Developing an Assistance to Firefighters Grant Application

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program application period is currently open until February 2, 2018, at 5pm EST. Fire departments and non-affiliated EMS agencies can get funding through AFG to purchase equipment, apparatus, and training.

AFG is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which has posted a number of guidance materials to help fire departments and grant writers develop applications, including:

  • NOTICE OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY (NOFO) contains the key programmatic updates and application requirements for all eligible applicants.
  • The GET READY GUIDE is designed to give you a kick-start in preparing your application.  It will help better prepare you to thoroughly answer the application questions.
  • The SELF-EVALUATION ASSISTANCE sheets are designed to help you understand the criteria that you must address in your Narrative Statement when applying for the AFG program.  There are two sheets, one for OPERATIONS & SAFETY and one for VEHICLE ACQUISITION.
  • The APPLICATION CHECKLIST will help you prepare your grant application. Collecting this information beforehand will reduce the time and energy needed to complete your application.
  • The COST SHARE CALCULATOR allows you to determine your organization’s Local Cost Share for grants. It is important to familiarize yourself with FEMA’s administration of cost sharing requirements.

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) strongly recommends that anyone developing an AFG application carefully review all applicable guidance materials published by FEMA prior to beginning an application, particularly the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to ensure that the application is in line with the grant criteria.

NVFC members who have questions about the AFG application process or would like feedback or tips about what to include in the application narrative can use this form to be connected with an NVFC peer reviewer.

The NVFC hosted a webinar entitled Understanding the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program on Thursday, January 18. Watch the archived version here:

The NVFC is also offering the Virtual Classroom course Grant Writing for the Emergency Services free for a limited time. This course educates fire and emergency services personnel on how to write a successful grant narrative, and highlights a variety of funding opportunities available for the fire and emergency services. Take course in the NVFC Virtual Classroom.