FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

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$319,500,000 in fire grants for equipment and training

Grant Website

Grant Guidelines: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

Funding Opportunity Number: DHS-20-GPD-044-00-98

Assistance Listings (formerly Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number): 97.044

Application Period Opens: Monday, January 4, 2021, 8:00 a.m. ET

Application Deadline: Friday, February 12, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. ET

Enhance public safety and firefighter safety with respect to fire and fire-related hazards

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program is one of 3 fire grant programs from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). AFG focuses on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards.

The FY 2020 AFG Program has 3 activities:

  1. Operations and Safety
  2. Vehicle Acquisition
  3. Regional Projects

Each activity has its own eligibility requirements. These requirements are outlined in the NOFO: Appendix B: Programmatic Information and Priorities.

The objectives of the AFG Program are to:

  • Provide critically needed resources that equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards
  • Enhance operational efficiencies
  • Foster interoperability, and
  • Support community resilience

What this grant does for your agency

AFG enhances public safety and firefighter safety by providing financial assistance for critical training and equipment directly to eligible:

  • Fire departments
  • Nonaffiliated emergency medical service (EMS) organizations, and
  • State Fire Training Academies (SFTAs)

The AFG Program represents one part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by DHS. Among the 5 basic homeland security missions noted in the DHS Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, the AFG Program supports the goal to Strengthen National Preparedness and Resilience. In awarding grants, the FEMA Administrator is required to consider the following:

  • The findings and recommendations of the Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP);
  • The degree to which an award will reduce deaths, injuries, and property damage by reducing the risks associated with fire related and other hazards;
  • The extent of an applicant’s need for an AFG Program grant and the need to protect the United States as a whole; and
  • The number of calls requesting or requiring a firefighting or emergency medical response received by an applicant.

Agencies awarded the FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) receive direct grants to aid with procuring equipment and training,

Estimated Total Program Funding: $$319,500,000

Projected Number of Awards: 2,000

Only a limited number of grants will be awarded.

Grant Eligibility

For full eligibility details, see the Grant Guidelines:

Fire Departments

Fire departments operating in any of the 50 states, as well as fire departments in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization. A fire department is an agency or organization having a formally recognized arrangement with a state, local, tribal, or territorial authority (city, county, parish, fire district, township, town, or other governing body) to provide fire suppression to a population within a geographically fixed primary first due response area.

Nonaffiliated EMS organizations

Nonaffiliated EMS organizations operating in any of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,2 or any federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization. A nonaffiliated EMS organization is an agency or organization that is a public or private nonprofit emergency medical service entity providing medical transport that is not affiliated with a hospital and does not serve a geographic area in which emergency medical services are adequately provided by a fire department. FEMA considers the following as hospitals under the AFG Program: Clinics, Medical centers, Medical college or university, Infirmary, Surgery centers, and/or any other institution, association, or foundation providing medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and/or treatment for the sick or injured.

State Fire Training Academies

A SFTA operates in any of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Applicants must be designated either by legislation or by a Governor’s declaration as the sole fire service training agency within a state, territory, or the District of Columbia. The designated SFTA shall be the only agency, bureau, division, or entity within that state, territory, or the District of Columbia, to be an eligible SFTA applicant under the AFG Program.

About the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA’s mission is to help people before, during and after disasters More

Grant Deadline

Grant applications are due no later than 5 p.m. EST, Fri., Feb. 12, 2021.


Apply for the FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

FEMA announces 2020 grant updates, opening dates for AFG, FP&S, and SAFER

Get ready for 2020 AFG, FP&S, and SAFER! FEMA is releasing details for upcoming grants. Start getting ready, but remember, dates and details are subject to change. Stay tuned!


  • FY 2020 AFG will open in late November 2020 (possibly Nov. 23 or Nov. 30)
  • The application period is expected to run through the holidays and close during the first week of January 2021.
  • NOFO is expected to be released soon, and be similar to the 2019 NOFO
  • Yes, you can hit “print!” AFG applications can be printed: Go in FEMA GO, pull up your application, and press CTRL-P


  • FY 2020 Fire Prevention & Safety grant program will open in January of 2021
  • NOFOs when available can be found at www.fema.gov/firegrants
  • Deadline is expected to be in February 2021.

FEMA does not yet know the parameters of the FY 2020 grant programs.


  • FY 2020 SAFER grant program open in February of 2021
  • In consideration of the economic impact of the pandemic, FEMA has also authorized waivers for certain provisions of the FY20 SAFER Grant Program
  • Expected deadline is during March 2021
  • No cost match expected
  • Departments may be able to to apply to restore firefighters laid off due to the COVID pandemic

FEMA also says…

All AFG, SAFER and Fire Prevention applications and grant awards will be through the new FEMA GO system.

  • MOST IMPORTANT – Make sure that your SAM.GOV registration is and remains ACTIVE during the period of performance of your grant.
  • ALSO IMPORTANT – PLEASE be sure to update SAM and FEMA GO if there are changes in your AOR. (Authorized Organization Representative)
  • Make sure your FEMA GO registration is good to go NOW.

Questions? Need help with your fire grants?

Contact a grants consultant today

New Hampshire FD wins fire grant for forestry truck

First AFG vehicle award in New Hampshire since 2018

During recent award rounds for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, New Hampshire’s Tamworth Fire Department brought home a big win.

In the first AFG vehicle award in The Granite State since 2018, Tamworth FD was awarded $179,937 for a Type V forestry truck.

“Vehicle acquisitions are one of the most challenging grants to win,” says Greg Bavis, Grants Consultant for First Responder Grants. “With the right grant-writing training, a compelling narrative, and a thorough, data-driven application, any department can bring home a grant that helps their operations and benefits their community.”

Ready to win AFG?

Online AFG Training

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FEMA announces AFG fire grant winners

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6 First Responder Grants clients and students awarded over $680,000

Award rounds have begun for the Assistance To Firefighters Grants. On Friday, July 31, FEMA began posting AFG fire grant winners to their website. To-date hundreds of grant winners have been announced, primarily in the Operations and Safety program.

In the first award round, six First Responder Grants clients and students were awarded over $680,000:

  • Pittsboro Fire Rescue, North Carolina, Vehicle Exhaust System, $101,429
  • Dwight Fire Protection District, Illinois, New Pagers, $35,943
  • Berlin Fire Department, Berlin, New Hampshire, SCBA, $176,350
  • Holderness Fire Department, Holderness, New Hampshire, SCBA, Compressor $ 152,854
  • New Hampton Fire & Rescue, New Hampton, New Hampshire, Auto Extrication Equipment $ 50,000
  • Pittsfield Fire Department, Pittsfield, New Hampshire, SCBA $ 163,550

FEMA will continue posting awards at FEMA.gov. Check back regularly for more updates.

Are you applying for AFG this year?

Contact us for AFG help

$800,000 Heavy Rescue Vehicle in Service for Washington Fire Department Thanks to AFG Fire Grant

In March 2020, Central Pierce Fire and Rescue, Washington, took delivery of an $800,000 Rescue 61 (GSO 11050) from KME thanks to an AFG grant

In March 2020, Central Pierce Fire and Rescue, Washington, took delivery of an $800,000 Rescue 61 (GSO 11050) from KME. CPFR won an FY 2017 fire grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, with grant writing and consulting assistance from Kurt Bradley at First Responder Grants.

Dubbed “Clyde,” the Heavy Rescue has already seen service on the old bridges, forest roads, and rugged terrain of Washington state. During a cliffside rescue incident outside of Mount Rainier National Park, in the middle of the night Clyde provided scene lighting, personnel transport, and rehab (not to mention fresh coffee, thanks to a Kuerig coffeemaker added by the CPFR team after taking delivery of Clyde.)

“Central Pierce is a key reminder that fire service organizations nationwide can get crucial funding for their operations, training, and equipment, including vehicles and apparatus,” says Kurt Bradley, Senior Grant Consultant with First Responder Grants. “Their needs assessment, understanding of the data needed to back up their application, and ability to state a clear case made them stand out. Now they have a new vehicle crucial to protecting their community and personnel.”

What equipment or training will your department request in this year’s AFG?

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