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Maryland State



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The purpose of the VCAF is to ensure adequate fire protection and rescue services in the state of Maryland, with financial assistance for purchasing, replacing, or improving firefighting, EMS, and rescue vehicles, equipment, and facilities used to house emergency services equipment.

The Fund is jointly administered by the MSFA and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM).  The MSFA 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 MDEM provides all financial services to include loan and grant settlements, and will issue the VCAF funds.


PUBLIC SAFETY, TITLE 8 – FIRE AND RESCUE FUNDS: Subtitle 2 – Volunteer Company Assistance Fund; § 8-203

VCAF loans / grants can only be used for purchasing, replacing, or improving:

  • Equipment, including elevated equipment, pumpers, tankers, ladder trucks, ambulances, rescue vehicles, or other large equipment used for firefighting and emergency services
  • Communications equipment
  • Protective equipment, including helmets, turnout coats and pants, boots, eye-shields, gloves, and self-contained respiratory protection units
  • Any other equipment necessary to carry out the ordinary functions of supporting firefighting and rescue activities
  • 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 where practical, in renovated facilities

VCAF loans / grants cannot be used for:

  • Purchasing utility vehicles, chief vehicles, or other vehicles of similar nature
  • Construction of any facility that will be used primarily for fund raising activities
  • Acquisition of land or payments for land
  • Fees for designing, planning, or preparing of an application or any other cost not directly attributable to the facility construction
  • 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

After receiving a VCAF loan and/or grant, the Company will have to settle their loan and/or grant. The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) settles / closes loans and grants for the VCAF.  The process is much like closing a loan on a home.

Because the process requires some very specific documentation, and in some cases updated information submitted with the original loan or grant application, planning is required to ensure that MDEM can settle the loan and issue the check when it is needed.  The Company’s failure to plan, compile and submit documentation will cause a settlement delay, which may require the Company to acquire a bridge loan (funds from another source – cash reserves, bank loan, etc.) in order to have funds needed to take delivery of the equipment or to pay off the construction debt.

Required documents for settlement include:

  • Letter showing a good faith effort to obtain funds from the local government (508 and other government funding)
  • IRS tax forms
  • Financial statements


The other settlement documentation is listed on the MDEM Closing Checklist. Companies receiving a VCAF loan or grant should review the checklist and begin compiling documentation as soon as the loan or grant is approved by Maryland’s Board of Public Works.  The majority of checklist documentation needs to be submitted 60 days before the planned settlement date.

Checklists: Vehicle & Equipment (PDF) | Facility (PDF)

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 Regional VCAF Representative can help you to synchronize the settlement process with equipment delivery or project completion.

The Maryland Department of Emergency Management does not currently allow construction progress payments.

Your Regional VCAF Representative is ready to assist your Company with the loan and grant process. They are your Company’s liaison to the VCAF Committee.

VCAF Information


All companies applying for a loan and/or grant must have a representative attend the MSFA 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.