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Maryland State


VCAF Vehicles & Equipment Loans / Grants


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 MSFA VCAF Committee will prioritize vehicle and equipment (rescue tools, SCBA, and turnout gear) loan applications. Companies with the greatest financial need will be allowed to receive VCAF loans totaling up to 75% of the total cost of the vehicle or equipment. Companies with more stable finances will likely receive less than 75% and the companies with very stable finances and a rainy day fund may have their VCAF loan application declined since they are reasonable candidates for commercial loans. 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.

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

  • Ladder Truck: up to 20 years
  • Rescue Squad: up to 20 years
  • Engine: up to 20 years
  • Tanker: up to 15 years
  • Ambulance: up to 7 years
  • Special Unit, Flood Light, Air Unit, Mini Squad, Boat: up to 7 years
  • Brush Unit: up to 5 years
  • Rescue Tools, SCBA, Turnout Gear: up to 5 years

Used Vehicles & Equipment loan terms, in general, follow limits set for new equipment (above). However, the MSFA reserves the right to adjust the amount of financing and the loan term on a case-by-case basis. The VCAF Committee will use the unit’s expected useful service life as a guide.

Rehabbed Vehicles & Equipment loans are available, provided the rehab extends the unit’s useful service life. The percentage of financing will be determined by the MSFA on a case-by-case basis. The payback term for rehab is up to 5 years.

Non-Qualifying Vehicles & Equipment include utility vehicles, chief vehicles, and other vehicles of similar nature.


The MSFA VCAF Committee will no longer accept general vehicle and equipment grant applications. The VCAF 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 the 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.

Should your Company qualify for an MSFA VCAF grant, vehicle and equipment grants shall not exceed 70% of the project’s total cost and shall be capped at a maximum award value of $500K.

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.