Assistance to Firefighters Grant

To provide financial assistance directly to fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations to enhance their capabilities with respect to fire and fire-related hazards.

To help fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations meet their firefighting and emergency response needs.


credit: Wikipedia
support organizations that lack the tools and resources necessary to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and their emergency response personnel with respect to fire and all other hazards.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Training: A fire department where a high percentage of firefighting staff needs basic firefighting training.

Wellness and Fitness: A fire department that wants to establish a wellness and fitness program that offers an entry-level physical and a job-related immunization program.

Firefighting Vehicle: A fire department that has few or no vehicles of the type for which they are applying and whose existing fleet is old with high mileage and/or high volume of calls.

Firefighting Equipment: A fire department that needs basic firefighting equipment to satisfy a statutory requirement but has never been able to purchase such equipment.

Personal Protective Equipment: A fire department where a high percentage of firefighting staff has never had personal protective equipment and wants to purchase enough equipment to protect all of the firefighting staff.

Fire Prevention Programs: A fire department that wants to establish a public education program that focuses on children under 16 years of age, seniors, and/or firefighters, in a community that has no such program.

Agency - Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has three primary missions: Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.

Office - The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered from the FEMA Headquarters Office.

FEMA also has 10 regional offices which house Fire Program Specialists who may be contacted for information on the program.
Website Address

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Since 2001, the grant program has awarded over 43,000 grants totaling over $3.8 billion.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Firefighting Operations and Firefighter Safety, Eligible Uses: Training, Wellness and Fitness, Firefighting Equipment, Personal Protective Equipment, Modifications to Firefighting Facilities for Firefighter Safety, Other Equipment and Supplies; Restrictions: One-year Funds, Funding Restrictions and/or Limits on Certain Equipment, Personnel, Construction, Vehicles.

Protecting the Public from Fire and Fire Related Hazards, Eligible Uses: Public Awareness, Public Education, Inspector Certifications, Building Code Development and Enforcement, Arson Prevention and Detection, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Medical Vehicles, Training, Equipment/Props/Supplies, Transportation, Contracts/Consultants, Program Personnel; Restrictions: One-year Funds, Funding Limits on Certain Equipment, Construction.

Firefighting Vehicles, Eligible Uses: Pumpers/Engines, Tankers/Tenders, Brush Trucks/Attack Pumpers, Rescue, Quints, Aerial Apparatus, Hazardous Material, Ambulance/Transport, Communications/Command, Foam Units, Boats, Equipment for the Vehicle; Restrictions: Aircraft, Hazardous Material, Construction, Personnel, 1-year Funding, Funding Limits on Certain Equipment.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants for AFG are limited to fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations.

Fire departments or nonaffiliated EMS organizations operating in any of the 50 States plus the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico are eligible for funding.

A "fire department" is defined as an agency or organization that has a formally recognized arrangement with a State, territory, local, or tribal authority (city, county, parish, fire district, township, town, or other governing body) to provide fire suppression to a population within a fixed geographical area on a first-due basis.

A "nonaffiliated EMS organization" is defined as a public or private nonprofit emergency medical services organization that provides direct emergency medical services, including medical transport, to a specific geographic area on a first-due basis but is not affiliated with a hospital and does not serve a geographic area where emergency medical services are adequately provided by a fire department.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The ultimate beneficiaries of this program are the local or tribal communities serviced by the fire department including, but not limited to, local businesses, homeowners and property owners. Additionally, children under 16 years-of-age, seniors, and firefighters would be the beneficiaries since these groups are the targeted "risk groups" for the fire prevention program.


Each applicant must certify: 1) that they are an eligible applicant, i.e., a fire department, as defined above; 2) as to the characteristics of their community, i.e., Urban, Suburban, or Rural; 3) to the population size of the community served; and, 4) to the type of department, i.e., volunteer/combination or career.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

There is no preapplication form required under this grant program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Application deadline and other information are contained in the application/program guidance.

Award Procedures

Applications or plans are reviewed by DHS program and administrative staff. Any issues or concerns noted in the application will be negotiated with the successful applicant prior to the award being issued.


Refer to announcement or application guidance for further information.


The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, 15 U.S.C. 2229 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Refer to program guidance document.


Applicants that were denied grants can request a reconsideration of the decision. Such a request may be successful if it is determined that the rating criteria were not appropriately applied, or there was a flaw in the competitive process that unfairly disadvantaged the applicant, or there was human error in the processing of the grant application. Requests for reconsideration must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the date of the notification of denial.


Grant period is 12 months for this program. In the event that the grantees are unable to fulfill their grant obligations within the 12-month grant period, they may request an extension of the performance period. Such requests will be considered and approved based on the written justification.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Applicants who protect a population of over 50,000 are required to provide a nonfederal cost-share of not less than 20 percent of the total award. Applicants who protect a population between 20,000 and 50,000 are required to provide a nonfederal cost-share of not less than 10 percent of the total award. Applicants who protect a population of less than 20,000 are required to provide a nonfederal cost-share of not less than 5 percent of the total award. This program also has a Maintenance of Effort requirement intended to ensure that the Federal funds are used to supplement, not supplant, existing resources.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Refer to program guidance. Awards are subject to the Cash Management Improvement Act for payment and/or reimbursement of expenditures.

Post Assistance Requirements


Grantees are required to submit semi-annual financial and performance reports.

The "Progress Reports" must include a narrative statement that details the progress of each award.

Reports are due 30 days after the end of the sixth month of the performance period.

Final financial and performance reports are due 90 days after the expiration or termination of grant award.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards (or receive property, or a combination of both, within the fiscal year) will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular A-133. These audits are due to the cognizant Federal agency, submitted through the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, not later than 9 months after the end of the grantees fiscal year.


Grant records shall be retained for a period of 3 years from the day the recipient submits its final expenditure report. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, or other action involving the records has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later. Grant records include financial and program/progress reports, support documents, statistical records, and other documents that support the activity and/or expenditure of the recipient or sub-recipient under the award.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $547,000,000; FY 08 $560,000,000; and FY 09 est. $300,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Refer to program guidance.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, 15 U.S.C. 2229 et seq. In addition, the program guidance, the FAQs, an applicant tutorial, and other program information can be found on the program's website at

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants are administered from the FEMA Headquarters Office. FEMA also has 10 regional offices which house Fire Program Specialists who may be contacted for information on the program.

Headquarters Office

Department of Homeland Security, Preparedness Directorate 245 Murray Lane, Bldg. #410, Washington, DC 20528.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Refer to the program guidance for information on criteria for selecting proposals.

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