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Volunteer fire assistance grants now available from Delaware Forest Service

Delaware Forestry Service
Felton's volunteer fire company assisted on a controlled burn in Lewes in April

The Delaware Forest Service is accepting applications for its 2021 Volunteer Fire Assistance grant program.

The Delaware Forest Service offers the grants annually to First State volunteer fire companies seeking assistance to buy forestry-related equipment.

“The overall goal of this is to equip them with the proper PPE, which is lighter weight than their typical turnout gear - hoses that are used in the woods, wooded areas, the tools - chainsaws, things of that nature is what we’re really looking to be able to purchase for them,” said Kyle Hoy, assistant forestry administrator with the Delaware Forest Service.

He notes all Delaware’s fire companies are ready to assist the Delaware Forest Service with wildland firefighting, should they be needed.


“The fantastic part about Delaware is - with all the volunteer fire companies that we have in our state - they all work very, very close with one another. They’re there to support each other. And they are the first responders," said Hoy. "How it generally works is - after they get into a situation where they feel they need additional assistance, they will reach out to us. And they reach out to us generally for the more specialized equipment, such as the fire plows.”

This year, volunteer fire companies can apply for up to $4,500 in matching grants. The deadline to apply is June 20, 2021.


Hoyd says priority will be given to fire companies that:

  • Have not received DFS grant funding in the past three years,

  • Had members attend the 2020-2021 wildland fire classes

  • Companies with members who participated in the Delaware Forest Service’s 2021 fire camp.

The program began in 2006 and has since given out more than $350,000.


Last year, the Delaware Forestry Service awarded $19,000 in grants to six Delaware volunteer fire companies, including those in Farmington, Middletown, Hartly, Laurel, Selbyville and Millsboro.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.