Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program The Volunteer Fire Assistance grant program assists 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. The program provides assistance to: • Establish new fire departments, • Upgrade fire suppression capabilities, and • Train firefighters for wildland fire suppression. Volunteer Fire Assistance funds are 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 in the geographic region served by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry (NA S&PF). It is not only economical but makes sense to prepare volunteer fire departments for protecting State, private, and Federal lands, and especially communities at risk.
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