Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Program
Each year, federal funds are provided to the DFE Forest Fire Program to assist towns with the purchase of forest fire equipment or to provide forest fire training.
The VFA program is funded through the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (USFS). The objective of the VFA program is to improve the capacity and capability of fire departments in rural areas and rural communities to prevent and suppress wildfires. (A rural community is defined as having 10,000 or less population.)
Applicants can request from $1,000 - $2,500 in grant funds. This is a 50/50 match grant and is paid on a reimbursement basis only.
Yearly Grant Timeline:
- June 15 - Aug 1: Grant application period closes at 4:00 PM, and may be submitted electronically.
- Aug: Applications are reviewed by members of the Division of Forest Environment and the Rhode Island Forest Fire Advisory Committee.
- Sept: Applicants are informed of the status of their application and sent grant documents for signature. Applicants immediately return the signed and notarized documents to the grant administrator.
- Contract time frame: Date of Purchase Order received – June 30, 2021: Projects are started and completed.
- Oct 1: Final deadline for returning signed grant documents. Applicants that have not returned their signed contract documents by this date will have their funds re-awarded by the grant administrator and the awarded funds will no longer be available to the applicant.
- June 15: Deadline for project completion. If the project is not completed by this date, no reimbursement will be made.
- July 30: Reimbursement and match documentation are due, if not submitted previously. Reimbursement requests may be submitted upon project completion if occurring sooner than the end of the grant period, however, reimbursement requests submitted after this date may not be reimbursed.