June marks the 20th anniversary of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The program, which also includes Staffing for Adequate Emergency Response and Fire Prevention and Safety grants, was authorized by Congress to provide federal funding directly to local fire departments and emergency organizations. Since its inception, AFG’s mission has remained the same: Help firefighters and first responders obtain the equipment, training and other resources necessary to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
AFG is a profoundly important program. Over the past 20 years, it has provided recipients with more than 79,000 individual awards, totaling more than $12 billion. Over the program’s 20-year history, Arizona, California and Nevada received 4,451 grants worth more than $1.1 billion.
- Arizona received 1,217 awards for $239,463,292.
- California received 3,025 awards for $829,958,307.
- Nevada received 209 awards for $69,791,827.
In the last grant cycle, 82 fire departments, fire districts and non-affiliated emergency medical services organizations received awards in FEMA Region 9. Here are a few highlights:
- The Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians in California used funds to contract a grant writer, which helped procure an AFG award to purchase vehicle extrication equipment.
- The North Las Vegas Fire Department’s grant purchased portable defibrillation and monitoring technology to help deliver high-quality CPR, provide optimal defibrillation and pacing treatments, and manage data to address critical quality improvements.
- Arizona’s Northwest Fire District purchased public safety two-way radios to deliver clear and secure communications during emergency situations.
AFG’s latest award cycle provided $350 million to 2,500 eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations and state fire training academies. Eligible activities included operations and safety, vehicle acquisition and regional projects to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance operational efficiencies, foster interoperability and support community resilience.
For more information on the AFG program, visit fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters.