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K-State Research and Extension

Equipment, training aid rural fire departments

What we are doing:

Kansas Forest ServiceK-State Research and Extension directs the Kansas Forest Service. In addition to trees and programs supporting tree growth, the Kansas Forest Service oversees fire management programs across the state, providing training, excess property distribution, prevention materials, grant funding and consulting for the state’s 486 rural fire departments.

One way the Kansas Forest Service increases the state’s fire departments’ capacity is the federal excess property program. This program serves as a conduit for fire departments to be loaned excess federal property – generally military vehicles and fire equipment that have been outfitted to serve their needs. The property remains under federal ownership. When it is no longer needed, the equipment is returned to the forest service for reassignment or disposal.

Our impact:

  • Ninety percent of Kansas is protected by volunteer fire departments —13,000 volunteers out of 16,000 firefighters statewide.
  • Deployed 793 pieces of large equipment and trucks to rural and volunteer fire departments across Kansas, worth $26.5 million.
  • Provide equipment free of charge through a federal program administered through the Kansas Forest Service.
  • Provide salvage parts and access to new replacement parts at a greatly reduced cost.

“The current economic climate has made it difficult for fire departments to budget for replacement equipment, and the Kansas Forest Service has been a reliable source for several years.”

– Ken Staatz, Herington Fire Department chief