CUMBERLAND — Things are looking up now for the Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Company, where an embezzlement case involving two former members nearly put the organization out of business more than a year ago.
On Wednesday, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved a partial grant from the Maryland State Firemen’s Association Volunteer Company Assistance Fund that awards the Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Company with $244,700.
The grant will help the fire company to construct two 40-by-50-foot engine room bays, replacing the decaying engine room floor in the existing station.
According to Steven Hout, chief administrative officer with the Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Company, the funding will “primarily cover construction costs involved with building a new retaining wall along the property’s flood zone and installing a sprinkler system which includes a water holding tank, a fire pump and three-phase electric to support the fire pump.”
Plans for construction of the bays have been submitted to Allegany County Land Development, the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Maryland Department of the Environment for review and approval.
“Groundbreaking for construction is pending the receipt of building permits. Additional construction costs, exceeding the $244,000 grant allocation, will be offset by various fundraising efforts sponsored by the company throughout the coming year,” said Hout.
Hout said state Sen. George Edwards and Delegate Kevin Kelly were especially instrumental in helping to secure the grant funding at the state level.
County officials are also recognized for their efforts in “moving the project forward to benefit the residents of Baltimore Pike community,” said Hout. He commended Dick DeVore, Allegany County’s director of emergency services, for “his strong leadership and guidance” in helping the Baltimore Pike Volunteer Fire Company to reorganize and rebuild its organization over the past 12 months.
Hout also recognized Pat Bowser, secretary of the Maryland State Firemen’s Association Volunteer Company Assistance Fund, for her personal support in advocating on behalf of the fire company to obtain the funding.
The fire company continues to attract new members and gain strength and direction under its newly elected president, Gary Carpenter, said officials.
An awards banquet is scheduled for May 11 to help celebrate the success of the fire company over the year.
For more information on the construction project and upcoming fundraising activities, contact Hout at 301-338-2453.