Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Lennard G. Kruger Specialist in Science and Technology Policy June 18, 2009 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov RL32341 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Summary The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants or the FIRE Act grant program, was established by Title XVII of the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 106-398). Currently administered by the Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the program provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. A related program is the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters (SAFER) program, which provides grants for hiring, recruiting, and retaining firefighters. The fire grant program is now in its ninth year. Over $4.8 billion has been appropriated to the fire grant program since FY2001. The Fire Act statute was reauthorized in 2004 (Title XXXVI of P.L. 108-375) and provides overall guidelines on how fire grant money should be distributed. There is no set geographical formula for the distribution of fire grants—fire departments throughout the nation apply, and award decisions are made by a peer panel based on the merits of the application and the needs of the community. However, the law does require that fire grants be distributed to a diverse mix of fire departments, with respect to type of department (paid, volunteer, or combination), geographic location, and type of community served (e.g. urban, suburban, or rural). On February 17, 2009, the President signed P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The ARRA included an additional $210 million in firefighter assistance grants for modifying, upgrading, or constructing state and local non-federal fire stations, provided that 5% be set aside for program administration and provided that no grant shall exceed $15 million. The application period for Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grants (SCG) grants opened on June 11 and will close on July 10, 2009. For FY2010, the Obama Administration is proposing $170 million for fire grants, a 70% decrease from the FY2009 level, and $420 million for SAFER, double the amount appropriated in FY2009. The total amount requested for firefighter assistance (AFG and SAFER) is $590 million, a 24% decrease from FY2009. The House FY2010 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 2892; H.Rept. 111-157) provided $800 million for firefighter assistance, including $380 million for AFG and $420 million for SAFER. The Obama Administration’s FY2010 budget proposal for firefighter assistance is likely to receive heightened scrutiny from the fire community, given what was viewed as inadequate past budget proposals by the Bush Administration, and given the national economic downturn and local budgetary cutbacks that many fire departments are now facing. Concerns over local fire departments’ budgetary problems may also frame debate of the assistance to firefighters grant program reauthorization bill, which is expected to be considered during the first session of the 111th Congress. This report will be updated as events warrant. Congressional Research Service Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Contents Background ................................................................................................................................1 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program ....................................................................................1 Reauthorization.....................................................................................................................1 Appropriations ......................................................................................................................2 FY2009...........................................................................................................................3 FY2010...........................................................................................................................4 Fire Station Construction Grants in the ARRA.............................................................................5 SAFER Grants ............................................................................................................................5 Program Evaluation ....................................................................................................................6 Distribution of Fire Grants ..........................................................................................................7 Issues in the 111th Congress.........................................................................................................9 Tables Table 1. Major Provisions of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Reauthorization Act .................................................................................................................2 Table 2. Appropriations for Firefighter Assistance, FY2001-FY2009 ...........................................3 Table 3. Recent and Proposed Appropriations for Firefighter Assistance ......................................3 Table 4. State-by-State Distribution of Fire Grants, FY2001-FY2008.........................................9 Table 5. State-by-State Distribution of SAFER Grants, FY2005-FY2008.................................. 11 Table 6. Requests and Awards for Fire Grant Funding, FY2008 ................................................. 13 Contacts Author Contact Information ...................................................................................................... 14 Congressional Research Service Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Background Firefighting activities are traditionally the responsibility of states and local communities. As such, funding for firefighters is provided mostly by state and local governments. During the 1990s, shortfalls in state and local budgets, coupled with increased responsibilities of local fire departments, led many in the fire community to call for additional financial support from the federal government. Although federally funded training programs existed (and continue to exist) through the National Fire Academy, and although federal money was available to first responders for counterterrorism training and equipment through the Department of Justice,1 there did not exist a dedicated program, exclusively for firefighters, which provided federal money directly to local fire departments to help address a wide variety of equipment, training, and other firefighterrelated needs. Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program During the 106th Congress, many in the fire community asserted that local fire departments require and deserve greater support from the federal government. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), also known as fire grants or the FIRE Act grant program, was established by Title XVII of the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 106-398).2 Currently administered by the Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the program provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. Reauthorization On October 28, 2004, the President signed the FY2005 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-375). Title XXXVI of P.L. 108-375 is the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2004, which reauthorizes the fire grant program through FY2009. Table 1 provides a summary of key provisions of the current reauthorization. 1 For a list of federal programs providing assistance to state and local first responders, see CRS Report R40246, Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress, by Shawn Reese. 2 “Firefighter assistance” is codified as section 33 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2229). Congressional Research Service 1 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Table 1. Major Provisions of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Reauthorization Act Grant recipient limits: populations over 1 million—lesser of $2.75 million or 0.5% of total appropriation populations of 500K to 1 million—$1.75 million populations under 500K—$1 million no single grant can exceed 0.5% of total funds appropriated for a single fiscal year DHS can waive the funding limits for populations up to 1 million in instances of extraordinary need; however the lesser of $2.75 million or 0.5% limit cannot be waived Nonfederal match requirements: 20% for populations over 50K 10% for populations 20K to 50K 5% for populations less than 20K No match requirement for non-fire department prevention and firefighter safety grants Authorized for five years: FY2005—$900 million FY2006—$950 million FY2007—$1 billion FY2008—$1 billion FY2009—$1 billion Expands grant eligibility to emergency medical service squads, not less than 3.5% of fire grant money for EMS, but no more than 2% for nonaffiliated EMS Provides grants for firefighter health and safety R&D Requires the USFA Administrator to convene an annual meeting of non-federal fire service experts to recommend criteria for awarding grants and administrative changes Requires fire service peer review of grant applications Requires the USFA, in conjunction with the National Fire Protection Association, to conduct a $300,000, 18-month study on the fire grant program and the need for federal assistance to state and local communities to fund firefighting and emergency response activities Source: Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2004, Section XXXVI of P.L. 108-375, FY2005 National Defense Authorization Act Appropriations From FY2001 through FY2003, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program (as part of USFA/FEMA) received its primary appropriation through the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriation Act. In FY2004, the Assistance to Firefighters Program began to receive its annual appropriation through the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Homeland Security. The fire grant program is in its ninth year. Table 2 shows the appropriations history for firefighter assistance, including AFG, SAFER, and the Fire Station Construction (FSC) grants provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Over $4.8 billion has been appropriated to the AFG program since FY2001, its initial year. Table 3 shows recent and proposed appropriated funding for the AFG and SAFER grant programs. Congressional Research Service 2 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Table 2. Appropriations for Firefighter Assistance, FY2001-FY2009 AFG SAFER SCGa Total FY2001 $100 million $100 million FY2002 $360 million $360 million FY2003 $745 million $745 million FY2004 $746 million $746 million FY2005 $650 million $65 million $715 million FY2006 $539 million $109 million $648 million FY2007 $547 million $115 million $662 million FY2008 $560 million $190 million $750 million FY2009 $565 million $210 million $210 million $985 million Total $4.812 billion $689 million $210 million $5.711 billion a. Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grants (SCG) grants were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5). Table 3. Recent and Proposed Appropriations for Firefighter Assistance (millions of dollars) FIRE Grants (AFG) FY2009 (Admin. request) FY2009 (P.L. 110-329) FY2010 (Admin. request) FY2010 (House) 300 565 170 380 0 210 420 420 300 775 590 800 SAFER Grants Total FY2009 The Bush Administration proposed $300 million for fire grants in FY2009, a 46% cut from the FY2008 level of $560 million. No funding was proposed for SAFER grants. The total request for firefighter assistance was 60% below the FY2008 level for fire and SAFER grants combined. According to the budget justification, “the Administration believes that $287 million is an appropriate level of funding given the availability of significant amounts of funding for first responder preparedness missions from other DHS grant programs which are coordinated with state and local homeland security strategies and, unlike AFG, are allocated on the basis of risk.” Priority would be given to applications that enhance capabilities needed for terrorism response and other major incidents. Funding would only be available for critical response equipment, training, and personal protective gear, and would not be available for wellness/fitness activities or modifications to facilities for firefighter safety. Congressional Research Service 3 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding On June 19, 2008, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2009 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security (S. 3181; S.Rept. 110-396). The bill would provide $750 million for firefighter assistance, including $560 million for fire grants and $190 million for SAFER grants. This is the same funding level approved for FY2008. The Committee directed DHS to continue the present practice of funding applications according to local priorities and those established by the U.S. Fire Administration, and further directed DHS to continue direct funding to fire departments and the peer review process. Additionally, $3 million was made available for foam firefighter equipment used in remote areas. On June 24, 2008, the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY2009 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security, and reported its bill on September 18, 2008 (H.R. 6947; H.Rept. 110-862). The Committee would provide $800 million for firefighter assistance, consisting of $570 million for fire grants and $230 million for SAFER grants. The Committee directed FEMA to continue granting funds directly to local fire departments and to include the U.S. Fire Administration during the grant administration process, while also maintaining an all-hazards focus and not limiting the list of eligible activities. The Committee would continue the requirement that FEMA peer review grant applications that meet criteria established by FEMA and the fire service, rank order applications according to peer review, fund applications according to their rank order, and provide official notification detailing why applications do not meet the criteria for review. The Committee also directed FEMA to encourage regional applications. The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329)—which contains the FY2009 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act— provided $775 million for firefighter assistance, including $565 million for fire grants and $210 million for SAFER. The DHS explanatory statement directed FEMA to continue the present practice of funding applications according to local priorities and those established by the USFA. FY2010 For FY2010, the Obama Administration is proposing $170 million for AFG, a 70% decrease from the FY2009 level, and $420 million for SAFER, double the amount appropriated in FY2009. The total amount requested for firefighter assistance (AFG and SAFER) is $590 million, a 24% decrease from FY2009. The FY2010 budget proposal states that the firefighter assistance grant process “will give priority to applications that enhance capabilities for terrorism response and other major incidents.”3 The House FY2010 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 2892; H.Rept. 111-157) provided $800 million for firefighter assistance, including $380 million for AFG and $420 million for SAFER. Although the SAFER level matches the Administration’s request, the AFG level is more than twice what the Administration proposed. According to the Committee Report, the Administration’s request of $170 million for AFG “is woefully inadequate given the vast needs of fire departments across the nation for equipment.” The Committee directed FEMA to continue granting funds to local fire departments, include the United States Fire Administration in the grant decision process, and maintain an all-hazard focus while prohibiting the limiting of eligible activities including wellness. 3 Office of Management and Budget, Appendix: Budget of the United States Government, FY2010, p. 547. Congressional Research Service 4 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Fire Station Construction Grants in the ARRA Since its inception, the traditional fire grant program has provided money specifically for health and safety related modifications of fire stations, but has not funded major upgrades, renovations, or construction. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) provided an additional $210 million in firefighter assistance grants for modifying, upgrading, or constructing state and local non-federal fire stations, provided that 5% be set aside for program administration and provided that no grant shall exceed $15 million. The Conference Report (H.Rept. 111-16) cited DHS estimates that this spending would create 2,000 jobs. The ARRA also included a provision (section 603) that waived the matching requirement for SAFER grants funded by appropriations in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The application period for ARRA Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grants (SCG) opened on June 11 and will close on July 10, 2009. DHS estimates receiving 5,000 to 10,000 applications requesting over $30 billion in requested funding. Of this, DHS anticipates awarding approximately 100 grants. There is no cost share requirement for SCG grants. Eligible applicants are non-federal fire departments that provide fire protection services to local communities. Ineligible applicants include federal fire departments, EMS or rescue organizations, airport fire departments, for-profit fire departments, fire training centers, emergency communications centers, auxiliaries and fire service organizations or associations, and search and rescue teams or similar organizations without fire suppression responsibilities. Details on eligible and ineligible items for funding, other allowable costs, and detailed application guidelines are available at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/docs/2009AFSCGguidance.pdf. SAFER Grants In response to concerns over the adequacy of firefighter staffing, the 108th Congress enacted the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136; signed into law November 24, 2003). The SAFER grant program is codified as Section 34 of the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2229a). The SAFER Act authorizes grants to career, volunteer, and combination fire departments for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Also authorized are grants to volunteer fire departments for activities related to the recruitment and retention of volunteers. P.L. 108-136 authorizes over one billion dollars per year through FY2010 for SAFER. Two types of grants are authorized by the SAFER Act: hiring grants and recruitment and retention grants. Hiring grants cover a four-year term and are cost-shared with the local jurisdiction. According to the statute, the federal share shall not exceed 90% in the first year of the grant, 80% in the second year, 50% in the third year, and 30% in the fourth year. The grantee must commit to retaining the firefighter or firefighters hired with the SAFER grant for at least one additional year after the federal money expires. Total federal funding for hiring a firefighter over the four-year grant period may not exceed $100,000, although that total may be adjusted for inflation. While the majority of hiring grants will be awarded to career and combination fire departments, the SAFER Act specifies that 10% of the total SAFER appropriation be awarded to volunteer or majority-volunteer departments for the hiring of personnel. Congressional Research Service 5 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Additionally, at least 10% of the total SAFER appropriation is set aside for recruitment and retention grants, which are available to volunteer and combination fire departments for activities related to the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. Also eligible for recruitment and retention grants are local and statewide organizations that represent the interests of volunteer firefighters. No local cost sharing is required for recruitment and retention grants. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) included a provision (section 603) that waives the matching requirement for SAFER grants in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. For more information on the SAFER program, see CRS Report RL33375, Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program, by Lennard G. Kruger. Program Evaluation On May 13, 2003, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) released the first independent evaluation of the Assistance to Firefighters Program. Conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Leadership Development Academy Executive Potential Program, the survey study presented a number of recommendations and concluded overall that the program was “highly effective in improving the readiness and capabilities of firefighters across the nation.”4 Another evaluation of the fire grant program was released by the DHS Office of Inspector General in September 2003. The report concluded that the program “succeeded in achieving a balanced distribution of funding through a competitive grant process,”5 and made a number of specific recommendations for improving the program. At the request of DHS, the National Academy of Public Administration conducted a study to help identify potential new strategic directions for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program and to provide advice on how to effectively plan, manage, and measure program accomplishments. Released in April 2007, the report recommended consideration of new strategic directions related to national preparedness, prevention vs. response, social equity, regional cooperation, and emergency medical response. According to the report, the “challenge for the AFG program will be to support a gradual shift in direction without losing major strengths of its current management approach—including industry driven priority setting and its well-respected peer review process.”6 The Administration’s FY2008 budget proposal was accompanied by program evaluations called the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). For assessment year 2007, PART gave the fire grant program a rating of “Effective,” (an improvement from the previous rating of “Results Not Demonstrated”). The PART directed DHS to embark on an improvement plan encompassing three elements: establishing a continuing strategic planning process, improving program transparency, and increasing outreach. 7 4 For full report see http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/affgp-fy01-usda-report.pdf. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspections, Evaluations, and Special Reviews, “A Review of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program,” OIG-ISP-01-03, September 2003, p. 3. Available at http://www.dhs.gov/ xoig/assets/mgmtrpts/OIG_Review_Fire_Assist.pdf. 6 National Academy of Public Administration, Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program: Assessing Performance, April 2007, p. xvii. Available at http://www.napawash.org/pc_management_studies/ Fire_Grants_Report_April2007.pdf. 7 Office of Management and Budget, ExpectMore.gov, Detailed Information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Grants and Training Office Assistance to Firefighters Grants Assessment, Assessment Year 2007, available at (continued...) 5 Congressional Research Service 6 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-161), in the accompanying Joint Explanatory Statement, directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review the application and award process for fire and SAFER grants. Additionally, FEMA was directed to peer review grant applications that best address the program’s priorities and criteria as established by FEMA and the fire service. Those criteria necessary for peer-review must be included in the grant application package. Applicants whose grant applications are not reviewed must receive an official notification detailing why the application did not meet the criteria for review. Applications must be rank-ordered, and funded following the rank order. Distribution of Fire Grants The FIRE Act statute prescribes 14 different purposes for which fire grant money may be used (see 15 U.S.C. 2229(b)(3)). These are: hiring firefighters; training firefighters; creating rapid intervention teams; certifying fire inspectors; establishing wellness and fitness programs; funding emergency medical services; acquiring firefighting vehicles; acquiring firefighting equipment; acquiring personal protective equipment; modifying fire stations for health and safety; enforcing fire codes; funding fire prevention programs; educating the public about arson prevention and detection; and providing incentives for the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. The DHS has the discretion to decide which of those purposes will be funded for a given grant year. Since the program commenced in FY2001, the majority of fire grant funding has been used by fire departments to purchase firefighting equipment, personal protective equipment, and firefighting vehicles. Eligible applicants are limited primarily to fire departments (defined as an agency or organization that has a formally recognized arrangement with a state, local, or tribal authority to provide fire suppression, fire prevention and rescue services to a population within a fixed geographical area). Emergency Medical Services (EMS) activities are eligible for fire grants, including a limited number (no more than 2% of funds allocated) to EMS organizations not affiliated with hospitals. Additionally, a separate competition is held for fire prevention and firefighter safety research and development grants, which are available to national, state, local, or community fire prevention or safety organizations (including, but not limited to, fire departments). For official program guidelines, frequently-asked-questions, the latest awards announcements, and other information, see the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program web page at http://www.firegrantsupport.com/. The FIRE Act statute provides overall guidelines on how fire grant money will be distributed and administered. The law directs that volunteer departments receive a proportion of the total grant funding that is not less than the proportion of the U.S. population that those departments protect (currently 55%). The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Title XXXVI of P.L. 108-375) raised award caps and lowered nonfederal matching requirements (based on recipient community population), extended eligibility to nonaffiliated emergency medical services (i.e. ambulance services not affiliated with fire departments), and expanded the scope of grants to include firefighter safety R&D. There is no set geographical formula for the distribution of fire grants—fire departments throughout the nation apply, and award decisions are made by a peer panel based on the merits of (...continued) http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/detail/10001071.2007.html. Congressional Research Service 7 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding the application and the needs of the community. However, the law does require that fire grants should be distributed to a diverse mix of fire departments, with respect to type of department (paid, volunteer, or combination), geographic location, and type of community served (e.g. urban, suburban, or rural).8 The Fire Act’s implementing regulation provides that: In a few cases, to fulfill our obligations under the law to make grants to a variety of departments, we may also make funding decisions using rank order as the preliminary basis, and then analyze the type of fire department (paid, volunteer, or combination fire departments), the size and character of the community it serves (urban, suburban, or rural), and/or the geographic location of the fire department. In these instances where we are making decisions based on geographic location, we will use States as the basic geographic unit.9 According to the FY2009 Program Guidance for the Assistance to Firefighters Program, career (paid) departments will compete against other career departments for up to 45% of the available funding, while volunteer and combination departments will compete for at least 55% of the available funding. 10 However, given that less than 10% of fire grant applications are historically received from career departments, funding levels are likely not to reach the 45% ceiling for career departments. Additionally, each fire department that applies is classified as either urban, suburban, or rural. In FY2006, 4.3% of the total number of fire grant awards went to urban areas, 17.8% to suburban areas, and 77.7% to rural areas. Of the total amount of federal funding awarded, 7.7% went to urban areas, 18.2% to suburban areas, and 73.9% to rural areas.11 Finally, in an effort to maximize the diversity of awardees, the geographic location of an applicant (using states as the basic geographic unit) is used as a deciding factor in cases where applicants have similar qualifications. Table 4 shows a state-by-state breakdown of fire grant funding for FY2001 through FY2008, while Table 5 shows a state-by-state breakdown of SAFER grant funding for FY2005 through FY2008. Table 6 provides an in-depth look at the FY2008 fire grants, showing, for each state, the number of fire departments in each state,12 the number of fire grant applications, the total amount requested, the total amount awarded, and the amount of funds awarded as a percentage of funds requested. As Table 6 shows, the entire pool of fire department applicants received about 14% of the funds they requested in FY2008. This is down from 16% in FY2007, 21% in FY2006, 22% in FY2005, 28% in FY2004, and 34% in FY2003. This reflects the fact that the number of applications and federal funds requested have trended upward over these years, while appropriations for the fire grant program have declined over the same period. 8 15 U.S.C. 2229(b)(9). 44 CFR Part 152.6(c). 10 For the FY2008 round of awards, no less than 34% of AFG funds must be awarded to combination departments, and no less than 21% of AFG funds must be awarded to all-volunteer departments. See Department of Homeland Security, Fiscal Year 2009 Assistance to Firefighters Grants: Guidance and Application Kit, April 2009, p. 25. 11 Department of Homeland Security, Grant Programs Directorate, Grant Development and Administration Division, Report on Fiscal Year 2006 Assistance to Firefighters Grants, p. 11. 12 The fire grant program sets a limit of up to three applications per fire department per year (a vehicle application, an application for operations and safety, and a regional application). Thus, the number of fire departments in a state plays a major factor in the number of fire grant applications submitted and the amount of total funding awarded within a given state. For example, because Pennsylvania has—by far—the largest number of fire departments, it is not surprising that it leads the nation in the number of fire grants applications and the amount of funding awarded. 9 Congressional Research Service 8 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Issues in the 111th Congress The Obama Administration’s FY2010 budget proposal for firefighter assistance is likely to receive heightened scrutiny from the fire community, given what was viewed as inadequate past budget proposals by the Bush Administration, and given the national economic downturn and local budgetary cutbacks that many fire departments are now facing. Concerns over local fire departments’ budgetary problems may also frame debate of the assistance to firefighters grant program reauthorization bill, which is expected to be considered during the first session of the 111th Congress. Possible reauthorization issues might include whether the scope and size of the program should be altered, as well as how grant allocation rules and criteria might be modified. Table 4. State-by-State Distribution of Fire Grants, FY2001-FY2008 (millions of dollars) FY2001 FY2002 FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 FY2008 Total AL 3.085 12.503 23.329 25.097 20.836 22.027 19.903 22.276 149.056 AK 1.303 2.641 5.242 2.522 3.111 0.754 2.454 0.990 19.017 AZ 1.37 3.6 7.490 9.808 7.905 4.041 4.932 4.793 43.939 AR 1.337 4.635 10.675 13.680 10.402 7.699 7.799 6.680 62.907 CA 5.905 18.978 30.060 29.793 25.631 17.856 18.730 24.071 171.024 CO 1.003 3.968 6.168 5.585 6.073 3.213 4.742 2.265 33.017 CT 1.828 4.675 10.841 9.991 7.287 5.479 6.630 6.781 53.512 DE 0.132 0.372 1.096 1.755 1.161 1.107 0.518 0.220 6.361 DC 0 0.22 0.376 1.171 2.22 FL 2.865 10.16 16.344 15.969 17.922 6.787 8.288 6. 549 84.883 GA 2.375 6.079 13.791 11.857 10.168 8.887 9.068 7.669 69.894 HI 0 1.182 0.947 0.864 1.205 0.264 0.436 0.772 5.67 ID 0.916 2.744 6.001 4.828 4.684 2.712 4.297 2.428 28.61 IL 2.417 13.398 28.810 27.238 25.433 21.120 21.923 19.961 160.3 IN 2.703 8.739 20.456 18.646 15.779 14.447 13.831 12.134 106.735 IA 1.301 7.284 16.087 16.430 13.119 10.064 9.298 8.805 82.388 KS 1.153 5.118 10.850 10.211 7.165 4.984 5.502 3.624 48.607 KY 2.215 7.896 19.832 16.150 14.215 13.308 13.081 16.384 103.081 LA 3.344 10.084 12.248 11.101 11.630 6.935 5.473 5.978 66.793 ME 1.296 4.319 10.323 10.031 6.124 6.702 5.486 4.490 48.771 MD 0.739 4.08 8.153 10.227 8.771 10.368 7.712 5.393 55.443 MA 2.301 8.386 15.715 13.958 13.529 8.957 11.644 8.520 83.01 MI 2.815 8.948 17.247 20.005 15.088 15.798 15.399 13.895 109.195 MN 2.133 8.149 17.510 18.609 14.894 14.718 16.600 11.833 104.446 MS 1.763 6.755 15.679 11.329 9.856 7.885 8.052 7.480 68.799 Congressional Research Service 0 0 0.453 0 9 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding FY2001 FY2002 FY2003 FY2004 FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 FY2008 Total MO 3.079 10.291 19.573 17.757 14.246 13.202 10.611 10.772 99.531 MT 1.164 3.726 8.361 7.271 6.656 5.839 7.330 4.112 44.459 NE 1.034 2.392 7.820 6.577 5.116 4.399 4.443 3.981 35.762 NV 0.282 1.446 3.312 1.405 1.946 0.857 1.530 0.687 11.465 NH 0.594 1.887 4.584 5.694 4.563 3.307 3.219 2.623 26.471 NJ 2.596 6.339 19.982 16.488 14.691 12.386 13.266 11.702 97.45 NM 1.455 3.463 5.048 3.653 2.259 1.461 1.367 0.912 19.618 NY 3.978 14.728 34.320 35.030 36.009 33.804 22.664 27.901 208.434 NC 1.949 10.239 22.864 22.360 19.315 18.309 20.031 16.806 131.873 ND 0.546 2.613 5.105 3.391 2.673 2.459 3.100 2.944 22.831 OH 2.731 13.742 26.997 29.107 27.344 25.380 26.433 24.795 176.529 OK 1.864 4.939 10.540 10.393 8.757 10.852 7.220 6.278 60.843 OR 1.596 4.892 9.896 10.122 10.014 9.288 5.943 8.185 59.936 PA 2.89 16.97 45.179 47.898 39.233 41.259 43.610 37.401 274.44 RI 0.407 1.507 2.327 1.917 2.129 2.025 0.855 1.378 12.545 SC 1.554 5.257 11.832 14.150 10.544 8.028 10.470 10.257 72.092 SD 0.904 3.142 5.602 4.693 3.570 2.989 2.474 1.933 25.307 TN 2.46 11.509 19.306 18.686 15.047 11.209 12.955 15.529 106.701 TX 3.697 15.644 29.264 30.118 23.480 18.035 17.691 18.382 156.311 UT 0.9 2.754 4.628 3.880 2.188 2.213 3.378 0.909 20.85 VT 0.451 1.971 5.163 4.747 2.071 1.456 1.820 1.046 18.725 VA 2.066 8.79 15.816 16.668 14.357 8.317 10.403 7.738 84.155 WA 1.535 7.544 18.808 19.565 15.763 16.150 12.951 11.361 103.677 WV 1.067 3.966 9.942 9.133 10.143 5.838 7.164 6.642 53.895 WI 2.077 7.518 18.234 19.668 17.685 13.994 19.439 13.862 112.477 WY 1.09 1.612 3.507 1.811 2.032 1.197 1.645 1.023 13.917 PR 0.657 0.382 1.643 1.140 1.104 0.528 0.019 0.074 5.547 MP 0.145 0.225 0 0 0.220 0.172 0 0 0.762 GU 0 0.016 0 0 0.287 0 0 0.303 AS 0.164 0 VI 0.741 0 Tot 91.972 334.417 0 0.544 695.121 0.284 0 679.305 0 0 0 0 0 0.448 0 0 0 0 1.285 585.619 491.375 494.221 454.403 3826.433 Source: Department of Homeland Security. FY2008 awards data current as of June 10, 2009. Congressional Research Service 10 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Table 5. State-by-State Distribution of SAFER Grants, FY2005-FY2008 (millions of dollars) FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 FY2008 Total Alabama 1.611 6.215 4.236 6.418 Alaska 1.051 0.205 0.418 1.438 3.112 Arizona 1.560 3.559 4.428 4.337 13.884 Arkansas 0.394 1.820 0.377 1.873 4.464 California 5.221 5.212 4.259 3.738 Colorado 1.584 3.479 1.730 1.642 8.435 Connecticut 0.130 0.191 0.856 0.949 2.126 Delaware 0 0.135 0 0.398 0.533 District of Columbia 0 0 0 0 0 Florida 6.576 9.329 6.217 18.378 40.5 Georgia 5.354 2.085 2.842 11.103 21.384 Hawaii 0 0 0 1.626 1.626 Idaho 0.063 0.621 0.626 0.309 1.619 Illinois 1.340 4.463 9.933 3.035 18.771 Indiana 0 0.099 2.687 4.877 7.663 Iowa 0.169 0.144 0.980 1.288 2.581 Kansas 0.667 0.045 1.029 1.465 3.206 Kentucky 0.152 2.890 0.429 1.335 4.806 Louisiana 3.430 3.078 4.728 3.743 14.979 Maine 0.081 0 0.316 0.535 0.932 Maryland 0.096 1.862 1.526 3.171 6.655 Massachusetts 1.300 2.079 4.372 1.823 9.574 Michigan 1.759 0.592 0 0.655 3.006 Minnesota 0.300 1.089 0.375 0.491 2.255 Mississippi 0.756 0.594 0.115 0.875 2.34 Missouri 1.467 3.547 4.551 1.549 11.114 Montana 0.034 0.255 2.635 2.748 5.672 Nebraska 0 0.873 0.632 1.951 3.456 Nevada 1.500 1.714 0.632 0 3.846 New Hampshire 0.400 1.035 1.528 0.008 2.971 New Jersey 6.374 3.971 2.953 3.724 17.022 New Mexico 0 3.123 1.309 0.108 4.54 New York 1.540 2.991 2.845 3.579 10.955 North Carolina 2.155 5.533 5.371 13.762 26.821 Congressional Research Service 18.48 18.43 11 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding FY2005 FY2006 FY2007 FY2008 Total North Dakota 0 0.609 0 1.518 2.127 Ohio 1.319 1.881 2.255 3.520 8.975 Oklahoma 0.147 0.699 0.531 0.622 1.999 Oregon 1.710 2.141 2.649 2.015 8.515 Pennsylvania 1.244 1.475 2.633 2.283 7.635 Rhode Island 0.400 0 0.105 0 0.505 South Carolina 0.456 0.863 3.218 5.373 9.91 South Dakota 0.063 0.311 0.211 0.048 0.633 Tennessee 2.700 2.719 3.683 1.176 10.278 Texas 0.951 10.961 8.779 12.575 33.266 Utah 0.900 3.312 2.098 4.512 10.822 Vermont 0 0.621 0.632 0 1.253 Virginia 2.091 3.554 0.782 1.374 7.801 Washington 2.298 2.897 7.340 8.336 20.871 West Virginia 0 0.187 0.681 0 0.868 Wisconsin 0 0.072 1.223 4.227 5.522 Wyoming 0 0 0.316 2.329 2.645 Puerto Rico 0 0 0 0 0 Northern Mariana Islands 0 0 0 0 0 Marshall Islands 0 0 0 0 0 Guam 0 0 0 0 0 American Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 Virgin Islands 0 0 0 0 0 Republic of Palua 0 0 0 0 0 Total 61.356 105.142 113.665 152.847 433.01 Source: Department of Homeland Security. FY2008 awards data current as of June 11, 2009. Congressional Research Service 12 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding Table 6. Requests and Awards for Fire Grant Funding, FY2008 State Alabama Number of fire/EMS departments Number of applications Federal funds requested ($millions) Federal funds awarded ($millions) Funds awarded as a % of funds requested 966 779 98.572 22.276 22.5% Alaska 75 56 11.639 0.990 8.5% Arizona 283 178 37.546 4.793 12.7% Arkansas 826 420 57.787 6.680 11.5% California 823 534 107.544 24.071 22.3% Colorado 375 166 23.557 2.265 9.6% Connecticut 401 253 48.993 6.781 13.8% Delaware 77 34 6.658 0.220 3.3% District of Columbia 18 1 1.171 1.171 100.0% Florida 755 289 61.767 6.549 10.6% Georgia 799 395 65.445 7.669 11.7% Hawaii 20 3 0.790 0.772 9.7% Idaho 212 116 17.866 2.428 13.5% Illinois 1090 885 139.872 19.961 14.2% Indiana 670 507 79.752 12.134 15.2% Iowa 864 560 66.413 8.805 13.2% Kansas 680 276 36.251 3.624 10.0% Kentucky 796 630 93.814 16.384 17.4% Louisiana 557 262 43.389 5.978 13.7% Maine 431 307 42.884 4.490 10.4% Maryland 418 205 39.909 5.393 13.5% Massachusetts 408 349 70.441 8.520 12.1% Michigan 865 776 110.679 13.895 12.5% Minnesota 770 521 66.066 11.833 17.9% Mississippi 756 435 58.775 7.480 12.7% Missouri 865 520 67.270 10.772 16.0% Montana 283 193 25.466 4.112 16.1% Nebraska 486 180 25.167 3.981 15.8% Nevada 161 32 6.619 0.687 10.3% New Hampshire 256 145 22.804 2.623 11.5% New Jersey 1044 618 95.824 11.702 12.2% New Mexico 341 91 16.717 0.912 5.4% New York 1894 1315 186.879 27.901 14.9% North Carolina 1411 728 111.791 16.806 15.0% Congressional Research Service 13 Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding State North Dakota Number of fire/EMS departments Number of applications Federal funds requested ($millions) Federal funds awarded ($millions) Funds awarded as a % of funds requested 322 153 21.491 2.944 13.6% 1338 1062 171.359 24.795 14.4% Oklahoma 772 397 52.973 6.278 11.8% Oregon 360 231 37.603 8.185 21.7% Pennsylvania 2635 2255 342.725 37.401 10.9% Rhode Island 101 74 12.840 1.378 10.7% South Carolina 592 419 59.058 10.257 17.3% South Dakota 345 179 23.363 1.933 8.2% Tennessee 649 660 92.595 15.529 16.7% Texas 1883 775 132.007 18.382 13.9% Utah 221 120 17.539 0.909 5.1% Vermont 255 104 13.314 1.046 7.8% Virginia 822 327 57.327 7.738 13.4% Washington 543 357 67.575 11.361 16.8% West Virginia 476 365 55.026 6.642 12.0% Wisconsin 901 713 98.293 13.862 14.1% Wyoming 135 51 7.779 1.023 13.1% 7 8 1.354 0.074 5.4 Ohio Puerto Rico Northern Marianas Not available 2 0.497 0 0 Virgin Islands Not available 2 0.437 0 0 Guam Not available 2 1.145 0 0 Total 30,185 21,015 3212.427 454.403 14.1% Sources: Department of Homeland Security (FY2008 application and awards data as of 6/10/2009) and firehouse.com (number of firehouse/EMS departments, updated June 2009). Author Contact Information Lennard G. Kruger Specialist in Science and Technology Policy lkruger@crs.loc.gov, 7-7070 Congressional Research Service 14