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Are you doing all you can to obtain available fire grant money for your department? The Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program (FCVASGP) is open again for a short time this year. This year’s applications will be accepted from September 7 through October 21, 2016.
The office of the State Fire Commissioner encourages all volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads in the state to apply for this year’s grant program. Volunteer fire companies who also provide volunteer ambulance services are eligible to apply for both grants.
Grants awarded through this program may be used for a variety of approved expenses. Approved expenses include: station construction or renovation, the purchase and repair of equipment, training and even debt reduction.
Interested volunteer fire companies and volunteer ambulance services may apply via the State Fire Commissioner website. The website also provides some assistance for those who need a little extra help in the registration process.
Due to recent Pennsylvania legislation, career ambulance companies may also apply if they are designated as the primary EMS provider in a municipality. New legislation also allows merged companies to apply separately for a period of 10 years (previously 5 years).
Additionally, fuel costs are now considered an allowable use of this grant’s funds. Fire prevention and educational materials are also considered allowable use of grant funds. Please check www.osfc.pa.gov for full details and to apply for grant funding.
There will be a maximum grant amount of $15,000 for volunteer fire companies and $10,000 for volunteer ambulance services. A total of $30 million is available and will be awarded as part of this program.
The PA Fire Commissioner would like to remind everyone who received last year’s fire grant program to submit their final reports. If you’re having trouble with your reports, call their main office number at (717) 651-2201 and get in touch with someone from the grants department. The Commissioner’s office would like to help those having trouble so that they don’t miss out on future grants.
For a more detailed information, please check the State Fire Commissioner’s website: www.osfc.pa.gov
For those who have never applied before, the grant process may seem a little confusing. Talk to your neighboring departments. Ask around to find who is having success with their grants and what they do. Take the time to learn from each other. While there is no guaranteed process that will work 100% of the time, there are ways to improve your ability to secure grant funding. There are services out there to help departments who are struggling in obtaining grant money. These services will also help your department find and secure other, lesser-known grants to help bring in even more grant funding.
Starting in the 2017-2018 grant period, departments will need to actively report incidents to OSFC. For the purposes of obtaining the grant, this will be enforced. Departments are asked to contact Kraig Herman (phone: 717-651-2209 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org) to report which system the department is using.
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