What Can The Safer Grant Be Used For? 9 Things The Safer Grant Can be Used For


SAFER simply means staffing for adequate fire and emergency response. A safer grant is a type of grant provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is used  to assist fire departments and emergency medical service organizations with staffing and equipment needs. It is an initiative adopted to provide money to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations directly to enable them to increase or maintain the number of trained firefighters. The safer grant is designed to improve the fire department’s operational capacities.

What can the safer grants be used for? It can be used to buy things needed by firefighters and emergency medical services to perform their duties. These include special clothing, vehicles and radios. Safer grants can also be used to fund safety initiatives like early detection systems, preventative education programs and risk reduction.

This safer grant was provided due to the government’s recognition and concern for the safety of everyone in the country. It is for fire departments that have ambulances and at least one firefighter working each shift. Everything you need to know about safer grants will be elaborated on in this article. Keep reading!

What Can The Safer Grant Be Used For? The Safer Grant Program

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The Safer Grant program’s objective is to help local fire departments with staffing and deployment capacities. This is to enable them to respond to emergencies and ensure that the communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. This program consists of two kinds.

Hiring Of Firefighters

This category includes other subcategories for rehiring, retention, new hires and attrition.

The first focus is the rehiring of laid-off firefighters. Those who were sacked in the previous two years before the application period.

The second focus is retention of those firefighters who faced imminent dismissal or filling positions relinquished through attrition but not filled due to economic conditions.

The third focus is hiring new firefighters.

Generally, in this type, the objective is to enhance fire department staffing levels to ensure that the number of personnel that respond or perform at incident scenes and offer protection from fire and any fire-related hazards in the communities is enough.

This program type provides a 3-year grant.

Recruitment And Retention Of Volunteer Firefighters

The first focus here is to help a department that has a high turnover rate. Additionally,  staffing levels are significantly below the ideal level required to conform to NEPA (National Fire Protective Association) standards.

The objective is to increase the number of trained, skilled and certified firefighters who are capable of responding safely to emergencies around the geographical region.

What Can the Safer Grant Be Used For? Who is Qualified To Apply For The Grant?

Fire departments that have ambulances and at least one firefighter maneuvering each shift. It can be one fire department or a group of fire departments in the same area.  Others eligible include career fire departments, communities and fire divisions.

It might interest you that the volunteer and combination fire departments can apply for grants for the hiring of firefighters or the recruitment and retention of firefighters. The career fire department can apply for a grant for the hiring of firefighters only. Communities and fire divisions can apply on behalf of a fire department that lacks legal status.

What Can The Safer Grant Be Used For? Understanding Their Expectations


It is very vital to have a full knowledge of the expectations that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has for grantees before applying for a SAFER grant. The first thing to note is whether you have an adequate procurement policy.

Another one is the process you have for maintaining important files, which is keeping records and documents. Additionally, you need to know what will happen if you need to amend your grant request. These are important things to know so that you know what you are about to do.

What Can The Safer Grant Be Used For? Application Process And Evaluation Procedure

To apply for the grant, every applicant must complete the grant application package on the FEMA website. The specific regulations and policies for Safer Grants can differ each year. Always check the FEMA website for recent updates.

Every completed and qualified application is examined based on the substance of the application relative to the established SAFER grant priorities guidelines. The standing of the applications relative to stated priorities is determined by the answers to action-particular. As well as the information under department features.

The preliminary examination assesses the close relationship each application has to the program’s ascertained preferences. Those aligned with the preferences scored higher than those not aligned.

This means that those with the highest scores are within the competitive range and go through further examination by a peer appraisal procedure. The preliminary scores are put together with the scores from the later procedure, each score representing 50 percent of the total application score concerning the last award determination.

A panel of not less than three peer appraisal panelists conducts the second phase of the application’s evaluation. They assess the application using the narrative assertion, together with the answers to the general questions and the activity-specific questions. This determines the worthiness of the request for an award.

  1. Note that each application is judged based on its own merits against established standards. Hence, any applications that address the grant funding preferences best score higher than others.
  2. Note that all applications, irrespective of the categories or type, will be evaluated by the peer reviewers in these areas: clarity of the proposed project, financial need and the impact the grant will have on a daily basis.

What Can The Safer Grants Be Used For? Those That Are Given Special Consideration

There are programs that the SAFER application gives special consideration to. They include programs that include a coordinator for recruiting and retention, indicate whether newly hired firefighters will receive entry-level physicals and vaccines, and also indicate if annual medical checks will be provided.

What Can The SAFER Grant Be Used For? Things It Is Used For

It is used to equip fire departments with the recent tools, training, and research needed to protect communities. It is used to provide important tools for emergency medical services workers and firefighters, such as networks, protective gear, etc.

SAFER grants can also be used to keep people safe by investing in safety enterprises like smoke alarms. It is to aid volunteer firefighter groups in boosting the number of equipped frontline firefighters available in the communities.

Let’s discuss them in detail.

1. Recruitment Of Personnel

What can the safer grants be used for? Safer grants can be used to recruit new firefighters to strengthen the staff levels of fire departments.  The recruitment processes involve advertising vacancies, recruitment campaigns, and attending job fairs to attract certified candidates.

2. Salaries

What can the  Safer grant be used for? Safer grants can be used to cover the salaries and wages of newly recruited firefighters.  This enables the fire department not to strain its budgets.

3. Training

Thanks to the Safer grant, the training expenses involved in onboarding new personnel are covered. This training ensures that the new personnel are properly equipped to carry out their duties effectively. In addition, they are prepared to carry out their duties safely.

4. Incentive Programs

What can the safer grants be used for? Safer grants are used in the implementation of incentive programs directed at retaining existing firefighters. The incentive programs include bonuses, educational incentives, and other programs that can encourage or motivate firefighters.

5. Wellness Programs

Safer grants can be used in the development and maintenance of wellness programs for firefighters. Wellness programs are programs that are geared toward promoting the physical and mental well-being of firefighters. It is also a program that reduces the probability of firefighters burning out as well as improving their overall retention rates.

6. Equipment And Facilities

What can’t the Safer Grant be used for? Aside from the recruitment of new firefighters, it can also be used to buy or build recent equipment or facilities for firefighters. This contributes to job satisfaction and retention. Some of the equipment and facilities include firefighting gear, renovation of the station, and construction of amenities to enhance the work setting.

7. Data Collection

Safer grants may be used for data collection, reporting, and evaluation activities. This is to assess the effectiveness of hiring and retention efforts. This data collected aids in future decision-making and ensures accountability in grant use.

8. Technical Assistance

This is necessary. The safer grant may be used by the fire department to pursue consultation and technical assistance from experts in recruitment, retention and firefighting practices. This improves the effectiveness of all the initiatives within the organization.

9. Tuition Reimbursement

A safer grant can be used to pay tuition fees for a child, a relative of a member or the member himself. This is for volunteers who can not pay the tuition of their child or themselves without having to take another job, which can lessen the time they spend volunteering. The applicant’s or a family member’s must be a high school graduate or equivalent.

The application is for only two semesters in one reporting period. A maximum of $4000 is paid to each qualified recipient, irrespective of the total funds expended by the student.

Final Words

The Safer Grant is an initiative adopted by FEMA to provide money for fire departments. What can the safer grant be used for? It is used to provide essential tools and equipment for firefighters. It is also used to boost the staffing levels of firefighters in a community.

Every recipient must become aware of the  SAFER guarantee grant requirements laid down by FEMA that they must adhere to before applying for it.

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