10 Best Grants For Fire Departments In 2023 | Application Guide


There are numerous grants for fire departments to choose from. However, if you need help finding where to search, we have carefully researched and put together the top grants for fire departments in 2023 you can look at.

Below are some top resources to help you navigate finding and applying for grants to benefit your fire department.

What are Grants?

By definition, grants are explicit financial aid a company receives to carry out a specific project or program. Grants help communities find answers to problems that have been highlighted. Federal, state, and private funds are used to fund grants.

Applying for Grants

Grants are a fantastic method for your department to gain funds above and above what is available from its operating budget. They can aid in filling the gap between the needs of your department and its available resources.

Grants respond by developing community problems when finances cannot react rapidly enough. Through grants, fire trucks, innovative life support equipment, and even hiring extra employees can be paid for.

Accessing Grants

Your department must submit an application or proposal to be considered for a grant. It’s crucial to understand that creating a successful application requires much thought and study.

Navigating the application procedure might take a lot of work. Most grant programs have unique qualifying conditions, are only open once a year, and are created to finance a particular focal area (such as safety, the environment, or human services).

Obtaining grant money is sometimes tricky. There are usually more funding requests than finances available. This implies that a financing request could only occasionally be granted, even being strong.

But resist giving up. You should be able to succeed with a bit of old-fashioned work, preparation, and perseverance.

Grants for Fire Departments

The Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services Grant Program provide annual grants to volunteer and career fire departments, emergency medical services, and rescue squads. The program offers grant-qualifying information and an online application to all qualified candidates.

The staff examines and accepts or disapproves all applications based on applicant and project criteria, processes signed grant agreements, and allows the disbursement of grant monies. The conformity of final grant reports to the project description and program requirements are examined.

As budget constraints become frequent, fire departments seek new methods to inject money into their operations, enhance training, hire additional crew members, buy new equipment, implement CRR programs, etc.

Fire grants are a great way to do this, but knowing how to get started and improve your chances of winning the grant can be challenging. Now, look at the best grants for fire departments in 2023.

Best Grants for Fire Departments

Here are our top picks on the best rants for fire departments in 2023:

  1. Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant Program
  2. Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)
  3. Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grant (SAFER)
  4. Volunteer Firefighter Equipment & Training Grant Program
  5. Forest fire protection grant program
  6. Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program
  7. Fire prevention and safety (FP&S) grants
  8. Emergency Management Baseline Assessment Grant
  9. Rural Fire Department Grants
  10. Gary Sinise Foundation
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#1. Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant Program

By supporting the delivery of training and gaining new or replacement equipment, this funding stream intends to strengthen the resilience of volunteer and composite fire departments in planning for and reacting to crises.

#2. Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

These grants provide much-needed funding for equipment and training for emergency personnel and for improvements in productivity and community resilience.

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFGmain)’s aim is to provide for the firefighting and emergency response requirements of fire departments and independent emergency medical service providers.

These grants cover equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, facility modifications, and training.

To improve their capacity to protect the public’s health and safety and that of first-responder personnel, state fire training academies, non-affiliated EMS organizations, and fire departments will receive grants under the Assistance to Firefighters Grant-Supplemental (AFG-S).

These grants will buy personal protective equipment (PPE) and other crucial supplies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

#3. Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grant (SAFER)

Grants from SAFER help attract and keep volunteer firefighters by funding their salaries and perks. The goal of SAFER funding is to increase community capacity and capability. The primary goal of the SAFER grants is to;

  • Provide salary and benefits for new and full-time firefighters.
  •  Increase a safety organization’s ability to safeguard the public’s safety and the health of its employees.

Activities for recruitment and retention will include training, volunteer incentives and stipends, and mental health programs.

SAFER provides funds directly to volunteer firefighter interest organizations and fire stations. To help them maintain or grow the number of professionally qualified “front-line” firemen in their localities.

#4. Volunteer Firefighter Equipment & Training Grant Program

On January 1 2020, the Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant was established.

Its funding program is divided into two parts: reimburse the local cost portion of a federal grant given to a volunteer fire department to purchase firefighting gear and training (usually 5% or 10% of the overall award, depending on the population); and reimburse the local cost portion of a federal grant given to a volunteer fire department to purchase firefighting gear and training.

For the current fiscal year, the program’s funding has been increased to $5 million to assist volunteer firefighters.

If a department has a current SFMO recognition certificate and employs less than 51% of volunteer firefighters, it is eligible for the Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant program.

#5. Forest Fire Protection Grant Program

Grants to prevent forest fires assists different organizations at the state, regional, and local levels.

Programs in community forestry, forest health, forest utilization, fire department training and equipment, hazardous forest fuels, and mitigation are among those eligible for grants.

The forest fire protection grant program aims to increase the use of local fire departments to supplement and strengthen the Department of Natural Resources’ overall initial-attack fire suppression capabilities on forest fires.

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#6. Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program

The Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) is a unique partnership between FEMA and the U.S. Army, combining emergency management experience with custodianship responsibilities of the U.S. chemical stockpile.

It enables communities to protect their residents by strengthening their ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from a chemical emergency.

Communities and states have reaped the benefits of improved emergency facilities, equipment, training, and planning. Many of these program enhancements increase their capabilities to deal with more likely emergencies such as transportation accidents involving hazardous materials, floods, and fires.

#7. Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants

The AFG funds programs that increase the safety of the public and firefighters against fire and associated risks, emphasizing lowering injury and avoiding mortality among high-risk populations.

FP&S grants support these projects in part. Their activities include;

  • Fire prevention education and training
  • Fire code enforcement
  • Fire investigation
  • Prevention efforts
  • Firefighter safety and health programming
  • Firefighter safety research and development

#8. Emergency Management Baseline Assessment Grant

It provides non-disaster funding to support developing, maintaining, and revising voluntary national-level standards and peer-review assessment processes for emergency management.

It uses these standards and procedures to assess the state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management programs and professionals.

The emergency management baseline assessment grant aims to ensure that states and communities have accredited emergency management programs and certified emergency management professionals in place before a program notice of funding opportunity on grants.

#9. Rural Fire Department Grants

Rural Fire Department Grants assist rural fire departments by planning resources, funding and program help, training resources, and more to help them find grants and financial aid specific to their needs.

They represent the first line of defense in coping with wildfires and other emergencies in rural areas and communities. Their departments handle the protection of lives, homes, and business investments.

This grant aims to provide financial, technical, and related help to volunteer fire departments to organize, train, and equip local firefighters. Assisting fire departments in saving lives, protecting financial investments, and enhancing environmental quality to revitalize rural communities.

#10. Gary Sinise Foundation

The Gary Sinise Foundation creates and supports unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities.

They offer grants for equipment, training, and mobility devices for those first responders injured on the job. There is a focus on rural/volunteer fire departments.

How to Apply for Grants for Fire Departments

Here is how to apply for grants for fire departments:

Size of support

To apply for grants for fire departments, you must first know and understand the size of support you need.

There are no specific guidelines about the quantity of the grant your department should request; the only advice is to ask what you require and present the most robust case for how the grant will help both your department and the community it serves.

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Letter of inquiry

You must upload a brief letter of inquiry to the grants portal page and complete the letter of inquiry form to be considered for funding. While at it, you must prepare the following information:

  • Department, city, and state or zip code
  • Size of department
  • Specify that it is a volunteer or paid department
  • The population of your city, as well as the surrounding areas or regions that your fire department serves
  • Specify what type of grant you are requesting
  • The estimated value
  • Outline how the grant will be used and specify the timeline
  • Specify the reason you are requesting the grant
  • Outline the steps already taken by your fire department to meet the needs of the departments.
  • Add the name, phone number, rank, and email address of the head of your fire department.

When you have provided this information, you can go ahead o click on the “Apply for Grant” button on the page to apply.


How are local fire departments funded?

Bonds are used to paying for capital things like fire stations.

Who funds the fire service?

Taxpayers. Since public dollars support the Fire Service, any responsibility involving life protection or emergency response falls under the purview of the Service’s fundamental obligations.

What is a Firefighter fund?

The Firefighter Foundation is a recognized charity dedicated to making the community safer. “Courage, Compassion, Community” is our motto. It’s less possible in the current economic context to rely only on the government to keep society safer.

What is the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)?

Since 2001, AFG has aided firefighters and other first responders in acquiring vital supplies to safeguard the public and emergency workers from fire and other dangers.

Why do firefighters ask for donations?

Firefighters raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association via boot sales. After the campaign, the funds are sent to families dealing with muscular dystrophy and other ailments.

Is Firefighters Charitable Foundation legitimate?

The Accountability & Finance beacon has given the Firefighters Charitable Foundation a score of 29%. For further details, refer to the stats below. This beacon evaluates a charity’s financial standing (financial efficiency, sustainability, and dependability) and its adherence to governance principles and procedures.

Is a fire department a state or local government?

Most frequently, fire departments work as public sector organizations in a municipality, county, state, country, or a particular area. There are also private and specialized firefighting groups, such as those for fighting and rescuing airplanes.


You may have considered applying for a grant. Then decide whether the process would be too challenging, your company would be too small, or the funding would not make a significant difference. This article lists the top grants for fire departments.

After you’ve identified a potential grant, you must prepare your application. Although the grant application process can be complex and competitive, resources are available to ensure your application stands out from the rest.


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