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PREPARING FOR WILDFIRES
  • FIRE DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS: RURAL VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (HB 2604)

    The Texas Rural VFD Assistance Program provides funding to rural VFDs for the acquisition of firefighting vehicles, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, dry-hydrants, computer systems and firefighter training. It is a cost-share program funded by the Texas State Legislature.

    If your department was impacted by Hurricane Harvey and you are seeking assistance through the Rural VFD Assistance Program (HB 2604), please complete, sign, and and submit this Application for Assistance. Applications must be *received* by Oct 31 to be considered for Harvey Relief.


     + Eligibility

    Recognized, non-profit VFDs operated by its members are eligible. Any part-paid, part-volunteer fire department with 20 or fewer paid members is eligible.

    Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program Federal Funding Requirements

     + Rates & Guidelines

     

     

     
    Rural VFD Assistance Program
    Cost Share Rates and Guidelines

    Element

    Rate 

    Guidelines 

     LARGE BRUSH TRUCK/TENDER
     

    90% of the actual cost no to exceed $200,000 in grant assistance per vehicle. For CAFS equipped vehicles, the maximum grant assistance per vehicle is $218,000 

    Minimum Standards and Specifications for Firefighting Vehicles 

     Notice Regarding New Fire Trucks 
     
    Suggested Specs. for Mid-Size CAFS  

    SMALL BRUSH TRUCK     

    90% of the actual cost not to exceed $100,000 in grant   assistance per vehicle. For CAFS equipped vehicles, the maximum grant assistance per vehicle is $118,000

    TRUCK CHASSIS

    90% of the actual cost not to exceed $45,000 in grant assistance per small truck chassis or $90,000 per large truck chassis

    SLIP-ON UNIT
     

    90% of the actual cost not to exceed $20,000 in grant assistance. For CAFS equipped slip-on units, the maximum grant assistance per unit is $38,000

    Suggested Specs. for Mid-Size CAFS  

    FIRE and RESCUE EQUIPMENT

    See Fire and Rescue Equipment Guidelines for a list of eligible items

    75% of the actual cost not to exceed $20,000 in grant assistance

    Fire and Rescue Equipment Guidelines

    STRUCTURAL GEAR

     
    See Structural PPE Guidelines for a list of eligible items   

    90% of the actual cost not to exceed $15,000 in grant assistance

    Structural - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidelines

    WILDLAND GEAR
           
    See Wildland PPE Guidelines for a list of eligible items

    90% of the actual cost not to exceed $8,400 in grant assistance

    Wildland - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Guidelines

    TRAINING AIDS
    includes:
    training library
    projector
    rescue mannequins
    smoke machines
    practice fire shelters
    equipment simulation devices
    computers (one per award)

    Other items may be eligible. Please contact TFS for approval prior to purchase.

    100% of the actual cost not to exceed $8,000 in grant assistance

     

     DRY HYDRANTS

    100% of the actual cost of components not to exceed $1,200 per installation with a maximum of $8,400 in grant assistance

     

     TRAINING TUITION

    100% of the actual cost of tuition not to exceed $125 per day up to a maximum of $625 per trainee per school. The ANNUAL MAXIMUM for all Training Tuition grant assistance per department is $12,500.

     Training Tuition Guidelines

     + Apply

    *Please note: forms have changed. Ensure you are submitting the most current revision (dated 09/01/2017). Old applications will no longer be accepted after Jan 1, 2018.*
    Complete the applicable form and submit by e-mail (preferred), mail, or fax.

    1. Application for Fire Department Assistance - EQUIPMENT GRANTS(TFS-FO-401) (PDF, 214KB)
    2. Application for Fire Department Assistance - TRAINING TUITION (TFS-FO-402) (PDF, 196KB)
    3. Application for Fire Department Assistance - TEEX ADDENDUM (TFS-FO-402-A) (PDF, 173KB)
      • Only applicable for students applying for Meal Cards & Lodging for TEEX Summer Municipal School
    4. Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (W-9) (PDF, 117KB) 


    To revise your application, complete the Revision Request Form (PDF, 176KB) and submit it via mail or fax.

    IMPORTANT: A W-9 form must accompany each application. Both forms must be signed and dated.

    Those departments seeking relief or assistance post Hurricane Harvey are advised to complete, sign, and submit thisApplication for Assistance. (TFS-FO-401-HH) (PDF, 284KB)
    Applications must be *received* by Oct 31 to be considered for Harvey Relief.

     

     + FAQS

    Q: If my department was previously awarded a grant, but later canceled the request, can we reapply?
    A: Yes, the prior termination has no bearing on future grant opportunities.

    Q: If my department was awarded a grant for fire or rescue equipment, does it lessen our chances to receive a grant for a truck?
    A: No, the two grants do not reflect on each other.

    Q: Does a large or small chassis count as a truck award?
    A: Yes, both would be considered truck awards.

    Q: If my department is not reporting wildland fires in the Fire Department Directory, does that lessen our rating?
    A: No, the rating for your fire department will not decrease due to lack of reporting wildland fires in the FDD.

    Q: Is my department required to order wildland and/or structural PPE from the Firesafe Program upon award of a cost-share grant?
    A: A grant recipient is not required to order wildland and/or structural PPE from the Firesafe Program.

    Q: If my department cancels a Training Tuition grant request, does that penalize our department in any way?
    A: No, a cancellation does not affect future grant requests.

    Q: If my department is approved for a Training Tuition grant and the dates of the training change, do we need to submit a new application with the new dates?
    A: Please complete a Revision Request-Rural VFD Assistance Program (TFS-FO-410) and submit it via email or fax to 979-845-6160. In order for the revision to be approved, the Revision Request must be submitted before the course start date.

    Q: What should my department do if the number of trainees change in connection with a Training Tuition reimbursement grant?
    A: Please complete a Revision Request-Rural VFD Assistance Program (TFS-FO-410) and submit it via email or fax to 979-845-6160. In order for the revision to be approved, the Revision Request must be submitted before the course start date.

    Q: Does the manufacturer of an apparatus have to be a Texas vendor?
    A: Please see Notice to Purchasers of New Fire Trucks (PDF, 6KB).

    Q: If my department receives an award for a large or small chassis, can we assemble an ambulance or other specialized vehicle?
    A: All vehicle awards must meet the Minimum Standards and Specifications for Firefighting Vehicles (PDF, 9KB).

    Q: Why would our fire department be skipped on the Funding Meeting Summary?
    A: To ensure a wide distribution of funding, departments which are approved in one of the higher dollar value categories (vehicles, truck chassis, slip-on units, etc.) will not be considered for additional approvals during the same funding meeting (except in the training and PPE categories).

    Applicants in the Fire Equipment and Rescue Equipment categories may be skipped if they have received $10,000 or more in grant assistance during the previous 12 months.
    Training Tuition grants are not included as part of this $10,000 prior approval amount.

    If a department has multiple requests in similar categories (such as fire equipment and rescue equipment), approval may be granted for one request with the department allowed to select its priority.

    Q: How does our department receive a grant for a preowned vehicle or equipment?
    A: Approval is given on a case by case basis. TFS must give clearance prior to the purchase.

    Preferred maximum vehicle age
    5 years for vehicles rated less than 22,000 pounds GVWR
    Age limits vary for vehicles rated greater than 22,000 pounds GVWR

    TFS must make an evaluation of preowned equipment in advance. Following the evaluation, a grant for a preowned vehicle or equipment will be authorized or denied.

    Q: How long must a grant vehicle be maintained in firefighting service by the original acquiring department?
    A: All vehicles acquired under this program must be maintained in firefighting service for a period of 10 years from the reimbursement check date. If a cost-shared vehicle is sold before the end of its 10-year service life under this program, the possessor may be required to reimburse the program for 90% of the proceeds from the sale of the vehicle. The possessor must notify the Texas A&M Forest Service in advance and must obtain clearance to sell or transfer a grant vehicle before the end of its 10-year service life. The Funding Committee may waive on a case-by-case basis the requirement that 90% of the sale proceeds be returned to the program.


     

     + Contact

    Texas A&M Forest Service     
    200 Technology Way, Suite 1162
    College Station, Texas 77845-3424
    Attn: RVFDAP

        

    Phone: 979-458-6505
    Fax: 979-845-6160
    Email: 2604@tfs.tamu.edu

               

     

    SUBMIT A SUGGESTION

    Texas A&M Forest Service places a high value on public input and participation. The public is welcome to submit suggestions regarding the Rural VFD Assistance Program (HB2604) by email, mail, fax or in person.

     

    pdf logo Suggestion Form

     

    Email:2604@tfs.tamu.edu


    Mail: Attn: RVFDAP Suggestions
             Texas A&M Forest Service
             Capacity Building Department
             200 Technology Way, Suite 1162
             College Station, Texas 77845-3424

    Fax: 979-845-6160

    Public Meeting...

    A public meeting is held each year to receive public input and suggestions regarding the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program. The meeting is publicized fourteen days in advance. It takes place at the TFS Headquarters and is open to everyone.

    For more information...

    Call: 979-458-6505

     

     

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