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The Department of Homeland Security opened the application period for the Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program on Monday, March 1, 2004.  It will be open through Friday, April 2, 2004.  The Department invites fire departments throughout the United States to apply for assistance under this program.  

The Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) is administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic Preparedness.  The program assists rural, urban and suburban fire departments throughout the United States.  These funds are used by the nation's firefighters to increase the effectiveness of firefighting operations, to improve firefighter health and safety programs and to establish or expand fire prevention and safety programs.  Through the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2004, Congress provided $745.6 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and transferred administration of the program from FEMA to ODP.  

The FY 2004 AFGP closely mirrors previous years' programs with minor changes and enhancements.  All the program areas and activities available last year are eligible for funding again this year.  Emergency medical services activities, however, are not an independent program area for the 2004 program year.  Rather, EMS activities have been incorporated into the appropriate activities under the Operations and Firefighter Safety Program.  Additionally, this year all Federal grantees must obtain a DUNS number, (a unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet).  The Federal government will use the DUNS number to better identify related organizations that are receiving funding under grants and cooperative agreements and to provide consistent name and address data for electronic grant applications.  

Additional information about DUNS numbers can be found on the Dun & Bradstreet Web site.  There is no charge to obtain a DUNS number, and it is the applicant's responsibility to obtain one.  It is recommended that applicants request a DUNS number as soon as possible by calling 1-800-333-0505.

As in past years, the Application and Program Guidance are automated and will be available online on March 1, 2004. They will both be accessible from the ODP Website  and USFA Website.  Additionally, the websites contain other useful background information on the AFGP, including a tutorial on applying for the program, a list of Frequently Asked Questions and the currently scheduled AFGP workshops.  Fire departments that have questions regarding the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program should contact the fire grant help desk at 1-866-274-0960 or at  

On March 1, 2003, the Office for Domestic Preparedness became a part of the Department of Homeland Security.  The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-296) designated ODP as the principal Federal agency responsible for the preparedness of the United States for acts of terrorism, including coordinating preparedness efforts at the Federal level, and working with all State, local, tribal, parish, and private sector emergency response providers on all matters pertaining to combating terrorism, including training, exercises, and equipment support.  To support this mission, ODP administers a number of programs that provide a wide-array of support to our nation's emergency preparedness and response community.  For more information on the Office of Domestic Preparedness, please contact the ODP Website.