As the significant stress on our economy continues from the actions taken to limit the spread of COVID-19, access to funding and other resources is and will be a problem for many jurisdictions.
There are two things you can do right now to help your local government get access to critical funding dollars going forward.
Push your departments and elected leaders to coordinate with local and state emergency managers to apply for disaster relief funds under the Stafford Act.
To apply, your local city or county government typically submits a project worksheet for all government entities subordinate to your respective city/county, including the fire department. It's important that your fire department carefully documents costs so it can justify how they are related to the disaster (in this case the pandemic), such as overtime, backfill, equipment, mileage, fuel, COVID-19 testing, etc. Every state and locality is different, so begin asking the questions now to get this process started.
The application period for the Fiscal Year 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants is expected to begin on or around April 13, 2020.
If your department needs assistance in applying for a SAFER grant, email email@example.com. If your department did not previously apply for an Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grant this year, your department will need toregister with the new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) GO system to apply for a SAFER grant.
The Fiscal Year 2019 Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE Act) grant application period has closed. Applications will be reviewed later this month, with awards expected beginning late spring 2020.