Our firefighters, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responders and State Associations 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 fire associations across the State of West Virginia $4,647,666.18 to help them in their service to our communities.
Through the Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program (AFG), FEMA has provided $2,907,936.34 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. “All disasters start at the local level, and it’s the local firefighters and EMS personnel that are always first on the scene taking action to prevent loss of life and property.” 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: save lives and helping their communities be more prepared.”
In addition to AFG funding, West Virginia also received $1,225,072.70 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 $514,657.14 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. 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.