FEMA Chief Outlines FY2011 AFG Priorities

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants help departments obtain or provide vehicles, PPE, training, and fitness/wellness programs and equipment.

A Federal Register notice signed by FEMA chief Craig Fugate spells out the priorities for FY 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program awards that soon will be announced. These are competitively awarded grants that help departments, including EMS organizations, obtain or provide vital equipment, PPE, training, and fitness/wellness programs.

The notice says during the application period for the FY 2011 AFG Program from Aug. 15 to Sept. 23, 2011, about 16,491 applications for AFG funding were submitted electronically.

The program makes grants directly to fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations for the purpose of enhancing the abilities of first responders to protect the health and safety of the public as well as that of first responder personnel facing fire and fire-related hazards. At least 5 percent of appropriated funds are to be spent on fire prevention and safety grants given directly to local fire departments and local, regional, state, or national entities recognized for expertise in fire prevention and firefighter safety research and development.

Information about the grant application process is available at http://www.fema.gov/firegrants.

Congress appropriated $404,190,000 for the FY2011 AFG awards, and $380,747,000 of this will be made available for AFG awards. The notice said FEMA expects it will be able to award about 4,000 grants with the money made available, which means about 75 percent of applicants will be disappointed.

The Fire Prevention and Safety grant application period is expected to begin soon, the notice states.

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