DEC accepting Fire Assistance grant applications

ALBANY - Applications are now being accepted for federally-funded Volunteer Fire Assistance grants through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Eligible fire companies include those that serve a single town with a population of 10,000 or less and those that serve multiple communities one of which is a rural town of less than 10,000 residents.

Only expenses directly related to fire suppression efforts are eligible for funding. These include the purchase of portable pumps, portable backpack pumps, hand tools, hoses, light-weight fireproof clothing (Nomex), hard hats, turnout gear, portable radios, generators and dry hydrants. Expenditures not directly related to firefighting, such as acquisition of land, construction of buildings and facilities, major apparatus purchases and maintenance items are not eligible for funding.

Fire departments must provide half the cost of the project being funded. All funded projects should be completed by October 31, 2010. Preference will be given to fire departments that have not received funding in the past five years under the Volunteer Fire Assistance/Rural Community Fire Protection Program.

Last year, the program allocated $456,000, which provided $1,000 grants to 456 fire departments. A comparable level of federal funding is expected for 2010.

The deadline for applications is May 15. For applications or further information about the grant program, contact DEC at (518) 402-8839,or write to NYSDEC, Division of Forest Protection, 625 Broadway 8th Floor, Albany, NY, 12233-2560.

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