Application Period Begins for Firefighters Seeking Federal Grant

Open application period will run from January 30 - February 24, 2012

WILMINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, and Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney (both D-Del.), members of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, announced the start of the open application period for those interested in applying for the FY 2011 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant. The application period began on Jan. 30 and will close on Feb. 24, 2012. The goal of the SAFER Grants is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies, assuring communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.

All SAFER applicants should read the new FY 2011 SAFER Grants Program Guidance to fully understand the FY 2011 award criteria, funding priorities, and important special application instructions for completing the application. For more information, visit the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program website.

“As co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, I’m committed to ensuring that men and women of our fire and emergency services in Delaware and across the country have a properly trained and functional staff and stay in compliance with national regulations,” Sen. Carper said. “This grant helps the First State’s fire companies maintain the mandatory number of personnel and helps train more firefighters to perform at their very best during times of crisis.”

“Our first responders put their lives on the line for us to protect our communities every day,” said Sen. Coons. “We live in a time when budgets are being tightened across the board, and SAFER grants can help fill in the gap for fire companies struggling to keep first responders on the job. I hope Delaware’s local fire companies take advantage of this opportunity to take on more firefighters and apply for these SAFER grants.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Delaware firefighters for many years, and am always amazed by the professionalism, dedication, and willingness they have to put the safety of others ahead of their own,” said Congressman Carney. “SAFER grants can help Delaware fire companies with the staffing, deployment capabilities, and training they need to protect themselves and all of us. I encourage our local companies to take advantage of this open application period.”


The grant program conditions described below are in effect only for the FY 2011 SAFER Grants; they are not retroactive to previous fiscal years and do not apply beyond the FY 2011 SAFER Grants Program.

  • Salary limits: There are no annual salary limits
  • Grantee cost share: There is no prescribed cost-share
  • No retention commitment: Grantees that are hiring firefighters—whether they be rehires, new hires, or retained firefighters—do not have to commit to retaining the SAFER-funded firefighters beyond the period of performance. However, no firefighter layoffs are permitted—of either SAFER-funded on non-SAFER firefighters—during the grant’s period of performance
  • Period of performance: For the Hiring of Firefighters Category grants, the period of performance has been reduced to 2 years.
  • Attrition of firefighters: FY 2011 grantees who are unable to back-fill firefighting positions that are vacated due to documentable economic hardship may petition FEMA for a waiver of staffing maintenance requirements. To qualify for this waiver, the economic hardship must affect the entire public safety sector in the jurisdiction and not only the fire department.
  • Hiring of Firefighters Category: The priorities for funding will be as follows:
  • First priority: Rehiring laid-off firefighters
  • Second priority: Retention of firefighters who face imminent layoff and/or filling positions vacated through attrition but not filled due to economic circumstances
  • Third priority: Hiring new firefighters

If you need additional information or instructions, the SAFER Help Desk and Fire Program Specialists will be available throughout the application period to answer questions about the SAFER Program Guidance and the online grant application. The Help Desk can be contacted at 1-866-274-0960 or via e-mail at The Help Desk hours of operation during the application period are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All times listed are eastern daylight times.