Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant Program
The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (“TDCI”) and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office (“SFMO”) proudly announce that applications will be accepted starting Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, for $10 million in grants through the Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant Program.
Created in 2019 by legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, the program earmarks monies for the purchase of firefighting equipment by Tennessee volunteer fire departments or to help volunteer departments meet local match requirements for federal grants for purchasing equipment. Grant proceeds may be used to purchase equipment used by firefighters to extinguish fires and protect the lives of firefighters (other than fire trucks or vehicles) or the grants may be used to help fire departments pay or reimburse the cost share for federal grants that have already been awarded.
Since the program’s launch in 2020, grants totaling $6.5 million have been provided to over 100 Tennessee fire departments. The allocation of $10 million represents the largest amount yet for this vital, lifesaving program.
“The brave men and women who serve Tennessee communities as volunteer firefighters deserve the best in modern firefighting equipment in order to help them protect their communities and their fellow volunteers,” said Tennessee State Fire Marshal and TDCI Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “The Volunteer Firefighter Equipment and Training Grant Program is helping fulfill Governor Lee’s vision of strengthening Tennessee’s rural counties by helping firefighters protect lives and property. I encourage all volunteer fire chiefs whose departments may need funding to purchase equipment to apply for a grant through this program today.”
Said TDCI Assistant Commissioner of Fire Prevention Gary Farley: “Volunteer firefighters willingly put their lives on the line for their communities for little or no compensation or recognition. The program is a way to help give back to volunteers by giving department a means to acquire firefighting equipment that can help save the lives of citizens and other firefighters. Fire chiefs or county leaders who have questions about applying for this program should not hesitate to contact our team for assistance in completing a grant application.”
Applications will be accepted until Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. CT.
Eligible fire departments must hold a valid recognition from the SFMO and have a staff comprised by less than 51% full-time career firefighters.
Applications received during the submission period (Nov. 1- Nov. 30, 2023) will be scored internally and submitted to a seven-member committee who will oversee the award selection. The committee is composed of three representatives from the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association, three representatives from the Tennessee Firemen’s Association, and TDCI’s Assistant Commissioner of Fire Prevention. Per statute, the funds will be awarded equally among Tennessee’s Grand Divisions.
Departments may make application for a grant via the SFMO’s grant application website. Applicants with any questions should contact Director of Education and Outreach Michelle Price by email at email@example.com.