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

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

Delaware sends Type 6 engine to North Carolina

Del. engine crew in North Carolina
PHOTO: From left, Adam N. Keever of Newark and Sam Topper of Federalsburg, MD are currently serving a two-week assignment with Delaware’s Type 6 engine on the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. The team departed October 4, 2019 from Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna, Delaware.



Contact: Kyle Hoyd, Delaware Forest Service

MURPHY, N.C.  —  The Delaware Forest Service has dispatched a Type 6 engine and crew to the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. The unit will provide resource and readiness capability as a combination of drought, fuel moisture, and weather conditions have created above average potential for increased wildfire activity across the Southern Region. Delaware’s crew consists of Sam Topper of Maryland, a senior forester with the Delaware Forest Service, and Adam N. Keever of Newark, a conservation technician with DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation.

This is the first assignment of 2019 for the Delaware engine crew. In 2018, the Delaware Forest Service dispatched a Type 6 engine to battle California’s Ferguson Fire, which caused two fatalities and burned almost 97,000 acres in the Sierra National Forest and Yosemite National Park. In 2017, the Type 6 engine and crew was sent to the Eagle Creek Fire, which burned more than 50,000 acres in the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon.

“One of the Delaware Forest Service’s core missions is providing critical resources for wildfire suppression and emergency response—both locally and nationally,” said Kyle Hoyd, Delaware’s assistant state forestry administrator who oversees its wildland fire program. “We take pride in the fact that our Type 6 engine and experienced crew members can support the needs of our federal and state partners when we are called upon to serve.”


Days since rain map in Southern Region
GRAPHIC: “Days Since Rain” map in the South: A prolonged lack of rain has heightened the risk of wildfire activity in the region.


Delaware Type 6 engine and crew in North Carolina
Delaware’s Type 6 engine is shown here at the Panther Lookout on the Nantahala National Forest. The two-person engine crew is scheduled to serve a two-week assignment in the Southern Region to provide resource readiness for increased wildfire risk.