Skip to main content

Congratulations 2021 HELP Award Recipients!

Congratulations to Gilsum Fire & Rescue (Gilsum, NH), Kirksville Volunteer Fire Department (Richmond, KY), Ladonia Volunteer Fire Department (Phenix City, AL), Shelbyville Fire Department (Shelbyville, KY), and the Tusculum Volunteer Fire Department (Greeneville, TN) on receiving the 2021 CHEMTREC HELP Award!

About the HELP Award

CHEMTREC® is the world’s leading source of 24/7 call center support and information during hazardous materials incidents. For nearly 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 to five 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.

As part of CHEMTREC’s 50th Anniversary celebration $50,000 will be provided in 2021 for the CHEMTREC HELP Awards.


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
  • 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 2021 application period is now closed. An expert panel selected by CHEMTREC & the NVFC will review the applications and five volunteer fire departments will be selected to each receive a $10,000 award. Recipients will be announced by November 1, 2021.

Past Award Recipients


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 Erica Bernstein, Director - Outreach, at or 804-357-4758.
Contact Our Team