$560 million is available for fire department hiring activities, plus recruitment and retention – a funding level not seen in over a decade
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant is now open, with applications due on Feb. 4, 2022, at 5 p.m. ET.
The SAFER grant program aims to ensure that communities have adequate fire protection. Fire departments help accomplish this by expanding their staffing and deployment capabilities so they may more safely and effectively respond to emergencies. With enhanced staffing levels, citizens should see a reduction in response times and an increase in the number of trained personnel who respond to incidents.
SAFER grants cover two types of activities – hiring activity and recruitment and retention activity.
Hiring Activity: The current SAFER program will award Hiring Activity grants to volunteer, combination and career fire departments to help them increase their cadre of frontline firefighters by providing financial assistance for three functions:
The period of performance for applications funded under the Hiring Activity is 36 months.
Recruiting and Retention Activity: This activity offers grants to assist fire departments with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters who are directly involved in the emergency response of the department. The result of a SAFER recruitment and retention award should be a net increase in the number of trained firefighters responding to an alarm. These awards may be used for a period of 12, 24, 36 or 48 months. The period of performance must be selected by the department as part of its application. The period of performance automatically begins 90 days after FEMA approves the grant. If the grantee wishes to start before this 90-day period, they must file an amendment with FEMA.
Whether you complete the grant application yourself or hire the services of a grant writer, you are responsible for the information contained in your application. FEMA utilizes the information you provide in your narratives and the answers to the questions contained in the grant application to make key decisions on awards. At any time during the application review process, including the technical review stage, FEMA may request additional documentation from applicants, including but not limited to:
If you cite documents in your SAFER narratives, please keep a copy of these documents in a place where you can quickly access them if requested. Don’t just invent statistics for which you have no documentation just to make your application stronger. Your grant will be denied, and you could find yourself facing criminal charges.
As you plan your SAFER grant application, it’s important to keep the following in mind:
$560 million has been made available for the 2021 SAFER grant program. We have not experienced this level of funding for SAFER activities in over a decade. If your department has considered applying for a SAFER grant, this year’s program provides the best opportunity to access that funding.
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