The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced they are accepting applications for federally funded Volunteer Fire Assistance grants. The deadline for applications is June 28, 2019.
The Volunteer Fire Assistance grant program is funded by the U.S. Forest Service and administered by DEC Forest Rangers. If awarded, fire departments will receive 50/50 matching funds up to the amount of $1,500. Last year, the program provided $1,500 grants to 357 fire departments. For 2019, DEC received a federal appropriation of $541,923.
Expenses directly related to fire suppression efforts are eligible for funding, including the purchase of portable pumps, portable backpack pumps, hand tools, hoses, light-weight fireproof clothing (Nomex), hard hats, turnout gear, portable radios, generators, and dry hydrants. Expenditures not directly related to firefighting, such as search and rescue equipment, 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 requirements listed on the application. Fire departments that receive a grant award must complete all required grant paperwork by Oct. 31, 2019.
For additional information about the grant program or to view the application (PDF) and apply, contact DEC at (518) 402-8839, or write to DEC, Division of Forest Protection, 625 Broadway 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 12233-2560 or, visit the DEC website.