Volunteer Fire Assistance Program
Objectives of the VFA Program
- Provide financial, technical, and related assistance to rural volunteer fire departments and their communities.
- Award VFA sub-grants of up to $3000 per department on a 50/50 cost share basis to enhance wildland fire suppression capabilities.
- Enhance firefighter safety and promote the use of wildland personal protective equipment.
- Provide basic wildland fire training classes for volunteer fire department members.
Key Qualifying Guidelines
- A single fire department serving a rural area or a rural community with a population of 10,000 or less is eligible (latest Census).
- Area fire departments (fire districts, first due area, etc.) may serve an aggregate population of greater than 10,000 as long as the service area of the fire department includes a rural area or a rural community having a population of 10,000 or less.
- Federal funds will reimburse up to 50 percent of the cost to the fire department after approval and certification that items have been received and paid for by the department (50/50 match grant).
- Complete VFA guide at: http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/partners/vfa/help/guide.htm.
- Grants will not be approved for medical, rescue, or HAZMAT equipment; capital construction projects; or vehicle purchase.
Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Application Package
The 2014 VFA grant application period is now open. Click to open the 2014 Grant Call Letter for more information. During the 2014 grant application period, the MD DNR Forest Service will be distributing funds from the Federal 2014 fiscal year. Total funding available for 50/50 match grant distribution to fire departments this year from the US Forest Service is $82,500. A Department may submit one VFA grant application for a maximum grant award of $3,000 with $6,000 in qualifying expenses. Funds will be distributed on a 50% reimbursable basis foractual cost incurred by the Department up to the grant award amount. The 2014 grant application period closes on July 18, 2014.
Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants Awards
VFA grants help volunteer fire departments to build capacity for wildland fire protection in the communities they serve. In 2013, Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grants were awarded to 43 Fire Departments in 15 counties for $90,901. The total estimated project cost was $195,531. Below is VFA award information for 2004-2013.