There are grants available to fire departments for many different needs.



Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) – Improves the capability of Iowa’s rural volunteer fire departments to protect lives, structures, and natural resources in rural and wildland/urban interface areas.



VFA Grants:

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forestry Bureau, working in coordination with the US Forest Service has grant money available for Iowa’s rural fire departments to help with equipment in battling wildfires.

The grants offer funding assistance for wildfire suppression equipment, slide in units, hoses, nozzles, adapters, portable tanks and pumps, personal protective equipment, and communications equipment.  If a fire department has a special need that can be tied directly to wildland fire suppression, this grant allows for such special requests.

Fire departments should have received direct mailings in mid – July that contained information about the grants.

Fire departments should send a Wildland Fire Report to Gail Kantak, fire supervisor with the DNR’s Forestry Bureau, whenever they respond to a wildland fire or provide assistance to a prescribed or controlled wildland fire.  Departments actively returning these reports can receive priority points in the Volunteer Fire Assistance grant application scoring process.

“It is important for rural fire departments to return these reports so we can assess the actual demands on our rural fire departments as a result of wildfire activity,” Kantak said.  The wildland fire reports will be compiled locally and nationally and will be reported to Congress.

The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Application package and the Wildland Fire Report form are also available at

The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Applications are due October 15, 2015.  The grant provides 50 percent reimbursement for wildland fire equipment with a maximum reimbursement grant of $3,500 per department.

Wildland Fire Report Form should be submitted as wildland fires are responded to and as prescribed/controlled fires are assisted with.

The Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau Fire Program opportunities outlines the programming opportunities available to Iowa’s fire suppression agencies by the Iowa DNR Forestry Bureau in cooperation with federal, state and local partners.

For more information, contact Kantak at, 515-233-8067 or 515-233-1161.




FEMA Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program – A program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), grants are awarded to fire departments to enhance their ability to protect the public and fire service personnel from fire and related hazards. Three types of grants are available: Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG), Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S), and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER).

Assistance to Firefighter Grants – The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations.
AFG Grants Home

Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) – The Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) grants support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to target high-risk populations, firefighter safety and mitigate high incidences of death and injury. Examples of the types of projects supported by FP&S include fire prevention and public safety education campaigns, juvenile fire setter interventions, media campaigns, and arson prevention and awareness programs.
FP&S Grants Home

SAFER Grants – The SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations in order to help them increase the number of trained, “front-line” firefighters available in their communities.
SAFER Grants Home

For more information on any of the Assistance to Firefighter Grants go to