Maryland State Firemen's Association

Future Convention Dates
June 14-20, 2019
June 19-25, 2020
June 18-24, 2021

Executive Committee Meetings

February 24, 2018
Singerly Fire Company

April 14, 2018
Midland Volunteer Fire Deparment #1

June 17, 2018
Ocean City

June 22, 2018
Ocean City


Announcements
August 16, 2018
Bay District VFD 75th Anniversary
August 10, 2018
Blue Mass
August 5, 2018
NVFC is accepting applications for AFG Peer Reviewers (Resending with corrected link)
August 1, 2018
MSFA SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
July 28, 2018
Southern Md. Vol. Firemen's Assoc. Benefit Golf Tournament for NFFF
View All Announcements

Online Calendar
Next Seven Days
August 20, 2018
Cecil County Volunteer Firemen's Assn
North East
August 21, 2018
Assistance to Firefighters Grant workshop
MFRI Western Maryland Regional Training Center
August 21, 2018
Wicomico County Volunteer Firefighter's Assn.
Allen
August 22, 2018
Cantina Mamma Lucia Fundraiser to Benefit Odenton VFC
Cantina Mamma Lucia in Hanover, MD
August 22, 2018
Harford County Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Assn
Darlington
August 23, 2018
Assistance to Firefighters Grant workshop
MFRI Northeast Regional Training Center
View All Events


Guidelines Req'd Documents Instructions Apply VCAF Reps
Volunteer Company Assistance Fund Committee

The application period is open from July 1, 2018 to September 29, 2018. Accepting Fire, EMS and Rescue apparatus and equipment loans only - No routine grant or facility applications; emergencies on case-by-case basis.

What's New:

The MSFA/VCAF committee will reopen the online VCAF application process on July 1, 2018. All applications, beginning July 1, 2018, will be prioritized based on financial need. Companies with the greatest financial need will be afforded an opportunity to receive VCAF loans totaling up to 75% of the total cost for the vehicle or equipment. Companies that have more stable finances will likely receive less than 75% and companies that have very stable finances and a raining day fund may have their VCAF loan application declined since they are reasonable candidates for commercial loans. NOTE: The MSFA has placed a moratorium on general facility loan applications. However, should a company have a lower cost facility project ($1,000,000.00 or less), such as a small addition or renovation, the company’s president or corporate executive can contact the VCAF committee chair to request approval to submit a facility project VCAF loan application.

The MSFA/VCAF committee will no longer accept general grant applications for vehicles, equipment or facility projects. However, should a company be presented with a bona fide emergency requiring a VCAF grant as defined by Maryland Code, the company president or corporate executive must contact the VCAF committee chair to request approval to submit an emergency VCAF grant application.

Why did the MSFA make changes to the VCAF program? The MSFA leadership made the changes to protect the Fund’s fiscal viability. Keeping pace with the diverse funding needs is a challenge compounded by today costs for new vehicles and facilities. It is routine for new fire engines to cost $550,000.00, new ladder trucks $1,200,000.00, new ambulances $250,000.00, and new fire stations $5,000,000.00. Based on these costs and past fiscal outlays (CY2014-present, the MSFA approved just over $21,000,000.00 in loans and $2,000,000.00 in grants to 61 Maryland volunteer Fire, EMS and Rescue companies), the MSFA leadership recognized that changes were required to avoid Fund liquidation and elimination of all opportunities to assist member companies with providing adequate volunteer fire protection and rescue services in the State of Maryland.

Thank you in advance for accepting these changes and patiently working with the MSFA/VCAF committee to find balance in future VCAF requirements. Please take a moment to read the program changes that become effective July 1, 2018:

Vehicle and Equipment Loans:

The VCAF committee will prioritize vehicle and equipment (rescue tools, SCBA and turn out gear) loan applications. Companies with the greatest financial need will be afforded an opportunity to receive VCAF loans totaling up to 75% of the total cost for the vehicle or equipment. Companies that have more stable finances will likely receive less than 75% and companies that have very stable finances and a raining day fund may have their VCAF loan application declined since they are reasonable candidates for commercial loans. As part of this new process, the VCAF committee will negotiate loan amounts/percentages with company representatives at the VCAF meeting. Companies must predetermine their loan tolerance and authorize their representative(s) to negotiate on their behalf at the VCAF meeting.

Vehicle and Equipment Grants:

The VCAF committee will no longer accept general vehicle and equipment grant applications. The committee will only consider bona fide requirements that fully meet the following criteria established by Maryland Code, PUBLIC SAFETY, TITLE 8 - FIRE AND RESCUE FUNDS: Subtitle 2 - Volunteer Company Assistance Fund; § 8-203. Volunteer Company Assistance Fund - Purpose; grants:

  • an act of God or other unforeseen event substantially impairs the ability of the volunteer company to provide adequate and safe service; or
    • VCAF committee example: The company’s only fire engine or only ambulance is out of service, cannot be fixed and is not receiving local government assistance.
  • the volunteer company is unable to maintain the minimum level of performance for adequate and safe service established by standards of the Association because of a demonstrated lack of financial resources
    •  VCAF committee example: The company is financially broke. Has little to no money in the bank and substandard income sources.

If a company is presented with a bona fide emergency requiring a VCAF grant as defined by Maryland Code, the company’s president or corporate executive can contact the VCAF committee chair to request approval to submit an emergency VCAF grant application.

Facility Loans:

The MSFA has placed a moratorium on general facility loan and grant applications. History shows that most facility projects require loans of $1M plus; a cost that the VCAF cannot support and remain fiscally viability (the reason for the application hold period and process changes). However, should a company have a lower cost facility project, a small addition or renovation, the company’s president or corporate executive can contact the VCAF committee chair to request approval to submit a facility project VCAF loan application. If a company is approved to apply, the VCAF committee will prioritize facility loan applications. Companies with the greatest financial need will be afforded an opportunity to receive VCAF loans totaling up to 75% of the total project cost (for projects under $1,000,000.00) Companies that have more stable finances will likely receive less than 75% and companies that have very stable finances and a raining day fund may have their VCAF loan application declined since they are reasonable candidates for commercial loans. As part of this new process, the VCAF committee will negotiate loan amounts/percentages with company representatives at the VCAF meeting. Companies must predetermine their loan tolerance and authorize their representative(s) to negotiate on their behalf at the VCAF meeting.

Facility Grants:

The VCAF committee will no longer accept general facility grant applications. The committee will only consider bona fide requirements that fully meet the following criteria established by Maryland Code, PUBLIC SAFETY, TITLE 8 - FIRE AND RESCUE FUNDS: Subtitle 2 - Volunteer Company Assistance Fund; § 8-203. Volunteer Company Assistance Fund - Purpose; grants:

  • an act of God or other unforeseen event substantially impairs the ability of the volunteer company to provide adequate and safe service; or
    • VCAF committee example: The company’s facility suffers fire damage that prohibits occupancy, is not or is partially insured, and is not receiving local government assistance.
  • the volunteer company is unable to maintain the minimum level of performance for adequate and safe service established by standards of the Association because of a demonstrated lack of financial resources
    •  VCAF committee example: The company is financially broke. Has little to no money in the bank and substandard income sources.

If a company is presented with a bona fide emergency requiring a VCAF facility grant as defined by Maryland Code, the company’s president or corporate executive can contact the VCAF committee chair to request approval to submit an emergency VCAF grant application. However, please understand that approval of a facility grant is extremely unlikely.

Adding or Replacing Apparatus to the Company’s Fleet:

Companies adding a new piece of apparatus to their fleet or replacing an existing piece of apparatus must provide a letter from the local government expressing the jurisdiction’s approval and acknowledgement that the new piece of apparatus will be recognized for emergency services and dispatched by the jurisdiction as such.

The next application period will open July 1, 2018 for Fire, EMS and Rescue apparatus and equipment loans only - No routine grant or facility applications; emergencies on case-by-case basis.

NOTE:  All companies applying for a loan and/or grant MUST have a representative attend the VCAF Committee meeting and MSFA Executive Committee meeting.  Companies that fail to attend either meeting will be disqualified and the company will have to reapply during the next open application period.

Does your company have a need to borrow money to modernize firefighting equipment or the station?

The Maryland State Volunteer Firemen's Association's (MSFA) Volunteer Company Assistance Fund (VCAF) Program is your answer.  The VCAF program is your company's most affordable way to purchase, replace, or improve equipment and/or facilities.  And your VCAF Representative will meet with your company representatives and guide them through the entire process.

 

Your company must have the following requirements met before starting a VCAF loan and/or grant application:
  1. Have their MSFA dues paid in full and be a MSFA Member Company in Good Standing

  2. Have valid credentials on file with the MSFA

  3. Have a current Articles of Incorporation on file, in good standings with the State of Maryland (no action - MD Military Department will obtain a copy of the certificate for you - click the link to check), and

  4. Have documentation that the company has made a good faith effort to obtain money from its local government; any source of local government funding and Senator Amoss (508) funds.

What is the purpose of the VCAF program?

The purpose of the Volunteer Company Assistance Fund is to ensure adequate fire protection and rescue services in the State of Maryland.

Who administers the VCAF program?

The Fund is jointly administered by the MSFA and the Maryland Military Department (MMD).  The MSFA's VCAF committee reviews and recommends applications, the MSFA Executive committee approves applications for advancement to the Maryland Board of Public Works (Governor, Treasurer and Comptroller) for final approval.  The MMD provides all financial services to include loan and grant settlements, and will issue the VCAF funds.

What Maryland Code provides governance for the VCAF program?

PUBLIC SAFETY TITLE 8 - FIRE AND RESCUE FUNDS, Subtitle 2 - Volunteer Company Assistance Fund

VCAF loans and grants Can Only Be Used for purchasing, replacing, or improving:
  1. Equipment, including elevated equipment, pumpers, tankers, ladder trucks, ambulances, rescue vehicles, or other large equipment used for firefighting and emergency services;

  2. Communications equipment;

  3. Protective equipment, including helmets, turnout coats and pants, boots, eye-shields, gloves, and self-contained respiratory protection units;

  4. Any other equipment necessary to carry out the ordinary functions of supporting firefighting and rescue activities; or

  5. Facilities used to house firefighting equipment, ambulances, and rescue vehicles – new and/or renovated facilities must include:

  • A heated station of adequate size and construction for the housing of equipment
  • A suitable means of receiving an alarm of fire and alerting company membership
  • Meet all requirements and codes of the Federal, State and local jurisdiction, including local association standards
  • Must have sprinkler system in all new facilities and if practical, in renovated facilities
VCAF Loans and Grants Cannot Be Used for:
  1. Purchasing utility vehicles, chief vehicles or other vehicles of similar nature

  2. Construction of any facility that will be used primarily for fund raising activities

  3. Acquisition of land or payments for land

  4. Fees for designing, planning, or preparing of an application or any other cost not directly attributable to the facility construction, or

  5. To refinance an existing debt or other obligation of a volunteer company; or be spent to replace or repair eligible items to the extent that insurance proceeds are available for those purposes. 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Three competitive bids must be submitted with your company's application.  If your company is unable to obtain three competitive bids, they must explain in writing as why the bids were unattainable.  Also if your company plans to accept a bid other than the lowest bid, the application narrative must include a written justification as to why the company has selected the higher priced proposal.  The justification should include, but is not limited to, the vendor's record of past performance, the vendor's quality record, positive aspects of vendor integrity, the financial and technical resources of the vendor, and whether a responsive bid was provided.  The justification is a tool for the MSFA to make a financial determination and reserves the right to base a loan and/or grant award on a lower proposal.
  • Loan and grant funds cannot be issued to the company until the equipment is delivered or the facility is complete and the use and occupancy permit is issued.  Your company must plan for this and your VCAF representative can help you synchronize the settlement process with equipment delivery or project completion.  The Marylany Military Department does not current allow construction progress payments.

 

The VCAF Loan and Grant Application:

Click the following links to see a copy of each page of the VCAF application. The links below will take you to a PDF copy of the application form. The embedded links show on the PDF copy of the form WILL NOT WORK - it is a snapshot of the page. If you would like to see the examples, click the example links shown under the corresponding page.

Please note that ONLY an official online application can be submitted. To open an official online application, you must contact your VCAF Representative.


Quick Tips

LOANS:

New Equipment financing is available for up to 75% of the project's total cost. Loan terms are as follows:

  1. Ladder Trucks - Up to 20 years
  2. Rescue Squads - Up to 20 years
  3. Fire Engines - Up to 20 years.
  4. Tankers - Up to 15 years.
  5. Ambulances/Medic Units - Up to 7 years.
  6. Special Units, Flood Lights, Air Units and Mini Squad - Up to 7 years.
  7. Brush Units - Up to 5 years.
  8. Rescue Tools, SCBA, Turn Out Gear - Up to 5 years

Used Equipment loans terms, in general, follow limits set for new equipment.  However, the MSFA reserves the right to adjust the amount of financing and the loan term on a case by case basis. The committee will use the unit's expected useful service life as a guide.

Equipment Rehab loans are available provided the rehab extends the unit’s useful service life. Percentage of financing will be determined by the MSFA on a case by case basis.  The payback term for equipment rehab is up to 5 years.

Non-qualifying Equipment includes utilities vehicles, chief vehicles and other vehicles of similar nature.

Facility loans are available for purchasing, replacing or improving facilities that are used to house firefighting equipment, ambulances, and rescue vehicles. Facility loan terms are as follows:

  1. Loans are available for up to 75% of the project cost or a maximum loan of $2.5M
  2. The loan term for a Facility loan is up to 30 years

GRANTS:

Grants are reserved for companies that have experienced a unique financial situation, which includes:

  1. an act of God or other unforeseen event that substantially impairs the ability of the volunteer company to provide adequate and safe service; or
  2. the volunteer company is unable to maintain the minimum level of performance for adequate and safe service established by standards of the Association because of a demonstrated lack of financial resources

The MSFA allocates $500k per fiscal year for grant awards.  This annual funding serves the entire MSFA company membership and awards are extremely limited.

Should your company qualify for a MSFA VCAF grant, the following conditions apply:

  • Equipment grants shall not exceed 70% of the project's total cost and shall be capped at a maximum award value of $500k
  • Facility grants shall not exceed 50% of the project's total cost and shall be capped at a maximum award value of $500k

Move to Guidelines

Joe Antoszewski
Chairperson

Michael J. Farlow, Esquire
Office of the Attorney

Doyle Cox, P.P.
Secretary


VCAF Committee Members

Allegany/Garrett
Barbara Knippenburg 
(2021)

Anne Arundel
Craig Harman (2021)

Baltimore
Joe Antoszewski (2019)

Calvert/Charles/St. Mary’s
John O. Gatton, Sr. (2019)

Caroline/Kent/Queen Anne's
Peter Lott
 (2020)

Carroll/Howard
Eugene Curfman (2019)

Dorchester/Talbot
David L. McQuay (2021)

Harford/Cecil
Zachary Coyle
(2021)

Montgomery
Darren Long (2019)

Prince George's
Frank Underwood (2020)

Somerset/
Wicomico/Worcester
Donald Ford (2021)

Washington/Fredrick
Tim Ganley (2021)

(year) denotes end of term

 

Safer Grant Tuition
Reimbursement Program


Read 
The Volunteer Trumpet!

Current Issue
of the Trumpet

Read how VCAF can help you.


2018 MSFA

Questionaire

 

2018 Convention Registration/Required Statistical Entry

Registrations by County

Registrations Alpha

 


Lighthouse Uniform Bereavement Program

Lighthouse Uniform Bereavement Program



MSFA/MFCA

Recruitment and Retention Grant

Scholarship Grant Form


Recruitment & Retention Toolbox


For more information about joining a local volunteer deparment please call
1-800-Fireline.


Subscribe to
MSFA Mailing List


Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter



Un-Subscribe to MSFA Mailing List

 


Website Designed and Hosted By: Content Proudly Maintained By: Contact Info:
Firehouse Solutions
www.FirehouseSolutions.com
Maryland State Firemen's Association
Doyle Cox, P.P.
29132 Superior Circle
Easton, MD 21601

Emergency Dial 911
Phone: 443-532-1416
E-mail: secretary@msfa.org
Copyright © 2018 Firehouse Solutions (A Service of Technology Reflections, Inc.)