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Shared Services Grant Program


After a very successful round of Shared Services Grants in 2010, and thanks to the Fire Service Advisory Committee and Commissioner Ramona L. Dohman, the State Fire Marshal Division has once again obtained grant funding to administer, for another round of Shared Services grants.  These funds can be used for outside consulting services that explore a shared services model for multiple fire services, or implementation funds to continue recommendations in the original or existing studies.

Shared Services refers to any number of methods where fire and rescue service organizations are doing something together to become more effective or more efficient.  The shared service concept does not necessarily mean a savings in terms of money nor does it mean that fire departments must formally merge together to be able to share services.  A Blueprint for Shared Services” document is available for viewing that contains several Minnesota fire service models of shared services.  The final reports of the eight original studies conducted in 2010 are also available here


Anticipated Individual Grant Amount:

It is anticipated that two or more fire service agencies will jointly apply for grant funding to study ways, or implement ways of increasing efficiency, effectiveness, and/or cost savings through voluntary and cooperative shared services.  We anticipate available funding will pay for individual grants of no more than $25,000 to $40,000.  A local match of at least 10% of the grant award is required.  Local match may include administrative costs to manage the consultant contract.  The expected outcome of the study will include a report delivered to the State Fire Marshal that outlines possible alternatives for the parties to share fire and rescue services.


Eligible Applicants:

Any two or more fire service agencies applying for a grant must include a letter from all participating jurisdictions indicating their intent to cooperate in the study.  The letters must be from the governance entity, e.g. a letter from the City Council for a city Fire Service.  A Fire service agency is defined as having a Fire Department Identification number (FDID) from the State Fire Marshal Division.

Grants will be made to the lead jurisdiction that submits the grant application.  The grant contract must be signed by a representative of the lead jurisdiction having the legal authority to sign contracts for that jurisdiction.  This may be documented by a resolution or official minutes from the jurisdiction and will be required at the time that the grant contract is to be signed.  It is not required for the grant application.


Application Process:                                                                                                                  

All applications will consist of a Project Information Sheet and a Project Application Narrative.  All forms and information are available electronically on the end of this page under "Forms". 


Grant application process announced

October 1, 2012

Grant application packet deadline to DPS/SFMD

November 16, 2012

Grant award notice

January 1, 2013

Shared Services grant end date and due date for feasibility study completion.  All Grant funds must be expended by the end of the state Fiscal year.

June 30, 2013

Grant fiscal documentation completed

July 12, 2013


Eligible Use of Funds:

These funds are to be used to pay for a third party (consultant) feasibility study that addresses the study requirements listed below and the options for shared services including but not limited to those provided in “A Blueprint for Shared Services”.  If two or more fire departments have already done a study utilizing the previous round of grant funds or have purchased a study with their own funds and are attempting to implement some of the findings of the study, they are also eligible to apply.



Study Requirements:

The study should take into account the following subjects:

  • Governance of regional fire and rescue shared service districts that take into account geographic area, population density and other factors that encourage voluntary participation of communities and fire service providers.
  • Funding sources for operation of the service district, cooperative training among component departments, and equipment procurement.
  • Efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response and overall benefit to the population served,
  • Employment issues associated with combining existing agencies and entities into a regional or multi-jurisdictional shared services entity.
  • An analysis of best practices in the creation and functioning of public safety-related shared services delivery models.
  • A preliminary set of operating procedures for cooperative shared fire and rescue service systems.

Application Review Process:

The review process will use a scoring method which evaluates applications based upon the following criteria:



Describe how the applicant envisions that their study will address or implement  the Study Requirements listed above.


Number of jurisdictions committed to the study (more jurisdictions, more points)


Size of population and geographic area served by applicants (similar to above)


Describe your history of working together successfully


Describe any unique approach or ideas for your study



Grant Process:

An evaluation committee will review and score the applications based on the above criteria and present a recommendation to the Commissioner of Public Safety who will make the final determination.  Once a grant request has been awarded, a formal grant agreement will be prepared and must be signed by the grantee organization and the Department of Public Safety.  Once the signature process has been completed, the grant is considered fully executed and becomes a legally binding agreement between the grantee organization and the Department of Public Safety.


The grant funds are available on a cost reimbursement basis where costs are reimbursed after they are incurred and paid by the grantee agencies.  The grantee organization will be required to provide to the State Fire Marshal the written report on the results of the study and a written summary of all expenditures including documentation on how the grant and matching funds were spent.


Application Submission:

A complete application packet must be received by 4:00 PM CST November 16, 2012, preferably by email to:

Jerry Rosendahl
State Fire Marshal
445 Minnesota Street, Suite #145
St. Paul MN 55101-5145


Fax: 651-215-0541

Proposals not received by this deadline will not be considered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that their proposal is received on time.

Any questions about the application process should be directed to Jerry Rosendahl at (651) 201-7201, or Bruce Roed (651) 201-7218.  All answers to questions about the process will be provided to all interested parties.

(Please notify Jerry Rosendahl or Bruce Roed that you have downloaded the forms and are interested in the grant in order to receive this information).


Application Checklist:

  • Letter from each participating jurisdiction indicating their intent to cooperate in the study
  • Grant Program narrative signed by individual submitting the application
  • Project Information Sheet

We anticipate a lot of interest and will receive a number of applications for a limited amount of funds available.  While we would like to fund every project applied for, that may not be possible this round. Negotiations on proposals may occur; you may be asked to clarify statements in your application or to modify your budget.  Saving this document and a copy of your complete application package will make it easier for you to make any necessary modifications later.


Shared Service Grant Application Information
Program Project Information Sheet 
Program Budget Request