WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo and Niagara Falls, has announced that the Assistance to Firefighters Grant application period is now open.

The AFG program provides competitive grants to fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs, and to establish or expand fire prevention programs throughout the United States.

More than $350 million was appropriated in 2019 for the AFG Program, including $35 million for the Fire Prevention and Safety Program.

“Firefighters across the country and right here in Western New York are among the first to respond to emergency and disaster situations providing an invaluable service to our communities,” Higgins said. “The Assistance to Firefighters Grant program helps to fund the tools departments need to answer the call. We encourage local departments to apply.”

The application period for AFG grants opened on Feb. 3 and applications are due by 5 p.m. on March 13. All applications are submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and go through a non-partisan, merit-based review ranked by factors established by a panel of fire service professionals.

Departments with questions can contact the AFG Help Desk at firegrants@fema.gov or 1-866-274-0960. More information on the fire grant program is available through the federal fire grant website at: www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program

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