Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) and Firefighter Property (FFP) Program
Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP)
The Federal Excess Personal Property Program was enacted by Congress under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 and the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978. The Act directs the Secretary of Agriculture to encourage the use of FEPP to assist in reducing state fire budgets by loaning federal-owned property to state foresters and their cooperators. To qualify for this program, a fire department must meet a number of requirements, one being a responsibility for providing fire protection on wildlands within the department's jurisdiction. The U.S. Forest Service monitors the use of loaned property to ensure that all FEPP acquired is used 90 percent for fire protection support and only 10 percent for other support.
The FEPP Program enables the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to acquire, "on loan" from the federal government, property that assists the Department in fulfilling its emergency response mission. That property includes such items as trucks, fire tools, hoses, vehicle parts, nozzles, generators, air compressors, fire protection clothing, aircraft, and aircraft parts.
CAL FIRE acquires approximately one-third of all FEPP nationwide with acquisitions exceeding over $200 million since 1978. FEPP is used to support Department units and programs statewide. For example, the CAL FIRE Aviation Program acquired $25 million worth of FEPP in 1996 alone, mainly in the form of 20 military S-2E/G airtankers that are being retrofitted as turbine fire fighting aircraft. While the Department pays for the retrofitting, the aircraft were free. On a much smaller scale, one CAL FIRE unit saved $8,000 by acquiring shop rags from the FEPP Program. As FEPP is loaned, when CAL FIRE no longer has a need for the property, it is turned back to the federal government which offers it to other government agencies and eventually sends it to public sale.
You can learn more about this program at the federal FEPP website.