Monday, May 2, 2016

Volunteer firefighters urged to apply for available grants

ALBANY – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- 57th District) is encouraging local volunteer fire departments to apply for the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant  program before the May 31 deadline.
The program administers 50/50 matching grants that assist rural fire companies with the purchase of wildland firefighting equipment, such as portable backpack pumps, Nomex protective clothing, hand tools, hard hats, hoses, portable radios and dry hydrants. Eligible fire departments may receive grant funding up to $1,500 for the purchase of firefighting equipment.
“Outfitting a firefighter can cost upwards of $10,000, and equipment often needs to be custom fit to provide the best safety protection. Additional gear, such as portable radios and backpack pumps can push these costs even higher. Obtaining grant funding is often the best way to keep volunteer first responders safe, without bankrupting a department’s budget,” Senator Young said.
“This year the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has about $400,000 in matching grant funds that will be distributed. I strongly encourage all our local departments to apply for this important funding,” said Senator Young.
Applications are scored based on population served by the department, I.S.O. rating and additional criteria. If funding is not awarded to a department, a point for use in future years is added for each year the applicant submits a VFA grant application and does not receive a grant award.
Additional information, including eligibility criteria and application forms can be found by visiting For further information, contact: Lynne Korona, DEC Division of Forest Protection, by calling (518) 402-8835 or email questions to