Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants For First Responders

Posted by Vickie Garton-Gundling on Tue, Feb 19, 2019 @ 16:02 PM

In times of crisis and danger, first responders fearlessly rush to the scene to keep people safe and resolve the issue at hand. There are many grants available for first responders, including grants for police, firefighters, and emergency medical staff.

Police Grants

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Programs
These grant programs, administered through the U.S. Department of Justice, offer support for a variety of law enforcement needs. More specifically, there are seven programs offered through COPS. For each grant program, please visit the grant guidelines website for application due dates for the remainder of 2018 and 2019. 

  • COPS Hiring Program (CHP): The goal of this grant program is to provide police departments funding to “hire and re-hire entry-level career law enforcement officers.” This program allocates about $135 million per year for grants.
  • Community Policing Development Program (CPD): This program provides grants for police training programs, projects for new policing strategies, and research that will improve police work on a national level. This program allocates about $11 million per year for grants.
  • Preparing for Active Shooter Situations Program (PASS): As the program name suggests, this grant provides funding specifically to help police and other organizations prevent and prepare for active shooter situations. This program allocates about $7.5 million per year for grants.
  • Anti-Heroin Task Force Program (AHTF): This grant provides funding to police departments that have existing anti-heroin task forces already in place. To be eligible, each department’s task force must serve multiple jurisdictions and have an interdisciplinary structure. This program allocates about $10 million per year for grants.
  • COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Program (CAMP): This grant provides funding to state law enforcement agencies that have existing anti-methamphetamine programs in place, and funding must be used to investigate and curtail methamphetamine production and distribution activities. To be eligible, state law enforcement agencies must have a anti-methamphetamine program that serves multiple jurisdictions and has an interdisciplinary structure. This program allocates about $7 million per year for grants.
  • Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS): Through this program, Native American tribes and Alaskan Native villages can submit a single application to apply for nine different grant programs. Some of the grant program focuses include improving community policing, hiring and re-hiring law enforcement officers, acquiring needed equipment, and implementing improved training programs for officers.
  • Collaborative Reform Initiatives for Technical Assistance (CRI-TA): This program supports the technical assistance needs of state, local, and tribal police agencies in order to help improve procedures, increase public safety, improve community policing, and reduce criminal activity. This program allocates about $7 million per year for grants.


Police Dog Grant
This grant opportunity provides police departments with police dogs and dog-handler training. There are four programs offered through this grant:

  • Single-Purpose Pit Bull Grant Program: This program provides Pit Bulls for narcotics and explosives police work. Pit Bulls for tracking purposes may also be available. There is not cost for dogs nor dog-handler training within this program.
  • Veteran / GI Bill Grant Program: Under the GI Bill, Veterans receive a 2-week dog-handler course. All veterans are then eligible for a free single-purpose dog for narcotics and explosives detection. Those veterans who are already active police officers with police dog experience are also eligible for a free single or dual purpose bite dog.
  • Single Purpose Narcotics Grant Program: This program provides non-Pit Bull dogs for narcotics and explosives police work. Both the dog and dog training are free, but recipients must pay for a 2-week single-purpose dog-handler course.
  • Dual Purpose Police Dog Grant: This program provides German Shepherd, Belgian Mal, or Dutch Shepherd dogs for bite narcotics or explosives police work. Both the dog and dog training are free, but recipients must pay for a 2-week dual-purpose dog-handler course.

Firefighter Grants

FirefightersFEMA: Assistance to Firefighter's Grant
Fire departments, fire training academies, and nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Service agencies may apply for this grant, which offers funding to purchase resources essential for proactive and responsive first-responder work, such as equipment, vehicles, protective gear, and training. The program typically allocates a total of $300 million to this program and awards approximately 2,500 individual grants each year. Please review FEMA’s website for information on the next application cycle and due dates.

The Leary Firefighters Foundation
This grant program provides funding for equipment, technology, and training for U.S. fire departments. While this foundation primarily funds paid fire departments in New York, Massachucets, and Michigan, they recently also began considering grant applications from both paid and volunteer fire departments throughout the U.S. Grant awards usually range between $5,000 to $35,000. Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) are due by August 15th each year, and all LOIs must be submitted by either the fire department’s Chief or Chief of Training.

Emergency Medical Services / EMT Grants

EMTThe Duke Endowment
This grant offers funding to emergency medical service providers in North and South Carolina to help improve patient care in emergent situations. Proposed programs for funding must focus on one of the following three areas: standardizing data collection apparatuses, promoting improved EMS care standards, or acquiring improved equipment and training. From 2007 to 2012, the Duke Endowment has provided over $6 million in funding; individual grant amounts vary. Applications for this grant, housed under the main “Health Care” area of this endowment’s focus areas, is usually due June 15th and December 15th of each year.

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH): Emergency Medical Services Assistance Fund Grant
Through this IDPH grant program, all Illinois licensed and based emergency medical service organizations operating in Illinois can apply for funding to purchase needed EMS resources. Grant amounts vary but are usually under $5,000 each. Applications are typically due in early April each year.

For All First Responders

Through their corporate giving program, Walgreens offers funding to help improve healthcare in the communities their business serves. The connecting focus and goal for all grant proposal areas within this program is improving human health. Non-profit first responder organizations can apply under the “access to health and wellness” and “emergency and disaster relief” focus sub-areas. Award amounts vary. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Gary Sinise Foundation
Among the many causes close to the heart of actor Gary Sinese is helping police, firefighters, and EMTs acquire the resources they need to help save lives each day. The First Responders Outreach program provides funding for such resources. Award amounts vary for this grant program. Please visit the website above for updates on the application cycle and deadlines for this grant proram.  


The Grant Helpers can assist you in your grant search and application process.  Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Photo Credits:

Chris Yarzab  (Police)
Rob Swystun (Firefighters)
Paul Long (EMS)   

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Grants for Public Safety

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 @ 15:11 PM

There is often more than one organization responsible for providing public spublic safetyafety to a municipality. Fire departments, EMS, police departments, non-profit organizations, and emergency management agencies all work together to provide life-saving and critically important services to communities. All of these agencies, and others, require a budget allocation to provide these important public safety services. To help fund training, equipment purchases, and education related to public safety we have compiled a list of selected public safety grants.

FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

This FEMA grant program is the largest fire grant program in the United States with over $300 million available for funding this year. AFG awards financial support to fire departments, EMS organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTAs). Three different public safety areas are eligible for consideration: operations and safety, vehicle acquisition, and joint/regional. The joint/regional category includes mass disaster training and partnerships between agencies. New this year is the requirement that vehicles purchased must be new, not used. Applications are due Friday, Dec. 5. An estimated 2,700 grants will be awarded this year.

National Rifle Association (NRA) Foundation

Police departments, safety organizations, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for grants from the NRA Foundation. There are two grant categories. General grants must promote, advance, and encourage firearms and hunting safety, or they must educate people, especially youth, about firearms. For example, public safety organizations could use this grant to have a firearms education course for youth or adults. For police departments who operate their own shooting range, look at the Foundation’s Shooting Range Grants as well. These grants can be used for permanent improvements to facilities, including construction projects, road improvements, berm work, and even permanently installed trap machines. Deadlines vary by state fund committee. Check the website for specific deadlines.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety

We have written about this grant previously. With a Dec. 15 grant deadline it is worth bringing up again at this time. First responder and public safety organizations with Firehouse Subs locations in their service area are eligible for this program. Five areas are eligible for funding: life-saving equipment, prevention education, scholarships and continued education, support for military members, and disaster preparedness and disaster relief. If you miss the Dec. 15 deadline, applications are also accepted March 15, June 15, and Sept. 15.

Digital Voice Stress Analysis Grant Program

Law enforcement agencies in the United States can receive FREE Digital Voice Stress Analyzer software, a $10,000 value, from the manufacturer. One hundred grants are available. This software is a computerized voice analysis software for detection of deception and credibility assessment. Examiner training tuition ($1,500) and annual recertification ($300) are associated costs if you receive the free software.

National Firefighters Endowment Equipment Grant

Grants for $5000 - $6,000 are available from this endowment for purchase of fire department equipment. Eligible equipment includes turnout gear, personal escape kits, helmets, hand-held power lights, communication devices, telephones, personal alert safety systems, air packs, tanks, and more. Equipment must improve the ability to provide life-saving services or to protect the lives of firefighters. A unique component of this program is that to apply, fire departments must submit a video, rather than a written application, explaining their need. There is a rolling deadline for this program.


Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

Topics: first responder grants, grant notification, grants for public safety, emergency management services, EMS, NRA grants, public safety, public safety grants, first responders, grant opportunity, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant, police safety grants, emergency preparedness, police grants

Upcoming Municipal Grant Opportunities

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 15:08 PM

In helping municipalities set priorities among the constant barrage of requests from the community--infrastructure, better roads, water systems,safey, recreation and leisurem and many communitymore--it can help to know what kinds of funding are available. Toward that end, check out the grants below, some with September deadlines, as well as some information about an ongoing grant program that may be helpful for future planning.

We make you aware of new grant opportunities in a variety of ways, including Twitter and Facebook. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@TheGrantHelpers) to make sure you get updates.

FY 2015 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (BF AWP) Grant

The Environmental Protection Agency is already announcing funding for the next fiscal year’s brownfield grant program. The deadline to apply is Sept. 22, 2014. This funding is available to municipalities and non-profit organizations to conduct research, technical assistance, and/or training activities that will enable the entity to develop an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. BF AWP-funded activities must be directed to one or more brownfield site(s) located in a specific area. The maximum amount of grant funding that applicants may apply for under each proposal is $200,000. EPA anticipates selecting approximately 20 projects through this program.

State of Illinois Small Equipment Grant Program

Fire departments, fire protection districts, or township fire departments located in Illinois can now apply for funding from this grant program. Applications are due Sept. 30, 2014. These grants can be used to purchase small equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus, and other tools for firefighters. The grants may not exceed $26,000. In order for a fire department, fire protection district, or township fire department to be eligible for any grant or revolving loan offered through the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM), the department must be in compliance with the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of 24 months prior to the open application period.

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRR) Program

It’s never too early to start grant planning. The National Endowment for the Humanities has already announced funding for its Fiscal Year 2016 HCRR grant program. Applications will be due July 21, 2015. Libraries, museums, and historical organizations are eligible to apply. Funding from this program aims to preserve the collections of these entities. Awards are also made to create various reference resources, as well as make these collections more widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology.

Small Grants Program

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers the Small Grants Program to assist with public-private partnerships that create projects for long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds. The deadline for this program is November 7, 2014. Grant requests may not exceed $75,000, and priority is given to applicants that have not received this grant before. From the inception of the program in 1996 through March 2014, 665 projects have been funded with more than $37.2 in grant money.

Informational Grant Tidbit

Need a transportation grant? Start planning now for a successful grant application for next year’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. Why so early? The demand is so high. Applications for the program this year totaled $9.5 billion, 15 times the $600 million set aside for the program. The Department received 797 eligible applications this year, compared to 585 in 2013.


Photo credit: the_tahoe_guy

Topics: municipality grants, first responder grants, humanities, firefighter safety, firefighter grant, municipality funding, brownfields, brownfield clean up, municipal grant, municipality grant, municipality, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant, municipal grants, municipal funding, transportation, wetlands, TIGER program

Assistance to Firefighters Grant Opportunity

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

firefightersThe Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced it is accepting applications for its Assistance to Firefighters Fire Prevention and Safety Program. The grant deadline is March 21, 2014.

The purpose of the AFG Program is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire and fire-related hazards by assisting fire prevention programs and supporting firefighter health and safety research and development. Congress approved over $32 million for this grant program, with a $1.5 million maximum request per grant application.

Fundable projects include the following:

  • Fire Prevention and Safety Activity: Activities designed to reach high-risk target groups and mitigate the incidence of death and injuries caused by fire and fire-related hazards.

  • Research and Development Activity: Projects aimed at improving firefighter safety, health, and wellness through research and development that reduces firefighter fatalities and injuries.

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • Fire Prevention and Safety Activity (FP&S): Eligible applicants for this activity include fire departments, national, regional, state, local, Native American tribal organizations, and nonprofit organizations that are recognized for their experience and expertise in fire prevention and safety programs and activities. Both private and public non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding in this activity. For-profit organizations, federal agencies, and individuals are not eligible to receive a FP&S Grant Award under the Fire Prevention and Safety Activity.

  • Firefighter Safety Research and Development Activity (R&D): Eligible applicants for this activity include national, state, local, Native American tribal organizations, and nonprofit organizations, such as academic (e.g., universities), public health, occupational health, and injury prevention institutions. Both private and public non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding in this activity.

FEMA allows fees for grant writers to be included as a pre-award expenditure, but the fees must be paid prior to award, which means they would be paid whether or not an award is granted.

Again, the deadline for this grant is March 21, 2014. For more information, including full eligibility and requirements, please contact us. And remember, is here to help you as much or as little as you need. Please do not hesitate to let us know if we can help you throughout any part of the grant process.


Photo credit: AMagill

Topics: first responder grants, grant announcement, fire prevention grant, firefighter safety, firefighter grant, first responders, grant opportunity, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant, FEMA

Public Safety Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Both police and career firefighters are in the top 15 occupations for risk of fatal occupational injury, and the traumatic fatality rates are approximately three to four times higher than the average for all occupations, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The fatality rate for emergency medical services responders is about two and one-half times the rates for all occupations. These statistics show the vital importance of protective gear, necessary equipment, and safety tools for first responders. Grants are often needed to fund many of these integral tools. To assist in finding such grants, the Grant Helpers have compiled a list of potential grants for these public safety efforts. 

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

This yearly grant, awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is designed to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. These grants can be used to purchase equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary to help emergency personnel do their jobs. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is currently under development, and according to FEMA’s website, the application period will likely open sometime in October. There were over 250 grants awarded through this fund in 2012. For example, last year Park Ridge Fire Department in Park Ridge, IL received a $16,470 grant to be used for training, and The New Canaan Fire Department in New Canaan, CT used a $93,808 AFG to purchase equipment.

Illinois Small Equipment Grant

In our home state of Illinois, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal offers small equipment grants up to $26,000. This program provides grants to local units of government in Illinois for the purchase of small equipment by a fire department, fire protection district, or township fire department. Fire protection entities that are not governmental bodies are not eligible to apply for a grant under this program. The grant committee considers the three following criteria: priority, equipment need, and financial need.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Grants

Emergency service entities served by the Firehouse Subs chain of restaurants (see locations here are eligible to receive these grants awarded four times a year in March, June, September, and December. Program goals include:

  • Provision of emergency service entities with life-saving equipment

  • Provision of prevention and educational tools to the public about the importance of fire safety, emergency services, and natural disaster preparedness

  • Provision of financial resources to individuals pursuing a career in the public safety sector through scholarship programs

  • Provision of ground assistance during disasters by feeding victims and medical workers on the scene

Applications can be filled out online. Past recipients of the grants have used the funds to purchase a thermal imaging camera, extrication tools, Automated External Defibrillator (AED), radios, and firefighter turnout gear.

FEMA FY2013 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM)

Grants up to $3 million are available to state, county, city, or township governments through this FEMA-sponsored program. The goal of the program is to reduce the overall risk to the population and structures from future hazardous events by helping grantees implement a pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program. Over $23 million is available through this program in Fiscal Year 2013. The deadline for applications is Friday, Oct. 18.

State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship® Company Grants

The national insurance company offers fire prevention and disaster preparedness grants to schools, government entities, charitable non-profit organizations, volunteer fire departments, and chambers of commerce. Grants range from $25,000-$100,000 per award. State Farm grant applications for 2014 funded requests will be available from Tuesday, September 3 through Thursday, October 31. The application can be found online.


Our team of Grant Helper experts, including Municipality Specialist Rebecca Motley, can help throughout the entire grant process. We work hand in hand with you to help you find the funds you need. See our complete list of services to see how we can help you.


Photo Credit: cwwycoff1

Topics: first responder grants, grant announcement, firefighter safety, firefighter grant, fire program, disaster preparedness, first responders, grant opportunity, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant, police safety grants, police grants

Does Your Fire Department Need Funding? Check Out These Grants!

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 @ 13:01 PM

Budget cuts have many municipal departments scrambling to find funding from more sources than ever. Fire departments and fire safety programs and development are often among those facing major cuts. In this blog article, we feature a few of the grants that are available to help fund fire prevention, fire safety, and fire departments in general. Remember, these are only of the few opportunities for such funding. If you need assistance in finding more funding opportunities, contact one of our grant experts today. The initial consultation is always free.


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)

These were announced fairly recently, on December 17, which is an unusually small application window. There are actually two different grants that make up FEMA’s AFG:

Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S)

FP&S grants support projects that better public safety and the safety of firefighters from fires and related hazards. The main goal in projects is the reduction of injury and prevention of death among high-risk populations.

Eligible applicants include fire departments, national, regional, state, local, Native American tribal organizations, and community organizations that are known for their expertise in fire prevention and safety programs and activities. Private and public non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Federal agencies, for-profit organizations, and individuals are not eligible for this funding.

Firefighter Safety Research and Development Activity (R&D)Fire Grant

National, regional, state, and local organizations, including academic (e.g., universities), public health, occupational health, and injury prevention institutions are eligible for R&D funding.  Organizations specializing in firefighter safety, health, wellness research, and development activities are encouraged to apply. Fire departments, for-profit organizations, federal agencies, and individuals are ineligible for funding.


FEMA allows fees for grant writers to be included as a pre-award expenditure, but the fees must be paid prior to award, which means they would be paid whether or not an award is granted. 

For both the FP&S and R&D grants, there is a $1 million maximum request. Application requirements are very specific, so it would be wise to review them carefully when applying for the grant.

Deadline: January 18, 2013, 5:00 p.m. ET


The Heritage Program at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company

Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has awarded over $29 million in grant money to over 1,800 fire departments across the United States. Grants can be used for equipment, firefighter training, and community education programs.

There are three ways grants are awarded:

  • Participating independent insurance agencies can direct grants to fire departments based on the growth of their business with Fireman’s Fund.

  • Fireman’s Fund employees can nominate fire departments for grants.

  • Fireman’s Fund can award grants for national programs that aim to improve firefighter safety and reduce firefighter accidents.

For those who do not know how to get noticed for these grants, fire departments or organizations have the option of completing a survey on the Fireman’s Fund website, and one of the Fireman’s Fund employees or agencies can nominate that department or organization for a grant.

There is no specific award range published for this grant, but you can visit the Fireman’s Fund website for more information on how to apply.

Deadline: Ongoing


Remember, these are just a few of the available funding opportunities. For more information on how we can help you find funding and meet your goals, contact a grant expert today. We have municipality experts who are ready to assist you.


Image Credit: AMagill

Topics: fire prevention grant, firefighter safety, firefighter grant, fire program, municipal grant, municipality grant, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant