DHS Announces FY 2006 FIRE Act Grant Application Period

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced it will begin accepting applications for Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grants beginning at 8 a.m. EST on March 6. The deadline for receipt of FIRE Act applications is 5 p.m. EST on April 7. The Assistance to Firefighters (AFG) grant program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Grants and Training (G&T) in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. The AFG program assists rural, urban and suburban fire departments throughout the United States. In addition, the AFG allows for non-fire-based EMS organizations to apply for grants.

FIRE Act funds are used by the nation's fire fighters to increase the effectiveness of fire fighting and emergency response operations and to improve fire fighter health and safety programs.

The application period for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) is scheduled to begin in June 2006. SAFER grants provide funding for the hiring of fire personnel and incentives for volunteer recruitment and retention. Only fire departments may apply for FIRE Act and SAFER grants.

A third grant opportunity occurs in September 2006, when AFG opens an application period for fire prevention and safety grants. These grants support not only fire departments, but also other experienced organizations in fire prevention and in fire fighter safety research.

Through the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2006, Congress provided $648 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants, with $108 million of the funding specified for SAFER and a minimum of $27 million for fire prevention and safety. AFG applications are automated and accessible at www.firegrantsupport.com. This Web site contains useful background information on AFG funding priorities and program guidance, as well as a tutorial on applying and other useful materials. Fire departments that have questions regarding these grant opportunities should contact the Help Desk at (866) 274-0960 or at firegrants@dhs.gov.

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