Great news! The Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program was retained and continued by the 84th Texas Legislature. Beginning Sept. 1, 2015, the annual grant budget for the program increases to $24.3 million (previously $12.8 million).
Texas A&M Forest Service will implement the following changes to the Rural VFD Assistance Program (HB 2604) effective Sept. 1, 2015:
Cost-share assistance for Training Tuition has increased. The new reimbursement rate is 100 percent of the actual cost of tuition not to exceed $125 per day up to a maximum of $625 per trainee per school. The ANNUAL MAXIMUM for Training Tuition grant assistance per department is $12,500.
A new program element identified as Training Aids has been created. The new program element absorbs the former training library and training equipment program elements, but also provides a pathway for acquiring rescue mannequins, smoke machines, practice fire shelters, equipment simulation devices, computers (one per award) and other items to enhance training experiences. Cost-share assistance for the Training Aids program element is set at 100 percent of the actual cost not to exceed $8,000. Grant recipients are encouraged to share training resources locally/regionally to benefit the greatest number of trainees. All outstanding requests for training libraries will be transferred to the Training Aids category.
DoD FIREFIGHTER PROPERTY PROGRAM (FFP) — SLIP-ON UNITS
As a pilot project, a new program element has been established to aid departments in the conversion of certain Department of Defense Firefighter Property. Departments that receive a 2.5-ton cargo, 5-ton cargo or a tractor style DoD FFP truck on or after Sept. 1, 2015 may be eligible for a slip-on unit grant to assist in converting the truck into a fire apparatus. The FFP Slip-On Unit program element reimbursement rate is set at 100 percent of the actual cost not to exceed $20,000 in grant assistance (with or without CAFS). Receiving fire departments are responsible for other conversion costs required to bring the unit into service, which will serve as the department’s in-kind contribution.
To apply, please submit:
Application for Fire Department Assistance – Federal Property (Form TFS-FO-450)
Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification (Form W-9)
o Required only for those applicants requesting a slip-on unit.
To learn more about the DoD FFP, visit texasfd.com/FirefighterPropertyProgram.
Cost-share assistance for slip-on units has increased. The new reimbursement rate is 90 percent of the actual cost not to exceed $20,000 in grant assistance. For CAFS equipped slip-on units, the maximum grant assistance per unit is $38,000.
Cost-share assistance for the Dry Hydrant program element has increased. The new reimbursement rate is 100 percent of the actual cost of components not to exceed $1,200 per installation with a maximum of $8,400 in grant assistance.
According to NFPA’s web analytics, Fire Prevention Week is a hot topic. Fire Prevention Week has been rising in popularity on the NFPA website for weeks, and currently sits solidly in the #1 spot in terms of searches. After nearly 93 years as a national public health campaign – Fire Prevention Week’s enduring messages still ring true so be sure to get the word out of your firehouse, school or community organization is gearing up for a fire safety activity, educational campaign or community open house.
The success of Fire Prevention Week did not happen by accident. The powerful branding of Fire Prevention Week is a result of relentless, proactive, ongoing public awareness efforts. Similarly, if you’re hosting an event at the firehouse or planning to partner with a local youth organization to drive home fire safety tips - why not let news contacts, bloggers and social media followers know so that your community outreach and the lessons of Fire Prevention Week are shared with an even larger audience? Don’t be shy. Spread the word about your Fire Prevention Week activities – and in the process make your little corner of the world a safer place to live.
To stage an effective and engaging awareness campaign, follow NFPA’s tips for a successful Fire Prevention Week event. Work with your organization’s leadership, get colleagues on board, take pride in your initiative, project the best possible image, partner with other community resources for food donations, promotional assistance and hands-on support – and create a high-visibility program that is fun and informative. Make plans to have NFPA Fire Prevention Week materials on hand and bring out your Sparky costume for visual impact. Consider the photo and social media opportunities that await if you bring together young children, parents, first responders and Sparky, the iconic fire safety dog.
Be sure to communicate with news professionals in advance via a Fire Prevention Week press release. Don’t forget to target TV weather forecasters, too, who often do live shots from outdoor events. Write an Op-ed piece for your chief or the top dog at your organization and send it along to your local newspaper or community website. For more than 80 consecutive years, the President of the United States has signed a proclamation for Fire Prevention Week, signaling national support of fire departments as they teach fire safety in their communities. Why not have a local elected official make a proclamation and join you at your Fire Prevention Week event for added media cache?
Fire Prevention Week is the perfect time to engage your community and inform area residents about fire safety tips. Take the time to focus on media outreach, promote your fire awareness efforts – and maximize your Fire Prevention Week exposure in 2015.
Re-Blogged from this Original NFPA Article
2016 Emergency Responder Safety, Training & Wellness Grant - VFIS of Texas and Texas Mutual Insurance Company are pleased to again sponsor a need-based grant program for fire departments and non-profit EMS organizations in Texas. Grants will be awarded to reimburse departments for 1) 2016 individual member certification dues/fees, 2) Incident Safety Officer, Leadership or Driver/Operator course expenses and 3) Health/Wellness Programs. Grants up to $5,000 will be awarded based on financial need and are intended to encourage all departments to participate in certification, training and health/wellness programs to prevent emergency responder deaths and injuries. Departments will need to apply for the grant, expend the funds and then send in copies of receipts and proof of training attendance in order to receive the grant funds. Grant deadline is December 31, 2015.
Who is eligible:
•All-volunteer or mostly-volunteer fire departments and non-profit EMS organizations that serve apopulation of 100,000 or less and are legally organized in Texas.
What is eligible:
• Part I – 2016 annual individual certification dues for SFFMA (NOT department dues) or TCFPcertification fees for departments that ARE NOT currently participating in a certification program
• Part II – Student course materials and travel expenses (up to $150 per day per person) for IncidentSafety Officer, Leadership or Driver/Operator training during calendar year 2016 (travel expensesinclude travel to/from, meals/tips, hotel/dorm)
• Part III – Cost for equipment or professionals to develop an in-house Health & Wellness Program
How it works:
•Departments can apply for Part I, Part II, and/or Part III.
•Departments should apply for assistance first (completed grant application and W-9) by 12/31/15
•Applications will be reviewed and notice will be sent to those awarded a grant by 1/31/16
•Departments will then be responsible for sending in paid receipts and course completioncertificates for each student attending the requested training programs in order to receivereimbursement
How to Apply:
SUBMIT COMPLETED APPLICATION FORM USING ANY OF THREE METHODS BELOW.
VFIS of Texas
3420 Executive Center Dr, #301
Austin, TX 78731
Fax to: 512-448-9929
E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
VFIS of Texas NEWS
Here you will find helpful information regarding firefighters, ems responders, and updates in insurance policies.