Clock Starts Tomorrow for FY09 FIRE Act Grant Applicants

The Department of Homeland Security has posted the FY2009 Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program Guidance on the AFG Web site and will begin accepting applications tomorrow from fire and EMS departments. About $510 million is available this year -- less than in the program's early years, but vital this year when local and county budgets are under great pressure.

The application period begins at 8 a.m. EDT. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. EDT May 20. Applicants with questions may contact the help desk at 866-274-0960 or at firegrants@dhs.gov weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT. DHS said the help desk "is prepared to revise hours of operation based on volume and demand."

An application tutorial is available at the site. Departments can use the money to purchase training, equipment, and vehicles and to provide safety and health programs for their personnel. The grants are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Grant Programs Directorate in conjunction with the U.S. Fire Administration.

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