Where would we be without all of the hard work and dedication of our Hudson Valley volunteer firefighters? 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.

Not only do we really on them to protect our homes and communities, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also relies on them for help in fighting wildfires and forest fires across the state.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for federally-funded ‘Volunteer Fire Assistance’ grants. Last year, they were able to give $1500 to 319 fire departments across the state.

If a fire department is awarded a grant, they 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, of 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 August 10.