2009 SAFER Grants Information Guide
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The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments ability to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by NFPA and OSHA (NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720 and OSHA 1910.134 – see page 9 of the “2007 SAFER Program Guidance” or www.nfpa.org/SAFERActGrant for more details). Specifically, SAFER funds should assist local fire departments to increase their staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies whenever they may occur. As a result of the enhanced staffing, response times should be sufficiently reduced with an appropriate number of personnel assembled at the incident scene. Also, the enhanced staffing should provide that all front-line/first-due apparatus of SAFER grantees have a minimum of four trained personnel to meet the OSHA standards referenced above.
Ultimately, a faster, safer and more efficient incident scene will be established and communities will have more adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.
If selected for a SAFER award, grantees will be required to adhere to several terms and conditions of the award.
What Is the Ultimate Purpose of a SAFER Grant?
1. Hiring of Firefighters Activity. The goal of the Hiring of Firefighters Activity is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help them increase the number of frontline, active firefighters with a goal of ultimately assuring the department has adequate personnel to respond to and safely perform at an incident scene, thus providing the community protection from fire and fire-related hazards. This activity provides 5-year grants to assist fire departments in paying a portion of the salaries of newly hired firefighters. These newly hired positions must be in addition to currently authorized and/or funded active firefighter positions. Grantees are required to match an increasing proportion of the salary awarded over a 4-year period; in the fifth year of the grant, the grantee must absorb the entire cost of any positions awarded as a result of the grant.
The Federal share of salaries and associated benefits is limited to a total of $105,425 per position over the course of the performance period. There is no funding limit for any application or any limit to the number of positions eligible for funding per application. However, applicants requesting large numbers of firefighters must make a strong case for their request.
What Kinds of Activity is a SAFER Grant Used For?
2. Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity. The goal of this activity is to create a net increase in the number of trained, certified, and competent firefighters capable of safely responding to emergencies likely to occur within the fire department geographic response area… The primary focus is the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters who are involved with or trained in the operations of firefighting and emergency response. Volunteer, paid-on-call, and combination fire departments as well as local and statewide volunteer firefighter interest organizations are eligible to receive grants in this Activity.