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News Release
OSFM announces recipients for 2023 Oregon Fire Service Capacity Grant - 05/09/23

SALEM, Ore. - To boost capacity within the Oregon fire service and better prepare communities for wildfire, the Oregon State Fire Marshal has announced the recipients of the $13.5-million Oregon Fire Service Capacity Grant. This funding is a part of the agency’s efforts to rise to the challenge wildfire poses to Oregonians.  

The goal of this grant is to provide small- to medium-sized Oregon fire agencies with resources to boost firefighting and fire prevention staffing over the next three years. These agencies protect Oregon communities and play a pivotal role in wildfire prevention and suppression. Taking a two-pronged approach, this investment will increase firefighter capacity in the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS). The additional prevention staff will be an added resource for communities and property owners to assess and help guide Oregonians with defensible space.

In total, 33 local fire agencies were awarded funding, adding 53 firefighters and fire prevention staff over the next three years. The OSFM was able to issue awards to agencies in 27 counties. These funds will provide benefit across the state and give the Oregon fire service added tools to serve their communities and all Oregonians.

One of the agencies receiving funding is Jefferson County Fire & EMS in Central Oregon. Chief Jeff Blake says the grant will allow the agency to fully staff a fire engine for every shift and will give them the ability to create a fire prevention program.

“This grant will allow our agency to hire a full-time, dedicated fire marshal to help keep our community safe, conduct business inspections, and develop a comprehensive fire prevention program,” Blake said. “The added capacity, especially in rural parts of Oregon, will allow for increased staffing to respond more quickly at the local, regional, and statewide levels.”

Applicants were scored through a diverse scoring committee representing all aspects of the fire service. The following principles guided award decisions:

  • Fire agencies serving areas at higher risk of wildfire
  • Communities with high social vulnerability
  • Consideration of previous grant awards
  • Statewide distribution and allocation to protect all Oregonians

This application process and other capacity-centered grants highlight the need within the Oregon fire service. The OSFM continues to develop creative and groundbreaking ways to rise to those challenges and give local fire agencies the tools they need to better serve and protect their communities.   

To see the list of recipients, visit the grants section of the OSFM’s website. To learn more about how the OSFM is helping Oregonians, visit the Success Stories – Showing our Work section on our website. 


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