Apply for a SAFER Grant to Help Recruit and Retain Volunteer Firefighters

Need more firefighters in your department? The application period is now open for FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant opportunity. Grant funds can be used to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters or to hire paid firefighters. The goal of SAFER is to enable departments to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by NFPA 1710 or 1720.

Click here to access the SAFER application assistance tools, and be sure to read the guidance document carefully. Also make sure to register your department or organization with, which is required for all applicants and awardees.

National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) members needing assistance with writing their grant application can take advantage of a 25% discount on grant-writing services from Click here to request assistance, and use discount code NVFC25.

The NVFC was awarded a SAFER grant in 2014 to develop and implement a national recruitment campaign. Departments can post their volunteer opportunities, access ready-to-use and customizable recruitment materials, track recruits through the process, and more. These recruitment resources are free to use and available at When developing your recruitment and retention plan, whether through a SAFER grant or not, consider incorporating the Make Me A Firefighter campaign into your efforts.