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The 2021 HELP Award application is now open. 


Reminder, to be eligible for the HELP 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

View the full criteria and learn more about the HELP Award.


HELP Award Application

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Questions about the HELP Award?

If you have any questions, please contact Erica Bernstein, Director - Outreach, at or 804-357-4758.
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