The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is accepting grant applications for the 2018-19 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program from now until Sept. 14.
Volunteer fire departments (VFDs) serving communities with populations of 10,000 or less are eligible for this 50 percent reimbursement grant. Grants will be awarded for qualifying purchases up to $6,000. Last year, 115 VFDs received grants for a total amount of $264,368.
Examples of qualifying purchases include personal protective equipment, firefighting hand tools, communications equipment, parts and supplies for engines, and training materials.
“All areas in Tennessee are susceptible to wildland fire,” State Forester David Arnold said. “We are proud to be able to support these firefighters who serve the rural areas that rely on volunteers for fire assistance.”
Applications must be submitted to the area’s Assistant District Forester. To qualify to apply, volunteer fire departments must have a current memorandum of understanding with the Division of Forestry.
In addition to this grant, 575 VFD firefighters received wildland fire training through the VFA program in 2017. For more information about the program and examples of items that can be purchased using VFA grant funds, please visit www.burnsafetn.org/vfa.html or contact Robin Bible at 865-837-5537.