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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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Application Email Russell.Fenton@dep.nj.gov
Application Deadline February 1, 2018
Notification Date If your proposal is accepted your department will be notified within one month of the receipt of your application and a grant agreement package will be provided to you for signatures. You will be required to return the completed grant package within 30 days.
Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants (VFA)

Purpose of Funding
To provide unprotected rural volunteer fire companies with cost-share funding opportunities to purchase firefighting equipment, supplies,  personal protective equipment and training in order to support wildland firefighting in their respective communities.

Source of Funding
USDA Forest Service- through the National Fire Plan. The total amount of funding available for Volunteer Fire Assistance grants is $145,000.

Statutory Citation
N.J.S.A. 13:1D-9 (q), (r ) and N.J.S.A. 13:9 et seq.

Who is Eligible

  1. A single fire department serving a rural area or a rural community with a population of 10,000 or less is eligible (using the latest Census data).
  2. 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.
  3. A single county or town with a population over 10,000 which 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 or 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.
  4. 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 a population of 10,000. The VFA funding must be used only for the benefit of the rural population. Similarly, a single community with a population greater than 10,000 that also provides fire protection by contract to an adjoining rural community of 10,000 or less in population may also be eligible provided the VFA funding is used entirely to support the rural community.
  5. A single community fire department serving a 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.
  6. Special consideration will be given to fire departments that cover areas containing significant wildland/urban interface zones.

Qualifications Required for Consideration
There is no maximum amount an eligible fire department or community may request, however only a maximum of $10,000 can be granted depending on the number of requests  and the funding available. In no case, will the Forest Fire Service fund more than 50% of an accepted application.

Fire Departments may apply for funding of multiple projects or purchases.   The applicant’s matching contribution must be from sources other than federal grants.

Grant Limitations
VFA funding is not authorized for purchase, construction or renovation of capital improvements such as fire stations or pressurized water systems.

forestApplication Procedures
Prospective applicants must submit an Application titled “Volunteer Fire Assistance- Request for Reimbursement”, which can be obtained from their respective Forest Fire Service Division Office or at www.njwildfire.org.    A comprehensive description of the projects and/or equipment to be considered is required for ranking your application. Applicants shall also complete form AD-1048, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion – Lower Tier Covered Transactions,” available at https://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD1048.PDF.

For More Information or to Request an Application, Please Contact
Russell Fenton, Assistant Division Firewarden
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
New Jersey Forest Fire Service
Mail Code: 501-04
PO Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
609-292-2977
Cell 609-209-2792
Russell.Fenton@dep.nj.gov

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Last Updated: July 11, 2018