Virginia Department of Fire Programs Receives $286,000 from Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Funding will support Virginia’s specialty firefighting training programs and integrate devices to monitor conditions during live fire exercises

RICHMONDOctober 8, 2019 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) has been awarded $286,000 in federal grant funding through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The funding will be used to replace obsolete equipment for the state’s Heavy Technical Rescue training programs, tow vehicles, and thermal imaging cameras and equipment to monitor dangerous conditions during live fire training exercises.

The state’s Heavy Technical Rescue program will undergo an overhaul of equipment replacements that will be used for specialized training courses that include rope, trench, vehicle, confined space, and surface/swift water rescue training. The funding will also provide Fire Programs with two tow vehicles that will aid in hauling the agency’s existing mobile training support trailers to various training localities throughout Virginia.

“We are ecstatic to begin using thermal imaging cameras and specialized monitoring equipment for our live fire trainings,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “This will enable our instructors to test and observe temperatures and atmospheric conditions in a realistic environment, which will deepen our firefighter training information with evidence-based data in addition to field experience.”

This marks the fourth year in a row that VDFP has obtained federal funding for the Commonwealth’s firefighter training programs. Since 2016, VDFP has been awarded a total of approximately $1.2 million dollars.

The agency will provide $42,900 in matching funds and has 12 months to complete the purchases under the grant.