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June 19, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich announces Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant applications now being accepted
More than $300,000 available to local fire departments and fire protection districts for rural and wild land firefighting efforts

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that applications are now being accepted for the 2008 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant Program, through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).  $325,000 in federal funding from the USDA Forest Service is now available for local fire departments and fire protection districts, statewide.
“This money helps save lives and the environment.  Whether it’s used to purchase more up to date and more reliable equipment to battle fires or to provide more specialized training for firefighters, I encourage fire departments and fire protection districts to see if they are eligible for these federal funds,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
The grants are administered by the IDNR Office of Resource Conservation Division of Forest Resources.  The funding for the program is from the federal FY 2006 national allotment for rural fire protection, under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, as amended by the Forest Stewardship Act of 1990.
The grant funds are made available through the state to fire departments and fire protection districts for rural and wild land firefighting efforts.  Funds can be requested for firefighting equipment and training.  The funds will be distributed to firefighting agencies on a competitive basis as a 50/50 cost share reimbursement grant, with a maximum award of $15,000.
This is the 32nd year for the Illinois VFA Grant Program.  In total, during the previous funding periods, IDNR has approved approximately 1,350 grants to rural fire protection agencies, totaling more than $4 million. 
Instructional information and the grant application can be found on the IDNR Web site at:
http://dnr.state.il.us/orc/habitat_resources/forestry/vfa/index.htm.  For program questions, contact Tom Wilson, IDNR Forest Protection Program Manager, at 618/498-1627 or by e-mail at
The deadline to submit the grant application is 3:00 p.m. September 30, 2008.  The applications may be submitted via postal service mail or delivered to the IDNR Division of Forest Resources (Attn: Tom Wilson), One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.


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