Funds assist with purchase of wildland firefighting equipment for rural fire departments
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for $976,622 in Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant funding to help rural fire departments protect public safety and natural resources. The application deadline is Nov. 15.
"When wildfires break out in different parts of the state, DEC's forest rangers are often joined by members of volunteer fire departments," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “This grant program bolsters the local capacity to fight wildland fires, so firefighters can protect their family, friends and neighbors, and their surrounding communities.”
The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant program is funded by the U.S. Forest Service and administered by DEC forest rangers. Fire departments will receive 50/50 matching funds up to $2,500, a $1,000 increase from last year. In 2022, the program provided $1,500 grants to 444 fire departments.
A press release stated, “Only expenses directly related to wildland firefighting suppression efforts are eligible for funding. These include the purchase of portable pumps, portable backpack pumps, hand tools, fire hose, approved lightweight fire-resistant clothing, hard hats, turnout gear, portable radios, generators and dry hydrants. Expenditures not directly related to firefighting, such as search and rescue, acquisition of land, construction of buildings and facilities, major apparatus purchases, and maintenance items are not eligible for funding.
“Eligible fire departments include those that serve a single town with a population under 10,000; those that serve multiple communities, one of which is a rural town of less than 10,000 residents; and fire departments in towns with a population of 10,000 or more that meet the application requirements. Fire departments that receive a grant award must complete all required grant paperwork.”
For applications and additional information about the grant program, visit the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2364.html, contact DEC at 518-402-8839, or write to NYSDEC, Division of Forest Protection, 625 Broadway 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 12233-2560.