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Grants to USA Fire Departments and Tribes to
Increase Firefighting Capacity in Local Communities

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Grant Programs Directorate (GPD)

Conf. Date:

01/25/22

Deadline Date:

02/04/22 5:00 PM ET - Receipt

Description:

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Grants to USA and territories fire departments, tribes, and tribal organizations to increase the number of firefighters available in communities throughout the nation. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take at least four weeks to complete. Funding is intended to enable fire departments to hire new, additional firefighters, to rehire laid off firefighters, and to retain firefighters facing layoff, as well as to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters. The purpose of the program is to assist fire departments in responding to emergencies and to assure that communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER)
The SAFER Program provides funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to assist in increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate fire protection from fire and fire-related hazards, and to fulfill traditional missions of fire departments. 
Objectives
The objectives of the SAFER grant program are to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities to respond to emergencies and assure that communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Local fire departments accomplish this by improving staffing and deployment capabilities, so they may more effectively and safely respond to emergencies. With enhanced staffing levels, recipients should experience a reduction in response times and an increase in the number of trained personnel assembled at the incident scene.
SAFER offers grants to support projects in two areas:
  • Hiring Activity: The Hiring Activity offers grants to support applications to hire new, additional firefighters (or to change the status of part-time or paid-on-call firefighters to full-time firefighters), rehire laid off firefighters, or to retain firefighters facing layoff. 
  • Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters (R&R Activity): The R&R Activity offers grants to support applications to assist fire departments with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters who are involved with or trained in the operations of firefighting and emergency response. 

The SAFER Program supports the goal to Strengthen National Preparedness and Resilience. In awarding grants, the FEMA Administrator is required to consider:

  • The findings and recommendations of the Technical Evaluation Panel;
  • The degree to which an award will reduce deaths, injuries and property damage by reducing the risks associated with fire-related and other hazards;
  • The extent of an applicant’s need for a SAFER Program grant and the need to protect the United States as a whole; and,
  • The number of calls requesting or requiring a firefighting or emergency medical response received by an applicant.

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). For details, review the National Fire Protection Association's codes and standards (https://www.nfpa.org/freeaccess).

The SAFER Program supports the goal of Readying the Nation for Catastrophic Disasters.

For funding priorities, see https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_afg-safer-2021-nofo.pdf#page=51.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169633

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$560,000,000

Number of Grants:

Projected number of Awards: 500

Term of Contract:

Period of Performance: 12-48 months

- Hiring of Firefighters (Hiring) Activity: The period of performance for applications funded under the Hiring Activity will be 36 months.
- Recruitment and Retention (R&R) Activity: The period of performance for pplications funded under the R&R Activity will be 12, 24, 36 or 48 months.

Extensions to the period of performance are allowed.

- Projected Period of Performance Start Date(s): June 1, 2022 (will vary based on award date and activity type)
- Projected Period of Performance End Date(s): May 31, 2023 – May 31, 2026 (will vary based on award date and activity type)

For further details on period of performance, see https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_afg-safer-2021-nofo.pdf#page=26.

Eligibility:

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Hiring Activity:
Fire departments operating in any of the 50 states, as well as fire departments in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,1 or any federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization. A fire department is an agency or organization having a formally recognized arrangement with a state, local, tribal, or territorial authority (city, county, parish, fire district, township, town, or other governing body) to provide fire suppression to a population within a geographically fixed primary first due response area.

R&R Activity:
Volunteer and combination fire departments operating in any of the 50 states, as well as fire departments in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,1 or any federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization. A fire department is an agency or organization having a formally recognized arrangement with a state, local, tribal, or territorial authority (city, county, parish, fire district, township, town, or other governing body) to provide fire suppression to a population within a geographically fixed primary first due response area. National, regional, state, local, tribal and nonprofit interest organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters are eligible to receive a SAFER Program award under the R&R Activity.

National, regional, state, local, tribal and nonprofit interest organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters are not eligible to receive a SAFER Program award under the Hiring Activity.

Career fire departments are not eligible to apply for funding under the R&R Activity.

An application submitted by an otherwise eligible non-federal entity (i.e., the applicant) may be deemed ineligible when the person that submitted the application is not: 1) A current employee, personnel, official, staff or leadership of the non-federal entity; and 2) duly authorized to apply for an award on behalf of the non-federal entity at the time of application. Further, the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be a duly authorized current employee, personnel, official, staff or leadership of the recipient.

For examples of ineligible applications and organizations, see https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_afg-safer-2021-nofo.pdf#page=46.

For funding restrictions, see https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_afg-safer-2021-nofo.pdf#page=14.

Pre-proposal Conference:

For applicants interested in learning how to apply for funding under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Programs (AFGP), FEMA hosts workshops.

Jan 25, 2022 1:00 PM EST - Jan 25, 2022 3:00 PM EST Virtual
FY 2021 SAFER Hiring of Firefighters Activity
This webinar is intended to outline important information on the SAFER program, what is new for 2021, program priorities, eligible costs, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing a SAFER- Hiring Activity application

More information: https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters/workshops

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates and Times:
- Application Start Date: January 3, 2022 at 8 a.m. ET
- Application Submission Deadline: February 4, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET. All applications must be received by the established deadline.
- Anticipated Funding Selection Date: No later than May 31, 2022
- Anticipated Award Date: Beginning on approximately May 30, 2022 and continuing thereafter until all FY 2021 SAFER Program grant awards are issued, but no later than Sept. 30, 2022

Other Key Dates:
- Obtaining DUNS Number: Four weeks before actual submission deadline
- Obtaining a valid EIN: Four weeks before actual submission deadline
- Creating an account with login.gov: Four weeks before actual submission deadline
- Registering in SAM or Updating SAM registration: Four weeks before actual submission deadline
- Registering Organization in FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) System: Prior to beginning application
- Submitting complete application in FEMA GO: One week before actual submission deadline

Applications are processed through the FEMA GO system.

Applying for an award under this program is a multi-step process and requires time to complete. Applicants are encouraged to register early as the registration process can take four weeks or more to complete. Therefore, registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact your ability to meet required submission deadlines.

If you are going to apply for this funding opportunity and have not obtained an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, are not currently registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), or your SAM registration is not active, please take immediate action to obtain an EIN and DUNS Number, if applicable, and then register immediately in SAM or, if applicable, renew your SAM registration. It may take four weeks or more after you submit your SAM registration before your registration is active in SAM.

Volunteer and combination fire departments may apply for funding under both the Hiring Activity and the R&R Activity; however, departments must complete separate applications for each activity. Applicants are limited to one application per activity, per application period. If an applicant submits two applications for the same activity during a single application period, FEMA will disqualify both applications.

If two or more of the following entities have different funding streams, personnel rosters, and EINs but share the same facilities, FEMA considers them as being separate organizations for the purposes of FY 2021 SAFER Program eligibility:
- Fire departments
- National, state, local, federally recognized tribal, and non-profit interest organizations

However, if two or more organizations share facilities and each submits an application in the same activity (e.g., Hiring of Firefighters), FEMA reserves the right to review and compare all of those program area applications to determine eligibility and review for potential overlap to avoid duplication of benefits.

For a list of documents related to this grant, see: https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters/safer/documents

Rules and Tools: https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters/rules-tools

For FEMA Grants user guides, see: https://www.fema.gov/

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online: https://go.fema.gov/login?redirect=%2F

For programmatic or grants management questions, please contact your Preparedness Officer or Grants Management Specialist. If applicants do not know who to contact or if there are programmatic questions or concerns, please contact the SAFER Program Help Desk by phone at (866) 274-0960 or by e-mail at FireGrants@fema.dhs.gov.

For technical assistance with the FEMA GO system, please contact the FEMA GO Help Desk at FEMAGO@fema.dhs.gov or (877) 585-3242.

Fire Program Specialists in FEMA’s regions respond to questions about the program and conduct grant monitoring activities. To reach regional contacts, see: https://www.fema.gov/contact-us.

CFDA Number:

97.083

Funding or Pin Number:

DHS-21-GPD-083-00-99

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

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