NVFC Asks Congress to Restore Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program Funding

On February 19, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) asked congressional appropriators to restore the funding level for the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program to $16 million in FY 2016. VFA provides 50/50 matching grants to volunteer fire departments that protect communities with 10,000 or fewer residents to help them purchase equipment and training related to wildland fire suppression. 
“VFA is a critical lifeline for thousands of small, volunteer fire departments that respond to wildland fires,” said NVFC Chairman Philip C. Stittleburg. “Volunteer fire departments provide approximately 80 percent of the initial attack on wildland fires in the U.S. Local response is the key to suppressing wildland fires in the early stages before they rage out of control.”
In FY 2015, Congress appropriated $13 million for VFA. Providing $16 million would restore VFA to the FY 2010 level. Since then, VFA has been cut or received level funding every year.
Read the full letters that the NVFC, along with the Congressional Fire Services Institute and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, sent to House and Senate appropriators.