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DCR Announces New Round of Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

BOSTON — Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Carol Sanchez announced that $65,542 has been made available in the 2015 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grant funding program for eligible towns. Funding for this program, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, is administered by DCR’s Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry.

“The Volunteer Fire Assistance grants are an extremely important funding tool to assist qualifying local fire departments that might not have the means to pay for vital equipment and training needed to combat wildland fires within their borders,” Sanchez said. “The recent outbreak of brushfires across the Commonwealth only reinforces the value of the VFA grants.”

VFA grants are available to nonprofit rural call or volunteer fire departments that provide service primarily to a community or city with a population of 10,000 or fewer. Fire departments must be comprised of at least 80% call or volunteer firefighters, must be recognized as a fire department under state law, and must be compliant with the National Incident Management System.

Applications with eligibility guidelines were mailed recently to the Commonwealth’s forest wardens in all eligible communities. The completed application must be received by June 12 by Program Coordinator Roxanne Savoie, DCR Bureau of Forest Fire Control, Hampton Ponds State Park, 1048 North Road, Westfield, MA 01085. For questions regarding the application process, call (413) 538-9092, ext. 400.

DCR, an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. The agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, visit www.mass.gov/dcr, or e-mail [email protected].

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