“Firefighters in rural areas with dense forest areas are especially challenged and are in need of additional firefighting equipment that most urban companies do not need,” said Baker. “That is why these grant are so vital. Volunteer fire companies already largely operate on shoestring budgets so these grants to help with the purchase of specialized gear and vehicles, as well as training, are so important to public safety.”
Fire companies in rural areas or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents were eligible to apply for the grants. The funding is used to better equip and train volunteers to save lives and protect property in unprotected rural areas.
The money can be used for purchasing wildfire-suppression equipment, protective clothing, mobile or portable radios, water supply installations, wildfire prevention and mitigation, wildfire training, and to convert and maintain federal excess vehicles for fire suppression.
Departments in the 68th Legislative District to receive grants are as follows:
Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department, Canton, Bradford County: $7,000.
Liberty Volunteer Fire Company Inc., Liberty, Tioga County: $2,134.
Middlebury Township Volunteer Fire Department, Middlebury, Tioga County: $7,500.
Morris Township Fire Company, Trout Run, Tioga County: $3,187.
Funding for the grant comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service through the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.