Forest Service Awards $40,000 to Fire Companies

PHOTO: From left, Indian River Fire Prevention Co-Chairs Robert Marmor and Roxanne Bammer, are joined by Chief Hayden Klingler, as they receive a $4,500 ceremonial check from the Delaware Forest Service’s Sam Topper for its 2021 volunteer fire assistance grant.

DOVER, Del. (July 23, 2021) — The Delaware Forest Service is awarding more than $40,000 in matching grants to 14 volunteer fire companies to provide tools and equipment to fight wildfires throughout the First State. The VFA Grant program is open to all Delaware volunteer fire departments and can provide up to $4,500 in matching grants to acquire pumps, hoses, and equipment to respond to and suppress wildfires. Since its inception, more than $400,000 has been given to enhance wildfire response in the First State.

“Delaware’s volunteer fire companies are literally the first responders to every type of emergency in their communities, including wildfires. That’s why we are proud to partner with them to provide grant funding to purchase equipment and resources to help protect lives and keep properties safer,” said Kyle Hoyd, assistant state forester and director of Delaware’s wildland fire program.

VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY GRANT COUNTY
Delaware City Fire Co. $4,500.00 New Castle
Hockessin Fire Company $2,112.51 New Castle
Volunteer Hose Co. of Middletown $410.67 New Castle
Goodwill Fire Company $252.99 New Castle
Camden-Wyoming Fire Department $4,257.00 Kent
Robbins Hose Company #1 $4,149.05 Kent
Marydel Fire Company $3,409.68 Kent
Blades Volunteer Fire Company $4,500.00 Sussex
Delmar Fire Department $4,500.00 Sussex
Indian River Volunteer Fire Company $4,500.00 Sussex
Ellendale Volunteer Fire Company $2,461.00 Sussex
Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Department $2,205.90 Sussex
Milton Volunteer Fire Department $2,112.51 Sussex
Laurel Fire Department $749.97 Sussex
Total $40,121.28

 

Dover Fire VFA
From left, Dover Fire Chief David Carey, Firefighter Michael Morris, and Assistant Chief Sierra Brown accept a ceremonial check from the Delaware Forest Service’s volunteer fire grant assistance program.

Delmar VFA grant
From left: Delmar Volunteer Fire Department Chief Joe Morris and President Andrew Rementer accept a ceremonial $4,500 check from the Delaware Forest Service’s John Petersen as part of its 2021 volunteer fire assistance grant program.

 

Blades VFA grant
From left, Blades Volunteer Fire Company Chief Jason Hudson, Assistant Chief Jason Tharp, President Ray Hastings, Capt. Lance Fleetwood, Assistant Chief Trey Jewell, Lt. Ernie Melson, and Chief Engineer Earl Chaffinch, Jr. receive a ceremonial $4,500 check for its 2021 VFA grant from the Delaware Forest Service’s John Petersen.


Grants Can Help Volunteer Companies Fight Wildfires

Felton Fire Dept.
Felton’s volunteer fire company assisted on a controlled burn in Lewes last month.

 

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Forest Service’s 2021 VFA Grant program is open to all Delaware volunteer fire departments and can provide up to $4,500 in matching grants to acquire pumps, hoses, and equipment to respond to and suppress wildfires. More than $350,000 has been given to enhance wildfire response in the First State since the program’s inception. Applications must be received by the Delaware Forest Service office by regular mail no later than June 20, 2021. No email submissions will be accepted.  Awards will be made within 7 business days so that awarded projects can begin. Applicants are asked to take note of the submission instructions at the bottom of the application.

Mailing Address:

Delaware Forest Service Wildland Fire Program
VFA Grant Application
2320 S. DuPont Hwy.
Dover, DE 19901

Last year, the Delaware Forest Service awarded almost $19,000 in VFA grants to six Delaware volunteer fire companies:

  • Farmington ($1,100)
  • Hartly ($4,196)
  • Laurel ($3,740)
  • Middletown ($4,500)
  • Millsboro ($3,816)
  • Selbyville ($1,510)

Grant applications materials:

Priority will be given to fire companies that:

  • Have not received DFS Grant Funding within the past three years,
  • Had members attend the 2020-2021 (S130/S190) wildland fire classes, and
  • Companies with members who participated in the Delaware Forest Service’s 2021 annual fire camp.

No vehicles (trucks/UTV’s/ATV’s/Trailers), structural firefighting gear (turnout coats, hardhats, gloves, lights, rescue saws, etc.) can be purchased with this funding. Funding is for wildland firefighting ¾” to 1 ½” forestry hose, wildland nomex clothing, wildland hardhats, brush unit pumps/skids, and wildland fire hand tools. Chainsaws can be purchased with funding however they cannot be used/modified into rescue saws.

If you have any questions about the application process or what can be purchased, please feel free to contact Kyle Hoyd at (302) 698-4548 or by email at Kyle.Hoyd@delaware.gov.

“This is a great opportunity for volunteer fire companies to obtain wildland firefighting equipment at little or no cost,” said Kyle Hoyd, Delaware’s assistant state forester who oversees its wildland fire program. “Companies can acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) for wildfire response, fire hose, brush unit upgrades, or chainsaws for wooded operations—these are just a few of the items can help them respond to wildfires in the state.”

 

 


State Auditor Kathy McGuiness Releases Delaware Volunteer Fire Service Special Report

DOVER, DELAWARE – Today, Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness released the Delaware Volunteer Fire Service Special Report. This year, the Auditor’s Office estimated that the Delaware volunteer fire service saved the state taxpayers over $244 million for fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.

The volunteer fire service has a long-standing and proud tradition in the State of Delaware. Volunteer firefighters devote a great deal of time and personal sacrifice — they are the backbone of the operation of a 2020 volunteer fire company, providing social, community, and financial value. For over 200 years, these volunteer fire companies have been a part of the fabric of Delaware communities.

“These volunteers not only sacrifice their time and energy, but they also saved the state taxpayers more of more than $244 million this past fiscal year,” said State Auditor McGuiness. “Volunteer first responders save lives and my special report recognizes their value while ensuring transparency to the Delaware taxpayer.”

This year, Delaware’s volunteer fire service is dealing with a pandemic posing several challenges for first responders. Volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel face a high likelihood of exposure to the virus, in addition to the monetary losses of holding fundraisers and events.

“First responders are on the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic,” said McGuiness. “We should not only give them the recognition they deserve, but also give our support to upholding the longevity of the volunteer fire service in Delaware.”

I recommend Congress pass additional stimulus funds that includes funding to state and local governments. The new stimulus should prioritize firefighters who are on the frontlines of this virus to make sure they have the appropriate supplies, personal protective equipment, and funding to continue providing these necessary services to the public. In the immediate term, the Governor should allocate CARES Act funding to these volunteer companies to ensure their current needs are satisfied. Lawmakers should also create a fund independent of Grant-in-Aid to extend the longevity of the volunteer fire service in Delaware.

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

Click here to download the report: https://auditor.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2020/11/FINAL-FIRE-FY-2020.pdf

Contact: Alaina Sewell, Executive Assistant, Alaina.Sewell@delaware.gov302-857-3931

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Delaware Forest Service awards volunteer fire grants

Hartly VFA grant check
Hartly Volunteer Fire Company Deputy Chief James Read (at left) and Chief James Fox (right) received a ceremonial check for $4,196 from Delaware’s assistant state forester Kyle Hoyd (center). Hartly’s grant will help it purchase wildfire equipment and tools.

 

Middletown Check 2020
From left, Michael Schusteritsch, 2nd Assistant Chief at Middletown’s Volunteer Hose Company (27), accepts a ceremonial check for $4,500 from the Delaware Forest Service’s James Dowd. The grant will help purchase wildfire equipment and tools.

 

Contact: Kyle Hoyd
Wildland Fire Program
kyle.hoyd@delaware.gov

DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Forest Service’s Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program has awarded more than $18,000 to six volunteer fire departments to help boost their capability and readiness to respond to wildfires.

“Delaware’s volunteer fire companies (VFC’s) are vital to the Delaware Forest Service because they provide much of the manpower and resources to fight wildfires in the state. The VFA grant program offers funding to fire companies for expenses such as repairing pumps and skids on brush units and providing wildland fire tools and personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition to this grant program, the Delaware Forest Service also maintains a supply cache for wildland fire tools and forestry hose at its state forests, which helps fire companies swap out used tools at no cost,” said Kyle Hoyd, Delaware Forest Service’s assistant forestry administrator. “We hope to continue our working relationship with local fire companies throughout Delaware by continuing to provide technical, educational, and financial support.

The VFA Grant program is designed to help volunteer fire companies underwrite the acquisition cost of pumps, hoses, and equipment to respond to and suppress wildfires. Since its inception, more than $350,000 has been awarded to enhance wildfire response in the First State.

2020 Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

Volunteer Fire Company City County Award
Volunteer Hose Company (27) Middletown New Castle $4,500
Farmington Volunteer Fire Co. (47) Farmington Kent $1,100
Hartly Volunteer Fire Co. (51) Hartly Kent $4,196
Laurel Fire Department (81) Laurel Sussex $3,740
Millsboro Volunteer Fire Co. (83) Millsboro Sussex $3,816
Selbyville Volunteer Fire Co. (88) Selbyville Sussex $1,510
Total $18,862

 


Grants up to $4,500 for Volunteer Fire Departments

 

DOVER, Del. — Delaware volunteer fire departments that respond to rural wildfires can apply for matching grants up to $4,500 from the Delaware Forest Service’s 2020 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Equipment Grant Program. Since its inception, the program has provided more than $350,000 to enhance wildfire response in the First State. The application deadline is Wednesday, May 13, with awardees notified by June 1. All requests must show a 50-50 match in either cash or in-kind services, such as volunteer hours spent on training or responding to field fires. Projects and purchases must be completed by August 1, 2020.

Grant materials are available at the links below:

“This is a great opportunity for volunteer fire companies to obtain wildland firefighting equipment at no cost to their company,” said Kyle Hoyd, Delaware’s assistant state forester who oversees its wildland fire program. “Brush unit upgrades, personal protective equipment (PPE), chainsaws for wooded operations—these are just a few of the items that can be obtained through this grant opportunity.”

All applications must received at the Forest Service’s Dover Headquarters (2320 S. DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901) by regular mail at the close of business (COB) on that day. No emailed or walk-in applications will be accepted. Applicants are asked to take note of the submission instructions at the bottom of the application.

Priority will be given to applicants that have:

  • Not received VFA grant funding from the Delaware Forest Service in the past three years
  • Members attend the 2019-2020 (S130/S190) wildland fire classes, and
  • Members participate in the Delaware Forest Service’s 2020 annual fire camp.

Funding cannot be used for vehicles (trucks/UTV’s/ATV’s/Trailers), structural firefighting gear (turnout coats, hardhats, gloves, lights, rescue saws, etc.) can be purchased with this funding. Funding is for wildland firefighting ¾”-1.5” forestry hose, wildland nomex clothing, wildland hardhats, brush unit pumps/skids, and wildland fire hand tools. Chainsaws can be purchased with grant funds, however they cannot be used/modified into rescue saws.

If you have any questions about the application process or what can be purchased, please contact Kyle Hoyd at (302) 698-4548 or at Kyle.Hoyd@delaware.gov