COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry recently approved grant funding for 77 projects totaling $491,883 for fire departments in rural areas of Ohio through the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Program.
“Many rural fire departments in Ohio have tight budgets, and most of their limited resources focus on the crucial task of keeping emergency services up and running,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “The VFA Grant Program helps supplement fire department budgets and facilitates important purchases like firefighter personal protective equipment and essential fire suppression equipment.”
VFA Grant Program projects are focused on supporting rural fire departments and helping them continue to deliver safety services to their communities. VFA grants are open to fire departments within the ODNR Forestry Wildfire Protection Areas that serve communities with populations of less than 10,000 people. These VFA grant funds are provided to ODNR Forestry by the USDA Forest Service.
“These fire departments provide critical services to local communities by protecting the people and the forests they serve,” said Dan Balser, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “We are pleased to help fire departments by providing the necessary training and equipment needed to perform their jobs.”
Fire departments may use the grant funds to purchase UTVs, slip-in wildfire pump units, wildfire and structure fire PPE, MARCS radios, tools, and other items to support fire department operations and development. VFA grants may fund up to 50% of the total project cost, not to exceed $10,000 per grant.
Athens, Hocking, Pike, Ross, and Scioto Counties received a portion of those monies a list of fire departments receiving VFA grants can be found here.