Leadership

MAKING FEDERAL RURAL FIRE PROGRAMS WORK FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT

Issue 7 and Volume 158.

The federal government offers a number of programs designed to assist rural fire departments seeking to improve their capacity to mitigate the hazards of wildfires in their communities. Although these programs share many of the same goals, they are each administered by different federal agencies, each having different rules, deadlines, and application processes. For rural chiefs hoping to tap into some of this federal largesse, the rewards can be great; successful departments receive grants for new apparatus, equipment, facilities, and training. Unfortunately, the array of programs can be confusing to anyone not familiar with the system, and the application process can be frustrating, scaring off some deserving organizations. This article will help demystify the federal rural fire programs, pre-sent an overview of policies impacting and shaping these programs, and provide information regarding seven programs sponsored by the following federal agencies: the Departments of the Interior (USDI), Agriculture (USDA), Homeland Security…

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