Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, 53646-53650 [2018-23160]

Download as PDF 53646 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 206 / Wednesday, October 24, 2018 / Notices AGENCY: published on the AFG website. The AFG website provides additional information and materials useful to applicants including Frequently Asked Questions, a Get Ready Guide, and a Quick Reference Guide. Based on past AFG application periods, FEMA anticipates the receipt of 10,000 to 15,000 applications for the FY 2018 AFG Program, and the ability to award approximately 2,500 grants. Pursuant to the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, as amended, the Administrator of FEMA is publishing this notice describing the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program application process, deadlines, and award selection criteria. This notice explains the differences, if any, between these guidelines and those recommended by representatives of the national fire service leadership during the annual meeting of the Criteria Development Panel, which was held January 17, 2018. The application period for the FY 2018 AFG Program began September 24, 2018 and closes October 26, 2018, and was announced on the AFG website at: https:// www.fema.gov/welcome-assistancefirefighters-grant-program, as well as at www.grants.gov. DATES: Grant applications for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program are accepted electronically at https:// portal.fema.gov, from September 24, 2018 through October 26, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. ADDRESSES: Assistance to Firefighters Grant Branch, DHS/FEMA, 400 C Street SW, 3N, Washington, DC 20472–3635. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Patterson, Branch Chief, Assistance to Firefighters Grant Branch, 1–866–274–0960. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The AFG Program awards grants directly to fire departments, non-affiliated emergency medical services (EMS) organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTAs) for the purpose of enhancing the health and safety of first responders and improving their abilities to protect the public from fire and fire-related hazards. Applications for the FY 2018 AFG Program will be submitted and processed online at https:// portal.fema.gov. Before the application period started, the FY 2018 AFG Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was Congressional Appropriations For the FY 2018 AFG Program, Congress appropriated $350,000,000 (Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2018 Pub. L. 115– 141). From this amount, $315,000,000 will be made available for AFG awards. In addition, Section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, as amended (15 U.S.C. 2229), requires that a minimum of 10 percent of available funds be expended for Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S). FP&S awards will 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. Funds appropriated for FY 2018 will be available for obligation and award until September 30, 2019. The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 further directs FEMA to administer these appropriations according to the following requirements: • Career fire department: Not less than 25 percent of available grant funds. • Volunteer fire department: Not less than 25 percent of available grant funds. • Combination fire department and departments using paid-on-call firefighting personnel: Not less than 25 percent of available grant funds. • Open Competition (career, volunteer, and/or combination fire departments and departments using paid-on-call firefighting personnel): Not less than 10 percent of available grant funds awarded. • Emergency Medical Services Providers including fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations: Not less than 3.5 percent of available grants funds awarded, with nonaffiliated EMS providers receiving no more than 2 percent of the total available grant funds. • State Fire Training Academies: Not more than 3 percent of available grant funds shall be collectively awarded to State Fire Training Academy applicants, with a maximum of $500,000 per applicant. • Vehicles: Not more than 25 percent of available grant funds may be used for DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA–2018–0008] [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA–4399– DR; Docket ID FEMA–2018–0001 Florida; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice. This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Florida (FEMA–4399–DR), dated October 11, 2018, and related determinations. SUMMARY: This amendment was issued October 12, 2018. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646–2833. The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Florida is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 11, 2018. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Calhoun, Gadsden, Jackson, and Liberty Counties for Individual Assistance (already designated for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance under the Public Assistance program). The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance— Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2018–23157 Filed 10–23–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–11–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Oct 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ACTION: Notice of availability of grant application and application deadline. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 206 / Wednesday, October 24, 2018 / Notices the purchase of vehicles; 10 percent of those vehicle funds will be dedicated to the funding of ambulances. Vehicle funds will be distributed as equally as possible among urban, suburban, and rural community applicants. • Micro Grants: This is a voluntary funding limitation choice made by the applicant for requests submitted within the Operations and Safety activity; it is not an additional funding opportunity. Micro Grants are awards that have a federal participation (share) that does not exceed $50,000. Only fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations are eligible to choose Micro Grants, and the only eligible Micro Grants requests are for Training, Equipment, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Wellness and Fitness activities. Applicants that select Micro Grants as a funding opportunity may receive additional consideration for award. If an applicant selects Micro Grants in their application, they will be limited in the total amount of funding their organization can be awarded; if they are requesting funding in excess of $50,000 federal participation, they should not select Micro Grants. Background of the AFG Program Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. FEMA awards 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 AFG priorities, as identified in the Application Evaluation Criteria, will be reviewed by a panel composed of fire service personnel. AFG has three program activities: • Operations and Safety • Vehicle Acquisition • Regional Projects The priorities for each activity are fully outlined in the NOFO. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Application Evaluation Criteria Prior to making a grant award, FEMA is required by 31 U.S.C. 3321 note, 41 U.S.C. 2313, and 2 CFR 200.205 to review information available through any Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated repositories of government-wide eligibility qualification or financial integrity information. Therefore, application evaluation criteria may include the following risk based considerations of the applicant: (1) Financial stability; (2) VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:43 Oct 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 quality of management systems and ability to meet management standards; (3) history of performance in managing federal awards; (4) reports and findings from audits; and (5) ability to effectively implement statutory, regulatory, or other requirements. FEMA will rank all complete and submitted applications based on how well they match program priorities for the type of jurisdiction(s) served. Answers to activity specific questions provide information used to determine each application’s ranking relative to the stated program priorities. Funding priorities and criteria for evaluating AFG applications are established by FEMA based on the recommendations from the Criteria Development Panel (CDP). CDP is comprised of fire service professionals that make recommendations to FEMA regarding the creation of new, or the modification of, previously established funding priorities, as well as developing criteria for awarding grants. The content of the NOFO reflects implementation of CDP’s recommendations with respect to the priorities and evaluation criteria for awards. The nine major fire service organizations represented on the CDP are: • International Association of Fire Chiefs • International Association of Fire Fighters • National Volunteer Fire Council • National Fire Protection Association • National Association of State Fire Marshals • International Association of Arson Investigators • International Society of Fire Service Instructors • North American Fire Training Directors • Congressional Fire Service Institute Review and Selection Process AFG applications are reviewed through a multi-phase process. All applications are electronically prescored and ranked based on how well they align with the funding priorities outlined in this notice. Applications with the highest pre-score rankings are then scored competitively by (no less than three) members of the Peer Panel Review process. Applications will also be evaluated through a series of internal FEMA review processes for completeness, adherence to programmatic guidelines, technical feasibility, and anticipated effectiveness of the proposed project(s). Below is the process by which applications will be reviewed: PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53647 1. Pre-Scoring Process The application undergoes an electronic pre-scoring process based on established program priorities listed within the NOFO and answers to activity specific questions within the online application. Application narratives are not reviewed during prescoring. Request details and budget information should comply with program guidance and statutory funding limitations. The pre-score is 50 percent of the total application score. 2. Peer Review Panel Process Applications with the highest prescore will undergo peer review. The peer review is comprised of fire service representatives recommended by CDP national organizations. The panelists assess the merits of each application based on the narrative section of the application, including the evaluation elements listed in the Narrative Evaluation Criteria below. Panelists will independently score each project within the application, discuss the merits and/ or shortcomings of the application with his or her peers, and document the findings. A consensus is not required. The panel score is 50 percent of the total application score. 3. Technical Evaluation Process The highest ranked applications are considered within the fundable range. Applications that are in the fundable range undergo both a technical review by a subject matter expert, as well as a FEMA AFG Branch review prior to being recommended for an award. The FEMA AFG Branch will assess the request with respect to costs, quantities, feasibility, eligibility, and recipient responsibility prior to recommending an application for award. Once the technical evaluation process is complete, the cumulative score for each application will be determined and FEMA will generate a final ranking of applications. FEMA will award grants based on this final ranking and the statutorily required funding limitations listed in this notice and the NOFO. Narrative Evaluation Criteria 1. Financial Need (25 Percent) Applicants should describe their financial need and how consistent it is with the intent of the AFG Program. This statement should include details describing the applicant’s financial distress, summarized budget constraints, unsuccessful attempts to secure other funding, and proof that their financial distress is out of their control. E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1 53648 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 206 / Wednesday, October 24, 2018 / Notices 2. Project Description and Budget (25 Percent) This statement should clearly explain the applicant’s project objectives and the relationship between those objectives and the applicant’s budget and risk analysis. The applicant should describe the activities, including program priorities or facility modifications, ensuring consistency with project objectives, the applicant’s mission, and any national, State, and/or local requirements. Applicants should link the proposed expenses to operations and safety, as well as the completion of the project goals. 3. Operations and Safety/Cost Benefit (25 Percent) Applicants should describe how they plan to address the operations and personal safety needs of their organization, including cost effectiveness and sharing assets. This statement should also include details about gaining the maximum benefits from grant funding by citing reasonable or required costs, such as specific overhead and administrative costs. The applicant’s request should also be consistent with their mission and identify how funding will benefit their organization and personnel. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 4. Statement of Effect/Impact on Daily Operations (25 Percent) This statement should explain how these funds will enhance the organization’s overall effectiveness. It should address how an award will improve daily operations and reduce the organization’s risks. Applicants should include how frequently the requested items will be used, and in what capacity. Applicants should also indicate how the requested items will help the community and increase the organization’s ability to save additional lives or property. Eligible Applicants Fire Departments: Fire departments operating in any of the 50 States, as well as fire departments in the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization. A fire department is an agency or organization having a formally recognized arrangement with a State, territory, local, or tribal authority (city, county, parish, fire district, township, town, or other governing body) to provide fire suppression to a population within a geographically fixed primary first due response area. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:43 Oct 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 Nonaffiliated EMS organizations: Nonaffiliated EMS organizations operating in any of the 50 States, as well as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization. A nonaffiliated EMS organization is an agency or organization that is a public or private nonprofit emergency medical services entity providing medical transport that is not affiliated with a hospital and does not serve a geographic area in which emergency medical services are adequately provided by a fire department. FEMA considers the following as hospitals under the AFG Program: • Clinics • Medical centers • Medical colleges or universities • Infirmaries • Surgery centers • Any other institutions, associations, or foundations providing medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and/or treatment for the sick or injured. State Fire Training Academies: A State Fire Training Academy (SFTA) operates in any of the 50 States, as well as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Applicants must be designated either by legislation or by a Governor’s declaration as the sole fire service training agency within a state, territory, or the District of Columbia. The designated SFTA shall be the only agency/bureau/division, or entity within that state, territory, or the District of Columbia. Ineligibility • To avoid a duplication of benefits, FEMA reserves the right to review all program activities or grant applications where two or more organizations share a single facility. To be eligible as a separate organization, two or more fire departments or nonaffiliated EMS organizations will have different funding streams, personnel rosters, or Employee Identification Numbers (EINs). If two or more organizations share facilities and each submits an application in the same program area (i.e., Equipment, Modify Facilities, Personal Protective Equipment, Training, and Wellness and Fitness Programs) FEMA will carefully review each program for eligibility. • Fire-based EMS organizations are not eligible to apply as nonaffiliated PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 EMS organizations. Fire-based EMS training and equipment must be requested by a fire department under the AFG component program Operations and Safety. • Eligible applicants may submit only one application for each activity (e.g., Operations and Safety or Regional), but may submit for multiple projects within each activity. Under the Vehicle Activity, applicants may submit one application for vehicles for their department and one separate application to host a Regional vehicle. Duplicate applications (more than one application in the same activity) may be disqualified. • An Operations and Safety applicant may submit one application for an eligible project (i.e., turn out gear); it may not submit a Regional application for the same project. Statutory Limits to Funding Congress has enacted statutory limits to the amount of funding that a grant recipient may receive from the AFG Program in any single fiscal year (15 U.S.C. 2229(c)(2)) based on the population served. Awards will be limited based on the size of the population protected by the applicant, as indicated below. Notwithstanding the annual limits stated below, the FEMA Administrator may not award a grant in an amount that exceeds one percent of the available grants funds in such fiscal year, except where it is determined that such recipient has an extraordinary need for a grant in an amount that exceeds the one percent aggregate limit. • In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with 100,000 people or fewer, the amount of available grant funds awarded to such recipient shall not exceed $1 million in any fiscal year. • In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with more than 100,000 people, but not more than 500,000 people, the amount of available grant funds awarded to such recipient shall not exceed $2 million in any fiscal year. • In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with more than 500,000, but not more than 1 million people, the amount of available grant funds awarded to such recipient shall not exceed $3 million in any fiscal year. • In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with more than 1 million people but not more than 2,500,000 people, the amount of available grant funds awarded to such recipient is subject to the one percent aggregate cap of $3,500,000 for FY 2018, but FEMA may waive this aggregate cap in individual cases where FEMA determines that a recipient has an extraordinary need for a grant that E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 206 / Wednesday, October 24, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 exceeds the aggregate cap; if FEMA waives the aggregate cap, the amount of grant funds awarded to such recipient shall not exceed $6 million for any fiscal year. • In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with more than 2,500,000 people, the amount of available grant funds awarded to such recipient is subject to the one percent aggregate cap of $3,500,000 for FY 2018, but FEMA may waive this aggregate cap in individual cases where FEMA determines that a recipient has an extraordinary need for a grant that exceeds the aggregate cap; if FEMA waives the aggregate cap, the amount of grant funds awarded to such recipient shall not exceed $9 million for any fiscal year. • FEMA may not waive the population-based limits on the amount of grant funds awarded as set by 15 U.S.C. 2229(c)(2)(A). The cumulative total of the federal share of awards in Operations and Safety, Regional, and Vehicle Acquisition activities will be considered when assessing award amounts and any limitations thereto. Applicants may request funding up to the statutory limit on each of their applications. For example, an applicant that serves a jurisdiction with more than 100,000 people, but not more than 500,000 people, may request up to $2 million on their Operations and Safety Application, and up to $2 million on their Vehicle Acquisition request. However, should both grants be awarded, the applicant would have to choose which award to accept if the cumulative value of both applications exceeds the statutory limits. Cost Sharing and Maintenance of Effort Grant recipients must share in the costs of the projects funded under this grant program as required by 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(1) and in accordance with applicable federal regulations at 2 CFR part 200, but they are not required to have the cost-share at the time of application nor at the time of award. However, before a grant is awarded, FEMA will contact potential awardees to determine whether the grant recipient has the funding in hand or if the grant recipient has a viable plan to obtain the funding necessary to fulfill the costsharing requirement. In general, an eligible applicant seeking a grant shall agree to make available non-federal funds equal to not less than 15 percent of the grant awarded. However, the cost share will vary as follows based on the size of the population served by the organization, with exceptions to this general VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:43 Oct 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 requirement for entities serving smaller communities: • Applicants that serve populations of 20,000 or less shall agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to not less than 5 percent of the grant awarded. • Applicants serving areas with populations above 20,000, but not more than 1 million, shall agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to not less than 10 percent of the grant awarded. • Applicants serving areas with populations above 1 million shall agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to not less than 15 percent of the grant awarded. The cost share for SFTAs will apply the requirements above based on the total population of the State. The cost share for a regional application will apply the requirements above based on the aggregate population of the primary first due response areas of the Host and participating partner organizations that execute a Memorandum of Understanding as described in Appendix B, Section J, Regional projects, of the FY18 AFG Notice of Funding Opportunity. On a case-by-case basis, FEMA may allow a grant recipient that may already own assets (equipment or vehicles), acquired with non-federal cash, to use the trade-in allowance/credit value of those assets as ‘‘cash’’ for the purpose of meeting the cost-share obligation of their AFG award. In-kind, cost-share matches are not allowed. Grant recipients under this grant program must also agree to a maintenance of effort requirement as required by 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(3) (referred to as a ‘‘maintenance of expenditure’’ requirement in that statute). A grant recipient shall agree to maintain during the term of the grant the applicant’s aggregate expenditures relating to the activities allowable under the NOFO at not less than 80 percent of the average amount of such expenditures in the two fiscal years preceding the fiscal year in which the grant amounts are received. In cases of demonstrated economic hardship, and at the request of the grant recipient, the Administrator of FEMA may waive or reduce a grant recipient’s cost share requirement or maintenance of expenditure requirement. AFG applicants for FY 2018 must indicate at the time of application whether they are requesting a waiver and whether the waiver is for the cost share requirement, for the maintenance of effort requirement, or both. As required by statute, the Administrator of FEMA is required to establish guidelines for PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53649 determining what constitutes economic hardship. FEMA has published these guidelines at FEMA’s website: https:// www.fema.gov/media-library-data/ 1518026897046-483d76a37022b8a 581ffb7d42fa9b17e/Eco_Hardship_ Waiver_FPS_SAFER_AFG_IB_ FINAL.pdf. Prior to the start of the FY 2018 AFG application period, FEMA conducted applicant workshops and/or internet webinars to inform potential applicants about the AFG Program. In addition, FEMA provided applicants with information at the AFG website: https:// www.fema.gov/welcome-assistancefirefighters-grant-program to help them prepare quality grant applications. The AFG Help Desk is staffed throughout the application period to assist applicants with the automated application process as well as assistance with any questions. Applicants can reach the AFG Help Desk through a toll-free telephone number during normal business hours (1–866–274–0960) or electronic mail firegrants@dhs.gov. Application Process Organizations may submit one application per application period in each of the three AFG program activities (e.g., one application for Operations and Safety, one for Vehicle Acquisition, and/or a separate application to be a Joint/Regional Project host). If an organization submits more than one application for any single AFG program activity (e.g., two applications for Operations and Safety, two for Vehicles, etc.), either intentionally or unintentionally, both applications may be disqualified. Applicants can access the grant application electronically at https:// portal.fema.gov. The application is accessible from the U.S. Fire Administration’s website http:// www.usfa.fema.gov and http:// www.grants.gov. New applicants must register and establish a user name and password for secure access to the grant application. Previous AFG grant applicants must use their previously established user name and passwords. Applicants can answer questions about their grant request that reflect the AFG funding priorities, described below. In addition, each applicant must complete four separate narratives for each project or grant activity requested. Grant applicants will also provide relevant information about their organization’s characteristics, call volume, and existing organizational capabilities. E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1 53650 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 206 / Wednesday, October 24, 2018 / Notices System for Award Management (SAM) Per 2 CFR 25.200, all federal grant applicants and recipients must register in https://SAM.gov. SAM is the Federal Government’s System for Awards Management, and registration is free of charge. Applicants must maintain current information in SAM that is consistent with the data provided in their AFG grant application and in the Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) database. FEMA may not accept any application, process any awards, and consider any payment or amendment requests, unless the applicant or grant recipient has complied with the requirements to provide a valid DUNS number and an active SAM registration. The grant applicant’s banking information, EIN, organization/entity name, address, and DUNS number must match the same information provided in SAM. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 Criteria Development Panel (CDP) Recommendations If there are any differences between the published AFG guidelines and the recommendations made by the CDP, FEMA must explain them and publish the information in the Federal Register prior to awarding any grant under the AFG Program. For FY 2018, FEMA accepted, and will implement, all of the CDP’s recommendations for the prioritization of eligible activities. Adopted Recommendations for FY 2018 The FY 2018 AFG NOFO contains some changes to definitions, descriptions, and priority categories. Changes to the FY 2018 AFG NOFO include: • Under the Equipment category, FEMA has updated the reasons for equipment purchases. The new descriptions are: • High priority—Obtain equipment to achieve minimum operational and deployment standards for existing missions • High priority—Replace unusable/ unrepairable equipment to meet current standard • High priority—Replace non-compliant equipment to current standard • Medium priority—Obtain equipment for new mission • Low priority—Upgrade technology to current standard • Under the PPE category, FEMA has updated the purchase reason for PPE/ SCBA. The new descriptions are: • High priority—Replace unusable/ unrepairable PPE to meet current standard • High priority—Increase supply for new hires and/or existing firefighters that do not have one set of turnout VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:42 Oct 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 gear (PPE) or allocated seated positions (SCBA) • Medium priority—Replace noncompliant PPE equipment to current standard • Priority categories for Wellness and Fitness requests have been updated • Mass Casualty and HazMat Technician training have been updated from a Medium to High funding priority for fire department and regional training under the Training Activity. • Cancer Screening Programs that meet NFPA 1582 were added as a Priority 1 activity required for a Wellness and Fitness program. • Specialized training has been added as a medium priority, and includes training such as Crisis Intervention Training, to provide specialized training to firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical service workers, and other first responders to recognize individuals who have mental illness and how to properly intervene with individuals with mental illness, including strategies for verbal de-escalation of crises. areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of August 4, 2018. Lake County for Public Assistance. The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance— Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant. Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2018–23156 Filed 10–23–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–11–P Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2229. Dated: October 18, 2018. Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY [FR Doc. 2018–23160 Filed 10–23–18; 8:45 am] Federal Emergency Management Agency BILLING CODE 9111–64–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA–4382– DR; Docket ID FEMA–2018–0001] California; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of California (FEMA–4382–DR), dated August 4, 2018, and related determinations. SUMMARY: This amendment was issued October 4, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646–2833. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of California is hereby amended to include the following area among those DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA–4393– DR; Docket ID FEMA–2018–0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA–4393– DR), dated September 14, 2018, and related determinations. DATES: This amendment was issued October 12, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646–2833. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include permanent work under the Public Assistance program for those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of September 14, 2018. SUMMARY: Allegany, Anson, Ashe, Cabarrus, Chatham, Dare, Granville, Montgomery, E:\FR\FM\24OCN1.SGM 24OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 206 (Wednesday, October 24, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53646-53650]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-23160]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Docket ID: FEMA-2018-0008]


Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS).

ACTION: Notice of availability of grant application and application 
deadline.

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SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 
1974, as amended, the Administrator of FEMA is publishing this notice 
describing the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant 
(AFG) Program application process, deadlines, and award selection 
criteria. This notice explains the differences, if any, between these 
guidelines and those recommended by representatives of the national 
fire service leadership during the annual meeting of the Criteria 
Development Panel, which was held January 17, 2018. The application 
period for the FY 2018 AFG Program began September 24, 2018 and closes 
October 26, 2018, and was announced on the AFG website at: https://www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program, as well as 
at www.grants.gov.

DATES: Grant applications for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant 
Program are accepted electronically at https://portal.fema.gov, from 
September 24, 2018 through October 26, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern 
Standard Time.

ADDRESSES: Assistance to Firefighters Grant Branch, DHS/FEMA, 400 C 
Street SW, 3N, Washington, DC 20472-3635.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The AFG Program awards grants directly to 
fire departments, non-affiliated emergency medical services (EMS) 
organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTAs) for the 
purpose of enhancing the health and safety of first responders and 
improving their abilities to protect the public from fire and fire-
related hazards.
    Applications for the FY 2018 AFG Program will be submitted and 
processed online at https://portal.fema.gov. Before the application 
period started, the FY 2018 AFG Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) 
was published on the AFG website. The AFG website provides additional 
information and materials useful to applicants including Frequently 
Asked Questions, a Get Ready Guide, and a Quick Reference Guide. Based 
on past AFG application periods, FEMA anticipates the receipt of 10,000 
to 15,000 applications for the FY 2018 AFG Program, and the ability to 
award approximately 2,500 grants.

Congressional Appropriations

    For the FY 2018 AFG Program, Congress appropriated $350,000,000 
(Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2018 Pub. L. 115-
141). From this amount, $315,000,000 will be made available for AFG 
awards. In addition, Section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and 
Control Act of 1974, as amended (15 U.S.C. 2229), requires that a 
minimum of 10 percent of available funds be expended for Fire 
Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S). FP&S awards will 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. Funds 
appropriated for FY 2018 will be available for obligation and award 
until September 30, 2019.
    The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 further directs 
FEMA to administer these appropriations according to the following 
requirements:
     Career fire department: Not less than 25 percent of 
available grant funds.
     Volunteer fire department: Not less than 25 percent of 
available grant funds.
     Combination fire department and departments using paid-on-
call firefighting personnel: Not less than 25 percent of available 
grant funds.
     Open Competition (career, volunteer, and/or combination 
fire departments and departments using paid-on-call firefighting 
personnel): Not less than 10 percent of available grant funds awarded.
     Emergency Medical Services Providers including fire 
departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations: Not less than 3.5 
percent of available grants funds awarded, with nonaffiliated EMS 
providers receiving no more than 2 percent of the total available grant 
funds.
     State Fire Training Academies: Not more than 3 percent of 
available grant funds shall be collectively awarded to State Fire 
Training Academy applicants, with a maximum of $500,000 per applicant.
     Vehicles: Not more than 25 percent of available grant 
funds may be used for

[[Page 53647]]

the purchase of vehicles; 10 percent of those vehicle funds will be 
dedicated to the funding of ambulances. Vehicle funds will be 
distributed as equally as possible among urban, suburban, and rural 
community applicants.
     Micro Grants: This is a voluntary funding limitation 
choice made by the applicant for requests submitted within the 
Operations and Safety activity; it is not an additional funding 
opportunity. Micro Grants are awards that have a federal participation 
(share) that does not exceed $50,000. Only fire departments and 
nonaffiliated EMS organizations are eligible to choose Micro Grants, 
and the only eligible Micro Grants requests are for Training, 
Equipment, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and Wellness and 
Fitness activities. Applicants that select Micro Grants as a funding 
opportunity may receive additional consideration for award. If an 
applicant selects Micro Grants in their application, they will be 
limited in the total amount of funding their organization can be 
awarded; if they are requesting funding in excess of $50,000 federal 
participation, they should not select Micro Grants.

Background of the AFG Program

    Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders 
to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency 
vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public 
and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. FEMA awards 
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 AFG priorities, as identified in the 
Application Evaluation Criteria, will be reviewed by a panel composed 
of fire service personnel.
    AFG has three program activities:

 Operations and Safety
 Vehicle Acquisition
 Regional Projects

    The priorities for each activity are fully outlined in the NOFO.

Application Evaluation Criteria

    Prior to making a grant award, FEMA is required by 31 U.S.C. 3321 
note, 41 U.S.C. 2313, and 2 CFR 200.205 to review information available 
through any Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated 
repositories of government-wide eligibility qualification or financial 
integrity information. Therefore, application evaluation criteria may 
include the following risk based considerations of the applicant: (1) 
Financial stability; (2) quality of management systems and ability to 
meet management standards; (3) history of performance in managing 
federal awards; (4) reports and findings from audits; and (5) ability 
to effectively implement statutory, regulatory, or other requirements.
    FEMA will rank all complete and submitted applications based on how 
well they match program priorities for the type of jurisdiction(s) 
served. Answers to activity specific questions provide information used 
to determine each application's ranking relative to the stated program 
priorities.
    Funding priorities and criteria for evaluating AFG applications are 
established by FEMA based on the recommendations from the Criteria 
Development Panel (CDP). CDP is comprised of fire service professionals 
that make recommendations to FEMA regarding the creation of new, or the 
modification of, previously established funding priorities, as well as 
developing criteria for awarding grants. The content of the NOFO 
reflects implementation of CDP's recommendations with respect to the 
priorities and evaluation criteria for awards.
    The nine major fire service organizations represented on the CDP 
are:

 International Association of Fire Chiefs
 International Association of Fire Fighters
 National Volunteer Fire Council
 National Fire Protection Association
 National Association of State Fire Marshals
 International Association of Arson Investigators
 International Society of Fire Service Instructors
 North American Fire Training Directors
 Congressional Fire Service Institute

Review and Selection Process

    AFG applications are reviewed through a multi-phase process. All 
applications are electronically pre-scored and ranked based on how well 
they align with the funding priorities outlined in this notice. 
Applications with the highest pre-score rankings are then scored 
competitively by (no less than three) members of the Peer Panel Review 
process. Applications will also be evaluated through a series of 
internal FEMA review processes for completeness, adherence to 
programmatic guidelines, technical feasibility, and anticipated 
effectiveness of the proposed project(s). Below is the process by which 
applications will be reviewed:

1. Pre-Scoring Process

    The application undergoes an electronic pre-scoring process based 
on established program priorities listed within the NOFO and answers to 
activity specific questions within the online application. Application 
narratives are not reviewed during pre-scoring. Request details and 
budget information should comply with program guidance and statutory 
funding limitations. The pre-score is 50 percent of the total 
application score.

2. Peer Review Panel Process

    Applications with the highest pre-score will undergo peer review. 
The peer review is comprised of fire service representatives 
recommended by CDP national organizations. The panelists assess the 
merits of each application based on the narrative section of the 
application, including the evaluation elements listed in the Narrative 
Evaluation Criteria below. Panelists will independently score each 
project within the application, discuss the merits and/or shortcomings 
of the application with his or her peers, and document the findings. A 
consensus is not required. The panel score is 50 percent of the total 
application score.

3. Technical Evaluation Process

    The highest ranked applications are considered within the fundable 
range. Applications that are in the fundable range undergo both a 
technical review by a subject matter expert, as well as a FEMA AFG 
Branch review prior to being recommended for an award. The FEMA AFG 
Branch will assess the request with respect to costs, quantities, 
feasibility, eligibility, and recipient responsibility prior to 
recommending an application for award. Once the technical evaluation 
process is complete, the cumulative score for each application will be 
determined and FEMA will generate a final ranking of applications. FEMA 
will award grants based on this final ranking and the statutorily 
required funding limitations listed in this notice and the NOFO.

Narrative Evaluation Criteria

1. Financial Need (25 Percent)

    Applicants should describe their financial need and how consistent 
it is with the intent of the AFG Program. This statement should include 
details describing the applicant's financial distress, summarized 
budget constraints, unsuccessful attempts to secure other funding, and 
proof that their financial distress is out of their control.

[[Page 53648]]

2. Project Description and Budget (25 Percent)

    This statement should clearly explain the applicant's project 
objectives and the relationship between those objectives and the 
applicant's budget and risk analysis. The applicant should describe the 
activities, including program priorities or facility modifications, 
ensuring consistency with project objectives, the applicant's mission, 
and any national, State, and/or local requirements. Applicants should 
link the proposed expenses to operations and safety, as well as the 
completion of the project goals.

3. Operations and Safety/Cost Benefit (25 Percent)

    Applicants should describe how they plan to address the operations 
and personal safety needs of their organization, including cost 
effectiveness and sharing assets. This statement should also include 
details about gaining the maximum benefits from grant funding by citing 
reasonable or required costs, such as specific overhead and 
administrative costs. The applicant's request should also be consistent 
with their mission and identify how funding will benefit their 
organization and personnel.

4. Statement of Effect/Impact on Daily Operations (25 Percent)

    This statement should explain how these funds will enhance the 
organization's overall effectiveness. It should address how an award 
will improve daily operations and reduce the organization's risks. 
Applicants should include how frequently the requested items will be 
used, and in what capacity. Applicants should also indicate how the 
requested items will help the community and increase the organization's 
ability to save additional lives or property.

Eligible Applicants

    Fire Departments: Fire departments operating in any of the 50 
States, as well as fire departments in the District of Columbia, the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, 
Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any federally 
recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization.
    A fire department is an agency or organization having a formally 
recognized arrangement with a State, territory, local, or tribal 
authority (city, county, parish, fire district, township, town, or 
other governing body) to provide fire suppression to a population 
within a geographically fixed primary first due response area.
    Nonaffiliated EMS organizations: Nonaffiliated EMS organizations 
operating in any of the 50 States, as well as the District of Columbia, 
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin 
Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any 
federally recognized Indian tribe or tribal organization.
    A nonaffiliated EMS organization is an agency or organization that 
is a public or private nonprofit emergency medical services entity 
providing medical transport that is not affiliated with a hospital and 
does not serve a geographic area in which emergency medical services 
are adequately provided by a fire department.
    FEMA considers the following as hospitals under the AFG Program:

 Clinics
 Medical centers
 Medical colleges or universities
 Infirmaries
 Surgery centers
 Any other institutions, associations, or foundations providing 
medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and/or treatment for the sick or 
injured.

    State Fire Training Academies: A State Fire Training Academy (SFTA) 
operates in any of the 50 States, as well as the District of Columbia, 
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin 
Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. 
Applicants must be designated either by legislation or by a Governor's 
declaration as the sole fire service training agency within a state, 
territory, or the District of Columbia. The designated SFTA shall be 
the only agency/bureau/division, or entity within that state, 
territory, or the District of Columbia.

Ineligibility

     To avoid a duplication of benefits, FEMA reserves the 
right to review all program activities or grant applications where two 
or more organizations share a single facility. To be eligible as a 
separate organization, two or more fire departments or nonaffiliated 
EMS organizations will have different funding streams, personnel 
rosters, or Employee Identification Numbers (EINs). If two or more 
organizations share facilities and each submits an application in the 
same program area (i.e., Equipment, Modify Facilities, Personal 
Protective Equipment, Training, and Wellness and Fitness Programs) FEMA 
will carefully review each program for eligibility.
     Fire-based EMS organizations are not eligible to apply as 
nonaffiliated EMS organizations. Fire-based EMS training and equipment 
must be requested by a fire department under the AFG component program 
Operations and Safety.
     Eligible applicants may submit only one application for 
each activity (e.g., Operations and Safety or Regional), but may submit 
for multiple projects within each activity. Under the Vehicle Activity, 
applicants may submit one application for vehicles for their department 
and one separate application to host a Regional vehicle. Duplicate 
applications (more than one application in the same activity) may be 
disqualified.
     An Operations and Safety applicant may submit one 
application for an eligible project (i.e., turn out gear); it may not 
submit a Regional application for the same project.

Statutory Limits to Funding

    Congress has enacted statutory limits to the amount of funding that 
a grant recipient may receive from the AFG Program in any single fiscal 
year (15 U.S.C. 2229(c)(2)) based on the population served. Awards will 
be limited based on the size of the population protected by the 
applicant, as indicated below. Notwithstanding the annual limits stated 
below, the FEMA Administrator may not award a grant in an amount that 
exceeds one percent of the available grants funds in such fiscal year, 
except where it is determined that such recipient has an extraordinary 
need for a grant in an amount that exceeds the one percent aggregate 
limit.
     In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with 
100,000 people or fewer, the amount of available grant funds awarded to 
such recipient shall not exceed $1 million in any fiscal year.
     In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with 
more than 100,000 people, but not more than 500,000 people, the amount 
of available grant funds awarded to such recipient shall not exceed $2 
million in any fiscal year.
     In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with 
more than 500,000, but not more than 1 million people, the amount of 
available grant funds awarded to such recipient shall not exceed $3 
million in any fiscal year.
     In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with 
more than 1 million people but not more than 2,500,000 people, the 
amount of available grant funds awarded to such recipient is subject to 
the one percent aggregate cap of $3,500,000 for FY 2018, but FEMA may 
waive this aggregate cap in individual cases where FEMA determines that 
a recipient has an extraordinary need for a grant that

[[Page 53649]]

exceeds the aggregate cap; if FEMA waives the aggregate cap, the amount 
of grant funds awarded to such recipient shall not exceed $6 million 
for any fiscal year.
     In the case of a recipient that serves a jurisdiction with 
more than 2,500,000 people, the amount of available grant funds awarded 
to such recipient is subject to the one percent aggregate cap of 
$3,500,000 for FY 2018, but FEMA may waive this aggregate cap in 
individual cases where FEMA determines that a recipient has an 
extraordinary need for a grant that exceeds the aggregate cap; if FEMA 
waives the aggregate cap, the amount of grant funds awarded to such 
recipient shall not exceed $9 million for any fiscal year.
     FEMA may not waive the population-based limits on the 
amount of grant funds awarded as set by 15 U.S.C. 2229(c)(2)(A).
    The cumulative total of the federal share of awards in Operations 
and Safety, Regional, and Vehicle Acquisition activities will be 
considered when assessing award amounts and any limitations thereto. 
Applicants may request funding up to the statutory limit on each of 
their applications.
    For example, an applicant that serves a jurisdiction with more than 
100,000 people, but not more than 500,000 people, may request up to $2 
million on their Operations and Safety Application, and up to $2 
million on their Vehicle Acquisition request. However, should both 
grants be awarded, the applicant would have to choose which award to 
accept if the cumulative value of both applications exceeds the 
statutory limits.

Cost Sharing and Maintenance of Effort

    Grant recipients must share in the costs of the projects funded 
under this grant program as required by 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(1) and in 
accordance with applicable federal regulations at 2 CFR part 200, but 
they are not required to have the cost-share at the time of application 
nor at the time of award. However, before a grant is awarded, FEMA will 
contact potential awardees to determine whether the grant recipient has 
the funding in hand or if the grant recipient has a viable plan to 
obtain the funding necessary to fulfill the cost-sharing requirement.
    In general, an eligible applicant seeking a grant shall agree to 
make available non-federal funds equal to not less than 15 percent of 
the grant awarded. However, the cost share will vary as follows based 
on the size of the population served by the organization, with 
exceptions to this general requirement for entities serving smaller 
communities:
     Applicants that serve populations of 20,000 or less shall 
agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to not 
less than 5 percent of the grant awarded.
     Applicants serving areas with populations above 20,000, 
but not more than 1 million, shall agree to make available non-federal 
funds in an amount equal to not less than 10 percent of the grant 
awarded.
     Applicants serving areas with populations above 1 million 
shall agree to make available non-federal funds in an amount equal to 
not less than 15 percent of the grant awarded.
    The cost share for SFTAs will apply the requirements above based on 
the total population of the State.
    The cost share for a regional application will apply the 
requirements above based on the aggregate population of the primary 
first due response areas of the Host and participating partner 
organizations that execute a Memorandum of Understanding as described 
in Appendix B, Section J, Regional projects, of the FY18 AFG Notice of 
Funding Opportunity.
    On a case-by-case basis, FEMA may allow a grant recipient that may 
already own assets (equipment or vehicles), acquired with non-federal 
cash, to use the trade-in allowance/credit value of those assets as 
``cash'' for the purpose of meeting the cost-share obligation of their 
AFG award. In-kind, cost-share matches are not allowed.
    Grant recipients under this grant program must also agree to a 
maintenance of effort requirement as required by 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(3) 
(referred to as a ``maintenance of expenditure'' requirement in that 
statute). A grant recipient shall agree to maintain during the term of 
the grant the applicant's aggregate expenditures relating to the 
activities allowable under the NOFO at not less than 80 percent of the 
average amount of such expenditures in the two fiscal years preceding 
the fiscal year in which the grant amounts are received.
    In cases of demonstrated economic hardship, and at the request of 
the grant recipient, the Administrator of FEMA may waive or reduce a 
grant recipient's cost share requirement or maintenance of expenditure 
requirement. AFG applicants for FY 2018 must indicate at the time of 
application whether they are requesting a waiver and whether the waiver 
is for the cost share requirement, for the maintenance of effort 
requirement, or both. As required by statute, the Administrator of FEMA 
is required to establish guidelines for determining what constitutes 
economic hardship. FEMA has published these guidelines at FEMA's 
website: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1518026897046-483d76a37022b8a581ffb7d42fa9b17e/Eco_Hardship_Waiver_FPS_SAFER_AFG_IB_FINAL.pdf.
    Prior to the start of the FY 2018 AFG application period, FEMA 
conducted applicant workshops and/or internet webinars to inform 
potential applicants about the AFG Program. In addition, FEMA provided 
applicants with information at the AFG website: https://www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program to help them prepare 
quality grant applications. The AFG Help Desk is staffed throughout the 
application period to assist applicants with the automated application 
process as well as assistance with any questions.
    Applicants can reach the AFG Help Desk through a toll-free 
telephone number during normal business hours (1-866-274-0960) or 
electronic mail [email protected].

Application Process

    Organizations may submit one application per application period in 
each of the three AFG program activities (e.g., one application for 
Operations and Safety, one for Vehicle Acquisition, and/or a separate 
application to be a Joint/Regional Project host). If an organization 
submits more than one application for any single AFG program activity 
(e.g., two applications for Operations and Safety, two for Vehicles, 
etc.), either intentionally or unintentionally, both applications may 
be disqualified.
    Applicants can access the grant application electronically at 
https://portal.fema.gov. The application is accessible from the U.S. 
Fire Administration's website http://www.usfa.fema.gov and http://www.grants.gov. New applicants must register and establish a user name 
and password for secure access to the grant application. Previous AFG 
grant applicants must use their previously established user name and 
passwords.
    Applicants can answer questions about their grant request that 
reflect the AFG funding priorities, described below. In addition, each 
applicant must complete four separate narratives for each project or 
grant activity requested. Grant applicants will also provide relevant 
information about their organization's characteristics, call volume, 
and existing organizational capabilities.

[[Page 53650]]

System for Award Management (SAM)

    Per 2 CFR 25.200, all federal grant applicants and recipients must 
register in https://SAM.gov. SAM is the Federal Government's System for 
Awards Management, and registration is free of charge. Applicants must 
maintain current information in SAM that is consistent with the data 
provided in their AFG grant application and in the Dun & Bradstreet 
(DUNS) database. FEMA may not accept any application, process any 
awards, and consider any payment or amendment requests, unless the 
applicant or grant recipient has complied with the requirements to 
provide a valid DUNS number and an active SAM registration. The grant 
applicant's banking information, EIN, organization/entity name, 
address, and DUNS number must match the same information provided in 
SAM.

Criteria Development Panel (CDP) Recommendations

    If there are any differences between the published AFG guidelines 
and the recommendations made by the CDP, FEMA must explain them and 
publish the information in the Federal Register prior to awarding any 
grant under the AFG Program. For FY 2018, FEMA accepted, and will 
implement, all of the CDP's recommendations for the prioritization of 
eligible activities.

Adopted Recommendations for FY 2018

    The FY 2018 AFG NOFO contains some changes to definitions, 
descriptions, and priority categories. Changes to the FY 2018 AFG NOFO 
include:
     Under the Equipment category, FEMA has updated the reasons 
for equipment purchases. The new descriptions are:

 High priority--Obtain equipment to achieve minimum operational 
and deployment standards for existing missions
 High priority--Replace unusable/unrepairable equipment to meet 
current standard
 High priority--Replace non-compliant equipment to current 
standard
 Medium priority--Obtain equipment for new mission
 Low priority--Upgrade technology to current standard

     Under the PPE category, FEMA has updated the purchase 
reason for PPE/SCBA. The new descriptions are:

 High priority--Replace unusable/unrepairable PPE to meet 
current standard
 High priority--Increase supply for new hires and/or existing 
firefighters that do not have one set of turnout gear (PPE) or 
allocated seated positions (SCBA)
 Medium priority--Replace non-compliant PPE equipment to 
current standard

     Priority categories for Wellness and Fitness requests have 
been updated
     Mass Casualty and HazMat Technician training have been 
updated from a Medium to High funding priority for fire department and 
regional training under the Training Activity.
     Cancer Screening Programs that meet NFPA 1582 were added 
as a Priority 1 activity required for a Wellness and Fitness program.
     Specialized training has been added as a medium priority, 
and includes training such as Crisis Intervention Training, to provide 
specialized training to firefighters, paramedics, emergency medical 
service workers, and other first responders to recognize individuals 
who have mental illness and how to properly intervene with individuals 
with mental illness, including strategies for verbal de-escalation of 
crises.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2229.

    Dated: October 18, 2018.
Brock Long,
Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2018-23160 Filed 10-23-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9111-64-P