notifications were sent to applicants today, Wednesday, Sept. 20. Turndown letters for all programs will be sent out soon after.  

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 


Seeking Feedback on Simplifying FEMA Preparedness Grants 

We aim to improve the management and administration of its preparedness grant programs to continue to assist the nation in building and sustaining capabilities to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to terrorist attacks and other hazards. We issued a Notice and Request for Information (RFI) to seek public input on simplifying and streamlining its preparedness grant process to improve the efficiency and accessibility of its suite of preparedness grant programs.  

This national engagement provides an opportunity for interested parties to provide input as part of the DHS 2023 priority to improve management and administration of grant programs by simplifying application processes and improving customer service, while ensuring greater accessibility and equity for under resourced populations.  

Interested persons may submit comments responsive to this RFI electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions for submitting comments and use Docket ID: FEMA-2023-0024. Submitting this information makes it public; you may wish to read the Privacy and Security Notice. Comments are due no later than 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 7, 2023. 

In addition, FEMA will host two public listening sessions and one tribal consultation to allow interested parties to provide feedback. 

Public Session 1 Public Session 2 Tribal Consultation 
Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 Time: 3 – 4 p.m. ET Register to attend Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023 Time: 3–4 p.m. ET Register to attend Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023  Time: 3 – 4:30 p.m. ET  Register to attend 


Semi-Annual Programmatic Performance Reports (PPR) Reminder 

The last PPR due date was on July 30. Grant recipients with overdue performance reports cannot be reimbursed until the overdue report is submitted. 

As a reminder, recipients that received an AFG, FP&S and/or *SAFER award through the FEMA Grants Outcome (FEMA GO) system are responsible for submitting semi-annual performance reports as a condition of their award.  

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. 

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

FY 2021 and FY 2022 grant recipients whose POP has begun were required to submit a PPR by July 30 regardless of how long the POP has been open.  

*SAFER grant recipients should be cognizant of the separate forms for the Hiring and the Recruitment & Retention activities and ensure selection of the correct form before submitting. 


Did You Know?

You can start preparing for the FY 2023 AFG Application Period NOW! 

Below is a list of things that you can do NOW to start preparing for the upcoming FY 2023 AFG Application Period. The links are to resources for the FY22 program that will be relevant for use in FY23. 

  • 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. 


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] 



Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical – Lawrence, Kansas 

Awarded items: Blue Card Incident Command Training  

Submitted by: Division Chief Joseph (Joe) Hardy 

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical (LDCFM) is thrilled to share our recent success story in securing Federal funding that has had a transformative impact on our organization. With the support of this grant, we were able to expand our training capabilities and enhance our outreach efforts. 

As a result of the grant award, LDCFM was able to identify and plan to train four new Blue Card Trainers. This has not only increased our training capacity but has also allowed us to improve our communication with new members. The grant facilitated the establishment of better communication channels, ensuring that new members receive comprehensive guidance and support as they embark on their certification journey. 

Furthermore, the grant played a pivotal role in boosting our online presence and engagement. Through targeted outreach efforts, we were able to attract 52 new online memberships for Blue Card Certifications. This influx of new members not only strengthens our community but also underscores the growing demand for our training programs. 

One of the most notable achievements resulting from the grant was LDCFM’s ability to foster collaboration with surrounding agencies that also utilize Blue Card training. The enhanced communication has led to invaluable knowledge sharing, best practice exchanges, and a more cohesive approach to emergency response strategies. 

The highlight of this success story was the opportunity to bring Blue Card Instructors to our department in Lawrence, Kansas. Not only did this allow us to provide an enriching training experience for our four members, but it also extended this opportunity to neighboring communities. By facilitating access to high-quality training, we are actively contributing to the safety and preparedness of a wider network of responders. 

LDCFM extends our heartfelt appreciation for this grant opportunity, as it has truly been a catalyst for positive change within our organization and beyond. The impact of these advancements ripples through every level of our work, making us better equipped, more interconnected, and more responsive to the challenges we face. 


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. 


AFGP Success Stories 

Gloucester City Fire Department – Gloucester City, NJ

Awarded items: Swiftwater rescue training

Submitted by: Battalion Chief Patrick Hagan

On July 11 at 13:01 hours, the Gloucester City Fire Department (GCFD) Battalion 5 and Squad 51/Swiftwater 5 were dispatched to Little Timber Creek on the border of Gloucester City and Brooklawn for Water Rescue Assignment. The initial report from dispatch was a 14-year-old male fell from the train trestle and went into the water. Due to the strong current, he was unable to swim to shore. The GCFD was delayed from getting dispatched because the location originally reported was not in Gloucester City or on its border. Once initial dispatched units confirmed the location the GCFD was dispatched (within 3 minutes). 

GCFD units arrived in Swiftwater PPE and ran approximately 200 yards down the tracks to get to the water’s edge. Upon arriving police units on scene from Gloucester and Brooklawn were able to throw the victim a life vest, but he was too tired and had extreme difficulty putting it on and staying afloat because of the strong current. Referring to their training (Reach, Throw, Row, Go), the GCFD was able to throw the victim a rescue rope but was unable to remove victim from the water due to the current and the teenagers’ exhaustion. This called for one of the GCFD Rescuers to be the “Go” swimmer and rescue the boy. Quicky the GCFD members tethered to the shore jumped in the water and swam to rescue the 14-year-old victim. The remaining rescuers were then able to lift the victim over the retaining wall and out of the water. The patient was assessed by EMS but was uninjured.

This act of valor was a team effort of the members of Gloucester City Fire Department’s Squad 51/Swiftwater 5. Within less than five minutes of being on location and running on the railroad tracks 200 yards to the creeks edge the members made the necessary decisions to safely rescue an exhausted young male from danger and/or death. Too many times as public safety officers we see this type of incident end in tragedy, but because of the courageous acts of valor the boy will be able to enjoy the rest of his summer. Without the funds for training and equipment under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program this rescue would have never been made. We like to thank FEMA and the DHS for their continued support and making these types of funding opportunities available to us.


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. 


Have Feedback?

The AFG Program Office always welcomes feedback from the AFG community. If there are topics or information that you may find helpful in future monthly updates from the AFG Program, please send any thoughts to the AFG Help Desk ([email protected]).