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Mutual Aid, SAFER Grant Applications Due

The International Association of Fire Chiefs is creating Go Teams -- two-person teams of skilled chief officers -- in each of the 10 national FEMA regions to support mutual aid. Those application are due Thursday. Friday is the deadline for 2009 SAFER grants from DHS.

Two important deadlines for the U.S. fire service are this week. By Thursday, the International Association of Fire Chiefs hopes to have applications from enough members to establish federally sponsored Go Teams -- two-person teams of skilled chief officers -- in all 10 national FEMA regions to support mutual aid. And 5 p.m. EST Friday is the deadline for applications to DHS for 2009 SAFER grants.

IAFC extended the original Go Team deadline because of the recent holidays. Only IAFC members can be a part of the teams, which will be deployed regionally to support mutual aid and incident command during large incidents. "Put all your experience, extensive training and education to use regionally while contributing to the national mutual-aid effort! If you have the ability to step in and fill almost any role within the Incident Command System, you're what we're looking for," the association states in its online appeal, which says applicants are especially needed from FEMA Regions I (Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts), II (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands), III (Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, District of Columbia), VI (Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana), VII (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska), and VIII (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado).

The association's Mutual Aid EMC page offers details and printable application documents. IAFC's Emergency Management Committee is charged with addressing mutual aid issues and is supported by DHS' National Integration Center.

SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grants help fire departments fill paid firefighting positions and recruit and retain volunteer firefighters. IAFC and the SAFER application help desk, 866-274-0960, provide information about requirements and eligibility.

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