The application period for the FY2020 Kansas Firefighter Recruitment and Safety Grant (KFRSG) is now open until the grant deadline of Oct. 1, 2019. The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) makes this grant possible through its budget passed by the State Legislature and signed by Governor Laura Kelly. This year, $400,000 has been allotted to assist volunteer and part-time fire departments across the state with firefighter safety and recruitment.
“We are pleased that we were able to continue this important grant funding through our budget this year,” Doug Jorgensen, State Fire Marshal, said. “Some of these smaller departments are the sole providers of fire and rescue response for rural areas in our state. So, it is vital that they have the proper safety gear and recruitment tools to ensure their community’s safety.”
Grants issued through the KFRSG program will cover the costs of safety gear for firefighters and physical examinations for firefighters whose physicals are not covered by their departments. It will also provide funds for the purchase of new washer-extractor machines used to clean bunker gear following a fire, with further funds available for the creation of Explorer programs to attract youth volunteers into the fire service.
We know that volunteer and part-time fire departments face recruitment and retention challenges because they do not have the funding to provide safety equipment. Without new equipment provided by the recruiting fire department, potential volunteers are faced with not only donating their time but also providing their own safety gear, sharing gear with others, or doing without.
Eligible applicants must be an established and recognized Kansas volunteer/part-time fire department in good standing with OSFM on the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) or a volunteer firefighter in good standing with their local fire department. Departments must also participate in the Comprehensive Resource Management & Credentialing
Submission requirements and applications are now available at www.firemarshal.ks.gov/KFRSG. The deadline for submission to receive funds through the KFRSG is Oct. 1, 2019.