|Written by jmarwayne|
How to Apply For A FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant
The FEMA Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) grant is an annual federal grant program for fire departments and EMS companies. This grant provides funds for firefighting equipment, training, and in some cases, emergency vehicles. Many fire departments receive an AFG grant every year to help them purchase equipment. The application process is simple but there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. Here are some tips to write a stronger grant application and improve your chances of receiving a FEMA grant.
Step 1: Each Congressman will host an AFG grant workshop in his or her district at the start of the application period. Be sure to attend to learn that yearâ€™s funding priorities, and to get information on the grant program directly from FEMA.
Step 2: Use your grant application to request a high-priority item that is likely to be funded. You will need to justify your request, so donâ€™t ask for â€śextrasâ€ť or things you donâ€™t really need. Asking for a new firefighting vehicle is usually a poor choice except in extreme circumstances. FEMA receives more requests for vehicles than they can possible fulfill. A better strategy to receive grant money is a much smaller request like hose, SCBA and primary (not spare) turnout gear.
Step 3: Locate your call volume report, your departmentâ€™s bank account number, NFIRS ID, DUNS number, Federal Tax ID and annual budget. You will need this information to complete the first sections of the application.
Step 4: Create a user name and password for the AFG site if you do not already have one. Fill out the application sections referring to the documentation above, being careful not to leave any blank spaces.
Step 5: Create your grant narrative in a word processing program, not in the application itself. Be prepared to make a strong argument, and use data and facts. You can tell brief stories and use examples if it will help your case; reviewers are more persuaded by these descriptions than vague, repetitive paragraphs. Be sure to have someone else proofread your narrative for typographical errors, as well as information you may have missed. Give yourself enough time to allow for several rewrites.
Step 6: Copy your narrative to the application. Complete the certifications on the next pages by checking the boxes at the bottom. Do not wait until the day of the deadline to submit the application. Be sure to write or print the application number and confirmation number that appear when your submittal is successful.
Step7: Provide a copy of your application to your Congressional representativeâ€™s office. If he or she requests any further information, be sure to provide it.
Step 8: Ask your Congressman and other municipal officials for letters of support, and fax them to the number provided on the AFG grant website.
Tips: The AFG website states they receive approximately 20,000 applications every year. The biggest grants go to larger departments with higher call volume. Smaller departments should scale down grant requests to be reasonable for their size.
Warning: Be sure to spend all grant money within a year of your award in order to be eligible to apply the next year.