[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 121 (Friday, June 22, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37687-37696]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15333]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Docket ID FEMA-2012-0028]


Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of guidance.

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SUMMARY: This Notice provides guidelines that describe the application 
process for grants and the criteria for awarding grants in the fiscal 
year (FY) 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program year. It 
explains the differences, if any, between these guidelines and those 
recommended by representatives of the Nation's fire service leadership 
during the annual Criteria Development meeting, which was held October 
20-21, 2011. The application period for the FY 2012 AFG Program year 
will be held June 11, to July 6, 2012, and will be announced on 
www.grants.gov. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 applications for AFG 
funding will be submitted electronically, using the application 
submission form and process available at https://portal.fema.gov. 
Before the application period, the ``FY 2012 AFG Guidance and 
Application Kit'' will be published on the AFG Web site (www.fema.gov/firegrants). Additional information to assist applicants will be 
provided on the AFG Web site, including an applicant tutorial, list of 
frequently asked questions, a ``Get Ready Guide, and a Quick Reference 
Guide.'' The AFG Program makes grants directly to fire departments and 
nonaffiliated emergency medical services (EMS) organizations for the 
purpose of enhancing the abilities of first responders to protect the 
health and safety of the public as well as that of first-responder 
personnel facing fire and fire-related hazards. In addition, the 
authorizing statute requires that a minimum of 5 percent of 
appropriated funds be expended for fire prevention and safety grants to 
be made directly to local fire departments and to local, regional, 
State, or national entities recognized for their expertise in the 
fields of fire prevention and firefighter safety research and 
development.

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 2229, 2229a.

DATES: Grant applications for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants 
will be accepted electronically at https://portal.fema.gov, from June 
11 to July 6, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Assistance to Firefighters Grants Branch, Stop 3620, DHS/
FEMA, 800 K Street NW., Washington, DC, 20472-3620.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Patterson, Chief, Assistance 
to Firefighters Grants Branch, 1-866-274-0960.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the Assistance to 
Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program is to provide grants directly to fire 
departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical services (EMS) 
organizations to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety 
of the public, as well as that of first-responder personnel, with 
respect to fire and fire-related hazards. The governing statute 
requires that each year DHS publish in the Federal Register the 
guidelines that describe the application process and the criteria for 
grant awards.
    Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 applications for AFG funding will be 
submitted electronically, using the application submission form and 
process available at the AFG e-Grant application portal: https://portal.fema.gov. Specific information about the submission of grant 
applications can be found in the ``FY 2012 Assistance to Firefighters 
Grant (AFG) Guidance and Application Kit,'' which is available for 
download at www.fema.gov/firegrants and at www.regulations.gov under 
Docket ID FEMA-2012-0028.
    Paper applications will be accepted but discouraged due to the 
inherent delays with processing them and because they lack the 
applicant ``help'' features that are built into the electronic 
application. Applicants will be able to obtain a copy of the official 
paper application form by calling 1-866-274-0960. Paper applications 
will be sent via regular mail only; no application forms will be sent 
via overnight delivery, fax, or email. Applicants will be allowed to 
submit only the fiscal year (FY) 2012 AFG application form that is 
mailed to them by the AFG. No other version of the application will be 
accepted. Applicants will be instructed not to use any paper 
application that they did not receive directly from the AFG and will be 
instructed not to use a previous year's application. Paper applications 
must be postmarked no later than July 6, 2012, and mailed to the 
following address: Cabezon Group, Attn: AFG Program, 11821 Parklawn 
Drive, Suite 230, Rockville, MD 20852. The AFG will inform applicants 
that it will not be responsible for applications sent to any other 
address and that late, incomplete, or faxed applications will NOT be 
accepted.

Appropriations

    Congress appropriated $337,500,000 for the FY 2012 AFG. From this 
amount, $285,625,000 will be made available for AFG awards. Funds 
appropriated for the FY 2012 AFG (pursuant to Pub. L. 112-10) will be 
available for obligation and award until September 30, 2013. FEMA will 
receive approximately 15,000 to 20,000 applications for assistance and 
anticipates that it will award approximately 4,000 grants with the 
grant funding available.
    Congress directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to 
administer the appropriations:
     Up to 5 percent of funds may be used for program 
administration.
     Up to 2 percent of funds may be used for awards to 
nonaffiliated EMS organizations.
     No more than 25 percent of funds may be used for vehicle 
awards.
     No less than 5 percent of funds must be made available to 
make grants supporting eligible fire prevention activities and research 
and development activities that improve firefighter safety through the 
Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants. However, due to the 
importance of mitigation activities, the FY 2012 FP&S will be allocated 
$35 million for grants. The FP&S Grants are not part of this AFG 
solicitation. The FP&S Grant application period is projected for the 
fall or winter of 2012.

Background of the AFG Program

    DHS awards the grants on a competitive basis to the applicants that 
best address the AFG Program's priorities and provide the most 
compelling justification. Applications that best address the Program's 
priorities will be reviewed by a panel composed of fire service 
personnel.

Award Criteria

    The panel will review the application and evaluate it using the 
following criteria:
     Proposed project and the project budget

[[Page 37688]]

     Financial need for the project
     Benefits that will result from the project relative to its 
cost (cost benefit)
     Extent to which the grant will enhance daily operations
     How the grant will positively impact the regional ability 
to protect life and property
    The AFG Program for FY 2012 generally mirrors that of previous 
years. All applications for grants will be prepared and submitted 
through the AFG e-Grant application portal (https://portal.fema.gov). 
DHS again will have a separate application period devoted solely to 
FP&S Grants, which is projected to occur in the fall or winter of 2012.
Statutory Limits to Funding
    Congress has enacted statutory limits to the amount of funding that 
a grantee may receive from the AFG Program in any single fiscal year 
(15 U.S.C. 2229(b)(10)), and these limits are based on the population 
served. Awards will be limited based on the size of the population 
protected by the applicant, as indicated below.
     An applicant that serves a jurisdiction with 500,000 
people or less may not receive grant funding in excess of $1 million 
for any fiscal year.
     A grantee that serves a jurisdiction with more than 
500,000 but not more than 1 million people may not receive grants in 
excess of $1,750,000 in any fiscal year.
     A grantee that serves a jurisdiction with more than 1 
million people may not receive grants in excess of $2,750,000 in any 
fiscal year.
    DHS may waive these established limits to any grantee serving a 
jurisdiction of 1 million people or less if the agency determines that 
an extraordinary need for assistance warrants the waiver. No grantee, 
under any circumstance, may receive ``more than the lesser of 
$2,750,000 or one-half of 1 percent of the funds appropriated under 
this section for a single fiscal year.'' (15 U.S.C. 2229(b)(10)(B)).
Cost Sharing
    Grantees must share in the costs of the projects funded under this 
grant program (15 U.S.C. 2229(b)(6)). Fire departments and 
nonaffiliated EMS organizations that serve populations of less than 
20,000 must match the Federal grant funds with an amount of non-Federal 
funds equal to 5 percent of the total project cost. Those fire 
departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations serving areas with a 
population between 20,000 and 50,000, inclusive, must match the Federal 
grant funds with an amount of non-Federal funds equal to 10 percent of 
the total project cost, and those that serve populations of more than 
50,000 must match the Federal grant funds with an amount of non-Federal 
funds equal to 20 percent of the total project costs. Regional project 
cost share will be based on the total population and demographics of 
the entire region. All non-Federal funds must be in cash, i.e., in-kind 
contributions are not acceptable as matching funds. No waivers of this 
requirement will be granted except for applicants located in Insular 
Areas as provided for in 48 U.S.C. 1469a.
Statutory Requirements for Funding Distribution
    The authorizing statute imposes additional requirements on ensuring 
a distribution of grant funds among career, volunteer, and combination 
(volunteer and career personnel) fire departments, and among urban, 
suburban, and rural communities. Specifically, DHS must ensure that 
all-volunteer or combination fire departments receive a portion of the 
total grant funding that is not less than the proportion of the United 
States population that those departments protect (15 U.S.C. 
2229(b)(11)). There is no corresponding minimum for career departments. 
Therefore, subject to the other statutory limitations on the ability of 
DHS to award funds, DHS will ensure that, for the 2012 program year, no 
less than 33 percent of the funding available for grants will be 
awarded to combination departments, and no less than 19 percent will be 
awarded to all-volunteer departments. These figures were obtained from 
the National Fire Protection Association report entitled ``U.S. Fire 
Department Profile Through 2010,'' issued October 2011. If, and only 
if, other statutory limitations inhibit the ability of DHS to ensure 
this distribution of funding, DHS will ensure that the aggregate 
combined total percentage of funding provided to both combination and 
volunteer departments is no less than 52 percent.
    DHS generally makes funding decisions using rank order resulting 
from the panel evaluation. However, DHS may deviate from rank order and 
make funding decisions based on the type of department (career, 
combination, or volunteer) and/or the size and character of the 
community the applicant serves (urban, suburban, or rural) to the 
extent it is required to satisfy statutory provisions.
Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
    Since October 1, 2003, it has been federally mandated that any 
organization wishing to do business with the Federal government under a 
Federal-Acquisition-Regulation-based contract must be registered in the 
CCR system before being awarded a contract. This includes applicants 
and grantees for the AFG Program. To submit a new CCR registration, go 
to www.bpn.gov/ccr/grantees.aspx.
Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Program
    In addition to the grants available to fire departments in FY 2012 
through the competitive grant program, DHS must set aside no less than 
5 percent ($16,881,250) of AFG Program funds for the FP&S Grant 
Program. However, due to the importance of mitigation activities, DHS 
will allocate $35 million for the FY 2012 FP&S Grant Program. The FP&S 
funds will be available to make grants to, or enter into contracts or 
cooperative agreements with, national, State, local, or community 
organizations or agencies, including fire departments.
    In accordance with the statutory requirement to fund fire 
prevention activities, the FP&S Program offers grants to support 
activities in two categories: (1) Activities designed to reach high-
risk target groups and mitigate incidences of death and injuries caused 
by fire and fire-related hazards (``Fire Prevention and Safety 
Activity''); and (2) research and development activities aimed at 
improving firefighter safety (``Firefighter Safety Research and 
Development Activity''). DHS will issue an announcement regarding 
pertinent details of the FY 2012 FP&S Grant portion of the AFG Program 
prior to the start of the application period, which is tentatively 
scheduled for fall or winter of 2012.

Application Process

    Organizations may submit one application per application period in 
each of the three AFG Program areas, e.g., one application for 
Operations and Safety, one for Vehicle Acquisition, and/or a separate 
application to be a Regional Project host. If an organization submits 
more than one application for any of the AFG Program areas, either 
intentionally or unintentionally, FEMA will deem all applications 
submitted by that organization for the Program to be ineligible for 
funding.
    Prior to the start of the FY 2012 AFG application period, DHS will 
conduct applicant workshops across the country to inform potential 
applicants about the AFG Program. In addition, DHS will provide 
applicants with an online web-based tutorial (available at the AFG Web 
site: www.fema.gov/firegrants) and other online information to help 
them prepare

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quality grant applications. The AFG also will staff a Help Desk 
throughout the application period to assist applicants with navigation 
through the automated application as well as assistance with any 
questions they have. Applicants can reach the AFG Help Desk through a 
toll-free telephone number (1-866-274-0960) or electronic mail 
(firegrants@dhs.gov).
    Applicants will be advised to access the application electronically 
at https://portal.fema.gov. The application also will be accessible 
from the U.S. Fire Administration's Web site (http://www.usfa.fema.gov) 
and the grants.gov Web site (http://www.grants.gov). New applicants 
will be required to register and establish a username and password for 
secure access to their application. Applicants that applied to any 
previous AFG funding opportunities will be required to use their 
previously established usernames and passwords.
    In completing the application, applicants will be asked to provide 
relevant information on their organization's characteristics, call 
volume, and existing capabilities. Applicants will be asked to answer 
questions about their grant request that reflect the AFG funding 
priorities, which are described below. In addition, each applicant will 
have to complete four separate narratives for each project or grant 
activity requested. These narratives will address statutory competitive 
factors: project description and budget, cost benefit, effect on the 
organization, and additional information. The electronic application 
process will permit the applicant to enter and save the application 
data. The system does not permit the submission of incomplete 
applications. Except for the narrative textboxes, the application will 
use a ``point-and-click'' selection process or require the entry of 
data (e.g., name and address, call volume numbers, etc.) Applicants 
will be encouraged to read the ``AFG Guidance and Application Kit'' for 
more details.

Criteria Development Process

    Each year, DHS convenes a panel of fire service professionals to 
develop the funding priorities and other implementation criteria for 
AFG. The Criteria Development Panel is comprised of representatives 
from nine major fire service organizations, who are charged with making 
recommendations to FEMA regarding the creation of new funding 
priorities and the modification of existing funding priorities as well 
as developing criteria for awarding grants. The nine major fire service 
organizations represented on the panel are:

 Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI)
 International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
 International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
 International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
 International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI)
 National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM)
 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
 National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)
 North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD)

    The FY 2012 criteria development panel meeting occurred October 20-
21, 2011. The content of the ``FY 2012 AFG Guidance and Application 
Kit'' reflects the implementation of the Criteria Development Panel's 
recommendations with respect to the priorities, direction, and criteria 
for awards. All of the funding priorities for the FY 2012 AFG are 
designed to address the following:

 First responder safety
 Enhancing national capabilities
 Risk
 Interoperability
Changes for FY 2012
     Maintenance and Sustainment. The use of FEMA preparedness 
grant funds for maintenance contracts, warranties, repair or 
replacement costs, upgrades, and user fees are allowable under all 
active and future grant awards, unless otherwise noted. For additional 
information, see ``DHS/FEMA Information Bulletin No. 336,'' dated 
November 20, 2009.
     FY 2012 AFG Guidance and Application Kit.
    (1) The ``Guidance and Application Kit'' has been reformatted to 
match the FEMA Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) template.
    (2) Program funding priorities are indicated in the ``Guidance'' as 
being H (High), M (Medium), or L (Low) funding priorities, with the 
exception of the funding priorities assigned for the Wellness and 
Fitness Activity, which are indicated as being Priority I or Priority 
II.
    (3) The term ``Other'' was removed from both the ``AFG Guidance'' 
document and the online application form as an item eligible for 
funding. The pull-down menus in the online application form will 
provide a specific list of all items eligible for funding.
     Operations and Safety.
    (1) In the evaluation criteria, the weights assigned to the data on 
``Population Served'' and ``Call Volume'' have been adjusted to reduce 
their impact on the total score for applicants in suburban and rural 
communities. They were removed the list of ``Additional 
Considerations'' for funding.
    (2) Training Projects. ``NFPA (Technical Rescue) 1670'' was removed 
from the list of Firefighting Training Priorities. NFPA number ``/
1006'' was added to ``NFPA (Rescue Technician) 1670.''
    (3) Equipment Projects. All communications equipment or systems 
purchased with grant funds should comply with the FY 2012 SAFECOM 
Guidance on Emergency Communication Grants, including provisions on 
technical standards that ensure and enhance interoperable 
communications. The FY 2012 SAFECOM Guidance can be found at: http://www.safecomprogram.gov.
    (4) Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). ``Replacing torn, 
tattered, or damaged PPE'' was elevated from a Medium to a High 
Priority for funding.
    (5) Vehicle Acquisition
    (1) ``Quints'' were removed from the list of funding priorities 
because they are eligible for funding in the ``Aerials'' vehicle 
category.
    (2) In suburban communities, ``Rescue'' vehicles were elevated from 
a Medium to a High Priority for funding.
    (3) In suburban communities, ``Hazmat'' vehicles were added to the 
list of Medium Priority vehicles.
    (4) In rural communities, ``Aerials'' were added to the list of 
High Priority vehicles.
    (5) ``Call Volume'' and ``Population Served'' were removed from the 
list of Additional Considerations for funding.
Changes to Criteria Development Panel Recommendations
    DHS must explain any differences between the published guidelines 
and the recommendations made by the criteria development panel and 
publish this information in the Federal Register prior to making any 
grants under the Program (15 U.S.C. 2229(b)(14)). DHS accepts and is 
implementing all of the Criteria Development Panel's recommendations, 
with the exception of the two that we recommended be revised (discussed 
below).
    (1) Panel members recommended requiring that all grant-funded 
equipment qualify as being ``Made in America.''
    DHS acknowledges this Panel recommendation but decided to table 
this requirement pending the FEMA Grant Programs Directorate's

[[Page 37690]]

development of a specific policy on this issue. Language was added to 
the Procurement Integrity section of the ``Guidance and Application 
Kit'' stating that, ``to the greatest extent possible, the use of 
federal grant funds should be used for the purchase of goods and 
services manufactured, assembled, and distributed in America.''
    (2) Panel members recommended that the vehicle definitions in the 
online AFG application be aligned to those in the online application 
for the FY 2011 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response 
(SAFER) Grant Program.
    DHS acknowledges and agrees with this recommendation but is not 
able to make this system change for the FY 2012 AFG application. DHS 
will request that this system change be scheduled for implementation in 
a future deployment to revise the online application.
    (3) Panel members recommended that the vehicle definitions in the 
online AFG application be made consistent with those of the NFPA for 
pumpers/engines and tankers.
    DHS acknowledges this recommendation but has not implemented 
because we believe that the current definitions and terminology are 
easier for our constituents in the fire service to use. Due to the 
inherent differences between pumpers and Type I urban interface 
engines, descriptions of both types of vehicles remain in the Guidance 
and the online application. The current language was developed to take 
into account regional differences in the terms used to describe certain 
types of vehicles. Some clarifications were made in the application and 
Guidance with regard to vehicle type descriptions.

Application Review Process

    DHS will review and evaluate all AFG applications submitted using 
the funding priorities and evaluation criteria that was established 
based on recommendations from the Criteria Development Panel and is 
described in this document. FEMA will rank all submitted applications 
based on how well they match the funding priorities for the type of 
community served. Answers to the application's activity-specific 
questions provide information used to determine each application 
ranking relative to the stated priorities.
Preliminary Review Process
    DHS will evaluate all applications received first through an 
automated preliminary review process to determine which projects best 
address the AFG Program's announced funding priorities. The automated 
preliminary review will evaluate and score the applicants' answers to 
the activity-specific questions in terms of the funding priorities and 
the evaluation criteria described in this document.
    The projects that best meet the AFG Program priorities as 
determined by the preliminary review will be deemed to be in the 
``competitive range'' and will be forwarded for the second level of 
application review, which is the peer review process. Once the 
competitive range is established, DHS will review the list of 
applicants that were not included in the competitive range to determine 
if any are responsible for protecting DHS-specified critical 
infrastructure or key resources.
Peer Review Process
    All projects deemed to be in the competitive range will be 
subjected to a second level of review by a technical evaluation panel 
(TEP) made up of individuals from the fire service, including, but not 
limited to, firefighters, fire marshals, and fire training instructors.
    A panel of at least three peer reviewers will evaluate each project 
in the competitive range using the project narratives, along with 
answers to the general questions and the activity-specific questions. 
Panelists will provide a subjective but qualitative judgment on the 
merits of each request. They will review and score projects based on 
the following evaluation criteria:
 Clarity and detail used to describe the proposed project and 
the project budget
 Organization's financial need for the project
 Benefits that will result from the project relative to its 
cost (cost benefit)
 Extent to which the project will enhance daily operations
 How the grant will positively impact the regional ability to 
protect life and property
 Additional information provided by the applicant

    Each project will be judged on its own merits and not compared to 
other projects. As part of the cost-benefit review, the panelists will 
consider all expenses budgeted, including the individual costs of the 
items requested as well as the extraneous costs, such as warranties or 
maintenance costs, administrative costs, and/or indirect costs. 
Panelists may object to costs that are requested but not fully 
explained in the application.
    All projects reviewed also will be evaluated relative to the 
critical infrastructure the applicant protects within their area of 
first-due response. They will assess such infrastructure and the 
hazards confronting the community as explained in the application's 
narrative statements, including requests for chemical, biological, 
radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) equipment or training. 
Critical infrastructure includes any system or asset that, if attacked, 
could result in catastrophic loss of life or catastrophic economic 
loss. Critical infrastructure includes public water, power systems, 
major business centers, chemical facilities, nuclear power plants, 
major rail and highway bridges, petroleum and/or natural gas 
transmission pipelines, storage facilities (e.g., chemical storage 
facilities), telecommunications facilities, and facilities that support 
large public gatherings, such as sporting events or concerts.
    The panelists will evaluate and score each project individually and 
then discuss the merits and shortcomings of each application in an 
effort to reconcile any major discrepancies. However, a consensus among 
reviewers on the scores is not required. The project's total peer 
review score will be an average of the individual peer reviewers' 
scores. The projects receiving the highest scores during the peer 
review process will be deemed in the fundable range.
    The total peer review score will be combined with the score earned 
from the preliminary review, with each score representing 50 percent of 
the total project score. Projects will be ranked according to the total 
project scores with DHS considering the highest-scoring projects for 
awards.
Technical Review Process
    Projects receiving the highest scores then will undergo a technical 
review by a subject matter specialist to assess the technical 
feasibility of the project and a programmatic review to assess 
eligibility and other factors.
    Applications that involve interoperable communications projects or 
projects related to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and 
explosive (CBRNE) equipment or training will undergo a separate review 
by the responsible State Administrative Agency to assure that the 
projects are consistent with the Statewide Communications 
Interoperability Plan (SCIP). If the State determines that the project 
is inconsistent with the SCIP, the project will not be funded. Grantees 
requesting support for emergency communications activities should 
review and comply with the FY 2012 SAFECOM Guidance for Emergency 
Communication Grants, including provisions on technical standards that

[[Page 37691]]

ensure and enhance interoperable communications.
    After the completion of the technical reviews, DHS will select a 
sufficient number of awardees from this application period to obligate 
all of the available grant funding. It will evaluate and act on 
applications within 90 days following the close of the application 
period. The majority of awards will be made on or before September 30, 
2012, but funds may be available for commitment until September 30, 
2013. Awards will not be made in any specified order, i.e., awards will 
not be made by State, program, etc. DHS will notify unsuccessful 
applicants as soon as it is feasible.
Environmental and Historic Preservation Review
    Applications seeking assistance to modify facilities or to install 
equipment that require building renovations may undergo additional 
screening. All modification to facility projects will be subject to all 
applicable Federal requirements for environmental and historic 
preservation (EHP). No project that involves a modification to facility 
can proceed--except for project planning--without prior formal written 
approval from DHS and the completion of any required EHP review. If an 
award includes a modification to a facility, the applicant will be 
responsible for contacting the AFG staff to receive instructions on how 
to proceed. Noncompliance with these provisions may jeopardize an 
applicant's award and subsequent funding.

Application Review Considerations

    The governing statute requires that each year DHS publish in the 
Federal Register a description of the grant application process and the 
criteria for grant awards. This information is provided below.
Fire Department Priorities
    Specific rating criteria for each of the eligible programs and 
activities are discussed below. The funding priorities described in 
this Notice have been recommended by a panel of representatives from 
the Nation's fire service leadership and have been accepted by DHS for 
the purposes of implementing the AFG. These rating criteria provide an 
understanding of the AFG Program's priorities and the expected cost-
effectiveness of any proposed project(s). The activities listed below 
are in no particular order of priority.
    Within the Vehicle Grants activity, DHS will consider the 
population served by the applicant, with applicants that serve larger 
populations afforded a higher consideration than applicants that serve 
smaller populations. DHS will explain further the Program priorities in 
the Guidance and Application Kit that will be published separately.
    (1) Fire Operations and Firefighter Safety Program.
    (i) Firefighter Training Activities. The Criteria Development Panel 
recommended that AFG continue to emphasize the importance of training 
in the FY 2012 program with respect to fire departments.
    Funding Priorities. Due to inherent differences among urban, 
suburban, and rural firefighting needs, AFG has different priorities in 
the Firefighting Training program area for departments that serve 
different types of communities. These are described in detail in the 
``FY 2012 AFG Guidance and Application Kit.'' The High priorities for 
training in all types of communities are NFPA 1001, 1002, 472, 1581, 
1021; confined space awareness; wildland firefighting (basic and red 
card training); rapid intervention or RIT; first responder; firefighter 
safety and survival; safety officer; driver/operator; fire prevention; 
fire inspector; fire investigator; fire educator; instructor; NIMS/ICS; 
firefighting physical ability program; emergency scene rehab; critical 
incident debriefing; vehicle rescue, rescue technician; emergency 
medical technician-paramedic (EMT-P), emergency medical technician-
basic (EMT-B); and training needed to comply with State-mandated and 
federally mandated programs. Please see the ``FY 2012 AFG Guidance and 
Application Kit'' for additional information on the High, Medium, and 
Low Priorities for training in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
    Additional Considerations. Factors such as whether multiple 
departments will be trained, instructor-led vs. media-led training, and 
the number of firefighters to be trained. Large departments with a high 
number of active firefighters also will receive additional 
consideration.
    (ii) Firefighting Equipment Acquisition. AFG funds are available 
for equipment to enhance the safety or effectiveness of firefighting, 
rescue, and fire-based EMS functions. Equipment requested must meet all 
mandatory requirements as well as any national and/or state DHS-adopted 
standards. See NFPA standards at www.NFPA.org/nfpaafg.2012. The 
equipment requested should improve the health and safety of the public 
and firefighters.
    Funding Priorities. High priority for funding will be first-time 
equipment purchases to support an existing mission and/or the 
replacement of obsolete or broken and inoperable equipment. A medium 
priority will be equipment purchases to increase capabilities within 
the department's existing mission or to meet a new risk. Low priority 
for funding will be requests for equipment for a new mission to meet an 
existing risk and/or request additional supplies or reserve equipment. 
A department takes on a ``new mission'' when it expands its services 
into areas not previously offered, such as a fire department seeking 
funds to provide EMS for the first time. A ``new risk'' presents itself 
when a department must address risks that have materialized in the 
department's area of responsibility, e.g., the construction of a new 
nuclear power plant could constitute a ``new mission.''
    Additional Considerations. Will be given for the following factors:

 Equipment that has a direct effect on firefighters' health and 
safety
 Age of equipment being replaced
 Equipment that benefits other jurisdictions
 Equipment that brings the department into compliance with 
nationally recommended standards (i.e., NFPA) or statutory compliance 
(i.e., Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA))

    (iii) Firefighter Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Acquisition. 
AFG funds are available to acquire primarily OSHA-required and NFPA-
compliant PPE for firefighting personnel. Equipment requested must meet 
all current mandatory requirements, as well as any national and/or 
state DHS-adopted standards. Equipment requested should have the goal 
of increasing firefighter safety. Information on the relevant NFPA 
standards can be obtained from the organization's Web site at 
www.NFPA.org/nfpaafg.2012. If requesting training for any items in this 
section, please list it in the Other section under Additional Funding 
for each item for which training is needed. Applicants will be required 
to provide the age of the PPE to be replaced.
    Funding Priorities. The highest priorities for funding will be 
requests from departments to buy new PPE for the first time, to replace 
or update obsolete PPE to the current standard, and to replace torn, 
tattered, or damaged PPE. (Obsolete is defined as any PPE that is 10 
years or older or is outdated by two NFPA cycles.) The medium priority 
for funding will be requests to replace contaminated PPE or to address 
a new risk. A low priority for funding will be requests to replace new 
or used PPE, replace worn but usable PPE that

[[Page 37692]]

is not compliant to the current edition of the NFPA standard, to meet a 
new mission, or to increase current inventory.
    Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) Priorities. Awards will 
be based on number of seated riding positions in the department's 
vehicle fleet and the age of existing SCBAs, limited to one spare 
cylinder (unless justified otherwise in the Request Details narrative 
for the PPE activity). New SCBAs must have automatic-on or integrated 
Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) devices and be CBRNE-compliant to 
the current edition of the NFPA 1981 standard. All requests must be 
justified in the Request Details narrative for the PPE activity.
    Funding Priorities. Highest priority will be to replace SCBAs that 
are compliant with NFPA 1981, pre-2002 Edition. A medium priority will 
be to replace SCBAs that are compliant with the 2002 edition of NFPA 
1981 (must be justified in PPE narrative). It will be a low priority to 
replace SCBAs that are compliant with the 2007 edition of NFPA 1981 
(must be justified in the PPE narrative).
    Additional Considerations for PPE. Additional consideration will be 
given to applicants that have the oldest PPE and/or are trying to bring 
the department into 100 percent NFPA compliance and for the number of 
firefighters who will have compliant gear.
    (iv) Firefighter Wellness and Fitness Activities. Wellness and 
Fitness programs are intended to strengthen first responders so that 
their mental, physical, and emotional capabilities are resilient enough 
to withstand the demands of emergency services response. To be eligible 
for FY 2012 funding of this activity, fire departments must offer, or 
plan to offer, all four of the following basic programs:

 Periodic health screenings
 Entry physical examinations
 Immunizations
 Behavioral health programs

    Funding Priorities. In this activity, funding priorities are 
described as either Priority 1 or Priority 2, with Priority 1 programs 
being the highest priority for funding. Departments that have some of 
the Priority 1 programs in place must apply for funds to implement the 
other Priority 1 programs listed before applying for funds for 
additional Wellness and Fitness programs or equipment. The following 
programs are Priority 1: initial medical exams (must meet NFPA 1582 
requirements), job-related immunization programs, annual medical and 
fitness evaluations, and behavioral health programs.
    To be eligible for Priority 2 items, the department must offer or 
be requesting funds to provide all four of the programs in Priority 1. 
Priority 2 items include candidate physical ability evaluations, formal 
fitness and injury prevention programs and equipment, injury and 
illness rehab, and IAFF or IAFC Peer Fitness Trainer programs.
    (v) Modifications to Fire Stations. FY 2012 AFG Grants may be used 
to modify and retrofit existing fire stations and other facilities or 
structures built before 2003. New fire station construction is not 
eligible for funding. To be eligible, the modification must not change 
the structure footprint or profile. If requesting multiple items in 
this activity, total funding for all project and activities cannot 
exceed $100,000 per fire station. Eligible projects under this activity 
must have a direct effect on the health and safety of firefighters.
    FEMA is legally required to consider the potential impacts of all 
grant-funded projects on environmental resources and historic 
properties through an environmental and historic preservation (EHP) 
review. Any project with the potential to impact natural resources or 
historic properties cannot be initiated until FEMA has completed the 
required FEMA EHP review. Grantees that implement projects before 
receiving EHP approval from FEMA risk having grant funds deobligated. 
Modification projects that must undergo EHP reviews include but are not 
limited to the installation of equipment; ground-disturbing activities, 
such as building a concrete pad for a station generator; communications 
tower installations, or the modification or renovation of existing 
buildings and structures. Any project not specifically excluded from a 
FEMA EHP review must undergo such a review, per the Grant Programs 
Directorate's Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA). For more 
information, see Information Bulletin 345. Grantees must comply with 
all applicable EHP laws, regulations, and Executive Orders (EOs) to 
draw down their FY 2012 AFG funds.
    Funding Priorities. Highest priority for funding will be requests 
to install modifications such as sole-source capture exhaust systems, 
sprinkler systems, or smoke/fire alarm notification systems in 
stations, including maritime and air operations facilities, that are 
occupied 24/7 and offer sleeping quarters. Medium priority will be 
given to requests for air quality systems and/or emergency generators 
from departments that may or may not offer sleeping quarters. Low 
priority will be given to requests to modify facilities that are not 
occupied 24/7 and do not offer sleeping quarters, and for training 
facilities.
    Additional Considerations: Will be given for the age of the 
building, with older facilities receiving higher priority.
    (2) Firefighting Vehicles Acquisition Program.
    AFG provides grants for new firefighting vehicles, used fire 
apparatus originally designed for firefighting, or refurbished 
apparatus originally designed for firefighting. Funds also may be used 
to refurbish a vehicle the department currently owns, but only if the 
vehicle to be refurbished was designed originally for firefighting. New 
vehicles purchased with AFG funds must be compliant with NFPA 1901 
(Standard for Automotive Apparatus) or NFPA 1906 (Standard for Wildland 
Fire Apparatus). Used apparatus must be compliant with NFPA 1901 or 
1906 for the year the vehicle was manufactured. Refurbished apparatus 
must meet the current NFPA 1912 (Standard for Fire Apparatus 
Refurbishing). Converted vehicles not originally designed for 
firefighting are not eligible for refurbishment.
    Applicants are allowed to apply for more than one vehicle, but 
requests cannot exceed the financial cap based on population listed in 
the application. If a department submits multiple applications and more 
than one of those requests are approved, the department will be held to 
the same financial cap.
    FEMA reserves the right to reduce the amount of any vehicle 
request, in whole or in part, that is considered excessive in cost. AFG 
funding is meant to supplement, not replace, an organization's funding.
    Applicants requesting vehicles that do not have driver/operators 
trained to U.S. Department of Transportation Emergency Vehicle 
Operators Course (EVOC) National Standard Curriculum, or equivalent, 
and are not planning to have a training program in place by the time 
the vehicle is delivered, will not receive an award. Training may be 
requested in the Other section under Additional Funding in the Vehicle 
request application.
    Funding Priorities. Inherent differences exist between urban, 
suburban, and rural firefighting conventions. For this reason, DHS has 
developed different priorities in the Firefighting Vehicles Program for 
departments that serve different types of communities. The chart below 
delineates the priorities for firefighting vehicles for each type of 
community.

    Note:  Due to nationwide statistics indicating the high number 
of fire-based EMS calls, ambulances will be the equivalent to a 
pumper as a high priority item.


[[Page 37693]]



                 Firefighting Vehicle Program Priorities
  [Firefighting vehicles are categorized by community type and as High
 (H), Medium (M), or Low (L) funding priorities and within that priority
                    the vehicles have an equal value]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Suburban
    Priority     Urban communities     communities     Rural communities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
H..............  Pumper             Pumper             Pumper
                 Ambulance          Ambulance          Ambulance
                 Aerial             Aerial             Brush--Attack
                 Rescue             Tanker--Tender     Tanker--Tender
                                    Rescue             Aerial
M..............  Command            Hazmat             Command
                 Hazmat             Command            Hazmat
                 Light/Air Unit     Light/Air Unit     Rescue
                 Rehab Unit         Brush--Attack      Light/Air Unit
                                    Rehab Unit
L..............  Aircraft Rescue    ARFF               Foam Truck
                  and Firefighting  Foam Truck         Highway Safety
                  Vehicle (ARFFV)   Highway Safety      Unit
                 Brush--Attack       Unit              ARFF
                 Foam Truck         Fire Boat          Rehab Unit
                 Fire Boat                             Fire Boat
                 Tanker--Tender
                 Highway Safety
                  Unit
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additional Considerations. Will be given for the following factors:

 Existence of automatic aid agreements, mutual aid agreements, 
or both
 Request the replacement of open cab/jump seat configurations
 Age of the vehicle being replaced; older equipment receives 
higher consideration
 Age of the newest vehicle in the department's fleet that is 
like the vehicle to be replaced
 Average age of the fleet; older equipment within the same 
class
 Converted vehicles not designed or intended for use in the 
fire service

    Compliance with standards:

 New fire apparatus must be compliant with NFPA 1901 or 1906 
for the year it was ordered or manufactured.

 Used fire apparatus must be compliant with NFPA 1901 or 1906 
standards for the year the vehicle was manufactured
 Ambulances must meet NFPA, General Services Administration 
(GSA) KKK-1822F standards for the year ordered or manufactured
 Applicants must certify that unsafe vehicles will be 
permanently removed from service if awarded a grant
 Acceptable uses of unsafe vehicles include farming, nursery, 
scrap metal, salvage, construction, etc
 Refurbished vehicles must meet current NFPA 1912 standards

    (3) Administrative Costs.
    Panelists will assess the administrative costs requested in any 
application and determine if the request is reasonable and in the best 
interest of the Program.
Nonaffiliated EMS Organization Priorities
    AFG funds may be used to enhance emergency medical services 
provided by nonaffiliated EMS organizations, but the authorizing 
statute limits funding for these organizations to no more than 2 
percent of the appropriated amount.
    The Criteria Development Panel recommended that it is more cost-
effective to enhance or expand an existing EMS organization, by 
providing training or equipment, than it is to create a new service. 
Therefore, communities attempting to initiate EMS services will receive 
the lowest competitive rating. Requests for equipment and training to 
prepare for response to incidents involving CBRNE are available under 
the applicable Equipment and Training activities.
    Specific rating criteria and funding priorities for each of the 
grant categories are provided below following the descriptions of this 
year's eligible programs. The rating criteria, in conjunction with the 
program description, provide an understanding of the evaluation 
standards. DHS will explain further the funding priorities in the ``FY 
2011 AFG Guidance and Application Kit.''
    (1) EMS Operations and Safety Program.
    Five different activities may be funded under this program area:

 First responder/Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) training
 EMS equipment acquisition
 EMS personal protective equipment
 EMS wellness and fitness
 Modifications to EMS facilities

    Applicants may apply for as many of the activities within the 
Operations and Safety Program as they deem necessary.
    (i) First Responder/EMS Training Activities. AFG provides grants to 
train EMS personnel. Examples of training activities include, but are 
not limited to, first responder/emergency responder, Basic Life Support 
(BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS), Paramedic, Hazmat Operations, or 
Rescue Operations.
    Funding Priorities. Since training is a prerequisite to the 
effective use of EMS equipment, organizations that request items more 
focused on training activities will receive a higher competitive rating 
than organizations that focus on equipment.
    A higher competitive rating will be given to nonaffiliated EMS 
organizations that are planning to upgrade services to the ALS level of 
response. Specifically, requests for training to elevate an 
organization's response level from EMT-B to EMT-I will receive the 
highest priority for funding. Requests for training to elevate the 
organization's response level from EMT-I to EMT-P also will receive a 
high priority for funding.
    The second priority for funding is training to elevate emergency 
responders' capabilities from first responder to the BLS level of 
response, i.e., EMT-B. Due to the amount of time and cost required, 
upgrading an organization's response level from EMT-B to EMT-P is a 
lower priority. Organizations seeking training in rescue or Hazmat 
operations will receive lower consideration than organizations seeking 
training for medical services. The lowest priority is to fund first 
responder training.
    Additional Considerations. Organizations seeking to train a high 
percentage of its active first responders will receive additional 
consideration.

[[Page 37694]]

    (ii) EMS Equipment Acquisition. AFG funds are available for 
equipment to enhance the safety or effectiveness of EMS response. 
Equipment requested must meet all mandatory requirements as well as any 
national, state, or DHS-adopted standards. Equipment requested should 
solve interoperability or compatibility problems as may be required by 
local jurisdictions. Requests will be funded up to an organization's 
current capabilities, particularly requests for decontamination and 
Hazmat equipment.

    Note: All communications equipment or systems purchased with 
grant funds should comply with the FY 2012 SAFECOM Guidance on 
Emergency Communication Grants, including provisions on technical 
standards that ensure and enhance interoperable communications. The 
FY 2012 SAFECOM Guidance can be found at: http://www.safecomprogram.gov.

    Funding Priorities. Highest priority will be given to equipment 
requests associated with upgrading EMS from BLS to ALS, i.e., EMT-I and 
EMT-P. High priority also will be given to requests for equipment that 
will bring the department into compliance with NFPA standards and other 
national, state, or local jurisdictional requirements. Medium priority 
will be given to requests for equipment that brings a department into 
voluntary compliance with NFPA/OSHA standards and requests to expand 
current EMS. Low priority will be given to the following requests: To 
begin a new service, to replace used or obsolete equipment, to buy 
equipment that does not affect statutory or voluntary compliance with a 
national standard, and equipment for Hazmat operations/technicians and 
for rescue operations/technicians.
    Additional Considerations. Additional consideration will be given 
to requests that support regional collaborations benefiting multiple 
jurisdictions.
    (iii) EMS Personal Protective Equipment. AFG funds are available to 
acquire EMS PPE for first responder personnel. Equipment requested must 
meet all mandatory requirements, as well as any current national and/or 
state DHS-adopted standards or local EMS protocols. Applicants must 
indicate grant-purchased equipment will be operated by sufficiently 
trained staff, and failure to meet this requirement will result in 
ineligibility for funding. Funding for PPE training is eligible but 
must be requested in the Other section under Additional Funding for the 
item requested.
    Funding Priorities. High priority for funding will be requests to 
buy new PPE for the first time, to replace or update obsolete PPE to 
the current standard, and to replace torn, tattered, or damaged PPE. 
(Obsolete PPE is defined as any SCBA/PPE that is 10 years or older or 
is outdated by two NFPA cycles.) Medium priority will be given to 
requests to replace contaminated PPE, PPE to meet a new risk, and used 
PPE. Low priority will be given to requests to replace worn but still 
usable PPE that is not compliant to the current edition of NFPA 
standard, to replace new PPE, PPE for a new mission, and to increase 
the inventory or supply of PPE.
    SCBA Priorities. All SCBA requests must be justified in the PPE 
narrative. Awards will be based on the number of seated riding 
positions in department's vehicle fleet and the age of existing SCBAs, 
limited to one spare cylinder (unless justified in the PPE activity 
narrative). Highest priority for funding of SCBAs will be to replace 
SCBA that are compliant with the pre-2002 edition of NFPA 1981. Medium 
priority will be given to replacing SCBA that are compliant with the 
2002 edition of NFPA 1981. Low priority will be given to requests to 
replace SCBA that are compliant with the 2007 edition of NFPA 1981.
    Additional Considerations. Will be given to the percentage of 
firefighters/EMS personnel served by the project and the age of the 
equipment being replaced.
    (iv) EMS Wellness and Fitness Activities. Wellness programs are 
intended to strengthen uniformed personnel so the mental, physical, and 
emotional capabilities are resilient to withstand the demands of 
emergency services response. To be eligible for funding under this 
activity in FY 2012, organizations must offer, or plan to offer, all 
four of the following basic wellness and fitness programs:

 Periodic health screenings
 Entry physical examinations (compliant with current NFPA 1582)
 Immunizations
 Behavioral health programs

    Funding Priorities. In this activity, funding priorities are 
described as either Priority 1 or Priority 2, with Priority 1 programs 
being the highest priority for funding. Organizations that have some of 
the Priority 1 programs in place must apply for funds to implement the 
other Priority 1 programs listed before applying for funds for 
additional Wellness and Fitness programs or equipment. The following 
programs are Priority 1: Initial medical exams (must be compliant with 
current NFPA 1582), job-related immunization programs (as required by 
the department or by law), annual medical and fitness evaluations, and 
behavioral health programs.
    To be eligible for Priority 2 items, the department must offer or 
be requesting funds to provide all four of the programs in Priority 1. 
Priority 2 items include candidate physical ability evaluations, formal 
fitness and injury prevention programs and equipment, injury and 
illness rehab, and IAFF or IAFC Peer Fitness Trainer programs.
    (v) Modification to EMS Facilities. Grants may be used to modify 
and retrofit existing fire stations and other facilities or structures 
built before 2003 that do not have the requisite safety features. New 
facility construction is not eligible for funding. To be eligible, the 
modification must not change the structure footprint or profile. If 
requesting multiple items in this activity, total funding for all 
project and activities cannot exceed $100,000 per facility. Remodeling 
to fulfill other grant initiatives is limited to $10,000. Eligible 
projects under this activity must have a direct effect on the health 
and safety of first responders.
    FEMA is legally required to consider the potential impacts of all 
grant-funded projects on environmental resources and historic 
properties through an EHP review. Any project with the potential to 
impact natural resources or historic properties cannot be initiated 
until FEMA has completed the required FEMA EHP review. Grantees that 
implement projects before receiving EHP approval from FEMA risk having 
grant funds deobligated. Grantees should submit the FEMA EHP Screening 
Form for each project as soon as possible upon receiving the grant 
award.
    Modification projects that must undergo EHP reviews include but are 
not limited to the installation of equipment; ground-disturbing 
activities, such as building a concrete pad for a station generator; 
communications tower installations, or the modification or renovation 
of existing buildings and structures. Any project not specifically 
excluded from a FEMA EHP review must undergo such a review, per the 
Grant Programs Directorate's PEA. For more information, see Information 
Bulletin 345. Grantees must comply with all applicable EHP laws, 
regulations, and EOs to draw down their FY 2012 AFG funds.
    Funding Priorities. Highest priority for funding will be requests 
to install modifications such as sole-source capture exhaust systems, 
sprinkler systems, or smoke/fire alarm notification systems in 
stations, including maritime and air operations facilities, that are 
occupied 24/7 and offer sleeping quarters. Medium priority

[[Page 37695]]

will be given to requests for air quality systems and/or emergency 
generators from departments that may or may not offer sleeping 
quarters. Low priority will be given to requests to modify facilities 
that are not occupied 24/7 and do not offer sleeping quarters, and for 
training facilities.
    Additional Considerations: Will be given for the age of the 
building, with older facilities receiving higher priority.
    Grants may be used only to modify or retrofit existing EMS 
facilities that were built before 2003 and do not have specific safety 
features. The construction of new facilities is not eligible for 
funding. Grant funds may only be used to retrofit existing structures 
built prior to 2003 that do not have the requisite safety features. If 
requesting multiple items in this activity, funding cannot exceed a 
maximum of $100,000 per station. Remodeling to fulfill other grant 
initiatives is limited to $10,000. Eligible projects under this 
activity must have a direct effect on the health and safety of first 
responders.
    FEMA is legally required to consider the potential impacts of all 
grant-funded projects on environmental resources and historic 
properties. For AFG and other preparedness grant programs, this is 
accomplished via FEMA's EHP Review. Grantees must comply with all 
applicable EHP laws, regulations, and Executive Orders (EOs) in order 
to draw down their FY 2012 AFG grant funds. Any project with the 
potential to impact natural resources or historic properties cannot be 
initiated until FEMA has completed the required FEMA EHP review. 
Grantees that implement projects prior to receiving EHP approval from 
FEMA risk de-obligation of funds.
    AFG projects that involve the installation of equipment, ground-
disturbing activities, and new construction, including communication 
towers, or modification/renovation of existing buildings or structures 
must undergo a FEMA EHP review. Activities not specifically excluded 
from a FEMA EHP review also will require an EHP review per the GPD 
Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA). For more information on 
the PEA, see Information Bulletin 345 at http://www.fema.gov/pdf/government/grant/bulletins/info345.pdf.
    Funding Priorities. Highest priority in this activity will go to 
departments requesting direct sole-source capture exhaust systems, 
sprinkler systems, or smoke/fire alarm notification systems for 
stations with sleeping quarters, including maritime/air operations 
facilities, that are occupied 24/7. Medium priority will be given to 
departments (with or without sleeping quarters) that request air 
quality systems and/or emergency generators. Low priority will be given 
to departments requesting funding of one of the high or medium 
priorities listed above but do not have facilities that are occupied 
24/7 and do not have sleeping quarters and also to requests for 
training facilities.
    Additional Considerations. Additional consideration will be given 
for the age of the building, with older facilities receiving higher 
priority.
    (2) EMS Vehicles Acquisition Program.
    Funds may be used to acquire new, used, or refurbished EMS 
vehicles. Funds may also be used to refurbish a vehicle the 
organization currently owns. To be eligible for funding, EMS vehicles 
purchased with AFG funds must be compliant with current General 
Services Administration standards, specifically KKK-A-1822 (``Guide for 
Emergency Medical Services and Systems''), found at http://www.gsa.gov/vehiclestandards/index.cfm.
    Applicants are allowed to apply for more than one vehicle, but 
requests cannot exceed the financial cap based on population listed in 
the application. If a department submits multiple applications and more 
than one of those requests are approved, the department will be held to 
the same financial cap. FEMA reserves the right to reduce the amount of 
any vehicle request, in whole or in part, that is considered excessive 
in cost. AFG funding is meant to supplement, not replace, an 
organization's funding.
    Applicants requesting vehicles that do not have driver/operators 
trained to U.S. Department of Transportation Emergency Vehicle 
Operators Course (EVOC) National Standard Curriculum, or equivalent, 
and are not planning to have a training program in place by the time 
the vehicle is delivered, will not receive an award. Training may be 
requested in the Other section under Additional Funding in the Vehicle 
request application. Driver training programs must be in place prior to 
vehicle delivery.
    Funding Priorities. The following chart shows the priorities in the 
EMS Vehicle Program for FY 2012. The priorities are the same for all 
types of communities: urban, suburban, and rural.

                     EMS Vehicle Program Priorities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
H..............................  Ambulances or transport units to
                                  support EMS functions.
M..............................  Non-transport (vehicles that do not
                                  transport a patient).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Compliance with standards: New and refurbished ambulances must meet 
current applicable standards for the year of ordered or manufactured, 
e.g., NFPA, General Services Administration (GSA) KKK-1822.
    (3) Regional Project Priorities.
    A regional project is one in which multiple organizations serving 
more than one local jurisdiction benefit directly from the activities 
implemented with the grant funds. Regional projects are designed to 
facilitate efficiency and communications on the fire ground among 
multiple jurisdictions. Any eligible applicant may act as a host 
applicant and apply for a regional project. A list of all the 
participating organizations that will benefit from the proposed 
regional project must be listed in the application. Note that a county 
fire department applying for a countywide communications system would 
NOT be considered a regional project because it does not benefit 
multiple jurisdictions.
    Fire departments or nonaffiliated EMS organizations acting as host 
applicants for a regional project also may apply for their own project 
funding to meet non-regional needs by submitting a separate grant 
application. However, the request may not duplicate the items being 
requested in the regional project application.
    Funding Priorities. The activities eligible for Regional Project 
funding are training, equipment, and PPE. The funding priorities for 
these activities are the same as those indicated previously in the 
Operations and Safety Program for fire and nonaffiliated EMS 
organizations.
    Not Eligible for Regional Funding: Wellness and fitness, 
modification to facilities, and vehicle acquisition.
Award Information
    Applications for regional projects will not be included in the host 
applicant's funding limitations detailed in Part II of the Guidance and 
Application Kit. However, regional applicants will be subject to their 
own limitation based on the total population that the regional project 
will serve. For example, a regional project serving a population of 
fewer than 500,000 people will be limited to $1 million. A regional 
project's cost share will be based on the total population of the 
entire region rather than on the population served by the host 
applicant.
    (4) Administrative Costs.
    Panelists will assess the administrative costs requested in each 
application and determine whether the request is reasonable and in the 
best interest of the Program.


[[Page 37696]]


    Dated: June 18, 2012.
W. Craig Fugate,
Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2012-15333 Filed 6-21-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9111-64-P