Grant Details

Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Program (South Dakota)

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    Funder Type

    State Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    South Dakota Department of Agriculture


    The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program provides financial and technical assistance to South Dakota fire departments in cities or communities with a population under 10,000. The primary objectives of the program are saving lives and protecting property in rural areas. This grant enables small departments to purchase wildland firefighting equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

    In South Dakota, applicants are encouraged to use their funding to assist with their greatest need and those projects with the most benefits:

    • Multi-community / fire department projects such as a mutual-aid communications network. Projects to develop static water supplies such as dry hydrants and cisterns also provide great benefits and may enable some communities to lower their fire insurance rates. 
    • Convert FEPP vehicles to water tenders, engines, brush trucks and equipment trucks. Fire prevention activities should be conducted by fire departments to inform communities of ways to safeguard their properties and to prevent ignitions as reference in the CFFA.
    • Each fire that is prevented eliminates risks to lives, property and natural resources and saves the cost and risks of a fire department response. Activities such as the above usually generate greater benefits to the community than funding nozzles; but in some cases a department may need to buy the nozzles.

     VFA grants may also be approved to fire training academies and rural fire departments, including those operated by federally recognized Indian tribes. Training recipients must come from fire departments that qualify for VFA funding. 


    History of Funding

    None is available.

    Additional Information

    VFA funding is not authorized for purchase, construction or renovation of capital improvements such as fire stations or pressurized water systems. Loans are available through other Federal sources for these purposes.


    Jim Burk

    Jim Burk
    523 East Capitol Avenue, Joe Foss Building, 3rd Floor
    Pierre, SD 57501
    (605) 393-8011

    Mike Jaspers

    Mike Jaspers
    523 East Capitol Avenue, Joe Foss Building, 3rd Floor
    Pierre, SD 57501
    (605) 773-5425

  • Eligibility Details

    A single fire department serving a rural area or a rural community with a population of 10,000 of less is eligible.

    Area fire departments (fire districts, townships, etc.) may serve an aggregate population of greater than 10,000 as long as the service area of the fire department includes a rural area or a rural community having a popluation of 10,000 or less. The VFA funding must be used to benefit the rural population.

    A single county or town with a population over 10,000 that is served by two or more fire districts operating entirely within the bounds of the county or town may qualify as long as the service area of a given fire department includes a rural area or a rural community or the population of the fire department's jurisdiction is 10,000 or less. The VFA funding must be used for the rural area.

    A single community with a population greater than 10,000 and having a single fire department with one or more fire stations may qualify. The fire department must have a service area that includes a rural area or community that does not exceed 10,000 population. The VFA funding must be used only for the benefit of the rural population. Similarly a single community with a population greater than 10,000 that also provides fire protection to an adjoining rural community of 10,000 or less population by contract, may also be eligible provided the VFA funding is used entirely to support the rural community.

    Deadline Details

    Applications are open from March 15, 2021 to April 30, 2021. Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2021. A similar deadline is anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    Individual awards will be up to $4,000.  Cost sharing/matching of 50% the total project cost is required.  

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