Volunteer Fire Department Fund

General Information


The Volunteer Fire Department Fund was created to assist fire departments to purchase equipment and make capital expenditures.

(Established by NC General Statute 58-87-1)


Fire departments will match as follows:

  • Departments who receive less than or equal to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per year from municipal and/or county funding are not required to match the grant funding.
  • Departments receiving more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) but less than or equal to seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) per year from municipal and/or county funding shall match one dollar ($1.00) for each three dollars ($3.00) of grant funds (3:1 match). 
  • Departments that receive more than seventy-five thousand ($75,000) per year from municipal and/or county funding shall match the grant on a dollar-for-dollar basis (50/50 match).

The size of a grant may not exceed forty thousand dollars ($40,000).  

Eligibility Criteria

  • Fire Department is all volunteer, with the exception of eight (8) paid positions.
  • Fire Department must enter the TOTAL number of hours paid to part-time employees in the LAST fiscal year.
    • To calculate the number of full-time equivalents, divide the total number of paid part-time hours by 2080 and add to the total number of full-time employees. 
  • Fire Department must report to NFIRS.
  • Fire Department must be recognized as rated/certified by the NC Department of Insurance.
Important Dates Key Information
January 2 (or first business day in January) All rated fire departments notified online application is available.
March 1 Online applications must be submitted to NC Department of Insurance.
May 15 Grant recipients are announced.
September 30 Invoices/proofs of payment due to NC Department of Insurance. Uploads can be done via OSFM24 online portal.

Equipment orders must not be made before the May 15 announcement date.

Effective April 17, 2018, invoice(s) and proof of payment must be uploaded via the OSFM24 online portal for review in place of mailing them to the Mail Service Center.

The Volunteer Fire Department Fund (Fire Grant) is administered through:
NC Department of Insurance
Office of State Fire Marshal
1202 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1202

Additional Information

Tab/Accordion Items

Beginning with the 2018 Rescue Grant cycle, the following compliance forms are no longer required to be mailed in to our office:

  • Agreement of Payment Form
  • Conflict of Interest Statement
  • No Overdue Tax Debts Form

These forms are now incorporated into the grant application as attestations in the "Final Review" section. PDF versions are available for review in the application. 

General Statute

The Volunteer Fire Department Fund is governed by NC General Statute 58-87-1.


The Volunteer Fire Department Fund is funded by taxes (at a rate of 0.74%) paid by NC licensed insurance companies on property insurance from the gross premium (NC General Statute 105-228.5).

Applications are reviewed and scored using a non-subjective point system.

Areas Evaluated:

  • All volunteer/paid positions
  • Financial status
  • Type of equipment being requested

Once all applications have been entered into the database and scored, the available monies are entered. The computer selects the applications with the lowest total score until the available monies are exhausted.

If my fire department has a satellite station, can we still apply?
Yes. However, you must provide full fire department information for both stations (i.e., total personnel, total budget, vehicles, etc.).

My department has both fire and rescue (or Fire/EMS). Can we apply?
Yes. You must list total personnel for your department, as well as your total budget. You cannot designate members as only fire or only Rescue/EMS.

My fire department is owned by a municipality. Can we still apply?
Yes, as long as the fire department meets the eligibility criteria for the specific grant.

Are application extensions given?
Application extensions are not given. The deadline for the fire grant application is March 1.

Will the grant support equipment purchased through the Firefighter Property Program (FFP) and Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP)?
Yes. Grant funds can be used toward equipment received through these programs that is placed into service (i.e., install a generator, paint a vehicle, etc.).

What type of equipment is typically not considered for matching funds?
Items not considered for matching funds include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Furniture, copiers, fax machines, disposables, manuals
  • Refurbished or upgrades to SCBAs, refurbished vehicles (except new chassis), and refurbished communications equipment

The only exception would be for a vehicle. Vehicles must be no older than ten (10) years old and must include one (1) year of service records. You may also purchase a new chassis for existing equipment.

For any questions regarding equipment eligibility, please call our office at 919.647.0000 or email us at FireRescueGrants@ncdoi.gov

The September 30 deadline is approaching, and some equipment will not be delivered by September 30. Will all approved matching funds be lost?
No. Only the equipment not received by September 30 will be excluded from the approved matching funds.

We got better prices than anticipated and will have money left over. Can we purchase additional items?
Any deviation from the department's Approved Equipment List (AEL) must be approved in writing by the Grants Department prior to the grant deadline. The department may only purchase additional quantities of items on the department's AEL. All items must be purchased in their original quantities when using excess funds.

Are invoice extensions given?
Yes, but ONLY for personal protective equipment (PPE), approved vehicles, and capital improvement/building projects.

A thirty (30) day extension (until October 30) can be authorized for protective clothing. A letter from the vendor requesting the extension must be received prior to September 30. The letter must include the order date, projected delivery date, and reason for delay.

Approved vehicles and capital building projects may be extended until February 15 of the following year. Our office must receive a notarized letter from the manufacturer or contractor providing the order date, project start date, and projected delivery/completion date. It must be received within 45 working days of grant notification (July 1).