With AFG awards around the corner, you may be asked to clarify some points before learning your fate
As a grant consultant, I often hear one of two questions, depending on the time of year:
I use an overly complex secret formula to determine the answer to these questions. As I analyze the visions generated by this process, I see the winning Powerball numbers, the answers to someone’s physics test, the true meaning of life and then, off in a far corner, the Assistant to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program grant award opening date.
I will get to that in a minute, but first, some important information.
On May 2 and 3, FEMA emailed 475 AFG applicants to the 2020 AFG program, asking them to clarify a portion of their application. All these applicants had applied for PPE.
Their applications had made it through the computer review, then scored high enough in peer review that the applications were forwarded to technical review. As part of the technical review, these applicants are being asked for additional information:
The problem: We’re still dealing with FEMA’s ambiguous definitions of SCBA or turnout gear that deserves to be funded under AFG. The other issue: You know your application has made it to the final stage of review, so how do you answer these questions?
First, be truthful in your answer. Second, tell FEMA in your own words the current situation with your SCBA or turnout gear. If you had to pull unusable gear, for example, tell FEMA: “Because of the condition of our gear, we had to pull five sets and placed them out of service. Those five firefighters are now sharing gear with other members.” In another scenario, if you have SCBA out of service, tell FEMA why and how long it has been out of service and if you can reasonably expect it to be back in service anytime soon. Also explain to reviewers how you have been dealing with fewer SCBA on your apparatus.
This response to FEMA does not have to be one of the great literary works of all time. It simply needs to paint a picture of your situation in everyday language.
I recommend letting someone else review your draft before emailing your response, but don’t miss the deadline. Email your response to the AFG Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) by May 18, 2021.
Now, back to my premonitions: My guess is AFG awards will begin the first week in June. Now I’m off to play Powerball!
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