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.


Delaware Engine Crew Fighting Colorado Wildfire

RANGELY, Colo. (June 28, 2021) — Delaware’s Type 6 engine and its three-man crew are part of 313 personnel currently fighting the Oil Springs Fire, located 20 miles south of Rangely, Colorado. The fire was started by lightning on June 18 and has grown to 12,613 acres with only 18 percent containment. Delaware’s crew is working on one of the fire’s priority areas, Division D, which involves the continued protection of the Dragon Trail Compressor Site. The fire is spreading moderately in a mixture of  pinyon, juniper and sagebrush.

Delaware’s crew is comprised of engine boss Samual Topper of Maryland, engine boss trainee Adam Keever of Newark, and FFT2 Bradley Melson of Milford. The crew mobilized from Blackbird State Forest last week and started work on Saturday, June 26. The National Preparedness Level was increased to 4 on a 5-point scale on June 22. Currently there are 37 uncontained large fires and a total of 50 large fires have burned 667,397 acres. To date, 30,219 wildfires have burned 1,389,087 acres across the United States.

DES crew Oil Springs
From left, Adam Keever of Newark and Bradley Melson of Milford are part of the Delaware Type 6 engine crew on Colorado’s Oil Springs Fire, which is currently 12,613 acres and 18 percent contained.

Delaware’s crew is comprised of engine boss Samual Topper of Maryland, engine boss trainee Adam Keever of Newark, and FFT2 Bradley Melson of Milford. The crew mobilized from Blackbird State Forest last week and started work on Saturday, June 26.

Fore more information, contact Kyle Hoyd, office: (302) 698-4548 or email: kyle.hoyd@delaware.gov

 


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


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
302-698-4548, kyle.hoyd@delaware.gov 

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.