Hats off to all volunteer firefighters in CNY who give up their free time to help others while putting themselves in danger.

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now accepting applications for federally funded "Volunteer Fire Assistance" grants and the deadline for applications is August 10.

The Volunteer Fire Assistance grants will financially help local volunteer fire departments who assist in battle wildfires and forest fires across the state. Last year 319 fire departments in NYS were issued $1500 toward purchasing necessary equipment directly related to fire suppression. The DEC has received a federal appropriation of $514,215 for 2018. The Press Release states:

Only expenses directly related to fire suppression efforts are eligible for funding. These include the purchase of portable pumps, portable backpack pumps, hand tools, hoses, light-weight fireproof clothing (Nomex), hard hats, turnout gear, portable radios, generators and dry hydrants. Expenditures not directly related to firefighting, such as search and rescue, acquisition of land, construction of buildings and facilities, major apparatus purchases and maintenance items are not eligible for funding.

Fire Departments eligible for the grant:

  • Those that serve a single town with a population under 10,000.
  • Those that serve multiple communities, one of which is a rural town of fewer than 10,000 residents; and fire departments in towns with a population of 10,000 or more that meet the requirements listed on the application.
  • Fire departments that receive a grant award must complete all required grant paperwork by Nov. 30, 2018.

For applications or further information about the grant program, contact DEC at (518) 402-8839, or write to NYSDEC, Division of Forest Protection, 625 Broadway 3rd Floor, Albany, NY 12233-2560 or, visit DEC's website.