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Looking for Used Fire Fighting Equipment?  The FEPP and FPP Programs May Save You Money

by Sherie Sanders on November 30, 2016
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Fire-Truck-in-an-Article- About-Used-Fire-Fighting-Equipment-and-the-FEPP-and-FPP-ProgramsThere are two government programs, the Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) and The Firefighter Property Program (FPP) that allow surplus materials from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to be repurposed into firefighting equipment for state and local use. In both cases, the property passes through State Foresters who then distribute it to local agencies. Between both programs, over $150 million in former DOD inventory has been distributed between 2008 and 2012. Since the cost to acquire and refurbish a military truck is a few thousand dollars, but the cost of a brand new fire engine could run $150,000 or more, used equipment from these programs have the potential to save local fire departments considerable amounts of money.

The Federal Excess Personal Property Program

The sixty year old Federal Excess Personal Property program involves former Department of Defense property that is now owned by the Forest Service. They loan it out to State Foresters who often place it with local departments for wildland and rural firefighting. Materials can include trucks, tools, hoses, vehicle and aircraft parts, protective clothing, air craft, air compressors and other equipment.


The Firefighter Property Program

In the FFP program, similar DoD property acquired by State Foresters also gets passed along to local fire agencies. But ownership transfers to the recipient after it has been used for a specific period of time. Equipment must be used or modified for direct use in pre-suppression, suppression or fire service related emergency services. Physical fitness equipment, fit-for-duty health-monitoring devices, fabrication material and equipment are among the eligible uses.


Examples of Equipment Received

  • In Texas, a five-ton military cargo truck got a new coat of bright red paint as it took on new life as a fire fighting vehicle for the Savory Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources has given former DoD trucks, freightliners, and international tankers their own photo gallery of before-and-afters to highlight their makeovers.


Highlighting the Differences Between FEPP and FFP

If you are interested in the specific differences between the two programs, this slide show by United States Forest Service Director Dan Olsen lays out the fine print for you, including how the property is to be acquired, maintained and disposed of.


Applying for FEPP and FPP

To find out about what type of used equipment is available for fire fighting, contact your state FEEP or FPP coordinator. E-mail information for Melissa Frey, point person and program manager for the U.S. Forest Service is listed at the bottom of the FEEP/FPP page for further questions.

Further Resources

 For those that will be applying for the 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant, here are some specific tips from Washington's The Ferguson Group to put your best application forward: https://blog.ecivis.com/afg-2017-tips-for-success



The 26 Federal Grant Making Agencies

Need a way to familiarize yourself with the 26 federal grantmaking agencies? Download our complimentary word search puzzle:


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Topics: Funding News

2 min read time