Three vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments re­ceive grant fund­ing

County or­ga­ni­za­tions’ DNR awards to­taled $4,338

Maryland Independent - - News - By DEJA ROSS dross@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @De­jaSoMdNews

Three Charles County vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments were awarded a to­tal of $4,388 as re­cip­i­ents of the Vol­un­teer Fire As­sis­tance Grants Award from the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

This year, the grants were awarded to 49 vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments in 17 coun­ties for $104,009. The max­i­mum grant awarded was $3,000 per depart­ment, pro­vided by the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture

“Through this fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to ru­ral vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments, we seek to im­prove emer­gency re­sponse, fire­fighter safety and wild­land fire sup­pres­sion ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” said Mary­land State Fire Su­per­vi­sor Monte Mitchell.

“This es­sen­tial grant fund­ing will help equip and train lo­cal fire com­pa­nies and de­part­ments through­out the state.”

The Mary­land DNR an­nounced that the lead­ing For­est Ser­vice. cause of fires in Mary­land to­day are re­port­edly the same as in 1906: de­bris burn­ing, ar­son and chil­dren.

Since 2004, Charles County vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments have re­ceived a to­tal of $31,909, with the high­est amount of $6,651 in 2017 through the Vol­un­teer Fire As­sis­tance Grant.

Ac­cord­ing to Sec­tion 10(b)3 of the Co­op­er­a­tive Forestry As­sis­tance Act of 1978, the sec­re­tary of agri­cul­ture is au­tho­rized to “pro­vide fi­nan­cial, tech­ni­cal, and re­lated as­sis­tance to State foresters or equiv­a­lent State of­fi­cials in co­op­er­a­tive ef­forts to or­ga­nize, train, and equip lo­cal fire fight­ing forces, in­clud­ing those of In­dian tribes or other na­tive groups, to pre­vent, con­trol and sup­press fires threat­en­ing hu­man lives, crops, live­stock, farm­steads or other im­prove­ments, pas­tures, or­chards, wildlife, ran­ge­land, wood­land and other re­sources in ru­ral ar­eas.”

Over­all, the pur­pose of the grant pro­gram is to en­hance fire­fighter safety, pro­mote the use of wild land per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment, as well as pro­vide ba­sic wild land fire train­ing classes for vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers. The grants en­sure vol­un­teer de­part­ments are able to “build ca­pac­ity for wild­land fire pro­tec­tion in the com­mu­ni­ties they serve.”

“The Cobb Is­land VFD was awarded $217,715 from the As­sis­tance to Fire­fight­ers Grant. The money re­ceived went to­wards re­plac­ing breath­ing packs for our fire­fight­ers,” Bill Smith, pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer for Charles County Fire & EMS, told the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent. “We are very proud of the 10th Dis­trict VFD for their re­cent grant award and the Hugh­esville VFD, they have ap­plied for grants three years in a row and con­tin­u­ously re­ceive grant fund­ing match­ing their bud­get.”

Charles County Vol­un­teer Fire and EMS reg­u­larly seeks grant fund­ing from var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions to help im­prove equip­ment and com­mu­ni­ties, while rais­ing their own money to meet pro­ject costs and an­nual bud­gets.

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