Funds for personal protection gear, fire shelters, radios available through grants.
Funds for personal protection gear, fire shelters, radios available through grants.
The Nevada Division of Forestry is requesting applications from volunteer fire departments in need of wildfire equipment. Grants are available for personal protection gear, new generation fire shelters, P25 compliant radios, fire hose and other equipment needed to combat wildfires across the state of Nevada.

Fire officials must act fast, if they haven’t already, to meet this year’s June 1 deadline for applications according NDF program official Ryan Shane. Federal funds of about $200,000 are anticipated for the 2017 grant program courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry program.

Shane is also requesting that each volunteer fire department list needs and priorities for wildfire training and wildland apparatus that could be funded with more federal or state grants in the future.

“The purpose of this funding is to improve rural fire departments’ readiness for and response to wildfires particularly those (fires) in the wildland urban interface,” an NDF press release states.

Sean Burke, Assistant Fire Chief at the Grass Valley Volunteer Fire Department, said his agency has and will continue to benefit in more ways than one from the NDF grants and training programs.

“Grass Valley VFD has received fire shelters and P25 radios in the past few years,” he said last week. “This year I intend to ask for some personal protective gear for our firefighters. We also have a very good relationship with the local NDF firefighters and we send some of our people to their wildland fire training program. We have gotten 3 new folks through that in the past 2 years.”

P25 or Project 25 compliant radios provide standardized digital channels for interagency communication during mutual aid response to fires, accidents and other emergencies. They enable communication between federal, state and local fire departments, law enforcement and other agencies.

Fire shelters are mandatory safety equipment carried by all wildland firefighters to provide “last ditch” but limited protection from wind-driven, fast-moving flames and hot gases. Fire crews must always have escape routes in mind to avoid deploying the fire shelters that may or may not save their lives.

Wildland firefighters must also wear fire-resistant shirts and pants, heavy duty leather boots and gloves.

NDF grant applications have been mailed to rural fire departments across the state or the application can be found on the NDF website at http://forestry.nv.gov/grants/. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2017 at 5 p. m. For more information, contact Shane at 775-684-2511.