Stefano: Volunteer Fire Companies Awarded Grants to Protect Against Forest Fires

Volunteer fire companies in Fayette and Somerset counties have been awarded grants to help them guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, according to Senator Pat Stefano (R-32).

Stefano said the grants are awarded by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary to local fire companies in rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents.

“These grants enable firefighters from smaller companies to concentrate more on public safety and training while easing their fiscal constraints,” Stefano said.  “They are crucial to protecting rural areas like ours, with large areas of forestland.”

Grant recipients are selected based on vulnerability and adequacy of existing fire protection.   In reviewing applications, the bureau placed priority on applications seeking funds for projects that included purchasing wildfire-suppression equipment and protective clothing.

Grants also were awarded for mobile or portable radios, water supply installations, wildfire prevention and mitigation, wildfire fighting training, and to convert and maintain Federal Excess Vehicles the bureau receives and uses for fire suppression.

Grants for any project during a fiscal year cannot exceed 50 percent of the actual expenditures. The maximum grant awarded was $7,500.  The following fire companies received funding:

Fayette County

Bullskin Township Volunteer Fire Co., Connellsville, $5,860;
Everson Volunteer Fire Co., Everson, $7,500;
Fairchance Volunteer Fire Co., Fairchance, $2,570;
Farmington VFD, Farmington, $7,500;
Fayette City Volunteer Fire Co, Fayette City, $1,970;
Morrell Volunteer Fire Department, S. Connellsville, $2,500;
New Salem Volunteer Fire Department, New Salem, $3,500;
Smock Volunteer Fire Department, Smock, $3,760;
Washington Township Volunteer Fire Co., Belle Vernon, $6,559.

Somerset County

Boswell Volunteer Fire Department, Boswell, $1,236;
Central City Fire Department, Central City, $1,750;
Hooversville Volunteer Fire Department, Hooversville, $640;
Jennerstown Volunteer Fire Department, Boswell, $6,250;
New Baltimore & Area Volunteer Fire Co., New Baltimore, $7,500;
New Centerville & Rural Volunteer Fire Co., Rockwood, $7,500;
Windber Fire Co. No.1, Windber, $1,750.

CONTACT: Ben Wren (717) 787-7175


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