The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program was unlike any other that had been developed previously in that it would be a competitive program, with limits on what would be funded, and how much would be funded for those items. Initially, a somewhat cryptic set of rules was published for the program. USFA, now DHS, certainly can not give anyone the exact algorithms involved in calculating the competitive scoring of the applications, that would most likely lead to fraud, and everyone loses when that happens. So as applicants we are left to try and figure out what works and what doesn't work, and hope we get it better the next year if we don't succeed. Whether or not you have ever written a grant for this program, whether or not you have ever been successful with this program, everyone's first step before writing any grant application should be research.
Some of the top lawyers in the country will tell you, the best weapon you have against someone is their own words. So the first place to start for information about AFG, is the grant guidance documents themselves. The Program Guidance document and the Grant Workshop PowerPoint