AFG and SAFER Programs Ready Awards

The Department of Homeland Security has made available the statistics on the almost 3,000 grant applications received during the first Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) application period which closed on June 28th. SAFER is under peer review this week at the USFA campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

They have also posted similar statistics on the Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG). This year, 20,972 applications were received requesting $2,677,975,070.

The SAFER program for the hiring of firefighters activity involves a five-year grant to assist fire departments pay a portion of the salaries of newly hired firefighters. The Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity provides assistance to awardees for periods of up to four years.

SAFER applications totaled 2,954; 911 from all volunteer departments, 585 from career departments, 1411 from combo departments, 47 from state and local interest groups.

The SAFER program has $65 million to award. The federal share requested totaled $1,141,853,198. If this total was funded, the total project costs to departments would be over $2.8 billion.

DHS has $650 million in the AFG program; $32.5 million will go to Fire Prevention grants and $32.5 million for administrative costs leaving $585 millions for AFG awards. Program managers hope to start weekly rounds of awards soon and finish by the end of October.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program for fiscal year 2005 generally mirrors previous years