Where would we be without all of the hard-work and dedication of our Hudson Valley volunteer fire fighters? These men and women run in when the rest of us are running out. Our local fire departments are what they are because of their dedication and the hours of training they go through.

As with any organization though, equipment can wear out, get damaged, or simply stop working. In addition, new equipment that could help make a job safer or more effective becomes available, but paying to repair, replace, or purchase new equipment isn’t always easy, but here’s some good news.

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The Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for federally-funded ‘Volunteer Fire Assistance’ grants. If awarded, fire departments will receive 50/50 matching funds up to the amount of $1,500. Only expenses directly related to fire suppression efforts are eligible for funding including  portable pumps and backpack pumps, hand tools, hoses, light-weight fireproof clothing (Nomex), hard hats, etc.

There are, or course, guidelines as to which departments are eligible to apply, whether your department serves a single town, multiple communities, or a town with a larger population. You can get all of the requirements here, plus download the application. The deadline to apply is May 31.