Securing Fire Safety: Exploring the SAFER Program's $250,000 Investment

The SAFER Program, funded by FEMA with $360 million, supports fire department recruitment, retention, and development. With streams for hiring firefighters and retaining volunteers, SAFER funds projects like risk reduction and arson investigation to reduce fire fatalities. Fire departments should act by the April 12, 2024 deadline to access SAFER resources for enhancing emergency response capabilities.

Funding INformation

  • Total Funding: Up to $1.2 million, funded up to 100% by FEMA.
  • SAFER Program Funding: $360,000,000.00
  • Maximum Funding Amount: $250,000.00
  • Decision Timeframe: Likely July-August.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
    • "Career-Only" fire departments ineligible for the Recruitment & Retention stream (exclusive to Volunteer and Combination staffed departments).
    • "Hire" stream open to all types of departments.
    • Career departments can apply for funding for retention of existing staff members at risk of imminent lay-off within the next 120 days.

Eligibility Criteria

The following organizations eligible to apply for funding include:

  1. Municipalities
  2. Not-for-profit organizations
  3. Public administrations
  4. Indigenous governing bodies
  5. Local or tribal communities serviced by fire departments
  6. Local businesses within serviced communities
  7. Homeowners within serviced communities
  8. Property owners within serviced communities
Eligible Projects

The following are examples of projects that SAFER looks to fund: 

  • Community Risk Reduction Category
    • Examples:
      • Smoke alarm campaign
      • Sprinkler awareness
      • Risk assessments and reduction planning
      • Training of public education personnel
      • General prevention and awareness campaigns
      • Fire-safety trailers/houses
      • Juvenile Fire Setter Projects
      • Code Enforcement/Awareness
  • Fire/Arson Investigation
    • Examples:
      • Arson investigation trailers
      • Arson investigation equipment
      • Arson investigator training
      • Arson-prevention training
  • Hiring Stream:
    • Hiring new firefighters
    • Rehiring laid-off firefighters
    • Retaining firefighters facing layoff
  • Recruitment and Retention (R&R) Stream:
    • Assisting fire departments with recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters
  • Other Eligible Projects
    • Emerging energy challenges
    • Abandoned building issues
    • Occupational factors improvement

All proposals must be submitted by April 12, 2024, 5 pm EST.

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