The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced direct assistance grants to fire departments nationwide through the agency’s FY2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant COVID-19 Supplemental program (AFG-S).
The AFG-S program includes a $21,348 grant to the Bedford Fire Department, one of the 37 departments named.
According to Fire Chief David Grunes, the AFG-S funding will provide advanced personal protective equipment (PPE) for Bedford’s firefighter-paramedics and EMTs who provide direct care to Covid-19 positive and potentially positive patients.
“At Bedford’s coronavirus peak, the Department responded to approximately 75 confirmed cases and numerous potential cases,” said Grunes. “We continue to use this type of PPE on a daily basis.”
While the case count has gone down, Grunes noted that in August, the Department’s medical responses are approximately 8% higher than during the same period last year.
“The FEMA grant should fund a full year’s supply of advanced PPE,” added Grunes. “We are still limited in acquiring PPE, however, due to a national shortage. As supply chains open we are slowly stockpiling the equipment necessary to keep our staff safe through the pandemic.”
About the FY2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program
The Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, COVID-19 Supplemental (AFG-S) is a supplemental funding opportunity under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG).
AFG is one of three FEMA grant programs that focus on enhancing the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards. The AFG-S Program accomplishes this by providing financial assistance directly to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations, and State Fire Training Academies for critical Personal Protective Equipment and supplies needed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The AFG-S Program represents part of a comprehensive set of measures authorized by Congress and implemented by the Department of Homeland Security.
FEMA obligates funding for this project directly to the recipient agencies. It is the recipient agency’s responsibility to manage its grant award within federal guidelines with technical assistance and monitoring provided by FEMA Fire Program Specialists.
Additional information about FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program(s) may be found at https://www.fema.gov/firegrants.