New firefighter safety equipment grant program opens for FY24

November 10, 2023

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) in collaboration with the Department of Fire Services (DFS) announced a new grant program for the upcoming State Fiscal Year 2024 for Massachusetts.

The initiative aims to provide funding for fire departments across the Commonwealth to purchase firefighter safety equipment.

A total of $5 million is allocated for the grants, which will be distributed on a competitive basis.

Equipment grant funding criteria and application process detailed

According to the EOPSS and DFS: “Funds for this program will be awarded on a competitive basis.”

The scoring rubric and award decision process are outlined in Section III of the grant documentation.

Attendance at a mandatory application webinar is a prerequisite for all prospective applicants, with details found in Section XI.

The directive states: “A detailed list of eligible program expenses can be found in Section XV.”

Additionally, the grant stipulates that the funds are not to be used for ongoing maintenance, lease agreements, or staffing costs, and vehicle purchases are explicitly excluded.

Eligibility and award amounts based on community size:

Eligibility extends to every city, town, fire district, and state authority department within the Commonwealth.

Grant amounts are scaled according to the population served, with the maximum funding ranging from $10,500 to $50,000, based on the latest census data.

Departments are allowed to submit individual or regional applications, provided they adhere to the outlined conditions: “On all regional applications, the Primary Applicant will serve as the grant administrator.”

Application guidelines and monitoring for compliance:

Application procedures are precise, requiring submission of an Excel document with specific tabs for various details, including a cover sheet, narrative, supporting documents for regional applicants, and a budget worksheet.

The forms are available for download, and departments must submit them via email by the specified deadline.

The DFS will perform grant monitoring and may request funds to be returned if noncompliance with grant terms is identified.

Find full details on how to apply equipment grant.

FSJA Comment

The introduction of the FY24 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program supports the crucial need for updated equipment, acknowledging the direct impact on community safety and emergency response efficacy.

The program’s comprehensive approach ensures a fair distribution of funds, encouraging departments to prioritize essential updates.

As fire departments often face budget constraints, this grant is a lifeline, facilitating much-needed resources without burdening local finances.

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