Volunteer Rescue-EMS Fund

General Information


The purpose of the Volunteer Rescue, EMS Fund is to assist rescue organizations to purchase equipment and make capital expenditures.

(Established by NC General Statute 58-87-5)


Rescue organizations will match the grant on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to $25,000.

Organizations having cash assets over $1,000 may apply for the matching fund, up to $25,000.

Organizations having cash assets less than $1,000 may apply for a non-matching grant, up to $3,000.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Rescue provider is all volunteer, with the exception of ten paid positions.
  • Rescue provider is recognized by the Department of Insurance as a rescue, EMS, or a rescue/EMS provider/unit.
  • Rescue provider must meet the eligibility criteria of the NC Association of Rescue/EMS (NCAREMS) and/or NC Office of Emergency Medical Services (NC OEMS).
  • County recognizes organization as providing rescue, EMS, or rescue/EMS.
  • Rescue provider must be certified by the NC Office of Emergency Medical Services to request ALS equipment.

Important Dates

Key Information

August 1

All known rescue providers are notified the online grant application is available.
October 1 All online applications must be electronically submitted to the NC Department of Insurance.
December 15 Grant recipients are announced.
April 30 Invoices/proofs of payment due to NC Department of Insurance. Uploads can be submitted via OSFM24 online portal.

Equipment orders must not be placed before the December 15 announcement date.

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

The Volunteer Rescue-EMS Fund (Rescue 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, the following compliance forms are no longer required to be mailed in to our office:

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

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

General Statutes - Definitions

Rescue Provider: "Rescue" means the removal of individuals facing external, nonmedical, and nonpatient related peril to areas of relative safety. A "rescue unit" or "rescue squad" means a group of individuals who are not necessarily trained in emergency medical services, fire fighting, or law enforcement, but who expose themselves to an external, nonmedical, and nonpatient related peril to effect the removal of individuals facing the same type of peril to areas of relative safety.

For purposes of this grant, "emergency medical services" or "EMS" has the same meaning as in G.S. 131E-155(6). Unless otherwise more narrowly specified, an "EMS unit" means either (i) an EMS provider licensed under G.S. 131E-155.1 or (ii) a volunteer fire or fire/rescue department that is part of its county's EMS system plan.

The unit or squad must comply with existing State statutes and with eligibility criteria established by the North Carolina Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services, Inc.

(As defined in NC General Statute 58-87-5(c)) 


Eighteen cents (.18) of vehicle inspections stickers (as defined by NC General Statute 20-183.7(c)).

Applications are reviewed and scored using an objective algorithm.

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 funds for the year are entered. The computer then ranks each application based on need by overall score. The system awards each application in order of rank until all available funds are exhausted.

Our organization also provides rescue. Can we apply for the rescue grant?
Yes. However, your organization must meet all eligibility criteria.

Are application extensions given?
Application extensions are not given. All applications must be received by the October 1 deadline.

What type of equipment is typically not considered for matching funds?
Equipment not considered for matching funds includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Furniture, copiers, fax machines, manuals, land purchases
  • Refurbished equipment, upgrades to SCBAs, and/or refurbished communications equipment

If in doubt, please call our office at 919.647.0000.

If my rescue organization receives the approved equipment before the April 30 deadline, can matching funds be received earlier?
Yes. Check requests are given to the Controller's Office weekly.

The deadline is approaching, and some equipment will not be delivered by April 30. Will my organization lose all of the approved matching funds?
No. Equipment that has not been received by the April 30 deadline will be excluded from the approved matching funds.

Are invoice extensions given?
Yes, but only for approved vehicles and building requests. Our office must receive a notarized letter from the manufacturer/vendor stating the order date and projected delivery/completion date. The letter must be received prior to the April 30 deadline. The extension date is September 15.

A thirty (30) day extension (until May 30) can be given for personal protective clothing upon receiving a letter of request prior to April 30. Our office must receive a letter from the vendor stating the order date and projected delivery date.