augusta free press news

VDOF awards $191,000 in grants to 122 volunteer fire departments

Through its Volunteer Fire Assistance program, the Virginia Department of Forestry awarded more than $191,000 in grants to 122 volunteer fire departments across the Commonwealth, including Wilson Fire Department in Augusta County.

The grants, ranging in size from $250 to $2,500, were awarded today and will be used by the VFDs for such purchases as personal protective equipment, communications gear, water tanks for brush trucks, wildland fire specialty tools and training materials.

“The VFA program provides vital funding to the many volunteer fire departments that assist us with the suppression of wildfires across the state,” said John Miller, director of VDOF’s resource protection division.  “This money helps VFDs purchase much-needed equipment that provides for the safety of both the public and these volunteer firefighters.  I only wish we had enough funding to support all their needs.”

A total of 145 fire departments applied for grants this year, and 122 were approved. The requests for support totaled $734,998 – far more than the $191,688 VDOF had available. Since the VFA program began in 1975, the VDOF has awarded more than $3 million to volunteer fire departments throughout the Commonwealth.