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HELP Award

About the HELP Award

CHEMTREC Help Award Logo

CHEMTREC® is the world’s leading source of 24/7 call center support and information during hazardous materials incidents. For over 50 years, our engagement with emergency responders around the world has been the engine that drives our success. In light of that relationship, CHEMTREC has partnered with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to award $10,000 each to six volunteer fire departments in the U.S. that are also members of the NVFC. The awards are intended to help the fire departments enhance their response capabilities and increase local preparedness to respond to and prepare for hazardous materials incidents.

The 2024 HELP Awards are sponsored by the following companies:

  • CHEMTREC (3 Awards Nationwide)
  • American Chemistry Council (1 Award Nationwide)
  • Dow (1 Award for Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas)
  • LyondellBasell (1 Award for Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas)


To be eligible to apply for the CHEMTREC® HELP (Hazmat Emergencies Local Preparedness) Award, departments must meet the following criteria:

  • Be composed of more than 50% volunteers
  • Serve a population of 25,000 or less
  • Funding for the Department’s most recently completed fiscal year must not have exceeded $250,000 
    • If the volunteer fire department is incorporated within a city fire department, the volunteer fire department must be a separate 501(c) organization and maintain their finances separately to qualify for the HELP Award.
    • The funding requirement includes all funding the volunteer fire department received, whether it was from the city/county/town budget/tax funding, fundraising, community donations, subscriptions, EMS service/revenue recovery, or other sources.
    • The only exception to exceeding the $250,000 threshold is if the department received a one-time grant in the most recently completed fiscal year that set them over the $250,000 limit, then they are required to disclose their funding levels for 3 consecutive preceding years showing the department’s total income is normally below $250,000 annually.
  • Be located in the United States and legally organized under state law. Tribal entities servicing a tribe recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) that are chartered pursuant to IRA Section 17 or organized by a tribal government pursuant to a tribal code or resolution are eligible to apply.
  • Chief or individual applying on behalf of the department must be a member of the NVFC. Learn about member benefits and join at
  • Demonstrate in the application essay their need to receive the award by describing the equipment, resources, and/or training the department would purchase and/or the training they would attend to increase their response capabilities for hazardous materials incidents, as well explaining the potential hazardous materials incidents that could occur in their community
  • Only one application will be accepted per department. Any subsequent applications received for that department during the award year will be disqualified. Past recipients of the HELP Award must wait five years before reapplying for the award.
  • Departments that receive the award must use the money to increase their department’s hazmat response capabilities and not for any other purpose. The award cannot be redistributed.
  • Departments that receive the award agree that their department name, details from their application essay, and all photos taken during the award presentation may be used in media by CHEMTREC, TRANSCAER, American Chemistry Council, and the NVFC for the purposes of promoting the award program. The departments who receive the awards also agree to a department visit by CHEMTREC and the NVFC for the award presentation within 60 days of notification of the announcement of the award.


Selection Process

The 2024 HELP Award Application is now open through September 1. Please fill out the form below to submit an application. An expert panel selected by CHEMTREC & the NVFC reviews the applications and volunteer fire departments are selected to each receive a $10,000 award. 

HELP Award Application

Past Award Recipients


Caledonia Fire Department (Caledonia, NY)

Gales Ferry Volunteer Fire Company (Gales Ferry, CT) 

Haynesville Fire Department (Haynesville, LA)

Patrick Springs Volunteer Fire Department (Patrick Springs, VA)

Sequoyah County RFPD#1 (Gore, OK)


Genoa Volunteer Fire Department (Texarkana, AR) 

Gilt Edge Volunteer Fire Department (Gilt Edge, TN) 

West Hancock Fire Rescue (Pearlington, MS)


Gilsum Fire & Rescue (Gilsum, NH)

Kirksville Volunteer Fire Department (Richmond, KY)

Ladonia Volunteer Fire Department (Phenix City, AL)

Shelbyville Fire Department (Shelbyville, KY)

Tusculum Volunteer Fire Department (Greeneville, TN)


New Johnsonville Fire Department (New Johnsonville, TN)

Water Witch Hose Company #2 (New Milford, CT)


Willow Grove Fire Company (Willow Grove, NJ)

Prairie View Volunteer Firefighting Association (Prairie View, TX)

Questions about the HELP Award?

If you have any questions, please contact our team at

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