Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program; Fire Prevention and Safety Grants, 31606-31612 [2019-14044]

Download as PDF 31606 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2019 / Notices ESTIMATED ANNUALIZED BURDEN HOURS—Continued Type of respondents Form name Total ............................................................... Patricia M. Busche, Project Clearance Liaison, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. [FR Doc. 2019–14071 Filed 7–1–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, notice is hereby given of the following meetings. The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and/or contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications and/or contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Biomaterials and Biointerfaces. Date: July 22, 2019. Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: National Institutes of Health, Rockledge II, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call). Contact Person: Joseph D. Mosca, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5158, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 408– 9465, moscajos@csr.nih.gov. Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Bone and Cartilage Biology. Date: July 25, 2019. Time: 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: National Institutes of Health, Rockledge II, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting). Contact Person: Srikanth Ranganathan, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Jul 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 Number of respondents ....................................... 36,000 Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4214, MSC 7802, Bethesda, MD 20892 301–435– 1787, srikanth.ranganathan@nih.gov. Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; RFA–DA– 19–039: Targeting Inflammasomes in Substance Abuse and HIV. Date: July 30, 2019. Time: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: National Institutes of Health, RKL II, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting). Contact Person: Alok Mulky, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4203, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435–3566, alok.mulky@nih.gov. Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Date: July 30, 2019. Time: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications. Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call). Contact Person: M. Catherine Bennett, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5182, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301–435– 1766, bennettc3@csr.nih.gov. Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Biobehavioral Regulation. Date: July 30, 2019. Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications Place: National Institutes of Health, RKL II, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call). Contact Person: Maribeth Champoux, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3170, MSC 7848, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301–594– 3163, champoum@csr.nih.gov. (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393–93.396, 93.837–93.844, 93.846–93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS) PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Number of responses per respondent 36,000 Average time per response (in hours) Total annual burden hours ........................ 7,200 Dated: June 26, 2019. Ronald J. Livingston, Jr., Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy. [FR Doc. 2019–14050 Filed 7–1–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA–2019–0008] Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program; Fire Prevention and Safety Grants Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice of guidance. AGENCY: This Notice provides guidelines that describe the application process for grants and the criteria the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will use for awarding Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. 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 January 16–18, 2018. The application period for the FY 2018 FP&S Grant Program was open from November 12, 2018 to December 21, 2018, and was announced on the AFG website (www.fema.gov/firegrants), www.grants.gov, and the U.S. Fire Administration website (www.usfa.fema.gov). SUMMARY: Grant applications for the FP&S Grant Program were accepted electronically at https://portal.fema.gov, from November 12, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. ET to December 21, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET. ADDRESSES: Assistance to Firefighters Grants Branch, DHS/FEMA, 400 C Street SW, 3N, Washington, DC 20472–3635. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Patterson, Chief, Assistance to Firefighters Grants Branch, 1–866–274– 0960. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the FP&S Program is to DATES: E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2019 / Notices reduce fire and fire-related injuries and prevent deaths among the public and firefighters by assisting fire prevention programs and supporting firefighter health and safety research and development. The FEMA Grant Programs Directorate administers the FP&S Grant Program as part of the AFG Program. FP&S Grants are offered to support projects in two activities: 1. Activities designed to reach highrisk target groups and mitigate the incidence of death, injuries, and property damage caused by fire and firerelated hazards (‘‘FP&S Activity’’). 2. Projects aimed at improving firefighter safety, health, or wellness through research and development that reduces firefighter fatalities and injuries (‘‘R&D Activity’’). The grant program’s authorizing statute requires that DHS publish in the Federal Register each year the guidelines that describe the application process and the criteria for grant awards. While the application period has closed, the FY 2018 Fire Prevention and Safety Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and application tools are posted online and available for download at www.fema.gov/firegrants and at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: FEMA–2019–0008. Appropriations Congress appropriated $350,000,000 for AFG in FY 2018 pursuant to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2018, Public Law 115–141. From this amount, $35,000,000 will be made available for FP&S Grant awards, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2229(h)(5), which states that not less than 10 percent of available grant funds each year are awarded under the FP&S Grant Program. Funds appropriated for all FY 2018 AFG awards, pursuant to Public Law 115– 141, will be available for obligation and award until September 30, 2019. From the approximately 800 applications that requested assistance, FEMA anticipates that it will award approximately 150 FP&S Grants from available grant funding. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Background of the AFG Program DHS awards grants on a competitive basis to applicants that best address the FP&S Grant 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Jul 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 Award Criteria All applications for grants were prepared and submitted through the AFG e-Grant application portal (https:// portal.fema.gov). The FP&S Grant Program panels will review the applications and score them using the following criteria areas: • Financial Need • Vulnerability Statement • Implementation Plan • Evaluation Plan • Cost-Benefit • Funding Priorities The applications submitted under the R&D Activity will be reviewed first by a panel of fire service members to identify those applications most relevant to the fire service. The following evaluation criteria will be used for this review: • Purpose • Potential Impact • Implementation by the Fire Service • Partners • Barriers The applications that are determined most likely to enable improvement in firefighter safety, health, or wellness will be deemed to be in the ‘‘competitive range’’ and forwarded to the second level of application review, which is the scientific panel review process. This panel will be comprised of scientists and technology experts who have expertise pertaining to the subject matter of the proposal. The Scientific Technical Evaluation Panel for the R&D Activity will review the application and evaluate it using the following criteria: • Project goals, objectives, and specific aims • Literature Review • Project Methods • Project Measurements • Project Analysis • Dissemination and Implementation • Cost vs. Benefit (additional consideration) • Financial Need (additional consideration) • Mentoring (additional consideration for Early Career Investigator Projects only) Eligible Applicants Under the FY 2018 FP&S Grant Program, eligible applicants were limited to those entities described below within each activity: 1. Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Activity: Eligible applicants for this activity included fire departments; and national, regional, State, local, federally recognized tribal, and nonprofit organizations that are recognized for PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31607 their experience and expertise in fire prevention and safety programs and activities. Both private and public nonprofit organizations were eligible to apply for funding in this activity. Forprofit organizations, Federal agencies, and individuals were not eligible to receive a FP&S Grant Award under the FP&S Activity. 2. Firefighter Safety Research and Development (R&D) Activity: Eligible applicants for this activity included national, State, local, federally recognized tribal, and nonprofit organizations, such as academic (e.g., universities), public health, occupational health, and injury prevention institutions. Both private and public non-profit organizations were eligible to apply for funding in this activity. The aforementioned entities were encouraged to apply, especially those that are recognized for their experience and expertise in firefighter safety, health, and wellness research and development activities. Fire departments were not eligible to apply for funding in the R&D activity. Additionally, for-profit organizations, Federal agencies, and individuals were not eligible to receive a grant award under the R&D Activity. Funding Limitations Awards are limited to a maximum federal share of $1.5 million dollars, regardless of applicant type, in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 2229(d)(2). FP&S Research and Development applicants that applied under the Early Career Investigator category are limited to a maximum federal share of $75,000 per project year. Cost Sharing 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 2 CFR 200.101(b)(1), but they were not required to have the cost-share at the time of application nor are they required to have it at the time of award. However, before a grant is awarded, FEMA may contact potential awardees to determine whether the grant recipient has the funding in hand or whether the grant recipient has a viable plan to obtain the funding necessary to fulfill the costsharing requirement. In general, an eligible applicant seeking an FP&S grant to carry out an activity shall agree to make available non-Federal funds to carry out such activity in an amount equal to, and not less than, 5 percent of the grant awarded. Cash match and in-kind matches are both allowable in the FP&S E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1 31608 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2019 / Notices khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Grant Program. Cash (hard) matches include non-Federal cash spent for project-related costs. In-kind (soft) matches include, but are not limited to, the valuation of in-kind services; complementary activities; and provision of staff, facilities, services, material, or equipment. In-kind is the value of something received or provided that does not have a cost associated with it. For example, where an in-kind match (other than cash payments) is permitted, then the value of donated services could be used to comply with the match requirement. Also, third party in-kind contributions may count toward satisfying match requirements provided the grant recipient receiving the contributions expends them as allowable costs in compliance with provisions listed above. Grant recipients under this program must also agree to a maintenance of effort requirement per 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(3) (referred to as a ‘‘maintenance of expenditure’’ requirement in that statute). Per this requirement, a grant recipient shall agree to maintain during the term of the grant, the grant recipient’s aggregate expenditures relating to the activities allowable under the FP&S NOFO at not less than 80 percent of the average amount of such expenditures in the 2 fiscal years preceding the fiscal year in which the grant amounts are received. In cases of demonstrated economic hardship and upon the request of the grant recipient, the FEMA Administrator may waive or reduce certain grant recipient’s cost share or maintenance of expenditure requirements (15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(A)). As required by 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(B), the Administrator established guidelines for determining what constitutes economic hardship and published these guidelines at FEMA’s website www.fema.gov/grants. Per 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(C), FP&S nonprofit organization grant recipients that are not fire departments or emergency medical services organizations are not eligible to receive a waiver of their cost share or economic hardship requirements. System for Award Management (SAM) Per 2 CFR 25.200, all grant applicants and recipients were required to register in https://SAM.gov, which is available free of charge. They must maintain validated information in SAM that is consistent with the data provided in their AFG grant application and in the Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) database. FEMA required active SAM registration at the time of application, and will not process any awards, consider any payment or amendment requests, or VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Jul 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 In completing an application under this funding opportunity, applicants were asked to provide relevant information on their organization’s characteristics and existing capabilities. Those applicants were asked to answer questions about their grant request that reflected the funding priorities, described below. In addition, applicants were required to complete narratives for each project or grant activity requested. The following are the funding Application Process priorities for each category under the Applicants were only permitted to FP&S Activity: submit one application, but were • Community Risk Reduction—Under permitted to submit for up to three the Community Risk Reduction category projects under each activity (FP&S and there are three funding priorities: R&D). Any applicant that submitted Æ Priority will be given to programs more than one application may have all that target a specific high-risk applications deemed ineligible. population to conduct both door-to-door smoke alarm installations and provide Under the FP&S Activity, applicants could apply under the following home safety inspections, as part of a categories: comprehensive home fire safety campaign. • Community Risk Reduction Æ Priority will be given to programs • Fire & Arson Investigation that include sprinkler awareness that • Code Enforcement/Awareness • National/State/Regional Programs and affect the entire community, such as Studies educating the public about residential sprinklers, promoting residential Under the R&D Activity, applicants sprinklers, and demonstrating working could apply under the following models of residential sprinklers. categories: Æ Priority will be given to programs • Clinical Studies • Technology and Product Development to conduct community-appropriate • Database System Development comprehensive risk assessments and • Dissemination and Implementation risk reduction planning. Research • Code Enforcement/Awareness— • Preliminary Studies These are projects that focus on first • Early Career Investigator time or reinstatement of code adoption Prior to the start of the FY 2018 FP&S and code enforcement, including Grant Program application period, Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) codes FEMA provided applicants with for communities with a WUI-wildfire technical assistance tools (available at risk. the AFG website: www.fema.gov/ • Fire & Arson Investigation—These firegrants) and other online information are projects that aim to aggressively to help them prepare quality grant investigate every fire. applications. AFG staffed a Help Desk • National/State/Regional Programs throughout the application period to and Studies—These are projects that assist applicants with navigation focus on residential fire issues and/or through the automated application as firefighter behavior and wellness. Under the R&D Activity, in order to well as assistance with related identify and address the most important questions. The AFG Help Desk can be elements of firefighter safety, FEMA reached year-round through a toll-free telephone number (1–866–274–0960) or looked to the fire service for its input and recommendations. In June 2005, the email (firegrants@fema.dhs.gov). Applicants were advised to access the National Fallen Firefighters’ Foundation application electronically at https:// (NFFF) hosted a working group to portal.fema.gov. The application was facilitate the development of an agenda also accessible from the Grants.gov for the Nation’s fire service, and in website (http://www.grants.gov). New particular for firefighter safety. In applicants were required to register and November 2015, the NFFF hosted its establish a username and password for third working group to update the secure access to their application. agenda with current priorities. A copy Applicants that applied to any previous of the research agenda is available on AFG or Staffing for Adequate Fire and the NFFF website at http:// Emergency Response (SAFER) funding www.everyonegoeshome.com/resources/ opportunities were required to use their research-symposium-reports/. All proposed projects, regardless of previously established usernames and whether they have been identified by passwords when applying for an FP&S this working group, will be evaluated on grant. consider any amendment unless the applicant or grant recipient has complied with the requirements to provide a valid DUNS number and an active SAM registration with current information. The banking information, employer identification number (EIN), organization/entity name, address, and DUNS number provided in the application must match the information that is provided in SAM. PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2019 / Notices their relevance to firefighter health and safety, and scientific rigor. The electronic application process permitted the applicant to enter and save the application data. The system did not permit the submission of incomplete applications. Except for the narrative textboxes, the application contained a ‘‘point-and-click’’ selection process or required the entry of data (e.g., name and address). Applicants were encouraged to read the FP&S NOFO for more details. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 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 composed of representatives from nine major fire service organizations that are charged with making recommendations to FEMA regarding the creation of new funding priorities, the modification of existing funding priorities, and the development of criteria for awarding grants. The nine major fire service organizations represented on the panel: • 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 2018 criteria development panel meeting occurred January 16–18, 2018. The content of the FY 2018 FP&S Notice of Funding Opportunity 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 2018 FP&S Grant Program are designed to address the following: • First responder safety • Enhancing national capabilities • Risk • Interoperability Changes for FY 2018 FY 2018 FP&S Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement (1) New performance metrics for each Activity within the FP&S Grant Program VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Jul 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 have been added to better measure the impact of grant funding on fire prevention and firefighter safety. (2) Under the FP&S Activity, clarification has been provided that Risk Assessments can include Wildland and Wildland Urban Interface Risk Assessments. Application Review Process and Considerations The program’s authorizing 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. DHS will review and evaluate all FP&S applications submitted using the funding priorities and evaluation criteria described in this document, which are based on recommendations from the AFG Criteria Development Panel. Peer Review Process Peer Review Panel Process—Fire Prevention and Safety Activity All FP&S activity applications will be evaluated by a peer review process. A panel of peer reviewers is composed of fire service representatives recommended by the Criteria Development Panel. These reviewers will assess each application’s merits with respect to the detail provided in the Narrative Statement on the activity, including the evaluation elements listed in the Evaluation Criteria identified below. The panel will independently score each project within the application, discuss the merits and/or shortcomings of the application, and document the findings. A consensus is not required. Peer Review Panel Process—Research and Development Activity R&D applications will go through a two-phase review process. First, all applications will be reviewed by a panel of fire service experts to assess the need for the research results and the likelihood that the results would be implemented by the fire service in the United States. Applications that are deemed likely to be implemented to enable improvement in firefighter safety, health, or wellness will be deemed to be in the ‘‘competitive range’’ and will be forwarded to the second level of project review, which is the science review panel process. This panel will be composed of scientists and technology experts who have expertise pertaining to the subject matter of the proposal. Scientific reviewers will independently score applications in the PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31609 competitive range and, if necessary, discuss the merits or shortcomings of the project in order to reconcile any major discrepancies identified by the reviewers. A consensus is not required. Technical Evaluation Process The highest ranked projects from both Activities will be deemed in the fundable range. Applications that are in the fundable range will undergo a Technical Review by the FEMA Program Office prior to being recommended for award. The FEMA Program Office will assess the request with respect to costs, quantities, feasibility, eligibility, and recipient responsibility prior to recommending any application for award. Once the review process is complete, each project’s score will be determined and a final ranking of project applications will be created. FEMA will award grants based on this final ranking. Award announcements will be made on a rolling basis until all available grant funds have been committed. Awards will not be made in any specified order. DHS will notify unsuccessful applicants as soon as it is feasible. Evaluation Criteria for Projects—Fire Prevention and Safety Activity Funding decisions will be informed by an assessment of how well the application addressed the criteria and considerations listed below. Applications will be reviewed by the peer reviewers using weighted evaluation criteria to score the project. These scores will impact the ranking of a project for funding. The relative weight of the evaluation criteria in the determination of the grant award is listed below. • Financial Need (10%): Applicants should have provided details on the need for financial assistance to carry out the proposed project(s). Included in the description might be other unsuccessful attempts to acquire financial assistance or specific examples of the applicant’s operational budget. • Vulnerability Statement (25%): The assessment of fire risk is essential in the development of an effective project goal, as well as meeting FEMA’s goal to reduce risk by conducting a risk assessment as a basis for action. Vulnerability is a ‘‘weak link’’ demonstrating high risk behavior, living conditions or any type of high risk situation or behavior. The Vulnerability Statement should have included a description of the steps taken to determine the vulnerability (weak link) and identify the target audience. The methodology for determination of vulnerability (i.e., how the weak link E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 31610 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2019 / Notices was found) should have been discussed in-depth in the application’s Narrative Statement. Æ The specific vulnerability (weak link) that will be addressed with the proposed project can be established through a formal or informal risk assessment. FEMA encouraged the use of local statistics, rather than national statistics, when discussing the vulnerability. Æ The applicant should have summarized the vulnerability (weakness) the project will address in a clear, to-the-point statement that addresses who is at risk, what the risks are, where the risks are, and how the risks can be prevented, reduced, or mitigated. Æ For the purpose of the FY 2018 FP&S NOFO, formal risk assessments must have included either the use of software programs or recognized expert analysis that assess risk trends. Æ Informal risk assessments could have included an in-house review of available data (e.g., National Fire Incident Reporting System) to determine fire loss, burn injuries or loss of life over a period of time, and the factors that are the cause and origin for each occurrence. • Implementation Plan (25%): Projects should have provided details on the implementation plan, discussing the proposed project’s goals and objectives. The following information should have been included to support the implementation plan: Æ Goals and objectives. Æ Details regarding the methods and specific steps that will be used to achieve the goals and objectives. Æ Timelines outlining the chronological project steps. Æ Where applicable, examples of marketing efforts to promote the project, who will deliver the project (e.g., effective partnerships), and the manner in which materials or deliverables will be distributed. Æ Requests for props (i.e., tools used in educational or awareness demonstrations), including specific goals, measurable results, and details on the frequency for which the prop will be utilized as part of the implementation plan. Applicants should have included information describing the efforts that will be used to reach the high risk audience and/or the number of people reached through the proposed project. • Evaluation Plan (25%): Projects should have included an evaluation of effectiveness and should have identified measurable goals. Applicants seeking to carry out awareness and educational projects, for example, should have identified how they intend to determine VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Jul 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 that there has been an increase in knowledge about fire hazards, or measure a change in the safety behaviors of the audience. Applicants should have demonstrated how they will measure risk at the outset of the project in comparison to how much the risk decreased after the project is finished. There are various ways to measure the knowledge gained including the use of surveys, pre- and post-tests, or documented observations. • Cost-Benefit (10%): Projects will be evaluated based on how well the applicant addressed the fire prevention needs of the department or organization in an economical and efficient manner. The applicant should have shown how it will maximize the level of funding that goes directly into the delivery of the project. The costs associated with the project must also be reasonable for the target audience that will be reached, and a description of how the anticipated benefit(s) of their projects outweighs the cost(s) of the requested item(s) should have been included. The application should have provided justification for all costs included in the project in order to assist the FEMA Program Office with the Technical Evaluation Panel review. • Funding Priorities (5%): Applicants will be evaluated on whether the proposed project meets the stated funding priority (listed below) for the applicable category. Æ Community Risk Reduction Priority: Comprehensive home fire safety campaign with door-to-door smoke alarm installations and/or sprinkler awareness and/or community risk assessments. Æ Fire/Arson Investigation Priority: Projects that aim to aggressively investigate every fire. Æ Code Enforcement/Awareness Priority: Projects that focus on first time or reinstatement of code adoption and code enforcement, including Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) codes for communities with a WUI-wildfire risk. Æ National/State/Regional Programs and Studies Priority: Projects that focus on residential fire issues, and/or firefighter safety and wellness projects or strategies that are designed to measurably change firefighter behavior and decision-making. D Meeting the needs of people with disabilities (additional consideration): Applicants in the Community Risk Reduction category will receive additional consideration if, as part of their comprehensive smoke alarm installation and education program, they address the needs of people with disabilities (e.g., deaf/hard-of-hearing) in their community. PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 D Experience and Expertise (additional consideration): Applicants that demonstrated their experience and ability to conduct fire prevention and safety activities, and to execute the proposed or similar project(s), will receive additional consideration. Evaluation Criteria—Firefighter Safety Research and Development Activity Funding decisions will be informed by an assessment of how well the application addresses the criteria and considerations listed below. All applications will be reviewed by a fire service expert panel using weighted evaluation criteria, and those projects deemed to be in the ‘‘competitive range’’ will then be reviewed by a scientific peer review panel evaluation using weighted evaluation criteria to score the project. Scientific evaluations will impact the ranking of the project for funding. Fire Service Evaluation Criteria • Purpose (25%): Applicants should have clearly identified the benefits of the proposed research project to improve firefighter safety, health, or wellness, and identified specific gaps in knowledge that will be addressed. • Implementation by Fire Service (25%): Applicants should have discussed how the outcomes/products of this research, if successful, are likely to be widely/nationally adopted and accepted by the fire service as changes that enhance firefighter safety, health, or wellness. • Potential Impact (15%): Applicants should have discussed the potential impact of the research outcome/product on firefighter safety by quantifying the possible reduction in the number of fatal or non-fatal injuries, or on the projected wellness by significantly improving the overall health of firefighters. • Barriers (15%): The applicant needed to identify and discuss potential fire service and other barriers to successfully complete the study on schedule, including contingencies and strategies to deal with barriers if they materialize. This may include barriers that could inhibit the proposed fire service participation in the study or the adoption of successful results by the fire service when the project is completed. • Partners (20%): Applicants should have recognized that participation of the fire service as a partner in the research, from development to dissemination, is regarded as an essential part of all projects. Applicants should have described the fire service partners and contractors that will support the project to accomplish the objectives of the E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2019 / Notices khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES study. The specific roles and contributions of the partners should have been described. Partnerships may be formed with local and regional fire departments, and also with national fire-related organizations. Letters of support and letters of commitment to actively participate in the project should have been included in the appendix of the application. Generally, participants of a diverse population, including both career and volunteer firefighters, are expected to facilitate acceptance of results nationally. In cases where this is not practical, due to the nature of the study or other limitations, these circumstances should have been clearly explained. Science Panel Evaluation Criteria • Project goals, objectives, and specific aims (15%): Applicants should have addressed how the purpose, goals, objectives, and aims of the proposal will lead to results that will improve firefighter safety, health, or wellness. For multi-year projects, greater detail should have been given for the first year, however specific goals and objectives were required for the second and third years (if applicable). • Literature Review (10%): Applicants should have provided a literature review that is relevant to the project’s goals, objectives, and specific aims. The citations should have been placed in the text of the narrative statement, with references listed at the end of the Narrative Statement (and not in the Appendix) of the application. The review should have been in sufficient depth to make it clear that the proposed project is necessary, adds to an existing body of knowledge, is different from current and previous studies, and offers a unique contribution. • Project Methods (20%): Applicants should have provided a description of how the project will be carried out, including demonstration of the overall scientific and technical rigor and merit of the project. This includes the operations to accomplish the purpose, goals and objectives, and the specific aims of the project. Plans to recruit and retain human participants for research, where applicable, should have been described. Where human participants are involved in the project, the applicant should have described plans for submission to the Institutional Review Board (for further guidance and requirements, see the FY 2018 FP&S NOFO). • Project Measurements (20%): Applicants should have provided evidence of the technical rigor and merit of the project, such as data pertaining to validity, reliability, and sensitivity VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Jul 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 (where established) of the facilities, equipment, instruments, standards, and procedures that will be used to carry out the research. The applicant should have discussed the data to be collected to evaluate the performance methods, technologies, and products proposed to enhance firefighter safety, health, or wellness. The applicant should have demonstrated that the measurement methods and equipment selected for use are appropriate and sufficient to successfully deliver the proposed project objectives. • Project Analysis (20%): The applicant should have indicated the planned approach for analysis of the data obtained from measurements, questionnaires, or computations. The applicant should have specified within the plan what will be analyzed, the statistical methods that will be used, the sequence of steps, and interactions as appropriate. It should be clear that the Principal Investigator and research team have the expertise to perform the planned analysis and defend the results in a peer review process. • Dissemination and Implementation (15%): Applicants should have indicated dissemination plans for scientific audiences (such as plans for submissions to specific peer review publications) and for firefighter audiences (such as websites, magazines, and conferences). Also, assuming positive results, the applicant should have indicated future steps that would support dissemination and implementation throughout the fire service, where applicable. These steps are likely to be beyond the current study, so those features of the research activity that will facilitate future dissemination and implementation should have been discussed. All applicants should have specified how the results of the project, if successful, might be disseminated and implemented in the fire service to improve firefighter safety, health, or wellness. It is expected that successful R&D Activity Projects may give rise to future programs including FP&S Activity Projects. • Cost vs. Benefit (additional consideration): Cost vs. benefit in this evaluation element refers to the costs of the grant for the research and development project as it relates to the benefits that are projected for firefighters who would have improved safety, health, or wellness. Applicants should have demonstrated a high benefit for the cost incurred, and effective utilization of Federal funds for research activities. • Financial Need (additional consideration): In the Applicant PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31611 Information section of the application, applicants should have provided details on the need for Federal financial assistance to carry out the proposed project(s). Applicants may have included a description of unsuccessful attempts to acquire financial assistance. Applicants should have provided detail about the organization’s operating budget, including a high-level breakdown of the budget; described the department’s inability to address financial needs without Federal assistance; and discussed other actions the department has taken to meet their staffing needs (e.g., State assistance programs, other grant programs, etc.). • Mentoring (additional consideration for Early Career Investigator Projects only): An important part of Early Career Investigator projects is the integration of mentoring for the principal investigator by experienced researchers in areas appropriate to the research project, including exposure to the fire service community as well as support for ongoing development of knowledge and skills. Mentoring is regarded as critical to the research skills development of early career principal investigators. As part of the application Appendix, the applicant should have identified the mentor(s) who have agreed to support the applicant and the expected benefit of their interactions with the researcher. A biographical sketch and letter of support from the mentor(s) were encouraged and should have been included in the Appendix materials. Other Selection Information Awards will be made using the results of peer-reviewed applications as the primary basis for decisions, regardless of activity. However, there are some exceptions to strictly using the peer review results. The applicant’s prior AFG, SAFER, and FP&S grant management performance will also be taken into consideration when making recommendations for award. All final funding determinations will be made by the FEMA Administrator, or the Administrator’s designee. Fire departments and other eligible applicants that have received funding under the FP&S Grant Program in previous years were eligible to apply for funding in the current year. However, DHS may take into account an applicant’s performance on prior grants when making funding decisions on current applications. Once every application in the competitive range has been through the technical evaluation phase, the applications will be ranked according to the average score awarded by the panel. E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1 31612 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 127 / Tuesday, July 2, 2019 / Notices The ranking will be summarized in a Technical Report prepared by the AFG Program Office. A Grants Management Specialist will contact the applicant to discuss and/or negotiate the content of the application and SAM.gov registration before making final award decisions. Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2229. Pete Gaynor, Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2019–14044 Filed 7–1–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–64–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Transportation Security Administration [Docket No. TSA–2009–0018] Revision of Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security Program Transportation Security Administration, DHS. ACTION: 30-Day notice. AGENCY: This notice announces that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has forwarded the Information Collection Request (ICR), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number 1652–0053, abstracted below to OMB for a revision in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. TSA is seeking the revision of the Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security Program ICR by including a new Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF) under the Third-Party Canine-Cargo (3PK9–C) Program, in order to secure passenger aircraft carrying cargo. DATES: Send your comments by August 1, 2019. A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB. Comments should be addressed to Desk Officer, Department of Homeland Security/TSA, and sent via electronic mail to dhsdeskofficer@ omb.eop.gov. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christina A. Walsh, TSA PRA Officer, Information Technology (OIT), TSA–11, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Jul 01, 2019 Jkt 247001 20598–6011; telephone (571) 227–2062; email TSAPRA@tsa.dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: TSA published a Federal Register notice, with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments, of the following collection of information on December 13, 2018, 80 FR 74786. Comments Invited In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number. The ICR documentation will be available at http://www.reginfo.gov upon its submission to OMB. Therefore, in preparation for OMB review and approval of the following information collection, TSA is soliciting comments to— (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information requirement is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including using appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consistent with the requirements of Executive Order (E.O.) 13771, Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, and E.O. 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, TSA is also requesting comments on the extent to which this request for information could be modified to reduce the burden on respondents. Information Collection Requirement Title: Certified Cargo Screening Standard Security Program. Type of Request: Revision of one currently approved ICR. OMB Control Number: 1652–0053. Forms(s): The forms used for this collection of information include Letter of Intent (TSA Form 419A); CCSF Profile Application (TSA Form 419B); Department of Homeland Security, NonDisclosure Agreement (TSA Form 419C); CCSF Principal Attestation (TSA Form 419D); CCSF Security Profile (TSA Form 419E); and the Security Threat Assessment Application (TSA Form 419F). Affected Public: The collections of information that make up this ICR PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 involve entities other than aircraft operators and include facilities upstream in the air cargo supply chain, such as shippers, manufacturers, warehousing entities, distributors, third party logistics companies, indirect air carriers and 3PK9 Certifiers located in the United States. Abstract: TSA is seeking continued approval from OMB for the collection of information contained in the ICR. Section 1602 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 1 (9/11 Act) required the development of a system to screen 100 percent of such cargo no later than August 2010. This requirement was implemented through TSA’s regulations, including amendments to 49 CFR parts 1515, 1520, 1540, 1544, 1546, 1548, and adding part 1549. See 76 FR 51848 (Aug. 18, 2011). As required by 49 CFR part 1549, TSA certifies qualified facilities as CCSFs to screen cargo under the of the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP). In this ICR, TSA is revising the collection to include a new Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF) under the 3PK9–C Program, in order to assist with the mandate of 100 percent screening of air cargo. Section 1941 of the TSA Modernization Act 2 amended provision in the 9/11 Act to require TSA to develop a program to enhance screening of air cargo by leveraging the capabilities of third-party explosives detection canine teams. To meet this requirement, TSA created the 3PK9–C program as an additional air cargo screening method under 49 CFR part 1549. Persons seeking to become a CCSF are required to submit an application to TSA before commencing operations. Facilities-based CCSFs are required to submit information about the technologies that will be used to screen cargo. CCSF–K9s are required to submit an Operational Implementation Plan that provides relevant details regarding the intended scope of their operations. Prior to certification, TSA will conduct an assessment of the CCSF for approval. Persons interested in becoming 3PK9–C Certifiers must provide information related to their qualifications. Once certified, the CCSF must operate in accordance with a TSA-approved security program or order. CCSFs must also collect personal identifiable information to submit to TSA so that 1 Public Law 110–53; 121 Stat. 266 (Aug. 3, 2007), codified at 49 U.S.C. 44901(g). 2 Division K of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Public Law 115–254; Stat. 132–3186 (Oct. 6, 2018). E:\FR\FM\02JYN1.SGM 02JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 127 (Tuesday, July 2, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31606-31612]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-14044]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Docket ID FEMA-2019-0008]


Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program; Fire Prevention and 
Safety Grants

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 the Federal Emergency Management 
Agency (FEMA) will use for awarding Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) 
grants in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant 
(AFG) Program. 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 January 16-18, 2018. The application period for the FY 
2018 FP&S Grant Program was open from November 12, 2018 to December 21, 
2018, and was announced on the AFG website (www.fema.gov/firegrants), 
www.grants.gov, and the U.S. Fire Administration website 
(www.usfa.fema.gov).

DATES: Grant applications for the FP&S Grant Program were accepted 
electronically at https://portal.fema.gov, from November 12, 2018 at 
8:00 a.m. ET to December 21, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

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

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the FP&S Program is to

[[Page 31607]]

reduce fire and fire-related injuries and prevent deaths among the 
public and firefighters by assisting fire prevention programs and 
supporting firefighter health and safety research and development. The 
FEMA Grant Programs Directorate administers the FP&S Grant Program as 
part of the AFG Program.
    FP&S Grants are offered to support projects in two activities:
    1. Activities designed to reach high-risk target groups and 
mitigate the incidence of death, injuries, and property damage caused 
by fire and fire-related hazards (``FP&S Activity'').
    2. Projects aimed at improving firefighter safety, health, or 
wellness through research and development that reduces firefighter 
fatalities and injuries (``R&D Activity'').
    The grant program's authorizing statute requires that DHS publish 
in the Federal Register each year the guidelines that describe the 
application process and the criteria for grant awards. While the 
application period has closed, the FY 2018 Fire Prevention and Safety 
Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and application tools are 
posted online and available for download at www.fema.gov/firegrants and 
at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: FEMA-2019-0008.

Appropriations

    Congress appropriated $350,000,000 for AFG in FY 2018 pursuant to 
the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2018, Public 
Law 115-141. From this amount, $35,000,000 will be made available for 
FP&S Grant awards, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 2229(h)(5), which states that 
not less than 10 percent of available grant funds each year are awarded 
under the FP&S Grant Program. Funds appropriated for all FY 2018 AFG 
awards, pursuant to Public Law 115-141, will be available for 
obligation and award until September 30, 2019.
    From the approximately 800 applications that requested assistance, 
FEMA anticipates that it will award approximately 150 FP&S Grants from 
available grant funding.

Background of the AFG Program

    DHS awards grants on a competitive basis to applicants that best 
address the FP&S Grant 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

    All applications for grants were prepared and submitted through the 
AFG e-Grant application portal (https://portal.fema.gov).
    The FP&S Grant Program panels will review the applications and 
score them using the following criteria areas:

 Financial Need
 Vulnerability Statement
 Implementation Plan
 Evaluation Plan
 Cost-Benefit
 Funding Priorities

    The applications submitted under the R&D Activity will be reviewed 
first by a panel of fire service members to identify those applications 
most relevant to the fire service. The following evaluation criteria 
will be used for this review:

 Purpose
 Potential Impact
 Implementation by the Fire Service
 Partners
 Barriers

    The applications that are determined most likely to enable 
improvement in firefighter safety, health, or wellness will be deemed 
to be in the ``competitive range'' and forwarded to the second level of 
application review, which is the scientific panel review process. This 
panel will be comprised of scientists and technology experts who have 
expertise pertaining to the subject matter of the proposal.
    The Scientific Technical Evaluation Panel for the R&D Activity will 
review the application and evaluate it using the following criteria:

 Project goals, objectives, and specific aims
 Literature Review
 Project Methods
 Project Measurements
 Project Analysis
 Dissemination and Implementation
 Cost vs. Benefit (additional consideration)
 Financial Need (additional consideration)
 Mentoring (additional consideration for Early Career 
Investigator Projects only)

Eligible Applicants

    Under the FY 2018 FP&S Grant Program, eligible applicants were 
limited to those entities described below within each activity:
    1. Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Activity: Eligible applicants 
for this activity included fire departments; and national, regional, 
State, local, federally recognized tribal, and nonprofit organizations 
that are recognized for their experience and expertise in fire 
prevention and safety programs and activities. Both private and public 
non-profit organizations were eligible to apply for funding in this 
activity. For-profit organizations, Federal agencies, and individuals 
were not eligible to receive a FP&S Grant Award under the FP&S 
Activity.
    2. Firefighter Safety Research and Development (R&D) Activity: 
Eligible applicants for this activity included national, State, local, 
federally recognized tribal, and nonprofit organizations, such as 
academic (e.g., universities), public health, occupational health, and 
injury prevention institutions. Both private and public non-profit 
organizations were eligible to apply for funding in this activity.
    The aforementioned entities were encouraged to apply, especially 
those that are recognized for their experience and expertise in 
firefighter safety, health, and wellness research and development 
activities. Fire departments were not eligible to apply for funding in 
the R&D activity. Additionally, for-profit organizations, Federal 
agencies, and individuals were not eligible to receive a grant award 
under the R&D Activity.

Funding Limitations

    Awards are limited to a maximum federal share of $1.5 million 
dollars, regardless of applicant type, in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 
2229(d)(2). FP&S Research and Development applicants that applied under 
the Early Career Investigator category are limited to a maximum federal 
share of $75,000 per project year.

Cost Sharing

    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 2 CFR 200.101(b)(1), but they were not required to have 
the cost-share at the time of application nor are they required to have 
it at the time of award. However, before a grant is awarded, FEMA may 
contact potential awardees to determine whether the grant recipient has 
the funding in hand or whether the grant recipient has a viable plan to 
obtain the funding necessary to fulfill the cost-sharing requirement.
    In general, an eligible applicant seeking an FP&S grant to carry 
out an activity shall agree to make available non-Federal funds to 
carry out such activity in an amount equal to, and not less than, 5 
percent of the grant awarded. Cash match and in-kind matches are both 
allowable in the FP&S

[[Page 31608]]

Grant Program. Cash (hard) matches include non-Federal cash spent for 
project-related costs. In-kind (soft) matches include, but are not 
limited to, the valuation of in-kind services; complementary 
activities; and provision of staff, facilities, services, material, or 
equipment. In-kind is the value of something received or provided that 
does not have a cost associated with it. For example, where an in-kind 
match (other than cash payments) is permitted, then the value of 
donated services could be used to comply with the match requirement. 
Also, third party in-kind contributions may count toward satisfying 
match requirements provided the grant recipient receiving the 
contributions expends them as allowable costs in compliance with 
provisions listed above.
    Grant recipients under this program must also agree to a 
maintenance of effort requirement per 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(3) (referred to 
as a ``maintenance of expenditure'' requirement in that statute). Per 
this requirement, a grant recipient shall agree to maintain during the 
term of the grant, the grant recipient's aggregate expenditures 
relating to the activities allowable under the FP&S NOFO at not less 
than 80 percent of the average amount of such expenditures in the 2 
fiscal years preceding the fiscal year in which the grant amounts are 
received.
    In cases of demonstrated economic hardship and upon the request of 
the grant recipient, the FEMA Administrator may waive or reduce certain 
grant recipient's cost share or maintenance of expenditure requirements 
(15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(A)). As required by 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(B), the 
Administrator established guidelines for determining what constitutes 
economic hardship and published these guidelines at FEMA's website 
www.fema.gov/grants. Per 15 U.S.C. 2229(k)(4)(C), FP&S nonprofit 
organization grant recipients that are not fire departments or 
emergency medical services organizations are not eligible to receive a 
waiver of their cost share or economic hardship requirements.

System for Award Management (SAM)

    Per 2 CFR 25.200, all grant applicants and recipients were required 
to register in https://SAM.gov, which is available free of charge. They 
must maintain validated information in SAM that is consistent with the 
data provided in their AFG grant application and in the Dun & 
Bradstreet (DUNS) database. FEMA required active SAM registration at 
the time of application, and will not process any awards, consider any 
payment or amendment requests, or consider any amendment unless the 
applicant or grant recipient has complied with the requirements to 
provide a valid DUNS number and an active SAM registration with current 
information. The banking information, employer identification number 
(EIN), organization/entity name, address, and DUNS number provided in 
the application must match the information that is provided in SAM.

Application Process

    Applicants were only permitted to submit one application, but were 
permitted to submit for up to three projects under each activity (FP&S 
and R&D). Any applicant that submitted more than one application may 
have all applications deemed ineligible.

    Under the FP&S Activity, applicants could apply under the following 
categories:

 Community Risk Reduction
 Fire & Arson Investigation
 Code Enforcement/Awareness
 National/State/Regional Programs and Studies

    Under the R&D Activity, applicants could apply under the following 
categories:
 Clinical Studies
 Technology and Product Development
 Database System Development
 Dissemination and Implementation Research
 Preliminary Studies
 Early Career Investigator

    Prior to the start of the FY 2018 FP&S Grant Program application 
period, FEMA provided applicants with technical assistance tools 
(available at the AFG website: www.fema.gov/firegrants) and other 
online information to help them prepare quality grant applications. AFG 
staffed a Help Desk throughout the application period to assist 
applicants with navigation through the automated application as well as 
assistance with related questions. The AFG Help Desk can be reached 
year-round through a toll-free telephone number (1-866-274-0960) or 
email ([email protected]).
    Applicants were advised to access the application electronically at 
https://portal.fema.gov. The application was also accessible from the 
Grants.gov website (http://www.grants.gov). New applicants were 
required to register and establish a username and password for secure 
access to their application. Applicants that applied to any previous 
AFG or Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) 
funding opportunities were required to use their previously established 
usernames and passwords when applying for an FP&S grant.
    In completing an application under this funding opportunity, 
applicants were asked to provide relevant information on their 
organization's characteristics and existing capabilities. Those 
applicants were asked to answer questions about their grant request 
that reflected the funding priorities, described below. In addition, 
applicants were required to complete narratives for each project or 
grant activity requested.
    The following are the funding priorities for each category under 
the FP&S Activity:
     Community Risk Reduction--Under the Community Risk 
Reduction category there are three funding priorities:
    [cir] Priority will be given to programs that target a specific 
high-risk population to conduct both door-to-door smoke alarm 
installations and provide home safety inspections, as part of a 
comprehensive home fire safety campaign.
    [cir] Priority will be given to programs that include sprinkler 
awareness that affect the entire community, such as educating the 
public about residential sprinklers, promoting residential sprinklers, 
and demonstrating working models of residential sprinklers.
    [cir] Priority will be given to programs to conduct community-
appropriate comprehensive risk assessments and risk reduction planning.
     Code Enforcement/Awareness--These are projects that focus 
on first time or reinstatement of code adoption and code enforcement, 
including Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) codes for communities with a 
WUI-wildfire risk.
     Fire & Arson Investigation--These are projects that aim to 
aggressively investigate every fire.
     National/State/Regional Programs and Studies--These are 
projects that focus on residential fire issues and/or firefighter 
behavior and wellness.
    Under the R&D Activity, in order to identify and address the most 
important elements of firefighter safety, FEMA looked to the fire 
service for its input and recommendations. In June 2005, the National 
Fallen Firefighters' Foundation (NFFF) hosted a working group to 
facilitate the development of an agenda for the Nation's fire service, 
and in particular for firefighter safety. In November 2015, the NFFF 
hosted its third working group to update the agenda with current 
priorities. A copy of the research agenda is available on the NFFF 
website at http://www.everyonegoeshome.com/resources/research-symposium-reports/.
    All proposed projects, regardless of whether they have been 
identified by this working group, will be evaluated on

[[Page 31609]]

their relevance to firefighter health and safety, and scientific rigor.
    The electronic application process permitted the applicant to enter 
and save the application data. The system did not permit the submission 
of incomplete applications. Except for the narrative textboxes, the 
application contained a ``point-and-click'' selection process or 
required the entry of data (e.g., name and address). Applicants were 
encouraged to read the FP&S NOFO 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 composed of representatives from 
nine major fire service organizations that are charged with making 
recommendations to FEMA regarding the creation of new funding 
priorities, the modification of existing funding priorities, and the 
development of criteria for awarding grants. The nine major fire 
service organizations represented on the panel:

 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 2018 criteria development panel meeting occurred January 16-
18, 2018. The content of the FY 2018 FP&S Notice of Funding Opportunity 
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 2018 FP&S Grant 
Program are designed to address the following:

 First responder safety
 Enhancing national capabilities
 Risk
 Interoperability

Changes for FY 2018

FY 2018 FP&S Notice of Funding Opportunity Announcement

    (1) New performance metrics for each Activity within the FP&S Grant 
Program have been added to better measure the impact of grant funding 
on fire prevention and firefighter safety.
    (2) Under the FP&S Activity, clarification has been provided that 
Risk Assessments can include Wildland and Wildland Urban Interface Risk 
Assessments.

Application Review Process and Considerations

    The program's authorizing 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.
    DHS will review and evaluate all FP&S applications submitted using 
the funding priorities and evaluation criteria described in this 
document, which are based on recommendations from the AFG Criteria 
Development Panel.

Peer Review Process

Peer Review Panel Process--Fire Prevention and Safety Activity

    All FP&S activity applications will be evaluated by a peer review 
process. A panel of peer reviewers is composed of fire service 
representatives recommended by the Criteria Development Panel. These 
reviewers will assess each application's merits with respect to the 
detail provided in the Narrative Statement on the activity, including 
the evaluation elements listed in the Evaluation Criteria identified 
below. The panel will independently score each project within the 
application, discuss the merits and/or shortcomings of the application, 
and document the findings. A consensus is not required.

Peer Review Panel Process--Research and Development Activity

    R&D applications will go through a two-phase review process. First, 
all applications will be reviewed by a panel of fire service experts to 
assess the need for the research results and the likelihood that the 
results would be implemented by the fire service in the United States. 
Applications that are deemed likely to be implemented to enable 
improvement in firefighter safety, health, or wellness will be deemed 
to be in the ``competitive range'' and will be forwarded to the second 
level of project review, which is the science review panel process. 
This panel will be composed of scientists and technology experts who 
have expertise pertaining to the subject matter of the proposal.
    Scientific reviewers will independently score applications in the 
competitive range and, if necessary, discuss the merits or shortcomings 
of the project in order to reconcile any major discrepancies identified 
by the reviewers. A consensus is not required.

Technical Evaluation Process

    The highest ranked projects from both Activities will be deemed in 
the fundable range. Applications that are in the fundable range will 
undergo a Technical Review by the FEMA Program Office prior to being 
recommended for award. The FEMA Program Office will assess the request 
with respect to costs, quantities, feasibility, eligibility, and 
recipient responsibility prior to recommending any application for 
award.
    Once the review process is complete, each project's score will be 
determined and a final ranking of project applications will be created. 
FEMA will award grants based on this final ranking. Award announcements 
will be made on a rolling basis until all available grant funds have 
been committed. Awards will not be made in any specified order. DHS 
will notify unsuccessful applicants as soon as it is feasible.

Evaluation Criteria for Projects--Fire Prevention and Safety Activity

    Funding decisions will be informed by an assessment of how well the 
application addressed the criteria and considerations listed below. 
Applications will be reviewed by the peer reviewers using weighted 
evaluation criteria to score the project. These scores will impact the 
ranking of a project for funding.
    The relative weight of the evaluation criteria in the determination 
of the grant award is listed below.
     Financial Need (10%): Applicants should have provided 
details on the need for financial assistance to carry out the proposed 
project(s). Included in the description might be other unsuccessful 
attempts to acquire financial assistance or specific examples of the 
applicant's operational budget.
     Vulnerability Statement (25%): The assessment of fire risk 
is essential in the development of an effective project goal, as well 
as meeting FEMA's goal to reduce risk by conducting a risk assessment 
as a basis for action. Vulnerability is a ``weak link'' demonstrating 
high risk behavior, living conditions or any type of high risk 
situation or behavior. The Vulnerability Statement should have included 
a description of the steps taken to determine the vulnerability (weak 
link) and identify the target audience. The methodology for 
determination of vulnerability (i.e., how the weak link

[[Page 31610]]

was found) should have been discussed in-depth in the application's 
Narrative Statement.
    [cir] The specific vulnerability (weak link) that will be addressed 
with the proposed project can be established through a formal or 
informal risk assessment. FEMA encouraged the use of local statistics, 
rather than national statistics, when discussing the vulnerability.
    [cir] The applicant should have summarized the vulnerability 
(weakness) the project will address in a clear, to-the-point statement 
that addresses who is at risk, what the risks are, where the risks are, 
and how the risks can be prevented, reduced, or mitigated.
    [cir] For the purpose of the FY 2018 FP&S NOFO, formal risk 
assessments must have included either the use of software programs or 
recognized expert analysis that assess risk trends.
    [cir] Informal risk assessments could have included an in-house 
review of available data (e.g., National Fire Incident Reporting 
System) to determine fire loss, burn injuries or loss of life over a 
period of time, and the factors that are the cause and origin for each 
occurrence.
     Implementation Plan (25%): Projects should have provided 
details on the implementation plan, discussing the proposed project's 
goals and objectives. The following information should have been 
included to support the implementation plan:
    [cir] Goals and objectives.
    [cir] Details regarding the methods and specific steps that will be 
used to achieve the goals and objectives.
    [cir] Timelines outlining the chronological project steps.
    [cir] Where applicable, examples of marketing efforts to promote 
the project, who will deliver the project (e.g., effective 
partnerships), and the manner in which materials or deliverables will 
be distributed.
    [cir] Requests for props (i.e., tools used in educational or 
awareness demonstrations), including specific goals, measurable 
results, and details on the frequency for which the prop will be 
utilized as part of the implementation plan. Applicants should have 
included information describing the efforts that will be used to reach 
the high risk audience and/or the number of people reached through the 
proposed project.
     Evaluation Plan (25%): Projects should have included an 
evaluation of effectiveness and should have identified measurable 
goals. Applicants seeking to carry out awareness and educational 
projects, for example, should have identified how they intend to 
determine that there has been an increase in knowledge about fire 
hazards, or measure a change in the safety behaviors of the audience. 
Applicants should have demonstrated how they will measure risk at the 
outset of the project in comparison to how much the risk decreased 
after the project is finished. There are various ways to measure the 
knowledge gained including the use of surveys, pre- and post-tests, or 
documented observations.
     Cost-Benefit (10%): Projects will be evaluated based on 
how well the applicant addressed the fire prevention needs of the 
department or organization in an economical and efficient manner. The 
applicant should have shown how it will maximize the level of funding 
that goes directly into the delivery of the project. The costs 
associated with the project must also be reasonable for the target 
audience that will be reached, and a description of how the anticipated 
benefit(s) of their projects outweighs the cost(s) of the requested 
item(s) should have been included. The application should have provided 
justification for all costs included in the project in order to assist 
the FEMA Program Office with the Technical Evaluation Panel review.
     Funding Priorities (5%): Applicants will be evaluated on 
whether the proposed project meets the stated funding priority (listed 
below) for the applicable category.
    [cir] Community Risk Reduction Priority: Comprehensive home fire 
safety campaign with door-to-door smoke alarm installations and/or 
sprinkler awareness and/or community risk assessments.
    [cir] Fire/Arson Investigation Priority: Projects that aim to 
aggressively investigate every fire.
    [cir] Code Enforcement/Awareness Priority: Projects that focus on 
first time or reinstatement of code adoption and code enforcement, 
including Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) codes for communities with a 
WUI-wildfire risk.
    [cir] National/State/Regional Programs and Studies Priority: 
Projects that focus on residential fire issues, and/or firefighter 
safety and wellness projects or strategies that are designed to 
measurably change firefighter behavior and decision-making.
    [ssquf] Meeting the needs of people with disabilities (additional 
consideration): Applicants in the Community Risk Reduction category 
will receive additional consideration if, as part of their 
comprehensive smoke alarm installation and education program, they 
address the needs of people with disabilities (e.g., deaf/hard-of-
hearing) in their community.
    [ssquf] Experience and Expertise (additional consideration): 
Applicants that demonstrated their experience and ability to conduct 
fire prevention and safety activities, and to execute the proposed or 
similar project(s), will receive additional consideration.

Evaluation Criteria--Firefighter Safety Research and Development 
Activity

    Funding decisions will be informed by an assessment of how well the 
application addresses the criteria and considerations listed below. All 
applications will be reviewed by a fire service expert panel using 
weighted evaluation criteria, and those projects deemed to be in the 
``competitive range'' will then be reviewed by a scientific peer review 
panel evaluation using weighted evaluation criteria to score the 
project. Scientific evaluations will impact the ranking of the project 
for funding.

Fire Service Evaluation Criteria

     Purpose (25%): Applicants should have clearly identified 
the benefits of the proposed research project to improve firefighter 
safety, health, or wellness, and identified specific gaps in knowledge 
that will be addressed.
     Implementation by Fire Service (25%): Applicants should 
have discussed how the outcomes/products of this research, if 
successful, are likely to be widely/nationally adopted and accepted by 
the fire service as changes that enhance firefighter safety, health, or 
wellness.
     Potential Impact (15%): Applicants should have discussed 
the potential impact of the research outcome/product on firefighter 
safety by quantifying the possible reduction in the number of fatal or 
non-fatal injuries, or on the projected wellness by significantly 
improving the overall health of firefighters.
     Barriers (15%): The applicant needed to identify and 
discuss potential fire service and other barriers to successfully 
complete the study on schedule, including contingencies and strategies 
to deal with barriers if they materialize. This may include barriers 
that could inhibit the proposed fire service participation in the study 
or the adoption of successful results by the fire service when the 
project is completed.
     Partners (20%): Applicants should have recognized that 
participation of the fire service as a partner in the research, from 
development to dissemination, is regarded as an essential part of all 
projects. Applicants should have described the fire service partners 
and contractors that will support the project to accomplish the 
objectives of the

[[Page 31611]]

study. The specific roles and contributions of the partners should have 
been described. Partnerships may be formed with local and regional fire 
departments, and also with national fire-related organizations. Letters 
of support and letters of commitment to actively participate in the 
project should have been included in the appendix of the application. 
Generally, participants of a diverse population, including both career 
and volunteer firefighters, are expected to facilitate acceptance of 
results nationally. In cases where this is not practical, due to the 
nature of the study or other limitations, these circumstances should 
have been clearly explained.

Science Panel Evaluation Criteria

     Project goals, objectives, and specific aims (15%): 
Applicants should have addressed how the purpose, goals, objectives, 
and aims of the proposal will lead to results that will improve 
firefighter safety, health, or wellness. For multi-year projects, 
greater detail should have been given for the first year, however 
specific goals and objectives were required for the second and third 
years (if applicable).
     Literature Review (10%): Applicants should have provided a 
literature review that is relevant to the project's goals, objectives, 
and specific aims. The citations should have been placed in the text of 
the narrative statement, with references listed at the end of the 
Narrative Statement (and not in the Appendix) of the application. The 
review should have been in sufficient depth to make it clear that the 
proposed project is necessary, adds to an existing body of knowledge, 
is different from current and previous studies, and offers a unique 
contribution.
     Project Methods (20%): Applicants should have provided a 
description of how the project will be carried out, including 
demonstration of the overall scientific and technical rigor and merit 
of the project. This includes the operations to accomplish the purpose, 
goals and objectives, and the specific aims of the project. Plans to 
recruit and retain human participants for research, where applicable, 
should have been described. Where human participants are involved in 
the project, the applicant should have described plans for submission 
to the Institutional Review Board (for further guidance and 
requirements, see the FY 2018 FP&S NOFO).
     Project Measurements (20%): Applicants should have 
provided evidence of the technical rigor and merit of the project, such 
as data pertaining to validity, reliability, and sensitivity (where 
established) of the facilities, equipment, instruments, standards, and 
procedures that will be used to carry out the research. The applicant 
should have discussed the data to be collected to evaluate the 
performance methods, technologies, and products proposed to enhance 
firefighter safety, health, or wellness. The applicant should have 
demonstrated that the measurement methods and equipment selected for 
use are appropriate and sufficient to successfully deliver the proposed 
project objectives.
     Project Analysis (20%): The applicant should have 
indicated the planned approach for analysis of the data obtained from 
measurements, questionnaires, or computations. The applicant should 
have specified within the plan what will be analyzed, the statistical 
methods that will be used, the sequence of steps, and interactions as 
appropriate. It should be clear that the Principal Investigator and 
research team have the expertise to perform the planned analysis and 
defend the results in a peer review process.
     Dissemination and Implementation (15%): Applicants should 
have indicated dissemination plans for scientific audiences (such as 
plans for submissions to specific peer review publications) and for 
firefighter audiences (such as websites, magazines, and conferences). 
Also, assuming positive results, the applicant should have indicated 
future steps that would support dissemination and implementation 
throughout the fire service, where applicable. These steps are likely 
to be beyond the current study, so those features of the research 
activity that will facilitate future dissemination and implementation 
should have been discussed. All applicants should have specified how 
the results of the project, if successful, might be disseminated and 
implemented in the fire service to improve firefighter safety, health, 
or wellness. It is expected that successful R&D Activity Projects may 
give rise to future programs including FP&S Activity Projects.
     Cost vs. Benefit (additional consideration): Cost vs. 
benefit in this evaluation element refers to the costs of the grant for 
the research and development project as it relates to the benefits that 
are projected for firefighters who would have improved safety, health, 
or wellness. Applicants should have demonstrated a high benefit for the 
cost incurred, and effective utilization of Federal funds for research 
activities.
     Financial Need (additional consideration): In the 
Applicant Information section of the application, applicants should 
have provided details on the need for Federal financial assistance to 
carry out the proposed project(s). Applicants may have included a 
description of unsuccessful attempts to acquire financial assistance. 
Applicants should have provided detail about the organization's 
operating budget, including a high-level breakdown of the budget; 
described the department's inability to address financial needs without 
Federal assistance; and discussed other actions the department has 
taken to meet their staffing needs (e.g., State assistance programs, 
other grant programs, etc.).
     Mentoring (additional consideration for Early Career 
Investigator Projects only): An important part of Early Career 
Investigator projects is the integration of mentoring for the principal 
investigator by experienced researchers in areas appropriate to the 
research project, including exposure to the fire service community as 
well as support for ongoing development of knowledge and skills. 
Mentoring is regarded as critical to the research skills development of 
early career principal investigators. As part of the application 
Appendix, the applicant should have identified the mentor(s) who have 
agreed to support the applicant and the expected benefit of their 
interactions with the researcher. A biographical sketch and letter of 
support from the mentor(s) were encouraged and should have been 
included in the Appendix materials.

Other Selection Information

    Awards will be made using the results of peer-reviewed applications 
as the primary basis for decisions, regardless of activity. However, 
there are some exceptions to strictly using the peer review results. 
The applicant's prior AFG, SAFER, and FP&S grant management performance 
will also be taken into consideration when making recommendations for 
award. All final funding determinations will be made by the FEMA 
Administrator, or the Administrator's designee.
    Fire departments and other eligible applicants that have received 
funding under the FP&S Grant Program in previous years were eligible to 
apply for funding in the current year. However, DHS may take into 
account an applicant's performance on prior grants when making funding 
decisions on current applications.
    Once every application in the competitive range has been through 
the technical evaluation phase, the applications will be ranked 
according to the average score awarded by the panel.

[[Page 31612]]

    The ranking will be summarized in a Technical Report prepared by 
the AFG Program Office. A Grants Management Specialist will contact the 
applicant to discuss and/or negotiate the content of the application 
and SAM.gov registration before making final award decisions.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2229.

Pete Gaynor,
Acting Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2019-14044 Filed 7-1-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9111-64-P