FEMA: AFGP program update, June 2024

AFG fire grant news from FEMA

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 2023 AFG Programs Status Update 
  • FEMA GO Login.gov Training 
  • Did You Know? – How the AFG Scoring Process Works 
  • DHS Civil Rights Evaluation Tool Technical Assistance 
  • June Fire Prevention Message – Travel Fire Safety 
  • Grants Management Training  
  • Closeout module available in FEMA GO 
  • AFGP Success Stories 

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FY 2023 AFG Programs Status Update

Fiscal Year 2023 AFG Applications  

The FY 2023 AFG application period closed on March 8, 2024. A total of 7,962 applications were submitted with a total requested federal share amount of just more than $3.7 billion. Pre-score of all applications is complete. There have been two panel review events to date. There are some remaining 2023 AFG applications that will be reviewed during the SAFER and FP&S panel reviews (dates indicated respectively below). Technical review of high scoring applications that have been panel reviewed started the week of May 27. This is one of the final stages of review before applications are recommended for award.     

Fiscal Year 2023 SAFER Applications  

The FY 2023 SAFER application periods closed on April 12, 2024. A total of 2,161applications were submitted with a total requested federal share of just more than $3.1billion. The peer review panel for 2023 SAFER applications will be held the week of June 10. Once peer review is complete, the applications that score high enough will enter the technical review phase of the application review process. This is one of the final stages of review before applications are recommended for award.  

Fiscal Year 2023 FP&S Applications  

The FY 2023 and FP&S application period closed on April 12, 2024. A total of 1,027applications were submitted with a total requested federal share just more than $163 million.The peer review panel for 2023 FP&S applications was held the week of June 3.  Once peer review is complete, the applications that score high enough will enter the technical review phase of the application review process. This is one of the final stages of review before applications are recommended for award.  


New FEMA GO Training for Login.gov Transition

To prepare users for the planned integration of FEMA GO with Login.gov, the training team updated the FEMA GO Startup Guide to include step-by-step instructions on how to sign in with Login.gov. Starting July 2, 2024, external users of the FEMA GO system will be required to access FEMA GO using login.gov. The Startup Guide includes important information about: 

  • Best Practices to Create a Login.gov Account 
  • New FEMA GO User Account Creation 
  • Internal FEMA Employees 
  • Account Scenarios 
  • Managing Emails 
  • Managing Email Notifications 

For questions related to the adoption of login.gov, users are encouraged to contact the FEMA GO Help Desk. The FEMA GO Help Desk hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. The Help Desk accepts phone calls at (877) 585-3242 and emails at [email protected]. 

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 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 before 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.

Technical Assistance – DHS Civil Rights Evaluation Tool

DHS’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties offers a monthly webinar series on information regarding the Civil Rights Evaluation Tool for recipients of DHS financial assistance, including fire grants. The Civil Rights Evaluation Tool is a technical assistance tool aimed at helping recipients comply with federal civil rights obligations as a condition of receiving federal financial assistance. Topics for the series include an Overview of the Civil Rights Evaluation Tool, Frequently Asked Questions, Developing a Nondiscrimination Policy and Complaint Procedures, Developing Language Access Policies and Procedures, and Developing Disability Access Policies and Procedures. Additional information can be found at the Civil Rights Resources for Recipients of DHS Financial Assistance.

June Fire Prevention Message

Key message: Hotel and Vacation Rental Fire Safety 

Each year, there are an estimated 3,900 hotel and motel fires that cause an average of 15 deaths, 100 injuries and $100 million in property losses. Cooking is the leading cause of hotel and motel fires. Fire sprinklers and smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a fire by 82%. 

Hotels and Motels: 

  • Fire safety is important, even when you are away from home. 
  • Stay in hotels and motels that have hard-wired smoke alarms and an automatic fire sprinkler system in each guest room. 
  • Read the evacuation plan carefully. 
  • Find the closest exit(s) from your room. 
  • Count the number of doors between your room and the exits. This will help if you need to get out in the dark. 
  • Find the fire alarms on your floor. 

Vacation and Short-Term Rentals – Be Sure: 

  • Everyone knows the address of the rental. 
  • Everyone knows way(s) out of every room and out of the rental if there is an emergency. 
  • There are working smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the rental. 
  • There are working carbon monoxide alarms on every level of the rental. 
  • You can open all doors and windows that lead outside. 
  • Everyone knows the location of fire extinguishers. 
  • You choose an outside meeting place a safe distance from the rental. 

For more information, please visit the U.S. Fire Administration’s website for Fire Prevention and Community Risk Reduction HERE

Grants Management Training

Grants Management Technical Assistance 

K0705 Fundamentals of Grants Management is a virtual course FEMA offers by to grant recipients. Although not a requirement for accepting an Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program 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 across disciplines to support integrating grant management functions; 
  • Review, navigate and apply the applicable Uniform Administrative Requirements and Cost Principles in 2 C.F.R. Part 200, and FEMA Information Bulletins; 
  • Apply sound practices to increase efficiency and meet grant management priorities; 
  • Develop or revise policies, procedures and practices in critical areas of grants management and; 
  • Prepare for federal monitoring and sub-recipient monitoring. 

Upcoming Course Offerings: 

Orientation DatesCourse DatesCourse Start TimesCourse Host
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 is live in FEMA GO for recipients that received AFGP awards from FY 2018 to FY 2020. Recipients may initiate the closeout process when the period of performance ends and after all payment requests have been submitted and processed. Recipients have 90 days (FY 2019 and before grants) or 120 days (FY 2020 and after grants) from the end of their POP to complete the process. Closeout cannot be initiated until the POP has ended. 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 AFGP Helpdesk toll-free at 866-274-0960 or email [email protected] 

AFGP Success Stories

Englewood Fire Department – Englewood, NJ 

Awarded items: 2022 AFG Training   

Submitted by: Chief Jeffrey Kaplan 

In August 2022, the Englewood Fire Department was awarded an Assistance to Firefighters Grant The purpose of the grant was to fund several NFPA compliant driver training programs for our department. We identified driver training as a much-needed area of additional training. The Englewood Fire Department recently has gone through a major period of turnover and more than 50% of our employees have less than five years of experience. This has resulted in a very young and very inexperienced work force and in turn very inexperienced emergency vehicles drivers. By utilizing AFG, we would be able to train not only our new drivers, but our veteran firefighters and officers as well.  

The grant would focus on four distinct programs: 

  • Drive to Service Seminar; 
  • NFPA Compliant Emergency Vehicle Operator Program; 
  • Ladder Truck Positioning and Tactics Program; and 
  • Tractor Drawn Aerial Operator.  

In February 2023, we kicked off our training, completing the Drive to Survive Seminar, followed by the first of two Emergency Vehicle Operator Program sessions. In October 2023, we held four days of Truck Positioning Tactics taught by Chief Nick Esposito from Bridgeport, Connecticut. This was by far the best received program by our membership. It included both classroom and hands-on portions and allowed our firefighters to take our apparatus into the community to practice setting up our ladder trucks in difficult scenarios, to learn how to effectively use the ladders for rescue and offensive use for fire attack and more. As new drivers, most of the firefighters were never taught these tactics and uses and it was eye opening for them to learn. It was enjoyable to see the firefighters grow and learn and they talked about the class for weeks. 

Just two weeks after the class concluded, our department responded to a serious structure fire in a commercial structure. The driver of the ladder truck was able to position the ladder under the overhead wires and get the ladder in position for vertical ventilation. The driver told me that without the training, he would never have been able to utilize the aerial device at that fire. Since then, we have seen a noticeable improvement with the effective use of our aerial ladders at structural fires. Furthermore, because of the overall driver training classes, we see our drivers driving more cautiously, utilizing seatbelts and having better situational awareness when operating the fire apparatus. 

AFG has allowed the Englewood Fire Department to complete not just this, but numerous other important training initiatives over the last several years that otherwise our department would have never been able to accomplish. 


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 our X account @FEMAGrants using a private message. 

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