Money for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants will be available again next year as the Fiscal Year 2008 omnibus appropriations bill heads to President Bush's desk for signing.
The money is part of the Department of Homeland Security funding section and is slightly more then last year. AFG program funding is $560 million ($547 million in 2007) and SAFER funding is $190 million ($115 million in 2007).
Grant administrator Brian Cowan said the rule written to govern applications will be much like last year's adding that discussions with fire service officials suggested a greater interest in fire prevention and safety. Normally five percent of the AFG funds are set aside for specific FP&S grants but that might increase this year.
Otherwise, Cowan said, the timeline for the programs will be much like previous years. In February workshops for AFG applicants will be held around the country. Applications will be taken in March and peer review from April into May. Look for the first awards to come out in mid June. The final 2007 grants should awarded toward the end of January, 2008
It is expected that SAFER program application submissions for 2008 will begin sometime in June. SAFER grants for 2007 have not yet been awarded but are expected to start soon and be finished toward the end of February, 2008.
The 2008 Fire Prevention and Safety grant applications will be taken beginning sometime in September, 2008. FP&S 2007 applications have not yet been through peer review but that is set to happen toward the end of January. Schedule for awards has not been set.