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Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Glossary of Terms

This page contains the glossary of terms used in the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program. The intended audiences are AFG stakeholders, which include but are not limited to award recipients and the communities they serve.


Advanced Cardiac Life Support
A set of clinical interventions used for the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest and other life-threatening medical emergencies as well as the knowledge and skills to deploy those interventions.

Active Firefighter
A member of a fire department or organization in good standing that is qualified to respond to and extinguish fires or perform other fire department emergency services and has actively participated in such activities during the past year.

The functional elements of a program. Example: training and personal protective clothing are activities within the Operations and Firefighters Safety Program.

Affiliated EMS Organization
Affiliated EMS organizations are supported by a hospital. This support includes any portion of an EMS organizations' operation including equipment, salaries, vehicles, facilities, etc. Occasional re-supply of expendables is allowed.

Applicant Share
The amount of the grant award the applicant must pay if they are awarded federal funding. For the Fire Grant Program, the funds must be raised from nonfederal sources and cannot be in-kind donations.

Application Number
When an application has been successfully submitted to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (including Fire Grants, SAFER and Fire Prevention & Safety), it is assigned an application number. Applicants should keep a record of this number.

Application Package
A formal communication offered by the government containing the application notice for one or more discretionary grant or cooperative agreement programs and all the information and forms needed to apply for those programs.

Application Period
This is the period of time during which applications for funding will be accepted. The specifics of the application period are detailed in the application package.

A list of requirements found in different federal laws, regulations and executive orders applicants agree to observe as a condition of receiving federal assistance.

A financial review undertaken by an independent public accounting firm, the Inspector General's Office, the General Accounting Office (GAO) and/or Office of Management and Budget.

Automated Application
The AFG Grant applications (including Fire Grants, SAFER and Fire Prevention & Safety) are automated and available via the Internet. The application forms are available on the Internet and may be submitted via the Internet. Built-in help screens and drop-down menus help the applicants complete their requests.

Automatic-Aid Agreement
A prearranged dispatch agreement where fire departments are dispatched simultaneously on the initial alarm or where fire departments participate in "closest-unit" response dispatching.

Award Amount
The total amount of funding, both federal and local shares, resulting from an award or loan commitment made by the federal agency. The combined shares of a grant including both federal and local cost-shares.

Award Number
The identifying number for a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement award issued by the awarding federal agency. For the purposes of the AFG Program, the application number becomes the award number upon issuance of a grant.


Includes compensation that is over and above salaries or wages paid to employees or on behalf of the employees during employment. This would include compensation for periods of authorized absences from the job, such as vacation leave, sick leave, military leave and the like provided such costs are absorbed by all organization activities in proportion to the relative amount of time or effort actually devoted to each. It also includes employer contributions or expenses for social security, employee insurance, workers' compensation, pension plan costs and the like provided such benefits, whether treated as indirect costs or as direct costs, shall be distributed to particular awards and other activities in a manner consistent with the pattern of benefits accruing to the individuals or group of employees whose salaries and wages are chargeable to such awards and other activities. Overtime expenses, other than those meeting FLSA requirements, are not eligible as benefits costs.

Budget Object Class
Functional budgeted areas where expenditures may be classified such as personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, expendable supplies, contractual costs, construction or renovation costs, other costs (that cannot be adequately listed in the listed classifications) and indirect charges.

Budget Period
For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, the budget period is the federal fiscal year. It is the fiscal year where the awarded funds were obligated by the awarding agency.


Chemical, biological, radiological, neurological and explosive weapons. An example of CBRNE-specific equipment is a monitor. A CBRNE-specific pharmaceutical is an item such as an autoinjector.

Call Volume
The number of fire, emergency and other service-related requests a fire department receives over a specified period.

Career Fire Department
An agency or organization where all members receive financial compensation for their services on a full-time basis. Compensation on an intermittent basis such as paid-on-call is not considered full-time compensation.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) is a government-wide compendium of federal programs, projects, services and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the American public. It contains financial and nonfinancial assistance programs administered by departments and establishments of the federal government. The CFDA number for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (including Fire Prevention and Safety Grants) is 97-044. The CFDA number for SAFER grants is 97-083.

A confirmation or assurance attesting to the fact that a statement is true and accurate.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the federal government.

Combination Fire Department
An agency or organization where at least one active firefighter receives financial compensation for their services (including paid-on-call,) and/or at least one active firefighter does not receive financial compensation for their services, other than life and health insurance, workers' compensation insurance or a stipend payment such as paid-on-call.

A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government, or a political subdivision of a state or other authority that has zoning and building code jurisdiction over a particular area.

Competitive Range
For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, the applications receiving the highest scores during the preliminary screening proceeding to the second level of panel review are considered to be in the competitive range.

Competitive Review Process
The process used by a federal agency to select discretionary grant and cooperative agreement applications for funding where subject matter specialists review and evaluate applications for assistance and make recommendations to the funding agency regarding the disposition of the request.

Comprehensive Building Code
An adopted law or ordinance whose purpose is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all buildings and structures within a jurisdiction. Organizations that are considered to meet this criteria include:International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) Uniform Building Code, the Building Code Officials and Administrators (BOCA) National Building Code, Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) Standard Building Code, Council of American Building Officials (CABO) One and Two Family Dwelling Code and the International Building Code.

Congressional District
A territorial division of a state, town or city, etc., made for administrative, electoral or other purposes from which a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is elected.

For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, any material changes to a structure affecting the footprint or profile of a building.

Cooperative Agreement
Cooperative Agreements are assistance mechanisms subject to the same administrative requirements as grants. However, they are different from either a grant or a contract. Cooperative Agreements allow more involvement and collaboration by the government in the affairs of the project compared to a grant but provide less direction of project activities than a contract.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
A quantitative procedure that assesses the desirability of a project by taking a view of avoided future damages compared to the cost of a project. The outcome of the analysis is a cost-benefit ratio, which demonstrates whether the net present value of benefits exceeds the net present value of costs.

A systematic quantitative method for comparing the costs of several alternative means to achieve the same benefits of a given objective and the benefits in the context of avoided future damages and losses. Cost-effectiveness is generally determined by performing a cost-benefit analysis.

Critical Infrastructure
Critical infrastructure includes any system or asset that, if disabled or disrupted in any significant way, would result in catastrophic loss of life or catastrophic economic loss. Some examples of critical infrastructure include:

  • Public water systems serving large population centers.
  • Primary data storage and processing facilities, stock exchanges or major banking centers.
  • Chemical facilities located in close proximity to large population centers.
  • Major power generation facilities exceeding 2,000 MW and supporting the regional electric grid.
  • Hydroelectric facilities and dams producing power in excess of 2,000 MW that could cause catastrophic loss of life if breached.
  • Nuclear power plants.
  • Major underground gas, water, phone and electrical supplies affecting a large population.


Deadline Date
The date by which an applicant must submit their discretionary grant (or cooperative agreement) application in order to be considered for funding by the federal agency.

Failure to perform what is required or to fulfill an obligation such as the requirements of a grant. Defaulting on a federal grant may require the return of all or a portion of the federal funds disbursed under the grant.

Delinquent Debt
Overdue or failure to satisfy a financial obligation to a person or entity. For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, the debt in question is debt to the federal government. The concern applies only to the applicant organization, not the individual or authorized representative who is completing the application. Categories of debt include delinquent audit disallowances, loans and taxes.

Department of Homeland Security
The federal agency responsible for leading a unified national effort to secure the United States of America. Its mission is preventing and deterring terrorist attacks and protecting against and responding to, threats and hazards to the nation. DHS ensures safe and secure borders, welcomes lawful immigrants and visitors and promotes the free-flow of commerce.

Discretionary Grant
An award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, by the federal government to an eligible grantee, usually on the basis of a competitive review process.

Drag Rescue Device
The drag rescue device allows for rapid removal of downed firefighters. The strap is accessed through a flap found along the rear top of collar on structural firefighting coats. It is designed for dragging incapacitated firefighters and not rated for any vertical lifting. It creates a "Figure 8" around the chest.

DUNS Number
The Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number is a unique nine-character identification number required for all federal grant recipients. DUNS numbers are provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet. The federal government uses the DUNS number to identify related organizations receiving funding from grants and cooperative agreements and to provide consistent name and address data for electronic grant applications.


An automated, online grant system that allows the grantees to administer their grant utilizing a computer rather than paper documents.

Emergency Medical Services
The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system is responsible for providing pre-hospital (or out-of-hospital) care by paramedics , emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and medical first responders . The goal of EMS is to provide early treatment to those in need of urgent medical care and ultimately rapid transportation to a facility providing more definitive treatment.

Employer Identification Number
The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a 9-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. This number format is XX-XXXXXXX. The IRS uses the number to identify taxpayers required to file various business tax returns.

EMS Organization
An organization providing emergency medical services to a community.

Nationally recognized levels of training and certification for emergency medical technicians and other first responders: Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B), Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate (EMT-I) and Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic (EMT-P).

Entry-Level Physical
A physical fitness test given to individuals applying for the position of firefighter that determines if they meet the minimum physical fitness requirements necessary to perform the job.

Equipment needed directly for fire suppression or delivery of emergency medical services that enhances the safety or effectiveness of firefighting or rescue activities.


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
An agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with responding to Presidentially-declared disasters.

Federal Register
The Federal Register is the daily supplement to the Code of Federal Regulations. It serves as the mechanism providing official notification to the public about federal documents or proposals having general applicability. These include Presidential proclamations and Executive Orders and federal agency rules, regulations and notices. The FR also notifies the public and interested parties about an agency's intent to prepare an environmental impact statement or proposed changes to an agency's rules and regulations. In addition, it provides the mechanism for obtaining comments from affected parties regarding the proposed action by the agency.

Federal Share
The amount of project funding the federal government agrees to provide to a grantee on the assumption the applicant will provide a share of the total funding needed to complete the project.

Federally Funded Fire Department
A fire department receiving operational funding from the Congress of the United States or whose sole responsibility is providing fire suppression, fire prevention and rescue services on property owned or under the control of an agency or department of the federal government.

Fire Department
An agency or organization having a formally recognized arrangement with a state, territory, local or tribal authority (city, county, parish, fire district, township, town or other governing body) to provide fire suppression on a first-due basis to a fixed geographical area. Fire departments may be comprised of members who are all volunteer, all career or a combination of volunteer and career.

Fire Flow
The result of calculations made to determine the number gallons of water per minute needed to extinguish a fire.

Fire Inspectors/Fire Codes
Firefighters trained and certified to interpret national fire codes and standards.

Fire Prevention and Safety Grant
The primary goal of the AFG Fire Prevention and Safety Grants is to reach high-risk target groups to mitigate the high incidences of death and injuries. Additionally, for fiscal year 2005, Congress amended the authorization to include Firefighter Safety Research and Development. Examples of eligible projects for Fire Prevention Activities include the conduct of public education, arson prevention and awareness, code enforcement/awareness, wildfire prevention/education, juvenile fire setter intervention, burn prevention, media/PR campaigns, sprinkler awareness or smoke alarm distribution. Examples of eligible Firefighter Safety Research and Development projects include data collection and analysis, sociological projects and problem-focused technology studies.

An individual having the legal authority and responsibility to engage in fire suppression; employed by, or volunteering in, a fire department of a municipality, county or fire district; engaged in the prevention, control and extinguishment of fires and/or responding to emergency situations in which life, property or the environment is at risk. This individual must be trained in fire suppression but may also be trained in emergency medical care, hazardous materials awareness, rescue techniques and any other related duties provided by the fire department.

Firefighter I
A course leading to certification addressing the standards covered in NFPA 1001 (2002) Chapter 5, with the exception of those objectives related to response to hazardous materials at the awareness level (NFPA 472). The Firefighter I receives knowledge and skills to function as an integral member of a firefighting team under direct supervision in hazardous conditions.

Firefighter II
A course leading to certification addressing the standards covered in NFPA 1001 (2002) Chapter 6, with the exception of those objectives related to response to hazardous materials at the operational level (NFPA 472). The Firefighter II receives the knowledge and skills to function under general supervision.

Firefighter Safety Research and Development
For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, an activity in the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants focusing on the improvement of firefighter health and life safety through research and development projects.

Fire suppression.

Firefighting Vehicles
For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, firefighting vehicles include fire apparatus used as primary emergency response vehicles in fire suppression and/or rescue activities. Such apparatus would include pumpers; tanker/tenders; aerials, brush/attack units; mini-pumpers; rescue vehicles; combination vehicles (e.g., quint apparatus, rescue-pumpers) or other firefighting vehicles meeting applicable standards established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other standards such as U.S. Department of Transportation standards.

Formula Grant
A grant where the awarded amount is established by a formula based on certain criteria written into the legislation and program regulations. This funding is directly awarded and administered in the federal agency's program offices.

Fringe Benefits
The employers' share of all types of costs for personnel outside of salary, including sick, annual and holiday leave; hospitalization insurance and retirement and social security contributions.

An activity designed to reduce the level of hazardous fuels (such as downed trees or excessive brush growth), which protects communities from fire.

Full-Time Firefighting Position
A firefighting position that is funded for at least 2,080 hours per year or 40 hours per week for 52 weeks per year.


Grant Award Notification
Official document signed by the authorized official stating the amount, the terms and conditions of an award for a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement.

Grant Programs
Programs of discretionary or formula grants and/or cooperative agreements administered by a federal agency.

An individual or organization awarded financial assistance under one of the federal discretionary grant programs.


Host Applicant
An individual fire department or nonaffiliated EMS organization who applies for a regional project on behalf of itself and any number of neighboring fire departments.

Defined as an organization, clinic, medical center, medical college or university, infirmary, surgery center or any other institution, association or foundation providing medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and treatment for the sick or the injured.


Incident Command System
A component of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in domestic incident management activities. It is used for a broad spectrum of emergencies, from small to complex incidents, both natural and manmade, including acts of catastrophic terrorism. ICS is used by all levels of government—federal, state, local and tribal as well as by many private-sector and nongovernmental organizations.

Indirect Cost Rate
A percentage established by a federal department or agency for a grantee organization used to compute the dollar amount charged to the grant for reimbursement of indirect costs incurred from doing the work of the grant project.

Indirect Costs
Costs that have been incurred for common or joint objectives not readily identified with a particular cost objective. A cost may not be allocated to an award as an indirect cost if any other cost incurred for the same purpose, in like circumstances, has been assigned to an award as a direct cost. Typical examples of indirect costs for many nonprofit organizations includes depreciation or use allowances on buildings and equipment, costs of operating and maintaining facilities, general administration and other general expenses such as the salaries and expenses of executive officers, personnel administration and accounting.
Indirect costs are classified within two broad categories: "Facilities" and "Administration." "Facilities" is defined as depreciation and use allowances on buildings, equipment and capital improvement, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements and operations and maintenance expenses. "Administration" is defined as general administration and general expenses such as the director's office, accounting, personnel, library expenses and all other types of expenditures not specifically chargeable to the grant.

Initial Full Alarm Assignment
Those personnel, equipment and resources ordinarily dispatched upon notification of a structural fire.

Injury means any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident during the conduct of firefighting activities or training requiring treatment at a medical facility that results in a loss or curtailment of ability to provide normal active firefighting or EMS duties. Exposures would only count as an "injury" if the exposure eventually resulted in loss or curtailment of duties.


Job-Share Position
A full-time position that is occupied by more than one person. For example, a fire department may hire two part-time staff persons at 28 hours each to fulfill the scheduled work hours of one 56-hour shift position.

Juvenile Firesetter Intervention
A program designed to reduce the number of fires and burn injuries caused by children experimenting with fire.


Legal Name
Name of the primary organizational unit that implements the assistance activity. The legal name includes the complete address of the applicant and the name and telephone number of the person to contact regarding matters related to this application.


Matching Funds
The amount of project funding that a grantee agrees to provide in return for being awarded partial federal funding of the same project.

Modify Facilities
For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, modifications to fire stations are minor renovations not affecting the footprint or profile of the facility being modified. Eligible activities are limited to the following: (1) Installation of sprinkler systems; (2) Installation of smoke and fire alarm notification systems; (3) Installation of vehicle exhaust evacuation systems; (4)Installation of vehicle mounted exhaust filtration systems; (5)Installation of ambient air improvement systems; and/or (6)Installation of emergency power generators.

Activities performed by federal staff members to review and evaluate specific aspects of a grantee's activities under a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement. These activities include: (1) measuring a grantee's performance; (2) assessing a grantee's adherence to applicable laws, regulations and the terms and conditions of the award; (3) providing technical assistance to grantees and (4) assessing whether a grantee has made substantial progress.

Mostly/Majority Career Fire Department
A fire department where fifty percent or more of the membership is made up of personnel employed by the department on a full-time basis and receiving financial compensation for their services. Members who receive stipends such as "paid-on-call" are not considered to be employed and are not considered to be paid members.

Mostly/Majority Volunteer Fire Department
A fire department where fifty percent or more of the membership is comprised of personnel who do not receive financial compensation for their services. Members who receive stipends such as "paid-on-call" are not considered to be receiving financial compensation and are considered to be volunteers.

Mutual-Aid Agreement
A prearranged agreement where assisting fire departments are dispatched only when the first-arriving unit on a scene calls for assistance.


Narrative Statement
The grant applicant's written description of the proposed grant project containing all the requisite information as required by the grant program's guidance.

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF)
A nonprofit foundation leading a nationwide effort to honor America's fallen firefighters that provides resources to assist their families.

National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)
The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-498) authorizes the National Fire Data Center in the United States Fire Administration (USFA) to gather and analyze information on the magnitude of the nation's fire problem, as well as its detailed characteristics and trends. The Act further authorizes the USFA to develop uniform data reporting methods and encourage and assist state agencies in developing and reporting data. To carry out the intentions of the Act, the National Fire Data Center established the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
A nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The NFIP is a program that makes federally-backed flood insurance available in those states and communities that agree to adopt and enforce flood-plain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage.

National Incident Management System (NIMS)
A system mandated by HSPD-5 providing a consistent nationwide approach for state, local, territorial and tribal governments. This system allows the private-sector and nongovernmental organizations to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, respond to and recover from domestic incidents regardless of cause, size or complexity. To provide for interoperability and compatibility among state, local, territorial and tribal capabilities, NIMS includes a core set of concepts, principles and terminology. HSPD-5 identifies these components as the Incident Command System; multi-agency coordination systems; training; identification and management of resources (including systems for classifying types of resources); qualification and certification and the collection, tracking and reporting of incident information and incident resources.

NFPA 1002
NFPA standard identifying the minimum job performance requirements for firefighters who drive and operate fire apparatus in both emergency and nonemergency situations.

NFPA 1710
NFPA standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments (Section, Initial Full Alarm Assignment Capability). This standard primarily applies to all-career fire departments and combination departments at the combination department's election.

NFPA 1720
NFPA standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations and Special Operations to Public by Volunteer Fire Departments (Section 4.3 – Staffing and Deployment). This standard primarily applies to all-volunteer fire departments but may also apply to combination departments if the combination department does not elect to comply with the NFPA 1710 standard.

Nonaffiliated EMS Organization
A public or private nonprofit emergency medical services organization providing direct emergency medical services to a specific geographic area on a first-due basis but not affiliated with a hospital or serving a geographic area where emergency medical services are adequately provided by a fire department.

Non-Federal Funds
Financial resources provided by sources other than the federal government. The term does not include funds provided to a state or local government through a federal grant, unless the authorizing statute for that grant explicitly allows the funds to be used as a match for other federal grants.

Nonprofit Organization
A tax-exempt organization that serves the public interest. In general, the purpose of this type of organization must be charitable, educational, scientific, religious or literary. It does not declare a profit and utilizes all revenue available after normal operating expenses in service to the public interest. This organization is a 501(c)(3) or a 501(c)(4) designate.

The provision in all Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG and SAFER) precluding the use of federal grant dollars as a substitution for awardees' own budgets. Awardees must maintain the level of expenditures as prescribed in their grant agreement.


An entry made by a member of a discretionary grant team in the federal agency's automated accounting system authorizing payments of federal grant funds to a grantee.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
A government agency in the Department of Labor whose responsibility is to assure and maintain a safe and healthy work environment by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.

Office for Grants and Training
An office in the Preparedness Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security that oversees the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
The executive agency that advises the President on the federal budget. OMB helps the President formulate his spending plans; evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies and procedures; assesses competing funding demands among agencies and sets funding priorities. OMB ensures agency reports, rules, testimony and proposed legislation are consistent with the President's budget and administration policies. In addition, OMB oversees and coordinates the administration's procurement, financial management, information and regulatory policies. In each of these areas, OMB's role is to help improve administrative management, develop better performance measures and coordinating mechanisms and reduce any unnecessary burdens on the public.

OMB Circulars
Administrative policy documents issued by OMB giving instruction to federal agencies on a variety of topics, including the administration of federal grants and cooperative agreements.

Operational Budget
The budget that supports fire-related programs and/or emergency response activities (salaries, maintenance, equipment, apparatus, etc.).


A form of compensation to part-time firefighters or other emergency responders where the responders only report to work and receive compensation when contacted by a dispatcher.

Peer Review Panel
A group of volunteers with fire service specialists who review and evaluate funding requests submitted to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and provide recommendations regarding the disposition of the applications.

Performance Report
An interim report of the specific activities the recipient of a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement has performed during the budget or project period. For example, for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, awarded applicants are required to prepare a mid-year progress report and a closeout report at the end of the grant period.

Period of Performance (POP)
The total amount of time (sometimes several years) during which the federal agency authorizes a grantee to complete the approved work of the project described in the application. Performance periods of more than 1 year are divided into budget periods.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment includes items required by applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards needed to enhance the operational safety of the firefighter.

The number of individuals residing in a geographic area. The population figure is based on the most recent official census and only includes those individuals who permanently reside within the jurisdiction served. Population figures do not include daily or seasonal population surges.

Pre-award Costs
Expenses or obligations incurred before the effective date of the grant.

Primary/First-Due Response Area
A geographical area proximate to a fire or rescue facility normally served by the personnel and apparatus from that facility in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Pro-Rata Basis
Proportionally determined method of analysis.

Problem-Focused Technology Studies
Research on new equipment or technologies that can be incorporated into the fire service to improve fire and firefighter safety.

Program Guidance
A document summarizing the funding priorities of a particular grant, i.e., AFG, SAFER or FP&S. It explains how to apply for grant funding, what items can be requested and how applications are evaluated.

Program Narrative
The grant applicant's written description of the proposed grant project containing all the requisite information as prescribed by the grant program's guidance.

Program Office
For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, the office having the responsibility of administering the various grant opportunities.

Program Regulations
Regulations that implement legislation passed by Congress authorizing a specific grant program. They include applicant and participant eligibility criteria, nature of activities funded, eligibility of certain costs, selection criteria under which applications will be selected for funding and other relevant information.

Program Review
A financial and programmatic review initiated by the AFG Program Office.


Regional Application
An application submitted by a "host applicant" or fire department that, if awarded, benefits a number of third-party organizations in the region.

Regional Project
A project with one host organization benefitting multiple organizations serving more than one local jurisdiction.

Federal rules of general applicability authorized by federal laws or other federal authority contained in the CFR.

For the purposes of AFG, a modification plan limited to minor interior alterations costing less than $10,000.

Request Details
A section of the online application where the applicant describes the specific items and/or personnel being requested.

Retention Rate
A department's retention rate is calculated by dividing the number of volunteer firefighters by their total years of service.

Universal Air Connection (UAC)
The RIC UAC provides a standard connection that allows a rescue breathing air supply to be connected to a victim firefighter or other emergency services responder's SCBA to replenish the breathing air in the SCBA breathing air cylinder when the victim can not be rapidly moved to a safe atmosphere.

Risk Assessment
A formal risk assessment consists of employing software programs or recognized expert analysis to assess risk trends. Examples of informal assessments include a manual study of fire loss, burn injuries or life loss over a period of time and the causative factors for each occurrence.

Rural Community
A community that generally has a significant portion of its response area that is undeveloped. There are few or no fire hydrants, virtually no multistory buildings, sparse population and small number of commercial areas.


SAFER-Funded Positions
A newly created position funded by a SAFER Grant.

SAFER Grants
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER). Congress appropriated funding to the Office of Grants and Training of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to implement the activities of the SAFER Grants. The authority for SAFER is derived from the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.) as amended by the re-designation of the second section 33 and section 34 as sections 35 and 36, respectively, and inserting a new section 34, entitled Expansion of Pre-September 11, 2001, Fire Grant Program of the U.S. Fire Administration.

Staffing Analysis
An analysis conducted to determine the minimum number of personnel required to meet fire flow requirements and perform support tasks 24–7 (search rescue, forcible entry, ventilation, etc.).

Staffing and Deployment
The minimum staffing requirements to ensure a sufficient number of members are available to operate safely and effectively as defined in NFPA 1710 and 1720.

Staffing Level
The current number of firefighting personnel available to respond to fire and other emergencies.

For the purpose of these grants, "State" is defined as the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

State Point of Contact (SPOC)
State-designated representatives who coordinate and review proposed federal financial assistance and direct federal development for each state that has designated such an entity to perform this function. The official list of those entities can be found at the OMB Website:

Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP)
A plan enabling emergency first responders, public safety officials and all law enforcement agencies to communicate reliably, rapidly and instantaneously thus enhancing public safety across the states.

Statewide or local firefighter interest organizations
Statewide and local firefighter interest groups are organizations that are in existence to support or represent the interests of firefighters in front of legislative bodies at the local, state and federal levels. Organizations include state or local firefighter and/or fire chiefs associations, fire department auxiliaries, volunteer firefighter relief organizations and associations.

A walled and roofed building, other than a gas or liquid storage tank, principally above ground and affixed to a permanent site as well as a manufactured home on a permanent foundation.

Suburban Community
A community that generally has populated areas of greater density than a rural department but not as dense as an urban community. It may be near an urban area but not always. There are hydrants in some or all parts of the response area and the response area may have several buildings with heights of three stories or more. (These would be buildings where people live or work.) Generally there are some undeveloped areas in a suburban community.


Technically Feasible
Term used to describe a project or action utilizing design and construction methods and materials, which are approved, codified, recognized, fall under standard or acceptable levels of practice or otherwise are determined to be generally acceptable by the design and construction industry.

Thermal Protective Performance (TPP)
TPP measures how well a fabric protects the wearer against second-degree burns in a flash fire. The higher the TPP value, the more thermal protection the fabric provides relative to other fabrics. The NFPA minimum requirement of a TPP rating of 35 equates to 171/2 seconds until 2nd degree burn occurs in a flashover situation.

Third-Party Organization
In terms of a regional application, all organizations benefitting from a regional application if the project is approved for funding.

To make proficient with specialized instruction and practice.

For the purposes of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, the tutorial is an online program provided to teach applicants about the grant application and the AFG Program. The tutorial provides tips for navigating the online application, changes in the program for the current year and a review of lessons learned in the past.


United States Fire Administration (USFA)
An office within the Preparedness Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)
A federally funded program designed to assist jurisdictions considered at high risk for incidents involving weapons of mass destruction.

Urban Community
A community generally described as a city. It has a dense population in many areas, fire hydrants, well-developed commercial areas and many multistory buildings. Most urban communities have little or no undeveloped areas.

A unique identifying log-in name for an online application.

Federally sponsored and sanctioned teams designated for urban search and rescue.


Volunteer Fire Department
An agency or organization where no member receives financial compensation (salary, wages or stipend per call) for their services other than life and health insurance and workers' compensation insurance. A department is mostly volunteer if fifty-one percent or more of its membership is comprised of personnel who do not receive financial compensation for their services.

Volunteer Firefighter Interest Organization
Volunteer firefighter interest organizations are comprised of firefighters or fire officers who collectively represent the interest of members of several volunteer fire departments or volunteer firefighter members of fire departments from the entire state or locality. Examples of these organizations include county or statewide firefighter associations or chiefs associations and other organizations representing active volunteer firefighters. For-profit organizations are not eligible.

Volunteer Incentives
Activities or initiatives that encourage volunteers to continue to participate in fire department programs and activities.


Weapons of Mass Destruction
Any weapon or device intended or with capability to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people.

Wellness and Fitness Programs
Activities promoting the general health and physical well-being of an individual.

Last Updated: 
01/08/2020 - 11:34