Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program helps rural communities with populations of 10,000 or fewer, which includes nearly 90 percent of the Nation’s cities and towns. Firefighters, almost all of whom are volunteers, are in critical need of training and equipment. Assistance is provided to: • Establish new fire departments • Upgrade fire suppression capabilities • Train firefighters for wildland fire suppression Volunteer Fire Assistance funding is awarded almost entirely to volunteer fire departments in rural areas. It is estimated that the cost of converting the Nation’s volunteer firefighters to paid firefighters would total $37.8 billion annually. There are approximately 555,650 volunteers in 13,246 volunteer fire departments (VFDs) in the region served by Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry (NA S&PF). It only makes sense to prepare VFDs for protecting State, private, and Federal lands, especially communities at risk.
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