New Funding Opportunities for First Responders

FEMA Funding Opportunity

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program

Since 2001, FEMA's AFG program has awarded over $8 billion to help firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. 

On January 29, 2024, FEMA announced the opening of the latest application period for the FY 2023 AFG Program. To help keep communities and firefighters safer, FEMA is announcing new funding for critically needed resources to: 

  • Better equip and train emergency response personnel;
  • Enhance operational efficiencies;
  • Foster communications interoperability between emergency responders; and 
  • Support community risk reduction and resilience. 

In addition, these grants will provide direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations, and state fire training academies. The application period will close on Friday, March 8, 2024, at 5 p.m. ET.

The funding notice and technical assistance documents for this program are available at and on the FEMA AFG webpage. Additional information about upcoming webinars to assist applicants is also available on the FEMA website.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please see the AFG program's FAQ page or contact FEMA Office of External Affairs:

EMS Bureau Funding Opportunity

The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of EMS has announced a new recruitment and retention initiative for:

  • Individuals who obtain an EMS certification; and 
  • EMS agencies who engage in recruitment and retention activities. 

This initiative is the result of Act 104 of 2022, which allocated funding from the consumer fireworks tax to several programs to support these critical emergency services. Individuals and EMS agencies can now apply for these program via the online EMS Registry ( portal. Applications are awarded on a first come, first serve basis.

EMS Agency Recruitment and Retention Expense Reimbursements

Pennsylvania licensed EMS agencies are eligible to receive reimbursement of expenses related to recruitment and retention, up to $1,250 per fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Reimbursement will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis until the funding has been exhausted.

Individual EMS Provider Tuition Assistance

Individual tuition reimbursements will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis each quarter of the fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) until the funding has been exhausted. Pennsylvania residents who receive the following EMS certifications after July 1, 2023, are eligible to have a portion of their tuition reimbursed:

Certification Level Amount
Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Up to $300
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Up to $800
Advanced Emergency Medical Technician (AEMT) Up to $1,000
Paramedic Up to $5,000