Rescue Squad Assistance Fund FAQ

1. What is the RSAF?

The Rescue Squad Assistance Fund (RSAF) Grant Program is a multi-million dollar grant program for Virginia non-profit EMS agencies and organizations. The RSAF grants are awarded through the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS). Funding is recommended on the documented need of the specific item being requested and to provide financial assistance based on demonstrated financial need. This is a reimbursement grant that requires the grantee to make the purchase for the awarded item/program and then submit an invoice for reimbursement.

2. Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

Applicants must be a Virginia non-profit agency or organization involved in emergency medical service ( EMS). The agency can be classified as government, volunteer or non-profit based, however the applicant must be able to submit verification of its Federal Identification Number (FIN) along with their most recent tax return from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). All requests shall comply with applicable plans, policies, procedures and guidelines adopted by the State EMS Advisory Board.

3. How often can I apply for a grant?

There are two RSAF grant cycles per year, the deadlines are March 15 and September 15. Grants are awarded on July 1 and January 1 for a twelve month period. You may apply for the RSAF grant each cycle if your agency wishes to do so; however each agency can only submit one application per cycle (you can submit for more than one item on your application) to be considered for a grant award.

4. Is there a funding limit on how much I can apply for?

There is no monetary limit on how much money you can apply for in your RSAF grant application. There is a minimum amount of $500.00 for each line item submitted on the grant application. Each line item must be $500.00 or more to progress to the grant review process. Like items may be consolidated in one line item with all individual pricing combined. Please round up for dollar amounts, if lower than fifty cents round down, if higher than fifty cents round up to the whole dollar amount.

5. Is there a match requirement?

The amount awarded through the RSAF is based on the amount requested for the item or project and may be awarded based on a matching requirement from the awarded grantee. RSAF grants are typically awarded based on a 50/50, or 80/20 (state/agency share), and in unique cases a 100 percent awarded grant from the OEMS.

6. What can I apply for under this grant?

Items eligible for funding include equipment and supplies for emergency medical services ( EMS) purposes. These can include equipment, vehicles, computers, EMS management training programs, EMS training courses/classes and projects benefiting the recruitment and retention of EMS members. The OEMS has identified six priority levels for funding in no particular order: Recruitment and Retention (Including Management and Leadership), Migration to VAv3, Emergency Operations, Emergency Medical Dispatch, Special and Innovative Project and Multi-Jurisdictional (Multi-Agency) Projects.

7. What forms are necessary to apply for a grant?

In order for your grant application to be complete, you must login to the EMS-Grant Information Funding Tool (E-GIFT) application system and complete your application using this web based system.   The E-GIFT link can be found at the RSAF Grant Programs home page.  There are three users that must e-sign the RSAF grant application:

  • Authorized Agent – Submitting the grant on behalf of the agency, edit and e-sign.
  • Financial Officer – Review and e-sign.
  • Operational Medical Director (OMD) – Review and e-sign.

8. What is considered a non-profit agency and how do I know if my agency has received this status?

A non-profit agency is formed for purposes other than generating a profit and no part of the organization’s income is distributed to its directors or officers. The most common federal tax exemption for nonprofits comes from Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. If your agency has been designated as non-profit you will have a letter from the IRS that issued you your FIN or the FIN can be found on your federal tax return (Form 990).

9. My agency doesn’t have a Federal Identification Number (FIN); can I still apply for a grant?

You will not be able to apply for a grant through your agency if you have not been designated a non-profit agency with a valid FIN.

10. If I don’t have a computer, can I apply manually for a grant?

Only applications submitted through E-GIFT will be accepted.  If you do not have access to a computer, the OEMS suggest you work with your local government or EMS Regional Council to apply for the RSAF grant funds.

11. Can I submit other information/documentation other than what is on the OEMS grant application?

The RSAF grant application allows you to upload any documentation you would like to submit through E-GIFT.  No documentation may be uploaded or submitted after the grant application deadline.

12. Is technical assistance available?

Technical assistance is available regarding grant questions you may have during the grant application, grant cycle and/or reimbursement phases. You can contact Luke Parker, Grants Manager at 804-888-9106 or or Linwood Pulling, Grants Specialist at 804-888-9105 or

13. What is the process for grant review once the grant deadline has passed?

Once the grant deadline has expired, the applications are reviewed and graded by:

  • The appropriate Regional EMS Council
  • The appropriate OEMS Program Representative
  • The Appropriate OEMS Program Manager
  • The OEMS Technical Coordinators
  • The EMS Advisory Board, Transportation Committee

Once the initial review process is completed the applications are forwarded to the Financial Assistance Review Committee (FARC). The FARC was created in 1978 by the EMS Advisory Council to carry out the responsibility of reviewing RSAF grant applications and recommend funding. In 1996, FARC was established by §32.1-111.12:01 in the Code of Virginia for the purposes of administering the Virginia RSAF grant funds. The FARC is composed of six members, including a chairman, who each represent an EMS region throughout Virginia.

14. How do I know if I’ve been awarded/denied for my grant application?

The FARC will conduct a public meeting (usually the first week of June and December, respectively) for announcing the requests that received a viable funding grade. The Committee reserves the right to recommend a request be partially funded or to place a condition of funding on any award. Within 7 days of the award meeting, a report of the requests that are “Recommended for Funding” will be submitted to the Commissioner of Health for approval. All approvals/denials will be posted in E-GIFT on the award dates (January 1/July 1) in the agencies account, this information is also placed on the OEMS, Grants Program website by July 1 and January 1.

15. Once I have applied for reimbursement, how long will it take me to get the money?

All documentation (invoices, completion of special conditions, etc…) must be uploaded and submitted through the awarded agencies E-GIFT account.  Once documentation is received, the request is processed within three business days by the Grants Unit and forwarded to the OEMS Fiscal Unit. The OEMS Fiscal Unit processes the request and forwards the request to the VDH Fiscal Unit within three business days. However, all agencies must be registered in eVA as a vendor with the Commonwealth to receive reimbursement.  Information on eVA is available here.  Once the request has been processed, reimbursement is sent to the requesting agency within 30 days if everything is correct.