If your wildland fire department needs additional funding, consider applying for a Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grant. VFA grants refer to grants authorized by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1990 (Farm Bill), which provide financial assistance to rural communities for the prevention and suppression of fires. Such grants may be used to train, equip, and organize fire departments in communities with populations of 10,000 or less. How to submit a VFA grant will vary slightly depending on the state in which you apply for the grant, so here’s a general outline of what you can expect.
Items eligible for the VFA Grant Program
- Wildland basic PPE (new-generation fire shelters, fire-resistant shirts and pants, gloves, hard hats, boots, eye protectors, and turnouts)
- Necessary wildland firefighting equipment, repairs, and upgrades
- Wildland training expenses (equipment, instructor fees, tuition costs, travel expenses, classroom materials)
- Organization improvements
- Used fire trucks and other motorized vehicles
- Wildland communication equipment
- Wildland firefighting supplies (basic tools, fire line hand tools, hoses, fittings, pumps, adapters/reducers, nozzles, portable tanks, chainsaws, hydrant wrenches, generators, valves, and weather kits)
How to submit a VFA grant
Review evaluation criteria
Prior to submitting a VFA grant application, ensure that your department meets all the evaluation criteria specified by your state and that your project is eligible for funding. Doing so will give your department the best chance of getting accepted.
Complete all application forms
To receive a VFA grant, applicants will need to complete and submit a two-part application. In Part A of the application, you must provide information regarding your organization—such as areas of coverage, existing capacity, and firefighting responsibilities—and indicate who will be responsible for the grant implementation if the grant is awarded. Part B of the application involves information regarding the specific project proposal. You can find these forms on your state’s official forestry website.
Submit your application to the specified recipient prior to the state deadline
After you complete the forms, submit them via e-mail to your state’s forestry department, or follow other specified submission instructions for your state. You must submit your VFA grant application by the deadline your state has specified. The department will not consider any applications they receive after the designated application deadline.
If you have received a VFA grant for your wildland fire department that’s intended to be used for gear and other necessary equipment, you can find everything you need at The Supply Cache. Since 1991, we have supplied innovative and customized gear to enhance the safety and comfort of wildland firefighters. Our wide selection of product options includes FR brush gear and clothing, boots, field instruments, wildland fire shelters, hoses, pumps, tanks, and other necessary equipment. For more information regarding our high-quality wildland fire gear for sale, contact us today.