Training grants: Opportunities, tips you need to know

Any cost that this training might create should be included in your request and cost breakdown in your application


We often might get so caught up in attempting to acquire equipment, vehicles, and new buildings that we don't consider the cost of training. Some training is most cost effective to do "in house."

CPR, ACLS, and PALS can all be taught by one or more individuals in your agency; however, they will probably need to be sent to a class for an instructor certification and instructor certifications for the individual classes.

To go further, you may be able to send some of your senior EMTs to Paramedic school and retain valuable employees.

There are many opportunities available for training funds. Most of these are offered on a state level. There are many states that currently have grant applications open for up to $4,500. This could cover all of one employee's paramedic school or part of multiple students.

Almost all equipment that is purchased will have training available from the manufacturer for all of your personnel. This can be scheduled for couple of different dates for the convenience of different shifts.

Sometimes you may have to inquire about this education and it could depend on how big the price tag was of the equipment that you purchased.

Also, in most equipment applications, there should be a training plan laid out in the narrative. This is a layout of how your organization is going to properly train its personnel on the use of any awarded project.

Any cost that this training might create should be included in your request and cost breakdown in your application.

The DHS will not even award an AFG grant if there is no training plan for the equipment that is to be purchased. Therefore, even if your agency is applying for equipment or vehicles, you can and should still consider the training aspect of the purchase, clearly state a plan for that training, and ask for the funding of that education to be included in the award.

Real-world examples
Probably the best example of a training grant that I could find is in my state of Colorado.

At http://www.cdphe.state.co.us, you can find the "CREAT" grant. The guidance is on that site, but can also be found directly at http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/em/grants/FY2012FundingGuide.pdf.

This is funding that is available on the state level, but the eligibility is broad.

This grant is available for an extensive list of uses, but "training" is included and has the same priority as much of the rest of the list.

There are only a few grants that will be solely dedicated to training. However, there are many that have training listed as the areas that are eligible for awards.

This is all to say, be diligent with your research and check all areas including different levels such as federal, state, local, and even corporate.

Many will have a cost matching requirement. This grant in Colorado, for instance, requires 50% award matching. This only requires more budgeting and planning for your projects.

Prior to any grant application, there should be a clear goal and a priority list.

Another couple of examples of what to look for are:

  • In Texas there is an opportunity available right now from the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). The title is EMS Education Grants for Rural/Frontier Counties. This is money available for training initial, refresher, and recertification courses for EMT Basic, Intermediate or Advanced, Paramedic, and instructor. More information on this grant can be found at http://www.teex.org/teex-third.cfm?area=ESTI&templateid=304.
  • Ohio has a great opportunity that is funded through the annual seatbelt fines collected by law enforcement throughout the state. In the Distribution of EMS and Trauma System Grant program, the first priority is given partly to EMS organizations for the training of personnel. For more information on this Ohio opportunity check http://ems.ohio.gov/ems_grants.stm.

There are many opportunities available. However, you must be diligent with consistent searching for any of these grants.

On the state level, there may be multiple annual grants from different sources. Checking multiple websites and doing frequent searches will be the best way to insure that you do not miss an opportunity.

FireGrantsHelp and EMSgrantshelp are excellent resources as well as simply searching for "firefighter training grants" or "EMS training grants." Also checking with state and local governments can also be successful even if it is not a large award, it may help partially fund your project and help your agency reach some of your training goals.

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