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Volunteer Strategic Assistance and Fire Equipment (V-SAFE)

***Agenda for October 3, 2017 meeting***

What type of fire department is eligible to receive VSAFE grant funding?

Chartered volunteer fire departments and chartered combination fire departments with a staffing level that is, at least, 50 percent volunteer are eligible to receive grant funding.

A chartered fire department that receives a grant must comply with the Firefighter Registration provision of Act 60 of 2001 and sign the statewide mutual aid agreement with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. The amount of the grants awarded shall not exceed $30,000 for each eligible chartered fire department, with no matching or in-kind money required. A chartered fire department may be awarded only one grant in a three-year period.

Definitions:

(a) “Chartered fire department” means a public or governmental sponsored organization providing fire suppression activities with a minimum of a Class 9 rating from the Insurance Services Office.

(b) “Chartered volunteer fire department” means a fire department whose personnel serves with no compensation or is paid on a per-call basis.

(c) “Chartered combination fire department” means a fire department with both members who are paid and members who serve as volunteer firefighters.

To gain access to the grant application, including a W-9, visit: https://fire.llr.sc.gov/Portal

VSAFE Panel Members:

Position Name Department
State Fire Marshal Chief Jonathan Jones State Fire
SC Firefighters Association President Chief Kyle Minick North Charleston City FD
At-Large Chief Aubrey “Trey” Atkinson Dorchester County Fire Rescue
Region 1 Chief Tommy Keaton Three and Twenty FD
Region 2 Chief Bill Dunlap Oakdale VFD
Region 7 Chief Steve Arsenault West Laurens FD
Region 3 Chief Dennis Ray Lugoff FD
Region 4 Chief Randy Swinton Williamsburg County FD
Region 5 Chief Barry McCroy Colleton County Fire Rescue
Region 6 Chief Glenn Poole Hollow Creek FD

The law states grant money received by a chartered fire department must be used for the following:

  1. fire suppression equipment;
  2. self-contained breathing apparatus;
  3. portable air refilling systems;
  4. hazardous materials spill leak detection, repair, and recovery equipment;
  5. protective clothing and equipment;
  6. new and used fire apparatus;
  7. incident command vehicles;
  8. special operations vehicles;
  9. training;
  10. rescue equipment;
  11. medical equipment;
  12. decontamination equipment; and
  13. safety equipment.

TERMS OF THE AWARD

The project period for any award grant shall be 12 months from the date of the award. Any equipment purchased with the grant money must meet all mandatory regulatory requirements, as well as all state, national, and Department of Homeland Security adopted standards.

1. Award recipient must agree to:

  • Perform, within the designated period of performance, all approved tasks as outlined in the application;
  • Retain grant files and supporting documentation for three years after the conclusion and close out of the grant or any audit subsequent to close out;
  • Ensure all procurement actions are conducted in a manner that provides, to the maximum extent possible, open and free competition. In doing so, the recipient must follow its established procurement law when purchasing vehicles, equipment, and services with the grant. If possible, the recipient must obtain at least two quotes or bids for the items being procured and document the process used in the grant files. Sole source purchasing is not an acceptable procurement method except in circumstances allowed by law;
  • Submit a performance report to the peer review panel six months after the grant is awarded. If a grant’s period of performance is extended for any reason, the recipient must submit performance reports every six months until the grant is closed out. At grant close out, the recipient must report how the grant funding was used and the benefits realized from the award in a detailed final report. An accounting of the funds must also be included; and
  • Make grant files, books, and records available, if requested by any person, for inspection to ensure compliance with any requirement of the grant program.

2. A recipient who completes the approved scope of work, prior to the end of the performance period, and still has grant funds available, may:

  • Use the greater of one percent of their award amount or $300 to continue or expand, the activities for which they received the award;
  • Use excess funds to create or expand a fire or injury prevention program. Excess funds above the amounts discussed in sub item (a) must be used for fire or injury prevention activities, a recipient must submit an amendment to its grant. The amendment request must explain fire or injury prevention efforts currently underway within the organization, where the use of excess funds would fit within the exiting efforts, the target audience for the fire or injury prevention project and how this audience was identified, and how the effectiveness of the requested fire or injury prevention project will be evaluated;
  • Use a combination of sub items (a) and (b); or
  • Return excess funds to the program. To return the excess funds, a recipient must close out its award and state in the final performance report the remaining funds are not necessary for the fulfillment of grant obligations. The recipient also must indicate he understands funds are unavailable for future expenses.

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Jonathan Jones,   State Fire Marshal
141 Monticello Trail, Columbia, SC 29203
(803) 896-9800 | Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. | Monday - Friday except State Holidays