personal protective equipment communications rescue equipment firefighting equipment hazardous material(HAZMAT)equipment miscellaneous equipment Volunteer fire departments and ground search and rescue teams will benefit from changes to the Emergency Services Provider Fund program, which opens for applications today, May 1. New this year, applicants will be able to choose from a broader list of eligible equipment such as GPS and mapping/tracking software. Applications will also be able to purchase equipment from up to three of the six categories, instead of just one. The categories are: The annual program provides funding to volunteer fire departments and ground search and rescue organizations, including hazardous material (HAZMAT) organizations, for equipment used to respond to fires and emergencies. “Nova Scotians count on the people who work in these organizations to help us and protect us from fires and other emergency situations,” said Chuck Porter, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Most of them are volunteers who often risk their lives in dangerous situations. We are pleased to make these changes to help our emergency services providers be able to purchase more of the equipment they need to fulfill this critical role.” The program provides up to 75 per cent of eligible costs to a maximum of $20,000. Organizations can apply for funding every three years. Applications will be accepted until June 21. More information on the Emergency Services Provider Fund is available at https://novascotia.ca/dma/funding/community/emergency-services-provider-fund.asp .