Lack of applications leads to unprecedented move by FEMA!

HMN - Lack of applications leads to unprecedented move by FEMA!

“Get your grants in for PPE!”

An unprecedented recent announcement from FEMA  – it will be opening its Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program – COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) grant application period for a second round of funding. 

The purpose of Assistance to Firefighters Grant-Supplemental (AFG-S) is to award grants directly to fire departments, non-affiliated EMS (NAEMS) organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTA), to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel through the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and related essential supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Due to a lack of qualifying applications in the initial application cycle, the AFG-S will have a second application round for volunteer and combination fire departments only early October. NAEMS and SFTA’s are not eligible to apply under AFG-S round 2. These departments are eligible to apply again even if they had a successful application in the first round. However, new applications must support new capabilities.

By law, No Less Than (NLT) 25 percent of available AFG-S funds must be awarded to volunteer fire departments, NLT another 25 percent must be awarded to combination fire departments. Those minimum percentages were not met. 

Through the CARES Act, there was $100M available through the AFG-S. The $100 million in funding appropriated for AFG-S by the CARES Act is separate and distinct from the FY 2019 AFG Program Notice of Funding Opportunity published on Jan. 27, 2020.  For this second application period a total of $33M is available.

How is the application rated?

Applicant requests should align with information about current supply, response usage, and anticipated peak dates. Departments will be rated against like departments (e.g., combination, volunteer fire departments) through the following data points: 

  • Call volume
  • Population size of the jurisdiction served.
  • Applicants requesting reimbursement or requesting immediate use of PPE will receive a higher consideration than applicants requesting funds to prepare for future COVID response capabilities. 

Departments that applied in the first round but were unsuccessful must reapply in this round; applications from the first round will not automatically carry forward to this round for consideration. When you apply the following criteria should be considered; 

  • Financial Need (25 percent) Applicants should describe their financial need and how consistent it is with the intent of the AFG-S Program. 
  • Project Description and Budget (25 percent) The Project Description and Budget statement should clearly explain the applicant’s project objectives and its relationship to the applicant’s budget and risk analysis. 
  • Cost Benefit (25 percent) 
  • Applicants should describe how they plan to address the operations and personal safety needs of their organization, including cost effectiveness and sharing assets.  Statement of Effect on Operation, (25 percent). The Statement of Effect on Operations should explain how this funding request will enhance an organization’s overall effectiveness.

So what is included?

  • Eye protection – Appropriately fitted, indirectly vented goggles or single-use disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face.
  • Isolation gowns – Non-sterile, single-use fluid-resistant and impermeable disposable patient isolation gown.
  • Protective coveralls – 360-degree protection of whole body, including the back, lower legs and feet.
  • Gloves – Single-use, disposable patient examination gloves.
  • Footwear covers – Single-use, disposable medical footwear covers.
  • Respirators – Any NIOSH-approved particulate respirator (i.e., N-95 or higher-level respirator). Includes the purchase of filters appropriate for use.
  • Surgical-type face masks – Loose-fitting, single-use disposable physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer to allow fire and EMS personnel to meet CDC recommendations and/or state mandates for face covering when in a public setting other than direct patient contact.

Anything I can’t claim for?

There are other supplies also eligible, but they will be considered a lower priority than items listed above. Examples include:

  • Decontamination supplies and services for PPE, station-quarters and vehicles.
  • Replacement High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters and other types of disposable filtration supplies used on EMS respiratory and/or ventilator equipment.
  • Personally issued antiseptic hand washes, antiseptic hand rubs, such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers, foams or gels, and a reasonable amount of refill supplies.

“Get your grants in for PPE!”Anything else, including Decontamination systems is off the table! Start preparing your application now: