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Aug. 26, 2010
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Service awarded its 2010 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grants to 50 local volunteer fire departments across the state, including Garrett County’s Bloomington VFC, Friendsville VFRD, and Gorman VFD.
The projects, to be funded in 15 Maryland counties, will assist volunteer fire companies with increasing capacity for wildland fire suppression needs in rural communities.
“The volunteer fire departments in our state are critical to ensuring the safety of Maryland families,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I am heartened that we are able to support the work of these courageous volunteers and the lives, property and resources they protect.”
Projects to be funded include wildland personal protective equipment, skid units for building brush trucks, replacing small diameter fire hose, upgrading communications equipment, and the purchase of class A foam and other equipment to enhance wildfire suppression.
“The volunteer fire departments play a vital role in assisting our agency in protecting communities from wildfires,” said DNR state fire supervisor Monte Mitchell. “These grants help the volunteer fire departments increase their effectiveness and safety in combating wildland fires in Maryland.”
Grant funds provided by the USDA Forest Service funded 50 applications this year for $104,615 in match-funding to complete $259,617 in total project cost. The maximum grant award equaled 50 percent of the total project cost with a maximum of $3,000 grant per department.
Bloomington, with a total project cost of $2,800, received $1,400. Friendsville received $3,000 for a total project cost of $6,500. and Gorman received $2,960 for a total project cost of $5,920.