Get ready for AFG: Conduct your Needs Assessment

The Fund Finder News by Kurt Bradley, Senior Grants Consultant

Needs Assessment

AFG will be opening soon, and now is the time to get ready for what’s going to be a competitive grant year.

There is an old saying that floats about and holds a special truth not only in how we conduct our daily operations, but also in how we go about applying to grant funding sources. That saying is:

“If You Fail to Plan, You Can Plan to Fail!”

Proper planning involves a myriad of things, one of which is assuring that you have proper manpower and equipment to carry out your basic mission for your citizens.

One of the tools that you should be using in that planning is a needs and capabilities assessment. It is one of the first things that you need to do. This report is what gives you the facts you need to know about how well prepared your department is to carry out its primary function, whether that be a Fire/EMS or Law Enforcement agency. It gives you a “State of the Union” report, so to speak, about your department.

So, just exactly what is a “Needs and Capabilities Assessment,” and how do we go about doing one?

Full story

AFG opens soon, are you ready to GO?

FEMA GO guide to apply for and manage grants

FEMA is transitioning its grant applications and grant management to a new system called the FEMA Grant Outcomes system, or FEMA GO. From now on, FEMA GO is how departments like yours will apply for and manage public safety grants such as Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER), and Fire Prevention & Safety Grants (FP&S).

We’re not sure yet when AFG is going to open. Now is the time to get set up and familiar with FEMA GO. Once it’s go time for AFG, you’ll be off to the races!

Learn more in our FEMA GO Guide

New Roles are Now Available in FEMA GO

To assist users in managing grant functions such as applying for a grant, requesting funds, and completing reports, FEMA GO has new roles that can be assigned to staff to complete assigned task within the new system.

  • Programmatic Member – can view and edit all information and can only submit amendments and programmatic reports.
  • Financial Member – can view and edit all information and can only submit payments or draw down request, financial reports and amendments.
  • Grant Writer – can view and edit all information for an application.

For more information on the new available roles and how to assign the roles to your organization members, visit

FY 2019 AFGP Grant Application: System for Award Management (SAM) Reminders

The FY 2019 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) application period is anticipated to be opening in the winter of 2019/20. All Assistance to Firefighters (AFG), Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant applicants must have an active registration with current information at the time of application, while an application is pending, or have an active federal award.

Before the application period opens, you must check your account and make sure that you are registered and that it is “ACTIVE” because you will not be able to start, or submit your application without an active registration.

Please ensure the following items are current in the System for Award Management (SAM) and the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number used in is the same one you use for all FEMA applications:

  • Organization’s name
  • Address
  • DUNS
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Banking information (type of account (checking or saving), routing number, and account number
  • Many websites may look official in appearance but are not. As a reminder, registration in the is FREE
  • registrations are only active for one year and registration must be renewed and revalidated at least every 12 months from the date previously registered to avoid being “INACTIVE”.
  • This information should be consistent in all registration documents

Should you need assistance with your account, there are several ways to get help:

If you have questions or concerns about your registration, please contact the Federal Support desk at

FEMA Go Payment & Amendment Request Modules Available

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

As of November 8, 2019, Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) & Fire Prevention and Safety Grant (FP&S) grant recipients may begin using the FEMA GO system to submit Payment. AFG and FP&S grant recipients should avoid submitting an amendment at this time; submitting an amendment will not allow grant recipients to submit payment. We will notify grant recipients when they can begin submitting amendments.

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant recipients may submit a grant amendment to begin their Period of Performance (POP) early; other amendment types cannot be accepted at this time. The payment request module is not currently available in FEMA GO, however, it will be available soon. We will notify SAFER grant recipients when the module is available.

A user guide explaining how to navigate these new modules is available on:

NIMS Alert 38-19: Release of the National Response Framework, 4th Edition, and Emergency Support Function #14


Cross-Sector Business and Infrastructure Annex

In support of FEMA’s Strategic Plan, the agency is pleased to announce the release of the “National Response Framework, Fourth Edition,” and the “Emergency Support Function #14 – Cross-Sector Business and Infrastructure Annex.” Both documents incorporate lessons learned from the 2017 hurricane and wildfire season.

The updated framework remains scalable, flexible and adaptable, using the core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal, and continues to focus on the capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs during disasters. The National Preparedness Goal defines what it means for the whole community to be prepared for all types of disasters and emergencies. Key updates to the NRF include:

  • Additional emphasis on non-governmental capabilities to include the role of individuals and private sector/industry partners in responding to disasters.
  • A new Emergency Support Function to leverage existing coordination mechanisms between the government and infrastructure owners/operators.
  • Focus on outcomes-based response through the prioritization of the rapid stabilization of Community Lifelines.

The new ESF #14 supports the coordination of cross-sector operations, including stabilization of key supply chains and Community Lifelines, among infrastructure owners and operators, businesses, and their government partners.

The Community Lifelines Implementation Toolkit provides comprehensive information and resources for implementing lifelines during incident response. Toolkit 2.0, featuring refined content based on lessons learned and stakeholder feedback over the past year, will be released in November to support the NRF rollout.

In addition, FEMA is hosting a series of one-hour webinars to describe the updates and answer participants’ questions. These webinars are intended for the whole community, including individuals and communities, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners.

To download the documents and view the full webinar schedule, please visit Advance registration is required for the webinars and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Captioning will be available for each webinar.

Final Rounds of FY 2018 AFG, SAFER Fire Grant Winners Announced?

Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)

In what are expected to be the final award rounds for FY 2018 SAFER and AFG, 221 US Fire Service Organizations have received a total of $35,760,094 in fire grant awards.

During Round 8 AFG fire grants, $34,897,561 was awarded to 214 fire departments, including:

  • Friends Of Long Lake Fire Ems, Inc., Long Lake, WI, Operations and Safety, $6,190
  • HI-NELLA FIRE CO, SOMERDALE, NJ, Regional Request, $14,286
  • Nashua, City of, Nashua, IA, Vehicle Acquisition, $80,952
  • Upper, Township of, WOODBINE, NJ, Operations and Safety, $548,095
  • BOLTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT, BOLTON, NC, Regional Request, $846,542
  • SPECULATOR, VILLAGE OF , SPECULATOR, NY, Vehicle Acquisition, $928,571

During the final round of 8 SAFER fire job grants, 8 fire departments were awarded a total of $862,533 for recruitment, hiring, and retention of firefighters:

  • City Of Savannah, Savannah, GA, Hiring of firefighters, $2,138,478
  • City of South Fulton, INC, Atlanta, GA, Hiring of firefighters, $2,242,500
  • Chillicothe Community Fire Protection District, Chillicothe, IL, Recruitment and retention, $200,000
  • WARE, TOWN OF, WARE, MA, Recruitment and retention, $90,000
  • Goose Creek Rural Fire Department Inc , Goose Creek, SC, Recruitment and retention, $552,258
  • HOPKINS, COUNTY OF, SULPHUR SPRINGS, TX, Hiring of firefighters, $243,429
  • Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority, Kent, WA, Hiring of firefighters, $948,192
  • YODER FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT 5A, YODER, WY, Recruitment and retention, $485,410

Application periods for FY 2019 AFG, SAFER, and FP&S programs will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to First Responder Grants for updates.

Rounds 6 and 7 FY 2018 AFG Fire Grant Winners Announced

Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)

FEMA has announced Rounds 6 and 7 fire grant winners for the FY 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG).

5 First Responder Grants students and clients were among the winners:

  • Herculaneum FPD, MO, $85,700, SCBA
  • Washington FPD, MO, $330,300, SCBA
  • Ross Township FD, OH, $63,012, SCBA compressor
  • Ibbett’s Pass FD, CA, $227,583, SCBA
  • Big River FPD, MO, $61,992, SCBA, Compressor

Appropriation for 2018:

  • Total: $315,000,000
  • OPS: $226,800,000
  • VEH: $78,750,000
  • FA: $9,450,000

Awards Round 6 & 7:

  • OPS: 700 awards, $115,046,692
  • VEH: 67 awards, $21,323,418
  • FA: 7 awards, $2,207,822

Total Awards To Date: 1620 awards: $280,033,868


  • OPS: 1,496 awards, $242,430,524 (-$15,630,524)
  • VEH: 90 awards, $27,209,694
  • FA: 34 awards, $10,393,650 (-$943,650)

Funds Remaining:

  • OPS: $0
  • VEH: $34,963,132 (includes deficits for OPS & FA)
  • FA: $0

Average Award:

  • OPS: $162,052
  • VEH: $302,330
  • FA: $305,696

Estimated Awards Remaining:

  • OPS: 0
  • VEH: 116
  • FA: 0

Average Awards/Round: 231

Estimated Rounds Remaining: 1

Check First Responder Grants each week for the latest AFG news.

Rounds 4 and 5 FY 2018 AFG Fire Grant Winners Announced

Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)

FEMA has announced Rounds 4 and 5 fire grant winners for the FY 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG).

5 First Responder Grants students and clients were among the winners:

  • Ross Township, OH, SCBA Compressor, $63,012
  • Herculaneum, MO, Washer/Extractor, Structural Turnout Gear, $83,700
  • Hualapai NES, AZ, Washer extractor/structural turnout gear, $70,300
  • Fort Lee FD, NJ, SCBA, $55,500
  • Southwick FD, MA, Hydraulic Rescue Tools, $39,000

Appropriation for 2018:

Total: $315,000,000
OPS: $226,800,000
VEH: $78,750,000
FA: $9,450,000

Awards Round 4 and 5: 325

Subsequent AFG fire grants will be announced on Fridays but may not occur every week. Check First Responder Grants each week for the latest AFG news.

FEMA Grant Outcomes (GO) Frequently Asked Questions

Updates from FEMA:

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

How do I register in FEMA GO?

Here are the registration instructions. FY 2018 Award Recipients will need to register in FEMA GO system to accept FY 2018 grant awards.

I have registered in FEMA GO, but I do not see my application?

Two Part Answer:

Part One. You must be assigned an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) or Organizational Member (OM) role in FEMA GO in order to gain access to an application or any task for that application. There are two ways to be assigned a role:

  • If you are the Electronic Business (eBiz) point of contact in for your organization, you can will be    assigned the AOR role by entering the DUNS information after you have logged in to your FEMA GO account, or.
  • If you are not the eBiz point of contact, you must be . Ask to be is to be assigned the as either the AOR or the OM  role by the AOR for your organization.

Part Two. Some applications must be manually linked to the registered AOR once the account is created. This process takes some time. There is a backlog for linking applications, but we hope to have them all completed soon.

The eBiz POC on our SAM account is not the POC for our grant, how do I become the AOR?

There are two options:

  • First option is to have the eBiz POC register in FEMA GO. Once they have registered and been assigned the AOR role, they can then add other AOR member and OM members to the organization.
  • If the eBIiz POC is no longer with the not with the organization any longer or does not wish to be the eBiz POC, you may will need to update your account. The new eBiz POC can now register in FEMA GO and will be assigned the AOR role for that organization.