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Volunteer Fire Assistance
Legislative History


The VFA Program was originally authorized in Title IV of Public Law 92-419, "The Rural Development Act of 1972." The Act authorized up to $7,000,000 to organize, train, and equip local fire forces to prevent, control and suppress fires in rural areas.

In Fiscal Year 1975 the first appropriation of $3.5 million was provided for financial, technical, and other assistance to the State Foresters to carry out this Program. Title IV was later repealed by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-313). Section 7 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act (CFAA) became the authority which authorized the Cooperative Fire protection (CFP) programs.

The CFAA was amended by the Forest Stewardship Act of 1990, better known as the "1990 Farm Bill." This Act moved the CFP programs to Section 10 of the CFAA, so the authority for the VFA Program is now contained in Section 10(b)3 of the CFAA. This change did not alter the original language of the CFAA with respect to VFA.

The CFAA, as amended, is contained in Appendix A. Section 306(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, which provides for the 10,000 population limit for participation in the VFA Program, is contained in Appendix B.




Photo of a Missouri volunteer firefighter, Joe McMahan of the Timber Knob FD, shows off a pump secured through VFA funds.  Click for a larger picture.

Equipment purchased with VFA grant funds.

Photo of two Missouri volunteers showing off a float pump that was purchased with VFA grant funds.
Proud volunteers show off a float pump purchased with VFA grant funds

Photo of Missouri  equipment- self-contained breathing apparatus.
Self-contained breathing apparatus is critical equipment for volunteer fire departments.