DEC announces ‘Volunteer Fire Assistance’ grant opportunities

Published Aug 5, 2018 at 9:00am

Monetary grants to help volunteer fire departments are now available through an application process with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The deadline for the “Volunteer Fire Assistance” grant applications is Aug. 10.

The grant program is funded by the U.S. Forest Service and administered by DEC Forest Rangers. If awarded, fire departments receive 50/50 matching funds up to $1,500. Last year, the program provided $1,500 grants to 319 fire departments, authorities said. 

DEC received a federal appropriation of $514,215 for 2018.

“The Volunteer Fire Assistance 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 DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos in a release.

“Last year, we were able to help 319 fire departments across the state purchase much-needed firefighting equipment.” 

Only expenses directly related to fire suppression efforts are eligible for funding. These include the purchase of portable pumps, portable backpack pumps, hand tools, hoses, light-weight fireproof 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 requirements listed on the application. 

Fire departments that receive a grant award must complete all required grant paperwork by Nov. 30, the DEC announcement added.

For applications or further information about the grant program, contact the DEC at 518-402-8839 or visit the website www.dec.ny.gov.