FEMA announces $36 million for fire prevention and safety grant program

March 12, 2024

New funding for fire prevention and safety

On March 11, 2024, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced the release of the funding notice and the start of the application period for the Fiscal Year 2023 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant program.

This program is set to award $36 million, aiming to strengthen community fire prevention programs and support scientific research focused on enhancing firefighter safety, health, and well-being.

The FP&S grants have been instrumental in supporting vital research and outreach campaigns.

Universities and organizations have utilized these funds to propel scientific research and examine aspects of firefighter safety.

The University of Arizona, for instance, is conducting a long-term study with thousands of firefighters to investigate the causes of cancer related to job exposures and methods to mitigate it.

Similarly, the American Red Cross’ Home Fire Campaign has significantly contributed to fire safety.

This initiative reached over 3 million people nationwide, providing fire safety education and installing more than 2 million free smoke alarms in homes.

Notably, about 60% of fire deaths in the nation occur in homes lacking functioning smoke alarms.

Another example is the work by the U.S branch of The Institution of Fire Engineers in Crofton, Maryland.

Through the Vision 20/20 program, they have been actively reducing fire risks by identifying, prioritizing, and addressing them across fire and emergency services.

Administrator Criswell and Dr. Moore-Merrell on the importance of the grant

Administrator Criswell emphasized the significance of these grants: “We are investing in better fire safety research and programming to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations,” said Criswell.

“These grants will help communities better equip themselves with the tools they need to save lives and protect themselves from future fire events. It’s in every community’s best interest to seek out this critical opportunity.”

Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell, U.S. Fire Administrator, also highlighted the essential role of the FP&S grant funds: “The FP&S grant funds are fundamental to enabling critical research from a variety of subject-matter experts and entities, necessary to identify gaps and inform interventions that ultimately have national impact on firefighter health and safety.”

Application details and program history

Since its inception, the FP&S Program has awarded approximately $852 million.

The funding is designed to support fire departments, national, regional, state, local, tribal, and non-profit organizations, including academic institutions, research foundations, public safety institutes, and public health, occupational health, and injury prevention institutions.

These entities can utilize the grants for fire prevention programs and firefighter health and safety research and development, including clinical studies that address behavioral, social science, and cultural research.

The application period for this year’s FP&S funding will close on Friday, April 12, 2024, at 5 p.m. ET.

FSJA Comment

By focusing on areas such as cancer prevention among firefighters and the installation of smoke alarms in homes, this initiative addresses some of the most pressing challenges in fire safety today.

The collaborative effort involving various organizations and research entities highlights a comprehensive approach to tackling these challenges.

As the application period opens, it will be interesting to observe the variety of projects that will receive support and the subsequent impact these initiatives will have on community safety and firefighter well-being.

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