D. Program Property Management
1. Property Acquisition
The intent of the VFA Program is to assist fire departments in rural areas in improving their fire protection capabilities. The awarding agencies have broad latitude with respect to the types of projects that are approved. Regulations have been established for administration of equipment and supplies purchased with VFA funding. The definitions of "equipment" are similar for fire departments, which are operated by local governments (municipalities and fire districts) and for RFD's, which are operated as nonprofit corporations (see "equipment" and "supplies" definitions in Appendix M). Most items purchased with VFA funding by rural fire departments would have an original acquisition cost of less than $5,000 and would, therefore, be considered "supplies." Due to the limited VFA funding available and complexities associated with accountability and disposal of equipment, high-cost purchases of equipment such as fire engines are usually not feasible. However, the funding can be utilized to assist with the conversion of other purchased, contributed, or FEPP vehicles to fire apparatus or as seed money in combination with other funds for equipment purchases. Equipment and supplies that may be purchased under the program include, but are not limited to radios, nozzles, hoses, self-contained breathing apparatus, handtools, personal protective clothing, portable pumps and generators, class "A" foam delivery equipment, and foam concentrate.
VFA funding recipients should be encouraged to utilize competitive bidding procedures for the acquisition of equipment, supplies,and services. States may serve as centralized purchasing agents, or may be able to permit use of State contracts or quantity purchase awards and use of Federal General Services Administration (GSA) contracts. The object of such arrangements is to obtain equipment and supplies at the most beneficial price.