Firefighting, Leadership

“Significant Milestone” Reached in Review of Fire Grant Applications

Washington, D.C. – Three hundred fire service personnel conducting peer evaluations of grant requests for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S Fire Administration (USFA) have completed their work, bringing eligible fire departments a step closer to receiving much-needed assistance. With the peer review stage of the 2002 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program now complete, the reviews will be forwarded to FEMA/USFA staff for final processing and selection of grant recipients.

“There is still work to be done but completion of the peer review is a significant milestone on the road to getting much-needed assistance to first responders,” said R. David Paulison, U.S. Fire Administrator. “The men and women who participated on these evaluation panels made an invaluable contribution to the process.

FEMA/USFA received an appropriation for $360 million for the grant program this year. The applications for assistance totaled nearly $2.2 billion with more than 19,500 requests for funds in four general categories:

  • Fire Operations and Firefighter safety: $882,539,097 and represented 58% of the applications;
  • Fire Fighting vehicles – and represented 37% of the applications;
  • Emergency Medical Services – $35,174,783 and represented 2 % of the applications; and
  • Fire Prevention Programs – and represented 3% of the applications.
“With requests outnumbering available funds, the peer review process continues to be the fairest, most effective way of reviewing and ranking these outstanding applications for assistance, said Paulison.”

In accordance with the authorizing legislation, grants will be made to a variety of fire departments with consideration given to paid, volunteer, and combination departments; departments located in communities of varying sizes; and departments located in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Grant awards will begin in June and will continue to be announced through the summer and fall, until all of the appropriated funds are awarded.

All applicants who did not make the peer review level will be notified of the final status of their submissions. All those departments that have applications that were peer reviewed but will not receive funding will be notified later this year.

FEMA/USFA cannot respond to requests for information on the status of specific applications. However, Fire Departments interested in Regular updates on the grant program can visit the FEMA/USFA website at: www.usfa.fema.gov/grants/.