About the WCFPD 2015 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant.
What is a SAFER Grant?
“The SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained, “front-line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards established by the NFPA (NFPA 1710 and/or NFPA 1720).” (https://www.fema.gov/staffing-adequate-fire-emergency-response-grants)
What is NFPA 1720?
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1720 is a standard concerning personnel deployment and response times to fires and medical emergencies. The National Fire Protection Association is a United States trade association, that creates and maintains standards and codes for usage and adoption by local governments. https://www.nfpa.org/
On February 22, 2016, the grant was opened for application. The Notice of Funding Opportunity may be found here: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1456760953289-668344ca538b914f77763e99245187aa/FY15_SAFER_NOFO_updated_2.26.2016.pdf
Why did we apply for the grant?
The District had begun to see a trend of decreasing volunteer staffing, coupled with an increase in activity. The activities included not only emergency responses, but also public education and relations, as well as member education and training activities. At the time, two career firefighters were assigned to one firetruck at Firehouse #1, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, well below the national standard. Volunteers supplemented the career staff when available. The Board of Directors (BOD) at the time authorized the grant application in the hopes of maintaining adequate emergency response staffing levels. Chairman Zuhone and the BOD acknowledged the long-term obligations of the grant and committed to same in a letter here.
Directors at time of application: Chairman Larry Zuhone, Treasurer Dan West, Director Rudy Jovanovic, Director Keith Thompson, and Director Michael Schriener.
How did we win the grant?
We simply applied using the narratives here.
Then we waited.
On August 19, 2016, we received a pair of emails notifying us of our successful grant!
Read the emails:
What was the scope of the grant?
The grant we were awarded included the hiring of six full-time Firefighters, including benefits, for a what FEMA calls a "Period of Performance" of two years, from February 2017 through February 2019. The entire grant package totaled $444,000. See the award here.
Who accepted and authorized the grant?
On October 27, 2016, the BOD signed a Resolution to accept the grant. This marked a historic time for the District, as we would now be able to meet National Standards by having an adequate number of personnel assigned to our fire engine each day. Read the Resolution here.
Directors at time of acceptance: Chairman Rudy Jovanovic, Treasurer Dan West, Director Andy Klein, Director Bob Grah, and Director Michael Schriener.
What were the actions needed to administer the grant after accepting?
FEMA provided a comprehensive guide to managing the grant, which included many tasks to be completed throughout the duration of the grant, or Period of Performance (POP). The POP was from February 2017 through February 2019.
The purpose of the guide was to help us effectively manage our hiring grant. The guide explained how to complete required grant reports, request reimbursement, and comply with grant requirements. All staff involved in administering the grant read this guide.