Policy options analysis of assistance to firefighters grant program
Loper, Sharon L.
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The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) is a direct federal grant program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, for fire and emergency medical services to support firefighter safety and protect the public from fires and other hazards. Homeland security depends upon local fire services to be the first responders to all incidents. The AFG has experienced strong support largely due to the direct involvement of fire services in the grant process. The funding level, however, has been insufficient to address the unmet needs of fire services across the nation. The policy options analysis reviews four options for grant fund distribution, including the current approach, to maximize the contribution of fire services to homeland security goals. The analysis reviews the options based on the factors of improving baseline capability, building catastrophic incident capability, increasing regional capabilities and retaining local support for the AFG. The current approach to grant distribution was determined to provide the strongest contribution due to its broad eligibility of activities that encourage regional cooperation and enable fire services of diverse size and locations to have their applications reviewed on the merit of their identified need to support homeland security.
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