Division of Forestry Provides More Than $394K to Support Rural Ohio Fire Departments


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry recently approved grant funding for 57 projects totaling $394,274 for fire departments in rural areas of Ohio through the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant program.

“We are pleased to be able to provide funding to local volunteer fire departments for the acquisition of upgraded firefighting equipment,” said Dan Balser, Chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “In addition to the training we provide, this equipment will increase the efficiency of our frontline partners in wildfire prevention and suppression.”

VFA Grant projects are focused on supporting rural fire departments and helping them continue to deliver safety services to their communities. VFA grants are open to fire departments that serve communities with less than 10,000 people within the ODNR Forestry wildfire protection area.

The grant funds may be used by fire departments to purchase UTVs, slip-in wildfire pump units, wildfire and structure fire PPE, MARCS radios, tools, and other items to support fire department operations and development. VFA grants may fund up to 50% of the total project cost, not to exceed $10,000 per grant.

Many rural fire departments in Ohio have tight budgets, and most of their limited resources must be focused on absolute essentials for keeping emergency services up and running. ODNR Forestry’s VFA grant program helps supplement fire department budgets and facilitates important purchases like firefighter personal protective equipment and basic fire suppression equipment.

VFA grant funding is provided to ODNR Forestry from the U.S. Forest Service.

The Ohio Division of Forestry promotes the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit Forestry.ohiodnr.gov. Follow us on Facebook @odnrforestry and on Instagram @odnrforestry (instagram.com/odnrforestry).

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Editor’s Note: A list of fire departments receiving VFA grants can be found here.