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For Release: Monday, May 15, 2017

DEC Accepting Applications for Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

Funds Provide Assistance to Rural Fire Departments Statewide

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now accepting applications for federally funded "Volunteer Fire Assistance" grants, Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The deadline for application is May 31.

The grant program, funded by the U.S. Forest Service and administered by DEC, gives selected fire departments the chance to receive 50/50 matching funds up to $1,500 to help pay for equipment that aids in firefighting. Last year, the program provided $1,500 grants to 289 fire departments across the state. This year, DEC has received a federal appropriation of $402,268 in grant money.

"These grants are a great way to help our local volunteer fire departments, which we rely on to help battle wildfires and forest fires across the state," said Commissioner Basil Seggos.

Only expenses directly related to fire suppression efforts are eligible for funding, including purchases such as portable pumps, hand tools, hoses, light-weight fireproof clothing, hard hats, 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 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, 2017.

For applications or further information about the grant program, contact DEC at (518) 402-8839, or write to NYSDEC, Division of Forest Protection, 625 Broadway 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 12233-2560 or, visit the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants web page on DEC's website.

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