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DEC offers firefighting grant funding for rural departments

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled nearly $1 million in Volunteer Fire Assistance grant funding to bolster rural fire departments in their mission to safeguard public safety and preserve natural assets. Applications are open for these funds until November 15.


DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos emphasized the vital collaboration between DEC’s Forest Rangers and local volunteer fire departments during wildfire incidents. He noted, “This grant amplifies local abilities to combat wildland fires, empowering firefighters to protect their communities more effectively.” The program, supported by the U.S. Forest Service and overseen by DEC Forest Rangers, offers fire departments a 50/50 matching fund, now capped at $2,500—a rise from the previous year’s $1,500. In 2022, 444 fire departments benefited from these grants.

Eligibility for the grant is limited to specific wildland firefighting equipment, including items like portable pumps, fire-resistant clothing, and portable radios. Departments serving towns with fewer than 10,000 residents or meeting certain application criteria can apply. More details on the grant and application procedures can be accessed on the DEC website or by reaching out to the DEC directly.