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Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

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Congressional rept.

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The Assistance to Firefighters Grant AFG Program, also known as fire grants or the FIRE Act grant program, was established by Title XVII of the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act P.L. 106-398. Currently administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA, Department of Homeland Security DHS, the program provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services EMS organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. A related program is the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters SAFER program, which provides grants for hiring, recruiting, and retaining firefighters. The fire grant program is now in its tenth year. The Fire Act statute was reauthorized in 2004 Title XXXVI of P.L. 108-375 and provides overall guidelines on how fire grant money should be distributed. There is no set geographical formula for the distribution of fire grants-fire departments throughout the nation apply, and award decisions are made by a peer panel based on the merits of the application and the needs of the community. However, the law does require that fire grants be distributed to a diverse mix of fire departments, with respect to type of department paid, volunteer, or combination, geographic location, and type of community served e.g. urban, suburban, or rural. On February 17, 2009, the President signed P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ARRA of 2009. The ARRA included an additional 210 million in firefighter assistance grants for modifying, upgrading, or constructing state and local non-federal fire stations, provided that 5 be set aside for program administration and provided that no grant shall exceed 15 million. P.L. 111-83, the FY2010 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill, provided 810 million for firefighter assistance, including 390 million for AFG and 420 million for SAFER. The Admi

Subject Categories:

  • Forestry
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

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