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Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Program

Grants to Kentucky Fire Departments to
Enhance Service in Rural Communities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Department for Natural Resources - Division of Forestry - Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

Deadline Date:

04/26/19 4:30 PM EDT Receipt


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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to Kentucky fire departments to increase the capacity to serve rural communities throughout the state. Funding is intended to improve fire protection in communities with populations of up to 10,000 persons. Funding may be used to purchase items such as training materials, Nomex clothing, tanks, gloves, hoses, lights, and more.

Program Objectives:
- Organize, train, and equip fire departments in unprotected rural areas and rural communities;
- Assist qualifying fire departments in saving lives and protecting property in unprotected or inadequately protected rural communities;
- Prevent or reduce loss of life, protect financial investments, and enhance environmental quality to revitalize rural America;
- Increase the opportunity for rural fire departments to acquire training and current information on fire prevention techniques.

Examples of VFA Projects:
- Conversion of FEPP/FFP vehicles to water tenders, engines, brush trucks, and equipment trucks.
- Purchase of fire prevention/education or training material.
- Purchase of wildland fire fighting Nomex (yellow jumpsuits, yellow shirts, green pants).
- Purchase of fire equipment and supplies to enhance wildland suppression capabilities;
- Upgrade inter-department radio communications systems, including mobile and handheld radios, base stations, and repeaters.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180543

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant funds range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- A single fire department serving a rural area or a rural community with a population of 10,000 or less (latest Census) may qualify.
- A single fire department that is currently using the National Integrated Incident Management System (NIIMS).
- Area fire departments (fire districts, townships, etc.) may serve an aggregate population of greater than 10,000 as long as the service area of the fire department includes a rural area or a rural community having a population of 10,000 or less. The VFA funding must be used to benefit the rural population.
- A single county or town with a population over 10,000 that is served by two or more fire districts operating entirely within the bounds of the county or town may qualify as long as the service area of a given fire department includes a rural area, a rural community, or the population of the fire department’s jurisdiction is 10,000 or less. The VFA funding must be used for the rural area.
- A single community with a population greater than 10,000 and having a single fire department with one or more fire stations may qualify. The fire department must have a service area that includes a rural area or community that does not exceed 10,000 in population. The VFA funding must be used only for the benefit of the rural population.
- A single community with a population greater than 10,000 may also be eligible provided the VFA funding is used entirely to support the rural community.
- A single community fire department serving a rural population greater than 10,000 and not providing protection to a rural area or to a rural community is not eligible for VFA financial assistance.
- A single community fire department that is at least 80% volunteer.

VFA funding is not authorized for:

- A single piece of equipment with a purchase value of $5,000 or more.
- No trucks, cars, ATVs or utility type vehicles.
- Capital improvements such as fire stations or pressurized water systems.
- Land acquisitions.
- Medical equipment.
- Fire hose greater than 2 1/2 inch in diameter.
- Items not used in the suppression or protection from wildland fire.
- Extrication type equipment.

Pre-Application Information:

Grant proposals must be received at the Headquarters of the Kentucky Division of Forestry by 4:30 PM EDT on April 26, 2019.

The Director will notify grantees of funding approval by July 1, 2019.

Funds are awarded on a 50/50 matching basis. The grantee must match the amount awarded by providing at least 50 percent of the total project cost. The grantee’s share of the match must be in either cash or in-kind services. The grantee's share cannot come from a federal source, and the grant cannot be used as a match for any other federal cost-share project.

Grantees will be paid on a reimbursement basis.

Contact Information:

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

Michael Harp, Rural Fire Suppression Technical Advisor

Submit application to:

Kentucky ​Division of Forestry
VFA Grant Program
300 Sower Blvd 4 SE WK#2
Frankfort, KY 40601

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Kentucky