The Federal Excess Property Program provides permanent loans of equipment and vehicles to Fire Departments for use in wild land fire protection. Equipment that is no longer needed by the Federal Government, but suitable for conversion to fire service may be obtained by fire departments. Once obtained, departments are expected to paint it, add other equipment and modify it into a working fire vehicle.
The program is administered by the USDA Forest Service and the General Services Administration in cooperation with the State Forester to provide low cost ways for communities to protect their citizens and natural resources from fire. Departments that provide fire protection to wildlands may participate.
Most equipment obtained under this program are trucks suitable for conversion to tankers or pumpers. Generators, pumps, fire hoses and breathing apparatus may also be available. Power units can be used to provide emergency lighting or to power a radio base station.
Fire departments bear the cost of transportation, conversion, painting, storage and maintenance. The equipment usually requires some conversion, but the cost is much less than purchase of comparable equipment.
Fire Departments are responsible for making conversions in a safe and timely manner; protecting the equipment from theft, vandalism and weather; painting vehicles in fire service colors; maintaining appropriate liability insurance and returning the equipment, less any added equipment, to DNR Forestry Fire Program when no longer needed.