PHILADELPHIA – Our firefighters, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responders, and State Fire Academies work hard every day to keep our communities safe. They rely on equipment, training, and resources to make sure that when there is an emergency, such as a building fire or medical emergency, they can respond quickly and efficiently. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the inestimable value of these first responders and has awarded fire companies, unaffiliated EMS, and West Virginia University for the State Fire Academy across the State of West Virginia a total of $6,876,406 to help them in their service to our communities.
Through the Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program (AFG), FEMA has provided $5,279,738 for operational support, vehicle acquisition, and training opportunities. The AFG grants purchase life-saving equipment, such as turnout gear, hoses, self-contained breathing apparatus, and more that are critical to successfully responding to an emergency. “Every day, our first responders put themselves in harm’s way to help individuals and families, whether it’s responding to a medical emergency, fire, or accidents, they are there,” stated MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator. “These awards are an annual opportunity for FEMA to fund the critical equipment and needs of firefighters and EMS organizations so they can continue doing what they do best: helping their communities.”
In addition to AFG funding, West Virginia also received $1,219,868 in Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants to help retain, train, and invest in firefighters. These grants allow fire companies to continue to meet their staffing needs in order to protect their communities 24/7.
Lastly, West Virginia received $376,800 in Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) grants to help reduce the risk of fire in communities. These grants fund education, training, and resources, such as smoke alarms which fire companies often install in homes free of charge. Fire safety and education is a key part in reducing the risk of fire injury.
The AFG, SAFER, and FP&S grants are annual competitive grants which eligible fire companies, unaffiliated EMS, and state fire academies can apply for. The grants are subject to annual appropriations. The Fiscal Year 2018 AFG grants application period is now open until Friday, October 26, 2018 at 05:00pm EDT. Interested applicants can find tools and resources, including links to Program Webinars, at www.FEMA.gov/assistance-firefighters-grants-training-tools.
For more information on these grants, and how to apply, please visit www.FEMA.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Learn more about FEMA Region III at www.FEMA.gov/region-iii. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.