As grant writers know, the biggest reward is receiving that approval letter – the one that makes us do the happy dance! I write and manage grants for Yarnell Fire District (YFD). We’ve had a successful year in grants: Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) for a Source Capture Exhaust System, a grant from the Arizona Community Foundation for the Cadet Mentoring Program, a Grant from the Northern Arizona EMS Association for medical supplies, and now – the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant for Federal Year 2017.
This is a huge deal for this small rural combination department! $316,806 for a 4-year Period of Performance that will provide funding for personnel, basic firefighter and EMT training, medic training, stipends per call, uniforms, marketing, retention incentives and the Yarnell Fire Cadet Program.
In 2013, Yarnell fell victim to the Yarnell Hill Fire, a wildfire that devastated the town while taking 19 Firefighter lives from the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew from Prescott, Arizona. Yarnell lost 127 structures, which is significant in a town of only 650 residents. The Fire Department suffered tremendously due to the shrinking tax base. In 2014, YFD was awarded the SAFER Grant, which pulled them through an extremely tough economic challenge.
In 2015, they hired me as the Recruitment & Retention Coordinator and to manage the grant. This began my grant management and grant writing journey. I immersed myself in all aspects of grants and it fit me like a glove. I achieved my Grant Certification shortly thereafter. When you find something you’re naturally good at, hone your skills! The rewards are tremendous. I feel blessed to help agencies achieve their funding goals.
Congratulations to Yarnell Fire District! Keep on serving the community to the best of your ability.