CHEMTREC grant to fund hazmat training and equipment for volunteer departments

The HELP Award is jointly offered with the National Volunteer Fire Council to support volunteer departments serving small populations


CHEMTREC – the world’s leading source of 24/7 call center support and information for emergency responders during hazmat incidents – has partnered with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to offer the CHEMTREC HELP (Hazmat Emergency Local Preparedness) Award. The $7,500 grant will fund training, equipment or resources for two volunteer fire departments to assist in their response to hazmat incidents.

The application period is now open and closes on Oct. 1, 2019. Awards are anticipated by Dec. 1, 2019.

CHEMTREC HELP Award eligibility requirements and notes

The $7,500 grant will fund training, equipment or resources for two volunteer fire departments to assist in their response to hazmat incidents. (Photo/CHEMTREC)
The $7,500 grant will fund training, equipment or resources for two volunteer fire departments to assist in their response to hazmat incidents. (Photo/CHEMTREC)

To be eligible to apply for the CHEMTREC HELP Award, departments must meet the following criteria:

  • All-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (over 50%) agency
  • Serve a population of 25,000 or less
  • Located in the United States and be legally organized under state law
  • NVFC member (department or individual applying on behalf of department)

Note: Only one application can be submitted per department. Additionally, as noted, the award is for $7,500. Applications for lesser amounts will not be awarded. The grant does not require matching funds provided by the agency.

CHEMTREC grant application process

The application is available on CHEMTREC’s website and is relatively easy to complete. The application asks for the following information:

  • Department name and address
  • Contact information for the chief and the individual completing the application
  • Revenue and expenses of the department
  • Square miles and population of the department’s coverage area
  • Number of volunteer and paid firefighters
  • Level of training required by the department

The HELP Award application has only one narrative that allows you 1,000 words to make your case.

As with all grant narratives, please keep in mind that the panel reviewing your essay knows nothing about your department, your coverage area or the critical infrastructure you protect. As such, it’s important to be as complete as possible when describing your area, the potential for hazmat incidents, and the reason your department needs the equipment or training. Further, explain why your department can’t fund the project on its own. Also discuss how your department and the community you serve will benefit from receiving the $7,500 award.

If you are applying for equipment, make sure you get a cost estimate from a vendor. The last thing you want to do is be awarded $7,500 and find out that the equipment you want is $12,000.

Explain in your essay how this equipment will assist your department in responding to hazmat incidents. Also, discuss if this is a first-time purchase or if the equipment you are requesting is to replace existing equipment that is malfunctioning or no longer operable.

If you are applying for training funds, detail who will provide the training, where and when it will be held, and how many firefighters will be trained. If the training will lead to any type of certification, that should also be included in your narrative.

As always, be sure to get an additional set of eyes to review your essay before you submit it.

Additional HELP Award criteria

The departments that receive the HELP Award funds must use the money to increase their department’s hazmat response capabilities and not for any other purpose. The award cannot be redistributed.

Additionally, departments that receive the $7,500 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 that 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.

A great opportunity for smaller departments

The CHEMTREC HELP Award is a great opportunity for smaller departments to apply for training or equipment for hazmat incidents.

If you have questions about the application, please contact Erica Bernstein, director of outreach, at ebernstein@chemtrec.com or 703-741-5524.

Good luck with your application!

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