Fairfax, Va.--The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the application period for the 2008 round of the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program will be May 27-June 27. The IAFC encourages all eligible members with unmet staffing needs to apply.
Fire departments are eligible to apply for grants and may access applications, and other important materials online at www.firegrantsupport.com/safer/. Please feel free to download the application below.
The IAFC government relations department has prepared an overview of the FY 2008 SAFER Grant Program and Application Guidance, available on www.iafc.org at Government Relations > Issue: FIRE/SAFER Grants .
Congress appropriated $190 million to DHS to fund the SAFER Grant Program in fiscal year 2008. The program funds two activities:
The hiring of firefighters as part of a five-year matching grant program
Developing a program to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters
According to the authorizing legislation, DHS will set aside 10% of the funding for hiring firefighters for volunteer and mostly volunteer departments and at least 10% for the recruitment and retention of volunteers.
SAFER grant applications decreased by 13% in 2007, indicating that even though funding for the program has increased, many eligible fire departments may not be taking advantage of this opportunity.
"Based on last year's application numbers, I strongly encourage our members to apply for this grant program," said Chief Steven P. Westermann, IAFC president. "The SAFER Grant Program provides a valuable opportunity for career, combination and volunteer fire departments to address their staffing needs and enhance deployment capabilities, particularly during a time when mission areas are growing and departments may be stretched thin."