USFA Preparing to Open the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Application Process for 2003

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA) are in final preparations to announce the opening of the 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program application period will begin March 3, 2003 and conclude at 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time on April 4, 2003. The application process will not be open and available to departments until Monday, March 3, 2003.

FEMA and the USFA invite Fire Departments to submit an application for one of the four program areas, starting March 3, 2003. Fire Departments may apply for assistance in only one of these four programmatic areas this year. The 2003 Program Guidelines are now available for easy download at

The programs, and associated activities, eligible in this year’s grant program are:

  1. Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety Program. Eligible activities under this function are limited to training, wellness and fitness, firefighting equipment, personal protective equipment, and modifications to fire stations and facilities.
  2. Fire Prevention Program. Eligible activities under this function include, but are not limited to, public education and awareness activities, fire codes enforcement activities, fire inspector certifications, purchase and installation of smoke alarms and fire suppression systems, wildland mitigation, and arson prevention and detection activities.
  3. Emergency Medical Services Program. Eligible activities under this function for fire-based EMS units are limited to equipment, training, and wellness and fitness initiatives. Vehicles, such as ambulances, are not eligible in this programmatic area.
  4. Firefighting Vehicles Acquisition Program. Eligible apparatus under this program include, but are not limited to, pumpers, brush trucks, tankers, rescue, ambulances, quints, aerials, foam units, and fireboats. You may apply for only one vehicle per year.

Within a programmatic area, fire departments may develop a comprehensive program to address all of their needs by applying for as many of the eligible activities as needed. For example, if a department determined its needs were in the area of fire operations and firefighter safety, the department could apply for any one of the activities under that program, or any combination of activities, or all of the activities listed within that program. If a department needed a vehicle, it can apply under the vehicle acquisition program.

The 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program application is automated and will be available on-line at once the application period opens. All applicants will find many built-in “help screens” and “drop-down menus” to assist fire departments throughout the application process. The USFA has established a help desk to assist you with the application process. The help desk number is 866-274-0960 and will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST Monday through Saturday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST on Sunday.

Paper applications will be accepted, but are discouraged because of the inherent delays associated with processing a paper application. If you do not have access to the Internet, contact USFA directly (866-274-0960) to request a paper copy of the application via U.S Postal mail services.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program assists rural, urban and suburban fire departments throughout the United States. All current 2003 Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program information announced to date is posted at

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