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Posted on: December 2, 2021

Kansas Firefighter Recruitment & Safety Grants Awarded for 2022

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Topeka – The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) awarded 30 Kansas Fire Departments the 2022 Kansas Firefighter Recruitment and Safety Grant (KFRSG). The award notifications were mailed out to departments on Nov. 30. The OSFM makes this grant possible through its budget passed by the State Legislature and signed by Governor Laura Kelly. After the grant was suspended last year due to funding, we have reinstated it with a new budget of $100,000.

“This year, we received grant requests from 42 departments, totaling over $600,000, while our total available funds to distribute were $100,000,” Doug Jorgensen, State Fire Marshal, said. “While the total amount was lower, I know the funds distributed will make a significant difference for our smaller departments. It is imperative that they have the proper safety gear and recruitment tools to ensure their community’s safety.”

Departments that applied that were not compliant with the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) were not eligible to receive grant funds. NFIRS is an All-Incident system designed to portray an accurate picture of what the Fire Service does for the citizens of Kansas, not just fighting fires. This information is so valuable most grants, state-wide and nationally, require departments to be compliant with NFIRS before grant money will be awarded.

Grants issued through the KFRSG program cover the costs of safety gear for volunteer and part-time firefighters. We know that volunteer and part-time fire departments face recruitment and retention challenges, because they do not have the funding to provide safety equipment. Without new equipment provided by the recruiting fire department, potential volunteers are faced with not only donating their time but also providing their own safety gear, sharing gear with others, or doing without.

Due to a lack of funding in the OSFM budget, the KFRSG program is scheduled to be discontinued for next year. If fire service supporters would like to see this important program continue, please contact local state senators and representatives and urge them to support the continuation of the KFRSG program with additional funding for the OSFM during the upcoming legislative session. Share with them how important the grant program has been to your department, community, and the state fire service.

2022 KFSG Recipients

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