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Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Fire Grants
AFG Journal
This page contains important information and news related to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant.

June 2008
NFPA 1001/State Equivalent Training Standard for FY2008

In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) a stronger emphasis has been placed on the importance of training. In their recommendations to DHS about priorities and areas of emphasis for AFG, fire service representatives have underscored the criticality of having trained firefighters to carry out daily operations. It improves the effectiveness of the operation, it enhances the safety of the firefighter, and it provides interoperability in the sense that similarly trained individuals have similar concepts of operations and expected roles and responsibilities in the incident command.

Each fire department applying for a grant in the Firefighter Operations and Safety program area in FY2008 was asked to report on whether or not all of their active members were trained to NFPA 1001 (or an equivalent State standard). The question prompted several potential applicants to question their eligibility to receive an award if their department were not fully trained. This is not the case. As in previous fiscal years, any fire department and nonaffiliated EMS organization that meets the eligibility requirements set forth in the Program Guidance (pages 8-9 in FY2008) may receive funding under AFG. The training questions have no affect on the eligibility of fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations to receive a grant; nor do the answers to the NFPA 1001 questions affect whether an application can reach the second stage of competition, the peer panel review.

Let's take a close look at these training questions that are a part of any application in the Firefighter Operations and Safety activity area. Basically, the questions are about the applicant's training certification levels and interest in achieving a higher proficiency. Specifically, the applicant was asked if all of the department's active firefighters/EMS personnel are trained to NFPA 1001 or an equivalent State standard. If the answer was “No”, then the applicant was asked if they intend to request funding from AFG for firefighter/EMS training. If the response again was “No”, the applicant was asked to provide further details in the Narrative portion of the application regarding the organizations plans for training, and its policies regarding it. These answers and any narrative discussions are provided to the peer review panelists, who will make their judgments about, among other factors, cost benefits and daily operational improvements. But more importantly, the questions were placed in the application to prompt the applicants to think about where they are with respect to training and to remind them that the AFG is available to fund training programs to get the applicants where they should be.

Clearly, all fire departments/EMS are not 100% fully trained to NFPA 1001 or an equivalent State standard. And there are real impediments in achieving this objective: a department's location; the time necessary to complete the courses; the turnover rate in the department, and; the available resources throughout the States. Nevertheless; under the guidance received by AFG from the fire service, it is a program to assist fire departments nationally in achieving a larger cadre of properly trained first responders . Training grants under AFG can help overcome the time and cost impediments: classes; associated costs (e.g. tuition, transportation, training materials, etc.), and; lost wages are all eligible costs under the program.

Training is a vital and irreplaceable contributor to response capability, and an important element in assuring that everyone comes home.

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Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program
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500 C St. SW Washington, DC 20472
Phone: 1-866-274-0960 (Help Desk)   |   E-mail: firegrants@dhs.gov

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