The state is accepting applications from rural fire departments for grants under the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant program, Senator James L. Seward said today. Seward is chairman of the Senate Majority Task Force on Volunteer Emergency Services.
"I hope that upstate rural departments will take advantage of the grants available under this important program," Seward said. "The program is intended to provide funding to help rural departments pay for equipment that otherwise might be out of their reach financially."
The program provides funding on a 50/50 split basis with the applicant. Eligible equipment includes portable backpack pumps, Nomex protective clothing, hand tools, hardhats, small diameter hose, portable radios and dry hydrants. Ineligible expenses include land acquisition, building improvements and major apparati. Points are awarded based on the community's population, ISO rating, and other factors.
The funding, a total of about $300,000 this year, is from the federal government.
The deadline for applications is May 15. Applications and instructions can be downloaded from the DEC's website at http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/protection/rangers/firegrants.html or are available from Senator Seward's main district office at 607-432-5524.
"This is a great program to help our rural fire departments, which operate on a shoestring," Senator Seward said.