Ultimate Guide to SAFER Grants
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Allowable Expenses for Staffing
The only eligible costs under the Hiring of Firefighters Activity are the salary and associated benefits for the new firefighter positions. Overtime costs are not eligible. However, costs for overtime, in order to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requirements, which fire departments routinely pay as a part of the base salary or the firefighter’s regularly scheduled and contracted shift hours, are eligible. Costs to apply for the grant (such as grant-writer fees), administrative costs, and indirect costs associated with hiring of the firefighters are not eligible. Costs of training and equipping firefighters are not eligible. However, the salaries and benefits of firefighters hired under the SAFER grants while they are engaged in training are eligible. Costs for uniforms and physicals are not eligible. In addition, funds to support additional hired positions shall not be used to supplant normal operating budgets or funds received from Federal, State, or local sources for these purposes.
Other Considerations: No changes in scope will be considered once an application is submitted. Applicants may NOT reduce the number of positions requested in their application, nor may they change or modify the grant’s period of performance. Failure to fully fund awarded positions will be considered as defaulting on the grant agreement, and may require the return of all the Federal funds disbursed under the grant.
Only full-time positions will be funded. However, recognizing that many departments have shifts that exceed a 40-hour workweek, a full-time position is one that is funded for at least 2,080 hours per year (i.e., 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year).
DHS will also consider funding the job-sharing of a full-time position with sufficient justification. A job-share position is a full-time position that is occupied by more than one person. Example: A department may hire two part-time staff persons at 28 hours each to fulfill the scheduled work hours of one 56-hour shift position. Please note, however, that since the number of scheduled shifts that a department typically uses is three or four, the number of individuals that may share in a SAFER-funded position will be limited to four.