Three volunteer fire departments receive grant funding
County organizations’ DNR awards totaled $4,338
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.