Fire Grant Alert: FM Global Fire Prevention Grant closes Mar. 31

Are you looking for a grant that can supports your organization’s fire prevention, preparedness and control efforts?

The current round of the FM Global Fire Prevention Grant Program closes Mar. 31. This long-time grant program is open to fire departments and brigades, as well as national, state, regional, local and community organizations. Eligible programs include:

  • Pre-Incident Planning (computer software programs, laptops)
  • Fire Prevention Education/Training (community outreach initiatives, workshops, publications)
  • Arson Prevention/Fire Investigation (juvenile fire setter programs, continuing education courses, digital and specialized cameras, accelerant detection equipment)

There’s still time to get in your application. But if you miss the deadline? Fear not. FM Global accepts applications on a rolling basis. If you miss the Mar. 31 deadline, the next review date is July 31.

Learn more and apply

Will the border wall take your fire grant funding? New law says no

FDs, if you’ve been worried about grant funding getting reallocated for the border wall, some recent news should set you at ease.

President Trump has signed into law the Consolidated Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Act. This $333 billion spending package includes multi-million dollar increases to many grant programs. Here’s a breakdown of funding levels for various grants and agencies:

 * AFG and SAFER have been funded at $350M FOR EACH PROGRAM, which is level funding from 2018

 * State Fire Assistance program funded at $81 million, which is up $1 million from FY18

 * State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) funded at $525 million, which is $18 million up from FY18

 * United States Fire Administration (USFA) funded at $44.179 million (plus another $1.5 million for National Fire Academy infrastructure improvements). FY18 funding was $42.9 million

 * Urban Area Search and Rescue System funded at $45.18 million, which is $10.15 million up from FY18

 * Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funded at $640 million, which is $10 million up from FY18

* Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program funded at $17 million, which is $1 million up from FY18

The upshot?

These crucial grant programs are healthy. You can safely ignore any doom-and-gloom nonsense circulating in the media or around the station table.

If you haven’t already, get working on those SAFER applications, start prepping for FY19 AFG, and look into any other Federal program that might benefit your department.

Congress and the President have done their job on allocating the funds. Now it’s your turn to get to work on winning those grants!

JUST ANNOUNCED! FY 2018 SAFER Application Period: Feb. 15–Mar. 22, 2019

The FY 2018 SAFER application period will open on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. ET and will close on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Start planning your FY 2018 SAFER Grant application now by reviewing the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), and Economic Hardship Waivers Information Bulletin (IB), and technical assistance tools below. These tools were produced specifically to help potential applicants begin to plan their 2018 applications ahead of the application period. The tools can be viewed on the AFG website or downloaded to your computer.

SAFER Grants Help Desk: If you have questions about the technical assistance tools listed below, call or e-mail the SAFER Grants help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.

Application Period for the FY 2017 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Is Open

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) GrantsThe Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 SAFER Grant application period is now open and will close on Friday, April 27 at 5:00 p.m. ET. We recommend that you start your application today by reviewing the FY 2017 SAFER Application Technical Assistance Tools. These tools were produced specifically to help potential applicants plan their FY 2017 SAFER applications.

Please make sure that you have thoroughly reviewed the FY 2017 SAFER Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), prior to beginning your application. The SAFER Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) should also be reviewed as they provide more detailed information and explanations. As you being to develop the narrative portion of your application, the Self-Evaluation tools will be beneficial as the peer reviews will use them when scoring your application. If you are applying for a Recruitment and Retention Activity Grant, the Request Details Description Instructions will be extremely important when completing the application.

FY 2017 SAFER Application Materials

SAFER Grants Help Desk

If you have questions about the technical assistance tools listed below, call or e-mail the SAFER Grants help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.

FY 2017 Safer Live Webinars

FEMA will host live Adobe Connect webinars to provide an overview of the FY 2017 SAFER Grant Program, including both the Hiring of Firefighters activity and the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters activity. The presentations will outline important information and reminders about cost share requirements (hiring activity), program priorities, eligible costs, and the application and award process for the SAFER Grant Program. FEMA Fire Program Specialists will be available to answer your questions.

Live Webinars

To participate

Webinar sessions will be broadcast using an Adobe Connect webinar link with call-in phone number for audio transmission. We suggest that you save this link to your browser’s favorites.

The Adobe Connect webinar can be found at: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/fy2017safer/. To access the webinar follow these steps:

  1. Click on the webinar link
  2. Select “enter as a guest” and provide your name and your department’s name. Click on enter the room
    Agree to the terms of the Adobe Connect system, Click on “OK”
  3. For the audio transmission, the call-in number is: 1-800-320-4330. Enter pin 955398 followed by #.

Not sure if the webinar is working on your computer? Test your webinar access now by signing in as a guest, just visit: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/fy2017safer/

Web Browser Reminders

For best results, use Internet Explorer when completing your online SAFER application. Alternate browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari, may have limited functionality in the application.

Avoid opening multiple web browsers or multiple windows when completing and submitting your SAFER application; this has caused technical problems for some users.

There are several known problems entering application information using non-IE browsers or having multiple browsers open, including but not limited to:

  1. System failure to recognize correct information
  2. System failure to capture and retain correct information
  3. System functions like “cut and paste” being disabled

Submitting Preparer Information

FEMA requires that all applicants disclose the name, address and contact information of the person or organization, to include contracted grant writers, who are responsible for preparing the SAFER application. Please ensure that this information is accurate at the time of submission. As a reminder, all applicants must attest that all information contained within the application, including preparer information, to be true, complete, and accurate to the best of your knowledge. If you contract with a grant writer, and they either refuse, or provide advice to not list them in the preparer information section of the application, please notify the SAFER program office.

Issues: Special Characters In Username Passwords

Applicants have received password error messages when entering their digital signature in the Assurances and Certifications section of the application and on the Application Submission page. To avoid this issue in your application, if your password contains any special characters (!@#$%^&*()?=+;:), you will need to change your password to remove the characters and include letters and numbers only.

If you need assistance with changing your password, call or e-mail the SAFER Grants Help Desk. The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is firegrants@fema.dhs.gov.

If your username contains the @ symbol, you may experience issues locating your FY 2017 SAFER application once it has been started. If your username include the @ symbol, please contact the SAFER Grants Help Desk. Do not attempt to start a new FY 2017 SAFER application after you have already started one.

Tax Credit Proposed for Volunteer First Responders

From KIWARadio.com and First Responder Grants

Two Congressman have introduced legislation to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a charitable deduction for the service of volunteer firefighters and emergency medical and rescue personnel.

“I have been proposing this type of solution for many years in my classes,” says Kurt Bradley, Senior Grant Consultant at First Responder Grants, “and it looks like finally a US Congressman has proposed a bill to do exactly what I have been saying: give a tax credit to first responders who volunteer in their communities.”

According to Chief Philip C. Stittleburg, Chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council, “This common sense bill would help bolster staffing in volunteer public safety agencies by allowing responders to claim a portion of the value of the services they donate each year as a charitable donation.”

The full story is available from Iowa, West Virginia Congressmen Propose Bill to Help Emergency First Responders | KIWARadio.com.

“Write a letter and support this bill,” says Bradley. “Have your US Congressional Representatives and Senators get behind it, now!”