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Finding and Securing Grant Funding for Fire Departments

Many fire departments – metro or volunteer – are faced with budgetary constraints. Luckily, there are many programs that exist to help service members find funding for fire departments: private assistance, public funding, donations, and grants are all available to help adequately support fire departments. But how do you find these programs? And what’s the easiest way to obtain funding?

Due to their public nature, fire departments across the world routinely struggle to secure funding at the national, state, and local levels, but grants can be a huge asset in subsidizing the costs of running and maintaining a department. Grants are available to help fund everything from additional staff to new apparatus and gear.

Since many grants for fire departments are designed to fund a specific initiative, they all tend to have different requirements – which can translate into a lot of time spent researching and applying for grants.

In order to find what grant best suits department needs, it is important to identify your department’s needs and restrictions up front.

How can I get funding for my fire department?

The first step in finding firefighter grants is to look towards your local organizations for support. Talking with non-profits, city officials, and other private businesses that might be willing to offer assistance can be more immediately impactful than relying on national programs for assistance.

After you’ve found a selection of grants for fire departments that you’d like to apply for, it’s important to pay close attention to the application guidelines. Failure to follow those guidelines is the leading cause of denied applications. The majority require that you provide:

  • Current operating budget
  • Relevant call data
  • Inventory lists

Keep grammar, formatting, and font specifications in mind as well, as these can also affect the review and submission of your grant application. You’re looking to provide as much relevant context as possible, so truly take the time to “sell the story” of your fire department and how your lack of funding impacts your ability to Protect Your People or respond to calls.

What do I do after I submit my grant application?

Once an application gets submitted, finalized funding decisions can range from three to 12 months depending on the local, state, or federal grant representative and vetting process. If awarded grant funds for your fire department, it is important to keep track of any measure of success that comes from the funded support. It is also important to keep track of award management – copies of reports submitted and funding receipts, so supported departments stay compliant with current and future audit reporting.

If denied, requesting a source of feedback and understanding of why the application was turned down assists with showing a proactive approach by strengthening relationships for future submissions and networking.

What resources are there for firefighter grant funding?

Prioritizing tasks and allocating time outside of fire department responsibilities makes grant writing challenging. There are more departments than grant funding opportunities, making the application process extremely competitive. With the growth of support in various initiatives, programs, and equipment upgrades, many have found that utilizing professional external services can help educate and assist with writing and funding solutions. These grant funding assistant agencies appeal to comprehensive research, improving a department’s chance at securing contracts.

Contact Lakeland Industries to find out more information on what resources are available for firefighter grants.

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Jared Johnson carrying hose in firefighter challenge
“I chose Lakeland not only because their gear spec is one of the most custom, athletic fit, and mobile options on the market today, but because the standard they set internally to ensure firefighters have the best and safest gear options available is at their highest level of concern.”

Jared Johnson, 3rd Generation Firefighter
Team ATX | the Austin Fire Department

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