VDFP Strengthens Statewide Firefighter Training Programs in Five Years with $1.2 Million in Federal Funding

Funding aids in the delivery of cutting-edge and industry compliant firefighter training throughout the Commonwealth.

RICHMOND – February 6, 2020 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) has been awarded approximately $1.2 million dollars in federal grants over a five-year span. The grants, which come from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighter Grant program, have been applied towards upgrading turnout gear, specialty rescue equipment, and the development of a training tower utilized by firefighters and other public safety personnel in Virginia.

The most recent funding awarded to VDFP was in October 2019, when the agency received $286,000 to replace equipment utilized for Virginia’s Heavy Technical Rescue training program. VDFP also purchased two tow vehicles to haul mobile training support trailers used to store and protect gear and equipment to various training localities through the state.

“The awarding of over $1 million dollars in grants has allowed VDFP to further serve more than 700 fire departments and has assisted in helping other state agencies reach its training objectives in serving the Commonwealth,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “This partnership with the Federal government will have a lasting impact in enhancing firefighter training and safety on the fire ground.”

The federal funding also empowers VDFP to obtain cutting-edge equipment that merges technology and fire science into its training programs.

This year, the agency will begin using thermal imaging cameras and IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health) meters, which will enable training instructors and students to observe and analyze realistic conditions to generate evidence-based data. The data will enhance future training programs packaged by VDFP.

VDFP has provided approximately $187,000 in matching funds since 2015.