Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants Tutorial

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FY 2011 SAFER Grants Tutorial

Section 1



Slide 1: 2011 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants

2011 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants Applicant Tutorial

Slide 2: Section 1: Overview

Section 1: Overview

Slide 3: Welcome

Introduction

Welcome

Before proceeding with the Applicant Tutorial, read the FY11 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Program Guidance. References are made to the SAFER Program Guidance throughout the Applicant Tutorial.

Slide 4: Tutorial Goals

Introduction

Tutorial Goals

The goals of this tutorial are to:

  • Inform you about the purpose and goal of the SAFER Grants
  • Identify national standards and their application to these grants
  • Identify fundable activities
  • Identify eligible organizations
  • Explain grant priorities and evaluation criteria
  • Walk you through the application process

If you have questions about the content of this tutorial, call the AFG Help Desk and tell them you are a SAFER applicant with a question.

AFG Help Desk: 1-866-274-0960

Slide 5: What's New in 2011?

Introduction

What's New in 2011?

  • New Tools
  • Get Ready Guide
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Guidance and Application Kit

See FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, page 3, for details.

Slide 6: Key Changes

Introduction

Key Changes

Announcing a significant change for SAFER Grants in the Hiring Category:

Hiring Category - Applications for new hires have no commitment to retain for a 3rd year.

The following conditions will remain in effect:

  • No cost share - There is no cost-sharing requirement for funds under the FY2011 appropriations.
  • SAFER grantees that lay off any firefighters during the SAFER grant's period of performance will be considered in default of their award and the grant will be terminated.
  • No salary cap - Applicants may apply for the full salary and benefits package for the requested firefighter positions.

See FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, page 4, for details.

Slide 7: SAFER Grants

SAFER Grants

The Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency's Grant Programs Directorate is responsible for the implementation and administration of the SAFER Grants.

SAFER grants provide financial assistance to help fire departments increase frontline firefighters, rehire firefighters that have been laid off, retain firefighters facing imminent layoffs, or filling of positions that were vacated through attrition.

Slide 8: Meeting National Standards

SAFER Grants

Meeting National Standards

The goal of the SAFER Grants is to bring non-compliant (NFPA 1710 or 1720) departments back into compliance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards in the most economical manner.

Having more firefighters on staff should improve the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by the NFPA.

The grants focus on the deployment and assembly sections of NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720.

For more on Meeting National Standards, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, pages 12 and 14, or http://www.nfpa.org/saferactgrant.

Slide 9: Available Funding

SAFER Grants

Available Funding

In 2011, Congress appropriated $404,190,000 to carry out the activities of the SAFER Grants. The amount available for funding will be $380,747,000.

For more on available funding, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, page 7.

Slide 10: The Application Process

SAFER Grants

The Application Process

SAFER Grants Announced

The SAFER Grants are announced on the AFG Program Web site, along with application dates. Program Guidance documents, an Applicant Tutorial, Frequently Asked Questions, a Get Ready Guide, and Help Desk information are all provided on the Web site.

Slide 11: The Application Process

SAFER Grants

The Application Process

Application Submission

Hopefully, you have been planning your SAFER project. You've determined if your community needs meet the stated grant priorities and how to structure your application. In this tutorial, you will learn about information you need to support your request, and how to enter it into the online application.

Peer Panel Reviews

All SAFER Grant applications go to Peer Panel Reviews. A group of your peers reads, scores, and recommends the applications most consistent with the priorities for funding.

Slide 12: The Application Process

SAFER Grants

The Application Process

Program Office Technical Reviews

The applications with the highest scores receive further technical review by the Program Office to determine the reasonableness of the application.

Grant Awards

Awards are made based on Peer recommendations and Program Office review.

Slide 13: Eligible Activities

SAFER Grants

Eligible Activities

SAFER Grants improve the safety of the public and firefighters by helping fire departments increase, or restore, their number of frontline firefighters through two categories:

  • Hiring of Firefighters, including:
    • Rehiring of Laid-Off Firefighters
    • Retaining Firefighters Facing Layoff
    • Filling positions vacated due to attrition, and,
    • Hiring New Firefighters
  • Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters

Slide 14: Risk Analysis & Staffing Needs Assessment

SAFER Grants

Risk Analysis and Staffing Needs Assessment

Conduct a risk analysis and staffing needs assessment before developing your project proposal.

Performing a risk analysis helps you determine your department's capabilities and needs.

It also provides the rationale for the funding strategy you will explain later in the Narrative Statement in the application.

Slide 15: Hiring Category

Hiring Category

Eligible applicants may apply for rehiring of laid off firefighters, retaining firefighters facing layoffs, filling positions vacated due to attrition, or hiring of new firefighters under the Hiring Category. See FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, page 10, for the Hierarchy of Priorities.

Slide 16: Priorities

Hiring Category

Priorities

The highest consideration for funding is given to departments to rehire laid-off firefighters.

The second priority will be the retention of firefighters who are facing imminent layoffs or filling positions vacated due to attrition.

The third priority will be the hiring of new firefighters.

For more on Funding Priorities, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, Part I.C.

Slide 17: Meeting National Standards

Hiring Category

Meeting National Standards

Meeting national standards in the most economical manner is a high priority.

Having the largest percentage increase in compliance with national standards receives higher consideration for funding.

For more on Meeting National Standards, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, Part I.C.1.c.

Slide 18: Additional Funding Considerations

Hiring Category

Additional Funding Considerations

In addition, further consideration for funding is given to:

  • Applicants who will train their SAFER-funded firefighters to have EMS certification to the level established by the AHJ
  • Departments with higher call volume and population served
  • Applicants providing newly hired firefighters immunizations and an entry-level physical consistent with NFPA 1582
  • Applicants achieving compliance for the first-arriving engine by requesting the fewest additional personnel
  • Fire departments having formal automatic and/or mutual aid agreements

For more on Funding Priorities for Hiring of Firefighters, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, Part I.C.

Slide 19: Eligible Applicants

Hiring Category

Rehiring of Firefighters Activity

Eligible Applicants

Rehiring Activity Grants, including rehiring of laid-off firefighters, retaining firefighters facing layoff, and filling positions vacated due to attrition, are awarded directly to eligible:

Combination Fire Departments

Career Fire Departments

Important: Volunteer fire departments are not eligible to apply for Rehiring Activity Grants.

Slide 20: Purpose

Hiring Category

Rehiring of Firefighters Activity

Purpose

Rehiring Activity Grants are designed to:

Restore department's number of frontline firefighters.

Reduce the department's response times.

Improve firefighter safety by ensuring departments meet the NFPA 1710/1720 standard for assembling the required number of firefighters at structure fires.

For more on Rehiring of Firefighters, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance Part I.C.1.a.

Slide 21: Requirements

Hiring Category

Rehiring of Firefighters Activity

Requirements

Applications for the rehiring of laid-off firefighters category are limited to requesting the number of firefighters lost between January 1, 2008 and the application deadline.

Important: There is no requirement for departments awarded Rehiring of Firefighters Activity Grants to retain the SAFER-funded firefighters after the 2-year period of performance.

Slide 22: Requirements

Hiring Category

Rehiring of Firefighters Activity

Requirements

To apply in the retention of firefighters category, firefighters must have been issued a formal layoff notice, which includes a specific date for the layoff action, prior to the start of the application period, and face imminent layoff within 90 days of the close of the application period.

Slide 23: Eligible Applicants

Hiring Category

Hiring of New Firefighters Activity

Eligible Applicants

Hiring of New Firefighters Activity Grants are awarded directly to:

  • Volunteer Fire Departments
  • Combination Fire Departments
  • Career Fire Departments

Slide 24: Eligible Applicants

Hiring Category

Hiring of New Firefighters Activity

Eligible Applicants

Municipalities and fire districts may submit applications on behalf of fire departments lacking the legal status to do so.

Volunteer fire departments can also apply to hire their first career firefighter(s).

Important: Each applicant is limited to one application for a Hiring Category Grant per application period.

Slide 25: Purpose

Hiring Category

Hiring of New Firefighters Activity

Purpose

Projects under the Hiring of New Firefighters Activity are designed to enhance staffing with the objective of:

Increasing the number of frontline firefighters

Reducing the department's response time

Improving firefighter safety by ensuring departments meet the NFPA 1710/1720 standard for assembling the required number of firefighters at structure fires. For more on Hiring of New Firefighters, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance Part I.C.1.b.

Slide 26: Requirements

Hiring Category

Hiring of New Firefighters Activity

Requirements

Newly hired firefighters must be hired after the award date to be funded by a SAFER Grant.

There is no funding limit or any limit to the number of positions eligible for funding in an application for hiring new firefighters.

Slide 27: Requirements

Hiring Category

Requirements

Maintenance of Staffing Requirement

Hiring Category grantees must maintain staffing at the level that existed at the time of the award, as well as the SAFER-funded positions, for the two-year period of performance.

If grantees lose firefighters during the two-year period of performance due to either termination or normal attrition, they must fill the vacated positions or lose funding for those positions.

Grantees that find they are unable to fill vacated firefighting positions due to documentable economic hardship may petition the Program Office for a waiver. DHS will consider petitions for waivers on supplanting from grantees on a case-by-case basis and under certain conditions.

Slide 28: Requirements

Hiring Category

Requirements

Maintenance of Staffing Requirement

To qualify for this waiver, the economic hardship must affect the entire public safety sector in their jurisdiction, not merely the fire department.

The causes of the vacancies could include retirement, voluntary or involuntary separation, or calls to active duty in the reserves or National Guard.

If no waiver is granted, the amount of allowable reimbursement for SAFER positions will be reduced by the number of vacated positions not replaced. Failure to adjust payment requests to reflect vacancies would result in default of the grant agreement.

Slide 29: Period of Performance

Hiring Category

Recruitment Period

For all grants under the Hiring Category, a recruitment period of 90 days begins when the application is approved for award.

The 2-year period of performance begins after the 90-day recruitment period, regardless of whether the grantee has hired the requested firefighters.

Slide 30: Other Funding Restrictions

Hiring Category

Other Funding Restrictions

DHS grant funds may only be used for the purposes set forth in the grant and must be consistent with the statutory authority for the award.

Grant funds may not be used for matching funds for other federal grants/cooperative agreements, lobbying, or intervention in federal regulatory or adjudicatory proceedings.

Failure to adhere to the award conditions is considered as default of the grant agreement, and may require the return of all the federal funds disbursed under the grant.

Pre-award costs are not allowable.

Slide 31: Other Funding Restrictions

Hiring Category

Other Funding Restrictions

Changes in scope for Hiring applications are not allowed.

DHS may adjust the request if the number of positions is excessive given the program restrictions.

Applicants may NOT reduce or change the number of positions requested in their application.

Failure to adjust payment requests to reflect vacancies would result in default of the grant agreement if no waiver has been granted.

For more on Other Funding Restrictions, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, Part III.D.

As a reminder, for 2011, grantees may petition the Program Office for a waiver of the staffing maintenance requirement if they lose firefighters through normal attrition during the period of performance due to a documentable economic hardship.

Slide 32: Ineligible Applicants

Hiring Category

Ineligible Applicants

The following organizations are not eligible to apply for funding for the Hiring of Firefighters Category:

  • Federal fire departments and fire departments under contract to the Federal Government whose sole responsibility is the suppression of fires on federal installations or lands
  • Local and statewide organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters
  • For-profit fire departments and organizations, such as those not having specific nonprofit status or not municipally based
  • Fire stations that are not independent, or are part of, controlled by, or under the day-to-day operational direction of a larger fire department or agency

Slide 33: Ineligible Applicants

Hiring Category

Ineligible Applicants

Also ineligible for funding:

  • Ambulance services, Emergency Medical Services organizations, rescue squads, auxiliaries, dive teams, and urban search and rescue teams
  • State and local agencies, such as forest service, fire marshals, emergency management offices, hospitals, and training offices
  • Airport/port authority fire departments whose sole responsibility is suppression of fires on the airport grounds or port facilities, unless they have a formally recognized arrangement with the local jurisdiction to provide fire suppression on a first-due basis outside the confines of the airport/port facilities.

For more on Eligible Applicants, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, Part III.

Slide 34: Recruitment & Retention Category

Recruitment and Retention Category

Eligible Applicants

Recruitment and Retention Category Grants are awarded to eligible:

  • Volunteer Fire Departments
  • Combination Fire Departments
  • Volunteer Firefighter Interest Organizations

Important: Career fire departments are not eligible for recruitment and retention grants.

Slide 35: Purpose

Recruitment and Retention Category

Purpose

The purpose of Recruitment and Retention Grants is:

  • To assist fire departments with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters trained or involved with firefighting operations and emergency response
  • To create an increase number of trained, certified, and competent firefighters capable of emergency response

Slide 36: Meeting National Standards

Recruitment and Retention Category

Meeting National Standards

The goal of Recruitment and Retention grants is to enhance local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by NFPA.

The grants focus on the deployment and assembly sections of NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720.

For more on Meeting National Standards, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Part I.C.2.a or www.nfpa.org/saferactgrant.

Slide 37: Priorities

Recruitment and Retention Activity

Priorities

The highest priority under this category is to assist departments experiencing a high rate of turnover and departments with staffing levels significantly below the ideal staffing level required to comply with NFPA standards.

Departments with the lowest retention rates and the highest attrition rates are given a high priority for funding.

Slide 38: Volunteer Membership

Recruitment and Retention Category

Volunteer Membership

Departments with the highest percentage of volunteers benefit the most from the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

Organizations with large numbers of volunteers receive higher consideration for funding.

Slide 39: Recruitment & Retention Plan

Recruitment and Retention Category

Recruitment and Retention Plan

It is critical to have a plan for recruitment and/or retention activities.

Departments that perform a periodic evaluation of the program's impact receive higher consideration.

Requests from departments having a coordinator and marketing plan, or requesting funding for a coordinator's position and marketing plan receive higher consideration.

Applications with recruitment and/or retention plans including accident and/or injury insurance and lost wages for members also receive a higher competitive rating.

Slide 40: Firefighter Health Measures

Recruitment and Retention Category

Firefighter Health Measures

Applicants who provide the following for new recruits receive higher consideration for funding:

  • Entry-level physicals compliant with NFPA 1582
  • Immunizations
  • Annual medical exams

In order to receive higher consideration, the physicals and medical exams must be consistent with those prescribed under NFPA 1582.

Slide 41: Training Requirements

Recruitment and Retention Category

Training Requirements

Applicants who indicate newly recruited firefighters will meet the minimum fire and EMS certification requirements prescribed by the locality or state within 24 months of appointment to the department receive additional consideration.

Slide 42: Call Volume & Population Served

Recruitment and Retention Category

Call Volume and Population Served

Departments responding to a high number of incidents and protecting larger numbers of people receive higher consideration.

Slide 43: Regional Goals

Recruitment and Retention Category

Regional Grants

Requests for Recruitment and/or Retention activities having a regional impact beyond the immediate boundaries of the applicant's first-due area receive a higher competitive advantage.

An applicant may apply for both regional initiatives and internal needs on one application.

Slide 44: Regional Grants

Recruitment and Retention Category

Regional Grants

Statewide or local organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters may apply.

An individual fire department may act as a host applicant, apply for regional projects on its own behalf, and include any number of neighboring fire departments, for example, a regional media campaign promoting volunteerism.

The applicant must include in the narrative a list of participating third-party organizations benefitting from the project.

The regional applicant must include data in the application approximating the characteristics of the entire region affected by the grant.

Slide 45: Regional Grants

Recruitment and Retention Category

Regional Grants

Organizations benefitting from a regional project may also apply for funding as long as their projects don't conflict with or duplicate the host applicant's project.

The host applicant may apply for other needs beyond the regional project as long as the narrative specifies which requested activities are for the regional request.

Each applicant is limited to one application for Recruitment and Retention and/or one application for Hiring per application period.

For more on Funding Priorities, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, Part I.C.

Slide 46: Ineligible Applicants

Recruitment and Retention Category

Ineligible Applicants

The following organizations are not eligible to apply for funding in the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Category:

  • Career fire departments
  • Federal fire departments and fire departments under contract to the Federal Government
  • For-profit fire departments and organizations not having specific nonprofit status or not municipally based
  • Fire stations that are not independent, or are part of, controlled by, or under the day-to-day operational direction of a larger fire department or agency

Slide 47: Ineligible Applicants

Recruitment and Retention Category

Ineligible Applicants

Also ineligible for funding:

  • Ambulance services, emergency medical services organizations, rescue squads, auxiliaries, dive teams, urban search and rescue teams
  • State and local agencies, such as a forest service, fire marshals, emergency management offices, hospitals, and training offices
  • Airport/port authority fire departments whose sole responsibility is suppression of fires on the airport grounds or port facilities, unless they have a formally recognized arrangement with the local jurisdiction to provide fire suppression on a first-due basis outside the confines of the airport/or facilities

For more on Eligible Applicants, see FY11 SAFER Program Guidance, Appendix I, Part III.

Slide 48: Section 1 Conclusion

Section 1 Conclusion

This concludes Section 1: Overview. Continue to Section 2: Projects Overview.

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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