Fire Service Grants: Are We There Yet?

What separates the competitive from the non-competitive applications is the why behind the what.

So if we want an increased likelihood of funding we need to push where we can for increased funding. The law governing the AFG program has only authorized through a 2010 application period, meaning we only have three cycles left. I can easily answer the question "are we there yet" for most of the fire service based on the number of people I have contact with: No, we are not there yet. We are getting closer to Point B, but since we're in a dynamic industry we have Point C, Point D, and so on to get to. And sometimes they move on us as risk factors change. We need more funding and we need AFG to continue past 2010. As I mentioned, every year deserving and competitive applications don't get funded. It may take more than one year to get an application funded even if you do all of the right things. That's the nature of the competitive grant world. Don't get frustrated, don't stop applying. Keep applying, encourage your neighboring departments to apply, and keep hammering your Congressional representatives to extend AFG and properly fund it along with the other grant programs we have.

We aren't there yet, but if we work together we can all make improvements.

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BRIAN P. VICKERS, a Contributing Editor, has been in the fire service for 15 years and is currently with the Westlake Volunteer Fire Department in Houston. He is CEO of Consulting Services (FSC), one of the country's leading public safety consulting firms specializing in strategic financial planning and grants. To date FCS has helped their clients receive nearly $70 million in grant awards. . To read Brian's complete biography and view his archived articles, click here. You can reach Brian by e-mail at