Justin Lobdell - Oct 19, 2020

Looking for funding for respirator fit testing for your fire department?

Respirators and respirator fit testing instrumentation and supplies are arguably more important now than ever for fire fighters and first responders. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), well over half of the firefighters in the United States are volunteer. These volunteer and combination departments rely heavily on grants as funding sources.

Many government agencies are making funding available for services and supplies related to the global pandemic. One such opportunity is part of The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which established and appropriated $150 billion to the Coronavirus Relief Fund. Within CARES falls The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Supplemental Program (AFG-S) which is a supplemental grant of AFG, one of three grant programs that establishes the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) emphasis on improving the safety and health of firefighters and the public relating to fire-related hazards.

The AFG-S COVID-19 Supplemental Program accomplishes this by providing grants to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical service (NAEMS) organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTA) for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies necessary to prepare for and respond to the current public health emergency.

This is the second round of COVID-19 response grants opened as part of the Supplemental Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, to help provide support to fire departments, NAEMS organizations, and SFTA’s who continue to deal with challenges related to COVID-19.

These FY20 AFG-S grants are available only to volunteer and combination departments for the purchase of PPE and other supplies for COVID-19 response. Available funding is $31 million with a projected number of 500 grants to be awarded.

If your department is eligible, you must apply at FEMA (https://www.fema.gov/media-collection/fy-2020-assistance-firefighters-grant-program-covid-19-supplemental-afg-s) by November 13, 2020 at 5:00 pm ET.

Those departments which received funding in the first round are still eligible to apply in the second round as long as the application supports new needs. Applications from the first round are not automatically considered in the second round. Higher consideration will be given to applicants requesting reimbursement or requesting items for immediate use than those applicants requesting funding as part of preparation for future response efforts.

As respirators are among the list of items given priority consideration for this grant program, it is likely funding could be provided for needed respirator fit testing instrumentation and related supplies.

For more information on respirator fit testing, visit ohdglobal.com


Written by Justin Lobdell