The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is accepting applications for the 2020 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program until Sept. 11. Departments may now apply for VFA Wildland Fire Suppression Kits to supplement their department's wildland firefighting capacity.
“Volunteer fire departments across the state are a valuable partner in protecting life and property from wildfire,” State Forester David Arnold said. “Our Volunteer Fire Assistance Program ensures county and municipal volunteer fire departments have the resources they need to safely and efficiently fight fire.”
The VFA Wildland Fire Suppression kits will consist of wildland fire personal protective equipment, tools, and other supplies with a total value of approximately $3,000.
Volunteer fire departments serving communities with populations of 10,000 or less are eligible. Fire departments must have a current Memorandum of Understanding with the Tennessee Division of Forestry dated after June 30, 2015.
In 2019, the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Program allotted $275,778 to assist 106 volunteer fire departments across the state build their capacity to fight wildfires. The Division is moving from cost share grants awarded to fire departments for wildland fire equipment to providing this equipment directly to eligible departments. For added savings and efficiency, these departments will no longer be required to provide a 50 percent match and purchase this equipment themselves.
Applications for the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program are accepted Aug. 3 through Sept. 11 and must be submitted to the Assistant District Forester in the applicant’s area. A list can be found at www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/staff.html. For more information about the grant, visit www.burnsafetn.org.
About the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry (TDF)
As Tennessee’s lead agency in wildland fire, the division’s Fire Management Unit works to minimize damage to forest resources and personal property while giving priority to firefighter and public safety. TDF prevents and suppresses wildfires, promotes hazard reduction activities, implements beneficial prescribed fire, and supports wildland fire training for volunteer fire departments and other wildland firefighters. The division supports interagency cooperation with local area fire departments, mutual aid partners, and civic leaders regarding wildland fire activity and all hazard incident management. Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.