FEMA AFG program update for February 2023

Fire grant news from FEMA

FEMA has released its AFG program update for the month of February:

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

In this month’s update

  • FY 2021 AFG Programs Status Update
  • FY 2022 AFG Programs Status Update
  • Did You Know? – How AFG Applications are Scored
  • February Fire Prevention Message – Fire is fast! Plan your escape for your abilities.
  • Grant Management Training – GMTA Fundamentals of Grants Management Course
  • AFGP Success Stories

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FY 2021 AFG Programs Status Update 

Award announcements are still underway for all three programs. Even though FY 2021 ended Sept. 30, 2022, awards will continue to be made because of the $300 million in supplemental funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (AFG-$90 million, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response-$200 million, and Fire Protection & Safety-$10 million). Awards are expected to continue into March. As award determinations are finalized, notification will be sent to grant recipients. Award information will also be posted on the FEMA website as each round is announced.

Final turndown letters will be sent out in concurrence with the final rounds of award  announcements. 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 

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

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

FY 2022 AFG Application Data

The application period for FY 2022 AFG Awards closed on February 10, 2023.

Thank you to all who applied. The application data is detailed in the table below:

Department TypeSubmitted Total Requested
All Paid/Career1425$879,470,417.21
All Volunteer3161$786,572,879.54
Combination (Majority Paid/Career)880$331,694,200.50
Combination (Majority Volunteer)1840$580,849,884.52
State Fire Training Academy31$12,507,631.43
Grand Total7337$2,591,095,013.20 

FY 2022 AFG Programs Status Update

Peer Panel Review scheduled for March 13-17, 2023

Reviews will be done both virtually and in-person at the National Fire Academy campus.

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER)

FY 2022 SAFER Grant application period is open until Friday, March 17, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET. 

Start your application today by reviewing the FY 2022 SAFER funding notice and associated tools posted on the FEMA website at  www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters/safer/documents

FY 2022 SAFER application workshops in progress:

FEMA is hosting live Adobe Connect workshops to provide an overview of the FY 2022 SAFER grant program. The application workshops are intended to outline important information on the SAFER program, what is new for FY 2022, program priorities, eligible costs, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing a SAFER application. FEMA Preparedness Officers will be available to answer your questions. To view the schedule and register, please click here.

Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) 

FY 2022 FP&S Grant application period is open until Friday, March 31, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET 

Did You Know?  

How the scoring process works for the AFG program:

Pre-Scoring Process – The application undergoes an electronic pre-scoring process based on established program priorities listed in Appendix B of the Notice of Funding Opportunity and answers to activity-specific questions within the online application. Application Narratives are not reviewed during the pre-score process. “Request Details” and “Budget” information should comply with program guidance and statutory funding limitations. The pre-score is half of the total application score.

Peer Review Panel Process – 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. Peer reviewers will assess each application’s merits based on the narrative statements on the requested activity. Each of the four narrative sections (Financial Need, Project Description and Budget, Cost/Benefit and Statement of Effect) make up 25% of the total score.

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.

Technical Evaluation Process (TEP) – The highest ranked applications will be considered within the fundable range. Applications that are in the fundable range will undergo both a Technical Review by a subject-matter expert as well as a FEMA Program Office review before being recommended for award. The FEMA Program Office will assess the request with respect to costs, quantities, feasibility, eligibility and recipient responsibility prior to recommending any application for award. Requests may be recommended for partial funding based on findings made during this assessment. Once the TEP is complete, each application’s cumulative score will be determined, and a final ranking of applications will be created. FEMA will award grants based on this final ranking and the ability to meet statutorily required funding limitations.

February Fire Prevention Message

Fire is fast! Plan your escape for your abilities.

Key messages:

  • Have a home fire escape plan for everyone in your home. Some people may need help waking up or getting outside. Let your local fire department know if someone in your home needs extra assistance to escape or may have difficulty escaping.

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 by strengthening 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 Times
April 18, 19, 20April 24 – May 18, 20232 p.m. ET
June 28, 29 and July 6July 10 – Aug. 3, 202310 a.m. ET
August 2, 9, 10Aug 14 – Sept. -7, 20232 p.m. ET

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

Questions: [email protected]

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

Questions: [email protected]

AFGP Success Story

Division of Fire and Rescue Services of Frederick County, MD

Award: SAFER Grant for the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteers

Submitted by: Director-Volunteer Chip Jewell

In 2010, fire and rescue services in Frederick County, Maryland, desperately needed more volunteer firefighters. Director-Volunteer Chief Chip Jewell and his team applied for a 2010 AFG SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Recruitment & Retention Grant and were awarded grant funds in July 2011. This assisted Jewell and his team in maintaining a positive public image of their local volunteer fire and rescue companies by helping recruit additional volunteers.

“Additional staffing on a fireground equates to improved safety and a decrease of firefighter injuries,” Jewell said. This grant helped to provide 26 local Frederick County fire and rescue companies with volunteers. Many of these newly recruited volunteers continued their training to become qualified firefighters or EMTs to serve their local community.

Previously, the individual fire and rescue companies were only moderately successful in recruiting and retaining their own volunteers. But because of this grant, Frederick County was able to hire a volunteer recruiter who has since worked closely with all of the volunteer fire and rescue companies to hire even more volunteers.

“In partnership with each individual company, over 900 members have been recruited in the last four years,” Jewell said of the grant, whose period of performance ended in July 2015. “The local fire company’s efforts have been supplemented with a target marketing campaign named ‘Gear Up’ in an effort to attract new members.” Additionally, a volunteer orientation program was implemented to provide the new recruits background and initial training to serve their local fire and rescue department. 

Jewell says that if additional volunteers had not been recruited, vital response time and proficient use of related equipment would have suffered due to lack of sufficient staffing. Because of the grant, he said, the future of the county services will remain intact.

“This positive initiative will carry on well after the grant closes,” Jewell said. “The momentum gained by the positive relationships built with the companies, combined with the volunteer orientation program that has been developed, will continue to support the local and county wide recruitment programs for the volunteer fire and rescue service.”