Dear Affiliate Leader:

Over the last few weeks, because of the economic hardships local jurisdictions and fire departments are already facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been working with acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf to make changes to the FY 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program.

Specifically, I raised great concerns that DHS had not exercised its authority to implement waivers to allow flexibility in applying for SAFER funds.

I am pleased to report that after personally speaking to Chad Wolf, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has extended the deadline for applications for FY 2019 Staffing for SAFER grant funding to 5:00 p.m. on May 27, 2020. Additionally, I made sure that waivers were added to include:

  • Waiving the cost share, position cost limit, supplanting and minimum budget requirements.
  • Eliminating the need for applicants to request an economic hardship waiver in applications.

In consideration of the economic impact of the pandemic, DHS has also authorized waivers for certain provisions of the FY 2020 SAFER grant program. More details will be announced soon. I have requested that the FY 2020 grant program allows departments to use funding to retain fire fighters, as we did during the Great Recession. The FY 2020 grant application period is expected to open in the fall.

Note that if you have already submitted your FY 2019 application, no further action is needed. The waiver of these provisions and the adjustments to the requested amount will be handled by the SAFER Program Office during technical review of applications. For more information, see Information Bulletin 450.

Our Grants Department is available to assist affiliates with grant applications. Please contact your District Vice President for additional information or email [email protected].




Harold A. Schaitberger
General President