CUMBERLAND — Local volunteer fire departments are among the 37 organizations that will receive financial assistance from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service this year.
DNR will help fund projects in 15 counties to provide firefighters with the tools they need to fight wildfires in rural communities.
The grant recipients include fire companies from Barton, $3,000; Bloomington, $2,891; Corriganville, $3,000; District 16, $3,000; Ellerslie, $800; Flintstone, $2,997; Kitzmiller, $3,000; LaVale, $1,092; Mount Savage, $2,000; Oldtown, $3,000; Potomac, $1,970; and Rawlings, $2,991.
Grant funds provided by the U.S. Forest Service funded 37 applications this year for $93,009 in DNR matching funding to complete the $200,624 in total project cost. The maximum grant award equaled 50 percent of the total project cost with a maximum of a $3,000 grant per department.
“I am heartened that we are able to support the efforts of these selfless volunteers who give their time and energy to help protect our state’s citizens, property and natural resources,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin.
This year’s grants will help provide wildland personal protective gear, Class A foam and upgraded radio communications equipment. The funds will also go toward supplying departments with equipment for brush trucks, engines, tankers and other tools to enhance wildfire suppression, and replace small-diameter hoses.
“These grants help the departments purchase much-needed wildland fire equipment that they may otherwise not be able to afford,” said DNR State Fire Supervisor Monte Mitchell. “The new gear will help them safely and more effectively protect their communities from wildfires.”