Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program Frequently Asked Questions

This page addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the AFG, SAFER and Fire Prevention & Safety programs.

Eligible Fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS), state fire training academies, and non-federal airport and/or port authority fire or EMS organizations.

Any applicant that receives an AFG Program award must achieve the level of NIMS compliance required by the authority having command and control jurisdiction over the applicant’s emergency service operations, prior to the end of the grant’s period of performance. AFG Program applicants are not required to be in compliance with NIMS either to apply for or receive AFG Program funding.

There is $46 million available under the FY 2021 FP&S Program, which includes $36 million appropriated as part of the FY 2021 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 116-260), and an additional $10 million appropriated through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Pub. L. No. 117-2).

Line of duty deaths may be the result of incidents linked to firefighter training, vehicle crashes, and other fire service activities. USFA tracks and collects information on the causes of on-duty firefighter fatalities that occur in the United States. Fatal and non-fatal injuries are also tracked and described by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Firefighter fatalities and injuries can be linked to behavioral and mental health events that occur during firefighting activities. Behavioral and mental health events include post-traumatic stress, depression, and suicide. Cancer is also a significant concern for firefighters and is related to exposures to carcinogenic chemicals and particulate exposures related to firefighting activities.

The National/State/Regional Programs and Projects category under the FP&S Activity includes projects that:

  1. Focus on residential fire issues;
  2. Focus on firefighter safety, health, and well-being by dissemination and implementation of programs, policies or products from previous research studies that used rigorous scientific methods to determine effectiveness; or,
  3. Develop new firefighter safety, health, and well-being projects that do not include a research component.

Projects to determine effectiveness of firefighter safety, health or wellness programs, polices or products should be applied for under the R&D Activity. Projects requiring IRB approval to work with human subjects must be applied for under the R&D Activity. If a study aims to conduct research that can be generalized nationwide, especially if it involves human subjects, then the application must be made through the R&D Activity so that appropriate reviews (for funding) and monitoring (if awarded) can be conducted.

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