The application period for the FY 2012 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants closed on January 18, 2013. The FP&S Grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and fire fighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations. The FP&S program also includes funding for the Firefighter Safety Research and Development program.
This application period included more than 1,300 applications requesting more than $128 million in funding. With just $35 million available to fund the requested projects it is safe to say that the peer review process is critical to ensuring the limited funds are awarded to projects that will have the most impact on the fire service. It is for this reason that General President Schaitberger successfully lobbied to have IAFF representatives participate in reviewing the grant applications. Additionally, the IAFF was successful in changing the review criteria for the Safety and Research Grants. Previously, grants were scored on technical merit prior to being reviewed to determine if the proposed project would provide information that would have an impact on fire fighters on the street. By moving the relevancy review process ahead of the technical review we were able to increase the likelihood that the funded projects would have a greater impact on the health and safety of our members.
The IAFF’s participation is designed to ensure that career fire departments and our membership benefit from these grant programs. Accordingly, we nominate as many IAFF representatives as DHS will allow from our pool of District Field Service Representatives, PEP instructors, PFT instructors, HazMat instructors, Occupational Safety and Health Committee members, FGS instructors, and members forwarded to us by our District Vice Presidents.
The evaluation sessions for these applications took place this week in Atlanta, Georgia. More than a dozen IAFF representatives and staff were selected to participate by DHS. The IAFF once again hosted a mandatory breakfast meeting beforehand for IAFF peer reviewers. This breakfast serves as an opportunity for us to discuss any changes in the program and the critical role our peer reviewers will play in funding programs to enhance the safety for our members and the public.
Thank you to the dedicated members who took time from their busy lives to play a critical role in this review process and look forward to see the fruits of your efforts when the awards begin in the coming months.
We’d also like to remind our affiliates to look for announcements for the upcoming Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) and the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) application period this spring. We encourage you to sign up for free email updates by clicking here (http://www.fema.gov/subscribe-receive-free-email-updates)