Funding for the FY02 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program has now been increased to a total of $360 million.
Even though final details are still being determined and will be announced in the next several weeks, it is already known that the application process will primarily be Internet based. While paper applications will continue to be accepted from those fire departments without Internet access, use of the Internet is highly recommend because of the guidance that is built into that electronic processing system. Also, applicants who utilize the “e-application” process will receive an automatic electronic confirmation that their application has been received once it is submitted.
Eligible activities continued from last year will be Firefighting Equipment, PPE, Training, Fire Prevention, Fitness/Wellness, and Vehicles. In addition, fire-based EMS will be added as an eligible project this year.
Although fire departments will be limited to submitting only one application this year, a new programmatic approach will allow applicants to request funding to address various complimentary and combinations of activities in one of the four distinct functional program areas. Those areas are Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety Programs, Fire Prevention Programs, Emergency Medical Services Programs and a Firefighting Vehicles Program.
Fire service Peer Review Panels will also be a key part of the review process again this year. As such, FEMA will be accepting recommendations from the following organizations for individuals to serve on those Peer Review Panels:
* International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC);
* International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF);
* National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC);
* National Fire Protection Association (NFPA);
* National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM);
* International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI);
* International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI);
* North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD);
* Congressional Fire Service Institute (CFSI).
The USFA encourages fire departments to start gathering preliminary information for their applications now because the application process will probably open in early March.
Visit www.usfa.fema.gov for more information.