SAFER Deadline Approaching

The SAFER application period will be open until the end of the month.

Organizations or agencies have until 5 p.m. Aug. 31 to submit an application request, according to officials in the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program Office.

Once an application is submitted electronically, an automatic notification via e-mail will be sent indicating that it as received.

Grants are available for the hiring of firefighters or the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. SAFER applications are automated and accessible via the AFG website.

Officials who have questions regarding this grant opportunity should contact the AFG Help Desk at 1-866-274-0960.

SAFER is administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency.

SAFER grants that support the hiring of firefighters require applicants to provide a funding match. The formula for the funding match is explained on the website. Recruitment and retention grants do not require a funding match.

Three grant opportunities are available each year.

The FIRE Act grants are used by the nation's firefighters and first responders to increase the effectiveness of firefighting and emergency response operations.

The application period for these grants was in the spring, and award decisions for applications that are eligible have begun.

In addition to the SAFER grant opportunity, personnel also may apply for Fire Prevention and Safety grants. These not only support fire departments but also support other organizations experienced in fire prevention and in firefighter safety research.

Through the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007, Congress provided $662 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, with $115 million of the funding specified for SAFER Grants and a minimum of $27.35 million for the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants.