Two Valley fire departments are receiving grant funding from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) through the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Program.

West Point Fire Department in Columbiana County is receiving $10,000 for a UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle) and slip-in unit.

The total estimated project cost is $26,523.

Meanwhile, Southington Township Fire Department will receive $10,000 for a UTV and slip-in unit as well.

The total estimated project cost for them is $22,614.08.

“The services that local fire departments provide are essential to the safety and well-being of families and properties in the communities they protect,” said Dan Balser, Chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “In addition to wildland firefighter training, we are pleased to be able to provide funding for the acquisition of upgraded equipment to our frontline partners in wildfire prevention and suppression.”

VFA Grant projects are focused on supporting rural fire departments and helping them continue to deliver safety services to their communities.

VFA grants are open to fire departments that serve communities with populations of less than 10,000 people within the ODNR Forestry wildfire protection area.

The grant funds may be used by fire departments to purchase UTVs, slip-in wildfire pump units, wildfire and structure fire PPE, MARCS radios, tools and other items to support fire department operations and development.

VFA grants may fund up to 50% of the total project cost, not to exceed $10,000 per grant.

Many rural fire departments in Ohio have tight budgets, and most of their limited resources must be focused on absolute essentials for keeping emergency services up and running.

ODNR Forestry’s VFA grant program helps supplement fire department budgets and facilitates important purchases like firefighter personal protective equipment and basic fire suppression equipment.

VFA grant funding is provided to ODNR Forestry from the U.S. Forest Service.