150 communities receive SAFER grants

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants will help hundreds of communities across the country hire and train fire emergency professionals


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants to more than 150 communities for the month of September.

The DHS announced that it would be giving out $350,000,000 in SAFER Grants to 300 communities across the nation starting in 2019 and with awards to be disbursed over 12 to 48 months.

The SAFER Grants program was created to provide funding to local fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations with the aim of strengthening community preparedness in fire emergency response. More specifically, in accordance with the industry standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the grants are meant to assist with the staffing and training of “front line” fire emergency professionals. Doing this helps to ensure that when deployed, both career and volunteer firefighters can adequately protect the communities they serve during a fire emergency event.

The SAFER grants, which were issued jointly under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Grant Programs Directorate (GPD), were made available to local career, volunteer and combination fire departments, as well as national, state, local, tribal and territorial organizations that represent the interests of volunteer firefighters. The grants support fire department and firefighter interest organizations in two categories:

  • Hiring of Firefighters - hiring new firefighters to increase personnel numbers or changing the status of part-time or paid-on-call firefighters to full time firefighters
  • Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters - helping fire departments with the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters involved with or trained in firefighting and emergency response

Grant awards are allocated to fire departments and volunteer organizations that complied with NFPA 1710 structural response or provide evidence that an award would increase compliance with assembly and deployment standards.

Kenny Sokan is a freelance writer at Gov1. She is a strong believer in the power of information and creative expression, which guides her in all of the work that she does. Kenny is a graduate of Northeastern University with a BA in journalism.