COVID-19 cost recovery for fire and EMS departments

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance Grant Program can help your agency recover funds spent in response to COVID-19.

FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program

FEMA has implemented a streamlined project application process for COVID-19 cost recovery. This process eases the burden for organizations providing services during this crisis. Supporting documentation (see below) is still required.

How to submit an application

Complete and submit this project application online in the FEMA Public Assistance Grants Portal. FEMA will not accept paper submissions of this project application. The application is being provided to applicants and recipients in paper form here to provide guidance on what information FEMA will require from applicants if they seek reimbursement for COVID-19 related activities.

Download public assistance application

For training on how to use the grants portal and the COVID-19 streamlined project application, register for a free webinar. How to access: sign in to your account or register to request an account for your organization.

Please refer to the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide for detailed guidance on eligibility, cost reimbursement and documentation requirements. The guide contains examples of 911 and EMS costs that may be reimbursed. Refer to the FEMA public assistance application for more information.

See also: Coordinating Public Assistance and Other Sources of Federal Funding

Supporting documentation

Documenting your COVID-19 cost recovery is as easy as ...

  • Incident action plan.
  • Emergency plan.
  • ICS Form 202.
  • ICS Form 204.
  • Incident logs or reports.
  • ICS Form 214.
  • Payroll records and policies.
  • Collective bargaining agreement.
  • Inventory lists.
  • Receipts.

Incident Command System forms

A submission request for public assistance must provide complete and accurate documentation of expenses and usage. This includes standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms, Public Assistance Grant forms, verifiable receipts, personnel cost sheets and apparatus sheets (type, size, etc.). Some basic forms to use include:

Tools for tracking costs, inventory and supplies

Many fire and EMS organizations don’t take advantage of funding opportunities related to federally declared emergencies and disasters because they believe that the reporting requirements are difficult and that record keeping is time consuming.

To help, the USFA has developed simple Excel worksheets to assist you with tracking costs related to COVID-19 response and recovery. They can also help with inventory control and supply reordering. The worksheets capture common reimbursable costs as they are expended and you can customize them as needed.

Disaster response cost recovery workbook

Use these worksheets to track incidents and their combined personnel, equipment and materials costs.

PPE burn rate calculator

Use these worksheets to track how quickly PPE is used at your facility.

These worksheets are not intended to take the place of cost recovery documentation processes for those departments that are well-versed in cost recovery.

Minimum documentation: completion examples

Additional documents for departments providing fire service and/or EMS

Career (100%), government-operated
Shift records (payroll), pay policy, incident logs, and receipts for purchases and rental equipment.
Career and volunteer (combination)
Shift records (payroll), pay policy, incident logs, and receipts for purchases and rental equipment.
Volunteer (100%)
Receipts for purchases and rental equipment.
Private, Not for Profit (PNP) and For Profit organizations
Applications are submitted through the jurisdiction serviced. Additional documents include supporting plans, assignments, activities and shift records (payroll), pay policy, receipts for purchases and rental equipment, and a copy of the service agreement/contract with the jurisdiction.
The U.S. Fire Administration is committed to supporting community fire and EMS during this significant event. Please visit our COVID-19 resource page for updates.