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Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Program

Grants to Arizona Rural Fire Departments for
Training, Equipment, and Capacity Improvement

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

11/22/17 Receipt


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Grants of up to $10,000 and grants of up to $20,000 to Arizona fire departments serving rural communities to enhance capacity to suppress and prevent wildfires. Funding may be used for non-capital equipment, supplies, fire awareness, fire prevention efforts, firefighter training, and fire district organization.

Project Categories:

-Organizing Statewide Training Programs - Limited grant funding is available to support organizing statewide training programs that provide firefighter training to multiple Arizona rural fire departments in more than one focus area or at more than one competency level. This includes programs such as fire academies that provide multiple classes at varying qualification levels. Priority is given to wildland fire training that meets National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) standards provided to firefighters from rural Arizona fire departments.

-Wildland Training for Department Personnel - Grant funding is available for the tuition and travel costs for RFD personnel to attend wildland fire training opportunities. This may include training through the state fire school, wildfire academies, community colleges, local intra- or inter-department training opportunities, out-of-state specialized classes, and other opportunities. Priority is given to advanced level training (200 level or above) and National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) classes. Funds may also be used for purchase of training equipment or aids - including projectors, simulators, slide/video programs, training tools and manuals, program development by outside sources, and other similar activities. (Examples of non-qualifying projects include: Emergency Medical Technician training and salary related costs for trainees - such as backfill or overtime costs.)

-Wildland Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Grant funding is available for Nomex clothing, hard hats, gloves, goggles, fire shelters, and line gear. (Wildland boots cannot be funded). All requests for wildland PPE require that Fire Shelters receive the highest priority if the department does not currently have shelters. Priority will also be given to those proposals requesting COMPLETE sets of wildland gear (fire shelter, Nomex shirt and pants, hard hat, and gloves.)

-Wildland Fire Awareness and Prevention Efforts - Grant funding is available to support community fire awareness and prevention activities including fire prevention signage (roadside, at fire station, community locations), paid advertisements, brochures, public service announcements, and purchase of Smokey Bear materials for distribution. (Note: Smokey Bear materials must be given away to the public free of charge.)

-Wildland Equipment and Water Handling - Grant funding is available for fire line tools (Pulaski’s, shovels, flappers, etc.) and water handling equipment (pumps, hoses, drop tanks, etc.). It is also available for renovation of equipment acquired through any recognized source for the purpose of fire protection. (Examples of non-qualifying projects include: Purchase of fire trucks or other capital equipment valued at over $5,000 per unit, building or other construction, paramedic/EMT equipment, fire hydrant construction, land purchases, routine vehicle maintenance (tune-ups, tires, etc), department identification patches, t-shirts, or promotional items.)

-Radio Communications (P25 Compliant) - Grant funding is available for purchase of P25 compliant radio equipment and accessories only.

-Fire Department Organization and Planning - Grant funding is available for costs to form an organized fire district under ARS, Title 48. Funds may also be available for planning costs to support risk assessments or hazard mitigation planning. (Examples of non-qualifying projects include: Furniture, telephone, personnel, postage, uniforms, badges, stationery or insurance costs.)

-Structural Firefighting Equipment - Grant funding is available for items such as pikes, venting saws, generators, exhaust fans, and any other equipment that is used primarily for structural firefighting.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176518

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award from this program to any single firefighting organization is $10,000 per year. Awards for statewide or regional training programs are limited to $20,000.

Term of Contract:

The program’s primary intent is to support activities in preparation for the upcoming wildland fire season. Proposed projects should be ready for implementation upon award and should be substantially achievable by spring to summer of 2018. The maximum award period will be one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible organizations include Arizona fire departments that serve a rural area or rural community with a population of 10,000 or less (based on the most recent census.) Departments must have a current Intergovernmental Agreement with Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management before funds can be awarded.

This program provides sub award of federal funding and activities must be in compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations.

Sub recipients must comply with federal Cost Principles, Uniform Administrative Requirements, and Audit Requirements of federal grants. For State and Local Governments and other organizations this includes requirements contained in Code of Federal Regulations 2CFR200.

Additional regulations governing administration of Arizona State Forestry Awards include:
-Federal, state, and local laws, statutes, rules, and ordinances as applicable;
-Sub-award agreement – a signed agreement between Arizona State Forestry and the subrecipient;
-Applicable federal or state program requirements.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Because of the new online process, two webinars will be provided for applicants interested in a step-by-step overview of the grant submittal process. The webinars will cover the same content on two different dates:

-Wednesday, October 18, 10:00 AM
-Wednesday, November 8, 10:00AM

Pre-Application Information:

The applicant must match a minimum of 50% of the total cost of the project from sources other than the federal government. For every dollar of grant funds provided, an additional dollar of non-federal investment must be expended on the project (1:1). Matching expenditures may take a number of forms, which include:

a. Actual funds expended: Funds from the fire department budget or donated by the community or other outside non-federal sources. (Funds originating from federal sources cannot be used as match)

b. In-Kind expenses: Necessary costs incurred by another organization to support the VFA project.

c. Contributed time for personnel and equipment: Donated labor and/or equipment necessary to complete the VFA project.

Applications are due by November 22, 2017

Announcements are anticipated by January 2018.

Grant funds are provided on a reimbursement basis after expenses are incurred, paid, and documented by the applicant organization.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Grants Program Manager
(602) 771-1410

Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management
1110 West Washington, Suite 100
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Questions about the application process or program may be directed to:

Byron Kimball

Fire Planning and Preparedness
Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management
1110 West Washington, Suite 100
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arizona