Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants
Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 Volunteer Fire Assistance
The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant program is made possible by the Federal Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978. The grant is a 50/50 matching funds program. Its purpose is to make funds available to rural fire companies for the purchase of equipment such as portable backpack pumps, Nomex protective clothing, hand tools, hard hats, hose, portable radios and dry hydrants.
The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant program is funded by the U.S. Forest Service and administered by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. The Department anticipates receiving an appropriation of more than $350,000 for the 2012 federal fiscal year.
Fire departments will receive 50/50 matching funds, up to the amount of their $1,000 grant award, for the purchase of firefighting equipment. As an example, a fire department awarded a $1000 grant would need to expend $2000 on their project to receive the $1000 grant award. Fire departments must provide half the cost of the project being funded.
Program Eligibility Requirements / Restrictions
Fire departments in towns with populations of 10,000 or more may be eligible if they meet the eligibility requirements. A fire department's success or failure in receiving a grant is based on a point system with points received for:
- Population (ex: less than 1,000 = 10 points; 1,000-2,000 = 9 points, and so on)
- I.S.O. rating (ex: rating of 9 = 10 points; 5/9 = 5 points; 8 or less = 1 point)
- Newly organized department = 10 points
- Native American Indian community in protection area = 10 points
- Points will be deducted on a pro-rated basis from the total of these four factors if a grant was awarded to the fire department within the last five years.
- A point for use in future years will be added each year the applicant submits an application and does not receive a grant award.
- Only one application per local jurisdiction will be considered.
- Only expenses directly related to fire suppression are eligible for funding [purchasing portable pumps, portable backpack pumps, hand tools, hose, light-weight fireproof clothing (Nomex), hard hats, turnout gear, personal protective equipment, 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.
- Approved grant projects should be completed by October 31, 2012.
The application deadline is May 15, 2012. Any application received after the cutoff date will automatically be rejected.