COLLEGE STATION, Texas (FOX 44) – The Texas A&M Forest Service has awarded 260 rural volunteer fire departments with more than $15.7 million in assistance grants.
These grants were awarded last week, and are made possible by the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Grant Program.
The Forest Service says funds from these grants will reimburse rural volunteer fire departments for equipment purchased, such as fire trucks, training aids, slip-ons, chassis and various fire and rescue equipment. This includes the purchase of 70 fire trucks.
These rural volunteer fire department grants are applied for and distributed through Texas A&M Forest Service’s recently-released FireConnect tool, which provides both the Forest Service and rural volunteer fire departments with a streamlined grant process portal.
The Forest Service says the Texas Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program was created in 2002, and provides funding to rural volunteer fire departments for the acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry-hydrants, computer systems and firefighter training. The assistance program is a cost-share program funded by the Texas State Legislature.
The Texas Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program is currently funded to award $21 million to rural volunteer fire departments this year. The program has allocated more than $336 million to rural volunteer fire departments since its inception.
Departments interested in applying for future grants can explore grant processes and opportunities here.