The first window to submit applications for $742 million in Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program money will likely open very soon – mid-January 2012. The window to apply will only be open for 30 days and the next application period won’t open until mid-July 2012.

All locals struggling with layoffs, pending layoffs, attritions and staffing shortages should apply.

Since only officials from your jurisdiction can apply for the grant, with such a short window, it’s critical that you begin working with your jurisdiction to prepare to submit your application ASAP.

Make it clear to your municipality’s decision-makers that the SAFER grants come with no strings attached —  NO retention requirements for layoffs, pending layoffs and attritions. Grants will provide FULL salary and fringe benefits for two years. There are no caps and NO COST SHARE MATCH required by the municipality.  Grants for new hires have very few restrictions.

While IAFF locals can’t apply for your jurisdiction, you can make the decision-makers aware, generate the support you need and do everything else, including help write the application. And the IAFF is prepared to help you or the person designated from your jurisdiction to get that application done correctly. The IAFF Grants Department was successful in working collaboratively with fire chiefs, city officials and IAFF affiliates to achieve more than a 90 percent success rate on applications it reviewed in 2010.

Panel reviews of the grant applications could take place as early as mid-February.

The IAFF anticipates that many of the locals that received grants in 2009 are still facing economic challenges and may be looking to re-apply for additional funding. These locals will need to submit new applications as funds are not automatically renewed on these grants.

The grant application process requires a significant amount of time to properly complete, therefore, the IAFF recommends that affiliates submit a draft version of their grant application to the IAFF Grants Department well in advance of the application deadline. Additional information on FY 2011 SAFER grant applications is also available on the IAFF web site.

IAFF Grants Department staff will also be available at the 2012 Affiliate Leadership Training Summit in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, January 24-26 to answer questions regarding fire grants and funding, and will be available throughout the application period to assist affiliates with their applications.

Please contact Jennifer Stewart at (202) 824-8631 with any questions. Affiliates with applications ready to be reviewed can send them to [email protected].