TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Kansas Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has announced that over $1.2 million have been made available to their office due to a grant from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), on Tuesday.

In 2022, $1.2 million was given to the OSFM through the Kansas Firefighter Recruitment and Safety Grant (KFRSG), along with $100,000 from the OSFM’s budget, for the OSFM to disburse by June 30, 2023.

“This increase in funding will go a long way in providing much needed equipment for our volunteer fire departments across the state,” said Doug Jorgensen, State Fire Marshal. “In many rural areas of our state, the smaller departments are the sole providers of fire and rescue response. So, it is vital that they have the proper safety gear and recruitment tools to ensure their community’s safety.”

Grants that are issued through the KFRSG program will cover the costs of safety gear for volunteer and part-time firefighters. This will help volunteer and part-time fire departments combat recruitment and retention challenges along with updating equipment shortages.

Funds will also be made available for junior firefighter programs and physicals not covered by the individual’s insurance or reimbursed by their department, along with the purchase of strategically placed washer-extractor machines throughout Kansas. The funding for physicals and the junior firefighter programs is available to all departments.

Eligible applicants must be an established and recognized Kansas volunteer or part-time fire department that is in good standing with the OSFM on the National Fire Incident Reporting System. Departments must also participate in the Comprehensive Resource Management and Credentialing System.

To complete submission requirements and submit an application, go here. The deadline for submission to receive funds through the KFRSG is Sept. 1, 2022.