Now open: COVID-19 Supplemental grant application for fire departments

Fire departments, NAEMS organizations and state fire academies can apply for PPE and other COVID-19 supplies


FEMA has issued guidance documents for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) grant application.

AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

In light of the COVID-19 national emergency, FEMA has issued guidance documents for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) grant application.

$100 million is available through this supplemental AFG program, which opens April 28 and closes May 15.

This is an unprecedented situation where FEMA will have three open grant applications running at the same period. Specifically, the AFG-S application will be open at the same time the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) and Fire Prevention & Safety grant applications.

Applications must be submitted through the FEMA Grants Outcomes system, aka FEMA GO portal. Further, as with all other FEMA applications, a valid Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a current System for Award Management (SAM) registration are mandatory at the time of submission.

Who is eligible to apply?

Fire departments operating in any of the 50 states, as well in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any federally recognized American Indian tribe or tribal organization, are eligible to apply.

The same is true of non-affiliated EMS (NAEMS) organizations operating in the same locations. A NAEMS organization is an agency or organization that is a public or private nonprofit EMS entity providing medical transport that is not affiliated with a hospital and does not serve a geographic area in which EMS are adequately provided by a fire department.

State fire training academies (SFTA) operating in any of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, are eligible to apply, too. Applicants must be designated either by legislation or by a governor’s declaration as the sole fire service training agency within a state, territory or the District of Columbia. The designated SFTA shall be the only agency/bureau/division or entity within that state, territory or the District of Columbia to be an eligible AFG-S SFTA applicant. SFTA are limited to applying for activities that are directly associated with PPE and supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Eligible activities and funding priorities

Under the AFG-S application, all activities are limited to the purchase of PPE and supplies to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. This includes reimbursement for expenditures made since Jan. 1, 2020.

Following are the AFG-S funding priorities:

  • 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: Nonsterile, 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.

To get critically needed PPE to fire departments and EMS agencies, FEMA anticipates making awards by mid-June.

AFG-S will have three permissible activities: Operation and Safety PPE, Regional Grants and Micro Grants. Under this solicitation, a Micro Grant is an application that is requesting less than $3,000 in federal financial assistance.

Further, like AFG, this application will have four narrative sections: Financial Need, Project Description, Cost/ Benefit and Statement of Effect.

In your project description narrative, you should describe how your current response capabilities are impacted by COVID-19 as well as the overall rate of COVID-19 in your community. Applicants can reference data supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through referencing state-level data. This data will be taken into consideration when prioritizing funding.

As always, we are here to assist you with any questions that you might have. Good luck and say safe and healthy.

Jerry Brant is a senior grant consultant and grant writer with FireGrantsHelp and EMSGrantsHelp. He has 46 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter in rural West-Central Pennsylvania. He is a life member of the Hope Fire Company of Northern Cambria, where he served as chief for 15 years. He is currently an active member of the Patton Fire Company 1 and serves as safety officer. Jerry graduated from Saint Francis University with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. In 2003 he was awarded a James A Johnson Fellowship by the FannieMae Foundation for his accomplishments in the field of community development. For 20 years, Jerry was employed as the executive director and then president of a small non-profit community development corporation. He has successfully written more than $70 million in grant applications and proposals. Jerry has taught grant-writing classes at a number of locations and he frequently speaks at emergency services events. Jerry can be reached at