NIMS Alert 01-18: National Engagement for Draft NIMS Implementation Objectives

FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

National Engagement for Draft NIMS Implementation Objectives: Public Safety Grant News

NIMS is a key component of U.S. incident management efforts and enables organizations from across the country to work together during incidents of all kinds and sizes. Implementing NIMS across the Nation is a fundamental part of building our national preparedness. The SLTT NIMS Implementation Objectives identify the specific activities that are involved in NIMS implementation for SLTT organizations and jurisdictions.

FEMA most recently revised the NIMS Implementation Objectives in 2009 and is now updating them to ensure they are consistent with the 2017 NIMS, to incorporate stakeholder input, and to make them a more clear and more useful tool for organizations as they implement NIMS.

FEMA has developed implementation indicators for each Implementation Objective. These indicators serve as actionable activities that jurisdictions can use to demonstrate NIMS implementation. The indicators are not requirements and are not intended as a checklist, but rather as a means of clarifying the types of activities that organizations and jurisdictions may undertake when implementing NIMS.

FEMA will host a series of webinars to discuss the proposed SLTT NIMS Implementation Objectives and answer related questions. For more information on the webinars and to review the draft SLTT NIMS Implementation Objectives, visit: To provide comments on the draft, complete the feedback form and submit it to

Please note that federal departments and agencies use a separate set of Implementation Objectives. FEMA will work with Federal NIMS Coordinators to revise those later this year.

The ultimate resource for finding public safety grants

Budget cuts. Shrinking tax bases. A public—and sometimes, government officials—who don’t understand why your agency needs the funding it needs. Whether Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, or Emergency Management, public safety agencies have it harder than ever. Threats to the public loom every day, yet your department lacks resources for equipment, personnel, and training.

What if you could do something about it?

Find grants fast

Here’s the thing: every year, billions of dollars are available from public, private, and non-profit sources. That doesn’t mean there’s a big pot of gold waiting around the corner for you (though we’ll wait if you want to check real quick). But it does mean that, with a little work, your department can find other ways to procure the funding you need.

The hard part, of course, is finding those funding sources. That’s why, a while back, we at First Responder Grants partnered with GrantFinder, a real-time, online, searchable database of every federal, state, foundation and corporate grant available to your community.

“In our short term of using GrantFinder, we have been able to find and apply for over 20 grants,” says Sandra Newland, Grants Manager with Laramie County, Wyoming. “These grants range in scope from law enforcement, fire, library and numerous non-profit agencies in our community.”

Through its extensive database, GrantFinder gives you the tools you need to find and track funding sources that can help your public safety agency. Instead of having to comb through the entire Internet or spend hours googling, you can leverage GrantFinder’s powerful tools to help you find grants fast.

GrantFinder can transform the way you search for grants. Even though it’s so powerful, it’s also simple to use:

  • Simple user management. One person can oversee all users and permissions directly from the application.
  • Simple setup. Simple to use. Instantly start searching for grants right out of the box. No onboarding needed. No need to upgrade plugins. Nothing to worry about.
  • The most cost-effective grant search tool on the market. No hidden costs. No setup fees.

Over 500 cities, towns, counties, regional planning organizations, and Councils of Government (COGs) have subscribed. The result? They are finding more funding sources than ever.

“GrantFinder has been very helpful in finding grants as well as finding information,” Matthew Lane, Administrative Budget Analyst with the City of Saginaw in Michigan. “It’s a great tool!”

Powerful search

Last time we checked, GrantFinder listed 7,862 grants. Luckily, you don’t have to wade through those one by one to find what’s relevant to your department.

Before you put on another pot of coffee and start burning some midnight oil, you can instead search those grants with these powerful filters:

  • Keyword
  • Grant Category
  • Funder Type
  • Funder Name
  • Application Deadline
  • Rolling Deadline
  • Matching Requirement?
  • Administering State
  • Geographic Coverage
  • Who Can Apply?

Save and share

Once you’ve found a grant that you’re interested in, you can save that to “My Grants,” a part of your GrantFinder account that gives you at-a-glance access to the grants you are researching, applying for, or following for its next application period.

Want to share that grant with your colleagues? GrantFinder will create a PDF of the grant listing that you can share with your chief, municipal officials, or other personnel.

Find specific grant sources & funding organizations too

At last check, GrantFinder listed grants and other programs from 2,619 funding sources throughout the US. That’s an average of 52 funding sources for every state in the country—and many funding sources offer multiple grants.

With those kind of numbers, odds are you’re going to find a funding source and a grant that your agency can use. And GrantFinder makes it easy: you can search funding sources by name, funder type, and funder state.

Help is a click away

Even though GrantFinder has been setup to be intuitive and easy to use, sometimes we all need a hand figuring powerful tech tools like this. A robust help section walks you through:

  • Common questions
  • Technical difficulties
  • Video tutorials of GrantFinder’s tools

And if you need help beyond that? Additional support is only an email away.

Have those grants come to you

Sure, you can hunt for grants, but wouldn’t it be nice if the grants could come to you?

With GrantFinder’s Grant Alerts, you can set up email notifications based on your needs and preferences. Once setup, Grant Alerts will monitor GrantFinder’s system and email you the latest news about programs relevant to your needs.

You can customize your email alerts by:

  • Grant Categories
  • Matching Requirement
  • Funder Type
  • Who Can Apply?
  • Geographic Coverage

From there, you can even tell GrantFinder what day or days of the week you’d like to receive your emails.

Grant Alerts turn GrantFinder into your own grant search engine, but it does the work for you—and lets you know when it’s time to go into application mode.

Don’t miss that grand deadline!

Of course, all this work means nothing if you miss the grant deadline. You know how it is: deadlines can sneak up on you… and then fly by.

To make sure you are not missing any important application deadlines, GrantFinder’s deadline calendar shows you a list of the next month’s grants, complete with their associated deadlines.

Find the grants you need to get the funding you need

Finding funding is harder than ever nowadays… but you can do something about it. You can find grants that help your agency get the equipment, personnel, and training you need.

“GrantFinder gives all of our member communities real-time access to thousands of grants,” says Greg Chew, Senior Planner with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). “It was an easy decision for our member jurisdictions to request that SACOG subscribe to the service.”

How to find public safety grants that can help your department

Easy-to-follow grant listings show you programs available for your department and tell you when deadlines loom.
Easy-to-follow grant listings show you programs available for your department and tell you when deadlines loom.

Thousands of grants are available, but not every grant is the right fit for your department. How can you sift through all those grants, without wasting time and getting overwhelmed, yet still find what you need?

Like Google for grants

GrantFinder is like Google for grants. Powerful search features help you zero in on the exact programs that your department can benefit from and that fit your circumstances.

Get GrantFinder now

How do you find the public safety grants you need?

GrantFinder search page - Use up to 10 options to narrow or broaden your search
Use up to 10 options to narrow or broaden your search

A database that contains thousands of grants has to be easily searchable. Searching isn’t always as easy as tapping a button, though. Sometimes you need to really refine and target what you’re looking for, so you have a better chance at finding a good fit.

That’s why GrantFinder provides powerful yet simple tools to help you focus your search, including:

  • Keyword
  • Grant Category
  • Funder Type
  • Funder Name
  • Application Deadline
  • Rolling Deadline
  • Matching Requirement?
  • Administering State
  • Geographic Coverage
  • Who Can Apply?

Instead of page after page of possibilities, you can search based solely on what you need and what’s relevant to your department.

Of course, you have other duties to attend to and can’t be expected to be searching in GrantFinder all the time. That’s why GrantFinder can be working for you even when you aren’t using it.

With Grant Alerts, you can tell GrantFinder to send you weekly emails, specific to your grant needs, that keep you up to date.

You found a grant… now what?

Use GrantFinder's Calendar view to show you grants by their application deadline
Use GrantFinder’s Calendar view to show you grants by their application deadline

Just because you found a grant doesn’t mean you’re ready to apply for it. You may need to get information ready. You might need to talk with your superiors, other personnel at your department or municipality, or with your consultant at First Responder Grants. Or, heck, you just might not have the time right then and there.

Does that mean you have to start your search all over?


With “My Grants” and the “Grant Calendar,” once you find a grant you can save it and come back to it later.

My Grants is also useful for when you find many programs that could be a good fit for your department. You can save all the programs you want, and come back one by one as timing and circumstances fit.

Search grant funding sources

Examples of public safety grants that have been available in the state of Minnesota
Examples of public safety grants that have been available in the state of Minnesota

Did you hear about a particular funding source? Do you want a better idea of what types of programs are available from a grant funder?

By looking through grant funding sources, you can find at-a-glance details on all the programs available from any grant funding source in the GrantFinder database.

Finding grants has never been easier

When it comes down to it, finding grants has never been easy… until now.

GrantFinder can’t write your application for you—that’s why we are here to help. But GrantFinder can make it a lot easier for you to find the grants that are a good fit for your department. Take advantage of their database of thousands of grants, robust search tools, and saved grant listings, all right here, at special pricing available only for First Responder Grants clients and students:

Senators Collins, Cardin Introduce Volunteer Incentive Bills

Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)On May 25, 2017, Senator Susan Collins (ME) and Senator Benjamin Cardin (MD) introduced 2 pieces of legislation intended to assist volunteer fire departments in the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters…

Full story

FY2016 AFG Fire Grant Awards Expected to Continue through August

If you are in the running for an FY2016 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) fire grant award, get ready for a potentially long wait. Award rounds are expected to continue through August, says Kurt Bradley, Senior Grant Consultant at First Responder Grants.

“Updates of 1199a’s will be sporadic at best, but don’t lose patience,” says Bradley. “The awards will come.”

During the wait, Bradley recommends that departments begin working on their FY2017 AFG application: conducting needs assessments, evaluating department priorities, and getting training to help them produce a competitive AFG application.

While FEMA has not announced an official AFG application date, September 2017 is considered likely.

Fire Grants Reauthorization Introduced in the Senate

Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)First Responder Grants and Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)

Did you know that popular fire grants such as AFG and SAFER are only authorized through the end of the current fiscal year? And, to make matters worse, the current statute’s “sunset” provision will end the programs on Jan. 2, 2018… unless Congress does something about it?

As reported by CFSI, on Apr. 5, Senator John McCain (AZ), Senator Jon Tester (MT), Senator Susan Collins (ME), and Senator Tom Carper (DE) introduced S. 829. This legislation reauthorizes the Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs.

The current Senate legislation will continue these programs and extend them until 2023.

How can departments like yours take action?

You can save AFG and SAFER! Contact your senators in favor of doing away with the “sunset” requirement and extending the program till 2023.

Use this handy tool from the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to tell your senators to support AFG and SAFER.

The tool helps you select your senators based on address. From there you can send a pre-drafted letter about AFG and SAFER continuation:

Tell Your Senators to Support AFG/SAFER Reauthorization

Thank you to our friend Michael Penzotti at Grantmasters Inc. for sharing the link.

3 steps to get ready for 2017 grants

Get ahead of the game

It’s time to look ahead to next year. How will your department bridge funding gaps, and acquire critical training and equipment?

Plan. Learn. Train. Here are 3 steps you can take now to get ready for 2017 grants.

Step 1: Plan

What grants will your department go for?

Every year, grants are available from public, private, corporate, and non-profit providers, and those funds can benefit Law Enforcement Agencies like yours.

Take Action

  • Review our list of available Law Enforcement Grants
  • Bookmark programs your agency should try for
  • Review each grant and its requirements
  • Do the work, write the application, and get it done

Step 2: Learn

Solid data and a strong narrative make a big difference.

Just as you need solid evidence to build a good case, grants need solid data and a strong narrative to give you a competitive shot at a program. We maintain comprehensive lists of data and statistical resources plus government websites that you can turn to get that critical information.

Take Action

  • Understand the grant’s requirements
  • Review our resources for the sites you need
  • Pull the data into your application and narrative
  • Follow the rules of the grant

Step 3: Train

Get the training to get the gear.

Whether you are writing your first or your hundredth grant, there is always more to learn and improve. Grants can also be confusing, but solid, “meat and potatoes,” down-to-earth plain-talk training can give you the skills and confidence you need to tackle any grant.

Take Action

  • Discuss with your superiors and administrators how grant-writing training can help your agency
  • Review available resources
  • Check our National Training schedule or take our Online Grant-Writing Course on your schedule and wherever you are

Good luck with 2017 grants!

Kurt’s 5 Fire Grant Tips for FY2016 AFG

With a $310,500,000 awards pool, America’s largest fire grant program, the FY2016 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), is open for applications Oct. 11-Nov. 18. AFG is expected to make 2,500 fire grant awards to protect firefighters, EMS and the public against fire hazards.

But with thousands of applications vying for this pool of grant money, how can your grant stand out from the pack? Kurt Bradley, Senior Grant Consultant for First Responder Grants, has these 5 tips:

Bring your A-game

Money is the same as last year, which will mean it’s going to be a very competitive grant. Your application and narrative will need solid data and a strong need to help it stand out from the pack.

There is very little funding for Vehicle Acquisitions

Out of the 2,050 applications funded under FY2015 AFG, only about 160 were for Vehicle Acquisition fire grants. Only 25% of total AFG money can go to vehicles, and AFG has pledged 10% of that money to ambulances. That gives you an effective 15% of the total AFG money going for new apparatus.

Since the grant money is now so low when it comes to replacing apparatus, and since so few apparatus are being funded, departments are wise to have a Plan B in mind for replacing their apparatus. AFG is a real long shot right now to win a vehicle. If you need apparatus, look at non-AFG ways to fund it, and focus your AFG application on a higher-priority need.

Alternatively, if you really need a vehicle, your application must scream and bleed with the urgency of your need.

High-priority projects only

There is absolutely no sense in writing your grant around a project that is rated as “low or medium.” Plain and simple, it will not get funded. Focus only on high-priority projects. Your grant will be far more competitive.

Haven’t won AFG in a while? That could help you

Departments not having received a grant in at least 3 years will earn extra points. That could help your application move up the ranks and increase your likelihood of getting funded.

Micro-grants are still a very good option.

FY2015 AFG saw many “micro-grants” under $10,000. These micro-grants are a good way to fund high-priority but lower-dollar projects. If the need is great but the cost is smaller than, say, replacing apparatus or procuring dozens of sets of PPE, write the grant and make a strong case.

Public Safety budget cuts and what to do about it


Has your department been suffering from budget cuts?

We’ll just pause now that you’ve snorted coffee all over the screen.

Of course your department has been suffering. Budget cuts at the state level, local level, you name it. Public safety agencies like your have a tougher, more challenging job than ever-but all too often that’s been accompanied by cuts in the resources needed to meet those challenges and keep both the public and your personnel safe.

But… what do you do about it?

Here are some ideas.

Solutions are out there. We’re here to help with that too. Contact us anytime for a free chat about how your department has been suffering, and how we can help.

Image: Julie Kibler