Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) funding supported by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), will provide financial, technical, and related assistance to rural volunteer fire departments to conduct preparedness and mobilization activities, including training, equipping, and otherwise enabling response to requests for the prevention, control and suppression of fires occurring on rural lands and threatening rural communities.

Grant Cycle

The Request for Proposals opens March 1, 2023 and closes April 1, 2023.

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A rural fire department which is defined as "an organized, not for profit, fire protection organization that provides service primarily to a community or city with a population of 10,000 or less to a rural area, as defined by the Secretary of Agriculture, whose firefighting personnel is 80 percent or more volunteer, and that is recognized as a fire department by the laws of the State. 16 U.S.C. 2106.

  • Wildland Training for Department Personnel
  • Wildland Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Wildland Equipment and Water Handling
  • Radio Communications (P25 Compliant)
  • Fire Department Organization and Planning. 
  • Formation of a NEW rural or volunteer fire district
  • Any single item costing $5,000 or more will not be eligible for grant funding consideration.
  • Construction or improvement of fire stations for housing equipment, normal operational expenses and maintenance do not qualify for RFC funds.
  • Structural PPE and equipment.
  • National Fire Incident Reporting (NFIRS) compliant by reporting ALL fire occurrences to NFIRS as required by Montana Law (MCA 7-33-2201)
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant.
  • At the time of application for a VFA grant, the applicant must hold an active Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).
  • Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion - Lower Tier Covered Transactions, Form AD-1048;
  • Each Grantee must certify that no vendor or contractor debarred or suspended from being able to work under a federal grant, according to the terms of 2 CFR Part 180, has received any money under this grant project by signing the Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion - Lower Tier Covered Transactions, Form AD-1048.
  • Taxpayer/Federal Identification Number (TIN).

Match for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant requires a 50/50 cost share match.

  • Application materials can be found on the DNRC website at: 2023 VFA Application, or by calling (406) 542-4267
  • On request an application can be sent by email or by USPS.
  • Applications can be submitted via Submittable or sent DNRC VFA Grant Program Manager at rheablankenship@mt.gov.
  • All applications are due no later than April 1, 2023

Contact Us

Rhea Blankenship
RFC Program Manager