FEMA makes additional $100 million available to fire/EMS for COVID-19 response

Grant application period open: April 28 to May 15

FEMA is providing $100 million in supplemental funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) and related supplies to the fire service community to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act through the Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program.

Details about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are changing rapidly and it’s easy to get information overload, but first responders need to be prepared to encounter cases. COVID-19 presents as a respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. It is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and spread via respiratory droplets with close contact, like the flu.

Guidance for EMS and PSAP from the CDC

The CDC has published interim guidance on COVID-19 for all first responders. This includes the fire service, emergency medical services (EMS), law enforcement and emergency management officials. If you anticipate close contact with persons with confirmed or possible COVID-19 in the course of your work, please read this guidance.

The interim guidance suggests specific modifications to EMS practices for patient assessment, personal protective equipment (PPE) use and aerosol-generating procedures (e.g., intubation, CPR, etc.). EMS employers can use the guidance to assess current practices, procedures and training and ensure they are up-to-date.