ANNAPOLIS (Aug. 24, 2008)—Two Charles County volunteer fire departments each received $3,000 in 2008 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grants from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to increase their capacity for wildland fire suppression.
DNR received the funding from the USDA Forest Service. The grants funded $90,112 for 37 projects statewide. The total cost for all 37 projects was projected to be $286,039. The maximum grant award was $3,000 per department.
Proposed projects from across the state include wildland personal protective equipment, skid units for building brush trucks, replacing fire hoses, upgrading communications equipment, installing dry fire hydrants, and other supplies equipment needed to suppress wildfires.
The Benedict VFDRS submitted an application to DNR for a project totaling $85,000. The Cobb Island VFD project total was $7,321.
DNR officials said grant applications were very competitive and funding was only available to assist 61 percent of the volunteer fire departments that applied this year. Applications are ranked based on project description, local financial support, population, protection area, and other factors.
We are thankful for the fire protection provided by local volunteer fire departments, said Monte Mitchell, DNR State Fire Supervisor. The grants help rural fire departments increase their effectiveness and safety in combating wildland fires in Maryland.