Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Get Started?
Successful grants go through multiple drafts and reviews before submission, so starting early is always best. Please contact Ron at Ron@firegrantsexpert.com or (301) 646-0789 to have a conversation about your department’s needs and how they align with grant program priorities
When Can My Department Apply?
What is Expected of My Department?
The grant writing process is a collaboration between FGE and the members of your department. The worksheets you will complete will enable FGE to develop compelling narratives to make your department stand out from other applicants. Much of the research needed is available in department annual reports, strategic plans, NFIRS/NFORS data, CAD data, etc.
FGE has extensive fire and EMS experience, knows how to maximize your overall score, and will ask questions to determine specific details of your department. These questions are opportunities for your department to provide additional information that will make your department stand out from the other applicants.
Application Period and Email Alerts
The application period for federal grants is typically open for four (4) weeks, with the guidance documents usually available for a week or two before the application opening. To find out exactly when documents and applications periods will occur, as well as receive other important grant information from FGE, sign up here.
What can I request in a grant?
It depends on the grant program. And just because you can request certain items does not mean they are a priority for the grantor. Before deciding on what project(s) to pursue, FGE will assist each department in performing a vulnerability analysis and will consider the grant priorities listed in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), as well as past history of the grantor.
Where can my department quickly find money?
The largest “pot of money” available is the FEMA Assistance to Fire Fighters Grant (AFG) program. The AFG program has three main components: SAFER grants are used for personnel (salary and benefits); The AFG Training and Equipment Grant is used for any non-personnel requests, including training, equipment, health and safety, and vehicle projects, within certain limitations; and the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) is used for fire prevention and research funding. See below for further information on these programs.
There are also many other smaller grant programs available through private foundations, businesses, state, and other federal grants that can provide your department with critically needed resources. Contact FGE and we’ll research specific grants for your needed items.
SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Information
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant (SAFER) was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the NFPA (NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720).
The Guidance and Application Kit will be posted on the SAFER Assistance to Firefighters web site near the start of the application period. All SAFER applicants should read the Guidance to fully understand any changes to the program, award criteria, funding priorities and important special application instructions for completing the application.
AFG (Training and Equipment Grants) Information
The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
The Guidance and Application Kit will be posted on the AFG Training and Equipment Assistance to Firefighters web site near the start of the application period. All AFG applicants should read the Guidance to fully understand any changes to the program, award criteria, funding priorities and important special application instructions for completing the application.
FP&S (Fire Prevention and Safety) Information
The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations.
The Guidance and Application Kit will be posted on the FP&S Assistance to Firefighters web site near the start of the application period. All AFG applicants should read the Guidance to fully understand any changes to the program, award criteria, funding priorities and important special application instructions for completing the application.
What if FEMA has turned down/rejected your request for funding?
Fire departments that have received turndown notices are encouraged to contact FGE for feedback on your application. FGE can provide a detailed review of your application and point out where the application was deficient, as well as recommend changes in the narrative or the data sections that will strengthen the application. Often departments are not providing sufficient details in their narratives, have not answered the data sections in the best manner possible, or have other errors that result in the loss of a few points. One or two points often makes the difference between getting your application funded.
During the review process, FGE staff who served as grant peer reviewers will grade your entire application (both automated entry/data and narrative sections), suggest areas for improvement, and provide other feedback using the self-assessment guide. With this comprehensive review process, we have assisted many departments with markedly improving their application and submitting successful applications which were subsequently funded. We ask that applications be submitted as soon as possible, and for departments to allow for at least a 72 hour turnaround for a full review. The further into the grant application window, the busier staff are, so please be sure to start early.
How do I access and print prior grant submissions?
Submitted grant applications are often available in the grants submission portal. Prior FEMA grants are available directly from the FEMA grants portal. You will need the user ID and password. To print the document, log in and locate the “Print Application” tab on the left-hand menu. Please submit the document as a PDF electronic file for easier tracking of incoming applications.
Please note that when you print out the SAFER application it does not print out the NFPA 1710/1720 staffing chart. WE WILL NEED THIS CHART TO PERFORM A FULL REVIEW. To access the NFPA staffing chart:
- Expand the “Request Details” tab/section of the application: Request Details->View Details (lower right corner of screen)->Update Button (the upper “update” button across from the hiring of fire fighters line).
- Now print the page with that starts with the NFPA 1710/1720 chart at the top.
- Send this along with the complete printed application
Why Should Our Department Hire FGE?
FGE is the most awarded AFG grant writer in the history of the AFG program. The owner of FGE has successfully worked with hundreds of departments to secure almost $750M in funding over the previous 7 years. FGE is here to build a relationship with your department and ensure that you obtain needed funding to ensure everyone goes home safely.