Here's how much your volunteer fire department is getting through a new South Dakota grant program
$5M in public Safety funds marked for personal protective equipment
A brand-new grant program aimed at equipping volunteer fire departments with personal protective equipment is sending millions to more than 250 first-responder agencies across South Dakota.
The South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Thursday announced $5 million in grants have been awarded to help financially-strapped local volunteer fire departments purchase new and replacement PPE to protect their firefighters. PPE includes items such as bunker gear, boots, gloves, wildland firefighting apparel, and self-contained breathing apparatus.
“Volunteer fire departments play a crucial role in safeguarding communities and ensuring public safety by providing rapid response and dedicated service in emergencies,” South Dakota Fire Marshal Paul Merriman said. “They serve as a vital backbone of the state's overall firefighting and disaster management infrastructure. Regular financial support is critical to ensuring their safety and readiness.”
The grant was established as part of a special funding package passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Kristi Noem earlier this year to support financially strapped local volunteer fire departments. According to DPS, 75 percent of eligible volunteer fire departments participated in the program and received awards ranging from $720 to $40,500 depending on their application and need.