JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Division of Fire Safety (DFS) have partnered to pilot a new grant opportunity for volunteer fire departments to cover workers compensation and liability coverage for active fire-department members.
“MDC staff still respond to wildland fires, but local fire departments respond to 90% of wildfires in Missouri now,” said Missouri State Forester Lisa Allen. “That’s a significant accomplishment, especially considering most are staffed by volunteers and operate on very limited budgets. That’s why we are pleased to support their efforts through this new grant program.”
The grants will provide a maximum of $2,000 per year for a three-year period. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. To be eligible for grant funds, fire departments must have a signed, current mutual aid agreement with MDC. They must also appear on the DFS roster of registered fire departments for the grant application year and remain on that roster for the duration of the grant period.
“The majority of fire service agencies in Missouri and most firefighters in our state are volunteers,” said State Fire Marshal Tim Bean. “They are selflessly sacrificing time with family and taking on risks to protect their neighbors and their communities. These grants will help provide much needed coverage for the times when they’re injured doing this vitally important work.”
Applications for the grants will be shared with eligible fire departments in December, and grant applications will be accepted starting Dec. 11. Fire departments must be 100% volunteer member based per the DFS roster of registered fire departments. They must be TAG, subscription, or privately funded. Any fire department receiving funds from any tax is not eligible for this grant. For more information, contact MDC Fire Program Supervisor Ben Webster at firstname.lastname@example.org.