HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — More than $600k in grants has been awarded to local volunteer fire departments across the state, including 20 in our central Pennsylvania region.
The grants were awarded to qualifying local firefighting forces in rural areas and communities with fewer than 10,000 people. The funding may be used for training and equipment purchases directly related to fighting brush and forest fires.
”Our first responders take their responsibility to protect communities and our natural resources very seriously and an important way to show our appreciation is to ensure they have the necessary tools and resources,” Gov. Wolf said. “These grants will allow our first responders to prepare for and, if needed, douse dangerous wildfires so that our communities remain safe.”
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego thanked volunteer fire companies for their service to communities close to home, as well as those members who often join DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry crews battling wildfires far beyond Pennsylvania’s borders. Several crews have been sent West to fight wildfires caused by hot, dry summer conditions, while also responding regularly to local woodland and brush fires.
They noted the wildfire grants help enable smaller companies to concentrate more on public safety and training while easing their fiscal constraints.
“Smaller communities, especially rural areas, deal with the same fire dangers larger cities have, such as building fires and vehicle accidents, but they also have to be prepared to handle brush and forest fires,” State Rep. Frank Burns said. “These grants are designed to help make sure those departments are prepared and trained to battle these types of potentially deadly situations.”
Grants given locally include:
- Ashville Volunteer fire Company No. 1 $1,600
- Carrolltown Fire Company $4,480
- East Taylor Volunteer Fire Company $665
- Gallitzin Fire Company No. 1 $10,000
- Loretto Fire Company $2,387
- Bedford Volunteer Fire Department $7,977
- Saxton Volunteer Fire Company $3,750
- Six Mile Run Area Volunteer Fire Company $881
- Southern Cove Volunteer Fire Company $10,000
- Excelsior Fire Company No. 1, Bellwood $8,726
- Glendale Volunteer Fire Department, Coalport $7,500
- Union Township Civilian Defense Fire Company $1,137
- Marklesburg Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 $10,000
- Stone Creek Valley Volunteer Fire Company $2,133
- Oliver Township Volunteer Fire Company $5,000
- Perry Township Jefferson County Volunteer Fire Company $2,500
- Addison Volunteer Fire Department $10,000
- Hooversville Volunteer Fire Department $2,020
- New Baltimore & Area Volunteer Fire Company $5,360
- New Centerville & Rural Volunteer Fire Company $2,250
The total for our local region is $98,366.
For the full list of all departments across the commonwealth, you can click here.
In 2020, more than $591,000 was awarded to 109 volunteer fire companies. The grant program, offered through DCNR and paid through federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, has awarded more than $14.5 million since it began in 1982.
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