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Grants for EMS
by Steve Buckner

AFG help: Modifications to EMS stations and facilities

Another consideration for an AFG application is 'cost sharing'

By Steve Buckner

To continue with the AFG for EMS agencies series, this month I will cover Modifications to EMS Stations and Facilities. For an overview of the "non-affiliated" EMS aspects of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant process, please refer to the "AFG for EMS" articles over the last two months here at www.EMSgrants.com, or you can view all of this information in greater detail at here. 

Another consideration for an AFG application is "Cost Sharing." This is the amount of money that any organization should plan on having available to contribute toward the project that they are attempting to fund through the AFG award. The Department of Homeland Security outlines this as follows:

Cost sharing under AFG is based on the population protected by the grantee. The cost-share breakdown is as follows:

  • Fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations serving populations of over 50,000 = 20% of the total project cost.
  • Fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations serving populations between 20,000 and 50,000 = 10% percent of the total project cost.
  • Fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations serving areas with a population of 20,000 or fewer = 5% of the total project cost.

This information was found here at EMS Grants Help.

Modifications to EMS stations and facilities
While EMS agencies were not eligible to apply for new station construction for the 2010 AFG process, the 2010 guidance did allow for specific modifications that would have a "direct effect on life safety for first-responders." This list was limited to the following six initiatives:

  • Installation of sprinkler systems
  • Installation of smoke and fire alarm notification systems
  • Installation of vehicle exhaust evacuation systems
  • Installation of vehicle mounted exhaust filtration systems
  • Installation of air improvement systems
  • Installation of emergency power generators

The DHS will give the highest priority to the installation of sprinkler systems and smoke/fire alarm systems. Furthermore, the DHS does not differentiate between exhaust evacuation systems, exhaust filtration systems, and air improvement systems. All of these will be given the same opportunity.

Any grant funds that are awarded are only allowed to be utilized on the modification of existing structures that are without one of the initiatives on above list, or for the purpose of updating existing features from the above list. Also, older structures will be given a higher consideration for awards than newer buildings.

In the 2010 AFG guidance document, it is also implied that a higher consideration will be given to "EMS stations" rather than support facilities such as dispatch or training. It is also stated that the frequency of use will have a "direct bearing" on any award. Meaning that EMS stations that are being used or occupied for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and/or have sleeping quarters will have the highest "competitive rating" when being considered for an award. Buildings that are utilized less than 24/7 will be considered less in correspondence to their frequency of use.

Finally, all EMS station modification projects are subject to all environmental and historic preservation requirements. The DHS may put any agency that is awarded funding through additional screening and determine that the modifications purposed are in alignment with all of the national regulations that govern the project. For more detailed information please refer to the AFG guidance document at the top of page 21.

Next month, I will conclude the AFG for EMS series with the last category: EMS Vehicle Acquisition.

About the author

Stephen Buckner is a grants consultant for firegrantshelp.com and emsgrantshelp.com. Stephen has been in EMS for 14 years and has been in the fire service for the last four of those. As a paramedic in Colorado Springs, Colo. for most of his career, he has had experience with hiring and field instruction. Stephen now serves as a firefighter/paramedic with Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Protection District in Monument, Colo.
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