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Over $500K approved for volunteer fire departments impacted by Hurricane Michael

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Posted at 4:25 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 16:25:42-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Over $500,000 has been approved for volunteer fire departments impacted by Hurricane Michael.

Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Forest Service announced more than $500,000 has been approved for volunteer fire departments in counties impacted by Hurricane Michael.

The funding comes through the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Program, a program that provides federal financial, technical and other assistance to State Foresters to organize, train and equip fire departments in rural areas to prevent and suppress fires.

“Just yesterday, I visited Bay County again to meet with Floridians impacted by Hurricane Michael,” said Commissioner Fried. “I am grateful for the response from local fire departments in the Panhandle as we work together to protect residents recovering from this disaster, as well as their homes and communities.”

Last month, the Florida Forest Service announced that 100 percent reimbursement is available for counties impacted by Hurricane Michael, which includes Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Wakulla and Washington Counties.

To date, the Florida Forest Service has paid out $87,713 in VFA grants and approved an additional 35 grants worth $500,000.

Funding provided through the VFA Grant is distributed to fire departments with the greatest need and can be used for the purchase of wildland and structural personal protective gear, communications equipment, water handling equipment and training. Traditionally, VFA funding covers 50 percent of eligible purchases.

Volunteer fire departments can download the VFA Federal Funding Application online [] or by contacting Matt Weinell with the Florida Forest Service at (850) 681-5931.